Throughout March and well into the first week of April 2016, I dedicated most of my free time to preparing for the arrival of our baby girl. I still worked full time and did not go on leave until the Easter weekend.
On the 2nd of March, I went to see the ob-gyne at my hospital and was made to take blood and glucose tests. The results, released the following week, were good and basically normal.
Two days later, on a Friday and the local weekend, my husband’s sister and brother-in-law, who both also lived in Muscat with their young son, hosted my baby shower. It was a very pink and frilly affair, since we were celebrating the upcoming arrival of a girl.
My husband and I had balloons in various shapes designed into arrangements that mimicked overly large flowers, as well as pink-and-white single balloons scattered throughout the outdoor venue. The menu was a barbecue spread of salad, potatoes, flat breads, kebabs, large chicken slices and tuna fish fillets.
Our guests were our peeps based in Oman, most of whom we had met and befriended over our almost nine years’ residency in the Sultanate. Some were friends and family acquaintances from way back, from the time we still lived in our home country. There was a generous amount of gifts, from clothing and diapers, to bed and bath equipment.
Aside from the ceremonial opening of gifts, our guests were also given the floor to share words of wisdom based on their own parenting experiences. We received lots of practical, touching and even amusing nuggets of knowledge. Some of the moms present even shed tears when they spoke of their own memories of raising their children.
On the Monday that followed, 7th March, hubby and I returned to the hospital for my ultrasound and Doppler scans. The results were released less than half an hour after the procedures, following which we went to see my doctor for a post-scan check-up. My blood pressure and other vitals were normal. The scans had very positive results as well. My baby was of the expected weight and length for someone in her stage of development. Her heartbeat and activity were excellent, too. Best of all, she was already in “engaged” position: head down, feet up, ready to pass through the birth canal and join the world.
In the second half of March, after a series of thunderstorms that struck Oman, weekends were spent shopping for baby items. After taking inventory of our shower gifts, I figured out what else we needed and we bought these from various hypermarkets and department stores in Muscat. I was very happy that our purchases covered most of what we needed for my delivery and afterwards.
I was able to prepare our hospital gear and had two bags at the ready weeks before my actual due date. One bag contained items I required for labor and a subsequent post-natal stay at the hospital. The other, a kitschy and cute diaper bag, housed everything for our baby girl: clothes, blankets, bath and diapering supplies and, of course, bottles and a pump for feeding.
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