Life After Pregnancy: Labour

I’m lying in bed, able now to put my laptop on my stomach, next to my 3 week old baby and I’m finally able to write a blog that I’ve been meaning to write since she was born. My daughter was born on the 22nd of July.

I was booked in to be induced for week 39. Literal week 39 after it was found my water level had rapidly decreased (and was too low for someone with diabetes especially) and my daughter’s size was estimated to be over 8lbs. I found this out on 38+6weeks and was taken in the next day. I had to go to asda immediately after my diabetic clinic appt to pick up diabetic friendly meals for labour – high protein and low sugar. I’ve been saying I wanted to be induced for weeks but when it was moved up, I panicked. I realised that long to-do list I’d rewritten over and over and over again was not completed. So rather than follow my plan of spending the entire week finishing that list except Thursday where I would rest, I rushed as much as I could through the list on the Tuesday for my inducing on Wednesday.

I went in on Wednesday and I was straight on the ward. A few things I realised was that the hospital I was in is TERRIBLE at communicating with others. The midwife knew I was coming in but didn’t really know why I was being induced which I had to tell just about every midwife who dealt with me about. Talk about repeating yourself.

They did an exam and found I was already 3-4cm dilated and so didn’t need any hormones and all I actually needed was my waters to be broken. If I was actually left, I think I would have gone into labour on my due date. I was 3rd on the list at about 10am Wednesday morning. I was 1st on the list come Wednesday evening. Nothing all of Thursday. You can imagine just how impatient myself and my partner were getting. Especially me. I hate hospitals.

But Friday at 30 minutes past midnight, I was taken down to the labour ward. I was monitored and so was my baby and at about 1:30am, my waters were broken. A big gush of clear liquid and that was that. I was told to keep mobile, given gas and air to bring on the contractions but honestly I probably didn’t need to do that as the contractions came on hard and fast. At about 2-2:30am, I asked for pethidine as I had been advised against an epidural due to low blood pressure but I don’t think it did much as I felt every contraction and my about 6:15am I was pushing.

Now here is where things got pretty bad. The midwife I had said I wasn’t allowed the gas and air anymore and the pethidine was now pretty much out my system. I was on no pain relief. But the pethidine had made me tired which isn’t exactly what you want and due to gestational diabetes, energy drinks were off the table. The midwife half way through took her gloves off and put her ring on and she kept saying “hurry up, I want to see this baby before I go off shift at 7am”. My partner was the one who ended up having to be the other end through the pushing because if he wasn’t I would have no idea what was going on.

The hour of pushing past and the midwife went off shift and brought in someone else. She was a lot better, gave me more help and one last chance to push. I was so close to getting my daughter out thanks to her but I hadn’t much time for a few more pushes. They brought out the ventouse (like a plunger), some local anesthetic (which was shot into my vagina) and gave me an episotomy (a cut)  and then used the ventouse to pull my daughter out. They pulled her out and I bleed heavily, I had a cut and a 3rd (borderline 4th) degree tear (which is a tear through the vaginal tissue, perineal tissue and muscles that extend into the anus… TMI) and needed to go into surgery an hour after I was finished with labour.

That hour though, I got to hold my precious baby, I breastfed and got to see her and got to see my partner with her. It was honestly so amazing.

I was then taken down to surgery where I had to be given spinal anaesthetic to numb the lower half of my body. It took no less than 20 attempts of sticking a needle in my spine to find the right spot and having to get into multiple positions (including having to sit – imagine that!) and my spine is actually pretty easy to see as I’m pretty boney. They finally found the right spot, laid me down, put my numb legs in stirrups and began…

I remember feeling panicked but honestly I was so tired, I fell asleep on and off during the operation. I awoke just before I’d finished and there was a clock just opposite me. I had been in surgery for over two hours… It was only supposed to be 45 minutes. Turned out I began to heavily bleed during surgery and it took longer.

When the surgery was over, they took me to the cold recovery room and the stress, the cold and the spinal made me shake as if in shock. One of the people who performed my surgery got my baby and partner and as much as I wanted to hold my baby I knew it wasn’t wise with all the shaking. I got taken up to the labour ward after 15 minutes, I laid there with a cathider in and no feeling in my legs, feeling pretty rough.

My partner and I then spoke about what he saw during the labour. I lost a lot of blood, my daughter had the cord around her neck and came out blue and he described the tearing to me. Honestly, I didn’t care about what happened to me but I was pretty furious that the midwife had taken her gloves off with my daugther having the cord around her throat. How was she supposed to help being unsanitized and if she did, I risked infection…

I won’t go into the grisly details of healing or even what happened when my dad and brother saw her. But as of all of labour, I loved my daughter and seemed pretty postnatal depression free.

38 weeks: Gestational Diabetes.

The last week or so has been a whirlwind for me. I saw my midwife on 6th July and my fundal height was 5cm below where it should be, had a scan the next day and baby was measuring above the 90th percentile and had a scan review – they were pretty confused as to how the baby can be big but the fundal height was small. I got booked for a gestational diabetes (GTT – Glucose Test) for the next day and it came back that I have gestational diabetes.

In all fairness it does make sense, I mean the symptoms are pretty similar to pregnancy except the extreme thirst I get especially after dinner and it turns out the reason for that is because of GD. I got the results on the Monday (I was supposed to get them on the Saturday before) and on the Wednesday I was booked in to see the diabetics nurse and dietician. The dietician wasn’t great, she repeated a lot and could have cut her section down to 10 minutes with just a “these are the levels in food you need to know, here’s a few suggestions”, after was a one on one with the diabetic nurse who put me in as high priority with an appointment yesterday at the diabetics clinic. The next bit was teaching you how to use the monitor. Four times a day I have to prick myself with a little needle and write down the result. It’s tedious and I feel sorry for the people who have to do it for months. Or even years if they actually have type 1 or 2. To be honest though, diet controlled works for me and I know sometimes that diet controlled only works for a small amount of time but I have a small amount of time left.

