In April 2012 I had 3 nights in a row where I struggled to sleep. I felt really anxious and just weird. By the third night at 3am I all of a sudden thought “OMG I’m pregnant again! .
I would’ve been super excited but I was very nervous, only 4 months earlier I had an ectopic pregnancy. (Here is a definition from Wikipedia) An ectopic pregnancy, or eccysis, is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity. With rare exceptions, ectopic pregnancies are not viable. Furthermore, they are dangerous for the mother, since internal haemorrhage is a life-threatening complication. Most ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube (so-calledtubal pregnancies), but implantation can also occur in the cervix, ovaries, and abdomen. An ectopic pregnancy is a potential medical emergency, and, if not treated properly, can lead to death.Unfortunately I had a tube removed because it was too damaged from the baby trying to implant in the tube and the endometriosis I have. (I’ll explain and talk about endometriosis in a post soon.)
I had similar symptoms when I found out I was pregnant then so my first thought was ectopic in the other side. But fortunately I got the all clear and it was time for round 2 to begin.
With this pregnancy I had shocking reflux from 6 weeks especially at night. Everything I ate made it worse, so it was a process of elimination. Dairy, spices, certain fruits and veg would give me grief. I slept every night on four pillows, my dad said I looked like a half open pocket knife.It was difficult getting the rest I needed with a toddler but I think that took my mind of the nausea. I didn’t really have time to feel sick maybe that’s why I felt worse at night when she had gone to bed??
Fortunately I found kinesiology and it changed my pregnancy and my life!! I still don’t fully understand how it works but it worked for me. Most women suffer reflux and heartburn at the end of the pregnancy due to hormones relaxing the valve at the top of the stomach and also the pressure on your digestive system. I got better and better as the pregnancy went on thanks to kinesiology my diet and supplements.
This pregnancy ran pretty smoothly, I had a few trips to the hospital with bleeding but it was all normal. They thought I may have had a low lying placenta but that all sorted itself out too.
I had gone off my anti anxiety/anti depressants when I found out I was pregnant, as I was feeling really good and was still having check ups with my GP. However about 4 months from my due date I started to freak out, the thought of going through the mental pain I did with Olivia terrified me so after long talks with my GP, OB and husband we decided going back on a low dose would be the best for the baby and myself. Once again it could’ve been placebo but just knowing I was taking control of the situation and I was open and honest with my family I didn’t feel ashamed or like a failure for needing medication. I knew it wasn’t my fault it was hormones and it was brave and kinda clever of me to know when I needed help.
I practiced baby yoga throughout the pregnancy and found this amazing!!! I didn’t do it for exercise but more for my mind, relaxation and bonding with my baby. Yoga taught me so many things about a woman’s body through pregnancy and labour. It still spins me out that we can grow a person, that is pretty bloody awesome!! Go us!! Anyways, I also did light weight training just to strengthen my body overall but also for my mind, you can’t beat natural endorphins.
With 7 weeks to go we had a 3 week holiday on the Gold Coast in Mermaid Beach and it was just what I needed. I was very lucky that Jonathan got up to Olivia every morning and I slept for 2-3 hours everyday when Liv did. I’m an amazing sleeper I must say, that’s where our kids get it from, ha ha. However there was one day, my lovely husband decided we were going to go for lunch with friends who were staying with us, which was great but he also thought it would be a great idea to walk because it was only a km up the road. 2 fucking hours later after me stopping every few 100m’s having braxton hicks contractions and being told by our friend to harden up we arrived. I contemplated calling a cab to get home but I felt a little lazy, after all I had just over a month before the baby was due, right??
It was sat 2nd of Nov I woke up feeling amazing, probably the best I’d felt all pregnancy!!! I had been playing on the whole pregnancy thing… ” Can someone please go down the street and get me some lunch? I’m pregnant, I need to rest”. My mum and dad were up for the weekend, so everyone was rolling their eyes at me being dramatic. I even rang my dad who was in another room in our house and asked him to get me a drink, I’m funny.
