Day # 493
Well, so much has happened since I have been able to update on here. I am hoping to be able to update more frequently but being a mother now makes having times for things quite difficult to be honest. I don’t even know where to start with all that has happened in such a short period of time.
Being a wife now basically still feels the same as when we were together before hand but I guess we have more of a bigger picture to worry about. It’s not all about us and the here and now. It is more so to do with the future and our relationship and (trying) not to let little things be an issue. I think it is a good thing to think beyond just ourselves and think bigger picture. Our relationship is still strong and I honestly think that having had TSW to deal with prior to being married really set us up with strength to deal with pretty much anything.
Speaking of anything we had the toughest experience of our lives when it came time to have our daughter. I honestly thought that TSW would be pretty up there for bad things to deal with in my life and that was until I had my daughter. We both describe it as the best and worst day of our lives. Best day of course because we had our lovely daughter and worst because of the events that took place.
Now just to recap I wasn’t overly ready to have a baby when we found out about our lovely surprise. I don’t know if I would have been more ready if I weren’t right in the thick of TSW (4 months in) My guess is probably. I was right in the mindset of just somehow getting through each day and somehow surviving I wasn’t even thinking of growing a person! To be honest I didnt even know if my body could do it! It seemed like my body could barely handle just basic function let alone making someone! But no matter what I thought or expected our daughter was there and I was pregnant. Throughout my pregnancy I had many fears and worries and I think most f them centered around the fact that I was going through TSW. I had a hard time enjoying the experience and found myself really just trying to get through it all. I think pregnancy would be a challenge just on its own and with all the extra added pain of TSW it was very difficult for me. I get sad thinking back on it because I wish it had been a good, happy, joyful time of being pregnant with my first child but sadly TSW takes a lot away and this was just another thing to add to the pile. Thankfully I had a relatively calm pregnancy, meaning I didn’t have many things go wrong or anything be serious. My body seemed to actually handle making a person quite well. My skin was a total mess of course but as far as making that baby it did a good job.
It was the 30th of December in the evening when my water broke. My husband and I were laying on our bed talking. I forget about what but was probably plans to do with our soon arriving baby! I was due on December 22 so I was 8 days over due by that point. I didn’t notice anything at all until I moved and felt a bit of a wet spot. I looked down and there was a little puddle surrounding me… We both looked a bit shocked. I guess I was expecting a bit more of a flood gate if my water were to break but this was rather boring in comparison. I felt no different at all so we called my midwife who decided to come over and check things out.She had arrived about 10pm I think and my water had broken around 6pm. I was still feeling nothing different so we made a plan to have me come into hospital the next day at 12pm I believe it was so that we could heck on baby and make a plan from there if nothing had happened. We went the night where we went for a walk, I proceeded to use my bouncy ball to try and encourage baby to get moving! Still nothing… so we arrived at the hospital and checked on baby, who seemed to be quite happy in there but making no attempt to come out! Now that the protective layer had broken though it was cause for concern because the baby was no longer is a safe area and infection could easily get in so something needed to be done and not left too long. I was very reluctant to force anything to happen as I wanted so badly to have a home birth with no interventions at all and to just do it all naturally. If TSW taught me one thing it is to not use medications without really thinking it through and I didnt like the ideas of most of the medications offered during labour. They wanted to induce me right away and have me stay at the hospital and put on antibiotics but I didnt like the sound of any of that! I asked to go home and wait a few more hours in hopes to have labour come on naturally. The hospital was quite reluctant to let me leave as of risk of infection was high and I had to sign a form saying that I was basically fine to possibly endanger my baby… this of course made me worry but I was not ready to give in just yet. it didn;t help that the entire night before we had hardly slept. I left it 24 hours from the time my water broke until I decided that the risk was too great in leaving it so we headed back to the hospital for induction. This was a really hard decision as I never ever wanted to be induced and I was actually quite against it but i had not expected this all to happen.
