Tag Archives: birth

Worse than I thought

Last night, I had an anxiety attack. My first, real, proper, self-preserving anxiety event. And it was absolutely horrible.

As soon as I climbed into bed and closed my eyes, it started. I felt very odd, as if nothing were real. I was smelling odd things, like wood chips, and the plastic from toys I had when I was young. Nothing generated by the real world.

I was convinced the vomit was coming and wouldn’t stop, then I wouldn’t be able to feed Ru, or make it through the day.

I thought writing a full, meandering, but distant account of the events from the beginning – the very beginning – would be therapeutic. I even went as far as to think I would enjoy the process, fictionalising aspects as I saw fit.

I did enjoy bashing out two thousand words of absolute drivel, letting my brain follow its thought processes and writing it all down.

What I was actually doing, without realising, was triggering myself, over and over again until I came to bed where I lie down, the last few bars of the psytrance going round and round in my head. Then the horror came.
I detached. But not in the way I used to during my teens while I self-harmed. That was controlled. This, this was far more scary.

I felt like my brain was going on some kind of journey without me and that everything felt odd. Even the skin on my body was odd. I had waves of nausea as I panicked about feeling so strange and thought that maybe I would never feel normal again.

I’ve had broken sleep plagued by dreams of drowning.

Is this what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does? There were no flashbacks from the birth, or the few hours before and these were the images which kept jumping into my mind which had raised the concerns of a very gentle and loving health visitor. Feeling odd after writing about finding out I was pregnant and letting my mind explore a calm and factual way of storytelling wasn’t part of the deal.

Now I just feel jumpy and exhausted and a little frightened.

I need to write this, but as I become more ingrained in the story, I’m worried I might trigger myself into oblivion.

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After birth

Yesterday I shared with you all (at last) Ls birth story.

I probably made it quite scary.

I’m sorry.  Bits of it were scary, but for the most part, even through the scary bits, it was the most awesome experience of my life up to that point.  It was so awesome that I was actually excited about doing it again when we were waiting for O to arrive. 

My births were amazing.

Anyway, that aside, I’ve been checking out Facebook again – getting ready to steal photos.  I know, in said I wouldn’t but you kind of need them to get the whole picture.  (Get it – picture? Haha.  Grimace.)

So…

L was born at quarter past midnight.  By the time they sewed me up, found a bed and got me there, it was five am.  My support team had to leave.

I had never changed a newborns bum before.

I had never dressed a newborn before.

Hell, I had never been admitted to hospital and had stitches before.

The next few days were horrific.  Absolutely terrible. 

I got told she’d would need feeding and changing at 6am.  So at 6am I rang the buzzer and a Dr came in.  She told me to ring again for a mw, which I did and she told me off.  Great start. 

Then the girl opposite appeared.  She turned out to be really great but I found it intimidating having a woman who gave birth, walked in (I could barely stand up!), changed her baby, fed her baby and fell asleep across the room.  The curtain was pulled round.

I didn’t sleep at all.  I couldn’t.  All I knew was that I was responsible for this tiny little thing and i had no fecking idea how to be resposibile for this tiny little thing.

I was hungry and exhausted and oh God she snuffled a lot in her sleep!  She also coughed up a lot of that horrible phlegmy stuff they get. 

I don’t know if I managed to feed her, but at 7am a nurse came in to do breakfast and found me curled up in the bed crying silently.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not do the mum thing.

They took L away into the office to give me some respite. 

Then I slept fitfully for an hour or so until they bought her back needing a feed.  I think it was then that the mw told me she was shakey and had low blood sugar.  She also had an abnormally large fontenelle and she couldntg out all of her tongue in he mouth.  They wanted to get her checked by the paediatrician in the Neo natal unit.  They also wanted to top here up with formula and keep an eye on her blood sugar.

I couldn’t remember when she needed her sugar checking so I kept ringing the bell every time I went to feed her.  Also, my backside was aching.  It was so painful I could hardly move.  I lost all the strength in my back.  God only knows his many mws I asked to look at it and then all told me it was normal. It wasn’t – I damaged my tail bone which has been giving me grief again recently.

I am digressing.

People.  Everywhere.  They cuddled her.  They held her.  The fussed her.  I was too busy feeling hurt and sorry for myself.  I didn’t want to cuddle her.  I was happy for them to do it.

My family went ahead with the house party and were cleaning and painting our new house while I laid up in a hospital bed.  I hated it.

L was moved to the office again overnight to give me a break.

Some pictures of us from the 30th of August:

image

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She looks tiny.  She was tiny.

The Chain

When my children are not well, I like to pull them to me and hold them close, making sure they can hear my heartbeat.

A mothers heartbeat is an eternal comfort.

When Oscar is restless and will not sleep, I rest his head on my chest and don’t speak, letting him hear the sounds from the womb.

My body branded O before he was born.  The strawberry kiss on the back of his head a reminder he was pressed low in my pelvis for a long while.  But it is his face which is the most telling and fascinates me.  His forehead bears a reddy purple v shape; the shape of my uneven pubic bone.  It will fade.  Maybe not until school age, but it will go.

I love these small things as they link me to my children, prompting me everyday to remember that together we are something wonderful.

Admiration for a mother

When I first had the Toddler, I was encouraged to go along to the local Bumps and Babes group for some further support.

As it happened, some of the mums I went with turned out to be not the people I thought they were, but there was one mum I had always admired.

