Mar. 11th, 2009 02:58 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
I had a chunk of sleep almost four hours long last night, so I feel fabulous. Also, after that, I had a lovely dream. Pregnancy and birth dream )
This morning we went to BfN supervision round the corner and then came home and had lunch. The children have been doing complicated projects which I don't understand and am not involved in.

Also, this morning, an Amazon parcel arrived to the Mizzes Collier, and we don't know who it's from. Thank you, whoever you are!

My birth

Apr. 5th, 2007 03:53 pm
ailbhe: (baby)
I was born into dim light, my mother's birthday gift. She was 37, healthy, not too tired. I held my head up and looked around. I didn't cry, and no-one made me, because my health and alertness were obvious. Presumably I was covered in blood and vernix and all sorts of goo; history does not relate.

Because I was her fourth child, my mother breastfed me without hindrance from birth; no-one tried to talk her out of it, or at least not so she listened. She was confident in dealing with me, and her other children knew what to expect from a baby and supported and tolerated babyish whims and inconveniences.

My mother held my babies within hours of their births.
ailbhe: (Default)
While I was in hospital, I had to make sure to eat no dairy products and no soya. This is because I have an intolerance to these foods which manifests as a really upset stomach, and I'd just had gastroenteritis followed by abdominal surgery. Not upsetting my innards further seemed only sensible.

I was in recovery over the official lunch period, so I first encountered a problem when I went up to the ward and they said they'd bring me something to eat because I'd missed it. I explained; they said "Did you tell anyone?"

Yes, I told everyone before I arrived in to hospital. "No, did you tell anyone up here?"

No, I just got here. It's in my notes. "You'll have to see the dietician."


Meanwhile, they found me some cream crackers and some bourbon creams and a cup of black tea. Luckily I remembered these problems from when I was in with Linnea when she stopped breathing at 11 weeks, and from when I was in for perineal repair when Linnea was 8 months, so we had already planned for my mother to bring me food later.

The dietician arrived with the week's menus. She and I looked at them. She didn't know what was in any of the dishes. She didn't think the kitchen could produce dairy-free versions of most things, either. So, based on what I had already eaten in the hospital canteen when I was in for antenatal appointments around lunchtime, I told her which dishes did and did not make me ill.

That's right, the patient who was out of post-op recovery less than two hours told the dietician which hospital meals did and did not contain dairy.

So based on that we chose a menu. She offered to have something special and light cooked for me that evening, since I had just had surgery and most of the women would eat something light the day of surgery. She asked me for suggestions. "Pasta in a tomato-based sauce?" I couldn't see how that could be difficult.

Rob and my mother brought me fruit, biscuits, and cereal bars. And a carton of rice milk.

That night I got a miniscule portion of overcooked pasta in some kind of goo. It strongly resembled the toddler ready-meals one can buy to microwave, in fact - the ones Linnea rejected from age 16 months on, which was fine since we mainly got them for travelling when she was 15 months.

Breakfast the following morning, a nice junior midwife spent ages trying to find out what was in the cereals. They arrive on the ward decanted into unlabelled boxes, you see, and she couldn't find anyone who knew where the boxes were to read the ingredients from. She also couldn't remember the list of thigns I told her to look for - whey, casein, soya, soy flour, skim milk powder, milk, butter, yoghurt, cream, cheese, etc. She settled for bran flakes in the end, ebcause they were 100% something or other. I had my own rice milk on them. At least it was food.

Lunch was either nasty dry fish without sauce (a block of fish, some potatoes, and some kind of veg) or salty pork ghoulish. Dinner was, er, the other one of those.

Next day I still couldn't get out of bed to eat, due to a killer headache, but the nurse or midwife or whoever it was didn't believe me, so I had to wait until Rob got there to get my breakfast. He brought me muesli from home. Fab. Lunch was a baked potato so vile that Linnea refused to eat it, even though she was thrilled by the idea of eating in hospital. Dinner was more dry, nasty fish, with potatoes and veg.

Reader, I had that same fish three times. For all I know it was vat-grown and as they hacked off a lump it grew back. It was served with horrible new potatoes (really, they did something to new potatoes to make them really unpleasant) and very very boiled veg.