The diabetes clinic was an appointment with: a nurse, an obstetrician and a dietitian. The nurse did my blood pressure and urine. The dietitian told me to just follow the diet laid down the day before. The obstetrician is where things got more interesting. She told me I could ONLY go to term but that really due to the size of the baby they want to induce. She gave me a membrane sweep in the hope of moving things along – if you don’t know what that is, I’ll tell you. The doctor gloves up, shoves fingers far into you (further than any person has ever fingered a person, I can promise you), fidgets around and IT HURTS. She told me she would stop if it hurt too badly but I know the memory of the pain would be worse than the pain itself so I just let her continue. She told me she had booked me for an induction on Friday 22nd July. I go in and 9am and don’t come out for a really long time. From what I can understand what happens, you get 3 pessary shots of hormones, 6 hours apart if after those 3 nothing has happened you can get a drip and they may artificially break your water, if that doesn’t get things started then c-section… C-section is also pretty likely for me since I am small and the baby is big.

So this next week is me spending time finishing a to-do list, I have written a lot of them over the past few weeks and I never finish them. But I wrote a more doable one this time and have already crossed off a lot of things. I asked my partner to help me with some of them and he does but he gets annoyed at having to do some of them. I then don’t ask him. Mentally, I’ve been rather down recently. I always expected the baby to be early (before 40 weeks) and due to being in latent labour since 36+3 weeks, I thought one final push (the membrane sweep) would start things off and I’m disappointed that it hasn’t. I now am looking at a 2-5 day stay in hospital due to needing mental health, diabetes and possibly surgery aftercare. Plus the labour itself. No one really seems to understand. I don’t like hospitals, I mean I really don’t but the extent to which I don’t like them doesn’t seem to be that clear to anyone really. Plus the chances of postnatal depression rise when complications arise during labour (looks like that’ll happen).

Plus with things not being so great living with my dad for both myself and my partner… Just makes things harder. But that’s a blog for another day.

33+5 weeks: Positivity

33 weeks. 5 days. Only 6 weeks and 2 days to go until my baby’s due date. Can I be honest? I’m excited. Partly because it’d be nice to have my own body back but partly because I can’t wait to meet the little troublemaker.

During this pregnancy, I know one thing I’ve lacked and so has my support system… Positivity. I don’t believe positivity is always conducive. When I was in school and I had to do a project that didn’t count towards my grade or wasn’t with my friends (so not fun either), I preferred to sit with the person who would bitch and moan about having to do the project rather than the person trying to get us involved.

At the beginning of the pregnancy, I won’t lie, I much preferred to read some of the more negative stories – usually regarding perinatal and postnatal depression. Around week 20, the hypermesis was a lot better, I felt I could go out more, I was almost me again! And really even when the sickness came back at about 28 weeks, it still wasn’t as bad and I’d managed to form a bond with the baby.

So at almost 34 weeks, I would love to be surrounded with some positivity but it seems I’m forcing it out of everyone. My younger brother I don’t think really understands how he could help but he always is happy and cheerful to talk about the baby. My dad goes between: can’t wait to meet his granddaughter and are you depressed about the baby/life? and my partner seems less enthused. For weeks I’ve spoken about trying to figure out how everything worked (sterlisers etc) but nope. Minimum of 3 weeks until birthday and nada.

GC has been stressed about work and I try to put down his negativity to that. As well as moving but like my dad and many others have said: I have done the same for him. I lived in a very stressful household for nearly a year and the best part of my pregnancy (where it was at it’s worse and I could have done with staying in bed) but I love him, so I did it. But he gets pissed off and on the one hand, I want him to tell me but on the other hand I really wish he’d try harder.

It’d be nice to wake up and find out someone is throwing a baby shower for me or offering to do something nice with me. Even just going to look around mothercare. I said months ago, I wanted to look around mothercare to make sure I’ve gotten everything. But since the trek into town is quite difficult for me now, unless I’m driven – mothercare is a no go.

I find it very funny though how despite being pregnant and bipolar, I’m actually the least temperamental in the house. Actually, that award goes to my younger brother. But GC and my dad are certainly not winning – they have both seemed moody and depressed and I make excuses. For GC I say it’s work or the thought of fatherhood – especially due to his lack of interest in baby stuff. For my dad, I think he’s suffering from depression but won’t get help. I think he tries short term fixes like me moving in, focusing on his new granddaughter, building stuff – but it’s all temporary.

To make sure I don’t feel positive I went through GC’s facebook, all the way before his daughter, before me and I see the way he was with his niece and I get… mad. I get mad. There’s all this stuff about how he spent money on his niblings (especially the niece he lived with) and all the family stuff he did and I get mad for my daughter. Is she going to miss out on a fun dad because he’s stressed all the time? How come he doesn’t try to put every penny he has into her like he did his niece? Then, more selfishly, how come he took his brother, sister in law and niece on all these fancy trips out but in all the time we’ve been together how come he’s never doing anything like that for me? He’s made things for me and they’ve been awesome and I love them so much but he’s never actually surprised me with anywhere special. But now I guess that probably won’t happen.

32 weeks and counting.

Today, the 1st of June, marks my 32nd week. A lot has changed since my 27 week blog.

The weekend just gone, I officially moved in with my dad and brother. We’ve been living here for 3 nights and it’s not been too bad. We still have an issue with the dog whining at nights but rather than a door, we have put up a stair guard so she can no longer scratch the paint and I’m just leaving her to settle herself. It’s a trying experience but I’m hoping eventually she will get used to it. We spent Tuesday morning having an hour long nap together in my bed and I’m hoping things like that will let her know she’s still safe and loved and will comfort her.