So mum and I were lying on my bed watching the Derby day races and due to my very very busy day, I needed a nap. Olivia was with her uncle so I was enjoying some free time. I was in a beautiful sleep when I woke up suddenly and felt a pop. I felt fluid coming out and thought I had wet my pants. Are you kidding me?!? I’m lying down ASLEEP, not even sneezing or laughing and I’m wetting the bed… awesome. I stood up and soon realised my waters had broken, that is seriously a lot of fluid we carry around.
So wrapped in a bath towel we were off to the hospital, my dad was freaking out and desperate to call an ambulance. He thought the baby was going to just slide out in the car, he’s seen way too many movies. If only it was that easy. “Dad I’m not even contracting, just relax”
We walked into the reception of the Mater Mothers Hospital and I was looking ever so glamorous. I was still in my nightie, I had a big brown towel wrapped around me like a nappy and I think I had thongs on.It was 4pm on a Saturday I was there in perfect time for the antenatal classes that were doing tours through reception. Hopefully I didn’t freak anyone out.
I was nervous due to this all happening 4 weeks before my due date but at that point I still wasn’t in labour. They sent me up to a room and if labour didn’t start on it’s own they would get it started the next morning. My friends Bri and Sarah came up to visit and bring me some labour essentials, toothbrush, undies, magazines and a packet of mint slice.(I was eating a packet of Mint Slice everyday in the last few weeks, so bad but so good!!) I kinda hadn’t packed my bag, my mum had been at me all day to pack and I kept saying yeah yeah plenty of time. I had agreed to do it after my nap, ooopsy. Should’ve listened to mum, Murphy’s law.
The girls were probably there for an hour and my dear friend Sarah who is a very organised teacher, informed me that my contractions were 6 minutes apart, “nope, I’m not in labour” I kept saying. Once I started humming and doing yoga moves on the floor they thought it was time for them to leave. The midwife came in and witnessed some of my moves on all fours and said “I’m sorry sweetheart but when women is doing the things your doing it’s time to go to labour and delivery”. I couldn’t believe how fast everything was happening, the experience was already better than with Liv and it had only just begun.
Once in the labour ward the pain started getting really intense so I opted for an epi. My OB checked me and said your 6cms I’ll come back in an hour it we will have a baby. What? Really? Anyway an hour later he came back, got ready and said it was time to push. I concentrated on one stop in the room and got my Zen on. 4 pushes his head was out, I was sitting up watching it all happen (not with a mirror that is an angle I do not want to see) The cord was twice around his neck so I wasn’t able to let the cord stop pulsing by itself but the OB was straight onto that and I was fortunate enough to be able to reached down and deliver him myself. To be the first person to touch our baby and to bring him into the world was unbelievable, a moment I will never forget.
He was on my chest skin on skin but he just wouldn’t cry, the Dr was doing everything but the little bugger would not let out a peep. They took him and gave him some oxygen to be safe but knowing him now, he just doesn’t cry, unless of course he’s hungry like his dad or tired like his mumma. We had a healthy 5 pound 8 baby boy and I was over the moon. I couldn’t believe how different I felt, I told Jonathan I could give birth again the next day it was so amazing. He thought I was delusional but I was serious.
Feeding with Jack was still hard for the first month but I saw a lactation consultant and she was fantastic. I was open to giving him formula when he was still hungry until my milk supply increased or when he was going through a growth spurt. I will talk further about feeding in a future post.
This brings me back to my original post, did I have PND or PTSD?? Or were my expectations different because I was expecting or prepared for the worst?? I honestly think I just let go of expectations, I didn’t fight the feelings of PND coming back, I just acknowledged it and talked to the people I needed to and did what I felt was best. I didn’t worry what anyone would think because at the end of the day it’s me who needs to live with it and really it’s no-one else’s business.
I am so blessed to have had such and amazing experience and can’t wait for round 3 and maybe even 4 🙂