Persephone: Parent

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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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#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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#WordlessWednesday: 365 Days Later

Elvis shortly after birth

Elvis shortly after birth


image

1 year on, after a swim

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287 I Shouldn’t Be Here

I’m sitting, waiting for over 7 hours to be induced, randomly getting contractions/tightenings that hurt and make me want to cry and I know that I shouldn’t be here.

Lack of communication and abandoment at last year’s simple laparoscopy in this exact hospital made me hate overnights in hospital. It isn’t that I hate or am afraid of hospitals. Only overnight.

And today is starting to feel like that all over again. I woke up from the laparoscopy with unusual pain in my shoulder (huh?) And there was no one to explain or help me in and out of bed. We’ve been given such limited information today and so many mixed messages. I shouldn’t still be here, waiting 7 hours later with no end in sight.

For the past two nights I have woken up frequently in pain from contractions/tightenings and have audibly cried out in pain, but I had a double bed to myself to spread out in. At this rate I will spend tonight in a cramped single bed, crying out and waking up others without any stage of induction being started. Where’s the logic in that?

Why didn’t I stick to my original plan and wait a few more days?

Why can’t I suffer these pains in private tonight and not on a ward with other sleeping women?

I really shouldn’t be here.

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Day 283: Verbalising the Worries

Yesterday I was reading through the blogs I follow that I get emails for and one of them stood out to me. I’ll try and find the blog link before posting.

The blogger said that they had been reading about mentally preparing yourself for labour and I wondered exactly what they meant. I’ve done my fair share of reading the facts with regards to labour and then, when it became relevant, induction, choosing to ignore people’s advice from their own experiences due to individual variability. It’s my preference to have knowledge and information regarding processes, signs and symptoms without knowing everyone’s horror stories.

So was that what the blogger meant? No, the blogger had read some information about verbalising, and therefore releasing, your fears, doubts and worries, that by keeping those things in a body could stop or at least hinder labour.

I don’t want to get into discussions or pros and cons or any sort of debate any more than I want people offering up their birth stories or unsolicited advice, but surely verbalising any kind of worry is good for the soul? It’s similar to writing lists before bed to get worries off your mind, not trying to solve the problems just simply getting them off your chest.

As I happened to be reading my emails with hubby sitting next to me I decided to verbalise my issues to him and he sat there and simply listened because there was nothing he could really say. He listened as I told him how I’m concerned that I’ve put all this pressure on myself regarding the birth. He patiently sat there as I admitted that I feel like a failure, that I’ve always considered our fertility problems being my body and my failure. For three years, once a month my body failed and, yeah, fair enough I’ve suceeded in growing this baby and nourishing this baby and doing as much as I possibly can for the good of this baby, but I can still be a failure.

And I don’t even mean the hugely pessimistic failure of something going so wrong that I still don’t get my baby dream. No, I mean that I can fail yet again because of an inability to give birth without assistance. And this isn’t a perceived view of how labour must go from propaganda where some organisation states that nature is best; it’s something I’ve decided that has become a stronger and stronger notion.

I tend to view it as that I was a failure in getting pregnant (you know that thing women are built for) I don’t want my body to fail in labour. By no means do I think that women who require assistance in labour as failures, just as no one else with fertility problems, no one else still sadly in the trenches, as failures. It’s just me! And I’ve now built it up to a huge thing all on my own.

He didn’t even laugh when I told him that I was scared to give birth because then I’ll have to share Elvis, even if it’s sharing Elvis with hubby. Which is crazy, but for however many months Elvis and his kicks, punches and reactions to being tickled have made him so tangible and my child that I don’t want to lose that. I sat there and told him I was concerned that I would push him away because until Elvis is born he is all mine.

Oh, and all the stuff about how I know he’s safe all the time whilst he’s still in me and once he’s out there are far too many things that I can’t control.

And so I told hubby all this stuff, crying very slightly at the time, but if I have been holding Elvis in, maybe now I’ve let the words out I can let him out. I haven’t solved any of my concerns/worries/fears, but I have shared them. So, come on, Elvis!

~ Persephone M

Blog I read: The Solo Mama Project

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To Induce Or Not?

Yesterday was my final midwife appointment and she seems fine with how Elvis and I are. As she was listening to his heart beat he kicked and his heart rate increased, which is a good thing. I’d already read that they look for heart rate changes after contractions so I knew it was a good thing.

She said I’m looking healthy and my readings indicated I’m calm. I don’t feel stressed. Maybe a bit bored of waiting, but not stressed.

I was informed that on Saturday (Elvis, you got 4 days) I’ll get a call informing me of when my induction will be. And it should be booked for Monday. So, Elvis, you got a week! However I told the MW that I’m not keen on the idea of induction. I’ve done some reading and just don’t want to evict him before he’s ready.