They started me right away with antibiotics and the induction and it took a couple of hours to really get things going but when they started oh boy they really started. Once I was getting contractions it seemed that it was just one after the other after the other with no breaks in between. They also just seemed to be extremely painful right away with no time for me to get used to it or get prepared for it. My husband was there with me and by this time my doula was with us as well and it was basically full alert right away. I was just dealing with contractions and getting through them and my husband was right by my side the entire time. I was hooked up to a machine that monitored the baby because I had been induced which was another reason why i really didnt want it to happen because i was confined to one spot where i could basically stand but i wanted to be moving around. I stood for hours and hours and hours. I also used a TENS machine which I found useful in the beginning. I laboured in one spot standing and moving from side to side for 10 hours with the contractions going one after the other and using the TENS machine. They examined me and the baby and it showed the baby was posterior so I was having back labour and she wasn’t moving.. at all!! I also wasn’t dilating. After 10 hours I had made it to 2 cm. Once I was told I wasn’t dilating and that the baby was in a bad position and not moving I decided that the pain was too much. In my pain state where I had enough I just said get me pain relief. I didnt care what it was just get something in me now! They had tried t give me gas and air but I took one inhale and I threw it away from me and said absolutely no more! I hated it so much. They wanted me to keep trying and them adjust the levels but I wouldnt have it, no way. it made me feel horrible! So the quickest thing they could do was the injection. I said I dont care just get it for me asap. So the midwife went to get it and my doula and husband were trying to tell me about how that was one thing i really did not want to take as it stays with the baby long after birth. I never wanted to do it but the pain was so much and not making any progress was so discouraging and the back labour was so intense that i did not care i couldnt handle it all. The midwife came back with the needle and got down to my thigh to get ready to give me the injection and i just remember my doula saying are you sure? right as the midwife was about to inject me I said stop. I have no idea how, in that moment of shear pain I managed to say no to pain relief but I did and the midwife said ok and left with the needle right away. I did decide however to get an epidural as that doesn’t effect the baby quite so much. I was still very disappointing in myself as I had really wanted to do it naturally and one by one it was all going to shit. It took about an hour for them to be able to give me and epidural which was the hardest because I was so done and the pain was so much and by this time the contractions were overlapping. Finally it was time to get the epidural in place but the only thing worse than the pain of the contractions were the pain of the contractions and my having to sit down. It was excruciating. I can still remember that pain now and on top of all that having to stay still…. near impossible! It took about 45 minutes and a few tries for the lady to get it in place and that was pure hell and just added pain. Finally though it kicked in and all I wanted to do was rest. I was so exhausted and everyone just went to sleep. I had to get a catheter because of the epidural and myself and baby were being monitored. after a few hours I was slowly dilating. and I mean slowly!! Problem was the baby was still not moving.. at all! Then all of a sudden out of nowhere a pain started in my upper thigh and it felt weird and about 5 minutes later the epidural had completely worn off and I was in worse pain than before which I didnt know was possible. I couldnt focus on anything else all I could do was keep my eyes shut and just moan. It was terrible. After what seemed like forever they got me back to no pain but only about 10 minutes later all the pain came back and the epidural wore off…again! I was right back to that pain. My temperature started to climb and there was lots and lots of blood coming through my catheter and with my pain and me screaming they had cancelled all other c sections and rushed me in to get the baby out as she had still not moved. I had finally dilated to 8cm but she was still posterior and not going anywhere after 29 hours in labour they rushed me in for surgery. Man that was scary. It was my nightmare to need a c section and I barely had any time to make a decision where it wasnt really a decision anymore as it was more of an emergency. Adam was right there with me but my doula had to wait outside the ER. Everything was happening so fast and they decided to stick with my original Epidural even though it wasn’t working previously and had moved from its original position. I felt numb from the neck down and I felt like a 10,000 pound weight was on top of my entire body. It was an awful feeling. I was rushed into a room with what seemed to be 50 people all touching me and hooking stuff up to me and talking to me. There was a screen put up so I couldnt see my body and i just remember being so scared that i could feel something. They did an ice test to make sure I was numb but I said that a scalpel is a lot different to ice but they assured me it was all ok. I just remember focusing on Adam but being so out of it and so tired and exhausted and scared that it was all blurry. I remember feeling that exact same pain in my upper thigh and sure enough the numbing went away just like it had twice before…. I could feel the surgery and it was more pain than I could even fathom I could go through and live. I told them over and over that i can feel it all and they did not believe me. I wanted to badly to see my baby though that I guess it made me keep going. They pulled her out and showed me my daughter. I remember my husband saying “Look how big she is!” she came out 9lbs 6ounces. They immediately held her beside me and reached out and touched her and they took her away and that is when it all went really bad. I was screaming in pain. My husband said the noises I was making were not human. The doctors said I had to stop screaming because I was pushing my organs down as they were trying to put me back together. The last thing I remember was screaming “Put me out, Put me out!” And that was it.
