Sunday, 31 October 2010

Honestly? It's hard.

Here is our little rainbow, Georgia May. Born by elective C section, 21st Otocber 2010 at 12.14pm weighing 4lb 14oz:

It goes without saying that I love her fiercely. She is precious. When I am feeling more 'with it' I will write her birth story, sadly (except the outcome) not a positive experience - I am not a big fan of C sections I have discovered.
At the minute I am lost in a exhausted haze. This is so hard, so much harder than I imagined it. I spent so long on worrying about her getting here I never really thought or planned for when she was here.
Her being so tiny and slightly premature has been a worry, but she's been a little star and was able to stay on the ward with me, rather than going to special care. I naively thought when she was here my stress and worry would dissipate, however my heightened sense of anxiety has simply transferred from bump to this little delicate person now in my care. Is she breathing? Does she sound snuffly? Has her jaundice gotten worse? Just check, is she breathing? Why is she choking? Why is she so sleepy? Does she seem jittery to you? Do you think her blood sugar is low? Is she getting enough food do you think?
At the minute I am trying to breastfeed, which I am finding hard work. I think I have said every day so far that I am going to quit. She only feeds for 5-10 minutes on one breast each feed, sometimes I am having to wake her every 3 hours because she is sleeping through feeds, other times she is waking herself every hour. I am constantly worried she isn't getting enough to thrive. I can hardly eat, I feel so anxious all the time. I feel guilty for bringing her so early, maybe we could have just pushed on for one more week? I seem to have baby blues, I cry lots. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I can't cope, I can't handle the worry and the responsibility. I feel there is danger everywhere. Above all there is this guilt, after all I finally have what I have wanted for 3 long years and yet I'm not enjoying it, not one bit. Don't get me wrong, I look at her sleepy face and kiss her soft skin and my heart melts. I love her with every bone and sinew in my body. But this makes my anxiety uncontrollable, I worry like every other first time mother but times a thousand. I feel that I cannot rest, I have to protect her at all times. Sleep deprivation makes me irrational, but even when I have stolen a few hours I wake up just as worried. And reading this back I sound like a crazy woman! I really do! I sound ungrateful and I'm really not. I am thankful I have been blessed with her, holding her little warm body in my arms, holding her to my breast as she feeds - they are the most blessed and contented feelings I have ever experienced. But I can't help but feel sad. I look at her sometimes and she looks so much like her sister. And I can't help but wonder about what sort of mother I would have been to Lucy. Before my trust in the world was shattered, and my heart and mind embittered and exposed to the reality that bad things happen to people you love. I want to be that mother, not this crazy, fraught human being I see now in the mirror. I am sure I would have worried, but not to this extent. Now I know bad things happen and they are all I can see. My mind races with what terrible thing can happen next, to claim this fragile little creature in my arms. I am hoping that with time and confidence I will start to relax and enjoy her a little more. Until then I will just keep muddling through, trying to do my best. But it sure is hard.

Monday, 18 October 2010

I think the time has come... check myself into hospital.

Firstly, thank you to my wonderful angel mummy friends who posted and messaged during the Wave of Light to say they were remembering Lucy along with their own angels. It meant a lot to us both, I am sorry I haven't thanked via FB personally but I am avoiding the place at the moment as I can't handle all the enquires from my well meaning non baby loss friends whose optimism I just can't share about this pregnancy. We quietly lit our candle on Friday and shed a few tears, always such a poigniant moment seeing that golden light and thinking about the millions of candles burning brightly around the world and each little life that they signify.

So it's Monday morning, my section is planned for Thursday morning. I have tried and tried to hold it all together, taking it day by day. But I have reached a point where I just can't cope anymore. Every single day I am gripped by fear about her movements, despite now having daily CTGs for reassurance. Is she moving too much? Too little? Was that panic I felt in her last kick?

And so I asked myself this morning, what exactly am I trying to prove by staying at home? Well, I wanted this to be as 'normal' as possible towards the end. I wanted to spend one last night with John in our own home as a a couple before we realised our dream of becoming parents. I wanted to be in my own home with my own possesions around me. All very idyllistic of course, and at what cost? My own sanity? How many more nights can I lay awake for hours, or crying to myself through fear? The nights are long, lonely and suffocating. Bad thoughts creep in, negative emotions and they destroy any hope and positivity I have. For the sake of a few days I may as well take the hospital up on their offer of a bed and reassurance.
So I am going to my last scan today, and I am going to request to be admitted. It feels like a surrender in some ways, a defeat. I feel I have given in to the fear. But as long as in a few days time my little girl is safely here and in my arms I really don't care. Just 3 more days. Praying, hoping, dreaming of my 'happy ending'.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


And waiting and waiting.  9 days left.

