Tosa, the Brightest Star in My Galaxy

From the start of my relationship with my boyfriend, we always talked about the future and planned everything out– from moving in together, to saving money, to planning ahead for a wedding and, of course, pregnancy.

We had been together for roughly five years and both had jobs where we made a significant amount and, on top of that, we had side jobs for extra income. We found out I was pregnant through at least four different pregnancy tests and this was after a whole week of feeling nauseous and easily vomiting from sharp scents like vinegar or spices.

Even though it was something we planned on, we didn’t expect it to be this soon. But what scared me the most was actually confronting my parents about it since they strictly believe in “sex after marriage”. Yeah, they are really traditional people. But they actually took me by surprise when they didn’t try to quarrel with me or anything; they were actually very understanding and my mom even went the extra mile by insisting that she’ll guide me every step of the way till I give birth, which filed by heart with joy and happiness because I knew I had completed the biggest life challenge ever.

My first trimester was exhausting, from countless doctor visits to family members trying to get involved in any way they could. My desire to eat junk food and fulfill all my cravings went down the drain thanks to both our families wanting me to focus on eating traditional dishes to help strengthen the baby. The need to constantly look in the mirror and down at my belly sunk in, and I tried to relish in the memory of having a flat tummy before the baby took over.

My boyfriend tried to be as connected to me through the pregnancy than ever before once the belly came out to show. We had a dog we rescued from the shelter as a pup years ago together that ended up being my bodyguard around the house.
I used to love exercising and, thanks to the constant want for food, I felt myself getting sluggish. So between my fifth and sixth month of pregnancy, I did yoga poses in front of the TV and began to feel as though I could not keep up with my body. I didn’t want to fall into the depression of becoming a slug, especially around my relatives who were known to just bring me down for “lazing around the house”, but I really couldn’t help myself as well with the doctor telling me to take it easy.

With three months left to go, I was becoming settled. I enjoyed being in comfort, sipping on hot chocolate and cuddling my boyfriend every so often. Usually I’m not so affectionate– my friends, family, and boyfriend were taken aback by this new perception of me till they realised it was a part of the hormones as well as the baby coming soon.

A nine-month journey turned into 10 as days went by ever so slowly. Tired of the heartburn, back pains, and waddling, I tried everything in the book to induce my labour but it wouldn’t give. One night on the 10th of May, my boyfriend and I came to the agreement that we would go to the doctor and demand he induce labour immediately the following day.

After packing our bags we were out the door and in the car that afternoon. Thanks to my everlasting need to nap during the day we were stuck in the lunch rush traffic. Instead of sitting beside my boyfriend, I decided to camp out in the back seat and snack with my feet up on his armrest where he played with my toes as he drove. I began feeling tangs of pain after he went over several speed humps which I tried to reluctantly ignore seeing how we were so close to the hospital, but given the situation, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it, the more I wanted to scream as waves of pain crashed over me.

Twisting and turning in pain, he noticed that it wasn’t getting any better and began to speed for it. A few minutes away from the hospital I heard the sound of his dad coming through the speakers of the car, soon realising he was on a call. Wondering where we had gone off to as his parents including my mother had come by the house to check on us but found us gone, I started fiddling with the handle to jump out the car only to be welcomed to a nurse and a wheelchair. Noticing that he parked at the emergency side of the hospital, he came around my side to find the backseat of the car slick and shiny. Looking at each other in shock that my water broke, he hurries in informing his father over the phone who is now on loudspeaker repeating everything back to his entourage of family members.

While I’m breathing heavily, looking for my boyfriend’s hand, I’m put on a bed in one of the rooms. The doctor walked in to inform us that I am only two centimetres dilated and need to wait for the extra eight in order to push. It was a waiting game of my boyfriend walking in and out of the room to update our family and come back to me. I lay in agony for 12 hours till finally, the procedure began. I remember clamping onto my boyfriend’s hand till our beautiful baby boy, Tosa, was put in my arms.

We named him Tosa after the Setswana translation for the planet Jupiter also meaning biggest star, plus his father absolutely loved the name and I couldn’t take it away from him!

When and where will the 8 Billionth person be born?