Now I’m no tree hugging, sling wearing drug free birth advocator however I truly wanted a VBAC which for novice parents is a virginal delivery after a previous section. My thoughts on it were the recovery time was much quicker than another section. It’s actually in my novice opinion less painful on a long term scale and it’s less traumatic if the VBAC does smoothly. So ideally a BVAC was a good option-having a toddler at home changes your priorities too.
When you’ve got medical complications (Diabetes in my case) the NHS don’t sit back and let things go with the flow...oh no. You see I was blessed to be under a trusted team of medics who were planning my every move...from my insulin doses to my pending birth. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go post 38 weeks-Diabetics rarely do so. I’d be induced-the word that causes many women to have bad sweats, sleepless nights and some even go off their food and into a depression.
So inducing what the hell is it? To cut my own story short it’s when your medical team artificially ‘ripen’ your cervix or manage to ‘break your waters’ to bring on contractions. Sounds pretty damn easy and uncomplicated right? However there are many things that the medical team are considering and you should too. Firstly if you are being induced with a Pessary (a tiny tablet placed in the cervix region to ripen it) it can take up to 24 hours to see progress. You will have internal examinations during this time. They don’t hurt but they are UNCOMFORTABLE and to some extent you wish it was over before it’s even started. A Midwife usually places the pessary in. And if your cervix is ‘favorable there is a chance the Midwife could ‘break your waters’ with a small hook (think crochet hook). This is usually enough to bring on contractions. However if you are not contracting regularly or are not establishing labour at a rate that will help you you will be put onto a Hormone drip which basically causes contractions in MOST cases (yes not all). The hormones are started at 1.5 and move up the scale in dominations of one every half an hour up to 9. Most women are told they will need to be cranked up to 9 before they see contractions. Not a problem as you want the baby out. What some don’t tell you in these CONTRACTIONS ARE INTENSE. They are literally back to back...quick successions with not much time in between to catch your breath. The pain is there...and most of the time you are expected to just breathe through it.
So after having my waters broken at 2PM I was monitored and at 7PM I was attached to the Drip. By 10PM I was feeling the contractions but the monitor wasn’t recording anything major happening. I was told that because my Blood Pressure was rising if I hadn’t made progress by 2AM I would be having a section. By 1AM my BP was rising sharply and the decision was made to check me over and prep me for the section. These words were the ones I really didn’t want to here...and who would realistically?
So after being told my cervix was doing nothing I was prepared for the inevitable. Its never easy to accept things that go against what you prepared your mind for; and if the truth be known I had a gut feeling about the Induction in essence failing and having to go for a section AGAIN. However I was practicing PMA-Positive Mental Attitude. I believed in the positive and happy and prepared mentally for a long tiring birth but with the light at the end of the tunnel being the idea that 12 hours after having baby I would be able to go home to my family. But it didn’t work out like that.
So a few minutes past 3AM and we became the parents of a baby girl...weighing in at 3.4KG. We have yet to decide on names however we plan to register her next week. In the UK you have 42 days to register a birth giving any family ample time to decide on names. I seriously think this is the most important first step for any parents-after all you are giving your child a name they will be known by for life. It’s not like picking a lunch box which once broken you will replace-it’s there identification.
During this birth I had Gas & Air and a Local Anesthetic (I had an Epidural with our first baby). The Gas helped me through the examinations and the quick and strong contractions. The other pain killer was a must if you wanted to remain ‘awake’ to see baby being born..well to an extent. To be honest the team around me and the assistance they provided was brilliant. I’m not sure if there are many countries in the world were citizens can boast about their Government Hospitals doing such a good job however the reality is Tax Payers fund them so they are not FREE as some in other countries make out. Am I a Tax Payer? As a SAHM at present I no longer pay Tax luckily my partner does. Do I feel bad about using the NHS whilst not being a Tax Payer from Migrant grandparents? No; as I see if my status as a Non-Tax payer is a temp one. I started working at the age of 16 (alongside College) and never claimed benefits such as JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) and became a SAHM when I turned 28. That to me is a long stretch of employment and should demonstrate that I believe in working but as it is at present being at home full time makes more sense than working. Have you seen Childcare costs? Daylight robbery. Charities are rallying together to solve world Poverty. Truth is that’s an important cause however if we don’t fix the problems within the UK e.g. making it viable for Mothers to return to work to improve their families quality of life we will see more of the UK dip into Poverty. No I’m not over thinking things; I’m being realistic. But that’s another Blog entry for another day.
After five nights in Hospital (which I just about managed) we were released home. I felt like I was behind bars in Hospital but we were kept in because the Hospital were convinced little one had an infection. Now little one does have a complication of two-if I said she has Reflux my regular readers will be mumbling ‘AGAIN?’. Yes it’s true Munchys little sister has the problem as her. No biggie; a quick diagnosis and we are on Wysoy milk,Infant Gaviscon and Ranitidine (Zantac). It’s working for us at the moment...so it’s good. We’ve added Colief drops as little one had quite bad Colic but as a lot of parents will know Colief if reduced for little ones from 3-4 months. A Reflux baby means we will be weaning early...in fact from around 16 weeks. That means we have about 13 1/2 weeks to go! Really time does go by quickly.
So that’s about it for now...I’m not the Mother of two girls. As if stands I feel my family is complete. Will I change this train of thought in a year or twos time? I doubt it. What about 5 years time? Maybe; but at 35 won’t I be ‘past it’ for having babies? Time shall be the greatest test for me. I have a lot planned for myself over the next two years...I know that sounds selfish however my plans are to better myself and carve out my writers career. I’m not getting any younger however my experience of life are definitely building up and I could share a tale or two.
If there are any Mamas reading this wondering where the advice element is of this entry here goes;
- please please please rest when your baby rests if this is at all possible!
- If you have had a section is it NOT the end of the world; you will survive but please listen to your Doctor/Nurse if they are telling you to take it easy/easier.
- Consider taking post pregnancy vitamins-vitamin B complex is always a good one to look into for energy purposes.
- Avoid too much caffiene if you can.
- Take ALL help offered to you. There really is no shame in taking help.
- If your little one was born during nice weather PLEASE make the most of the outdoors if you can. Fresh air really does help with the Baby Blues (NOT PND-that's different).
- Keep life as simple as possible for at least the first 6 weeks possibly up to 12 weeks where most parents start to feel human again.
- Understand you will feel guilty about leaving your baby, or not spending time with your partner or other children.
- Hug your partner-it really will make you feel good.
- Try and remember that any phase is only that-a Phase.
- Babies change ALOT in the first year espeically in the first 16 weeks. As they grow their sleep stretches to longer spells so there is hope for all Mamas who need more sleep!
- Take as many photos as you can-I look back on the photos of Munchy and wonder when she started to grow THAT quickly when the truth is she was always growing I was too busy being her parent to assess as I went along.
- Don't even bother comparing your child to other people's bundles-you will go mad at the white lies some people tell to make their child seem like a Angel 24/7.
- Try and join a parent and baby group-for your own sanity.
I’m not sure when I will next be Blogging friends so I would like to wish my Muslim Readers a Blessed Ramadan and Eid. I plan to be blogging by Christmas so I won’t be wishing my Christian readers that just yet.
Got a question about my birth story? Or a blog entry suggestion? Let me know below.
Munchy and her little sisters Mama..xx