My husband told me that he was then rushed out of the ER not being told anything. Shortly after that they brought him our daughter. Thankfully for some reason a month before I had read somewhere that it can be a good idea to express colostrum just in case. I did this but I really thought there would be no way we would ever need t but i guess i will do it just in case. I am so glad I did because that was our daughters first feed and she got it from her dad. I dont really know much about the time in between. I vaguely remember being in the recovery area and being so hot and just shredding my skin. My scalp was the worst and my arms and they were wheeling me to my room and my husband was trying to get me to stop but I just took the skin all off my arms and head. We have a picture of me holding my daughter for the first time and I dont remember any of it. It took me well into the next day to really know what happened and where I was.
I feel robbed. I felt devastated that I wasnt there for my daughter beginning of life. I wanted skin to skin and I wanted to hold her and I got none of that and I never will. I had a really hard time for a few weeks after her birth because I felt like I was mourning a loss of something that was really important to me. My birth plan. It was all taken from me and none of it went to plan. For me the very worst thing that could have happened was to have a c section and not only did that happen but it went even worse from there. I really wish I knew why some people had to go through certain things such as TSW and a horrible birth, I guess I will never know. I do know now though that I can withstand an unimaginable amount of pain and live through it and have TSW on top of it all. So it went from wanting a natural home birth to being put out.
I also wanted to go home shortly after the birth but I was kept in hospital for 5 days. My blood levels were dangerously low from the surgery, from the screaming, and from the local anesthetic. I was given two blood transfusions and breast feeding was basically out of the question as my body was just done. I kept at it though but sadly had to supplement with formula but i was determined to breast feed as that was the only thing left from my birth plan that I still (sort of) had control over. The doctors all came in and basically said how sorry they were that I felt the surgery and that it rarely happens…. this didnt ofer much comfort to me. Especialy as I already have lost faith in doctors and the medical system from TSW. Finally after 5 days I was released and our daughter was able to go home! Thats when my sadness of it all really set in. I think the hospital was just so busy that I didnt really have time for it all to sink in.
To be honest I was quite scared by all these feelings I was having and I felt in a massive funk that I really didnt know if I would get out of or not. On top of it all having to care for a baby and having to deal with TSW which I found really hard to handle without all these extra things on my plate. My poor husband couldnt leave my side for about a week as I would just sob. He was there for me though. Through it all. Through every moment of my labour, even in my fog of pain I always remember having him right there beside me being my rock and comfort. I guess I could have expected that as he had been there through my TSW journey as well. He was there for me too when I was just sad after we had our daughter and night time was the worst and he would just hold me all night really tight and he would tell me that he’s got me. And I would wake up sobbing and he would stay up and just keep telling me that he’s got me. I think that is the only way that I was able to snap out of it. I still feel so devastated that I lost such an important moment and I am still so sad but I feel like I can handle it now like I would if I wasnt dealing with so much stresses and emotions and hormones.
The next 2 months were hard! And I mean hard! Adam went back to work and my skin was a mess, I mean a disaster! On top of that I was healing from a c section and taking care of a newborn. It was so hard. Also my daughter decided not to sleep much at all and she would stay awake sometimes for 14 hours straight and just cry and cry and cry and it was a lot to handle. I really really dont know how I have gotten through the last 2 years with all of this the only things I can think of are my faith and my husband. Truly if I didn;t have those two things I would have crumbled a long time ago. I never thought I could have handled this much in life and here I am surviving.
I am now 16 months in TSW and have a 10 week old baby that I breastfeed. She is my everything and I love her with all my heart. It took a while to be able to fully bond with her and I think it was stress, lack of sleep, and healing from pain. I had a flare but it lasted about a week and a half and after that my skin has been showing improvements. My hands really didnt know what hit them when all of a sudden I had to use them constantly from having to take care of a baby and the first two months were awful and painful. Now they are still hurting and painful but I see these patches of clear skin coming through and they can handle a lot more! My forearms are still hard to deal with and quite itchy and rashy but so much stronger than before. My face is still flaky and rashy but again I can see healing and strength in my skin. My scalp is quite flaky still but slowly getting there. my stomach and thighs got quite red and rashy for a while but have been clearing up again and my ankles are soooo much better then before. My back has been the newest thing to flare quite a bit and ooze and swell and has been quite painful but I can see it is calming and improving. I feel like I can see healing and my skin strengthening. I still have a ways to go before i could say I was healed but I am now able to handle a lot more and sleep better now that our daughter will sleep through the nights mostly. I am able to bond with her so much more now that I am able to touch her more without so much pain. Breast feeding is a lot easier now. It was quite painful for a good 2 months and I think I told my husband I was quitting every day but I still kept on for some reason.