In all honesty, I think I had the bigger problem moving here than GC did. We moved Sunday night and he seemed quite surprised by the fact he didn’t miss his old home but relented and said that maybe it hadn’t hit him yet. GC’s SIL and brother didn’t take long to tear up the carpet and basically banish any trace of him which is why the Monday after, we had to go back to pick up the rest of our stuff and get rid of the carpet and the rubbish bags. Which is when GC said goodbye to his niece but again he also said he wasn’t sad that he’s gone and he doesn’t miss his niece that much. I think I got more emotional with moving than he did. I’m not unhappy about the move, I just really want to be able to do stuff for myself but my dad does take over quite a lot. I think he still sees me as an incapable (but stubborn) six year old and so I have to prove to myself which I’m not a big fan of but it’s really the only option we had.

The reason being is when we went to visitor GC sister, CC, she told us that a woman at her kids school who had recently had a child said the health visitor comes to check on everything at 34 weeks… 2 weeks time. So knowing it was the only way we would pass the inspection, we moved to my dad’s. It’s early days. I’m just hoping for the best.

As for the baby, everything seems to be going okay. I had a midwife appointment at 31 weeks (exactly) and was told that when they measured my uterus (they measure from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus), I hadn’t grown since last time so now I have to go for a growth scan – which I don’t mind. In fact, I love. I want to see the baby again but also I’m worried as to why I haven’t grown. I’ve been waiting almost a week for a call from them and nothing. I said I was going to call today but I’ve been pretty down and tired so I will call tomorrow – even though I’m not sure who to call.

I also started going to antenatal classes from the ones I said I didn’t want to go to, I have caught up with the classes and honestly, I’m so glad I did it as it’s taught be a lot.

My mental state wains a bit but so far I’m not feeling too bad. Occasionally down and depressed but not too bad.

27 weeks: pregnancy and medication

I had an appointment with the perinatal psychiatrist recently. I’d recently got discharged from my old mental health team and am now with them and again I have a psychiatrist and a community psychiatric nurse. The first opinion I had of my new psychiatrist was that I didn’t have one. When I told people my opinion of her after the first meeting I said that she hadn’t really left much of an impression – good opinions take a while to form whilst bad ones of someone can take an instant. But I had some faith she’d do the job.

My new CPN  I didn’t much like. She said that everything I was experiencing with my mood was normal when I knew that it wasn’t and she also made me feel pretty bad for not wanting to do antenatal classes. I got invited to some a few weeks back, but I have since been umming and ahhing over whether to do it for numerous reasons but involving the fact that it was at the old youth group centre I used to go to and I didn’t want to bump into the old youth group leaders with their judgmental opinions about a 19 year old getting pregnant. But also another reason is that I had been feeling disconnected to the baby and that I didn’t want to spend an hour or so being reminded of the fact that I was. Plus antenatal classes haven’t always been a regular thing for pregnant women to attend and women have had babies just fine without them.

Another thing she said that annoyed me was that it didn’t matter if I was ill because I could get someone else to look after the baby. It’s true, I have my dad and the father of my baby but if it doesn’t matter whether I’m there for the baby, why am I even bothering to get better? After cooling off from the appointment I realised how she actually meant it but seriously? You work in this profession, you HAVE to know how to word this properly.

But the thing I want to talk about is my second appointment with the perinatal psychiatrist. I get called in and she has basically forgotten who I am which isn’t necessarily bad except when she got things wrong about my life e.g. she said I lived in a studio apartment when I live in a 4 bedroom house with overcrowding issues and I then corrected her, she actually argued with me and told me I was wrong… I have to live there everyday, I know exactly where I live.

She then was reading the appointment notes from the new CPN and she told me that “wanting to cut the baby out” was not normal – which I knew. Then went onto imply I wanted to hurt the baby except I’ve never had any intention of hurting the baby. Hurting myself, yes. Hurting the baby, never. She said if I’m having these thoughts and feeling depressed (and I am but only every so often and I haven’t actually felt that depressed in a while) then I needed to go back on medication whilst pregnant. I’ve always been against it. I don’t judge anyone who does, I really don’t. Every situation is different. But I know that I’m sensitive to side effects, I know I can handle the low moods as they are every so often, I don’t think taking antidepressants (as were the only medication mentioned at the time) is wise for an unborn baby to be exposed to.

But rather than talking rationally about my fears and answering questions she snapped at me telling me I needed the antidepressants and when I said to her about being bipolar and that JUST being on anti-depressants could cause mania or like last time, rapid cycling moods. That would be way worse than what’s going on now. She didn’t really give me much of an answer, just that she’d talk to my old psychiatrist (whom never actually prescribed antidepressants alone) and that if need be a mood stablizer would be added.

To be honest, when medication was mentioned way back in the first appointment, I researched what people said and yes the antidepressants have been found, in recent studies, to have minimal risks to the baby (so not completely risk free like she tried to make out and when I asked about the minimal risks, she had no answers for me) but mood stablizers are very dependent on which ones and even then the research is very split between the risks to an unborn baby even in the third trimester (everyone agrees that no meds of these sort should be taken in the first trimester).

But the fact I don’t like her isn’t based so much on the her different opinion on medications and stuff, it’s that she had very little respect for me. Wouldn’t discuss options, just told me what I had to do and several times implied that if I didn’t follow her opinions I was going to be a bad mum. So when she handed me a piece of paper to take to reception to make another appointment, I just walked out and didn’t make one.

I moaned to my dad; ranted. Then GC phoned me when my dad went to pick up my brother but could only stay on the phone for 5 minutes and once he hung up, I just balled my eyes out. I felt so guilty and bad and just cried. Until I hit this point where I got pissed off. Being  pregnant hasn’t been easy for me – physically or mentally but I’m doing better now. I actually have formed a connection with my child now (which if she actually let me speak I could have said) but even so still experience lightheadedness, feeling faint (up to the point of passing out), nausea – all sorts of stuff that make pregnancy still difficult but I’m doing well with it now and coming out of a perinatal psychiatric appointment feeling worse about myself as a mother is not something I think is good and is kinda the opposite reason why I go.

