Friday, September 13, 2013

I’ll never forget the day I took the pregnancy test… Up until that point I had been living in a carefully cultivated sense of denial. On some level I knew I was pregnant, but I kept making up excuses for my missing period. Maybe its stress, maybe its cysts, maybe I miscalculated and it’s actually due next week (I mean really!). So when the day finally arrived to wee on the stick, my blanket of denial was rudely yanked away. While I defiantly wanted a baby, I was totally unprepared for how quickly it was all happening. When I walked out of the toilet, wee’d on pregnancy test in hand, I remember telling Regan, “Well I’m pregnant”. I sat down in the doorway to the balcony and started giggling like someone possessed. Regan eventually joined in. We then smoked 6 cigarettes (yes, upon finding out about the baby in my baby box I needed to chain smoke just 3 cigarettes, everybody stay calm). Pregnancy was a huge fucking deal. Huge. But we didn’t freak out. We were so happy. Scared, but so happy.

Now I have this story that lives in my heart, it’s a story about being pregnant and becoming a mom. Women do this everyday. Women give birth in fields and in lifts and in cars. It’s nothing new, but oh my gosh, it is colossal. Right now as I sit here on my bed with Sophie lying asleep next to me I am so intimately aware of my journey into motherhood. Looking down at her now I see why it would be impossible for me not to write about it. If you must write about what you know, then this is what I know. It is who I am.
Getting ready for Sophie's arrival... Regan fell asleep while I labored. 
While I was pregnant I didn’t feel the immediate motherly awareness people speak about. I kept asking myself when does motherhood begin? I had this amazing tiny life growing inside of me, was I just suddenly a mother? I didn’t really feel like one, I still felt like the same old Nikki. Pregnancy was perfect, I loved the changes my body went through, and living every day with the knowledge that I was literally growing a life was so surreal and powerful.

Some people say that motherhood begins during labor. To me labor felt like a war between my body and my mind. After my water broke I was in labor for 22 hours. Labor made me feel insecure and afraid and sorely lacking in confidence in my body. I didn’t get an epidural (poor time management on my part and know it all nurses on the hospitals part). The pain was immense and it was made worse by the crippling fear I had that I just could not do it. After everything I had read and everything I had watched and all the information I had amassed in the previous 38 weeks I thought I would have been better prepared. Now if you are reading this and have not had a baby you’re probably wondering, is the pain that bad? Was the pain such that it caused her to question her willingness to bring forth this new little life? Nope, it was the anticipation of the pain that played me dirty. Not knowing how bad it would get, not understanding how to “push like you are doing a poo” (this is what one of my nurses told me 21 hours into my 22 hour labor) – I didn’t know what I would feel, I just knew I would feel a lot of it.

Giving birth/being born is super exhausting, even for dads.
Exhausted, drained, drinking a Powerade and swirling around on a birthing ball I definitely did not feel that “can do” motherly attitude.

After my last decent push, Regan looked up (tears in his eyes – I swear I did not expect my manly man to cry but I guess the birth of your daughter will do that to you) and said, she’s out, and I heard her tiny little cry I knew, I am now a mother.

This was the feeling I was waiting for. The nurse handed me my little baby and she was writhing and furious and so utterly perfect. Here in my arms was my big bang, my own cosmic singularity. This 3.2kg mass of screaming baby destroyed my world and put it together again in an instant.

If I had to describe my pre-Sophie life I would only need one word: indulgent. There was a lot of money thrown around, good food, good sex, long nights out on the town and countless double gin and tonics. Having a baby is to become halved, and Sophie is my other half. My life is no longer my own, it is hers too, and it’s this feeling that spurs me on to purchase things like vitamins and life insurance. My life definitely had meaning pre-Sophie, but her arrival has added a purpose to my existence unlike any other. It’s through her eyes that I able to see the world for the first time. She inspires me to become the person I want to be, makes me feel like I can still change the world. Life is harder and more wonderful than ever.

She is poetry come alive.


  1. You should make sure she reads this when she's a bit older. It's beautiful.

  2. Wow! Love the honesty of your post


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