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Birth Affirmations

Through attending yoga (which I have to credit with changing my mindset so much during Robin’s pregnancy), I found myself far more positive for most of the end of the pregnancy. I’m writing this at almost 41 weeks by the hospital dates and I have my wobbles, but am generally positive still. I’ve removed people and groups from my social media feeds for the time being if they cause me to react negatively and I have a list of birth affirmations scattered around the house to keep me positive.

I found them mainly through a facebook VBAC support group and then pinterest. I picked and chose my favourites and then ordered them to make one page in larger print. I printed the list twice, one copy is for my notes so that I can have access to them during my labour. The other copy has two pages in the lounge, one in the kitchen and one in my bedroom near the nursing chair where I often read to Elvis.

I’m not sure if the font will copy over, but I decided on Kristen ITC:

My body knows how to deliver this baby, just as my body knew how to grow this baby.

You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.

Every wave brings me closer to my baby.

Women’s bodies were designed to birth. I am designed to birth naturally.

I release anything that is holding me back from birthing this baby.

Millions of women have birthed for millions of years, I can too.

I am a strong and capable woman. I trust my instincts to know what I need for my labour.

My body will relax and allow the birth to happen.

My body will give birth in its own time. I am excited to give birth to this baby.

I do not fight the birth in any way. My body is relaxed.

My body and my baby are the perfect team.

I give thanks for this pregnancy.

I am grateful for my ability to grow this healthy beautiful new life inside of me.

I am deserving of an easy, uncomplicated labour and birth.

I can see my baby moving gently through the birth canal.

My body is made to give birth.

I have courage, faith and patience.

I trust my body.

I trust in my baby’s ability to be born.

I am at peace.

My pelvis is releasing and opening, as have those of countless women before me.

I put all fear aside as I prepare for the birth of my baby.

I feel confident, I feel safe and I feel secure.

I will succeed.

I breathe correctly and eliminate tension.

The toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head.

A due date is an estimate; my baby will come when they are ready.

I use this time to relax and do what brings me joy.

As I am still waiting, 6 days past the Due Date at time of typing the final two are repeated often in my head at the moment. I really do identify with the statements and believe them. It’s just a case of breathing deeply as I read them, to remain positive and calm. Whether these will help during the birth, at the moment, is irrelevant. These are designed to get me to the birth in a calm, happy and positive state.

~ P
Added Note – this os a scheduled post from January, obviously, and I just wanted to add as it posts in April that they did help me get to the birth in a positive state. I read the affirmations, I believed in them. I stayed clear of anything that could bring negativity – facebook, family messages and fights. But I did not reach the birth positively due to work based stress and the rupturing of membranes that I put down to stress.

These affirmations did get me as far as they could. Job done.

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What Makes Family?

At around 6 months of life, there became a serious issue known between members of Elvis’ family. I assume by the time that this scheduled post actually gets posted, it’ll be Elvis and Robin’s family. I’m writing this at 40+6 as I consider my contact list for people to be informed about Robin’s birth and that contact list has seriously made me consider what family means.

So, when Elvis was 6 months old some adult members of his family had a falling out. Even if I knew what happened, whether it’s about me, because of me, my fault, whatever, it doesn’t matter. The reasons behind some adults having a falling out is completely irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is my child. This adult falling out occurred and a few weeks later it was Christmas. Now, in this exact example it was nothing to do with me. I spent a few days in tears, sobbing to some of the parties involved that they only get one shot at this, but all other parties are still over a year later being stubborn. In this exact example, I have no idea what happened. I was not told in an effort to protect me, I believe. I think the rationale was that there was a chance of the other parties eventually getting over their issues. But I remember and I don’t forgive, so I wasn’t told as I would never forgive the other parties.

Then it was Christmas. Elvis’ first Christmas. And there was no card from these members of his family.

And then it was his birthday. Elvis’ first birthday. And there was no card from these family members.

I don’t care what happened between the grown adults, either side, what I care about it is the people that chose to let it affect my son.

My son, at 7 months and then 1 year old, completely innocent in life let alone whatever family issues that were/are occurring, dipped out on cards from people he should/would/could consider family. It should not matter what so ever what happened between the adult members of the family, they should still consider themselves part of Elvis’ family. They should still send cards addressed correctly to Elvis. They should hope that my husband and I are grown up and mature enough to allow our son to have them. This is not about gifts. This is not about money. This is about recognition. This is about innocence.

From that moment that my son did not receive a birthday card from someone who is his family (who he would have normally received a card from), it no longer mattered what happened with the various family members involved. You do not make my son pay for something his parents have or have not done.