I ate. I know that food is necessary to recover from having holes hacked in one. I ate everything that I could choke down. The only meals I didn't eat all of were the baked potato and the final lunch, which was yet more blasted fish and since I was going home in 30 minutes I decided to skip it in favour of eating almost anything else.

Next time I shall go in to hospital with a little recipe book, or possibly a camp stove.

Still, last time I was in hospital to have a baby the food was worse.
ailbhe: (hospital)
I'm sure there's an appropriate community for this, but I'm not in it. Someone in my due date community asked about postnatal bleeding and the first postpartum period.

When I had my first baby, I bled afterwards. This was ok; the books said I would. No-one seemed worried.

When I had my second baby, by cesarean section, I also bled afterwards. Everyone was asking, pretty much constantly: "Is your bleeding heavy?" "Are you bleeding ok or is it too heavy?"

Well, I asked, what's heavy?

"How many pads do you get through?"

Incontinence pads or sanitary towels? Because with my first baby, I measured it in inco pads, several a day. This baby, I don't need an inco pad.

"Are the pads soaked?"

I'm not sure. They're more comfortable when I change for a fresh one, but last time, I left them in place until they were unable to absorb more fluid. Which is your definition of "soaked"?


And that's why I started asking people to look at the damn pad themselves. "Is your bleeding heavy?" I don't know. Here, look at this, is that heavy?

Turns out that this time I'm normal. Hah.


Sep. 9th, 2006 04:45 pm
ailbhe: (sky)
The wound is healing. The scab is coming off the scar, which is freaking me out a little. One internal wound still hurts, but apart from that I have no pain in repose (except SPD of course, but time will fix that.)

I don't trust the healing process. I don't trust stitches to hold me together. I don't trust wound edges to knit.

But they are.
ailbhe: (emer)
Gah, just realised I have to send this to her supervisor as mere plebs can't nominate for this award. Um. I've got as far as

Dear [name],

I really want to nominate [my midwife] for "Community Midwife of the Year" but the Mamas and Papas nominations have closed for the year. The British Journal of Midwifery is accepting nominations from colleagues and supervisors of midwives until 22nd September, at http://www.britishjournalofmidwifery.com/cgi-bin/go.pl/register.html

My personal recommendation of her is below. I hope you see fit to put her name forward.

Many thanks,

Ailbhe Leamy

Yargh. At least they've extended the deadline.
ailbhe: (Default)
No-one is sitting on me. Emer is asleep lying down in the pram, not in the hugabub, and Linnea has been stuck in front of the telly and I hope she stays there all day or longer.

Along with sneezing, my incisions have also decided now is a good time to develop a cough. We managed peanut butter on toast for lunch. I really need to drink more. And birth injuries from Linnea's delivery mean I now have to leave two children unhappy while I hide in the bathroom and scream.

I must try to reread my nomination for Fiona soon and see if it's worth sending in yet. MORE COMMENT PLEASE.

I think Emer just woke up.


Sep. 6th, 2006 01:04 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
No sneezing
No laughing
No being kicked by the toddler
No lifting the toddler
No twisting
Really, no cha-cha-ing

Especially no sneezing. Now, how does one prevent a sneeze? I know how to hold my nose but it doesn't stop the abdominal muscles doing their thing.

(Also, I am faintly stressed that Rob hasn't called from work yet today. Perhaps he's busy.)
ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
I'm trying to learn to wear Emer in the hugabub. I think the problem is that I'm not tying it tight enough; she won't sit high on my torso in it. So far, I've tightened it every single time I took her out today, and I'm not taking the sling off - she's currently asleep upstairs in the moses basket - until I've achieved a tight enough tie to hold her in the right position. She's light enough that it's ok if she's not quite right first off; I can tote her around as long as she's comfy, and it doesn't matter so much that it would be awful if she weighed another 3lb.

