Sunday, May 31, 2009

Depression

I'm hazy on how much I've said on here, but I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that I had severe depression after my first was born and also that I've been depressed recently. I'm not sure that I've made it clear just how severe my recent troubles have been, it's hard to compare two things 6 years apart, but this has been as bad as the postnatal depression, possibly worse, which is BAD in the grand scheme of things, I was in hospital for a while when I had postnatal depression.

So here I am a week after the birth of our surprise 3rd baby, on a high dose of antidepressants, but still inclined to bawl my eyes out for no apparent reason. Baby blues affect far more women than postnatal depression, it's normal for women to be tearful in the days after a baby is born, I didn't experience this after the birth of my first, so when it hit with a vengeance after the birth of my 2nd it was a surprise and very scary. The same seems to be happening now, this morning was hard for me, Andrew and the kids went out to church, I made a concious decision before Grace was even born that I wouldn't go this week, that I was not going to push myself physically or emotionally. The good thing was that in my despair I was crying out to God to help me, to help me rest in Him and trust Him with all my fears.

There is no telling what the next few months will bring, my psychiatrist's hope is that I'm on the road to recovery, that giving birth will not trigger the beginning of another depressive episode. Sometimes recovery looks just as scary as illness, I've forgotten what normal is, I can't remember when I last cooked dinner, last drove a car and so on.

Whilst I feel completely content with having delivered Grace by c-section (thrilled actually!), it does add some difficulty at this point as little things that can help lift your mood, like having dinner with your family aren't happening as I need to limit my use of the stairs.

I think I need to pray for contentment, I actually have a very blessed situation right now, very few men get a month paid paternity leave, so whilst I am free to take time over recovery and just look after Grace whilst I get looked after, rather than having to struggle to look after a family.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More pictures

 

 

 


These should have been with the previous four, but for some reason they didn't upload, don't know if picasa has an upload limit of 4 or something, because they were all held in the tray.
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Lots of pictures

 

 

 

 


Lots of pictures for your viewing pleasure! They should be chronological, beginning with her in the OR having a picture with both Mummy and Daddy, then some in recovery meeting Sausage Boy and Banana Girl for the first time and finally getting kisses in the NICU.
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grace Elizabeth

 


This is actually Grace on day 3, just about to leave the hospital. The c-section went very smoothly, I feel very blessed to have had such a good birth experience, even though it was not at all what we had planned. She weighed 7lb4oz, born 9.58am, 24th May.

The few days after the birth weren't the smoothest, she wouldn't feed at all the first day, so I was very relieved I had pumped colostrum in advance and got started with more pumping. Then she showed symptoms of low blood sugar, which testing confirmed, so it was off to NICU for her. She didn't respond to my attempts to feed her there, but finally fed when she came back to my room just before discharge. She's now feeding fairly well, but not as frequently as we'd like.

I'll post more pictures as I sort through them and as we take some more!
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

This feels wierd.

Right now I'm sat letting my computer rip some Christian music CDs to my Zune, to give me something to listen to whilst in the hospital. It's a funny mixture of emotions that are going through my head right now, I don't know how much of them result from the delivery being via c-section, or from the general difficulties I've had with getting used to the idea of having this baby.

Delivering a baby vaginally has always meant the arrival of the baby is linked with a blessed relief from pain (for me that was even with epidurals!). It's rather like running a race and winning a prize.

With a c-section there is much less of a process to go through and I'll be a passive participant in it, I hope to watch in a mirror, or by having the drapes lowered, but I think I'll still feel some amount of detachment from what is going on. The arrival of the baby, rather than being a blessed relief, marks the start of a long recovery.

Because it's an early start tomorrow, a friend has taken the kids already, so everything is quiet here, they'd be asleep anyway, but it will be wierd tomorrow morning. I gave Sausage Boy my cell phone, so that we can call him direct to announce the arrival, he seems very chuffed by this and has already called DH's cell phone to let me know that he loves me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

got the go ahead

Baby's lungs are mature, so we're definitely on for Sunday morning at 9. We have to get to the hospital at 7am. The kids are going to a friend on Saturday evening, it will be good not to have to deal with them Sunday morning, but I will miss them, I like to have them around before things like this, in the past it has helped me to have them there for dental treatment.

One slight issue right now is that our tumble drier vent is blocked, which means we can't use it. We don't have a massive supply of baby clothes, so things could get interesting.

I spoke with the anaethesiologist and he thinks I shouldn't have long acting morphine in my spinal due to narcolepsy. Even though everyone seems to think this is great for pain relief, I had been a bit concerned that it might be too good with the vulnerable state of my hip and pelvis. Seems like I'm a bit of a complicated patient, but I'm glad everyone is doing their research, rather than just assuming the unknown is ok.

We are finally sorted with a car, we have a Gold 2006 8 seater Toyota Sienna, we are so blessed that everything came together to allow us to buy this without taking any loans. Currently we have Sausage Boy sitting in the back row, and the middle seat removed from the middle row, he thinks it would be much cooler to have all the seats in, so he has to climb over them! As I expected the third row would be a tight squeeze, or maybe even impossible for 3, once you have a car seat in there, so it being an 8 seater will allow 7 to sit comfortably which will be useful when parents are visiting. We need to do some experimenting as to where the baby will sit and that may well be different initially to what works later on. Banana Girl really struggled with the car early on and it would have been good to be able to sit in the back with her, this time we actually have that option!

having a hard time right now

For whatever reason, I'm finding this afternoon hard. Things seemed to drag on and on this morning, we were called early on to ask us to come earlier for our amnio, which meant we couldn't get my blood drawn before it. The amnio itself was very easy, easier than a blood draw any pain was much milder than the sharp scratch of a blood draw, I'm not sure I'd even call it pain! However after that, the monitoring didn't go so well, there wasn't much variability of the babies heart beat despite plenty of movement, which meant I spent over an hour on the monitors.

