Not a mummy blogger

I don’t think I’ll be writing much for the next wee while. I didn’t plan on continuing to blog, really for me this writing was just a way to spew out all the stress around trying to conceive and miscarrying, trying to conceive and miscarrying, trying to conceive and then experiencing a pregnancy after losses.

Plus, I don’t know where I’d find the time. Or energy. My little girl seems to absorb any time and energy that I have now. I’m exhausted, and sore, but am aware of what a privilege it is to have this newest member of our family.

So I’ll take on a more passive role for now, because I still want to follow along and see how you are all getting on with trying to conceive, and raising much loved and wanted little ones. If anyone wants to connect off here- I know there are a few of us with babies a similar age- I’d love to connect on facebook or something?

So me and my little one are two weeks in to this new life of ours now. Just the last couple of days I’ve started to feel human again. I’ve had trouble with my episiotomy healing, and am on antibiotics. Hoping in a few more days I’ll be able to get out for some walks- we’ve barely left the house. I also found breastfeeding incredibly difficult and painful to establish, but we seem to have turned a corner there.

My little one is putting on weight, and sleeping well during the day. Night time is a completely different story. She’ll often cluster feed all night, with one two-hour stretch of sleep in there somewhere. We’re finding our groove though, and we’ll get there.

We think she is absolutely perfect, and are completely in love.

She is here

It wasn’t what would be considered the ideal birth story, and yet for us it was perfect. Because she is here.

I didn’t end up being induced on the 25th, there was no room at maternity and I felt like things were maybe starting to happen. We went out to a pre-wedding celebration with friends that night, and then home.

By around 6am on the 26th I was having contractions regularly, and by around 9.30am they were about 7 minutes apart. They continued like this all day, having periods when they were closer together and then further apart. We made the call at lunchtime that we wouldn’t attend the wedding of our close friends, although I was still hoping it wasn’t all a false alarm. But when the wedding would have been starting at 3pm, I was throwing up after a particularly strong contraction.

We decided to head to hospital that evening, arriving at around 9.15. We were put on the monitor for half an hour, and my midwife wasn’t happy with how baby was doing. She checked me, and I was only 3cm dilated. At this point the midwife said to me that what she was seeing on the monitor showed that this was not a happy baby, and the obstetrician was called in. My waters were broken so the skull clip monitor could be attached to our girl.This confirmed she was not coping. I also had a temperature, and was given antibiotics.

It was recommended by midwife and obstetrician that we get baby out now via emergency c section, and we agreed completely. Things happened very quickly, although I felt hardly aware of them due to the intense physical sensations I was experiencing with each contraction. Once I knew this wasn’t going to happen naturally, I wished I could just have the spinal immediately, but the anesthesiologist was the last to arrive. While everyone was calm to my face, my husband said there were a lot of panicked looks between hospital team, and conversations out of the room after looking at the monitor. My husband heard someone say something to the effect of, if the anesthesiologist isn’t here soon it’s going to be too late.

So I flew through the hospital on the trolley, giving my consent for whatever, I really didn’t care. And then we were in theatre. Spinal administered- relief. And they were all set to cut me open to get baby out. Midwife went to remove skull clip “…She’s fully dilated”. Obstetrician had a look to confirm and then it was a split second change of plans. We had an immediate episiotomy and forceps delivery- very quick- on theatre table surrounded by whole team.

Our little girl was born healthy, although battered and bruised from her delivery into the world. My placenta looked to be deteriorating though so whether this is why things weren’t working for us, I don’t know. Our girl was 3.08 kgs (6 pounds, 12 ounces) and born at 11.56pm on the 26th of November. Five days early; right on time.

The important thing is she’s here, I’m here, and after really feeling like I’d never be a mother, I know how lucky we are.

Induction tomorrow?

I’m scheduled to be induced tomorrow.

My amniotic fluid levels have been coming back as low, and I saw an obstetrician today who recommended an induction tomorrow. It’s dependent on whether there is a bed available though, as our maternity unit is really full at the moment. I go in at 8am tomorrow, and they’ll let me know whether they can fit me in. If they can’t, they’ll monitor the baby to make sure she’s looking okay in there.

I was on the monitor today and baby seemed to be doing fine.

I just… really want the baby to be okay. I’ve had so much anxiety this pregnancy. Sparked by the previous miscarriages, and then built upon by the complications I’ve had this pregnancy: bleeding and cramping up to 20 weeks, me measuring small, baby’s femurs measuring small,  glucose in urine, low amniotic fluid.

