My type A personality means I can track just about everything except wildlife; my depleting pantry cupboard, my increasing or decreasing waistline depending on the season, my Uber eats order, my kids snack times and of course my periods.
After pregnancy and breastfeeding Anas for nine months, my periods came back on the 14th August (yes I just went into my period tracker to check that date for ya’all), I skipped September but didn’t think much of it and then had a second period on 4th October. When I got that notification saying I was due for my November period but nothing happened for a few days, I did not initially think anything of it. I remember telling Faeez that because I had just turned 40 maybe this was early menopause. I had just finished a 40 day detox and was re-introducing food groups into my diet and also started the Momma Glow Cleanse as part of the RushTush Glow getter campaign ) so I attributed being a few days late to many of these changes.
A few days turned into a week but I was starting to feel odd. Sticking to my guns about early menopause and wanting to rule out pregnancy I got a preggy test at Clicks, came home and didn’t even bother to wait for morning with higher HCG levels; I just walked to the bathroom, peed on a stick and scrolled through the socials (yes I take my phone to the toilet with me, gross I know) while I waited for the five minutes to pass. When my alarm went off to check I nonchalantly turned around to get the stick. I saw two lines. And soema had another pee. I quickly opened the balled up instructions to check what I already knew two lines meant. I shouted “what the fucccccccccccccccccccccccccccccck” and ran out the bathroom straight to my room and screamed for Faeez. While I cried and told him the news, he could not stop smiling. Someone was happy but it was not me. I called my gynae, Dr Woldu and exclaimed that it must be wrong, and that this is menopause. I had been for a pap smear a few weeks back and nothing had been picked up! He laughed and said the home tests, no matter how cheap, were quite accurate but he would send me for blood tests as well. Of course the blood tests confirmed what deep down I already knew was true:
I was pregnant.
My baby was not even a year old.
To say I was shocked was an understatement.
I was 40. And pregnant.
The superficial side of me was thinking about the hard work I had put in to lose my pregnancy weight from both Zakariyya and Anas; a total of 19 kilos. I was devastated as I know from experience that I was going to balloon up and quickly and then all the comments would start “Twins? You must be far along hey? Are you sure there isn’t another one there?” I was not mentally ready for that.
Then the more adult side of me was thinking about all the other things you worry about when pregnant…my age, my risk factors, the fact I was still breastfeeding, my baby was one month shy of a year and would only be eighteen months when his sibling arrived, my relationship with my husband, my work OMG my work (I had just been afforded a senior role size when I returned from maternity leave) and I had all these goals.
I won’t lie. I was scared, intimidated, a little angry, a lot hormonal, nervous to tell people, and unsure how to process and move forward. I told myself to allow myself to feel whatever I needed and that time would unravel a lot of the feelings I was struggling with.
A few weeks later we went for our first scan and I was 8 weeks along. Sounds corny but the moment I heard that heartbeat and saw that little bean in a soup of black and white, my heart was right again. I was going to be a #momofthree and I was happy. Suddenly I felt at ease and all that excitement that normally happens when you see two lines on a stick, only happened for me four weeks later. I had been right, I just needed some time.
We inundated my gynae with questions about the risk factors including my age, Down syndrome and the fact that I had had 2 emergency C-sections already.
I turned to Dr Woldu and said “Well at least I know that I will stop at three with my 2 previous caesareans! He looked at me and said that there was no real limit. Apparently a women in the UAE holds the record at 7 C-sections and the need to stop at three is more prevalent in government institutions. I turned to Faeez and he said “Oh so we can have more!” I am sure at this point I imagined performing a castration myself.
Also a baby at 40 was not a big deal and Dr Woldu kept reminding me that I was getting anxious for nothing; I was in good health, had access to nutritious food and great healthcare and I needed to basically calm the hell down!
Instead of waiting for 12 weeks to make the announcement to friends and family and the socials, we decided after our 8 week visit to just share the news; still worried about my age I figured I needed as much positive vibes and prayer as early as possible.
I did get the odd “OMG you are pregnant AGAIN?” and even “Now we know you people don’t really “work from home”” and the blush-inducing comments directed at Faeezs virility but mostly there was a fantastic reception to our news. Our immediate families and friends were very happy for us but my sister in law took the cake, she had sent me a pic when Anas was a few months old with a drawn in pic of a third baby and I remember thinking she was nuts. She literally drew her wish into a reality lol!
Fast forward another few weeks and we found out we were having a boy and I would be a #momofboys
This experience has been challenging. From the physical symptoms to the mental roadblocks, the hormones and everything else in between. Not knowing if COVID19 would have a long lasting negative effect on my baby, added a different layer of strain. And then having a gynae who did not believe in frequent appointments and scans was new for me; he considered me low risk and as such, I saw him every four to five weeks and he never saw me every week in the last month which was quite unlike my previous gynae. I saw him five weeks ago and tomorrow he will deliver my baby by elective C-section.
I had planned to have my lashes done for the first time, and roll in there all cute and round and hair Dutch braided and mentally prepared but of course the universe is having none of that. I could not lay flat for an hour so my lash appointment didn’t happen, my hair has barely grown long enough for a mom bun and his offices just called to say I cannot wear makeup. So no MAC bright pink lipstick for me.
In just a few hours, I will walk into the reception and up to the maternity ward with my old saggy feeding bra trying unsuccessfully to hoist my already leaking boobs, sans lipstick, a little bit anxious and very excited hand in hand with Faeez to welcome our last little boy into this world (by the will and Grace of God).
Lessons learned in the last 83 months of pregnancy:
You can fall pregnant at 40 and still have a healthy pregnancy
You can fall pregnant with PCOS (at that Pap smear I had in November 2020, there were 12 cysts loitering around my then unknown baby boy)
You can fall pregnant after a miscarriage; grateful for this second pregnancy after that loss
Sex is and will always be a great stress relief, especially when working from home
Do not, I repeat, do not give away your maternity clothes and baby clothes and other paraphernalia until you are 1000% sure that your ovaries or sperm donor have closed up shop
Count your blessings even if it takes some time to recognize them as blessings
Give in to your cravings
Listen to your body
Yes, you can lose the weight and yes, you don’t have to if you don’t want to!
Appreciate the people that have gone out of their way to spoil you and your little one even from a distance (yes to virtual and drive by baby showers)
Be grateful to your Creator for all the abundance
Enjoy your partner and kids, in every season
Be kind to yourself, you are making a baby
Call me Nuz