In the eye of the storm

I’m really not great right now.

Today I cancelled Scarlett dance classes for the rest of the term. I’m not in the head space to cope with taking her there or to her concert at the end of the term.

And I feel fucking terrible. The poor thing. She has had to go through so much. Her mum goes away for two days (to the hospital) and she only sees her during the day. She has to sleep with her nana despite begging to be taken back to her mum.

Then I come home with a baby. That baby gets a lot of attention that she used to get. 

She has to put up with ‘her people’ not being as available to her anymore. She has to put up with crying (from both her brother and me, moreso from me) and feeding and changes to her routine.

I had already cancelled her music class knowing there was no way I would make it there at 9am in the morning with a newborn.

So no music class. Then I cancelled her dance class. The poor thing has been left with no extra curricular activities for a whole term. And she was so excited for her dance class.

Because here’s me, not even coping with daily tasks.

Today I have not held Reece once. It’s 2:40 and I have looked at him and seen my mum care for him, but not held him once because I just don’t feel like I have the mental strength for it.

I feel so fucking guilty all the time.

I feel cascaded by anxiety and depressive thoughts. 

Every time Reece cries I feel like I can’t breath.

I feel like I’m in a stormy ocean. I feel like I’m drowning. I feel like I’m fighting so hard to get to the top, and sometimes I do. Sometimes I’m able to take a big deep breath and get that relief, but then once I do I’m covered by a huge wave and pushed back under again.

And I can’t breath again. Sometimes over specific things- realising I had to take Scarlett to dance class in 4 days sent me over the edge, but sometimes for no reason at all, other than feeling like I’m not coping or feeling guilty for how much work my mum is having to do.

I see my psychologist again on Tuesday and I just don’t know what to do. I want to make it to a month post partum and see how I’m feeling. Because I remember feeling marginally better by the time Scarlett was one month old.

If I’m feeling better by one month I’m confident I am able to make it all the way through to a full recovery without medication. But if not, I think I’m going to need them. 

Because I can’t go on feeling like this. This is a horrible way of life and I don’t know how long I can put up with it.

Not in a suicidal way- I would never leave my family like that, but moreso in a ‘I’m eventually going to lose my shit so bad I’m going to wind up in an psych ward needing 24/7 care’ kind of way.

I’m only a week and a half post partum… actually nearly 2 weeks, so maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. How long do hormones/chemicals take to rebalance themselves after birth? When should I expect to feel relief if I’m going without medication?

Because so far, it seems my doctor and Psycholgist are both against the medications. I mean, they have a lot more experience than I do, but they also aren’t feeling like I am. My doctor gave me the deadline of one month.

If I don’t feel better by one month, I’ll go on medication.

But will I be this bad for a whole month? Will I literally go through days of not even wanting to hold my own baby for a whole month? And then more time until the medications work, IF they work?

I’m having no trouble sleeping. I literally am dead asleep by the time my head hits the pillow. 

But I’m tired constantly. Even after an amazing sleep.

I’m struggling to eat one meal a day. To the point that I’ve already lost all the pregnancy weight, plus more. As of today I’m 12kg down. My mum forces me to eat sometimes. She will deliver me a banana and stand there until I eat it all. I just have no appetite.

I feel teary and sad.

I feel anxious above anything else.

Whyyyyy can’t this just be easy?!

And you know the worst part? Yesterday I felt pretty good. Better than I have in a long time. I thought I was starting to kick this thing. Then today hits and I feel worse than I have in a long time. I just can’t cope like this. It seriously feels like I’m drowning.

Advertisements

PPD update

Firstly, thanks to everyone for their kind words after my last post. I haven’t been able to reply to everyone individually, but I appreciate everything everyone told me and all the support I was shown.

I’m still feeling pretty down. I went and saw my doctor on Wednesday night and she thinks I have developed ppd/ppa. She doesn’t want to put  to put me on medication at this point because I was only 1 week post partum and my hormones would still be all over the place. She said she can’t be sure if it’s just the baby blues, so if I still feel like this when Reece is 1 month old, I need to come back and start meds. She also said that I got through this last time without meds so she’s confident I can do it again.

She referred me back to the psychologist I saw last time. I made an appointment with him and saw him on Thursday (the day after the doctors appointment).

He validated how I was feeling and also suspects that I have PPD/PPA. He said that it’s hard to determine which one, but since I’m experiencing more anxiety symptoms, it’s likely that it’s PPA. He did say that sometimes when you’re depressed and you feel guilty, it can amp up feelings of anxiety and mask the fact that you are depressed too.

The constant crying has filtered down. It’s not as bad. I still cry over most things, but usually it’s triggered by someone asking me how I’m feeling or when I tell my mum to take Reece so I can have a break- I guess the guilt comes out then. But at least I’m not just sitting there crying for no reason anymore.

I have decided to try some natural alternatives to medication. I am now taking a very high dosage of omega-3 fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D, and St. John’s wort. All are supposed to lift your mood naturally.

I also ordered a natural remedy called ‘anxiety aid’ which uses some sort of flower to help calm people. Hopefully I should get that next week. 

I’m so hoping that I start to feel better in a few weeks. I absolutely hate feeling like this. I feel overwhelmed and anxious to go out. I don’t want to be separated from my mum ever and sometimes things just get too much.

The weird thing is that I feel capable of looking after Reece. I feel I can hold him (although if I’m holding him for extended periods of time I do find myself feeling overwhelmed and overly anxious), feed him, burp him and put him to sleep. Last time, with Scarlett, I wanted nothing to do with the raising of her.

I didn’t want her to go away, I just wanted my mum to do everything for me because I just felt way over my head.

And I guess it’s sort of the same with Reece. While I don’t want him to go away, sometimes I just can’t deal with him.

He is a week and a half old now which means he has slightly longer awake times. Those awake times give me anxiety to no end because I feel like I don’t know what to do with him while he’s awake.

