My birth story miss j

Birth story Miss J

Whilst going through my old files on my computer I came across my birth stories I wrote a few weeks after giving birth to my children. I wrote both these stories whilst they were fresh in my mind and I’m so glad I did as reading through now there so much I had forgotten. I love a good birth story and could listen to people talk about them forever. To give birth or to be part of someones birth story is such a raw look into someone in such an intimate way. When giving birth you can not try to be anyone else but yourself and you see your partner in a whole new way. My husband was a wonderful support through both my labours, but the person who helped me the most was my sister, but unfortunately I pushed her away before my epidural with my daughter as I wanted mine and my husbands first birth to just be us two.

A couple of days before my due date I had started to have contractions on and off, but every time I went to bed, things seemed to stop. I was getting extremely exhausted and frustrated waiting for things to kick off properly. By the Thursday at 40 weeks 4 days my contractions finally started to get regular at about 4 minuets apart and we decided to leave for the hospital once my husband had finished watching football. I was checked over by a midwife and was told I was 2cm dilated and was sent home. At the time my husband didn’t drive so we went back to my sister’s house and I attempted to get some sleep. By 5am things were just getting too uncomfortable so we headed back to hospital where I was checked again and told I was 1cm! How was I managing to go backwards was beyond me and I was feeling really disheartened. The midwife did a horrendous stretch and sweep and I was sent home with some co-codomol. I spent Friday at home bouncing about on my birthing ball, in the bath and trying to get some rest for the impending birth.

37 weeks. I still had 4 weeks left of growing.

By evening I was unable to cope at home and was feeling so much pain in my back that we went back to hospital where I was examined again and was told I was 3cm and I was admitted onto the labour ward. I was desperate for a water birth, but both pools were occupied so I settled for a bath, but I just couldn’t relax and felt like I wanted to walk about. I was told by the midwife that the baby was back to back and with things slowing down again I was moved to the ward and my husband was sent home.

By Saturday morning I was exhausted, fed up and desperate for this baby to be out. We spent the morning walking up and down the stairs and taking many laps of the hospital. I was contracting well, but all in my back so we went back to the ward and I was given pethidine. By evening my husband had to be sent home again and I was crying in the ward feeling defeated and alone. I was given sleeping tablets and co-codamol, but the pain was just horrendous and all I could do was sit upright and try to breath through the pain. At around 3am I tried to force myself to eat some toast, as by this point I hadn’t eaten properly in days. Whilst eating my toast through contractions I had a spider crawl up my neck and had to be saved by a fellow patient who had given birth earlier that day, I was so jealous that she had her baby already and I was still stuck in this state.

Through the early hours of the morning a mum in my ward being observed, who I actually knew from my clubbing days (not how we had spent 3am Sunday morning a few years earlier), sat with me and helped me through my contractions until my husband was able to get to the hospital. I remember my husband calling me at 7am and asking if I wanted a Macdonald’s breakfast, I told him to fuck off and hurry up. My husband arrived at about 8am with my sister and tried to get me to calm down. I was in quiet a state and pethidine hadn’t taken the edge off at all. My sister was finding it very upsetting to see me in so much pain. My contractions came very 2 minuets and felt like someone was snapping my spine in half. I felt let down by the midwives as I was still in the ward with no access to gas and air and they didn’t seem to have the time to help me. At 9am I kicked up a huge fuss and insisted I was having an epidural, which was something I didn’t really want to have. One of the nice midwives checked me and I was still only 3cm dilated, but she phoned delivery suit and told a white lie that I was 4cm. My sister left me and my husband to it and it really started to sink in that we had a baby coming into this world very soon.

