Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Suddenly so sad, where do I fit in??

I apologise in advance for the emotional ramblings this post will contain. I am not thinking carefully about what I am writing or how I am writing I just need to clear my head.

July 22nd 2007, I was 10 days over due with our much wanted second child. My waters broke at about 5 am and I started having contractions at about 7. Things progressed quickly and by 9 am I could barely walk to the car. We got to the hospital at about 9:35, I couldn't walk and had the shakes very badly. The midwife routinely checked the baby's heartbeat, and that is where the comotion began.
I think that firstly she called another midwife and I was yelling "what is wrong? Cut me open, get the baby out!" They told me that heart rate was really slow but everything would be alright. I was having gas and must have been suckinghard, the midwife had her hand on my tummy and told me not to suck when I wasn't having a contraction - I said "but I am having a contraction", I think it was then that they realised I was in serious pain that wasn't caused by contractions. The doctor came and checked for the chord, I was 10 cm dialated at this time. One of the last things I remember is the doctor calling code 1 caesar (which I now know if 10 minutes for the baby to be born), I was asked to move to a different bed, I mustered up all of my strength just to lift my legs and bottom. The last thing I remember is the gas mask going on and being put under.
I don't remember waking up, I don't remember being told I had a little boy, I don't remember Keiran there with me. I do remember being shown a photo of him in special care nursery and not really being concerned (was still very groggy), I remember going to see him and having to turn around and go back because I thought I was going to vomit. I remember Keiran telling me that he may have to be transferred to another hospital - but it just didn't really register. I also remember being told that my placenta had completely abrupted from my uterus and that Ashton had no blood supply meaning no oxygen. They couldn't tell me how long he was without oxygen for, or why it happened, just bad luck apperantly.
The next day it hit me big time and I cried and cried. Everyone said to me (and still continue to say) just be thankful you have him, but this was, and isn't ever enough, I had been through a huge ordeal.
The recovery from the caesar was difficult, no complications, just so hard to get out of bed, turn, cuddle Ellyse and pick up my precious newborn. I wasn't too concerned though, I had my little boy and I didn't really care how he arrived. The doctor told me that a natural birth would have resulted in Ashton dieing or being brain damaged, so I am not complaining at all about how he was born.
I really found the first 6 weeks tough. The first 2 were wonderful, plenty of visitors, lots of home cooked meals being delivered for us. Then Keiran went back to work, my mum went overseas for 6 weeks and I was alone all day with a baby and a toddler who wasn't used to sharing mummy. The logisitics of 2 kids was fine, I could feed them, dress them, get them organised, it was more the reaction Ellyse had that upset me. I knew to expect it but I didn't know how I would feel about it. All in all she coped quite well, there were just times when she was so nasty to Ashton and it just wasn't in her nature. I really grieved for the life we had before Ashton. I am such a structure and routine person and newborns just aren't like that. Ashton started having 45 minute sleeps and was grumpy and some days were really long. There were many times where I wondered why on earth we had complicated our lives with another baby. I didn't ever resent Ashton, or not want him in our family, it was, and is, plain hard work! I have been completely spoilt with a loving, happy 2 year old who rarely threw a tanty before Ashton was born, so to have her change behaviours so suddenly caught me by suprise.
When Ashton was about 5 weeks old I had some counselling, I didn't find it that helpful as she told me that I had already dealt with a lot of issues and time would heal - gee thanks. I had identified what I was sad about but really needed strategies to deal with that.
Well here we are 5 months down the track and I saw an old neighbour at the shops on Saturday. I was telling her about Ashton when suddenly I burst into tears and couldn't stop crying. I was just so suddenly sad and I have been ever since. I think there are a few reasons for this. Firstly as Ashton grows and changes and is developing a personality I am more aware of what I could have lost. I look at him laughing and smiling and am just so in love and realise that he was so nearly not here. Secondly, the next baby in mother's group was born last week and when I went to see them in hospital the mum was up, walking around, squating on the ground, all the things I couldn't do. She had lots of photos from the birth, again something I missed out on and have no idea about. I was on the phone to her this morning and she was telling me how much love she feels for the little one, how she has bonded so well and she just loves having 2 kids. It hit me that I was just so down and negative at that time in Ashton's life that I didn't feel like that towards him, that just makes me so sad.
I know I have reasons to be sad, but I haven't lost anything, I was able to bring my baby home where so many others can't. Do I have a right to be sad? It is just so hard to put my finger on my feelings. Crying helps, and listening to my wonderful husband's supportive words, but at the end of the day I still feel that I have complely missed his newborn stage. I was stressing about Ellyse, about his sleep and just trying to deal with myself physically. The caesar meant I couldn't start exercising for a while, my tummy just seemed so much bigger and it hung over that scar, a constant reminder of what I had been through.
As big an experience that this all was, it is still so small in the scheme of my life and Ashton's life. I know the pain will fade, but it will always be there.
I hope that I haven't offended anyone with my feelings. If you got this far thank you so much for reading. I have tears falling down my face, but I do feel a big weight off my shoulders just getting it off my chest.

I love my little boy so much, my how he has grown!


Cass said...

Oh Andrea you bought tears to my eyes. Just know that there are many friends you can talk to if you need (feel free to ring me anytime if you want). I feel quite similar about Lucy's first 6 months but as she has grown that has faded and I think about those dreadful times a little less.

Jen said...

I have a lump in my throat because I identified with some of the things you wrote. Especially the part about having a traumatic birth yet feeling unjustified in being sad about it because you have a healthy baby as a result. And the part about being so much more aware of what you may have lost as he grows. I hope writing it all down helped a bit. He sure is a cutie.

Suz said...

Oh yes, it is so hard when on the surface everyone sees a great end result, but the getting there was so much harder than they can imagine. I sympathise with you, and hope the talking about it and writing it down helps to ease it a little.

Heids said...

Oh Andrea - Hugs, hugs and more hugs. How brave for writing it all down - I hope it helps. You are in my prayers. Although I only have Miss Grace I can relate to the saddness that just won't seem to go away.

Andrea said...

Thanks so much for your words and understanding. It certainly did help to write it down. It is lovely to know I have you guys to share it with.

Leah said...

Andrea, I am so sorry you are feeling this way - you have every right to feel sad and traumatised by Ashton's birth. You are a great Mum & we are here for you.

Kylie said...

Andrea - thinking of you - my C-section with Amelia was a great experience (but then I think that it helped that I knew that I was going in for one! As is the same this time)

Thinking of you and hugs

Love Kylie

lolliegirl said...

Andrea, I'm sorry I've only just come across your post here. I hope you are feeling a little better. We are all here for you should you ever need to talk. Take care of yourself... xxx

Helen said...

Oh Andrea, ((((hug))) (((hug))) ((((hug)))) Helen xx