Monday, 8 January 2018

Birth and Beyond - How I Really Feel

Just a little a disclaimer that this post talks about trauma and loss.


I thought a thousand times over whether I should press the publish button or not. I started, deleted, restarted this post many times - it was actually supposed to be the first post up on my blog but this topic is something that I have difficulty talking about let alone writing it down and remembering each detail. However, when I started this blog I promised myself that I would be real and honest with my readers so here I am.

Little A was due on March 22nd 2017 and I was due to be induced on March 6th because of my Gestational Diabetes (GD). I had always wanted a natural birth because from my first experience with my first born, I was actually looking forward to it, so everyday I'd wish for her to come on her own as I was honestly petrified of the drip and having artificial hormones given to me in order to kick start labour. I had set myself a milestone of reaching at least 37 weeks which is considered full term as my first had been premature at 32 weeks but things geared up as I got to 36 weeks.

I remember attending my hospital appointment and finalising the details of what was going to happen on the day of my induction, I felt optimistic as the days crept closer and closer but that night my waters broke and off we went to hospital at 2am on 23rd February. I had my examination and it was confirmed that my waters had broken, they decided to keep me in even though I was not contracting as my first labour was fast and the fact that they wanted to monitor my GD. I didn't make it to the 37 week mark and I was absolutely gutted to have been caught out by just one week but kept reminding myself that I was going to meet my baby girl soon and that was all that mattered.

A couple of hours later, I was still not contracting, despite going for long walks, climbing up and down the hospital stairs, bouncing up and down on the birthing ball. Nothing. The doctor decided that they will give my body until 10pm to start labour naturally and if still nothing had happened then they would give me the pill because as the hours swept by the risk of infection increased. Come 10pm, my body just did not want to cooperate, again I felt distraught that I was needing intervention, even if it was just a pill that I had to put under my tongue.

The pill helped to kick start my contractions but they were not intense, I was sent for a walk as apparently that was supposed to help but exercising would stop them, I was only contracting when lying down strapped to a monitor, not your ideal scenario! Another few hours went by and I asked the midwife for an examination and she suggested to give me a sweep thinking it may help - upon doing this she realised something very shocking - only one set of my waters had broken! I had a water bag still intact and that was the reason why I was not contracting properly and the pill wasn't working.

We were both bewildered at the thought of that doctor missing something so obvious when I was first examined. Nevertheless, she proceeded to break my waters for me, contractions came in full swing as I bounced on the birthing ball whilst my husband crunched on crisps and offered me some, no thank you! Another two or three hours went by and I was still not in what they call 'active labour' it was taking absolutely forever. I had written in my birth plan that I didn't want any pain relief, I wanted to do this with just breathing techniques although many a times I'd forget to breathe and would need reminding by the midwife, my husband and sister in law (SIL). I did try and failed at Gas and Air and still don't understand how women manage with that - utterly disgusting!

Up came the morning sun and we had to bid goodbye to the midwife as her shift ended - I was literally begging her not to leave me as she was reassuring me that the new midwife was lovely but I guess I had gained some sort of connection with her and was in the belief that if she'd be there then everything was going to be alright. I will fast forward now to when I had to start to push - this was a breeze with my first born so I wasn't scared but Little A was adamant on staying put.

Every now and then, I'd hear a voice at the door 'Is the baby here yet?' from a member of staff - not helpful! The women who had come after me had their babies and were long gone and I wasn't getting anywhere. Little A reached a point causing the midwife to be concerned, I was absolutely exhausted and there was no progress. SIL would pretend to go to the loo (so I couldn't see her cry) and the husband would keep pacing up and down, walking out of the room and coming back with tears smudged on his cheeks.

We honestly thought we were going to lose Little A too but no one was saying it out loud. A Consultant decided to intervene and told me that they would have to now vacuum her out, I saw the plastic cap being prepared which was going to go on my baby's head, I wasn't having it, I don't know what got into me but I decided that I was not going to let this happen, probably a rush of adrenaline and out came Little A screaming and kicking.

I thought that we had gotten our happy ending and that was it - it wasn't.

Due to my GD her blood sugar levels were really low so they had to take her away, I only had brief moments with her. They took her away like they took my son away from me, my husband had to do the same walk to the NICU that he did with our son in 2015. Yes, the difference was that our son didn't have great chances of survival and she was perfectly healthy but it all brought those memories back.

All throughout my pregnancy with Little A the only thing that got me going was the fact that I would get those precious moments with my baby, what is called 'the golden hour' that I didn't get with my son. I had planned to take several photographs of her moments after her birth but couldn't, we did manage two or three but that wasn't enough, this might sound petty but these little things mattered to me the most.

The husband returned and we just sat there crying, when we were supposed to be smiling and laughing, we were crying.

I was then given the icing on the cake and whisked off to the postnatal ward full of new mothers and their crying newborn babies.

My arms were aching for my baby and I could not hold her. I would look around at the mothers and babies and would think 'it's not fair,'. The only thing I could do now was just exclude myself by drawing the curtains around me and that's what I did. The midwives at the hospital were lovely and understanding but no matter what they said to make me feel better, I couldn't because I just wanted my baby, that's it.