Obviously I wouldn’t risk him waiting for him to be ready and by Saturday I might have changed my mind. I also declined having a sweep because I’m not sure it’d do anything and the MW agreed. If he isn’t ready, are interventions going to help?

If most babies come before 42 weeks then on Monday I’ll be 41+5 according to scan dates but 41 exactly by insemination dates. By turning down the induction, I then have a few days of monitoring which could be all the time he needs to reach 42.

In some ways I think that being awake for two hours Sunday morning with period cramps and lower back pain, still having infrequent but growing in discomfort Braxton Hicks means that my body is still preparing.

According to the literature the MW gave me, the first stage of induction is preparing the cervix with hormones. These prostins may need to be given for a couple of days and there are instances when they don’t work at all.

Stage 2 is rupturing the membranes once the cervix is ready. Which, for first timers, is followed immediately by stage 3 – another hormone.

This infusion of syntocinon is an artificial form of oxytocin which is used to make the uterus contract. Immediately you’re restricted slightly because this has to be done via a drip. Although the literature I’ve been given says you are still mobile despite the drip and monitoring.

Due to how induction works, labour can be shorter, but it becomes more intense far quicker. Some women then find they need pain relief quicker than they may have planned.

I appreciate that all of this is subjective, but then everything concerning pregnancy and labour is. It just all seems so forced and artificial and against every single thought I had about labour.

And before anyone thinks the best laid plans and that words are wind I am fully aware that plans don’t always work. Taking 4 years to get a child was not my plan. Undergoing simple blood tests and invasive surgery was not my plan. Paying for a cheaper and simpler treayment than free IVF was not my plan. Risking losing my ovaries, damaging my fallopian tubes, triplets and having to abort if there were issues was not my plan. Having hormones and doctors start my pregnancy was never my plan.

I adjusted all of those plans so planning against an induction does not mean I will stick rigidly to it at a detriment to Elvis.

Elvis has until Saturday/Monday to keep this decision out of my hands!

~ Persephone M

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37 weeks ago

Although scans say my EDD was 3 days ago, due to having IUI I know exactly when I conceived. Despite my scan EDD saying I’m now in week 40, my conception date (which has to be within 12 hours of insemination) says that tomorrow is the last day of week 39.

In reality, I guess it really doesn’t matter especially as it is only half a week different. Having charted my menstrual cycle for so long though Monday became the day. It was the day I had the insemination, the day my period was always due and the day it was due after the IUI. And then it became the day I had all my appointments and scans.

I like the idea of Elvis being bang on that EDD, not the scan one, but the actual conception one. That’s the next hopeful date anyway! I keep giving him deadlines and he keeps ignoring them. First of all I simply wanted 2 days of Maternity leave, then wait until May, then EDD, then after I’d seen Star Trek: Into Darkness. Now it’s Monday.

At some point he’s going to have meet one of my deadlines.

Anyway, I realised that, 37 weeks ago pretty much right now (about 10pm on Saturday 18th August) I used a new medi-pen and took my final injection. It hurt more than all the others. It freaked me out more than all the others and it gave me a night of insomnia. But it caused me to ovulate all my ready eggs 36 hours later.

One of them became Elvis.

~ Persephone M

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Changes At The End

As I end a lovely Bank Holiday weekend of sun, it’s dawned on me that the past week has been the hardest. Now some might say that it was because it was second full week off, but nothing is that simple.

It was during week 39 that Elvis learnt to play with my bowels or that uterine contractions affected my bowels. Whichever it’s damn bloody uncomfortable.

It was during week 39 that, although sleeping on my side became more comfortable (probably due to my size) rolling over became impossible. For a while rolling over has been difficult, but it was possible to roll via my back. I could even lie on my back for a while, making it handy for hubby to feel Elvis. Until week 39.

Now I can’t lie on my back for even a moment. Rolling over at night is now impossible. Where I had simply needed extra room to roll now my stomach is simply far too painful.

And it isn’t just my sleeping and bowel issues that have got worse since week 39, my belly is huge! Maybe it’s simply the hot weather and therefore I’m wearing less, but everyone in the street keeps staring at me. Everyone keeps telling me that I’m huge and now that I physically feel like everyone’s eyes are on me, I’ve had to request hubby stops making any fat jokes.

I’m still quite itchy, but not as bad and now I have a sore bump, painful bowels which in turn gives me back pain and I’m massive. Oh, to go back a week when these things weren’t an issue! Why couldn’t Elvis have been born before these new developments? Why is he still growing? Some babies are ready by 38 weeks and so they decide to come, but not Elvis – he’s too busy getting fatter!

It’s such a waiting game, waiting for him to finish getting ready by growing more and more!

~Persephone M
#ElvisIsComing

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