As soon as we discovered we were pregnant, I asked if we were telling the people who had already dismissed Elvis from their family and the answer was no. They still don’t know. These people were the second people to visit Elvis after he was born – completely out of the blue and with a host of rude comments directed at me about my feeding choices and weight gain – that was how excited they were to see him. Except 7 months later, through no fault of Elvis’ whatsoever, there was no card. 5 months after that there was no announcement from us that a sibling was due for Elvis.

And now, as I type this at almost 41 weeks, a birth is impending by some means, and Robin has family that don’t even know he/she exists and is about to be born. There are ex-family members that will not be told about Robin’s birth because of how they have dismissed my innocent toddler over the past 20 months. I do feel sad that Robin won’t have those photographic memories that Elvis has. I do feel sad that I might remove those photos from Elvis’ life so that there can be no jealousy. And I do feel sad that there are adults out there that can remove a child from their family because of other adults. Why should my child pay for the sins of his parents or for the sins of other family?

I guess, you have your own family and you realise who exactly is worthy to be called family. Some aren’t. You realise that some people are petty enough to put children in the middle, as in a horrendous divorce. You realise exactly how much you would do for your child, even over a lack of a birthday card or a present being labelled incorrectly, the disrespect it shows an innocent child.

~ P

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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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Unless I labour Spontaneously (or already have!)

I’m  writing this at 35+3 but plan on scheduling it for January. I fully plan on attempting VBAC (we have the choice here that after one c-section, we can have electives ever after even if there is no medical need), but have decided on an elective section if I reach term plus 12. I could wait longer, I might have to fight medical staff to wait longer, and I already feel fed up of pregnancy. Those two weeks after I reached my due date with Elvis were awful so I really don’t see myself wanting to prolong it past T+12. Unless I labour spontaneously.

Not that I like, at 35 weeks knowing the exact date my baby could be born. I mean, the date for the section could be their date of birth (unless I labour spontaneously) and I find that weird. I kind of find that wrong. For me. In my head. Maybe if I booked that date for an induction, I’d feel better because that could take longer than a day, the date of birth would still be unknown. Unless I’m too ill or there’s a massive rush of emergencies, my section will be on the date booked. Unless I labour spontaneously.

I could have opted for the induction, I think the catheter, physical induction sounds nicer than the hormonal one I had last time, but if interventions lead to more interventions (a common thought regarding labour) then the induction could lead to an emergency section. Wouldn’t a planned section be nicer, calmer, more relaxed and enjoyable than one termed an emergency? Unless I labour spontaneously.

But I still don’t like knowing, potentially, my child’s date of birth already. And I’m refusing to tell anyone of the date other than hubby’s bosses. And I’ll continue hoping that I will labour spontaneously and have a surprise date of birth!

~ Px

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Robin Is A…

image

Girl!

Two days old, 9lb and maybe has more hair than Elvis did at the same age. Birth was not how I considered, potentially more traumatic than the first time but I feel more confident and at ease with my decisions. Currently very glad that I have one of each as I really don’t think it’ll be happening again!

~ P

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#41Weeks

By the hospital dates, somewhere between 41 and 42 weeks by my dates. And I’d been quite fine. Mainly positive and upbeat.

I’ve temporarily blocked/removed/avoid social media and real life people/discussions that could lead to my own negativity. I’m trying my hardest to keep a positive state of mind, not just with the Birth Affirmations plastered around the house, but when people ask how I’m doing. Or when they say you must be fed up by now?

Well, yeah, I kinda am, but there’s no point dwelling on it. There’s no point in me telling you about my aches and pains. Yeah, I want this baby born. Yes, the longer it all takes to start naturally the more doubt sets in that it won’t. But there is nothing I can do about that so why moan at everyone?

I do feel the timetable, the scheduled C-section that I think I can still cancel/delay. I do keep having the thought that I only have X number of days left. But then I try and remind myself that there are no odds, there is no mathematical or scientific equation that means the fewer days left, the less likely for things to happen.

I have had wobbles the past few days. Mainly I think because an extreme tiredness has washed over me. Yesterday I burst into tears in a shop because I couldn’t remember what I needed. Today because my husband offered to collect Elvis from nursery. Today is the third day in the row I’ve given in to napping. Today I’ve simply eaten or slept. Elvis is either ill or teething, but he’s doing his normal in either situation and sleeping. He loves his sleep. Which is amazing when I’m desperate for mine.

And when I say I’ve given in to the sleep, usually I’d fight it to make sure the washing was done, to pick him up from nursery, to buy bread, to bounce on a ball. Nope. Dirty dishes, no bread and I haven’t touched the ball. I’d be asleep right now but I’m tired of lying down.

I’m literally tired of everything and I’m really hot. Boiling. And we’re in the middle of winter.