She was a breastfeeder although she expressed as she wasn’t comfortable feeding in public.  She was quite shy, and her baby was unable to turn her head in one direction due to he way she had been laying in the womb.  This had put the baby’s development behind, had meant that she had to have physio and the last time I saw her, she had to be in a brace for 22 hours a day.

And Mum handled it brilliantly!  She was on her own for 12 hours a day and she never complained about it (I complain bitterly if OH is just five minutes late home from work).  She was so incredibly brave.  Obviously, you never know what is going on behind closed doors, but I was falling apart with Post natal depression and this mother was handling everything her pregnancy, labour and child threw in her face.

The Mum had also haemorrhaged heavily during her labour and needed a transfusion…which always made me think she wouldn’t want to do it again.

I recently saw her in the local supermarket looking fab.  And she had another baby.  A boy this time, who had been due the day before O but had been three weeks early.  She had a 1 and a half hour labour with him with no complications. Her baby girl was also walking and had been since she was 1!

I admire this woman so much for not only facing and coping with her first child so brilliantly but also not letting a negative experience during the birth and afterwards stop her from going on to build the family she wanted.

A very short update

For those of you who don’t already know, Oscar was born at 4.26 am on the 31st of May in a pool birthing room, but not in the pool.  Total labour time on my notes:  2 hours, 8 minutes.  This includes a medically managed 3rd stage which took longer than pushing.
The labour was drug free…apart from 2 paracetamols I took at about 1.30 when I thought I was in for the long haul.
When I have a few minutes, I’ll post my two very different birth stories.  I’ll also blabber on about dealing with not leaving The Toddler out.
Right, bum change, booby and bed time!

Everyone is doing it.

We are at home, my bros gf and I just waiting for labour.

I start having gentle,but regular contractions, so does she.  They have lost their mws number, so I give them one for a local mw I know called Tracey.  Next thing I know were all in a birthing room.  Loads of us.  My bro, my OH, mw, and a whole host of people I don’t know.  Bros gf is leaning against the mw, unable to speak to through the contractions.  We’re all gawping at her.  Her hair still looks perfect.  The mw tells her she’s ready and lays her down on the bed on her back to push and I think that’s odd.  She vomits on me and empties her bowels.  My own contractions are still too gentle.

“I’ll have to do this in a minute.” I say to OH but we both know I’m being optimistic.  It’ll be hours, days even before I’m at that stage.

Bros gf starts pushing and nothing happens.  She’s already had two kids, this should be easy.  Then I remember they were both c-sections and pushing is new to her.
Her baby decides its had enough and opens it’s bowels and we’re all just watching as they rush her to theatre.

I wake up.  Backache, braxtons, pain and remember that bros gf is not even pregnant, I don’t know any mws called Tracey…

But the uncomfortable feeling, you see that’s real. I look at the clock. 4.44. I count to thirty while my belly is solid and my back throbs. It eases and I get up to wee. Back to bed. 5.09 and here comes another one. The last time it felt like this was on the birthing ball after induction. I was 4cm dilated at the time. Again, thirty seconds. This is promising. 5.22 – another one. Ok, surely this is business. I should get some sleep. But it hurts. Don’t be a wimp. It’ll hurt more than this. A lot more. Sleep through this bit.

“Hello mummy!” My daughter is in my face and its 7.17. And…nothing. Nothing at all. Shower, breakfast, Tweenies…NOTHING!

I’m power walking to the shops later.

Is this it?

Today, I am 39 weeks pregnant.

No signs of labour yet.

Well, I say no signs, but that would be a lie.  Things that are TMI have started happening, but none of the big signs are being forthcoming (ie waters breaking, bloody show, contractions, needing to push, baby appearing…)

It’s lovely to know that I’m not alone and I have a met a very cool group of ladies on Twitter who are all in the same position as me, so we get to share stories and hope to send each other into labour.

However, even though this is not my first child nor my first labour, I have NO IDEA what I’m waiting for.

With The Toddler, my waters broke at exactly 39 weeks.  I had very little pain and basically no contractions to speak of and when I got to hospital, I was 3cm dilated and the MW, during the exam, put her fingers straight on the Toddlers’ head.  So, I’ve never really done the early labour thing.  I know what contractions feel like once they get started and I know what it feels like to be induced from 5cm but I don’t know whether the little aches I’ve been having or the movements I’ve been feeling are part of labour or something else.

My labour with the Toddler, once it got going, was very short – about 2 hours.  And then 15 mins of pushing and she was here.  After speaking to my MW, I have been advised to call when I’m feeling anything regular as its likely that this labour will also be short.  I’ve protested by saying that I will call her when it starts to hurt, but she’s concerned that by that point it might be too late! I know, I’m an extremely lucky lady!

Last night (and not for the first time in the last three weeks!)  I was concerned that I’d gone into labour.  I was sat on my gym ball and listening to some music while making another Pearpear for The Toddler and I came over all hot, my back started to hurt like it does during monthlies and baby started wiggling like mental.  I was getting some stabbing pains where we shouldn’t talk about and I was pretty certain that something was about to happen.  I told my OH and waited for an hour to see if anything progressed.

Well, 24 hours later and I’m still here, sat on the damn ball, with nothing but some stabbing pains (which are this baby burying down.)  I know that this baby was 3/5ths engaged last week and 2/5ths engaged two weeks before so it’s heading in the right direction.   I just don’t have a clue what I’m waiting for when it comes to early labour.

Guess I might end up with a home birth after all!!