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A hunch - part 1 of 2
A hunch, mother’s intuition, listening to your gut?
We have all heard this before. It’s something that I have experienced many times in my life and now even more so as a mom. How do I describe it?
It’s a feeling and with that feeling there’s a knowingness. Unfortunately, I have often second guessed this said ‘knowingness’.
Well usually because of doubt. This occurs after I have voiced my concern to someone and they have planted a seed of doubt in my knowingness. This is never done on purpose but usually to try and make me feel better. The comments often used like “no man, it’s nothing, don’t worry” or “you are just being a paranoid first time mom.”
My pregnancy with Oli wasn’t the easiest in the first trimester. It got physically easier in the second and third trimesters, but, as a family unit, we were under a lot of stress. My husband Daniel and I had decided in October 2018 that we wanted to immigrate to the USA.
We had been wanting to conceive for a couple of months and in February 2019 we decided to just put a pin in it and try again after we immigrated. On the morning after we made this decision, a pregnancy test, came back positive. To say that I was thrilled is an understatement.
Since I was experiencing a lot of bleeding in my first trimester, I was eventually put on bed rest for a threatened miscarriage. Thankfully, into the second trimester, I was doing much better. I closed my business and we put our house in Paarl and in Joburg on the market. At 36 weeks, we packed up our Paarl house and moved to Muzienberg in Cape Town to be close to our chosen midwifery team.
On the 9th of November, 2019, after 41 weeks and six days of pregnancy, after 21 hours of labor and an emergency cesarean, Oli made his appearance. When they showed him to me I just remember these really big eyes looking right at me, like right at me, a blink every now and again but no tears or crying. This of course freaked me out, why wasn’t he crying? Oli wasn’t breathing on his own and so had to spend his first two nights in the NICU.
The morning that we were leaving the hospital, all packed and ready to go, an audiologist came into the room. She said that she was here to do the new born hearing screen. All I wanted to do at that point was get out of the hospital. Oli was even already strapped into his car seat. I politely said to her no thank you, we would do a screening at a later date. I remember walking away from that woman thinking, “hearing, I didn’t know that was something to think about”; let’s be honest, I started worrying about hearing from that moment.
If you have kids, you know the newborn phase has more than enough things to worry about with feeds and wet nappies and sleep…or rather not much sleep. I remember putting Oli to sleep at about a month old in a bassinet in my moms lounge. Leha, my moms lovely house keeper moved an iron grate across the tiles and it made an awful, loud noise. Oli didn’t flinch and I remember saying to Leha, isn’t that weird he didn’t even move. Her reply was, “he is just sleeping deeply.” Fair enough, I brushed off my concern.
The holidays came and there was a lot of noise and yet my baby slept through it all, when he slept that is. Again, many family members reassured me that their kids did the same and it’s such a good thing for them to get used to the noise. On January 8th, 2020 however my husband experienced first hand, what I was worried about. We were sitting in the little house we were renting in Hopefield, on the West Coast of South Africa. The door was open and the wind blew and slammed it shut. We both got such a big fright and Oli, well he didn’t even flinch. I said to Daniel, slam the door again, again no reaction. We then got a pot and spatula and starting banging and still no reaction.
My mom and step-dad, Daniel and myself making noise around this 2 month old baby and there was not even a flinch of an eyelid.