Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Parenting with Chronic Illness: The Birth

Hi! Mummy A from Squishels and Me here again, and I'm happy to be continuing my series Parenting with Chronic Illness with you. Last month I shared with you the medications I was on during my pregnancy, this month I want to share my birth story with you.

We'd decided, in order to reduce anxiety (I hate the unknown!) and to make it easier for my partner to stay with me post-birth, among other things like monitoring the baby for medication withdrawal and keeping my mood as stable as possible, to book a full induction.

I was booked in to the maternity ward for a full induction on a Wednesday evening. By 8am the next day, they broke my waters and started Pitocin half an hour later. I was in labour until 2:44pm when my little (big) baby girl was born.

I did it all on gas and air, despite telling them repeatedly I couldn’t do it, and I wanted to go home.
I hated the gas and air- it made me feel so disconnected from reality that I felt like I was about to have a psychotic break.

I demanded the epidural about an hour and a half before I started pushing, but as luck would have it, it took 2 hours to get the epidural, by which time it was too late.

My baby was stubborn and refused to turn her shoulders, and so tore me like crazy as she came out.
My first words were ‘there really was a baby in me?’

Our first feed was while they were trying to figure out how bad the tear was, 3rd of 4th degree? And trying to stop the bleeding. 

They cut her cord before it had stopped pulsing because they couldn’t wait any longer to stop my bleeding.

After half an hour of skin-to-skin, they cut it short, and I was wheeled down to theatre for what I thought was 20 minutes (I was then in recovery for 2 hours whilst my husband sat in the labour room with our baby panicking something had gone wrong!).

I remember whilst I was in recovery, trying to move my completely dead legs, a thought that came across really clearly: ‘I promise I’ll look after her like she’s my own, until her real mother comes’. And that’s when I broke down and cried because all I wanted was my husband, but I was stuck down there and I knew things wouldn’t be the same again.

I had worked with the antenatal team prior to giving birth to have a detailed plan that included all my illnesses, my triggers and how I could calmly work through them. They helped me to understand what my rights were in order to keep my mood somewhat balanced (such as having my parnter stay post-birth). I had studied pamphlets 'Action on Postpartum Psychosis' had released and the BeyondBlue factsheets to know what to expect (roughly) with my health during the perinatal period. 

You may also like Parenting with Chronic Illness: Pregnancy. Just click the picture to read all about it!

The medical information on this site is provided as a personal anecdote only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.If you need perinatal mental health supports in an emergency, call your local hospital or E.D. (000). They're typically the best supports to help you along the way in an emergency. Alternatively, Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au; 1300 22 4636), P.A.N.D.A. (http://www.panda.org.au; 1300 726 306) or even Lifeline (https://www.lifeline.org.au, 13 11 14).

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