Miss J’s first picture

Once up in delivery suit I was quickly prepped for my epidural and I remember them telling me to let them know when I was contracting so they could stop. I can tell you now I didn’t tell them when I was contracting and didn’t move a muscle until that epidural was in. Within 20 minuets I was numb, I was put on a drip to speed things up and I went to sleep for three hours. At 3pm I was checked and was 4cm and they broke my water and I wasn’t checked again until 5pm when I was 10cm. The midwife said that the head still needed to move down so I had another nap until they woke me and told me to push. Two pushes later and about 10 minuets Miss J was born into this world. She was perfect, pink and looked like one of those babies born in soap where they look a good few weeks old already. She weighed a healthy 7ib 13oz and immediately pooed on me. She latched on perfectly at a few minuets old and took her first feed from me. We got a few hours to ourselves in the delivery suit where we took in every second, looking over our beautiful little girl.

The next day we were discharged and we took our beautiful little girl home to start are life as a family of three. Those memories I have us all are so special to me and something I will never forget.

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The shock of a baby boy after a girl

The shock of a boy baby after a girl

I was blessed with the most beautiful, content and well and truly cooked 41 week baby in 2012. After a tough and long labour (3 days), pethidine twice and an epidural Miss J was welcomed into this world and placed into my arms. She honestly looked like one of the 8 week old babies born in EastEnders, she was pink, plump, awake and stunning. She latched immediately after birth and just seemed to know exactly what she was doing.

Miss J was the perfect first baby and did everything by the book. She breastfed well and was happily sleeping through the night by five weeks. When other mums were talking about how exhausted they were I felt a little smug that I must have been doing something right with this perfect bundle of joy I had.

Miss J was a well behaved toddler and if I said no she would listen. She took her first steps on her 1st birthday and within a couple of months was more than happy to go on outside walks with me whilst holding onto my hand.  She always seemed older than she was with her long hair in bunches and sitting playing with her dolls so gently. The only trouble I had with Miss J was her eating. After getting the rotavirus at 9 months and having a hospital stay for three days as a baby she has always been funny with her food and still has trouble with trying much stuff.

I’ve always winced a little at the sight of a child with a snotty nose and dirty hands, so Miss J was taught at a young age to stay clean which she seemed quiet happy to do. She was never interested in messy play and would come to me immediately if she had the smallest bit of dirt on her hands to have them cleaned. Miss J has never been one to put small stuff in her mouth even as a baby, so I never had to be careful about small toys or parts as I knew she would behave.

Mr T was welcomed into this world in 2015, after a difficult pregnancy. Mr T decided he wanted to be a little impatient and my waters broke at 37 weeks without going into labour. I was induced the following day and five hours later he was welcomed into this world, pain relief free (only because the stupid epidural didn’t work). In contrast to Miss J he was blue, waxy and the ugliest baby I have ever seen. I know every mother is supposed to think their newborn baby is beautiful, but unfortunately Mr T really was a funny looking squished thing for the first day of life.  Me and my husband tried desperately to get a picture to share with the world, but he just looked a little funny.

Getting Mr T to latch was a lot harder and as the days went by and my milk came in he had a real struggle with how fast the milk came out and was constantly chocking and unlatching. I soon learnt that I had to pump some milk off at first and lay on my side to feed him. Mr T’s reflux started about a week after he was born, but he wasn’t just sick a little, he was sick constantly and was having his baby grow changed up to five times in a night. With the reflux came the pain and many a sleepless night, he finally started to sleep through at about 9 months of age and touch wood that seems to be continuing.

Mr T has been slow compared to Miss J with his milestones and only started to sit at nine months and started walking at 17 months. Mr T made up with climbing though and will climb anything that is possible to climb. I even caught him using a collapsed clothes dryer as a ladder the other day to play with a light switch.

Mr T finally seems to have embraced turning into a toddler the last couple of weeks and is walking confidently and isn’t as clingy. He will shovel any food possible into his mouth, even if its not his and will quite happily swipe a piece of bacon of your plate if you sit too close. The only way I can describe him is like a whirlwind.

