Well. A few things.
First of all. I became one of those people who I really didn’t want to become. As in – haven’t written a blog post in I don’t even want to check how long. Must be at least 9 months though, because I’m 37 weeks pregnant today.
That’s right. I did that as well. Well that took 2 people obviously. And yes it’s been a journey!!!!
Being pregnant obviously made my hormones sky rocket, to the point I was having 1 or 2 panic attacks a day. It was the vulnerability of being pregnant. It was the aggressive guy I was sitting next to at work. It was everything. So I did the only thing I knew what what to do. I got some therapy. I got some CBT.
My partner – let’s call him Koso – just didn’t understand at firsr, but I can’t fault him for lack of trying. He did the typical “don’t panic”. Well isn’t that so helpful? But eventually he learned the best thing to do was just let me know he’s there and not give me suggestions.
He understandably became extremely contious that our son will see me panicking in lifts for example, and pick it up. So we both knew I had to do something and not pass it on to him.
I ended up having 8 sessions of therapy (CBT), and 3 weeks off work. (Oh and I had a lovely understanding team leader who left while I was off sick and the one who replaced him laughed at me when I said I have anxiety. Great.) and it did really help.
I left for maternity leave at 33 weeks. Because it timed in well to leave before Christmas and take January as my annual leave.
It’s not been an easy pregnancy either, and I wanted some rest. There was the anxiety as mentioned. Then the anemia – not such a big issue. Then the UTI’s every other week. Then the SPD (at one point I couldnt walk it felt like I was being stabbed in the back of the legs.) Then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I was high risk for this anyway due to the PCOS causing insulin resistance. So I carried on with the metformin and completely changed my diet. Bye bye sugar and all white carbs. Hello finger pricks. I found a wonderful supportive Facebook group for this which helped immensely.
At 34 weeks I started getting Braxton hicks already so here is some more pain to deal with. Thats fine….
Then at 36 weeks I went to the hospital with reduced movements. Turns out I also have polyhydrammios, which is a complication of gestational diabetes. Basically there is too much fluid around my baby. Which is why I can’t feel him – because he is swimming!! I didn’t get any information. I just get wait to see my consultant (in 6 days). Everything is about waiting to see her. Waiting. Waiting.
So as anyone would do. I consult Dr Google. Bad idea. So normal is 8-18cm of fluid. I have 29.2! I’m reading aweful things in Dr Google. If your waters break call an ambulance as there is a high risk of cord prolapse (cord coming out before baby), or the placenta can come away, there is an increased risk of bleeding, of preterm labour. “Try not to worry” they all say.
Not worry? Not worry? I’m worrying! I’m panicking! I can’t sleep! The heart palpitations come back. Oh God what if my waters break while Koso is at work? What if something happens while I’m in labour? What if my baby boy doesn’t make it?
Crap. I can’t keep worrying like this. My blood sugars have shot up. This affects him. I’m going to ask my consultant for a c-section. It’s the safest option medically. Safest for him. I don’t care if I tear. I dont care if it hurts. I care if he is in danger because of the placenta coming detatched or the cord falling out first. I don’t want to go to an emergency section where Koso can’t come in (which is very likely with induction – which she already mentioned what she wants to do) I’m sure every women has fears of childbirth it’s natural. But this is too much. I need help. I need an appointment with my therapist again.
Ok. I sort that. I book that. Then yesterday I go back to the consultant. Oh and my fluid index has now rised to 31.9. Ready with what to say. As soon as I mention c section she is not impressed. There are 3 of them staring at me I feel very intimidated. I tell them this. They laugh. I’m not joking. I read most of reasons but she isn’t having it. I say I’m anxious about childbirth too. She asks if I’ve been refered to the mental health pregnancy team. I say I’ve got a private therapist as the waiting list for theirs was months. She asks the midwife if that’s true she says yes. Why would I lie about this?
My throat starts drying up. I point to my water which Koso passes, looking distressed as well. The seats are arranged so he’s on the other side of his room, too far for hand holding. My breath starts shortening and my eyes start getting watery. No. Not now. Come on. Deep breaths. I wish it wasnt so hot. I feel more exposed in just a t shirt. I need my arms covered. I grab my jumper and hold it like a child with a blanket. I can’t listen to what she’s saying properly because my mind starts to go cloudy and fuzzy. Its like I’m underwater and can’t hear what’s going on or breath properly. Concentrate. Concentrate. Its like this women is staring straight into me. She’s very intimidating. I try to say something but I’m all dried up. What is wrong is me? Its just a meeting. With a consultant. Come on, you’re stronger than this. By my son. Why is she being like this. She asks for letter from my therapist for a second opinion if I want a c section for mental reasons. Koso says that’s fine we can get that. I say there are medical reasons but she shuts me down straight away. She can see I’m vulnerable but she doesn’t seem to care. You need proof? Look at me!
Ok now I’m trying extremely hard to hold it in. I mumble I have more questions and just pass her my phone as I can’t really talk. She laughs at the first queation! About the midwife on the antenatal class says to pant at one point in labour but I feel it will make me panic. She passes it to the midwife to answer who kindly says “that’s ok. You do what you’re comfortable with, at this point you can use your breathing techniques.”. Why can’t the midwife be in charge instead of this consultant? A few more questions and she asks if I have any more. I shake my head. She asks Koso and he says no and next thing I know we are sitting outside waiting for the nurse (I need to start insulin). I need to get outside. This corrridoor is so small. Its so hot in here. Why are the walls yellow? Koso is trying to hold me and calm me down but I can’t breath. I need to get outside. Right now before I suffocate. I try to tell Koso. He looks concerned and says it’s cold I need to wear something. I’m so fucking hot I need to get outside NOW! I grab a coat and put in on as I walk out. Outside now. Fresh air. Thank God. My back is turned to the door people can’t see me. I start crying. I can’t breath. Come on. Stop it. In. Out. Deep. In deeply. Out deeply. Through the nose. My nose is blocked. There he is. Standing in front of me. His arms around me now. Breath. Ok. “There’s no need to cry. Everything is ok. Our baby is ok. Everything is alright.” I know. I know. I’m almost in control. This will have to do. We head back in. I see the nurse and keep sniffling as she explains about how to use insulin. She asks a few times if I’m ok. She says she knows it’s stressful if I’ve done everything I can and my blood sugars are still too high. She’s nice. The midwife is nice. The consultant is scary.
Scary? Scary? You’re a grown women how can she be scary? Ok. Imtimidating, patronising, seemingly non empathetic. But not scary. Why am I so upset?
Once we’re home I just want to sleep. I’m exhausted from all the emotion. Koso goes back to work. He’s fine. He’s happy. He’s always happy. Well he’s normal. Later on he doesn’t understand why I’m still so upset. I still can’t find energy to talk loud and move. Move out of bed. Off the bloody sofa. Clean the kitchen. I’m just so exhausted.
I’ve let my son down. I didn’t fight enough for him. I should be giving him the best and safest way of how to come into this world. But I’m not. I’m exposing him to dangers. Too many dangers. I need to give him a better option. But I panicked. Again. It came back. I can’t keep panicking. When I’m with my son I can’t panic. I need to be strong for him.
Yeah I did it. I failed as a Mother already. Why am I so upset? I’m upset cause I’m upset. I’m upset cause I was upset. I was upset cause I was panicking. I was panicking cause I was scared. I was scared because there were too many things to go wrong.
I’m going to have a couple of days with the curtains closed and getting my energy back. Mental and physical. Then I’m going to fight. I can’t be so weak. I can’t continue to let my son down.