The best laid plans count for nothing when Zara Lopez (not her real name) suddenly goes into premature labour
Stress levels: increasing Sleepless nights: too many to count Grey hairs: Quite a few
Well my wish certainly came true. The baby - a delicate, but beautiful, baby girl, who we've named Jade - came almost two and a half months earlier than expected. As it was a premature birth, full of complications, I never made it back to New York as planned.
In fact, nothing went according to plan. Things were pretty fraught at the firm, and at home, just before I went into premature labour. I had been suffering from very high blood pressure from early March, but did I heed the doctor's orders to get complete bed rest? Of course not, although I've since lived to regret it.
Work projects were either being cancelled or put on hold, especially in Venezuela, as clients were making cutbacks. But there was a huge demand for me in Brazil and Mexico, so I was on a plane to Rio or Mexico City every few days. Of course, all that flying and jetlag put quite a lot of strain on both me and my unborn child.
All the rumours about streamlining the Latin operations didn't help either. I had plenty of sleepless nights before the birth, wondering whether my days in Venezuela were numbered, even though I was initially supposed to be here for at least two years. And because I didn't want to jeopardise that, I didn't complain about the extra travel, despite my ever-growing bump - which with hindsight was a mistake on my part. I felt sick and exhausted all the time. Big, fat, very pregnant, very busy me ended up suffering from prenatal depression.
Life at home didn't help matters either. James's interim post was taking him to New York more and more often. And his long absences put a strain on our relationship, as I was left alone trying to hold down a full-time job, as well as taking care of Jasmin and Jad (who are from James's first marriage). And although I love them to bits, they play up when their dad isn't around, especially Jad.
I guess the pressure just mounted and the baby couldn't take the strain any more. My contractions started and I went into premature labour - all those arguments about the birth method were a waste