That afternoon, the CPN called me but it was on an unknown number and I wasn’t in the mood so ignored it, she left a message asking if I could call her back to confirm an appointment for the 6th of May. I haven’t called her back. Partly because I just don’t want to but also because she asked me my preferred method of contact and I said text and she calls me so I’m just waiting to see if she calls me back.

All in all, I’m very underwhelmed by the perinatal team and regret being changed to them.

23 Weeks

I’m on 23 weeks pregnant as of today. Way past the half way point.

On the 14th of March was my partners birthday. He’s 27. It was a good day, we went bowling and had cake and ice cream. We were supposed to go cinemas but I was way too tired for that which I felt guilty about and promised we’d go at the weekend but he didn’t want to. The day after was my perinatal psychiatrist appointment.

The place to go for appointments is way out of the way for me. I tried to figure out what bus would get me there if I needed to get there on my own but couldn’t figure it out. Luckily, this time I had my dad taking me. I’d been to this hospital before, the year before for the crisis team.

I was waiting and it was about 10 minutes past my appointment time when I was called. The woman didn’t look that nice. Dr L looked kinda down and miserable and just had one of those faces where you think she looks miserable, will quote everything out of a book verbatim but was surprisingly okay. That appointment was never going to be comfortable anyway. Lots of questions about my mum and the past but I answered them about as honestly as I could. That appointment was basically about assessing my risk to develop a mental illness or relapse after the baby and turns out the chances for me are pretty high (yay!).

I do get upset though whenever I’m faced with the reality of my mental illness and the baby. There have been a few times especially since that appointment I’ve just sat, rubbing my stomach and thinking “my baby would be so much better off without me”. A mother with bipolar, PTSD and borderline personality disorder is not something a child should have to deal with. I’m pretty sure my own mother suffered with one – if not more – of those illness so I don’t want to put my kid through that.

A few weeks ago however, if I ever brought it up with my partner, he’d tell me that I should just focus on the fact I’m okay now. That seeing scans of my baby seemed to have gotten rid of the feelings of disconnect and I should be okay. He asks me in these times: “Well you love the baby, don’t you?” And it’s actually a pretty complicated question. I know I should say “Yes!” without any addendums but the truth is “I don’t know.” Maybe I do love my baby and that’s why I don’t think she should have me but on the other hand I sometimes just want to cut the baby out my stomach and get it over with.

The cutting the baby out my stomach has only be a frequent thought recently. Since my level of stress has been pretty high recently. A lot of stuff with housing has changed and fallen through.

Last week, my partner, myself and our dog stayed over with my dad with the idea it would be a trial run of living there since it would make it easier for my dad to take us to the scan. Half of our boxes are there, it sounds like a good idea! Except on paper it is a good idea, it practicality – not so much. It was fine in the day but in the night – again not so much at night. The dog isn’t used to sleeping by herself so at about 2-3am I hear scratching at the door downstairs. I can hear this but my partner is fast asleep. Knowing how pissed my dad would have been if she scratched paint off the door, I went downstairs and opened it. There’s a stairguard so as to not break the rules my dad said (one being she isn’t allowed to sleep upstairs) I just let her out so she could walk up to it.

But then she sat at the bottom on the stairs whining and I didn’t want her to wake up my brother who had college the next day so I went and turned on a light. Then a little while later, I hear scratching again – she had managed to lock herself into the sitting room. I let her out and back upstairs I went. By this point it was 4-5am and I’m really tired so the next time I’m forced downstairs, I let her up and let her sleep at the bottom of the bed.

The next morning I go downstairs to get cereal and my dad’s giving me the silent treatment. I knew he’d probably be mad but I figured if I explained about why I did it, it’d be okay but he told me he didn’t want to hear it and didn’t talk to myself or my partner to the scan or back or the entire day and so we just didn’t talk about it except if HE wanted to make sly comments that then upset me and yes, I’m ashamed to say, make me cry.

When he took me to this college to pick up some distance work, I expected when I mentioned the idea of going home for him to argue a little and say no. But he actually agreed. GC (my partner), when we got home, told me how he didn’t like how my dad was treating me. He was being manipulative, he didn’t like seeing me upset and we couldn’t live there. I agreed. My dad can’t treat me like this anymore especially in front of my kid, I couldn’t risk it. So we’re not moving in.

To make matters worse, the weekend we were supposed to move in GC sister CC broke up with her partner of 8 years and to keep a long story short, is now living here with her two kids. So if anyone is keeping count, there are 4 bedrooms with 5 adults and 3 kids living under one roof plus she’s pregnant and so am I. Plus because of how things still are, a week later, with my dad. I’m staying at home more. I have some distance work I’ve got to do plus other chores I could do but I’m confined to one room because not only is SIL1 on that side but so is SIL2 and 3 kids and I’ve been pretty down recently and don’t want to deal with it.

I got a letter off my psychiatrist to say we need to move due to stress and boy, is it stressful.

Hospital visit

**BEFORE YOU READ**
PLEASE BE ADVISED THERE IS A MISCARRIAGE WARNING ON THIS POST

Yesterday I went to the doctors because I had a terrible cold that made morning sickness worse. She’s a really good doctor and she does quite a few checks as routine. My stomach was very tender (more than it apparently should have been) and she asked the last time I felt movement and tbh I hadn’t really thought about it but the baby usually kicks once a day because my baby is TEMPERAMENTAL. Doesn’t like a sound? Kick. Doesn’t like a food? A sensation? And the baby’s number one pet peeve is scans and having their privacy invaded (through scans etc). But I realised it’d been about 4 days since I’d felt movement… I hadn’t realised it before because my cold had been so bad I – as selfish as it sounds – had been really focused on me and my cold.