He’s also started to cry more. Still a lot less than majority of other babies I know, but every time he cries it’s like my whole chest clenches and I just want to give him to my mum and walk away.

My psychologist said a lot of things, too many to write down. Basically, he thinks I focus on the guilt and the negative thoughts. I explained that while yes, 50% of my thoughts are irrational and I know that, 50% of the time I have anxiety and I can’t pinpoint what it’s over.

He said that it’s likely nerves and completely normal for people in my situation. He basically said that I need to do what I did last time.

Deep breathing. Relaxation exercises. Recognising the negative thoughts, finding solutions in my head and realising that everything can be fixed so that I’m not anxious over it anymore.

He also said that it’s okay if I can’t look after him. He explained that my mum wouldn’t offer to help so much if she didn’t want to. My mum wants to support me and her grandchildren, so she wants to do everything in her power to make me feel better. He said that if I’m feeling anxious, give him to my mum while the anxiety dissipates. If it doesn’t, let mum look after him or hold him until it does.

He said there is nothing wrong with letting people- especially my mum, help me.

He said that most people have partners that help out and even they feel overwhelmed, so of course as a single parent I was going to feel this way.

I don’t know. I just hate the anxiety.

My mum took Reece this morning when he woke up at 5:30 and sent me back to bed. Then she came and got Scarlett when she woke up at about 7:30. Then she told me to go have a good sleep in.

I woke up at 9:30 and felt fine for about 30 seconds, before my chest got tight and I felt like I wanted to vomit. I just don’t understand. 

I was reading through my wordpress posts from last time round with Scarlett and it seems that I was feeling pretty shitty at this time too. I sought out help later than I have this time (last time I didn’t go until nearly 2 weeks post partum), but in saying that, I felt weepy and overwhelmed much earlier this time round. Last time I don’t remember sitting down and crying for no reason. This time I had several days of just crying for nothing.

It seems last time I started to feel better when Scarlett was just over 2 weeks old, then I felt pretty good again when she was 11 weeks old.

Here’s the thing. Last time my anxiety was absolutely made worse by lack of sleep. I remember when my mum would let me go have a sleep and I would wake up feeling much better and more capable of facing the day. This time round, it seems sleep doesn’t affect my anxiety. If I’m honest, sometimes when I wake up I feel more anxious than I do a few hours later. Even if I take a nap during the day, I usually wake up feeling much more anxious than I was before the nap.

So it makes me confused as to why the sleep isn’t helping this time. If anyone remembers, Scarlett started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks old. I guess it only makes sense that if I felt better last time when I got extra sleep, of course I was going to feel better by the time she was 11 weeks old because I had a whole week of sleeping through the night!

So I’m very anxious about this time. If sleep doesn’t help, will these feelings just go away on their own?

How long will I suffer this time?

I remember wanting a sibling for Scarlett when she was 10 months old; so I must have been fully recovered by then.

It seems when she was 4 months old I was feeling almost fully back to my normal self.

Which gives me hope. It does. But then my brain says ‘4 more fucking months of this?!’ And it makes me lose it.

How I’m feeling at the moment:

  • I don’t want to see people, including family and friends
  • I don’t want to be without my mum
  • I feel anxious about caring for Reece and often pass him to my mum so he can sleep on her
  • I feel anxious for no reason sometimes
  • I feel overwhelmed and like this will never get better (which I know it will but the time frames scare me)

My doctor said if I don’t feel any better by the time he’s one month, I can start medication.

Ideally I’d like to avoid medication again, just based on how long people stay on the medication for with PPD (usually a full year) and all the side effects. I know I have underlying anxiety in everyday life and I would hate to go on medication and not want to come off of it. Do you really ever know to what level you are functioning until you feel amazing? It scares me that I could go on it, realise how anxious I actually was then never want to get off. It also scares me with how long they take to kick in. Realistically, if I was feeling better by the time Scarlett was 11 weeks old, if I start meds when Reece is 4 weeks old then wait for the full effects which usually take about 6 weeks, I’ll be 10 weeks post partum. Which means I could have potentially beaten it myself by that stage. I also may not have and that’s what scares me the most.

In saying that, if I still feel this bad by the time he’s a month old I will be taking all the medication they want me to take. I just don’t want to feel anxious about everything. I need to just calm down.

I said to my doctor that I wish there was a pill that I could take that worked immediately to get rid of the anxiety just so that I felt calmer and could function easier. She explained that there was a medication that existed to do this, problem being that it is highly addictive and she only likes to prescribe it to people who have constant and debilitating panic attacks. I have never wanted to lie to a doctor more in my life.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. I’ll make a separate update for Reece over the next few days.

Feeling down

So after having Reece I felt great in the hospital. I went through one very short period where I felt anxious (over what I have no idea), but then it eased.

But over the last few days I have felt terrible. Constantly anxious, crying all the time over nothing, and just generally sad.

There are things that I’ve been thinking about that has upped my anxiety. Having two kids seems to be one of those things. The fact nothing will ever be the same. The fact that my easy life with my daughter won’t ever be the same. The fact that it won’t just ever be me and her again.

While I shouldn’t be sad about that because, duh, I chose to have another child for that reason, I am sad. I don’t want Scarlett to feel left out, forgotten about or replaced, because she’s not. She’s actually been handling the changes really well, but I’m in major struggle town.

I can’t stop fucking crying. And I’m terrified this is the start of PPD again. I have an appointment with my doctor tonight to see what she thinks, since I’m only one week postpartum and I’m feeling so shitty.

My mum let me have a major sleep in today and took both of the kids to let me sleep. I thought maybe I was just tired, but when I woke up I still felt anxious. My chest clenched when I realised I had to get up and go look after the newborn.

And he’s so good. He literally just eats, sleeps and poops. He hardly cries, even when he is hungry, and he is quite calm most of the time, but I’m so anxious over everything and nothing.

I don’t want to be around him because I get so anxious. And so much work is falling on my mum because I just don’t physically feel like I’m able to do it.