So far today I've had breakfast, washed, dressed, done my hair and teeth, cleared the dining table, filled and run the dishwasher, hung a load of laundry and a load of nappies on the indoor drying rails (I can't really stretch to the outdoor line with any confidence), folded another load of laundry wet so's it doesn't dry crumply, sorted dry laundry into piles by owner (but not put it away; Emer's asleep in there!), cleared one and a half kitchen counters, put the magimix bowl to soak (encrusted banana cake mix - need to work on that recipe; cakes were incredibly dense and flat), took a phonecall from someone who hadn't been informed of Emer's birth (oops), found the cordless phone, fed Linnea her snack, and read some of another Adriana Trigiani, which are incredibly easy and lightweight and not too funny. I'd love to read the new Bryson, and we have some Fforde waiting for me, but I can't laugh too much yet. A little giggle is fine. I can get away with a chortle. Up to three chuckles don't strain the stitches. But side-splitting isn't amusing when it feels literal.

In other news, I seem to have lost the ability to make usericons out of lj pics photos. Huh?
ailbhe: (Default)
(1) It is absolutely appalling that the most pain I am in now is caused by Linnea's birth, not Emer's. I will stop taking codeine immediately. I spent over an hour shaking from pain yesterday evening, and slept incredibly badly because of it.

(2) Tandem feeding works well for us, though it's difficult to position both of them to feed together on my actual lap; in bed, Linnea snuggles up beside me and I hold Emer, and in an armchair Linnea stands on the floor and I hold Emer, but Linnea would like to be on my lap.

Engorgement, however, is much easier to deal with with a toddler. I'm leaking far less this time around. It's wonderful.

(3) I am starving to death. I can't eat enough.
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer is nine days old today. Rob did four hours of work, two and a half of them in his actual office. I'd love to know what they'd have done had he refused outright to interrupt his paternity leave. As things stand he's going to go back to work a day late, which we somehow feel to be a remarkable concession on their part.

Other than that, things are fabulous. Today I left the house. I walked to the community garden, which is easily twice as far as Elle's Baguettes, and we were over halfway there when I realised that it was two whole hours past the time I should have taken my pain medication. Once in the garden, I sat around for a while until Rob came with my meds, and after I took them I was able to walk around with my mother and look at the garden. We fed and changed Emer, and then got the call from Rob's work so had to leave earlier than we wanted to.

But it wasn't until Linnea was 14 days old that I was able to walk to Elle's Baguettes, leaning on the buggy all the way, and it took me an hour of sitting outside to recover from the walk enough to walk home. I was medicated to the max before we left, too.

This is so different an experience that I am baffled by it. I can't believe how much I can do - and I have to stop myself doing too much to prove to myself that I am not sick, am not incapacitated, am not disabled like I was last time.

And the SPD is almost all gone; I have a little ache in the middle bone now but that's about it. No more sharp pains, no more feeling almost weak enough to collapse outright. I haven't tried climbing into the bath, mind you :)
ailbhe: (Default)
The first was when I asked a woman in staff clothes - I think she was a Maternity Assistant, not a nurse or a midwife - to help me by giving me a cushion to keep the baby off my wound, and hand me the baby. She wanted me to try the "rugby hold", and I said "It never worked with my other daughter." She argued with me, saying that feeding the baby held in front of me wouldn't work and would cause pain to the wound. When it became clear I was going to try it my way, she walked away. Had I needed further assistance, I would have had to buzz again - as it was I had to position the cushion with one hand while holding the baby with the other, less than twelve hours after abdominal surgery. The good news is that the cushion supported my arm, which supported the baby, and we had a comfortable feed.

The next I don't really remember, but feeding lying down a Staff Nurse reached out and touched my breast to help position it. I don't remember whether I said anything, or what she was trying to do.

After that, my mother and I heard the woman in the bed next to mine having a long argument with a midwife because she and her baby had been just about discharged, gone to change the baby's nappy before leaving, and found crystals in it. This can be a sign of dehydration so they were asked to wait to see a paediatrician before leaving. There was a delay of more than six hours to see the paediatrician, during which time the woman was given no help at all with latching, positioning, determining whether the baby was sucking effectively (you can often tell by looking). She wasn't told that there was a breastfeeding clinic downstairs she could drop in to without an appointment. She wasn't offered a meeting with a lactation consultant. She was just told that the baby could be dehydrated, that this was "because feeding wasn't going well," and that she "had to" wait to see a paediatrician before she could go home. (Eventually, her mother, who is a doctor, came in and got them released somehow, after both parents and the grandmother spoke to the paediatrician - luckily the paediatrician spoke German, because the baby's mother was German and though her English was excellent she was too upset to have to cope with new-baby-panic in a second language. The grandmother's English wasn't as good as the mother's, either).

