Sunday, March 25, 2007

From little things, big things grow

I ahev just been reading my archives. I know that's self-indulgent, but it is amazing how much our life has changed in the last 4 weeks, let alone the last year. This time last year, I was recovering from M/C 2 and pregnant with m/c 3. I was so pessimistic. And naiive.

I'm still having trouble equating P with the small thing that lived in my belly. It still hasn't 'clicked' that he is 'mine'. I love him so much, but I still don't believe that 'he' was The Speck and then The Peanut and then Raby the Baby. In short I'm not 'bonded'.

It's suprising to me how many women will admit to this- in hushed tones, like it's a huge shameful secret. Things like this make me realise how much of women's reproductive health surrounding pregnancy and fertility is still taboo. Like miscarriages. And why if one in three women who have had a baby will wet themselves, no-one ever says "Oh God the pelvic floor went to shit after number two". (Fwiw, I have noted no difference). (Oh and fwiw, recent research shows that having a cesar does not protect against post-partum incontinence. Britney, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie- pick the one in three...).

I can't believe that I had never seen P, or even that right up to the delivery we still didn't know whether he was a boy or a girl. I can't really remember not knowing what his name would be. The beautiful whorl of hair right on his forehead. The tiny fingernails. His little belly button where we were connected. The way he likes to sleep with one tiny hand above his head. His sweet milky breath. An empty bassinette. Having little cause to go into his room. Not knowing how to change a nappy or bathe him. Nights without interruption.

The labour seems alternately like yeaterday and a dim, painful memory. I started having contractionswhilst watching telly at about 5.30 pm, and they gradually worsened with some slight liquor leakage. At 0130 the contractions made me go to hospital; my mum drove me as t was at work. I laboured in the bath once T arrived and lasted until 0530 when an epidural became necessary from the searing pain of a posterior presentation (that didn't go away between contractions!!). My friend A was the anaesthetist and the poor thing gave me a dural puncture, but, dammit, relieved the pain (a dural puncture headache is *nothing* compared to labour). They needed to start synto after the epi went in as the contractions started to go 'off'. Then he had dips. They turned the synto down.

My obstetrician examined me at about 0900 and P was 'deflexed' and OP (ie instead of the crown of his head being the closest to my cervix it was his face, and with him facing my front rather than my back). We were given a 60% chance of needing a Cesar. But then during the day, he turned and flexed; despite a heavy heavy motor block (I couldn't move my legs at all) and with the risk of worsening the dural puncture (the option was foreceps) I managed to push him out at about 1830- about 25 hours after the start of the contractions and 17 hours of established labour.

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