Last time I don’t remember it being this bad, especially this soon. Plus, I’m anxious over presenting different to Scarlett. Scarlett isn’t even an issue and caring for her is suddenly causing anxiety. I just can’t stop it and it’s so ridiculous. So I don’t know what that means. 

I don’t know if this is PPD (I think it may be) and I don’t know if I will need medication this time. I didn’t need it the first time but I just don’t feel like I’m coping. I want to go out but then I’m anxious about leaving the house. People want to see me and I just don’t want to see anyone.

I don’t want my mum to leave me alone. Even when she goes to the toilet I feel completely overwhelmed.

And I’m scared. I’m sad and as bad as it sounds, caring for a newborn terrifies me. I almost wish (As bad as this sounds) that there was a button I could push to make time skip to make Reece 2 years old, because I love the age Scarlett is at now.

I don’t want to go on medication because I’m scared I will never come off- if you’re feeling better why would you stop it? And when do you stop it if you feel good? But then again, I don’t know if I can handle feeling like this for much longer. I don’t feel suicidal, but it feels like I just want to walk away and recover then come back once I’m able to handle it.

I hate this so much.

He’s here! And how I haemorrhaged.

Sorry this post is so late. We had a few complications which I will discuss below. But first…

Reece Kyle Watt was born at 9:01am on Wednesday the 4th of October 2017 via c-section. He weighed 3.65kg (only 10 grams more than his sister!) and was 51cm tall (2cm shorter than his sister!). He had a MASSIVE head, the circumference measuring 37cm! He is such a calm and happy baby. So far we have hardly heard a peep out of him!

C Section story:

So we arrived at the hospital at 6am Wednesday morning. We were essentially just shuffled into a room and told to wait. That was fine. The lady in the bed next to us had a baby already and at first we wondered if she was also a c Section mama or if she hadn’t had her baby yet, because it was SO quiet.

Fast forward half an hour and her baby rose like the devil out of hell. It literally did not stop crying. Even as we were walking out of the hospital 2 days later, it didnt stop. But that’s a whole other story.

So we were waiting to find out more about what was happening with the c section. I had been told that the theatre list goes up at about 8:15am, so we had a short while to wait. 

Lacey, my birth photographer, got there and started taking some photos before she realised she had parked in a 2 hour parking zone, so she went to move her car.

In the 15 minutes she was gone a midwife came in and told me that I was first up on the theatre list and I could be taken in within 5 minutes! 

We were freaking out because we had essentially just got to the hospital and had seen no one. No doctors or anything and suddenly they were going to be taking me up to theatre in 5? Lacey wasn’t even back from parking her car yet!! So I rang Lacey and she rushed back. 

Then it was all so quick. A bit of a roller coaster really!

Within a few minutes they decided to take me up to theatre.

We got to a surgery waiting bay where they confirmed all my details and what procedure I was having. The surgeon/OB came to speak to me as did the midwives and anaesthesiologist. 

I explained my fear of the spinal needle and she told me it was nothing to worry about. She assured me I would hardly feel it, so I decided to trust her.

They gave lacey and my mum surgery scrubs and asked them to get ready. They had masks and everything to wear, it was all very funny to watch. They wheeled me away and told lacey and my mum that they would get them when my spinal had been done.

They took me into the next bay and put a canulla in my arm. They also gave me this disgusting liquid that was supposed to help with reflux and tasted like urine! The taste literally stayed in my mouth, it was gross. Then they asked me to stand up and walk over to the table. I did and they started prepping me with that cold back wash. Once everyone was scrubbed up they came back in and the anaesthesiologist felt my back. She then did the local injection and inserted that in various places.

She told me it took a while to work so I waited and waited and then felt a popping sensation in my spine. But it had only been about 30 seconds. I asked what that was and she said that was her being done! She told me the needle had been inserted and medication had been given and that my legs would start getting a warm feeling.

Almost immediately my legs got heavy and warm. I could still wiggle my toes. Eventually that stopped though. 

They did a pin prick test to see if I felt pain. They stuck a pin around my eyes, then down my shoulders, chest and lower. I felt no pain from my waist downwards. It was weird because I felt her touch me, but there was no pain.

Then they put the drapes up, brought my mum and Lacey in, and they started the procedure. I must say, I was prepared for the tugging and pulling but I wasn’t prepared for the weird clicking and bones popping sensations. It felt so strange. No one told me that with a c section, you can feel them cutting you!! There is just no pain associated with anything they do. But I felt the pressure of the blade and I felt their hands pulling for Reece. The clicking and popping feelings were the worst for me though.

Anyway, Reece was apparently nice and comfortable because he didn’t want to come out. They were pushing and pulling and he was determined to stay in his little hidey hole. They ended up using forceps to get him out.

He immediately cried when he was born, but he was a little shocked. While they stitched me up he went over to the warming bench thing to get a rub down to help with his vitals. He was good but didn’t want to cry after that initial one.

Here is a sneak peak photo that Lacey took of him coming out:


Eventually they deemed him great and brought him over to me for some skin to skin. It was great until they started pressing on me again and I started feeling sick. I passed him to my mum at that point and she got a good snuggle in. 

Before I knew it the surgery was over and I was going to recovery.

We were only in recovery for about 30 minutes before they took me back to my room.

The spinal started to wear off about an hour and a half later, but it wasn’t until about 3 hours later that I had full feeling back.

This is where things started to get problematic.

I was laying there waiting for the spinal to completely wear off when I felt a small gush between my legs. Blood.

It wasn’t big and I expected to bleed. Then about 10 minutes later I had another gush. This time it was much bigger, to the point where the blood actually gushed upwards first, soaked the sheet and blanket on top of me, then went down.

I had a pad between my legs and a bluey pad (one of those big blue ones they put under you) which had only been changed about 30 minutes prior. Both of those were completely soaked through.

They waited to see what was happening with the bleeding, and in the meantime they called a doctor to examine me. 

