Written In Blood (and Tears!)

One person's climb to (hopefully!) the world of the published novelist…the trials and tribulations of parenthood..and whatever else pops into my head at any given moment!

15 weeks and 2 days…or…mixed emotions

Today was a bit of a milestone, as I attended my first antenatal appointment with the obstetrician and midwives at RDH. Wow. What a couple of hours THAT was!

First of all, they lost my GP referral. It had mysteriously disappeared into a paperwork void, and to get it back, the poor receptionist had to call my doctor to get them to fax it through, who apparently didn’t make this task any easier by giving her the “but i have so much else to do!” speech. Eventually, it did show up and i was allowed to have my appointment as planned.

Enter my lovely midwife, or one of them anyway. In 15 years of having kids at RDH, she was the FIRST one to ask me if I’d had trouble breastfeeding and if so, would I like to see their lactation consultant. Duh, silly question! YES! Maybe, just maybe, this last baby will be the one who’ll take to breastfeeding so I don’t have to go through the “why does she HATE me so much!!!” rollercoaster. Yay!

The usual checks were done; height (152 cm. Apparently I’ve grown two centimetres when i wasn’t looking!) weight (please don’t ask, although I’m losing weight again. This could be a good thing!). Blood pressure (relatively normal but I can’t remember what the figure was right now. I’m blaming placenta brain). Do I drink? Nope. Smoke? Ohhhhh that dreaded question. I answered truthfully and am now waiting for a call from the Quit people who will apparently help me to stop smoking altogether. I’m doing well and have managed to cut down significantly, but would like to stop. My midwife’s exact words were, “It’s ok. You have time.” God bless her. I do love a midwife who wants to help, and not nag. nagging makes me want to punch them in the nose.

Next up, the obstetrician, a lovely lady who I took an immediate liking to. I’ll be seeing her again, hopefully!
She ran through all my previous notes and such things, wrote out referrals for more blood tests, the screening test for Down’s Syndrome (both of which I had today), and my morphology scan. We had a quick chat about my previous births and was told “we wouldn’t allow you to have anything BUT a c-section.” Apparently the emergency c-section incision that I had when Emily was born extended so far, well.. south (to put it nicely) that there’s no way I’ll be able to deliver naturally again. I’m having a few mixed feelings about this.

1. Prepared: I knew that this was going to happen. I didn’t know exactly how badly Emily’s section had been messed up but according to my obstetrician who looked after my last pregnancy, it was bad enough for him to put “natural delivery’ and ‘bleed to death’ in the same sentence, hence the elective c-section that I had with Natalie. I’d just assumed it would be the case with this baby too. I was right. Today, I found out exactly how bad it was. Oh. My. God.  It’s no wonder I was on the table for as long as I was. WOW.  I’d like to avoid that this time, please.

2. Disappointed: Despite being totally mentally prepared for the c-section conversation, I’m still feeling a little disappointed. Not for me so much, I’ve done the natural delivery thing twice already, but for hubby. He has never witnessed such an amazing event as a natural birth. I sort of feel like I’ve robbed him of that experience.

3. Relieved: I don’t like pain. I don’t like labour pain at ALL. Saying that, I delivered Chelsea without drugs or anything. Still hurt like a son of a bitch though.

4. Fearful: I know there’s nothing to be scared of. This will be my 3rd section and I know exactly what’s in store. I know about the spinal anaesthetic, the drips, the drapes, the ridiculous amount of people in the room.  I know how cold the anaesthetist and surgeon’s hands will be and how soothing I find that. I know how weird it feels to suddenly lose sensation from your chest downwards.  I know exactly when to ask my anaesthetist for drugs to stop me throwing up. I know how odd it is to lie on that table, staring up at those HUGE lights thinking, “any minute now and I’ll hear her cry.” I know the tugging and pulling sensations I’ll feel.  I know how cold I’ll be after surgery and how much I’ll want that “straight out of the warmer” blanket that I love so much. I don’t know why I’m so scared.

5. Sad: I also know that I won’t be able to hold the baby immediately after birth. I know that skin to skin contact with her/him will be practically impossible without a LOT of help. Remind me to ask my doctor about that…maybe there’s a way. I also know that breastfeeding on an operating table is not always the best idea.

6. Optimistic: One MAJOR upside to this is that I’ll know EXACTLY when the baby is going to make his/her arrival into the world. This means I can go grocery shopping with the family and make sure they have everything they need. I can be 100% ready to go on the day of the surgery without worrying that I’ve forgotten to pack something essential like underwear. Don’t laugh, it happens! I also won’t have to call my Mom at some insane time of the night to come and pick up the girls. I guess a planned c-section isn’t all THAT bad. I’d rather deliver naturally and preferably without drugs. But, if I could bleed to death, what’s the point? At the end of it, I’ll have a lovely baby either way; that’s what’s important.

I have to see my midwife again in about 5 weeks. Problem is, when I went to make the appointment, the poor receptionsist (again) said that she couldn’t book it yet because they don’t have their calendars up yet for December. I’m convinced the girl is going to have to go on stress leave soon! I assured her that it was OK, and that I’d call after I’d had my scan to make the second appointment. She was undoubtedly relieved!

I’m also really tired of saying he/she all the damn time. We’ve nicknamed the baby Squishy so from now on that’s what I’ll use until such times as we find out the gender. I have my morphology scan booked for the 16th December, so we’ll find out then IF Squishy’s in the right position and wants to tell us!

My arm hurts from today’s blood tests, but other than that, I feel fine. I’m over the cold that really knocked me down last week, and am feeling FAR more human. I’m still sooo tired, but am hoping that the energy levels will pick back up soon. I’m not as nauseated although I did have a moment this morning when I felt a little woozy and sick. It’s passed now, probably because I’ve eaten. *Note to self: Do not allow yourself to get hungry!*

I’ve been feeling movement for the past week or so too. It’s tiny but it’s definitely there. Amazing. Fifteen short weeks ago there was a clump of cells growing inside me. Now Squishy is a tiny, perfect human being, no bigger than my hand. Five pregnancies and I still can’t get over how incredible this journey is.

Hormonally Yours,

Jacqui

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