Getting the blood draw was relatively straight forward, but it was gone 2 by the time we were leaving the hospital and we needed to pick up prescriptions on the way home. I knew once we home, things wouldn't end, there were still phone calls that needed to be made, so I couldn't go flop straight away. Thankfully they all went smoothly.

It's hard to sit back and rest when there is still so much that needs to be done. It's hard to ask for help with things that even a week ago I could have managed myself, like packing my hospital bag.

I don't feel particularly anxious about the upcoming surgery and arrival of our baby, but I do feel a bit disassociated from it and in a bit of a fog, which makes it hard to focus on things that need to be done before it happens.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

c-section Sunday

It turned out I didn't even have to say I think I want to go the c-section route, my doctor had consulted with other doctors in the area, including ones that specialise in high risk pregnancy and they all felt a c-section would be best for me, which I glady consented to!

Then it was a case of determining when this would happen, we left the appointment last Thursday thinking it would be Wednesday or Friday next week, but over the weekend I experienced some symptoms of high blood pressure, as well as some signs of impending labour, so when we met with the perinatologist on Monday we ended up scheduling an amnio to check for lung maturity for Friday.

I've also had further deterioration of my hips and pelvis, meaning on Monday I resorted to using crutches when I left the house.

All this led to the obstetrician announcing on Tuesday that she wanted to deliver on Sunday morning and didn't feel comfortable waiting any longer. So we are scheduled for 9 am on Sunday, assuming the amnio results are fine. Even if they aren't we may still end up delivering on Sunday after getting steroids to mature baby's lungs. She's confident that baby will be ready, we had a scan on Monday and there are signs from that that things are ready.

It's been hard for me to get things ready at home as I'm so immobile, but friends have been helping out in various ways and I'm confident we'll have things sorted out.

I saw my physical therapist today and it was useful to discuss with her things I might be careful about for recovery. One thing I was worrying about was pressure to mobilise quickly after surgery, her suggestion is that I should mobilise, but should do so with a walker, to minimise strain to my pelvis.

We saw my psychiatrist yesterday and we have a plan for medication, she feels confident I'm going to do well and it does seem that we're finally getting to a place where the Zoloft is having a good effect.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

insomnia!

It's 4.35 and I'm awake, not just awake, but wide awake! One thing that people don't get about narcolepsy, is that the lack of control over sleep applies to both falling asleep when you don't want to AND to not being able to when you do want to!

Today is a busy day anyway and not sleeping is going to make it a tough one, I have three appointments, 9am, 11am and 2pm. The first is counselling, which I'm still not convinced is helpful. Then it's the long trek to the PT, it's a way to go each week, but this one really is worth it. Finally I have an appointment with the OB we first saw last week, I'm very close to saying I want an elective c-section. The idea petrifies me, but the closer the birth gets, the greater the fears of a repeat of last time and the further I'm prepared to go to avoid any risk of a repeat.

Monday, May 11, 2009

woo hoo, knitting on target

45 pattern repeats completed! I may even do more tonight as whilst the pattern is time consuming, it is fairly easy, so it's ideal in front of the TV knitting and tonight is Dancing with the Stars, the first time I've really watched the US version, in part because it usually clashed with me actually dancing myself!

Yesterday was mothers day in the US, which means lots of sales and our local yarn store had a really good one, 30% off yarn and 10% of everything else. It's the kind of store that mostly stocks pricier, luxury yarns, leaving the cheaper yarns to stores like JoAnns, so 30% off makes the difference between leaving something on the shelf and it coming home with you! I had picked out a couple of different patterns I was interested in getting yarn for and in the end stumbled across a deliciously soft fine yarn called Panda Silk, a blend of bamboo, wool and silk. It's a little finer than the pattern I had in mind, but the pattern had 3 sizes, so I'm knitting the middle one and crossing my fingers, so far the section I've knitted looks the perfect size.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Where we're at...

I've been having a hard time the last few weeks, but not in the way I expected, physically I'm doing a lot better than I expected, that doesn't mean I'm doing great, but I'm still fairly mobile and no sign of any kind of global flare up of pain as in my last pregnancy.

Having previously had postnatal depression, that puts me at risk for a repeat, but it seems to have struck sooner. Fortunately we've been surrounded by lots of wonderful people who are helping out in so many ways and we are working with a great psychiatrist to try and get the right combination of meds.

This has had an impact on our birth plans, as my coping ability has changed dramatically, so we're now intending on a hospital birth and are still trying to figure out whether that will be vaginal or c-section. It's really hard to place any kind of number on the chances of having pelvic or hip problems after a vaginal birth, not that I even really know what that number would have to be for me to decide a c-section is definitely what I want. We meet with the doctor again on Thursday.

knitting

I'm knitting the cardigan on the cover of the current issue of Vogue Knitting. It's got an interesting structure, the centre circle is knit in rounds, from the middle outwards, then a very long strip with 4 different patterns is knit and attached around the centre circle.

The pattern repeat for the outside is 4 rows, there are approximately 100 pattern repeats to make the whole strip. I'm currently on 33 so about 1/3 of the way, I cast on 6 days ago, Sunday, so my average per day is almost 5 pattern repeats. It would be great to get this done by the time baby arrives, which means I need to keep this rate up and I should make it and have time for construction!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bump - 34 weeks

 


I forgot to take pictures at 32 weeks, 34 seemed like a nice number, so I resolved that it would happen today! This time Banana Girl got to pose with me, she's just about as tall as the bottom of the bump when standing next to me, so we had some head hitting bump moments!

I'm wearing the birthing necklace I made from a bead swap with some of the other June mums to be from mothering.com.
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