Archive | April, 2017

Having my baby boy broke me down to build me up 

24 Apr

I always wanted 3 children and my husband and I had a grand plan to have our third once the oldest was 5 and the youngest 3 but as ever, the universe had other plans. Our not so fail proof method of contraception obviously didn’t work and I found out I was pregnant in January 2016. The timing was not ideal as we certainly weren’t ready, but life dealt us this blessing and I was determined to enjoy it.

For some strange reason, I felt that this particular baby was going to be a boy. A boy that was going to bring me my final piece of healing, I’ve mentioned in previous posts about my brother passing away when I was 10 and he was 7 in a tragic accident. I have never healed from him being gone and the memories surrounding my sweet brother are still very raw. Having children impacted me so much, more than I could imagine. I was now seeing the loss of my brother through my mum’s eyes and all of a sudden It bacame the loss of a son. It made me desperate for a boy, perhaps part of my healing was getting a piece of my little brother back with a son.

I couldn’t wait to find out what I was having, I booked myself in for a 4D scan at 16 weeks. The night before I felt sick with nerves, when the sonographer told me we were having boy I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it. My family was complete, our new arrival would be with us on September 13th 2016

This pregnancy seemed a lot harder. I was sick, more tired and everything felt like an effort. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was over it, I needed to get this baby out!

I had decided on another home birth, it seemed so strange to even think about going into hospital now as I’d had my second at home. My pool was up, towels ready and his cot was ready to go.

The only thing that wasnt ready was the baby. I found myself a week overdue and all attempts to get baby out had failed. It was midnight 20th September, the day I calculated I would be due. Right at that moment I had my first contraction, they started mild and I timed them to be sure. I woke my husband, got out of bed and walked around the house. I called my mum as I wanted her to be at the birth, we then called the midwife. At that point I felt fine and was just doing normal things and my husband joked that I should try to look a bit more ‘in labour’ as she was on her way. I felt relaxed and was coping well during each contraction. With each one I would say to myself “to the top, to the top and down” as the intensity faded. The midwife arrived and checked me, I was 3cm. I told her my last baby was born an hour and half after this point, so she promptly called the second midwife. We hadn’t filled the pool yet so we needed to get on with that. As the pool filled the hot water ran out. We filled it as much as we could and I got in. The level of the water wasn’t high enough to deliver in, so the final minutes of labour was spent by mum and dad running champagne buckets of hot water from downstairs.
Not long after I got in to water the contractions got really intense and the time between each one was practically nothing.

This was way harder than my last labours, I couldn’t catch my breath, it felt like I’d been induced. I got to a point where I thought this is where people start asking for drugs. I knew I had to get this baby out. I started pushing and for the first time I actually made noise. The contractions were so strong that it made me loose focus of my baby coming. The midwife said we needed the level of the water to be higher for the birth. I could feel baby’s head crowning but my mum was down stairs getting more water so I shouted for her as I didn’t want her to miss it. She ran up, poured the last bucket of water in and with one final push he was here.

My dad came in and was filled with emotion, it was such a special thing to see, but as I sat with him in my arms the emotion that I expected to feel was not there. In fact I felt numb.

who is this baby? Why doesn’t he look like my brother ? Everything seemed surreal and not as I’d imagined. There wasn’t time for me to gather my emotions and process the event and I instantly felt down, I felt disconnected. I had put so much expectation on this moment, the healing I thought it would bring, the joy of a son, the connection between the heavens and the earth were all false. For the first time in a long time my happy spirit was shattered.

20th September 2016, Venice Steven was born, weighing 8.6lb

I tried to create my feelings but i realised that my state of mind wasn’t in a place of positivity. Everyone and everything around me went back to normality but I was left feeling even more broken. I guess to anyone I looked fine on the outside, like I had everything under control but It couldn’t have been further from the truth, I just wanted to run away and the following days were spent in floods of tears, the overwhelming guilt I felt towards my sweet baby boy, he instantly loved me, instantly needed me and I couldn’t give him the true ‘me’.

The weeks went by and my health visitor saw I was struggling and suggested I see the doctor. The Doctor prescribed me anti-depressants and referred me for counselling. I started to feel some hope. I had eventually reached out for some professional help. I realised it wasn’t fair for me to expect the birth of my son to fix the years of ‘bottled up’ grief I had over losing my brother.

After picking up my prescription I decided against the drugs as the thought of any of it going into my breast milk felt like too much of a risk but one particular day was really difficult, i gave in and took one. I couldn’t believe the immediate effect it had on my body, I felt sick, dizzy, tingling in my arms, anxious and I cried uncontrollably. I was shaking so much I couldn’t even hold my baby. I was told to keep taking the pills for 2 weeks before the positive effects would kick in and my body would calm down. There was no way I even thought I would be alive by the end of 2 weeks if It was going to be like this, so I didn’t take another. I had to get better, I didn’t want to carry on like this during what was meant to be the most precious time.
The positive… was feeding him.I breast fed my second daughter till the day before he was born. She seemed quite happy at 3 years old to eventually give up ‘boo boo’ to her new brother. (What a relief) Rolling from one child to the next meant no pain what so ever. It was very easy and was one less thing to worry about.

I have since started seeing a therapist and being open about it with close friends and family has moved me forward towards happiness, I’ve realised that somethings can never be replaced and rather than filling a crack that will reappear the best option is to actually strip it all back and rebuild it properly and any new things that are added to our life needs a place purpose built for it.

I now look at my boy and everything is worth it. The struggles in those early months, as hard as they were, I’m kind of glad I went through it to realise the love I have for my little boy. I’m his mum and he loves me regardless of how I’m feeling, every smile is a reminder of the blessing I’ve been sent and I’m determined to love him with all that I am. I guess in a way he is bringing my healing, just not in the way I thought, maybe I needed to be broken to be built back up again stronger.

Three babies, each one handing me new experiences, new challenges, new reasons to live, a new focus on life, a new reason to be happy and sad all at the same time. Having children wrecks the heart; nothing in the world makes you feel every emotion all at once. There is no miracle like the miracle of becoming a Mother.