In the early hours of last Sunday morning, baby Apple arrived and Tom, Rocco and myself cannot be more excited about watching this little girl’s adventure and journey begin. But it wasn’t exactly as blissful as it looks. My pregnancy was going swimmingly well, no hiccups, concerns or issues. All my scans, blood tests and check ups were fine and healthy, until I hit 7 months. It was like my body had enough. It started with Gestational Diabetes, then my iron levels continued to drop to unmanageable levels, where only an iron infusion could help, (my iron levels were at 5). But by then, my immune system was so unwell, that the hospital said my body couldn’t handle an iron infusion as it would impact my immune system and make me even more unwell. So I had to wait. I was now not only exhausted, but frustrated.
In the meantime, I picked up a nasty cough, that would keep me up all night, (as well as the neighbourhood) followed by a urinary tract infection, with delightful side effects, which I won’t even go into. And then painful contractions begun around 34 weeks, with signs of another premature labour happening (Rocco came 1 month early after my placenta suddenly ruptured in the middle of the night). Somehow the hospital managed to slow everything down, and eventually I could go home. Then the following weekend my mucus plug came out, with the same painful contractions starting all over again and I was starting to dilate. Again the hospital managed to stop everything, and eventually I was able to go home.
As soon as I got home, I had excruciating pain in my back. Pain that whenever my right foot hit the pavement, it would shoot up my leg, significantly contributing to my waddle and more tears and I felt like I had a hot knitting needle stabbing inside me. Contractions continued randomly, with me relocating to the bath tub until they would eventually subside. When they did, I would find waves of vomiting, which lead to 2 kgs of weight loss. Finally a quick check in with my GP, he confirmed I was walking around 5 cm dilated. No wonder I was so unwell but at least I made it to 37 weeks. Phew, and we knew that whilst I wasn’t okay, baby apple was.
When contractions started again for the fifth or sixth time at 2.30 am, I dreaded heading to the hospital, but eventually made it there. As I literally walked through the doors of the hospital, my waters broke and I gave birth 50 minutes later.
Looking at this precious little baby, that Tom and I had created together, I felt a mix of emotions; pride that we delivered her safely, relief in that she had arrived, exhilaration in the passage of parenthood, shock as to how quickly we birthed her & fear of failure in the pressure of being a good enough mother to her. It was a lot to take in, but all I wanted was to cuddle her and hold her close to my heart. And whilst I still feel the same waves of mixed emotions, that primal urge to protect and nurture her runs high.
So in sharing this with you, I want you to know that authenticity and transparency are important to me. There may be glamorous photoshoots, sweet baby smiles, fashionable outfits but there are also tough days, challenging moments, tears, and meltdowns. So I will do my best to show and share both sides openly, through my videos, sharing my stories, writing about my discoveries and even my fears. And in the meantime, welcome to the world Apple, (Francesca Grace Simpson), you are already the apple of this families eye.