The gushes came about every 10-15 minutes and there was a lot of blood with each gush. Each gush filled the pad and half filled the bluey. 

A doctor came in and explained that she would have to examine my surgical site, then she would have to be a little nasty and push on my uterus. The wound looked great, but then she pressed on my uterus and it was a world of pain.

Each time she pressed more blood gushed out, so at that point they decided to give me an injection (which I later found out they had already given me) to contract the uterus.

When that didn’t stop the gushing, they put me on a pitocin drip to contract the uterus. They explained that sometimes after a birth the uterus will get lazy and not contract. The blood vessels in the uterus rely on these contractions to stop the bleeding, as the contractions close them off. They suspected my uterus wasn’t contracting and blood was pooling. 

The drip didn’t work. The gushes just kept coming.

They then gave me oral medication to take in the hopes that would work. Nope. Another injection and another type of IV medication was given. They also tried these tablets that go up your bum and they are apparently very effective for stopping this kind of thing. Not for me apparently. 

By this stage it was 5pm and I had been gushing all day. Some hours were better than others, and sometimes the medication looked like it was going to work, only to have an extra big gush come out.

Then they cut me off from eating and drinking. They thought they may have to take me back to theatre and examine me under general anaesthetic. But they still wanted to try the medication. Every half an hour someone would come in and push on my uterus. It was so painful. They thought that maybe there was a clot preventing the uterus from cramping and that if they pressed enough, it would dislodge and come out, which would stop the bleeding. I wasn’t so lucky.

My parents left at 9pm after not knowing whether to stay or go. Visiting hours finished at 8pm and although the doctors had said that they could stay in case the surgery was needed, the doctors still didn’t know if they were going to take me or not.

After lots of going back and forth, they eventually called in the head of OB in the hospital. She came and examined me and decided the best thing to do was to go to surgery.

She explained that they would be doing an examination under general anaesthetic. Depending on what they found, they may insert a balloon into the uterus. This balloon is designed to be inflated in the uterus to put pressure on the uterine walls. The pressure is supposed to cut off the blood vessels from openly bleeding. She explained that if (for example) the typical uterus would hold 500ml, they would over expand the balloon (so they insert 600ml) to put the added pressure to the uterine walls. 

She explained that they usually just use their hands for this, but if they struggle they may need to use instruments. The tools they use have been known to cause tearing of the perineum.

I couldn’t believe it. I had just been through a C section to avoid tearing, and I could be coming out of this whole thing with a c section wound AND tearing? I was pissed.

They then said that sometimes if they have had to use tools and the tearing is getting too out of hand, they will stop, open up the c section wound, make it bigger, then insert the balloon tbrough there.

So I could have a LARGE, REOPENED c section wound and tearing. Seriously?!

I knew it was what needed to be done so I went along with it. At this point the blood loss was at 1.2 litres (they were weighing the pads), so I didn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room as things were getting dangerous. 

They finally decided to take me up. Reece went with the midwives and I headed to surgery.

They explained that the balloon won’t be painful, but it will have some pressure associated with it. The OB said it sort of felt like a really overfull bladder without the urge to pee.

So they get me into the waiting bay again. Then an anaesthesiologist comes to see me again. She says that we have the option to do a spinal but this would increase the risks of the spinal, like the headaches and low blood pressure. 

I was told that the balloon wouldn’t be painful, so why would I need a spinal? The spinal went really well the first time but I didn’t want to push my luck. So I just went with general anaesthetic.

Let me state it here that This was the worst decision that I could have made.

I woke up in a state that I could only describe as distress. I felt like I couldn’t breathe because I was in so much pain. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going or where the pain came from. My body recognised one thing and that’s all I could focus on. Pain.

I remember the nurse or whoever she was screaming for a doctor and then having another lady rush over and say ‘give her fentanyl now!’. I remember it going in and feeling relief for maybe 10 seconds, then it escalating again. The doctor was still there and she said ‘give her more’.

So they did. I was still in pain so the doctor said ‘another!’. She did this two more times before the nurse said that I was at my maximum dose. The doctor looked at my chart and quickly called the anaesthesiologist back and they had a brief conversation before she came back and said ‘we’ve agreed, double her dose’.

So they gave me double compared to what they were supposed to.

But it did nothing. This pain was like a pressure with a cramp and then almost contraction pain. At least it’s how it started out. The longer I was awake, the more I was able to feel and comprehend. It was the pain of contractions. Full blown contractions.

I don’t think they took it seriously until I started crying from the pain then vomited everywhere.

So then they gave me codeine, no change. They had already given me paracetamol and ibuprofen (not that they would have done ANYTHING with the pain I was having) but I heard them say give me another dose of those. 

They were then scurrying for what to give me. I had like 10 people around me discussing what I could and couldn’t have. Mean while I was crying and moaning from the pain.

‘A spinal! An epidural! Those will work!’ I told them all, and you should have seen the looks I got. Like I was possessed or something.

They just kept talking amongst themselves. 

Then they decided to try a single dose of morphine. No change. They gave me endone tablets, no difference. Targen, no change. Then tramadol.

One of the people there who I can only assume was a doctor then made it very clear that I could NOT have any more opioids. In fact, he said ‘she’s already had enough pain relief to put her on a respirator at best or in a coma at worst, so do we really think it’s a good idea to give any more?!’

While I agreed that I had had a lot, what could I do? I was in severe pain and nothing was working. The pain relief didn’t alter anything, they may as well not have given it to me.

The head OB started talking to me then. She explained that the contraction pain I was having was due to the pitocin drip they have put me on again. She said that for the balloon to be affective, they give you pitocin to contract your uterus. My uterus wasn’t responding on lower doses so they bumped it up to the highest level, which seemed to make it respond.

She said I was probably in so much pain because the wound across my uterus would be under a lot of pressure right now with the balloon stretching it and the uterus contracting. Hence why I was in a world of pain.