I know from researching low fluid that there is actually no evidence to back induction before 40 weeks for this reason alone, because it is generally not a concern unless levels are super low and inducing labour can cause it’s own complications. But I’m just going to go with the flow. I’m 39 weeks today, and I’m ready for this baby to be earthside.

Until she’s here, I don’t think I can make myself believe I’m really having a baby.

Earthquakes and appointments

We were woken up just after midnight last night to a huge earthquake. Managed to stumble our way outside- we can get out directly from our bedroom luckily. I prefer going outside because I didn’t really trust the house, and plus we can get the dogs out that way. I felt scared for my baby, and keeping my body safe had a new importance now that she was in it.

So we stood out on the deck of our little country rental, under the supermoon, swaying together, us and the dogs. Listening to the rumble and the creak of the house, the slosh of the water tanks, and far off animals reacting. Hoping, like we always do, that we were right at the epicentre of the quake, because it’s horrible to think it could be worse elsewhere.

Luckily our loved ones are safe. My mother and both sisters live near the coast, and had to evacuate for the night due to tsunamis, but are all okay.

So today, I’m tired. The aftershocks were pretty much constant last night, and my hip pain was worse than usual and I couldn’t really turn over at all without a painful pop that sounded like my hip was coming out of its socket.  Luckily I’m on maternity leave, so don’t have to be too high functioning today.

Today I had an appointment with an obstetrician. My midwife referred me after my growth scan at 35 weeks revealed my amniotic fluid was low. Luckily a follow up scan a week later revealed that the fluid was now within normal limits, so it was a fairly quick appointment. The obstetrician just recommended another scan at 39 weeks to confirm we were still on track.

My midwife has also begun weekly monitoring of baby’s heartrate and movements to check all is going okay. I had my first one last week. On one hand I’m glad to be getting all of these extra scans and monitoring, as most pregnancies in New Zealand do not, but then I start thinking that it means my midwife thinks my body is going to f*ck this up too. There’s no winning. I am glad she’s keeping a close eye on me. I’m just really at the stage where I wish this baby would come. I am glad she was still inside me for the quake though. Usually I feel she’d be safer out here in the world, but I think powerful earthquakes might be the exception!

Nearly 36 weeks?!

Today I am 35w6d. Wow. It’s finally starting to feel less distant. I’m aware it could still be well over a month- the women in my family tend to go quite overdue. But still!

I had a scan today, to check growth and baby’s position again. Baby was head down, and estimated to weigh 2.7kg/ 6 pounds 2 ounces. Amazing! That’s not too far off my birth weight. And it means she could be quite a decent size if she stays in there another 5 weeks. I’d been expecting something smaller- I’m 5’1- but although her legs are measuring a little short, she’s growing well.

It’s reminded me I need to get organised. I tend to get caught up in worry and stop planning for the baby’s arrival because I keep thinking how awful it would be if I lost her, and I’d washed all the clothes, and installed the carseat, and put the buggy together… But of course it would be awful whether or not I’d done all those things. So I’m washing the rest of the newborn sized clothes today, and I’ve set up a change table with little baskets for all the bits and pieces. The car seat and bassinet I might do this weekend with my husband’s help.

I’ve now bought everything I could think of that I might need for the first few months, with the exception of a sunhat (summer baby here in New Zealand). And the reason I haven’t bought that yet is I have my heart set on a particular bonnet and am waiting for it to come back into stock.

Something else I need to do is start seriously preparing for the birth. I took hypnobirthing classes, as well as the regular antenatal classes, and I was supposed to be practicing the breathing and relaxation regularly. I haven’t been doing it at all. It was just another one of those things that made me feel like I was tempting fate by believing I would get to that stage. Plus, my midwife was talking about the possibility of a C-section, as my baby was breech. But she’s head down now, so no excuses.

I have to confess, the thought of a C-section had begun to grow on me. I was definitely feeling ambivalent about it, because I’m from a homebirthing family and do believe that if all is going well natural birth would be the best way for me to go. Plus I was worried about the recovery from a C-section and not being able to drive for 6 weeks now that I’m living rurally. But on the other hand, I couldn’t help but like the idea of having a date that my baby would arrive, and also the feeling that keeping her safe was no longer solely on me- but in the doctor’s hands. I’ve really struggled with trusting my body since the miscarriages, and can’t help but worry at times that it will fail in some way during the birth. But I’ll need to get passed that. Either way it’s out of my control now, and what will be will be. I don’t care how she gets here, as long as she gets here healthy.

