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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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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#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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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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My Body Did Not Fail…

You wouldn’t believe how much I want to say that and believe it. I guess I thought I’d gotten over my birthing failures but being surprisingly pregnant a second time, discussing and thinking about a second birth, obviously it’s brought it all back to me.

For a recap (and because the VBAC midwife confirmed what happened), I was induced at T+12 with artificial rupture of my membranes at about 7am ish. Somewhere around mid-morning or lunch, I was put on the induction drip due to nothing happening. Within 4 hours, I had still not progressed any further from 7am and the decision was made for C-section. Due to the induction, I was under constant fetal monitoring, which is restrictive in itself, but Elvis was a pickle and his heartbeat could only be picked up when I was lying on my side. I couldn’t even swap sides!

Meanwhile, the gas and air made me incredibly high. I have never taken any sort of drug before. Other than medically given anaesthetic for operations, paracetamol and alcohol! The first time I took co-codamol for a migraine, I passed out for two days! So, I think gas and air made me loopy. I can remember the room spinning. I can remember hubby and midwife maniacally laughing at me, spinning in a 60s type of vibe. It was all a bit psychedelic and flower-powery for me. I became convinced at some point that hubby was having an affair with the midwife we met that morning and he was never alone with. I don’t remember opening my eyes at all. I only realised that I was missing time when a song came on my ipod that I know off by heart and realised it was missing lines. The music from my ipod all got a dance-remix with heartbeats. I was not on this planet!

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