GC and I were so terrified we’d lost the baby. We were in tears, he stayed strong but I was crying so often, apologising for losing his baby and begging him not to hate me (thank you bpd). I was a mess.

It took ages to get through A and E. But an ultrasound and doppler later and I have a healthy, alive – if not somewhat fidgety – baby. That is why GC started getting upset.

So least whilst the story is short, there is a happy ending.

Busy week

I find it funny as you get older your opinion on things change. For example I used to love when the holidays came up at school but now I don’t want the school’s on holiday because SIL1 is about more and if I go into town before 4pm, town is full of teenagers.

Last week was half term. I liked it because I was given the opportunity to hang out with my brother. I didn’t really know what I was going to do though because any movement I make in the morning SIL1 would have commented on and it would have stressed me out and my dad wasn’t picking me up because he wasn’t coming into town. He offered to pick me and GC up every morning, take him to work and me back to his. He did which was awesome. The week in that respect actually worked out really well.

Monday, GC had the dentist and had a surprise tooth out (we thought it was just for an x-ray). Tuesday, I had the dentist which I am glad for because my gums have been bleeding a little bit and the wisdom tooth that got a cavity because I couldn’t brush it due to it not coming through the gum surface yet has began to come through and is sensitive but thankfully my teeth were fine and I’ve gone from an appointment every 6 months to one every year. On Wednesday I had an appointment with my psych nurse. Thursday, I had a baby first aid course from 9am until midday and GC had the dentist again later in the day for another tooth out. The baby first aid course went really well, I passed but GC had given me a cold which weakened immune system and has opened me up to an ear infection and tonsilititus. But thankfully Friday and the weekend I can rest.

I try not to get too busy in one week and only have one big thing per week. But I seem to manage to have a week or fornight free and then just coincidentally book everything in the one week. Sometimes I like it because it gets rid of the stress in just one swoop with no weekend of worrying but other times I feel very tired or sick and wish I had a few days to recover.

Though Monday I had a lot more energy to move about. Instead of napping during the day, I got up and sorted of the bed I would be living in for the next few months. That includes moving light furniture, tidying the floor, unpacking clothes and basically just moving things around. But for the last few nights I’ve been having pretty intense nightmares so I’ve not been sleeping too well. It does begin to add up. I’ve found myself being more snappy and irritable than usual which isn’t necessarily just down to no sleep, add in pregnancy and that’s not exactly a recipe I’m happy about.

I have an appointment for the 15th March with the perinatal mental health clinic. I know they’re the people who help you before the birth (as well as for a year after) with mental health but that’s pretty much it. I googled the service but only found the local address. When on the phone with them they told me they would send me a questionnaire but the paper work they sent me was more just about correspondence rather than a mood questionnaire.

The physical aspect of the pregnancy varies. Sometimes I feel not too bad, a bit of energy and a more positive outlook on pregnancy and the baby and how both of those things relate to myself. Other times I feel quite depressed. I get told it’s normal to feel that way, that worries such as “am I going to be a good mother?” and “is the baby going to be okay with me as it’s mum?” and such doubts like that. They say that normal and I do believe to an extent it has to be but it’s gotten so bad that I’ve debated getting rid of the baby. I never would because I know I would regret it and when I feel it’s heartbeat or the baby moving, I know I care and probably even love the baby but I still feel bad about those thoughts and the fact that sometimes I feel very disconnected with the baby.

A doctor told me once to think of the baby as a parasite, taking everything I need and making me sick and how would I be expected to always love something like that. You put it like that and I understand why they aren’t so worried but I am worried and surely that has to count for something.

Stressed out and pregnant

I like waking up to an empty house. Always have done. I do especially like it considering who I live with now because it gives me a few minutes where the noise I make doesn’t matter and I won’t be questioned about it.

I began writing a blog a while ago (probably two weeks now) about the baby scan but I kept getting distracted and GC’s brother didn’t pay the internet bill so I kinda just gave up with it. But the good news is the baby is a good size, healthy and in the low risk group of downs syndrome. I’d love this baby whatever disability it had but Downs Syndrome from what I understand can make for a higher risk of miscarriage so it’s just good news to me. The lower I can keep that risk, the happier I’ll be.

We went town the Sunday after the scan to pick up some bits and believe me town is a lot harder for me. The plan was once my dad had told my older brother who was trying for a baby about the pregnancy, we would tell everyone else. To be honest though, before he’d even told us that he’d told my brother, I decided that since we’re already out and about we could visit GC’s family since the bus goes all the way round. But before we managed to contact anyone on my partner’s side, my dad called to tell me that he had got in touch with my brother.

We told GC’s mum first via the phone as he was annoyed with her over other things and wasn’t that interested in face to face. His sister was next, she was happy for us and her kids just seemed kinda blaise to the news which I found funny. Then we took a taxi to his aunt and cousins and I think it finally hit her just before we left because she started crying. We talked about SIL1 and she said I was welcome up anytime and so I had plans to see her that following Tuesday rather than go up to my dads. We got home late so we couldn’t tell SIL1 and that niece but I didn’t really care and GC didn’t care. I did however tell him on Monday, after work we should just tell her so it’s done even though I knew the reaction we were going to get would be: “I already knew it” because she’d been saying it for the past two weeks.

She had no concrete proof of this. But we were pretty loud about it so she probably over-heard something but also she had been saying it since we started dating and if you keep saying something enough times, it’s likely that it’ll be right eventually.