I am forever fishing out various objects from his mouth, I catch him eating food I hadn’t seen to clear up from yesterday, after he had launched it across the room. I’ve caught him playing in the litter tray, he’s drank perfume and had to go to A&E and if I say no to him, he laughs and will continue with what he’s doing. He has broken countless toys of Miss J’s and broken candles, and picture frames and I’m certain his path of destruction will continue for many more years.

My son is covered in snot and dirt and is forever sticky, my daughter is actually disgusted in him at times, but he is our little trouble maker. Mr T has changed the dynamics of out house and we are eternally grateful that he is here. He may turn me grey and make me mutter the odd swear word under my breath, but he is the funniest, cheekiest and squishiest little boy you could meet. He is full of love and kisses and we couldn’t be without him.

 

 

 

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First pregnancy compared to second

Being pregnant is such a magical wonderful time for some, but for me I just found it exhausting and quiet dull. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it at all as there were some lovely bits to it so I thought I would share my comparisons of my First pregnancy compared to my second.

1st pregnancy: being able to have a nap as soon as you got in from work and laying in till 11am at the weekend after multiple trips to pee through the night.

2nd pregnancy: exhausted beyond belief and if you’re lucky getting half an hour nap with the toddler in bed with you. Finding yourself nodding off when watching Frozen for the 20th time.

1st pregnancy: writing a detailed account of how your pregnancy is going week to week in your journal whilst reading the updates on www.babycentre.co.uk to see what size fruit your baby is this week.

2nd pregnancy: not even being able to remember how many weeks pregnant you are as they now merge into one. Pregnancy journal has a few short scribbles of details in, but mostly forgotten about.

1st pregnancy: everyone sympathising with you with your morning sickness whilst passing you ginger biscuits and telling you to take it easy.

2nd pregnancy: you should have known what you were getting yourself into so no sympathy this time, and you better just suck it up when having to sort the toddlers breakfast out whilst being sick in the bin.

1st pregnancy: counting down to each scan and midwife appointment wishing the time would hurry up.

2nd pregnancy: completely forgetting you have a midwife appointment and hoping it’s as quick as possible as you have your toddler in toe and you’re unable to hear anything your midwife has to say.

1st pregnancy: watching your tummy jump as the baby is kicking with your partner lovingly holding your stomach. Enjoying the special times in bed holding your stomach whilst baby kicks around.

2nd pregnancy: telling your partner the baby is kicking whilst he shrugs and puts his hand on your tummy for a moment. Gently asking your baby to stop kicking you, as you really need some sleep before the toddler wakes you up again.

1st pregnancy: carefully planning and browsing all the different bits of baby equipment in John Lewis whilst hardly batting an eyelid to the price as you have two full time wages coming in.

2nd pregnancy: begrudgingly buying anything that didn’t last the 1st child and making sure it’s on sale. Besides the changing bag, you definitely deserve a brand new one of them.

1st pregnancy: spending hours in Next buying so many newborn baby clothes and lovely outfits.

2nd pregnancy: buying a big pack of newborn baby grows and accepting that those really cute baby outfits are just not pratical and won’t actually be worn.

1st pregnancy: having that beautiful glow about you and wearing pretty maternity dresses.

2nd pregnancy: looking exhausted and not having a glow. If you’re out you wear leggings and if you’re at home pj’s.

1st pregnancy: eating everything and anything in sight without feeling guilty.

2nd pregnancy: remembering how hard it was the 1st time to lose and being a bit more careful.

1st pregnancy: going on maternity leave at 35 weeks and spending the time sleeping or going for lunches. You then go 8 days overdue so your are bored out your mind resorting the hospital bag for the 6th time.

2nd pregnancy: working until your 37 weeks and then waters breaking at 37 weeks so you have to pack your hospital bag there and then.

1st pregnancy: begging for pain relief or to be listened to whilst being ignored and told you have hours to go still.

2nd pregnany: everyone listens to you, but no chance for pain relief as the baby shoots out.

