Now I’m warning all you soon to be mothers, if you don’t want to hear any negatives, skip right over my story. I don’t sugar coat anything. I like to share the good the bad and the U-G-L-Y!
Finding out I was 6 weeks pregnant was like a dream come true! My husband and I had been trying for a baby for one whole year. Which to some doesn’t seem too long, but to me it seemed like an eternity. Especially because I expected to fall pregnant straight away.
I am sure I’m not the only woman out there who’s felt what I felt over those long months. When you’re trying for a baby for the first time you have a lot of fears, doubts and emotions. So many questions swarm your mind. Can I even conceive a baby? What if there is something wrong with me? Why am I not pregnant yet (after only one month of trying, haha). Well finally my prayers were answered and after 15 and a half hours of labour out came my little man born at 39 weeks! And boy was I happy he was one week early!
The moment I found out I was pregnant I read the little growth pamphlet from the doctor back to front, front to back about 50 times in awe at all the stages of growth my little cherub was going to be undertaking! I got loads of “Natural Pregnancy” books and read and researched online all about natural births, hypnobirthing and the like! I wanted to do everything right during my pregnancy and birth. I coached my husband for 9 months on exactly what I wanted and more importantly what I didn’t want out of my birth. No drugs, no intervention and absolutely positively NO epidural! He was completely fine with that and wanted me to experience birth how I wanted to. Now before I go on ahead and tell my nitty-gritty labour story lets rewind about 5 months pre labour.
I was 21 weeks pregnant sitting at work at my desk and I suddenly began to get a sharp pain in my right side of my torso. It was spreading from the middle of my spine all around to the front of my stomach. I decided to get up and walk. I didn’t get very far and landed at my friend’s desk, gripping to the parapet wall with a pained look on my face. She looked up and without even saying a word grabbed me and sat me down on a chair. I could barely talk, the pain was escalating and I began to cry. I told her what I was feeling and she called over our team manager.
Very quickly I had the office first aid crew around me, a blanket, water and people fanning me with paper work. Someone said to call an ambulance. I managed to get words in like. “It’s too early! Is this labour? It hurts, I can’t move! Don’t you dare call an ambulance!” I was terrified that if they did call paramedics, that would mean this was all real and something terrible was about to happen. Someone from the fourth floor came up with a wheel chair and I struggled with pain to get into it. Eventually I did and in a haze of pain and confusion we managed to get to the nearest hospital which thankfully in the CBD was only 5 minutes around the corner.
The pain came in hot waves through my right side spreading from my back to my stomach. I could barely see anything with tears in my eyes. Being only 21 weeks pregnant I was quickly rushed into the emergency ward for examination. The doctors and nurse staff helped me painfully describe what I was feeling and all agreed it was not early labour. It’s not? I thought to myself. Well then what on earth is it! As the pain increased I felt the urge to vomit, and unfortunately for the nurse nearby, I did.
They finally took care of the pain with a morphine drip. As this would do no harm to my baby. They concluded I was experiencing Renal Colic. “In English please?” I exclaimed. “kidney stones”, they replied. Now I know a fair few number of people who have had kidney stones, but to be honest I didn’t even actually know what it was all about. They gave me the run down and after the morphine kicked in I went a little loopy. Thankfully while this was all happening my work friend called my husband and told him what was happening. When he was escorted by a nurse to my bedside he looked like an angel! Or maybe that was the morphine talking, haha. The hot sharp pings in my side settled down to a dull ache which allowed me to get a little bit of rest before they could take me for an ultrasound to see if they could see any stones and make sure little bub was okay.
The ultra sonographer said she couldn’t see any kidney stones, but that my kidneys did have slight inflammation. Note; I had been going through waves of pain and morphine top ups for 8 hours before this ultrasound. I know, it was a very long time before they got me into see her. So because of this length of time she said it’s possible I had already passed the stones. All in all, kidney stones was not ruled out, but it was also inconclusive as to what exactly the pain was from. So labour scare experience number one, tick!
