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Javene's Pregnancy Journey: Experiencing A New Type of Love

A pregnant woman sits on her husbands lap in a garden, while he holds her exposed tummy.
Javene & Dukiemar Shaw at their pregnancy photoshoot.

Despite actively planning and trying for a baby, when the two lines came up, I was beyond surprised. What a truly surreal moment.

Initially, I had bought the test as a joke because my husband, Dukiemar and I said let us see, very positive (pun intended) that we weren't going to be that lucky after our first try. So convinced I was that it was going to be a bust, I didn't even let him know when I did it because it was going to be negative after all, right?

After getting over my initial shock, I decided to make the reveal a little fun for him. I quickly made a card that said “Daddy to be, Baby Shaw coming March 2024” and put the test inside. His initial reaction when he opened the card was "Yeah right, nice try", but then the test fell out and realisation set in all too quickly.

We were having his family over that weekend and that same Friday evening, we kept sneaking excited and shocked glances because we were still not sure we saw properly and planned to follow up with the doctor to confirm the test. Naturally, I immediately started "feeling symptoms" and was convinced I was nauseous and would probably start vomiting at any minute.

We're (really) pregnant!

After sitting on pins and needles the entire weekend, we were finally able to go to my Doctor who confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. There were so many emotions, happiness, shock and a whole lot of anxiety about preparing to become first-time parents. After twelve years together and one month of being married, it was no longer just going to be the two of us. 

At that point, we were hoping it would be just the three of us because the thought of multiples, while an enormous blessing, had us worried because we couldn't imagine being responsible for more than one baby.

Having confirmed the news, the next step was to inform our family and close friends—they were all over the moon—to identify a gynae and do the first ultrasound.

The sheer excitement made us do the ultrasound a bit too early (I took the test before I had even missed my period) and so when we visited Drs. Sharmaine and Adrian Mitchell, we had to do a second ultrasound to confirm the baby's heartbeat.

After being reassured that everything was just fine, we went out to buy the prenatal vitamins and get a head start on all the necessary tests.

Oh the symptoms & effects of pregnancy

There began the journey and pretty quickly I no longer had to actively strain to feel the effects of pregnancy because they started to show up fully.

While I am so thankful I did not have to deal with morning sickness in terms of vomiting, the constant feeling of nausea made me want to throw up most days. But, a single encounter one fateful Sunday morning after brushing my tongue a bit too far back and emptying the contents (there was nothing) of my stomach left me lying on the couch the whole day giving thanks this was indeed not a daily occurrence.

My appetite in the first trimester as expected was greatly reduced and I went from a regular-sized dinner plate to a little blue saucer that even then was too much. I was convinced I would never like food again and I would only be able to subsist on Pringles, Cheese Krunchies and juice.

But sure enough, there was a light at the end of the very long tunnel and by the time the second trimester rolled around, I was no longer restricted to a few bites of food at very specific times.

Appointments came and went and for the most part, everything was on track and I was hitting all the milestones. I must admit that overall my pregnancy went very well and for that, I remain grateful.

The countdown & gender reveal

Christmas saw the gender reveal of our bundle of joy and to our excitement (especially Daddy's), we were going to be blessed with a son.

As the New Year rolled around, the impatience of waiting what seemed like a century slowly started to turn to anxiety as the third trimester began.

March was just around the corner and so the pace of preparations quickened.

Suddenly, the one-month visits turned into biweekly ones, I was registered at the hospital and the bag was packed and in the vehicle at all times.

Amidst the growing anxiety, was the excitement that I would soon meet the little stranger whose flutters had become strong kicks and who had me eating religiously at 3 am every morning or there was no sleep.

The last lap

At this point, Baby Shaw (as we all had been calling him as we were yet to settle on a name even a month out) was checking all the right boxes for development and all was on track for his arrival on March 23, 2024.

After what felt like a decade of waiting and a whole lot of surprises in the last lap, including an emergency c-section (stay tuned for those details in part 2) Dujavar Shaw made his way into the world on March 5.

I know it is clichè, but honestly, there is no joy like that of seeing and holding your baby. While as first-time parents we had (and still have) a lot to contend with, he has made every second worth it.

On the day I was tasked with the awesome responsibility and honour to write my story for The Village, I had just finished penning a poem that it seems only fitting to end this chapter of the story on.

A mother cradles her sleeping baby in her arms while standing by a picket fence.

A New Type of Love

By Javene Skyers-Shaw

Whenever I think of you, my heart beats faster in my chest

And even though there is excitement, there also flutters anxiety and stress

Will you think I am good enough? Do I even think I am good enough?

Some days I ponder and fear that this new road looks a bit too rough

I hope you understand that while I know my feelings and love for you are sure

It frightens me to think of you in such a harsh world, what disappointments you may have to endure

How do I prepare for the inevitable hurts that life will throw your way

When I only want to keep you forever wrapped in my arms to stay

This love I have for you is so intense, its fierceness sometimes surprises even me

Of how brightly it flares when I think of all you can and will be

And then I look in marvel at this new range of emotion

Complete with my fervent and absolute devotion

This is a new chapter for us both, one we will explore together

Navigating the various roadblocks, somehow, I believe we will weather

And even though we may sometimes stumble and not always get it right

I pray that for each other, our love and support will always shine bright

My son, there will be no doubt so many things along the way I’ll have to learn

Including not only your favourite things but your trust and respect to earn

So I can only ask you for grace, understanding, along with God’s guidance from above

As I learn to navigate this scary yet wonderful new type of love

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