I am currently 35 weeks into my second pregnancy and although I have been using an app to help me keep track of my weeks, I am now starting the “it’s so close” end of the line count down.
My first pregnancy, with daughter Ayla, was uneventful and ‘boring’. I didnt have “morning sickness” or many issues apart from a low lying placenta, which rectified itself by 32 weeks. I suffered from some reflux but I loved the whole experience.
This time I have suffered from nausea in the first trimester causing me to lose weight and not eat a lot. But also extreme reflux that has lasted the whole pregnancy. I have groin and hip pains if I over do the walking or roll the wrong way in bed.
But I still love the experience and compare this pregnancy with my first.
Now with the countdown getting closer I am getting a bit emotional and excited about what is about to happen to me and to us as a family. But there is also fear.
This fear comes from the reminder of what occurred after the birth of Ayla. And when I say after I mean it was about 2 hours after her birth and the placenta.
Ayla’s labour was 5 hours long according to the midwife and most at home. Even the transition phase took place at home before I demanded to be checked out.
We were going through the midwife family birth centre at our local public hospital. We arrived around midnight, the security guard escorted us all the way to the front door of the centre and we were able to make ourselves at home.
So, the bath was filled and I proceeded to push in the comfort and weigh reducing feeling of the water. With only the light of a salt lamp my body took over. It did what it needed to do. I noticed nothing in the room with me except the occasional cool cloth from hubby.
Until the only words in the room was ‘quickly bring her up’. Automatic was my body’s response. It was like I was watching from above. And when I picked up my baby it was amazing. This bundle of mine, still connected to me yet separate.
The time from then went quick. Out of the bath, needle given for placenta removal and the cuddling on the bed with hubby and bubby. Perfect.
I remember this with positive memories. Even the pain was a good pain.
Now why do I feel fear? Because I suffered a postpartum hemorrhage. Approximately 2 hrs after the placenta was birthed, I had a strange feeling. I felt like another baby was coming and I needed to push. I was wrong. The midwife took me to the bathroom, and I pushed. And what happened next was frightening.
Blood, lots of blood. The doctor was called, and checked for clots and retained placenta. Nothing was found. Yet the feeling of pushing continued and more blood was lost. I was given the gas to help with reducing the pain from the examination.
The emergency code was called.
Hubby was holding Ayla the whole time. The room filled with people, doctors, nurses, even the guy from pathology who had done one of my pregnancy blood tests. Someone was on the bed, massaging my belly, as they thought the uterus was not contracting. I had cannulas added. And we waited for the anesthetist.
During this time, I was in a haze. I had to give permission for my husband to make decisions for me and Ayla. And when it was time to go to theatre I had a moment of clear thought. To my husband I told him “You need to call my parents”. It was not for me but I knew he needed them.
The midwife came with me all the way to emergency and when the anesthetist arrived he was not what I expected (nerdy, scrawny etc), he was the opposite, he reminded me of my uncle and my older brother; I was instantly relaxed.
I woke with my husband and parents around me. Baby Ayla in safe hands.
I learnt some time later that I suffered what they call a High Vaginal Wall Tear. No reason can be determined WHY or HOW it had occurred, but they could tell me was that the tear had been repaired and that the chances of it happening again is very slim as the tear is not very common and the vagina is a very strong organ. But it had nothing to do with my uterus or placenta. Very positive.
I have since spoken to midwives, councilors and anyone who wanted to know. This has helped me realise that it was not my fault, or bubs fault and although I remember what happened like it was yesterday, it’s like remembering I had a car accident at ‘that’ road but I can still drive down it.
With the birth of bubby number 2 fast approaching, all the midwives are understanding of what happened and will have things ready ‘just in case’ but I am confident that my body can do this again. Maybe the word ‘fear’ is wrong. Maybe its just ‘remembering’ the bad with the extremely good, especially when I look down at Ayla cuddling my baby belly and talking to ‘her’ baby.
Many of us will have some type of negative experience throughout the pregnancy, labour and even in the months after the birth, so I implore you to speak about your experiences as there are many professionals, organisations and places that are here to listen and help, like Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA) which provide information, support and referral line for people affected by post and antenatal depression.
Phone: 1300 726 306 – 9:30am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday (Australian eastern time)
Or alternatively see our list of Support Services contact information to find the right service for you.