After that long, long day I was too tired to go to work the next day and stayed home. Now here is where all the problems began. Well, not all of them. I had been vomiting 4-5 times a day since 13 weeks pregnant. I know, I thought it’s all supposed to start from conception and stop by 13 weeks. Well let me put it this way, I was no text book pregnancy. And every negative thing I read in books that you could experience while pregnant, I did.
I got leg cramps, and those weird toe cramps. Anyone ever heard of those? My big toe went spazzy’ and turned itself inward. Oh it was hilariously painful! I got heartburn, dizziness, nausea, you name it, I got it. But the worst thing I experienced was Pubic Symphysis Diastasis or PSD. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s this lovely thing that happens when your body produces the Relaxant Hormone, to help things stretch around. And unfortunately for me, my body produced to much of this lovely hormone resulting in PSD. Usually if I was in constant movement it wasn’t so bad, which meant night time sleeping was a nightmare! Not to mention I was already uncomfortable sleeping. I would get out of bed to release my bladder, which evidently enough always felt full to the brim meaning I had to pee like 27 times a day! Anyways, I’d get up out of bed and literally clutch at the walls around me from the intense ripping, breaking sensation pain in my pubic bone area! I went to see a doctor, a chiropractor, a physio therapist and nothing worked! I did Kegals…awkward. Leg lifts, squats. And then you know what, after I was about 36 weeks finally someone told me about belt supports. Which, stupidly I did not invest in for the last few weeks of pregnancy. I looked up and researched stories of others with PSD, but did not find many experiencing the same calibre of pain intensity as myself. With baby number two, I will definitely invest in a support belt.
So after having a less than glamorous pregnancy, not experiencing this so called “glow” I was just ready to get this baby out! Now as I mentioned earlier, I was into the whole natural birthing. When I was 11 I witnessed my older sister give birth to her first daughter. It was beautiful, amazing and shaped my understanding of what birth was like. She was a natural. No drugs, no nothing. She barely screamed or cried. She didn’t, tear. She was amazing and I thought, well if she can do it, so can I. Ha Ha Ha. As my contractions sped up from being period pain cramps to fiery death squeezes around my nether regions I slipped off into my own world! I was in the maternity room one minute screaming and wailing at the top of my lungs…to being peaceful and off with the fairies! I somehow managed to beg my husband for a, yep, you guessed it, an epidural! However, being the sweet, sweet husband he is, he wanted to honour my wishes and put to practice what he’d been coached for these past 9 months. No epidural, no matter what. He told the midwife “she doesn’t really want one, she told me she doesn’t want one”. Who hasn’t heard that before? The midwife cottoned on and explained that I’d have to sit still for half an hour while the anaesthetist put the needle in.
Well that was not an option. With each contraction I was writhing and rocking around in pain. I’d never be able to sit still, and so it was therefore ruled out. I was in and out of the shower, on and off of the gas. Vomiting once, weeing a few times. Told you it was going to be UGLY. All dignity was lost by this stage, being starkers and all! Who has a baby wearing clothes anyways, I mean, really? So by about 8 cm I thought I was going to die, who doesn’t? And the specialist came into examine me. He gave me the option of a pethidine shot. I’d read about them. Can make your baby drowsy and it can make it a bit difficult for them to breath after being born. But by this stage I told myself, you’re having a baby in the year 2013. It will be fine. Take the damn drugs or die, haha. As much as I wanted to protect my little cherub I knew that if I didn’t make that decision things could have been a lot worse. So the midwife stabbed me with the needle, ouch! And about an hour after that he was finally born.
Now I want to add this in, just for others out there to maybe relate to. I had a very, very soft spoken midwife at this point. My son was born in a public hospital, which means your midwives change with shift. And when the hard part came along the midwife I got spoke with a little bird mouth. Or at least that’s how I saw her at the time. She barely coached me or spoke to me. I remember saying to her, “when the heck am I supposed to push?” “Push when you feel a contraction” she replied. Ugh, worst response ever. I was in so much pain I didn’t know if I was feeling a contraction or not. Which I told her. She then just told me to push anyways since I was 10 cm. So push I did. On the last push it felt like if I didn’t get him out I was going to die. Oh so much drama. And finally he was born.