I went to his aunts that Tuesday. She and GC’s cousins are lovely but I wasn’t comfortable there because it’s not my house. I couldn’t fall asleep in front of them and she kept commenting I wasn’t eating and drinking and yes, the drinking one is fair but I still throw up if I eat too much (believe me) or don’t have my pills on me so I wasn’t eating but not eating is much better than throwing up. But it makes me reluctant to want to go up again because I really don’t need to be spoken to like I don’t know what I’m doing, like I haven’t spoken to the doctors multiple times about it and am pretty sure this is the correct course of action for me.

Whilst with his aunt, SIL1 kept messaging me and saying she’d be there for me and basically it boiled down to, let’s start again. Which I was prepared to do. When I went out the following Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, it was because I had already planned to due to a doctors appointment and Friday being the day my younger brother has a half day so I tend to say (even though I usually get too tired to) I will hang out with him. However, during the messages SIL1 sent me she told me that her kid (my fiance’s niece) missed her uncle and it wasn’t fair. I just brushed that off as SIL1 being a bit manipulative because she’s still upset GC won’t do anything for her anymore.

That’s when GC told me his brother told him what happened. That Sunday when we weren’t even home and were going around telling everyone, SIL1, GC’s brother and the niece were having Sunday dinner but the niece refused to eat because her uncle wasn’t there. The two haven’t hung out and definitely not ate together in ages and after talking to my dad, I realised that the niece had heard SIL1 say I was pregnant to others and was now doing this because she was jealous. After speaking to a couple of other people about it, I decided that a jealous child would not be holding my baby. I don’t care how unhappy that makes everyone.

Overall, I’m pretty stressed out at the moment and it really does suck that it’s GC’s family making me feel that way. Not all of them. I still like his brother and sister. But everyone else wants me to do things for them but won’t do anything for me. GC keeps saying his family argues but are there for each other. I don’t want that. I don’t want people I argue with or get upset about with me during an emergency and they’ve never been there for me so again, why should I be there for them? It sounds mean but I’m sick of being the stressed out pregnant chick.

Just one more day

Mornings tend to be easier for me sickness-wise. This morning however I’ve woken up feeling pretty sick. It would be one of those days where I really do just want to stay in bed and funnily enough, I know a few more hours in bed would probably help me but I can’t bare staying at home with SIL1. Especially as recently all she and GC have done is passive aggressively get back at each other. I’d say I’m stuck in the middle but I’m not. Of course I side with GC but I actually, by his side, tend to get blamed for this tension because they believe it wasn’t there before but GC tells me differently and I actually don’t fuel this fire. I’ve many times tried to calm it down.

I don’t actually mind having to get up early everyday, I also am not that bothered by the 5 minute walk or the 5 minute wait for the bus into town and I really enjoy bus rides. The worst part of my morning is the 15-20 minute wait in town for the next bus. If I get a later bus into town, it’s likely I’ll miss the bus to my dad’s so I have no choice. Where the bus stop is also means I don’t have much time to go to a shop to keep warm. The shops that are around I could keep warm in are a 3-5 minute walk in the opposite direction which means I could barely wait in them before I’d have to leave again. If it’s windy, the wind hits the bus stop pretty bad to make it extra cold.

When I don’t want to face this because I’ve been feeling ill or run down, I’ll text my dad at 7:30am to pick me up. If I don’t text by 8:30am, he’s head home from dropping my brother off and I have to get the bus. Today would have been one of those days where I probably would have text him but I used one of my pick ups (I give myself max 2 a week unless I have been very ill) and tomorrow my dad is picking GC and I up at 9am for my first sonogram.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel. I am just glad I will get visual confirmation if I’m pregnant because when I first found out I was pregnant, I looked up false positives and there are a few things that can cause false positives which is why I don’t think I’ve truly wrapped my head around the idea I’m pregnant.

For the first scan, you have to drink I think it’s 2 litres of non-caffeinated drink about an hour before the scan. Now I’ve actually had the type of scan to check my ovaries etc and it wasn’t the easiest to not go to the bathroom then. But now, when I’m pretty sure the baby is pressing on my bladder (or at least something is) I can barely have a sip of a drink without needing the toliet 5 minutes later so holding this is going to be hard.

GC has been stressed about work and has been looking forward to this all week. I have too but once I am on the second bus to my dad’s I don’t consider myself too stressed out. I’ll post pictures of the scan tomorrow.

Arguments

Yesterday, I questioned how much stress is too much stress for the baby? The events that caused this were pretty mundane.

I finished yesterday’s blog on the bus and only had about a paragraph to write so it didn’t take me that long. I rarely check facebook again once I am out of the house because it’s pretty bleak usually on there and I actually dislike a lot of people on there but to stop arguments I couldn’t unfriend them.

But after I finished yesterday’s blog I went back on facebook and SIL1 had literally waited until the moment I walked out the door. I mean literally the moment to post a status on facebook saying that GC and I (her actual phrasing was ‘other people in the house’) don’t clean up after ourselves; expect her to do it; it upsets her. Basically blaming us. Now number 1, I have not even been on that side of the house since before Christmas so I don’t know what mess I was supposed to have made and number 2, my partner doesn’t even go on that side much. Just to the kitchen where he cooks (because I literally cannot face cooking my own meals) but I know he cleans up after himself. And last night’s plates? They were in our room because she does shit like this or bitches about it if we leave it by the sink to clean the next day.

So I wanted to go through the roof. I wanted to reply to her status saying how I don’t even go on that side of the house and she knows that because she always complains about it. How GC always cleans up after himself. How she doesn’t work, isn’t actually a “fully time mommy” like she puts on her facebook employment bit because her child goes to school. She pretty much has at least 5 and a half hours where she could clean the house. But she doesn’t. How the garden was a tip until very recently filled with rubbish bags and furniture because nobody could be bothered to drag it to the curb. She goes to the gym, yes but she didn’t yesterday and then will spend the rest of the day complaining about all her ‘aches and pains’ that are worse than anyone elses. But I know GC didn’t want me to say anything. I sat on the bus for a few minutes trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I needed to rant. I needed to get it off my chest.