She said I ‘only had about 3 hours’ of the drip left and since they couldn’t give me anything more, I would just have to live through it for now. I only had one bag to get through, they didn’t want any more pitocin after that so I only had to get through one bag.

But when I looked at the drip monitor screen, it had 3 hours and 35 minutes left. 

I know it doesn’t seem like a very long time, but these contractions were terrible. I couldn’t move because I had wires all around me and a catheter in, plus I’d just woken up after a general anaesthetic. They wouldn’t let me up until after the drip had run through.

I didn’t know how long I could take it. I repeatedly vomited from the pain and it got to the point I was biting my lip so hard I drew blood without realising. The contractions where one on top of the other and so much worse than when I was in labour with Scarlett. And let’s not forget that I didn’t get an epidural until I was 8cm dilated with Scarlett AND she was posterior, so the contractions were everywhere. But that was nothing compared to these contractions.

I kept checking the ‘time until infused’ number and the minutes were going by so slowly.

I got down to 2 hours and 14 minutes before I begged to be put back under GA just to ride out the contractions. They refused, so I begged for an epidural. They refused that too.

They told me that I could have more tramadol and more endone but that was it. And if I wanted to take them I needed to be okay with a doctor AND an anaesthesiologist being in the room 100% of the time from then on because I was so likely to go into a coma from all the medication I had already taken.

I agreed and took it. Still it did nothing. We got down to an hour and 25 minutes when I noticed the contractions were starting to slow. There was a longer break inbetween them but when they came they were even more painful.

Then with about an hour to go I started to get drowsy. I was okay with this however because it also dulled the pain. Very soon after that I couldn’t speak or feel my face.

A code was called and the resuscitation team came in. I was still awake, just unable to move really.

They examined me and decided it was from all the medication. They decided to have half of them would stay with the equipment and half would leave the room. Then I went to sleep.

I woke up 4 hours later to a room of people pacing and arguing that I shouldn’t have had that last endone. I think they were shocked that I was awake. I was just glad I wasn’t in pain anymore. 

The head OB was in the room and she apologised to me. She said that they clearly underestimated my pain because with all the drugs I had, I should have been asleep within half an hour of taking them. She said she felt bad that they refused the spinal/epidural.

They told me that the balloon had to stay in until late that afternoon but I only had another hour to eat and drink because if I was still bleeding when they took it out, they would take me to theatre to reinsert it and start the process all over again.

I just remember being overwhelmed with dread at that point. If I had to do that again I was getting the spinal and no one would be able to tell me otherwise. It was that, or they would have to take out my uterus because I was not going through that level of pain again.

Eventually my family arrived at the hospital and we waited until it was time to take the balloon out. I was so drained at that point. I felt like I would fall asleep at any minute and I couldn’t help it. 

Time came (and passed since they were running behind!) to take the balloon out and finally it was out. Taking it out wasn’t all that bad, they packed my vagina full of gauze and I think that was the worst part! It felt like sandpaper coming out from downstairs.

Once it was out I think we all waited for the bleeding to begin again.

There was a small gush, but absolutely nothing huge. They pushed on the uterus and nothing came out, so they were happy to say the haemorrhaging has stopped!

Within an hour I was allowed to get up and shower. I was worried that walking would hurt, but it was surprisingly easy. I was slightly hunched over but was able to straighten pretty quickly. I did feel a little dizzy but the midwife explained it was likely due to the blood loss.

I didn’t have any issues in the shower, I did have to sit down a few times from the dizziness but I otherwise felt fine- it was nice to finally wash all the dried blood from my legs!

Once I turned the shower off I started to get dressed and felt a massive gush. I had blood pooled on the floor and all down my legs. So I jumped in the shower again to clean myself off and quickly stuck a pad on to catch anything that came out again.

Luckily, no more gushing. But just the simple act of showering took it out of me. I was sweating and exhausted. I did tell the midwife about the gushing but she suspected it was simply from being sedentary for two days then getting up and doing an activity that would normally be fine, but with my blood loss and the amount of medication I had been given, would drain my bodies energy level. She said that since it was only one gush, she wasn’t too concerned.

Eventually they took me back to my room where it was pretty uneventful after that.

They explained that during the surgery they found my uterus wasn’t contracting. They found two massive blood clots in my uterus, so they removed them, weighed them, then inserted the balloon. She said that they filled it to maximum capacity to try and get it really effective.

I was allowed to have my catheter out by the next morning and by that evening I was home, against doctors wishes of course. They wanted me to stay another night but I just needed to get home.

I came home Friday and it’s now (late) Sunday night.

Reece has been awesome. He’s a bit yellow but still waking to eat and stays awake for a short while before going back to sleep, so while he does have jaundice, they aren’t concerned. He has nights and days confused so I’m usually up a lot of the night. 

He does have positional talipes, so we have been given exercises to do with him st every nappy change. It should correct itself with time though.

He’s drinking every 2-4 hours. He’s a very good drinker and so far has been very good at burping!

Scarlett absolutely adores her brother and is constantly asking to hold the baby and help change the baby’s nappy and to help hold the baby bottle. She’s so good.

I’m managing pain well! I’m just absolutely exhausted most of the time. Of course, I think 50% of that is to do with blood loss and the other 50% is from sleep deprivation.

I am feeling a lot better this time round. With Scarlett I was constantly anxious and teary at this point, but I’m a lot calmer with Reece. Don’t get me wrong, I have my anxious moments and I have had one cry- mostly over being frustrated at myself for feeling any sort of anxiety. I have been through this before so why am I anxious?! I know the hard parts pass, eventually he will sleep during the night and I won’t feel so lethargic. I know he will get bigger and one day I won’t have to worry about him having wind.