1st birth: holding this beautiful tiny newborn baby whilst your heart fills with love and knowing life will never be the same.

2nd birth: holding this beautiful tiny newborn baby whilst your heart fills with love and knowing life will never be the same.

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Becoming the role model my daughter deserves

Now Miss J is four I am very much aware that I need to be a good role model for her. She is my inspiration to get better and beat PND. I’ve heavily relied on my own mother to help me parent her whilst I have struggled to deal with my struggles.

I’m amazed at how resilient Miss J has been over the last year and how well rounded she has become. Miss J was robbed of the mother she had once had and I’ve felt terribly guilty about this and her having to grow up so quickly. I now know I did all I could to get better and she was the main reason why I did seek help.

Somehow, despite all that has gone on she has grown to be a beautiful, kind and sensitive girl and I  couldn’t be prouder of the little girl who I have help create. I am letting go of the guilt and accepting that I have done best for my daughter and I have been a fantastic mum. I know I’m not a perfect mother and I never will be, but that’s not a bad thing and it teaches my daughter that we all make mistakes and as long as we are aware of this and work to correct them, we are doing a good job. My daughter accepts me with all my flaws, which makes me love her even more.

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What they forget to tell you about a second baby

What they forget to tell you about a second baby.

What I envisioned and what I am as a parent are two very different things. I had so many plans as a first time mum and did well sticking to what I wanted to do, but when my second baby came along things became very different. Miss J was such a text book baby and things went smoothly from breastfeeding, to routines and discipline. Mr T was a completely different baby and I was naïve to think I would just sail through it without any kind of issues. I think if Mr T would have been born first I would have coped better as when you have your first I found I got so much support, advice and help, but when the second comes around people just expect you to get on with it and know what you are doing.

I’ll happily admit it now that when Mr T came into this world I had no blooming clue what I was supposed to be doing. With babies one size does not fit all and when you have a second baby or third you need more support than ever as not only do you need to sort this baby out who follows its own set of rules, you also have to sort out another child that will rebel over this new little dictator, who has come in, stolen their mum and messed up everything for them. This is the stuff the baby books leave out, not that you would have a spare second to read a baby book with a second baby.

Why did no one tell me the struggles of breastfeeding one baby whilst wiping the bottom of another? Why did no one tell me how to keep a three year old quiet whilst settling a baby to sleep? Why did no one tell me that the babies nap times would always coincide with when I have to leave the house for the pre-school run? Why did no one tell me how hard it would be get baby weighed at the Children’s Centre with a three year old in tow? Why did no one tell me how hard it was to take a three year old and baby to do the food shop whilst sitting next to each other in the trolley? Why did no one tell me that my child would always want food when I had just settled down to feed my baby its milk? Why did no one tell me that my three year old would no longer
want to walk anywhere when I have the baby in the pushchair? Why did no one tell me that my child wouldn’t instantly bond with her new baby sibling? Why did no one tell me about the mummy guilt I felt as I was unable to fulfil both their needs? Why did no one tell me that you can get PND with a second baby when you didn’t have it before? Why did no one tell me that my heart would expand enough to love two children equally? Why did no one tell me that I would ditch the rule book and not care anymore about routines?
Why did know one tell me that they would eventually bond and my heart would burst? Why did know one tell me the mummy guilt would ease when I understood that I did everything I could? Why did no one tell me that I had given my children the best gift in the world, which was each other?

I made it through and so will you. 18 months down to a mum of two for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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A letter to my darling daughter

My letter to my darling daughter.

Miss J you are now 4 years old and have started school. You have grown up so much this past year and have made me so proud. You don’t want to hold my hand as much as you did and you are now eager to run off to be with your friends, but you are still my darling baby girl. You still get in my bed in the night when your daddy is on nights and in the dark when you’re cuddled close to me, I stroke your soft cheeks and you still feel like my sweet baby girl.