I opened the wordpress app to rant again. But closed it down thinking it too petty. GC was at work and I knew I had 15 minutes until he was on break and I figured I could send a bunch of ranting texts before he got on break and see if I felt calmed down afterwards. He went on his break early I figured because he began texting me. My dad knowing about this situation with SIL1 has said I always have a place with him and so has GC if he wants it. But GC has turned it down, saying it’s too far from work. My dad did offer to take him but I get his point, he probably doesn’t want to put my dad out so much. I as a semi-joke said “why don’t we move in with my dad?” and GC said “I’d understand if you needed to”. Anyway, we spoke some more and I said how this stress that she was causing wasn’t good for the baby and GC said something and if you took it the wrong way it could have implied that it was my fault for getting stressed out over something so trivial. So I got angry at him. Told him I can only do so much to help this baby, I know everyone thinks I’m doing a bad job, but you try it. Etc. Then he rang me, we argued more and I hung up saying I was waiting for the bus.

I actually calmed down on the bus, I just retreated to my fantasy world. But I did begin to wonder about the stress. Now firstly, I’m unmedicated at the moment. Due to the problems with the lithium I was taken off that and probably for only 1-2 weeks of the pregnancy I was on the lowest doses of lamotrigine and prozac but I took myself off those after finding out I was pregnant. The last thing I need right now is stress. We said we’d revise meds if need be in the 2nd trimester. I’ve been feeling a little depressed on and off anyway and I really don’t need unnecessary stress triggering any bipolar or even bpd stuff for me.

I began to wonder if moving to my dad’s was seriously the best decision and I know in the back of my head it is. At this time I was still mad at GC, I did re-read our text argument during this time and realise that actually I had just read too much into it. But I was still pissed that he wouldn’t say anything because his brother is his boss which I get but still.

I got worked up again when I got into my dad’s car. I know I shouldn’t have but I ranted for at least an hour straight but always ended back to ranting if we changed the topic. I was pissed. GC wanted to ring me at lunch but I didn’t want to talk.

I eventually went in my room and watch criminal minds and I began thinking as I was watching about what I should do. If I moved back to my dads, I wouldn’t have to leave the house everyday and could stay in bed watching criminal minds like I really, really want to do. Just for one day, a binge. I wouldn’t have the stress of her moaning literally all the time. I could sleep past 8:30am. All stuff that is good for the baby.

If I do move back though, I wouldn’t see the person I love and the father of my child. 

I mean staying or leaving would be unnecessary stress but I honestly don’t know which trade off is worse.

GC and I texted when he was out of work and he was under the impression (due to what I’d said that was pretty ambiguous) I wouldn’t be coming home last night. I was on the bus home when he finally realised that I was. He’d been pretty upset about the fact I wasn’t all day. I realised then just how unhappy he’d be if I did leave and I knew I wouldn’t be happy.

So I left it like this: if SIL1 does one more thing to stress me out then for the sake of the baby and my mental health I’m going back to my dads.

I still don’t know which thing is really the better option. It’s a very difficult situation.

15 minutes in the morning

It’s important to take a few seconds of rest when you can. I will probably learn just how valuable those seconds are after the baby. I get approximately 15 minutes in the morning to myself where I don’t feel guilty for having them.

I have the same routine every morning and I think that’s a pretty good thing to keep the same morning and night routine as it helps wake you up and put you to sleep. Admittedly, I keep better to the morning one than the night one.

My partner gets ready for work before I need to get up but eventually through the period of getting ready I groggily wake up and tell him he looks gorgeous (which he especially does at the moment because he’s grown his hair out and it looks amazing) and in between brushing his teeth and getting dressed, he will usually climb into bed for a few minute cuddle and then get out to get dressed. At about 6:50am (I think, maybe a few minutes earlier), I walk with him to the door, we hug and we say “byes” and “I love yous” and I tell him to be careful of cars because it’s still dark in the morning. I lock the door behind him, clean my orthodontal equipment, turn on 4 alarms all spaced differently apart and get into bed and sleep until 8:30am.

This is when I “officially” wake up. I eat, drink and then get my phone out to check facebook. SIL1 is one of those people who like to post on facebook a lot so I hope to find something about her morning that’ll help me with mine. For example, this morning I read that she was taking a day off from the gym. Well yesterday when I walked to the bus stop, she walked past me on the same route. We didn’t really talk. I was tired anyway and psyching myself up. Anyway, so today I was going to take a different route to a stop just before the one I usually used but after reading this, I’m pretty sure I can take my usual route today. That helps me mentally plan my morning route.

Usually around 8:45am, I get up, go to the bathroom, get dressed and hair. Just due to general tiredness I’ve forgoed make-up and a few other luxuries that used to mean it took longer to get ready because all I do everyday is a quick walk to the bus, a walk to the second bus stop, a 15 minute wait for that bus and then to my dad’s so I haven’t got to make myself look pretty. But my self esteem has been lower recently so I’ve done it a couple of times and it’s helped and I realised I was still done before 9am so it didn’t make a lot of difference to my time.

9am is when I get my 15 minute break. Where there is no planned out thing of what I’ll do. Sometimes I’ll begin writing a blog that I’ll finish on the bus, sometimes I’ll be doing some research or just idly spending 15 minutes doing nothing. SIL1 usually comes home from dropping her kid off to school during this time so I sometimes hear her in the kitchen which does suck because I try and sneak out without making noise. Until I realised that it’s HER fault there is this tension. She wasn’t back a week before she decided I didn’t like which is why I kept going out, she didn’t seem to take into account she’d be away for several months and her husband had taken a week off especially to spend time with her so why would I seriously want to intrude on that?