Of course you can’t help hormones so maybe this is just my body adjusting. I think it’s hard too because I have been house bound since Friday. The midwife needed to come see me Saturday, but they don’t make appointments. They say they will be there between 9am-4pm, so you have to stay put all day waiting for them! Today I was supposed to have 3 different lots of family/friends coming to meet Reece but only one showed up! So I was stuck at home waiting for them before they eventually cancelled. Tomorrow I see the midwife again, so I have to be home between 9am-4pm again. But I’m going to try to make it a fun day. 

I have decided to take some home newborn photos. Of course I’m not a professional so who knows what they will look like. But I love photos so I want to get them done while he’s little.

Then we may go out for dinner. Just to get out of the house!!

I’ll attach some photos here (I’m pretty sure they have uploaded backwards, so for the photos of him when he was first born, scroll down 😂):

Tomorrow, tomorrow

You’re only a day away.

Less than 24 hours until I meet my baby boy. Can you actually believe that?

As it gets closer the nerves kick in more and more. The spinal wasn’t even something I was concerned about, until I realised the last time I had a needle in my spine was when I was in labour last time. When I was very much in pain and begging for it. I honestly can’t even say that I remember it going in because I was so focused on the pain of contractions (at 8cm dilated of course you are!).

This time there is no pain. There is no begging for it. I will feel otherwise fine and have to endure a needle that goes deeper than an epidural. And what if it doesn’t work? I’ve heard of people having spinals that wear out prematurely and they have to be put under general anaesthesia for the remainder of their surgery. Or people who get jabbed 10 times before they actually get the spinal to work. Ahhhh it’s nerve wracking!

Then there is the pain afterwards. I’m a sissy and I can’t even tell you why I agreed so readily to a c section (I mean I can but WHY). Give me all the drugs, but also let me come home the day after and give me the ones that don’t make me sleepy (ie. endone- which I know is the drug they give you!).

And I’m nervous about the possibility of PPD. But I’ve been through all this in my previous post.

I also had an interesting thing happen to me today! I lost my mucous plug!! 

I was sitting on the toilet peeing when I felt something sort of slide down. I wiped almost immediately and sure enough, mucous plug!!

Last time I had two stretch and sweeps by now and had lost my mucous plug (the equivalent) of two days ago. This time I’ve had no checks at all, so any progress is completely natural progress. The doctor, the midwife, the sonographer AND my reflexologist all told me they thought I would deliver early/not make my c section date. I still think (hopefully!) that I’ll make my c section date, but it would have been very interesting to see when I would have gone into labour naturally!

The main thing is that in 12 hours, I will be leaving for the hospital. Then hopefully within 4-6 hours after that, I will have my baby boy earth side. 

Tonight is Scarlett’s last night as an only child.

Tomorrow I will have two kids. 

Holy shit.

5 days

Reece will be here in 5 days. Well, less than that really! In less than half an hour it will be 4 days. How quickly has that gone?

I find myself becoming more nervous as we get closer. I’m nervous about a lot of things. Dealing with the pain of a c section. Recovering whilst looking after a toddler and a newborn. Scarlett’s reaction to a new sibling. Possibly (well, very likely) developing PPD again.

I guess my biggest concern is the pain aspect. I’ve read so many different things and been told by so many women about their c section experience, but it really is so varied. Some people say it’s the worst pain they have ever experienced and if they could turn back time they would never have a c section. Some people say it’s ‘tender’ for a few days then they didn’t really notice it. Some people need pain relief for weeks, some only take panadol from the beginning. 

It’s so varied and there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between their situations. Some people have elective c sections and it’s the worst pain ever and some people have emergency c sections and say that a bad sunburn hurt them more.

I’m a wimp so I don’t like pain. Of course, I expect there to be pain, but it’s the level of pain I’m concerned about. I know I’ll get strong drugs but I’m also pretty sure I heard the doctor mention endone, which i have used before and is great for taking away pain…. problem is that it knocks me out. It’s not like I can sleep all day with a newborn and a toddler!!

I guess I’m also nervous about how I will react. Having Scarlett was such a shock to the system. I would like to think that a second baby will be easier because I’ve done it before, but I’ve also never had TWO kids, so that transition may be hard.

I’ve also decided to give up on breastfeeding. I finally went and seen an IBCLC and she was fantastic. She examined my breasts and tried to express colostrum from them (nothing came out). She asked me lots of questions and took a full history.

In the end she was very honest with me. She said that there are a lot of barriers that are going to prevent me from breastfeeding. She explained that my nipples have a ‘rather peculiar’ shape to them that will make it hard for a baby to latch (they are very thin and short, but not inverted, just extremely small). I also have very dense breasts that face downwards slightly, which means all the weight is where baby latches, meaning he won’t be able to get what he needs in his mouth to suck properly because it’s too much to fit in.

She tried everything to get colostrum out. Hot compresses, a massage, a manual and automatic pump, Creams and massage lotions. We tried for 45 minutes before she sort of made a ‘hm’ sound and gave up. She said that most women should be able to express colostrum at nearly 39 weeks pregnant, and those who can’t usually don’t have the right technique. Being an IBCLC she knows the right techniques and she wasn’t successful. She said that while it wasn’t a definite indicator, it did tell her that my breasts aren’t as cooperative as they should be.

I told her how my milk never came in last time despite pumping religiously and how much stress it caused me. She said that it sounds like I would need to go on medication immediately following birth to jump start the production since I probably have an issue with the structure of my breasts. She suspects I have a lot of fatty tissue but hardly any of the breast tissue that produces milk (she used the name but I’ve gone blank).

She suggested all these supplements and nipple shields and massaging and 😐

Seriously just the thought stressed me out again. I could feel that creeping anxiety again, and then I had a thought. Why am I stressing over this so much? Scarlett was 100% formula fed and she is such a smart and healthy little girl. I understand it’s not the ‘liquid gold’ that comes from the breast, but if all I’m going to do is stress about it, why even bother? Is it better for me to be stressed to the max with two kids and breastfeeding or relaxed and formula feeding?