The end of this pregnancy is approaching. One way or another. I have run out of things to say really, I feel drained and empty. I am turning into a recluse at the moment, I can't bear to be away from the safety of my own little house. I don't want to see people, or speak to people. I just want time to pass, quickly and without any problems.
I feel like I am slowly going out of my mind. Every single day feels like nine months in itself. I get up in the morning and it is all I can do to stop myself getting back into bed, pulling the duvet over my head and crying and sleeping until it is the next day. Rinse, repeat.
I can barely sleep, I am so fearful of losing her in the midnight hours. Each night seems like a long and terrifying battle to get through, clock watching. One o'clock. Two o'clock. Prod, poke. Doppler out. Toss and turn. Stifle sobs with my pillow to not wake husband. Half Two. Three o'clock. Quarter past three. Listen to the dog drinking from his bowl. Imagine life with a baby. Imagine life without a baby. Imagine having to tell everyone we've lost her. Four o'clock. Half four.
Endless worrying. So much responsibility. Desperation for her to come home with us. I think I may be getting the the point where I admit myself into hospital. I am trying hard not to. But I just don't know how much longer I can cope with this. What if something happens now? Before my c section date? So close now, so close.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

October 21st

This is the date for my planned C section. This is the date that hopefully all the tears, all the frustration, waiting, guilt, panic and every other emotion I've felt in this pregnancy will pay off and so many peoples hopes and dreams are realised.

A section is not my ideal by a long shot. I am not sure I am entirely at peace with my decision to go for it, rather than an induction. I have spent the last 2-3 months thinking about how my little baby might make her appearance into the world. Deliberating. Weighing up the pros and cons. I had hoped the hospital might have felt strongly one way or another, and the that decision was taken out of my hands. However it seemed they wanted me to choose. And when it comes down to it, I just don't have the faith in them to go for an induction. They have told me that as I am delivering at 35 weeks there is a high chance my inducton will fail and end in a EMCS anyway. I asked which was safest for baby and they told me a section was, but it wasn't safest for me. I have spent hours reading on the internet and in books about both. I have truly been torn.
On one hand I wanted the induction, I feel hopeful that I would react favourably to it. I don't want my only vaginal birth experience to be pushing out a dead baby. I want that romanticised birth, where I push out my screaming newborn and she is placed on my chest wriggling, and John and I gaze at her and each other adoringly. I ache for that experience. But my head is full of things that can go wrong in Labour. What if my placenta (that currently *touches wood* is working as it apparently should be) cannot handle the stress of going into labour and takes that moment to fail again? Will they monitor me enough? Will there be enough time to get her out? Would I be able to forgive myself if something happened? The answer being no, of course I wouldn't. She is too precious to take any chances with.
So, as I sat in the doctors office in tears trying to make my decision the doctor took pity on me and advised if I was even in two minds about it then I should go for the C section. So the decision was made. When it comes down to it, I want my baby here, alive, in my arms and screaming. With a planned section it will calm, collected, all the unknown elements that would come with an induction are removed - she will be out within ten minutes and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. For now. Yes my recovery will of course be slower and more awkward, yes there are risks to my own health. But there are with any form of delivery, and when it comes down to it how many women actually get that romanticised birth I am imagining? Because of my situation we are talking about delivering prematurely a 35 week baby, in this case there is no 'ideal' option because the ideal would be for her to stay put and cook a bit longer but this isn't going to happen becasue of the uncertainty of my placenta's ability to function at the end of this pregnancy. So there really is no 'right' or 'wrong' way of getting her here, but the less risky way is a section. Hence my final decision.

So with all this in mind, why do I still feel unsure? Why do I still feel that pang, that longing to just push out a baby that is alive? I keep trying to focus on the bigger picture, that I want her here alive and how she gets here is a very small and insignificant part of what I hope will be a long and happy family life together. But still I have this wistful longing. Maybe it's just that longing for normality, a 'normal' pregnancy, the normality that was forever stolen from me last year when the tragically 'abnormal' happened. Maybe. It's such a big decision to be left with, I was grateful when the doctor finally intervened.

But anyway, we have a date. I am dragging my ass slowly through each day. I am trying to be hopeful, but I still can't bring myself to get anything ready. I refuse to talk about, or make plans for Christmas. I won't pack my hospital bag, even though I know I will need it one way or the other. I won't entertain getting the pram or car seat out. I refuse to buy a single baby item. The only thing that I have bought are maternity pads. I just can't get enthusiastic. I just can't get the belief that the happy ending is round the corner. John is so excited, and it makes me nervous. I feel the pressure, his happiness is reliant on me. He has excitedly changed the chalkboard that we have been counting down on from weeks to days. 15 days he has scrawled. Please let this be so.