Ever since that it just kind of turned me off to seeing her at all. She came back not after we found out I was pregnant and both GC and I were worried about what my health, weight loss etc were doing to the baby and the pregnancy coupled with my bad health had made me pretty tired so after spending the entire day out, I was always way too tired to do anything which is another reason I don’t venture onto the other side of the house.

It is weird though. We live in the same house and the first time I’d seen her since just before Christmas was yesterday. I’d heard her. But hadn’t seen her. Usually, I would have gotten over seeing her pretty quickly but I was raring for an argument yesterday. I went to my old college where I was studying the childcare course, where’d I’d paid for a coursebook and never received it and at first it didn’t bother me too much but when I found out I was pregnant I thought it might come of some use. So after finding out I was pregnant I emailed the course tutor, no reply. A few weeks later I emailed her again, no reply. I emailed the queries part of the site but the email got forwarded to that same course tutor and again no reply. Last Saturday I emailed the site again but this time I put if I don’t get an answer please forward me to the complaints department and I think they did anyway and that tutor got told off for ignoring me because Monday I had a reply that the course book was ready to pick up on Tuesday. The route to the school got annoyingly complicated involving the use of 3 extra buses and a run to the bus to get to my dad’s but I did it and to be honest, I was pretty proud of myself for standing up for myself. I just kept thinking that when the baby is born and at school, I will be the person who has to stick up for the baby so I might as well practice now.

Nowadays I just like waiting for the days where my dad won’t be around the house and it’s not because I don’t enjoy talking to him but it used to be I needed sleep but I recently discovered that I can put episodes on a USB and plug it into the TV at my dads and that’s what I did yesterday. I probably should have slept instead but I managed to stay up pretty late so I don’t know if it was just a one off or if the tiredness from pregnancy is wearing off as I’m coming up to the 12th week. But yesterday was pretty good.

One Day of Rest

I spend a lot of times on buses.
When you’re pregnant, you’re not necessarily recommended to eat healthily. Before I got pregnant I was 9stone 6lbs on average. I lost a lot of weight in the first two months. I was pretty ill before I got pregnant, I was having body jerks which was a lot of exercise and I thought the run down-ness I was feeling was because of that and the kidney damage I had. To quickly explain the kidney damage, when the lithium got to a place of toxicity it damaged the mesh on my kidneys that kept protein and bacteria out and my doctor said it should heal on it’s own but it can take a while.
Anyway, I got down to about 8stone 13pounds before my partner (mainly because of breast tenderness) recommended I take a pregnancy test and to be honest, whilst we had had unprotected sex before I thought there was no way in hell I was pregnant. But there it was 2 lines on the pregnancy test. So we went out on a Sunday about 10pm at night and walked quite a distance to buy more pregnancy tests. We bought 3. I took two that night (a cheap one and a clearblue) and a cheap one the next morning and they all came up positive with the clearblue saying I was 2-3 weeks which after I looked it up on the internet actually meant I was 4-5 weeks-ish because they go on the first day of your last period which is typically two weeks prior and since I couldn’t really remember when mine was I made a rough guess.
I’d been suffering from nausea but since finding out I was pregnant I began to force myself to eat which made the nausea worse in general and meant that at the lowest weight in my pregnancy I got to 8 stone. When I actually began to throw up, I knew I couldn’t take it and neither could the baby so I went to the doctors, onto the hospital and onto anti-sickness tablets but because of all of this and the fact I have low blood pressure – I was told to continue taking my pre-natal multivitamin and try to eat more fat-filled foods and have the daily recommended intake of salt. So my breakfast when I get up at 8:30am in the morning tends to be a packet of salt and vingear or ready salted crisps.
A few months ago between dropping out of school and SIL1 and niece1 coming back, I had a pretty sweet set up. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I rode the bus to my dad’s and Wednesday I stayed in with the dog, Brandy and we watched TV, rested and did chores. I got up all the days I went to my dad’s at 8:45am and just before it got too cold I made an effort to look okay. I loved Wednesday’s though and didn’t realise how much needed they were until now. I’d stay in bed all morning, watch TV until I then would tidy our two rooms (and nothing more since we rarely went in them and never left a mess) and do the laundry. I’d catch up on phone calls and emails and it was all in all very chill.
When they came back from Canada, for the first week I made myself scarce because it was their family time and I would have felt awkward either staying in my room or coming out and hanging out with them. 
I’m pretty sensitive to any type of criticism – even vague, not-even-criticism-to-most-people kinda criticism so when GC told me that SIL1 had said that I didn’t like her because I didn’t come in the room with them, I decided I wasn’t even going to bother.
She was annoying before she left and she’s annoying now. 
So my new morning schedule is to get up at 8:30am, eat, check Facebook to see it SIL1 has posted anything about what she’s doing because if she posts her morning onto there then I know whether she is or isn’t coming home after she drops her kid off at school. At 8:45am, get ready to go out and I’m usually done with that at 9am and then I will sit with the door slightly ajar to hear if she comes back. If she does, I don’t have to worry about bumping into her coming out of the house (as I changed the bus stop I went to so I didn’t have to go down to the school) and if she doesn’t then I don’t have to worry about her calling me just as I’m about to leave. So I’m always torn as to whether I want her home before I leave.
I then walk down to the bus stop and probably wait about 5 or so minutes for the earliest bus I can catch for free due to my disability bus pass which only starts working at 9:30am. I travel for about 30 minutes into town where I walk to the next bus stop and wait (usually in the cold and today the wet) for 15-20 minutes for the next bus which is about an hour to my dads. I spend time at my dads, maybe actually get some peace and some sleep. I then leave at 3:45pm to catch the bus back to town (and that bus is usually late) and then another 30 minutes home where GC and I meet.
I miss those Wednesday’s and since I’m ill and pregnant, I really need them. But it’s more stressful for me to stay then it is to leave every morning.
So yeah, I spend a lot of time of buses.