I finally got to meet and hold Little A 10 hours after her birth and I can't put it into words how I was feeling - even though there was sheer happiness inside me, I had this feeling of dread about what was going to happen next. I was adamant on not leaving the hospital without her so when the next day I got the news that only I was being discharged, I was completely broken. I remember leaving the hospital when her brother briefly entered our lives, empty handed and I didn't want that. I didn't want what happened in 2015 to repeat again.

Her blood sugar levels started to get better as I started to feed her, raising my hopes that we would be able to go home together. However, the doctors were not satisfied and decided that she needed to stay and they gave me a bed in the NICU because I wanted to attempt breastfeeding. I couldn't have been more happier thinking that I was going to stay with her.

Unfortunatley that night things took a turn for the unexpected, during the pregnancy I suffered from PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain) and my physiotherapist had measured the amount of cm I was allowed to have my legs open without stressing my pelvis so much. But during Little A's birth I had them planked on those blue things I don't even know what they're called - how else was I supposed to give birth? Due to this, after 15 hours of feeling absolutely fine my body gave up, I couldn't make it to her room for her 4am feed and waited till morning until the husband was allowed in - I was in tears, had lost all control over my body, the husband had to pick me up like a baby and wheelchair me towards A&E.

The Doctors at first thought I suffered spinal injury but then came to the conclusion that it was my pelvis that was in so much stress. It was so bad that when they'd touch me I'd scream in excruciating pain. I was ordered to go home - my worst nightmare was coming true, leaving the hospital without my baby again.

Little A stayed in hospital for a further 3 days because she had ended up with jaundice and in those 3 days I could not even visit her due to my state. When she finally came home, I still could not take care of her as I needed taking care of myself, I was left disabled for over a month. It use to take me more than hour to reach the bathroom from my bedroom and I live in a small flat, I couldn't even raise my feet to go up or down a step, I couldn't turn to my sides whilst in bed and had to stay on my back because if I dared to move even an inch, I'd be in tears from the pain.

I honestly thought that I would never be able to walk properly again.

Nearly a year on, I have others asking me 'when's the next one popping out?' after reading all of the above, how do you think I feel when I get asked?

What's the guarantee that the above won't be repeated for the third time? I know two labours aren't the same and I've experienced that myself. But what about the events that took place after the birth - can you promise me that I won't have to relive those moments where I had my dying son taken away from me again?

I had always wanted two children and I have been pregnant twice and given birth twice - the difference is that people can only see one but that doesn't negate the fact that I do have two children. I had so many hopes about Little A's birth and beyond, I was so sure that things were going to be different this time round, that what happened with her brother being taken away from me, leaving the hospital empty handed was not going to happen. I may sound ungrateful but I guess you'd have to be in my shoes to understand and honestly I don't want you to wear my shoes, I don't want anyone to understand and go through the heartbreak that I have been through, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

I feel bitter, upset, angry and am in tears as I write this but I guess these feelings are what I have to live with now. I had one person say to me 'you're lucky you didn't have to deal with that black sticky poop,' are you serious? I wanted to deal with it. I wanted to change my baby's first nappy and you're calling me lucky?

I'm sorry if this post has upset anyone but there was just no other way to describe what happened and how it impacted me.
Have you had similar feelings?
If so, how did you deal with them?

Thank you for reading.

Brilliant blog posts on Letters to my Daughter


  1. I can't tell you how much i admire you. You're so brave for writing this post because I can't imagine it was easy at all. The fact a home asked you when you were next having a baby after all that is beyond me, people just don't think at all. All you want is your baby when they arrive but when you don't get that it's harrowing. I'm sending all my positivity to you and hoping you are all doing well.

    Jordanne ||

    1. Thanks Jordanne, means a lot to me. It’s still shocking how people don’t think before they speak, it’s such a personal question to ask but is always asked even as a joke. Thank you for stopping by xx

  2. this is so touching, i just could not imagine the feeling, so heartbreaking! I’m so sorry you had to go through that! I bet it’s awful from a mother’s perspective.

    I had a niece, she passed away due to SIDS, my sister, my mum and my whole family were devastated. It’s awful. We got to see her grow for 8 very short weeks until she was taken away. It hurt me from an uncles perspective so god knows how my sister was feeling.

    You are SO incredibly brave and i want you to know that you’re an amazing mother! Both your children will be very proud of you!

    1. I can’t tell you how sorry I am to hear about your niece :( no one should ever go through this heartbreak. Thank you for saying ‘Both your children’ this has made my morning :)

  3. I am so sorry. Life can be so cruel and unfair. I can't begin to imagine how awful this must've been for you, and to then have to semi live through it again, unable to hold your baby. I think you have every right to be angry and hurt. I hope that sharing these feelings can help you to work through them a bit, and I'm sure it will be a comfort to others, knowing that someone else knows how they feel. #blogcrush

    1. Thanks Lucy, I’ve always shut my feelings out but realise that not addressing it isn’t helpful at all. I think a lot of women go through some sort of birth related trauma but it’s not spoken of much because everyone just wants to associate a Birth with nothing but happiness and gold when that’s not always the case unfortunately. Thank you for stopping by x


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