Back in October we met a very special Bellaband fan from Australia. We’ve stayed in touch and we’ve asked her to share her pregnancy experience with us and you… I’m Brigid from Sydney Australia and I’m 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I was super excited, however started to realise that quality and fashionable maternity clothing is hard to come by. I was lucky enough to have a trip planned to see my sister who lives in San Francisco in October so I thought I would load up on good clothing there. I was just over three months pregnant then. A search online led me to Ingrid & Isabel who, as it turns out, are based in San Francisco. The one thing I knew I had to get hold of was a Bellaband – which would allow me to continue to wear my jeans and shorts (as I would be pregnant over summer) for quite sometime into the pregnancy. In fact, until last Friday was still wearing all my jeans thanks to the Bellaband. With my sister in tow, we headed for the address found online which was on Union Street. I wasn’t entirely sure this was their store, however as we were in the area we thought we would check it out, nothing to lose. As we got to the location, I quickly realised this was the head office and not a store, so I thought I’d pop my head in and ask where I could find the biggest range of merchandise to try on and we’d then head there. Upon knocking on the door, we were welcomed with such warmth by some of the girls who work there. Embarrassed, I quickly explained the story and said I would get out of their hair, if they could point me in the right direction to a store. Ingrid was divine and insisted that my sister and I stay and have a look through the collection. She took us to the back room of the office, where all their stock was hanging and introduced us to the girls in her team, who were having a meeting. I felt so overwhelmed with their generosity in time, maybe a break from the meeting was welcome, I don’t know, but they were so happy to take us through all the sorts of items I might like to wear. It was simply a wonderful experience and made me feel so good about the belly that was soon to grow exponentially. After about 45 minutes we had decided on a number of items I would purchased including a black and white Bellaband. Job done! Upon leaving we got lots of goodbye hugs and I promised to send through some photos once the belly had popped. My plan was to wear some of the clothing down at Palm Beach, which is my local beach in Sydney. That was the plan. But as all you mothers know, and I am learning (as it’s my first baby), things don’t always go to plan! The reason I started this blog with stating how many weeks and days I am, is because right now days are really important to me as I write this from hospital. Ten days ago, at 30 weeks and 6 days, I wasn’t feeling too well, so I went home from work to rest. I went straight to sleep for an hour and I got up to go to the bathroom. As I was leaving my bedroom something happened. My waters broke. It took me completely by surprise…this was too early. I immediately called my obstetrician. They said to get to the hospital as soon as I could. I called my husband who was at a client lunch and did not answer, so I called my mum who happened only to be ten minutes away from my place. I rushed around the house, packing my handbag full of odd things… Not sure what I was getting myself prepared for, and before I knew it mum was at the door. I looked at her with tears streaming down my face and all I could say was “I’m not ready for this…” Once at the hospital I was put into a delivery suite and they began testing to confirm it was my waters that had broken. I was injected with the first of two steroid shots which would help our little girl’s lungs develop should she be delivered in the coming hours or days. It was all a shock. As soon as my husband got my messages he headed immediately to be by my side. There was a problem, however, insofar as the hospital I was booked into cannot deliver babies pre 34 weeks, as it does not have the high level of care premature babies need. So my obstetrician called around to other hospitals in Sydney to find me, and most importantly our little girl, a bed. By the time Will left hospital it was about 1 am. To say I had a bad sleep is an understatement. On Saturday morning the reality of the situation we were in began to sink in, and we were very relieved that I had not gone into labour over night. So, as things began to unfold over the coming days, we would learn what lay ahead for us. So, the situation is that I remain in hospital, under observation and on antibiotics until I deliver our girl. This could happen anytime. I could go into spontaneous labour or the more critical outcome is that my baby gets an infection in which case she would have to come out. Immediately. We are counting the days to 35 weeks. If we could make it that far, that would be our ideal. But ideals are dreams right now and we will take every day we are given, as already we are ten days better than what we could have been. A premature baby is something no one wishes for. But when you’re faced with it, you have to get your head around what that means for the baby, for you and your partner. We are lucky that we have had time to re-calibrate our expectations on the arrival of our daughter. It won’t be the kind of birth we were expecting, but that’s totally okay. There are the facts and the emotions to deal with at this point of the journey. The facts are, that if she arrives tonight, she will be in great care and she will be fine, as will we. It will just be a road with a few bumps in it. And these bumps are the emotions. But we are informed and ready to deal with these. I may not leave the hospital with her in my arms a few days after her birth, but when I do, that day will be even sweeter.