I vote for relaxed, so I’m vetoing breastfeeding for now. I may give it a go when he is here but if his latch is as bad as what Scarlett’s was, I’m not even going to stress myself out about it and then worry if my milk will come in this time.

But 5 days! Woo!

Can’t catch a break

Yesterday evening I started to get a headache. I thought it may have been from dehydration (which would have been strange because I had been drinking really well all day) so I made sure to drink extra before I went to bed.

I was awoken from the headache at 12:30am but couldn’t take any panadol because there wasn’t enough time between my last dose. So I managed to go back to sleep (eventually) and was awoken again just past 2am.

This time I woke up freezing cold. Like, more cold than I have been in my life. I was shivering despite having the doona over me. I pulled up extra blankets and then suddenly I was so hot I was sweating like crazy. Literally soaked through my PJ’s with sweat. So I kicked the blankets off and was freezing again. And this cycle continued for a little while.

This time the headache was terrible. If I moved my head it was like the headache would get 10 times worse immediately and last for about 5-10 seconds. It was almost like a pounding spasm in my head. Then once it went away it was back to the ‘normal’ headache pain.

So I got up to take panadol, made sure to drink more again, then went back to bed. I woke up at 5:30am from the pain AGAIN and stayed up another half an hour so I was able to take the panadol again.

Scarlett woke up at 8am and getting out of bed was horrible. I feel weak all over. I feel scattered and foggy. And I feel lethargic. Sneezing kills and if I cough it’s pretty painful too.

Seriously!!! Why?! I just recovered from the excruciating abdominal pain and now I have to be sick? What do I even have? I know I’m not dehydrated because I drank 3 litres yesterday! Is this a flu thing? How long does it take to get rid of flus and/or colds?

Because my c section date is in 9 days. Yup. We are down to single digits and I am so sick I can hardly move. Mum has taken over full responsibility of Scarlett because even standing to change her nappy makes me almost pass out. 

Oh my lord I feel terrible.

Recovery

Since I got home 2 days ago things have been improving, thank god!

Wednesday the pain was excruciating and by Thursday the doctors had given me the strong pain relief so the pain had dulled but not gone away.

Yesterday I woke up and the pain was so much less! It really only hurt to do movements, for example, rolling over in bed, trying to sit down or standing up after sitting, twisting my body around, stretching to grab something or walking for long periods of time. I took the strong pain relief at 5am Friday morning then didn’t take anything the rest of the day because the pain was manageable. Still there, but nothing terrible and when it was painful, I was able to manage it.

I did take normal panadol before bed because rolling over still hurt, so I hoped it would just dull the pain, and it did.

This morning I’ve woken up and the pain is even better- mostly gone really! It catches when I roll or do the things I mentioned above, but I literally haven’t taken any pain relief because I just don’t need it. I still can’t pick up Scarlett because it really hurts then, so I’m still taking it easy and getting to to climb into her change mat or getting someone to lift her for me. My mum has been amazing and even offered to do a few nappy changes which helped a lot!! She hasn’t had a bath in a few days with all the drama and mum has also offered to bath her for me because the bending and lifting will be too hard (showering myself requires me to sit down for 20 minutes after to get rid of the shooting pains in my stomach and legs!).

The good news is, I don’t have influenza A! The doctors called and confirmed it but said that they are still running the other tests to try and determine the cause. I don’t have a temperature now so the doctors think it may have been a very short lived virus and he temperature that I had all day Wednesday may have been enough to eliminate it, which means we will never know what it was.

If all the bacterial cultures show nothing then that’s what they are going to assume it is. They told me if anything came up that they would call me. I’m assuming that nothing grew because they haven’t rang me to let me know. I do have a follow up on Wednesday with an OB so maybe they are waiting until then? Although, if it was bacterial you would also think they would want to put me on antibiotics? Maybe because the symptoms are gone they are happy to leave it? Or nothing grew. Either way.

But I’m feeling better and glad he didn’t get pulled out early. Seriously, I thought I had everything ready and it just showed me how much more I had to pack. For example, my camera was flat and I wasn’t going to charge it until the day before the c section so that I had fresh batteries all ready to go. Well, I would have been screwed if something happened. It didn’t even cross my mind! 

And simple things that you can’t pack until the last minute that you need like underwear and your toothbrush.

Anyway, I’m getting on top of those things now, luckily!!

Hospital

So after the pains yesterday combined with the difficulty breathing, I decided to go to the ER last night. When I arrived they asked why I hadn’t just gone straight to birth unit. I explained that I already spoke to the people at birth unit and they told me I had to go to the ER first. The triage nurse looked at me as if I was stupid. They took me to birth unit right away.

At the beginning they were quite dismissive of my pain and the midwife was going on and on about how it’s more than likely ligament pain and that this is a common issue late in pregnancy. She didn’t even bother to feel my stomach or determine where the pain was. 

I kept telling them that I am not here with the intention to have this baby. Other than the pain, I am very comfortable and could easily wait another 2 weeks until he’s booked to arrive. I told them that I just want this pain to either go away or ease so I can at least walk like a normal person. I can’t even pick up my daughter without screeching in pain.

They pretty much ignored me. They either didn’t care for what I had to say or they just assumed that I was here to get him out while telling them I wanted him to stay put. 

Then she took my temperature, 37.8. Which made her suspect that something was going on.

I didn’t feel unwell, I just felt hot. Literally I had sweat rolling down my face. In saying that, I was upset, I was anxious and I could hardly breath properly, of course my temperature would have been a little high!

They finally felt around to see where Reece was sitting and suspected that he moved into a posterior position and was grinding on my back which may have caused the pain. They wanted to give me another lot of panadol but I had already had 3 lots that day and it did absolutely nothing. I pretty much asked them what else I could take because panadol was not cutting it and after the second dose I suspected it wouldn’t help. The third dose helped confirm it, and I sure as hell wasnt taking a fourth dose and putting up with the pain to prove it to them.

But anyway, the temperature concerned the midwife so she got a doctor. About half an hour later when the doctor came in they took my temperature again, 38.9. It had gotten over a degree higher within half an hour.