On the labour front, well, my body keeps on seeming like it’s making some changes one day and then doing nothing the next. All of last night I had a back pain that felt like baby had gone back-back even though I’d been sitting/lying correctly and it just wouldn’t fo away. Then I fell asleep and awoke this morning without it. Was it baby being back to back? Was it back cramps? Did it subconsciously keep me awake part of the night hence my tiredness?

A lot of people believe that human gestational periods should be closer to the 41 than 40 weeks, well, mine must be! Only tomorrow left and then Husband starts his paternity so I really can rest up and see how this baby’s arriving….. sleep…..

~ P

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40 Weeks Today

An unscheduled post – today is the due date. According to the hospital and their scans. As far as my dates, which are not super accurate, I’m already at 41 weeks. Maybe I’m somewhere in the middle.

I’m starting to feel the pressure. I have a C-section already booked for if I go overdue and I can feel the countdown to that day.

Babies come when babies want to.

I’ve written a list of birth affirmations; I’m going to stick them up around the house later on. I need to keep positive. I’ve been working on removing everything negative in my life. I understand that I have labour envy, I’m not sure it’s even birth envy. I have no regrets about having had a C-section but I do regret how the “labour” went. Or didn’t go!

I will birth this baby.

Whether it’s before the deadline or spontaneously before then – I will birth this baby. Whether it is by natural holes or a repeat C-section – I will birth this baby.

The greatest opponent is the one within my head.

I understand this and have worked on removing everything that my opponent keeps reminding me of. Temporarily I have removed, blocked, deleted friends, family and groups on all social media. I get envious. I get jealous. That is me. It’s quite simple. If those things can make me feel greater jealousy then, at this point, I need them gone.

I am doing everything my body needs me to do.

I am not ball bouncing, doing daily yoga and repeating affirmations to help stimulate labour, to help bring about my baby and a VBAC. I am doing it all for me. I am doing it to help my own pains – physical and mental – not to get the right baby position or to help my waters break. It might all help during birth, whatever way I birth. Or even after birth.

Millions of women have birthed babies, it’s what they’re designed to do.

And I have birthed a baby. I did not have a labour but I still birthed a baby. I still had a recovery whilst being a new parent.

I have still been having niggles. A few tightenings on an evening which do feel more uncomfortable. Early this morning I had some cramping but I had just got out of a warm bed. I never felt these kind of tightenings, these “menstrual” cramps last time. I feel like maybe it is my body preparing and I keep worrying that it might not prepare itself quick enough, but baby comes when baby wants to.

Although with this absolutely awful stomach acid, Baby can hurry up! Haha. During 18 combined months of pregnancy, I have never had acid this bad and awful. My itchy stretched tummy feels better but I keep imagining that this kid has rapidly expanded, putting on loadsa fat and is now squishing my tummy loads!

I will succeed.

I just have to stop equating succeed with spontaneously labouring, with having a VBAC, with being natural and doing it myself/baby led. Success means to birth this baby by any means, whatever means, and to have them be healthy.

~ P

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Adaptation

Just a quick, non-scheduled, blog entry. I’m 39 weeks today by hospital scans and for the past few weeks I have been telling Elvis that there’s a baby in my tummy, that certain things are the baby’s. For the past week, my Braxton Hicks have also changed. Where they were just tightenings, a hardening of all my tummy, a pause in my concentration and a rapid heat come over me, they don’t feel quite like that anymore.

Elvis has now started to point to things and say baby whilst signing it. Within a few days of me consciously introducing the concept. I’m not sure if the room manager at his nursery being pregnant has encouraged his knowledge or the staff there in general have been helping him understand or perhaps the younger children he sometimes shares a room with.

Or he has magically adapted!

(Oh, and, yes, he’s started talking! He loves saying Batman, Santa, Da and Nana. I don’t need a name!)

It amazes me that he seems to have some understanding of the baby and gives me hope that I’ll make the right decisions with regards to Elvis visiting me in the hospital.

As for my Braxtons, well, the changes could be anything. I firmly believe that Braxtons at any point are not wasted, they should not be viewed as abnoying or time wasting. They are your body preparing. I also believe that, even though I have never laboured, my muscles are still weakened, practiced so I’m likely to feel things more this time no matter what the changes to my Braxtons are.

There’s an elemeny of uncomfortableness with them now. Starting in the middle of my tummy and the actual tightening is barely realised by me anymore. I get a few back cramps at different times, but winder if that’s more Robin’s positioning. I keep getting scared that it’s actually going to happen. I keep getting scared that it won’t. My mind has no idea what it wants my body to do or not to do.

I’m still scared of having a newborn. About feeling like a parental failure again when I become a sleep deprived mess.

My bags are packed and aside from getting new cot sheets, I’m ready for Robin. Except I feel far from actually ready.

I have no idea if I want Elvis to visit me in the hospital. I fear making the wrong decision.

~ Pxx

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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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