Persephone: Parent

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I’m Happy For You

There is probably an element of shame and guilt in this, but, hey, it’s my blog and my feelings. I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve and only realised earlier that I seem to finally be happy with other people’s pregnancies. And I genuinely am. I learnt of two summer-due babies recently and I genuinely felt happy with no undercurrent of jealousy or bitterness.

It confused me when I got pregnant with Elvis, that I still felt bitter at friend’s announcements. I put it down to not actually having my child, that it could still go wrong. Then even once I had Elvis, pregnancy announcements would make me fakely smile and then cry in private. Why? Because they had done it naturally? Because they had all decided to get pregnant and did?

Then I got pregnant without trying. Looking at the maths, I probably still took far longer than any of them. But it still happened. And now I finally seem to be less bitter and jealous. I by no means think I’m over my infertility, I still identify myself with those struggling to conceive (I cannot wipe away 3 years). But I don’t get upset afterwards.

Except it has been replaced with a bitterness and jealousy over birth. Yep, all those mums that can go into labour, that don’t need drugs to start or enhance it, all those mums that can actually labour and, shock, horror, can even give birth through the natural hole. Each and every one of them sends a pang of jealousy through me.

And, as I have no idea, what’s in store for me, I have no idea if a second c-section will make this jealousy and envy worse, or if a VBAC will heal me? Or perhaps, with all of my increased research and knowledge, I will be at peace however Robin comes into the world.

I just hope that I can continue to be happy for friends and the future pregnancies they’re destined for.

~ P

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Pregnancy Yoga: A Time for Counselling

I’m not going to go into details even though I don’t know any of the mums in question and they have no idea about this blog, but I wanted to discuss how much my yoga classes have felt like counselling sessions.

The best counselling I’ve ever been to!

There were 5 of us there the other day, varying in gestation; I think I was actually the most pregnant but only by 1 day! Three of us are on second pregnancies and the 4th is having a problematic pregnancy. Before we start the yoga we have a discussion about how we’re each doing. I’m sure this isn’t normal for yoga but it is important for pregnancy yoga.

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Guilty Love

This is what I feel with regards to Robin, to the unborn baby that actually, I don’t necessarily even love. I don’t hate him/her. I just don’t know them. How am I supposed to love them?

Do some mums feel that kind of rush of love when they get that positive test? When they feel the first kick? Or when they first hold their child?

I don’t think I ever really did with Elvis. I felt immense relief when he was born – that an impossible journey was over. Finally.

At some point I fell in love with him of course!

But now I face the problem of the sibling.

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Blind Faith, Arrogance and Naiveté

That’s how I feel I went into my first labour. I had a complete and utter faith in my body, where it came from, I have no idea as my body had failed for the three years leading up to then. My body would know what to do. I would know what to do.

I was arrogant in that belief and so completely naive. Maybe my body and I would have known what to do if we had come to labour naturally. But we did not. My body was not ready. Elvis was not ready. The only things ready were the hospital and me mentally.

I wanted Elvis out. I had reached the hospital’s routine end point (I had no idea I could protest/fight – naive – plus I was over waiting!). And I was arrogant to believe that just because the hospital and my head said it’s time meant that it was.

I wouldn’t change my son. There are elements of his birth that I… regret? I probably wouldn’t delay the induction if I had my time over – I was ready and hugely uncomfortable. I might have wanted 5 minutes after having the epidural to actually consider the C-section rather than demanding one in a drugged up phase just because I heard the word. I might have refused continuous monitoring due to the pain I was in, if I knew I could.

I had blind faith in the health professionals that they knew and were doing what was best. The same people who gave me no option but to lie in pain because they had to continuously monitor my son. Did it have to be continuous? Could we have tried to find a better position for us both? They were willing to let me come off the monitors to wee, but not for a 5 minute rest? I had trust in them that when they said I had to be induced, I figured my community midwife had got it wrong. I had a naive belief that they cared even though despite me verbally declaring my unborn son wasn’t supposed to exist, despite ny notes on night 2 declaring “Baby fine, mother distressed” nothing was said to me until my 4 week health visitor check concerning me.

This time I have far less trust and faith in myself or them. I have done my research so anything I believe cannot be naive. I am not going into this one blindly, naively.

I’m going into it paranoid, jaded and cynical.

~ P

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Welcome to the New Year

For the past few months, I have been trying to not overload this poor little blog with posts every single day, or 3 days in a row with a few weeks off, so that there could be more continuity about the site, hopefully this hasn’t been too noticeable. I’ve also tried to keep posts to every 3 days, but medical appointments and other random “I must blog now” topics might change that at times.

However, as of January 1st I will be about 38 weeks pregnant and the scheduled posts are going to change. Similar to my original blog which has a poetry post a week, this blog is going to have a few months (maybe planning for 8-12 weeks) with 2 planned posts a week. These posts are likely ones that I have already written in December or even earlier! I’m trying to keep some crafty posts, maybe a lot of my Christmas crafts and maybe some parenting ones. This is simply so that, if I go quiet (the opposite to when Elvis was born), the blog still continues.