Then it was like a flurry of things happened all at once.

They did a urine test and my Pee was so concentrated and orange in colour that it was almost red/brown. Ew. They inserted a cannula (after 3 attempts) into my hand to try take blood and get fluid into me. They rushed a 1 litre bag into me within 20 minutes because I was so dehydrated. They did sooo many blood tests. 

Then they did a nasalpharengeal swab. They took two blood cultures to grow in the lab. They did a mouth swab and even an ear swab (don’t ask me what either of those were checking for?).

Basically, they said I had an infection somewhere, and they just needed to know what they were dealing with, and whether it was viral or bacterial, and where was it.

They did a speculum exam and took a swab from downstairs. They also checked to see if my water had broken and it looked fine apparently.

After they pushed the 1 litre of fluid through they told me that I wasn’t allowed to have any food or water as it may be that they need to do the c section within a few hours. 

They hooked me up to a monitor and found my heart was racing at 140bpm. Then they hooked up the monitor to check for contractions and Reece’s heartbeat.

They immediately found I was having irregular contractions. They were pretty consistent on the readings (as in, intensity) but the length of time inbetween them was varied.

The major problem was when they found Reece’s heartbeat. It was beating between 180-199 beats per minute. He was in distress and not happy at all.

At that point I felt like jumping up on the bed and screaming at them that IT WASNT LIGAMENT PAIN, LIKE I TOLD YOU ALL! THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG AND YOU DISMISSED ME THREE SEPERATE TIMES ON THE PHONE!!

I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have had the energy or ability to do that with the pain.

But fairly quickly things started happening. An OB came in and discussed the probable causes of both the high temperature and the pain. She said that she is fairly certain that she knows what it is.

Influenza A.

She said that this flu season has been particularly bad and has made it very tricky for doctors to diagnose pregnant women with influenza. It seems that the type A version seems to have one and only one symptom this season in pregnant women, and would anyone like to guess what that symptom is?

Excruciating abdominal pain.

Sometimes it is accompanied with a fever and other times it is not. But this would be her best guess.

So they decided to treat me with an antiviral medication to try to ease the symptoms and severity of the flu. If it’s even the flu. They are still going to grow their swab and blood cultures and see what it comes back with.

They started me on panadeine forte, which is a mixture of paracetamol and codeine.

And once the medication was in me, my fever went down, the pain eased up but did not go away, and since I was so dehydrated they started another IV.

They came in to discuss the possible c section. They warned me that if I needed a c section, they are treating me as if I have the flu. Which means the anaesethiologist will not be happy to stick a needle in my spine for the spinal. I asked where that left me and they said that if the c section is needed, I would be put under general anaesthetic. Which means no mum in the room. No birth photographer in the room. And not being the first person to see my baby. 

It was already 2 in the morning at this point and I was exhausted and tired and high on pain relief. I freaked out a little. I was convinced that I had another 2 weeks before he was born and for some reason, I couldn’t handle him coming any earlier than what was already planned. I wanted him healthy, but then it was all so overwhelming and I was in so much pain.

I think the midwife sensed my distress because she told me that so far, things were looking promising. She explained that his heartbeat was going down to a normal level and that mine was as well. She said my temperature has dropped and he is moving sufficiently. 

Eventually they ruled out the c section sometime around 4 in the morning. They finally let me drink after putting 3 litres of fluids through me.

Once I woke up for the day, although I had a terrible night sleep because I was on monitors and couldn’t lay down properly, they decided to give me food. I knew this was a good sign because they don’t like you to eat before a c section so I figured I was safe.

They disconnected me from the heart monitor then put me on the heartbeat and contraction monitor again. They pushed another 1 litre bag through my body and then pretty much made me wait until the doctors were ready to see me.

They eventually came in and re checked me. My temperature was holding steady and so far the blood tests hadn’t showed anything bad, just the iron deficiency and the increased white blood cell count. Obviously indicating an infection- but where and what type of infection? It takes 24-48 hours for the cultures to grow then we will know!

They asked me to stay another night and I asked if I could go home. Since I live so close to the hospital, they said yes, but if I have more pain or bleeding or a high temperature I have to go straight back.

So I’m home now! My eyes dropping as I write this.

I still don’t have a big appetite and I’m feeling very lethargic, probably from the codeine in the pain meds. The pain has eased but is still pretty strong so we will see what the results come back with. 

Otherwise I’m happy to be home!

Constant pain

Today I woke up to a really sore stomach. It sort of felt like a constant cramp. Almost like a contraction but it was a constant thing, rather than on then off again.

It started off mild- I wasn’t able to carry Scarlett because of the pain but I could walk standing straight.

Then throughout the day it has gotten worse. It is so bad that the pain is radiating down my legs. It is hard to take a deep breath because it hurts. Every time Reece moves it feels like a knife is stabbing me.

I don’t know what is wrong.

I called birth unit and they suggested panadol and lying down with a heat pack. I tried that and it didn’t work.

I waited another 6 hours before I called birth unit again. Nothing is working and I’m in tears. I can’t walk straight and the pain is excruciating. 

When I called them the second time they suggested buscopan, which can apparently help to relieve muscle spasms or cramps. It hasn’t done a thing and I took it over an hour and a half ago.

I don’t know what to do. The pain goes away when I sit down, unless I move or Reece moves. I still feel the radiating pain in my legs regardless.

It’s not contractions as the pain doesn’t get better. The birth unit suspect it’s ligament pain but surely ligament pain can’t cause this amount of pain. I don’t know what to do. It hurts so bad. I’ve already called them twice and I don’t know if they are taking it seriously. 

I don’t know whether to just go get checked or not. It’s nearly 8pm here and Scarlett will be due for bed soon. Which means my mum would have to stay home with Scarlett and I would have to go in alone.

But this pain. I won’t be able to put up with this for another 2 weeks. I just can’t.