Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: weeks 28 to 30 plus 2

Ah, I have not felt capable of writing these last couple of weeks.  They haven't been good.  Emotionally, I've not been well and it's taking a lot of effort and a long run up to write this post.  There's not too much detail, but there's a lot to say, a lot to record.

At 28 weeks plus one I had visits from my family, a couple of them one weekend, and then the other one the next weekend.  They are visiting because I can't bear to leave Norfolk and be that far from my  hospital.  Remember how about 6 weeks ago I talked about how I just needed to grow up and stop being such an arse?  Well it turns out that I don't deal with seeing family, not right now, and I had a meltdown, as we affectionately call it, using that word to try and downplay and poke fun at a very bad time.  I flew into a rage and sent some rather nasty emails which I am not proud of.  I apologised, but that doesn't make it OK.  No matter what people have done, and no matter what I think of their behaviour, there is no need to send nasty, spiteful, rage filled missives.

I wasn't very well.  Things were getting on top of me, I was hurting, I was lashing out and I wasn't thinking straight.  I had a midwife appointment on the Monday and cried through most of the appointment.  Then I had a counselling session later, which was OK, I guess.  Then a pilates 1:1, which was a distraction.

I came home from work one evening, Tuesday I think, and spent the evening in bed, not caring about anything.  There were a lot of self harm thoughts (I haven't had those, in such a high frequency and strength, since probably October last year).  I didn't do anything to hurt myself (because I understand that when you're pregnant that sort of thing is frowned upon) but I wasn't well.  I managed to facilitate/run an all day workshop at work the next day, but still wasn't right.  I had my 28 week scan the day after and talked to the doctor (a registrar, not my consultant) and she suggested anti-depressants, which I'll go into in another care plan post.  I declined the anti-depressants, not because I have a thing against 'popping pills' as so many people rather naively put it, but because when I'm this way I don't make quick decisions and I wanted to be able to research the drugs first.  I didn't go into work that afternoon, but I also didn't take to bed.  I functioned.

The next day I did go into work, but left a bit early to go to the hospital for my second emergency CTG trace.  I had no idea whether I needed to go or not, but because I wasn't rational enough to make a decision I thought I'd be best going in.  When I got there the midwife agreed I'd done the right thing.  However, I did have to sit in the waiting room for about 5 minutes waiting to be called through.  The same waiting room where we were kept for about an hour when we went in to check C's movements and were told he'd died.  So that was pretty horrendous.  Or would have been had I allowed myself to feel stuff.

Since then I've been improving.  I'm not right, not like I was before this 28 week mark, but I look fine and I'm doing normal life stuff and to everyone else I'll be fine now. But I feel like I've packed my emotions and fears into a little box and I've pushed it down deep inside me.  I feel brittle.  That Tuesday scares me, if I allow myself to think about it, because it was a reminder of what depression is like, and I haven't felt that way in a long time.  I'm used to managing stress and anxiety, but not used to feeling like that.  So I push it down and pack it away and I'll deal with it at  later point when I have more time and space.

I do have to remember that in the third tr with C my mood crashed, completely.  I just started crying for no reason and feeling low.  I never really brought it up with my midwife because I'm not good at talking about this stuff, but it was a significant difference to my second tri mood where I was comparatively bouncing along, and the change happened overnight.  So I suspect that this week is a combination of grief, pressure, fear and hormones.

A friend at work (when talking about something completely different to the above) said something like 'you don't want to be defined by your loss at work', and my instinctive reaction was yes I do.  But now, I'm not sure if that's the 'right' response, or what I want.  I need to reconcile my status as a mother with other people's understanding of being a parent, and somehow fit all that into the rest of my life.  Which is kind of what these blog posts are about, a bit.  The purpose of them has changed, I think, since I started writing at what, 5 weeks (?) gone.

So, I guess I should also talk about the physical stuff.  At around 27 weeks I got a growth spurt, and jesus my hips and pelvis started hurting.  So I made an appointment to see the physio (at 29 weeks plus 3) and she gave me a support belt, which is bloody amazing.  Of course the departments at the hospital don't talk to each other, or read historical notes in their department, so she asked how old my child at home was and I curtly pointed to my Sands sticker on my maternity notes (the notes I bring with me that she wouldn't have seen beforehand).  She went ahh and it was fine, but for fucks sake. She saw me for about 50 minutes and gave me exercises to do to help with other pain, and on the whole was pretty good.

Speaking of pelvic girdle pain (PGP), the ways I manage it are:
  • When standing or walking for long periods, wear the support belt.  I did get given one with C but it hurt more so I never used it.  This time round my bump is flatter and lower (my torso muscles have little to no tone due to the short pregnancy gap) and the belt works a treat.
  • When lying down, put a pillow between your knees, a pillow against your back and a pillow underneath your bump.  You can buy maternity pillows which do all these things or you can use separate ones.  I use a mixture of 4 maternity and non maternity pillows.
  • Pelvic tilts can be done sat on an exercise ball, leaning back against an exercise ball, on your side at night or standing up.  They really, really help loosen up painful lower back muscles, which while not strictly speaking are part of pgp, nonetheless don't help.
  • Doing pregnancy pilates every week.
  • Seeing an osteopath (experienced in treating pregnant women) every 3 weeks to realign my pelvis.
  • Sitting on an exercise ball at home, not on the sofa.
  • Not pushing myself.  If something hurts, stop doing it.
FYI, my pgp hurts when I walk for more than 10-15 minutes, when I roll over in bed at night, when I sit on the sofa for too long and when I stand up from the sofa I get shooting pains down my leg.  That last bit probably isn't pgp, its just general pregnancy tightness.  It all needs treating though.

Right, what other physical stuff?  I had the whooping cough vaccination at 29+3.  It made my arm hurt.  2 days later I started getting a cold and now nearly one week later the cold is still lingering. It's not that severe, but bloody hell it's knocked me out.  I feel like I've been asleep for most of the week.  Considering that and my near breakdown the week before I've done fuck all at home and the boyfriend has had to take up all my chores, as well as the redecorating job he's doing.  It's not very fair on him so now I'm better I'm determined to start pulling my weight again.

1 comment:

Jfcfanatic said...

Sending you love. <3