It's been awhile since I posted-- I just want to let you know that I had my baby on May 28th... A beautiful and healthy little girl, who we named Raya. We love her very much, and are enjoying getting to know one another. So far, she seems to be a pretty easy baby... Here's hoping that she remains that way, because my little guy had colic and wasn't so easy. And now he's super, super active... Lots of fun though and I wouldn't change him for anything... However, having a bit of an easier time this round would definitely help me to adjust to being a mama to two now!
In addition to the birth announcement/update, I'm also looking for some words of advice/encouragement/support. I was a regular on here, and though I may not have posted much, I've been following many of you on here even after I got my bfp-- and I know that you are compassionate, kind women with lots of wisdom and experience to share. Please help me.
It was difficult at times during the pregnancy-- Around 25 weeks I had some annoying issues that had to do with my pelvic floor, and it was discovered that I have more pelvic organ prolapse than initially thought from my first pregnancy. Then, at 28 weeks I was told I definitely had a complete placenta previa and would need to have a scheduled c-section. I had a lot of anxiety develop over the possibility of experiencing pre-term labor, or early hemorraghing-- not to mention the fear of having major surgery for the baby to be born. At 32 weeks it became marginal (0 cm from the internal os), at which point I became super hopeful, only to be let down heavily when at 36 weeks it hadn't moved any more at all. I had at least been hoping to have a trial of labor if it was between 1 and 2 cm from the os... So from 28 weeks I found myself with a dark cloud of depression beginning to envelop me, which I felt completely devastated about because I love being pregnant and it really bothered me that it was changing that beautiful experience for me-- not to mention the guilt I felt for not being able to get myself out of it. Yep, with the exception of the last two weeks of my pregnancy, that cloud stayed with me since the previa diagnosis...(I will explain a little later what made the two weeks the exception.)
What made things hard in addition to what was going on with me was that since I had to get an OB-GYN to do the c/s, it made things murky with the midwives-- in my province, there isn't a formal shared model of care between midwives and OBs... so there were some major miscommunications, a lot of uncertainty when it came to certain things-- and a lot of adovcating on me and DH's part-- which wouldn't have been a big deal under normal circumstances, but I had the depression thing happening. It was a lot. We ended up switching OBs to someone who we felt more connected to, somebody who I felt I could trust more (I had MAJOR fear and anxiety over the c/s) and who worked out of a hospital where partners could stay as long as a private room was available. I did some research on natural/gentle cesareans, and though it's not practiced here as a formal mode of doing c/s, the OB agreed to some of the stuff as long as the baby and I were stable. We found the new OB two weeks before the c/s, and we were so grateful that he took us on that late. That is what helped the dark cloud lift. So with the c/s, we had delayed cord clamping, DH got some awesome photos, and I had skin-to-skin right after a quick dry-off from our midwife. It was the best experience I could have hoped for. Still, it was awfully scary going through that! It was the complete opposite of the birthing experience I had with my DS-- planned homebirth with midwives... Very healing, empowering. Not sure how much better I would have coped with the c/s if I hadn't been depressed like I was, but then, if I hadn't had the complications and the impending c/s hanging over me, would I have even gotten depressed in the first place?
I'm still trying to process things... I'm totally in love with my baby girl, and things like bonding/attachment and breastfeeding are going very well... I do have the baby blues, and at this point I'm wondering if it's just the blues or if the cloud never fully went away, and it's settled again over me. I know that with women having antenatal depression, they are at higher risk for post-partum. How will I know what I'm dealing with? I've already been receiving help during the third trimester, and I've got it available to me now, too. However, I'm finding it hard to know what's what, you know what I mean? I just want to feel better... How can I be so happy and delighted with my darling daughter, and yet feel so caught up in the grief over a pregnancy and birth didn't go as I had hoped and dreamed for, and instead turned into one where I thought that either me or my baby could die at any point if the previa caused major issues? And, grief over feeling like I 'wrecked' part of my pregnancy, because I couldn't pull my socks up? Also, feeling like a failure because most people, upon hearing that I had to have a c/s, would tell me that it was "nothing" to go through-- while I was so fearful of it? (Some of my issues stem from childhood experiences from being hospitalized, and then later as a young adult, the trauma of seeing my brother who died in hospital. The others come from feeling disempowered and not having any control over my body, and possibly being bowled over by the medical system.) Also, I was often told that I should be just grateful that I had that medical care available to me... That the main goal was a healthy baby and mama, so I should just accept that 'it is what it is' and I needed to 'just get over it'. The disappointing part, too, was that one of my doctors wanted me to go on antidepressants, and two members of my midwife team even began pushing them on me, instead of helping me to work through my grief or suggest some natural/wholistic strategies. It was like they didn't recognize that I was grieving... Only one of our midwives seemed to truly understand, and we were fortunate to be able to choose a date for the c/s for a time when she could be with DH and I. Thank goodness we had her. I mean, between her and the OB, and the wonderful staff at the hospital we were at, I have some pretty awesome memories given the circumstances.
I'm sorry if I have offended anybody in some way... I know that some of you are still trying to get a bfp, and here I am with my healthy DD... Don't get me wrong, I feel truly blessed to have her... I am completely grateful that I have her, I feel so fortunate. That's actually what makes this feel so much worse-- I struggled with infertility, and then with being over 40, it was like a miracle that I got pregnant with her on our own-- I don't take anything for granted. So yeah, this post is a happy announcement of my little girl's birth, and also, a plea for some help... I don't want to feel sad about this stuff for much longer, it's not fair to her or my DS or my DH. So if anybody has been in a similar sitution and is willing to share their experiences, or even if you haven't, if you have some ideas, I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much...