Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lucy's birth story

35 weeks pregnant

At our weekly appointment the Obstetrician had a chat with us as to how I was coping and offered to induce me at 37 weeks rather than 38 weeks. Needless to say we jumped at that idea. We really felt that our baby would be safer born rather than cooking inside me for longer. The idea of being able to see and touch her was just more reassuring than going along blindly hoping all was well in the womb.

36 + 5 weeks pregnant

I had an appointment booked in order to be given an internal exam to check if I was dilated. Given this was my fourth baby it was expected that I would be, which would mean I just needed to turn up on the day of induction. If not I would need to be admitted the day before I was due to be induced to be given the gel to ‘ripen’ my cervix. My cervix wasn’t dilated and I in fact needed two doses of gel, an unusual scenario for a fourth time mama! We had a bit of an awkward moment when the doctor, inserting the gel (i.e. hand inside me), and my husband realized they played basketball against each other and were discussing mutual friends! Well a bit awkward and weird for me but the doctor was really sensitive and lovely about the whole situation.

When we realized the gel was not going to start labour I sent brendon home. I spent the night with regular hour long monitoring to ensure our baby was doing ok. The nurse looking after me always sat with me for the entire time I was being monitored and told me what was happening with the monitoring and gave me lots of reassurance. I was extremely nervous, we were so close yet the biggest hurdle of all was in front of us.

37 weeks, Lucy’s birth day

The morning was spent with me nervously pacing my room, Brendon joining me up to weird groups on facebook (and seriously confusing our friends in the process), and my Aunty trying to distract me from my nervousness. The labour ward was too busy for them to be able to take me up to get my waters broken so it was a waiting game.

Finally about lunch time we moved up to the labour ward. Things happened really quickly from here on in. The doctors came in for a chat and we agreed to just go for it, meaning we weren’t going to ease into the induction too slowly, I just wanted to go for it. After this discussion I had a big crisis of confidence that had me spinning. I knew I needed to be calm going into labour but I just couldn’t control my negative thoughts. I decided to ask my friend Amanda for reassurance as she ‘knows’ things. Just as I expected she was right on it. As soon as I heard from her I was able to trust that things were going to be ok.

There was a shift change just at the time the drip was going to be inserted and my new midwives came in to introduce themselves. They couldn’t have been more perfect for the kind of birth I wanted. They were so lovely and so on board with our plans for a calm, intervention free birth. They reminded me of my friends and we all clicked with them immediately.

My contractions started fairly soon after the drip was inserted and Brendon and I found our groove easily. We slipped into our routine that we’d successfully used for Millie’s and Lola’s births. About 15 minutes in I suddenly felt elated; I knew Lola was right there with me. I smiled to myself and enjoyed every second of feeling her so close for the first time since we’d said goodbye to her. I think she was there to help me through and to make sure Lucy arrived safely.

About 45 minutes into the labour I started to say things like “I can’t do this anymore” and “I’ve had enough”, a sure sign that I am in transition but I didn’t believe it, it was way too soon. Everyone around me did though as they started bustling about the room preparing for Lucy’s arrival and then I did too when I realized I was pushing!

Lucy arrived with a thud on the table. She was born so quickly that no one was ready to catch her. The midwife announced with a chuckle “…and she’s here”. I asked over and over again “Is she ok?” and was reassured over and over that she was perfect. Every body in the room was crying. They all knew the journey we’d had to get to this point and everybody’s emotions reflected that. Brendon just clung to us and cried. He kissed me over and over again telling me how proud he was of me and how beautiful Lucy was. I desperately tried to see her face, I love that they put her straight on to my chest but I also really wanted to look at her properly and see for myself that she was fine. Instead I just kept asking if she was ok.

It was so amazing, Lucy’s birth, the perfect way to finish off our family. Lucy is just so divine; she has been medicine for our family. I feel really strongly that there is a very strong connection between Lola and Lucy. I think that Lola is a part of Lucy and I think that Lucy is here because of Lola.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Road trippin

We went on a ten day babymoon* to Anglesea, right at the start of the Great Ocean Road, in our caravan. Many mentioned they thought this was an ambitious plan with a newborn and it kinda was but only because lil Lucy worries me a lot with her health issues. We were unable to take her outside the caravan hardly at all as her eczma became so bad and was agravated by the beach it seemed. I'm glad we went though. The big kids had such a great time and it was really nice to see them so carefree and loving the freedom staying in a caravan park can afford kids.

I must admit that I have been fairly certain that I have post-natal depression/anxiety. I have been feeling consumed with fear about every little thing. Lucy sleeping, awake, feeding, not feeding, vomiting, her skin, a cough, it all sends me into a panic. As well as the rest of my family like when I couldn't spot Brendon out in the surf. However today feels like a new start. It is our first day home and Lucy suddenly looks to me like she is thriving and i feel a lot more relaxed about us all. It could be an avoidance tactic as I really don't want to talk to my doctor or MCHN about how I have been feeling, I feel a bit embarassed and I guess I also dont want to face up to the possibility.

*Babymoon - like a honeymoon but after a new baby is born rather than after your wedding

By the way, it is kinda hard to keep up with my writing with a newborn as well as two big kids. I am BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!

This photo is from right after Lucy Rose joined us earthside! It is a teaser and a promise that my next post will be her birth story. It was AMAZING!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lola and Lucy

Lola would have been 18 months old today. (Yes I am still counting the months as they go by)

Lucy is three weeks old.

The last three weeks have seen us continue our life on the rollercoaster. Lucy has been in and out of hospital with an infection, her weightgain was minimal, we had feeding issues and the skin on her hand has been damaged by the IV antibiotics possibly requiring plastic surgery sometime down the track. My anxiety has been enormous, I felt like I was failing my baby and that I am incapable of taking care of her. My confidence as a mother took a massive blow.

But Lucy is well again now, in fact she seems to be thriving, and I am regaining my confidence through positive self talk prompted by my caring friends and family.

Lucy is so divine, I am losing hours, days just holding her close and looking at her. I adore watching her big brother and sister dote on her. Millie is so proud of being a big sister and tells people randomly at every opportunity. Jackson waits till noone is looking and then covers her in kisses.

I imagined this time to be just the bliss and happiness. Someone told me our grief would be easier to bear when our baby arrived and they were right. I, however, took those words to mean that our grief would disappear. I can see now that that was naive. It is impossible for our grief that Lola is not here to disappear. It underpins all of our life with Lucy. It makes the bliss more blissful, the happiness happier but it also amplifies the anxiety, worry and fear. Lola is constantly in our minds and so much of our journey with Lucy makes us think of Lola.

When things are good (i.e. when my kids are healthy and well) they are amazing. Lucy has brought so much joy and hope to all of us. There is, however, a little part deep inside me that is constantly worrying that it will all be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.