Life after birth

It’s amazing how your life can change in a flash …how one moment can be so defining that it changes everything. Having a child is one of those, but for me, the change was two fold. Of course I was blessed with the arrival of my gorgeous son, Jamie, but the birth also ended my 9 month physical battle with Hyperemesis (HG).

In my head I always thought Jamie would be born early. For one thing my first son, Rishi, was early and I thought I had just been too poorly to be able to carry a baby to 40 weeks. For the baby’s sake I was hoping to make it to 37 weeks and anything more than that would be a bonus. Around about 36 weeks I (and the rest of the family) caught the norovirus. My HG went wild and I was cast back to the dark days of early pregnancy. By 36 weeks I’d become used to feeling nauseous all the time, and I was clinging on. I was coping, just, but when the norovirus hit it knocked me hard! It all happened around Christmas time and I love Christmas. I love everything about it – from having the family all together to our little traditions of board games and Christmas service at church. This year couldn’t have been more different and I was basically housebound. This affected me and my mood so much I can’t really even describe where my mind was and I didn’t really recover.

By the time I reached 39 weeks I started to distance myself from people. I spoke with my midwife at my local community hospital and she was really supportive. She said that I’d suffered enough and needed to have this baby soon.  She advised me to speak to my consultant to push things forward. However when I called the hospital I was told my choices were to either admit myself to hospital via A&E or wait five days for an appointment with my consultant. I didn’t want to be without my husband and so I opted to wait. Those five days were a struggle! On the morning of the appointment I was beside myself. I just wanted my baby in my arms – safe and sound – and for the pregnancy to be over.  At my appointment the consultant agreed to an induction at 40 weeks. The consultant examined me and said that was around 1 to 2 cm dilated already and the cervix was soft – so she was hopeful that I wouldn’t even reach that date. That day I cried with relief for many things and went off about my day.
I had no idea that that would be the day that Jamie would arrive. It all happened pretty quickly and within about 4 hours of contractions starting, he was safely in my arms. In the hours after Jamie’s birth I couldn’t sleep – I was absolutely buzzing.  And sobbing.  I was obviously happy at Jamie’s safe arrival but also because I was experiencing my first nausea free hours for months. For the first time since May, I felt “normal” – the pain from birth or stitches or after pains paled into insignificance and finally I felt I was free from the prison that was HG.  I had waves of nausea that day and that was it. It just switched off. When I cried on and off all day it was also out of guilt for feeling so happy that the pregnancy was over.

Despite the sickness and nausea, the drugs and the drips, Jamie arrived into the world at a punchy 8lb 7 and was a chubby little baby who came crying into the world.

I know that it will take some time for me to be “me” again. My confidence has been knocked by the whole thing and I’m incredibly anxious but I already feel a bit more like myself – and people have even said that I seem more myself. Slow and steady will win this battle and I know I’ll have my support team to pick me up on my dark days, and remind me that I can do this.

For anyone who is suffering, please hang in there. I used to hate people telling me that it was nearly over or that it would be worth it when I had my baby in my arms but all I can say is that you are stronger than you think and you have people that love you and want to help, so let them.
Asking for help, doesn’t make you weak – it makes you stronger.

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