I now have 4 days at work left! I reduced to part time for this week and next, so just have Friday to go this week, and then next week I have my last day on Wednesday. Woah. I do feel ready- well my aching body does, but I have so much to get done at work before I go.

As for how I’ve been feeling, well, since I’ve just had a reassuring scan this morning I’m feeling pretty good! My anxiety does tend to slowly build up again, but I’ll see how I go. I’m not expecting to have any more scans.

My hips hurt, my pelvis hurts, my lower back hurts… I can barely walk at the moment. But I just tell myself it is all part of it, and I truly don’t take it for granted. Also, my belly button piercing scar hurts. I got my belly button pierced when I was 14, and took it out at 21, and the piercing site aches and is looking pretty stretched. I’m a little worried it will rip (sorry, it’s gross I know). But we’ll see. I currently don’t have any stretchmarks that I didn’t already have pre-pregnancy, but my sister’s didn’t pop up until right around her due date and she ended up completely covered in them. So who knows.

Just hoping now for the next few weeks to go quickly…

 

 

Where’s the finish line?

I’m really struggling today. I keep crying, and it seems impossible to believe I’ll get to the finish line and end up with a baby in my arms.

A couple of things have triggered it.

I’m in a private Facebook group for women who are pregnant after loss/es, and two of the women in that group have recently had still born babies. My heart breaks for them, and it terrifies me because it just seems so unfair that some people just keep going through this. I wish I could reassure myself that I’ve had two losses, that’s my share of the bad luck, from now on it will be healthy babies for me. But that’s not how it works, I know. Some people have many more than two losses. And most people have no losses at all.

At my midwife appointment today I was told that I’m measuring a little small. My fundal height is measuring 29 weeks, but I’m 31. The midwife wasn’t too worried, just said she would check again in two weeks and then refer me to a growth scan if it was still looking small. At the time I took it in my stride- but when I phoned my husband afterwards I just broke down. The midwife also said the baby was lying in an odd way, making my uterus look a funny shape, which is the same thing she’d said to me at my last appointment. My baby always lies this way. I don’t know- I just want everything to look normal, perfect, textbook. I can’t help but worry that something isn’t right. But my midwife wasn’t concerned, and I know I shouldn’t be either.

It’s just exhausting. I know I’m so lucky to be pregnant, but I’m so scared of losing this little girl. I know most of the worries are in my own head, but they still get overwhelming at times.

 

Once you shop…

You can’t stop.

Anyone else?

I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to buy baby things. I never bought anything with my first two pregnancies- I wanted to wait until I was passed 12 weeks. This pregnancy, when I passed 12 weeks I did buy one thing, because I’d been saying I would. I bought a beautiful Solly Baby wrap.

But then weeks and months ticked by, and I still hadn’t bought anything else. I didn’t feel ready. I still felt somewhat fraudulent. Like this pregnancy was somehow all in my head, or like my baby wouldn’t come to be. Around 24 weeks there was a shift. I kinda felt like buying something. So I bought a gorgeous baby blanket and then some bonnets.  And then a Natures Sway Baby Hammock which we’ll be using instead of a bassinet-although I bought mine secondhand. Next a chest of drawers for the nursery, and then some baby clothes when I was overseas for work. Now I’m eyeing up this adorable dinosaur onesie.

Half of me says woah, slow down. But the other half of me says f*ck it. I’ve waited a long time to get to the stage where having a baby started to seem kinda likely. I do want to make the most of it. I’m planning to hold off a bit until after the baby shower now though.

I’m 27w4d, and pretty big and uncomfortable. But so grateful to be here.

I’m having quite bad rib pain, mostly when I try to sleep. Also hip pain. Reflux and heartburn are back. But just so grateful for every day I am pregnant. I am a little apprehensive about how big and uncomfortable I will be in three months, but as long as my baby is healthy and growing that is all that matters.

I’d already bought some maternity pants and tights, and then last night bought a maternity dress off ASOS. I thought it could do for an engagement party I have coming up, and also my baby shower. Hopefully it looks alright on.

Anyway, here is me at 26w5d. Photo taken while I was overseas for work.

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