You taught me so many lessons and made me become selfless. You always see the good in everything and teach me everyday to be a better person. To see the world through your eyes is something beautiful and magical. Without you I wouldn’t have had the strength to get through things and when my anxiety was bad and making me want to stay at home it was your voice and your hand that gave me the courage I needed. I have given you everything I have but you have given me so much more in return.

I am sorry you had to grow up so quick this last year whilst mummy wasn’t well and you have seen me at my worse, but please remember your words of encouragement and telling me you loved me meant more than anything anyone else could have told me right at that time. Without you my darling I’m not sure how I would have got through and you were the one that made me admit defeat and get help. I am eternally grateful for what you unknowingly did for me.

Now you have left for school my heart aches for you as I wasn’t ready to let you go just yet, but I know you are ready to be independent away from me and that I need to be strong on my own. Me and your baby brother are doing ok but we miss you terribly when you are not with us everyday. I took it for granted how much I needed my little helper with me when your brother is having a grumpy day. The way you care for baby Goo Goos is way beyond your years, but I know that isn’t your job it’s just the caring girl you are.

When I pick you up from school later I hope you have had a fun, exciting day, but I also hope you are a little tired so I can steal a nice cuddle on the sofa with you. As always my darling girl I shall tuck you into bed, read you a story, kiss your forehead and tell you I love you and I shall do this as long as you want and need me to. I love you Miss J.

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the muddled mother

Hi my name is The Muddled Mother and I have postnatal depression

Hi, I am new to this and plan to write down my experience of postnatal depression as a way of therapy. I’m not a writer and only scraped a ‘C’ at GCSE English, so please be kind.

My name is the Muddled Mother for good reason, I am 28 years old and I have my daughter, Miss J who is 4 years and son Mr T who is 16 months. I work part-time whilst trying to keep my two kids, a husband and a cat alive. I am dealing with my postnatal depression and anxiety, but as much as I am struggling I am making progress and learning so much about myself on the way.

My postnatal depression or I guess prenatal depression started when I was pregnant, but if I’m honest, I have suffered with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. I found myself extremely isolated and trapped in my pregnancy with Mr T as I was unable to get out much because of SPD.

When Miss J came along a few years previously I had read every baby book going, had all the equipment and supplies I could possibly need. I decided my parenting type would be attachment parenting and that we would breastfeed no matter what. When Miss J arrived 8 days late after a very long labour I was in a little bubble of love with her, she was such a happy content baby and slept through from 5 weeks. Breastfeeding was tough and we had a few tears and few top ups of formula, but we made it work and got into a lovely routine. When other new mums talked about their struggles I just kept thinking how are they finding this so hard. Miss J has been always ahead with her milestones and her behaviour was angelic that I was a little worried when trying for a second that I couldn’t possibly get that lucky again.

My pregnancy with Mr T started off well with very little sickness, but by the time I got to 20 weeks I could hardly walk. Thankfully, my work offered a private medical care and I was able to see an osteopath which was my saviour. I was working three days a week and found that my two days I had off in the week were for me to sit on a sofa. Poor Miss J had to get used to the fact her mum wasn’t able to walk to the park let alone run around the park with her. Miss J was frustrated and bored and our house was overrun with clutter and mess. I felt like I was failing my role as a mother and wife and started to feel so down about it. Why couldn’t I cope when everyone else seems to be? I partly blame Facebook as we all paint our lives to be more perfect than they actually are but when you are struggling its hard to see through it.

Work was a struggle with a few trips back and forth to hospital, but somehow I managed to stay till I was 37 weeks. I did start my maternity leave a week earlier than planned which was a good thing seeming as he was born the following Monday at 37 weeks. On Saturday night after a lovely Chinese with my sister, my waters broke whilst at home on the toilet doing a number ‘2’. I quickly called my sister back who had left 10 minuets earlier and rushed to get everything all ready for the imminent arrival of my son. Off we went to the hospital to be told nothing was happening and to go home and rest. I was feeling rather anxious, so decided to stay at my sister’s house which was closer and I sent my husband off to finish watching a big fight on TV with his friends.