If things are similar to when Elvis was born, along with those 2 planned blogs will also be random, middle of the night, woe-is-me, how can I parent two children at the same time, posts. I cannot predict that right now.

So, if you as a reader comment on a blog and I don’t respond for a while, it could be that I’m having a baby or am far too tired with a new baby to be present on here even though posts continue to be made. I am not ignoring you. I am not purposefully misleading you. I might be more active than normal!

Hopefully, normal blogging will resume at some point soon, but in this lovely New Year for definite.

Happy New Year and Happy New Baby Days,

~ P x

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Psyching Myself for the End

I’ve decided to lie to myself. I started thinking about it when I hit 30 weeks and posted on facebook “30 weeks done, 12 left to go”. It’s the curse from Elvis being two weeks late – I remember being so frustrated in those final two weeks.

I remember constantly telling my unborn son that I was on maternity leave now, he was losing his time with me after his birthday. And it was hot and I was huge and I had a rash in between all of my since gone stretch marks. And then I spent three days and nights (worse at night) with painful Braxton Hicks (or perhaps it was pre-labour) and I was just fed up.

So, to ease my mental state, I’m considering changing my EDD to the end of term due date. This time around I’m not sure of my dates, I think my EDD might be a week later than my dates, which puts the flexibility in my hands rather than medical. Although from all the reading I’ve done I feel like more of the choices and decisions are in my hands.

Here in my NHS trust, at 40+12 for a prior cesarean section mum, an induction or c-section is booked. Because the general medical thought must be that at 40 weeks your baby is ready. Except people have different gestations and you don’t have to do what they tell you until it becomes a dangerous circumstance.

I’m still undecided about what I want (because it is about what I want, no one can force me into anything unless I let them) when I reach the end of term date (roughly the end of January, 27th). I might feel like last time, so big, in pain and fed up that I say to hell with it, intervene! I still haven’t decided what intervention I’m happy with – sweeps, foley induction, elective c-section. I think I would far prefer an elective over “emergency”, but I don’t think I want to make a decision, to pick a date that my child will be born. Surely it should be up to them?

I might even change my mind when I reach the EDD and beg for interventions, scrapping the end of term date, but for now I’m counting down to 2 weeks late!

Although with Elvis, I wanted him quicker and a friend who was due around the same time wanted to enjoy a little summer holiday before her bubba arrived. Well, she got no holiday and I got about 6 weeks! By that logic, Robin will be early because I would really like some time off before he/she arrives!

~ P

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Pregnancy Yoga: Breathing Out the Pain

I started yoga last week and today we focussed on relaxation. During a deep relaxation technique we were told to think of pain, the worst pain you’ve ever felt, excruciating pain and then breathe it out. Then think of pleasure and breathe it in. To think of a stormy sea, thunder and lightning, dark gloomy skies and snow peaked hills, then lush green valleys, a calm ocean and bright blue skies.

It was all so relaxing,  I completely zoned out at some point. I lost track of time. I couldn’t hear the traffic or unfortunate building noise; I could hear only the instructor and CD. I left the whole session feeling so lifted and pain free.

Do you know what though? The pain I imagined, the pain I thought of that is the worst pain ever, it wasn’t the induced labour pains, the Braxton Hicks I had for nights before my induction. The pain I imagined wasn’t anything to do with the physical pain of major abdominal surgery. I briefly thought of the pain from initially breastfeeding. I had a few thoughts of the pain I felt every month when, once again, I started my period and had been failed by my body. The things that kept coming into my head on every exhalation were words.

Words that other people have said to me.

On every inhalation, I was repeating my mantra and on every exhalation I had another sentence, another remark that someone had made to me without probably any conscious thought, but never the less were words that hurt me, that stayed with me. They were words about me, words about my son, words about my parenting, words about my abilities, words about my choices, words about my weight, words about my failings. I could hear all of their voices – my mother and her insistence, my in-laws and their questioning, my friends and their criticism, my family members and a passing comment. I could list them all here, each instance that I vividly remember and they have all forgotten if they even knew that they had said those words to me.

But I don’t need to list them, because I breathed them out. I let go of them all. I will no longer keep a mental tally of how someone has upset me because I will just release it as simply as you release a breath. And I truly did feel so much better as I left yoga and headed to work. I felt so much lighter.

There’s still nothing I can do about worrying over labour, hoping for a VBAC. There’s still nothing I can do to organise my working hours and pay until I get some answers, but I can give up everything else.

The thing that is sticking in my mind though is that my pain is words. None of my pain that I hold on to is physical. I can barely remember what physical pain feels like (except for my pregnancy back pain), but I remember every single word. I become haunted by words and I doubt a lot of people know or understand that about me, but in the grand scheme of things, I can only change myself and not everyone else. So all of those people whose words I heard when told to imagine pain, maybe if they read and understand this, realise this about me, they may work to change themselves, but I have no power over that; I can simply breathe out what they say to me and refuse to let them hurt me, refuse to allow myself to become bitter. I am strong in my life. I am free.

~ P

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