Later that evening the Staff Nurse dropped by my bed to ask how things were going and I said "Fine," and she asked how feeding was going and I said "Great, she's been on most of the day, really," and I was in the process of latching her on again as I said that. The Staff Nurse reached out and sort of squeezed my breast above the nipple to try to push more if it into Emer's mouth. I said "Please don't," and she explained that she was trying to make sure the latch was ok. I assured her it was fine. She said it couldn't be because the baby shouldn't be hungry enough to suck all day, the colostrum should be enough, and if she was sucking all day it was because the latch was bad. I ended up repeating over and over that I thought the baby just liked to suck. She'd only been born that morning, after all - and that was early. (Latch fine, baby fine, c-section babies are often very clingy and needy the first day because it's a very sudden way to come into the world).

At some point that night someone told me I shouldn't feed her when she started mouthing, I should wait until she "really wanted it" so that she'd "have a really good feed". Er, yeah. Ever tried to latch on a really, really hungry and frustrated newborn? No joke.

And the final straw was at about 1 am. Around 8 pm Emer was declared a bit cold, and they put her on a heat pad under a plastic dome in the bedside bassinet (a whole nother post about the skin to skin thing follows, I promise). At 11 pm I couldn't bear it any more and I buzzed for someone. A midwife arrived, told me to turn on the light - I had no idea how and it took a while to get her to tell me how, turns out there's a button on the buzz-for-a-nurse thing - and asked me impatiently, in a daytime voice, what I wanted. I said "I want to touch my baby." She said:

"What for?"

I said "Because she's my baby," and we had a little argument. She insisted that the baby should not be disturbed, I said I didn't want to disturb her, just touch her, she said that I ought to leave the baby alone and rest... it went on and on. Eventually I said "But how can I rest if I can't touch my baby?" and she gave in. She did a full check of blood pressure, temperature, and pulse, and then tucked Emer in beside me for skin to skin, and I fed her. The midwife asked if I'd fed my other daughter and I said "I still do," and immediately her attitude changed: now I was a Good Mother, a Good Patient, and she was going to be nice to me. She even said she'd make sure I was checked a couple of hours early to get the catheter out before breakfast time.

And a while later the woman in the bed opposite buzzed for her, for help breastfeeding. I don't remember the whole conversation, but the gist of it was that the woman had had trouble feeding earlier in the day and asked for and been given a bottle of formula. The night midwife harangued her about it - strongly implying that she was stupid, repeating and repeating that she was sure to fail if she had given a bottle, that bottles are very harmful to breastfeeding, that she needed to never give a bottle, that she shouldn't have given the bottle... she didn't stop until the woman was crying. And nowhere in the "conversation" did I hear helpful advice, or a question about what precise problem the mother had with feeding, or anything useful or supportive like that.

I was furious, but far too ill and tired to buzz for the midwife to tell her what I thought of her. I wanted to. I almost shouted across the bloody room, but I was too ill for a confrontation at 1 am - I was too ill to hear other people's confrontations, for heavens' sake. And I was sick of being given breastfeeding advice by unqualified people myself, so dishing it out wasn't really a good idea.

Next day I moved to a private room, and we found out that there's a patient-midwives meetings scheme thing to improve midwifery services. I intend to get involved. Hooboy do I intend to get involved.
ailbhe: (Default)
After Emer was born, we went into recovery, and Rob had cups of tea, we called my mother and Rob's parents, I got given drinks of water, and I gave baby Emer her first feed. She did it as efficiently and competently as Linnea had, in spite of being much, much smaller.

Somebody somewhere messed up badly when it came to having me give birth, but they sorted it out with the breastfeeding thing. I get babies who know how, and that's all there is to it.

We took photos and chatted in the recovery room, and Rob and Fiona dressed Emer in her first vest and babygro, dyed especially for her by http://www.happybabysling.com/. Since she was over a kilo smaller than Linnea had been, the gro was a little loose on her, but she was fine.