The next day was rather surreal as I knew the baby would be here in the next day or so but I didn’t have the panic. My mum took Miss J and I had a lovely long nap and a shower. My mum cooked me a tasty dinner and me and my husband went back to the hospital in the evening to be induced. I started off with the pessaries and told to sleep, which was in fact impossible with acid reflux and a noisy ward. Nothing happened over night so at 11am it was decided I would be put on a drip to induce my labour. My sister arrived with my husband and we waited….around an hour later I started to get cramps which progressed well. Three hours in and I asked for gas and air, which I enjoyed and I was still coping well. Five hours in the pain quickly became unbearable and I begged for an epidural which didn’t work. I was sitting on my hands fighting the urge to push as I was 6cm when I shouted out that I didn’t care and I was pushing. I was 10cm without knowing and at 18:01 in two pushes Mr T came out all blue, squished and gross. I was extremely anemic and was hooked up to an iron transfusion, but otherwise felt ok and he fed from me straight away. At 11pm that evening I was put on the ward and my husband was sent home, this is where I believe everything started to snowball.

I was put on the high dependency unit as I was unable to walk or stand without feeling very faint because of the loss of blood I had, had. At around 1 am a nurse asked if I needed any painkillers which I replied yes, so she gave me paracetamol and tramadol. The tramadol was great as it effectively helped with the pain from my SPD and I felt quiet euphoric and in love with my newborn baby. After blood tests the next day I managed to persuade them to let me leave when in hindsight it probably wasn’t the best decision. Once home, I suffered with agonising pain in my hips and was constantly feeling faint. All I could do was feed my baby, then hand him back to his dad so I made a call to the Dr’s to get tramadol prescribed and booked an emergency appointment with my osteopath. I was getting annoyed with myself that I wasn’t getting this fairy tale that I had imagined and I couldn’t even hold my baby as I was in so much pain. Miss J hated Mr T and ignored his existence and my poor husband was running around trying to pick up the pieces that I would normally have a handle on.

Tramadol was my new go to so I could relax and even when the postnatal pain had subsided, I was still taking the Tramadol as it relaxed me. I wasn’t sleeping at all, even when Tristan was asleep and was still taking horrible iron pills whilst I continued to bleed for 10 weeks postpartum.  I recognized that the Tramadol was becoming a problem and decided that I would no longer rely on it, but without it my life just felt shit. I had a massive black cloud consuming me and all I wanted to do was run away and hide and not be me anymore. The guilt I felt was overwhelming that I had, had another baby, which my daughter hated which now meant I was a shit mum to both of them and that I was failing them. Now I look back and it was obvious that I had PND and also that I wasn’t a bad mum, I was just struggling and trapped in my own self doubting head.

The lack of motivation and my mind constantly over think, every little detail and conversation I may have when I leave the house was just shit. I couldn’t get out the house but, then I felt trapped by being in the house. I wanted to go out in my car but would end up turning my car around as the anxiety had been too much. Miss J and Mr T were missing out on so much and having to live with me, someone who was depressed.

The day I realised I needed help was a lovely sunny day. I managed to get two loads of washing in and out in the garden by midday to dry, with a baby with reflux I was so thankful for some sun to dry the clothes so my house didn’t look like a dry cleaners. Later on that afternoon the lovely English weather decided to change to a full on English storm so all my hard work was wasted. I cried and screamed and felt like I just couldn’t do this crap for one more day. As I sobbed Miss J came up to me and said ‘mummy don’t cry, I love you’. This as lovely as it had been to hear just made me cry even more, but I knew I needed to change for my children and for myself so I phoned my Dr and confessed out loud for the first time that I had postnatal depression and I needed help. Five months we had lived in this postnatal depression hell and Mr T’s first five months of life have been blocked out of my memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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