They wiped him down and put him straight onto my chest. All I could say was “wow”. I couldn’t stop saying, wow. It was amazing. And as a gift from above the pain immediately left me. Except for the lovely needles they began to poke me with down stairs…for the stitching, second degree tearing…Yeah. Which I put down to me pushing at all the wrong times. And the horrible needle I was stabbed with for the placenta detachment. Ouch again.
But I didn’t care all that much. My hot little bundle of love was in my arms and he was so, so precious. My poor husband, who’d been on his feet the whole 15 and a half hours was exhausted and excited. Finally the moment we’d been waiting for. It was so worth it! I thought the hard part was over, ha ha ha.
I spent 3 days after birth in the hospital, frozen pads, pain killers, ultrasound physio therapy on the third degree stitching, my baby boy being so tired he couldn’t eat, but when he did try to latch it was like a piranha chewing away at my breasts! Exhaustion and sleep deprivation came quickly. I was feeling a bit better by the third day though. And we finally went home. By the fifth day after having my son, my milk finally came in. One word, engorgement. Now I don’t know many people who have experienced this but my breasts got so full of milk my arms became numb and tingley. I invested in a breast pump, and that helped slightly. I got fevers and chills from the pain of them filling to almost bursting. My husband exclaimed they looked a little bit square. Oh my, looking back it was quite comical. Eventually my son got the hang of breastfeeding and my breast’s settled down. But then came the sleep deprivation.
I had midwife visits from 3 different midwives. They all told me to feed my son every 3-4 hours. So my husband and I set up a 3,6,9,12 am/pm feeding schedule and I would basically feed, change, burp, sleep, repeat. This was the worst mistake I ever made. Now don’t take my advice to literally because I am no expert or midwife. But I was waking my son up to eat, and I was not getting more than 3 hours straight of sleep. Because of this I sometimes became delirious. Two strange experiences I had were in the middle of the night I couldn’t sleep because I was over tired. And I began to imagine that the flesh and skin was peeling off of my hands. I was literally looking at my hand and seeing fleshy bits fall away. It was strange and if real would have been terrifying, but I was so loopy and out of it I didn’t freak out, I just woke my husband up, who convinced me it was just sleep deprivation and to ignore it. The next experience I had, and forgive me I can’t remember how long after that last experience did I have this one happen, but I thought there was a worm crawling in my ear. Ew, weirdest feeling ever. Again my husband told me sensitively that I was imagining it. I told this to the third midwife who came to visit and she was concerned and instructed me to rest. After telling my sister in law about these experiences she finally told me something that saved my life. She said to stop waking my son up to eat. Let him sleep until he cries for food. That babies aren’t going to starve themselves and if he was hungry he would let me know. After that I finally got some well needed rest and felt almost normal again. My stomach was rapidly flattening out and I was getting back to my old self. I was in love with my baby, and even more in love with my husband.
Something amazing happened when my son was about two weeks old. I finally felt like some kind of motherly instincts kicked in and life was great. Over time as my son has grown I have learned so much. I have learned that everything I thought I wanted and read about for Pregnancy Birth and the Aftermath was all wrong. I learned that you have to go with the flow and take everything as it comes. Do what’s best for you at that exact time. Don’t try to be superwoman during labour, or any other time. Just be the best you, you can be. Take advice when it comes with grace and gratefulness.
It is a crazy journey that some women choose to follow. And when you do, you’ll be blown away by all that you will learn and experience. It will be hard, and you will cry and wonder why you ever chose this path. But in the end you’ll be grateful. You will think you wouldn’t change it for the world. You might even say you will never have another baby again. I know I did, but as times passed by, my memories have slightly faded and I know I’m ready for the journey to begin again.
You may feel the same way, you may not. And that is okay. But just know that when you embark on this journey as a Mother, that there will always be, the good the bad the ugly, and other Mothers just like you!
I hope my story has given you a good laugh or a good insight to my journey as a mother so far.
Good luck with whatever stage you’re in right now and love each moment of it!
Posted by meadow24, 26th May 2014