Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: 33 weeks 3 days

I've been a bit quiet.  It's been a difficult few weeks and I've not had anything to say.  Then I realised a few days ago I'm now in the gearing up for labour period and the getting ready to look after a baby period.  Writing the latter part of that sentence makes me feel sick.

I've had conversations with my consultant/registrars about labour, and also with my midwife.  At my last midwife appointment she talked to me about skin to skin contact and how long the baby would be on me, and if I couldn't hold the baby then my partner will have to do skin to skin.  We get an hour alone with the baby then they come do the blood sugar checks and other checks that I can't remember.  Then she talked me through how to express colustrum and milk, using a knitted boob (a white boob, which made me wonder if they had black or indian boobs for mothers who are not white).  She told me to try practicing now, to get the hang of it.

She gave me a labour information pack, which includes a booklet on labour and birth.  I flicked through it and there's loads of pictures of sticky and cleaned up newborns.  I really wish someone would make packs for pregnancies after loss, preferably with no pictures, because our needs are *so* different to happy parents' needs.

I found this appointment pretty traumatic.  It brought back memories.  I didn't like it.  But I know that it has to be done.  We have to act like this baby is coming home with us.  All signs so far say that the baby is healthy.  I'm having weekly CTG traces and they are fine.  So I have to prepare.

I did try expressing, and it was really easy, which made me happy. I felt excited, for possibly the first time this pregnancy.  I feel like my body is working right.  At the moment I will only try for a couple of times a week, and for only a few minutes each time, because doing this can bring on labour.  So in the week and a half before my induction date I will do it properly, and consider saving and freezing the colustrum, in case I have trouble breastfeeding.  Although I'm not sure I can bring myself to freeze the colustrum, because if the baby dies having to chuck out the frozen colustrum will be worse than having to get rid of all the nappies, like we did last year.

I packed my hospital bag 6 weeks ago.  So far I have packed just stuff for me.  I was going to check and then list what I'd put in, but since having a quick look and adding some toiletries I decided that going through everything would be horrible.  So from memory, this is what I have packed, or intend to pack, for me:
A pyjama top made by Bravissimo with boob support, like these ones. A second one would probably be good.
Maternity pads
Breast pads
Pjyama bottoms.
3 pairs of pants (knickers for you Americans)
My travel maternity pillow.
Socks x 3 pairs

I need to add tea bags (hospital tea is crap and I'm fussy), snack bars, something to read (will load books on my kindle, induction might take while), a nursing bra (I have a fitting booked for 2 days before my induction date). I might add straws as it will be easier to drink from them than from a glass when I'm in active labour.  My phone and charger needs to be packed too.

If anyone has any thoughts on what else I should bring, please leave a comment.

I also need to include stuff for the baby, which is a horrible thought.  My midwife told me that to bring them home we need only a few things - vest, baby grow, cardigan, hat and a cellular blanket.

I refuse to go through C's clothes so I will have to grit my teeth and go into mothercare and buy some clothes of roughly the right size.  Edit - Marks and Spencer do a newborn starter pack that will do, and I can buy it online.
I might be able to use one of C's blankets though. Not sure about that yet. Edit - I'm using one of his.
We can order more stuff online once the baby is out.  I also need to pack nappies, a friend has saved newborn nappies for us so we don't have to go buy any.  Lansinoh needs to go in.  Shampoo, conditioner, soap, sponge for me.  Perhaps cotton wool balls to clean up baby poo.

On the physical side of things, I can no longer sit on my exercise ball for very long because my back muscles aren't up to it.  At night my hips can be incredibly painful, more than likely caused by ligaments relaxing which allow sacro-illac joints to move, which they normally don't do as they attach your pelvis to your spine.  They need to relax in pregnancy so you can get the baby out, but they cause havoc with your comfort levels.  Exercise (walking, cycling etc) makes it worse, but pelvis stabilising exercises like pilates improve it (even though I'm bloody terrible at pilates at the moment).  So to help me I have constructed more pillow support for my back, shoulder and neck, because lying on my hips is horrible, but lying flat on my back is not good for the baby or me (the baby and your uterus would press on a major artery and your lungs and then you can't breathe).

I've bought some bra extenders to try and make some underwear fit better, as I really don't want to buy something that is only going to fit for another 4 weeks.

On the anti-depressants, I talked to a friend who has taken a lot of drugs for mental health over the years, and after discussing things with her I think I have decided to ask for paroxteine to take immediately after labour (you know who you are, thank you).  The registrar said that they would keep me on them for 6 weeks, checking in on my mood to see if the dose needed to be adjusted and then wean me off them at 6 weeks, if needed.  I will have the GP, midwife and health visitor looking out for me so people will know if they cause me to go loopy.  And my partner will be at home for the first 4 weeks too.  I figure it's a good precautionary measure and I feel better having everything set up ready to go.

I get to meet my health visitor in a couple of weeks.  They usually visit at 36 weeks but I'm a special (batshit) case, so she's coming round at 34 weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No advice for you because obviously I've been through none of this - but as I was reading your post I did think that using C's blanket might be a nice thing to do - to give your new baby a connection with the big brother that they will never get to meet. When new baby is older, that would mean something to them, you know?

I'm sending you all the positive vibes I can as the time gets nearer - be strong my dear. You and Dan will see this through.