There was some argument over my refusal of an electric bed. I really, really wanted a bassinet for Emer that would clip onto my bedframe so I could get her without sitting up or getting out of bed; these do not attach to the electric beds which would enable me to sit up without others' assistance. I later discovered that some of the staff don't much like the bedside bassinets anyway because they are harder to move around and make the bed much wider. But I stuck to my guns and got the bed I wanted. Then they moved us upstairs, and had some real trouble finding me food, since I was insisting on dairy and soya free things, given the dire warnings I've had about post-section digestion anyway.

I got crackers and biscuits, in the end, and a dietician came to talk to me about dinners. I hope to make a whole post about that later, because it was shocking and amusing and edifying.

I don't remember a great deal of that day. Linnea came to see me, and said "You have a baby Emer out of your tummy!" and stroked Emer's head gently and touched her hands gently. She's very gentle to Emer, in fact, and was incredibly pleased to see her, pleased she'd been born, pleased about the whole thing. Still is, a week later.

My mother came, of course, exhausted from several nights of broken sleep and two days' toddler-wrangling.

Rob spent a lot of time sitting in the bedside chair holding Emer and being tired and happy. He also left to get lunch and dinner. He changed her nappy - meconium is very, very black, and very, very heavy, and I am convinced that had Linnea waited until after being born to pass hers she'd have weighed a full 10lb.

Rob went home to dinner, and stayed home, to get to bed early, and Mum came back in to sit with me for the permitted time. We overheard some nasty arguments, from behind my curtains. Those probably need a seperate post too.

They brought me some dinner while Rob and Mum and Linnea were away eating; it was weird. They had real trouble finding something dairy-free, soya-free, and light enough to eat after abdominal surgery. What I was served in the end looked like a toddler meal of the kind one can buy in its own plastic bowl, designed to be microwaved and eaten with a fork. It was pasta and tomato sauce, soft and flavourless and overcooked. Glutinous. I ate it anyway; I don't know a whole lot about surgery but I do know that the body needs fuel to heal, and I don't intend to do anything to slow the healing process down a nanosecond.

The first night was all about breastfeeding, really. And the first day. Everything noteworthy that happened to me or that I overheard on the postnatal ward was about feeding the newborns, one way or another. So that needs its own post too.


Aug. 22nd, 2006 07:35 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
We arrived in the hospital in plenty of time, and queued up to be dealt with. The officiating midwife (Gina) came and took my notes, then led us to the waiting room, where I was given a fetching hospital gown (ankle-length on me, and would go around me at least twice) and Rob was given scrubs but told not to change into them until about 8:30. We sent My Lovely Midwife (Fiona) a text message to let her know that we were both (a) not vomiting and (b) at the hospital, and she responded that she was getting her kids off to their various childcare placements and she'd be with us shortly.

So Rob went to find himself a cup of tea, and we broke out the Scrabble. I thrashed him, of course, while Gina took my blood pressure and found my notes and took my pulse and my temperature (she forgot to turn the thermometer on, at first, ditzy lady) and went to hunt down my blood test results and so on. Fiona arrived, left her jacket with us for safekeeping (things in the pockets) and went to change into her scrubs; Rob changed into his, too.

Then it was time to go. Gina pushed my wheelchair to theatre, while Fiona pushed a Marks and Spencers trolley with the day-clothes and wallets. We got to the theatre and I was instructed to sit up on the table. People introduced themselves to me by job title, rather than by name, but they almost all addressed me and Rob by name. Everyone was very cheerful and calm; Rob and I were almost capable of making jokes, though all I did was refuse to have music playing, because the things I wanted playing would put the surgeons off. Then came all the nudey bits; I was covered in front, where Rob was, and exposed entirely behind, where a bunch of total strangers were. Medical stuff )
There was some pulling strong enough that my back was partially lifted from the table. That was weird. Then the baby was born; Fiona told Rob he could stand up to take a picture, so he did, and sat down again in a hurry because he was shaking. Someone asked whether it was a boy or a girl, and someone said "It's a girl!" and I said "Of course it is!"

Then the obstetrician said "She just weed on me," and I said "Good girl!"

She was taken to the resuscitaire and Fiona manouvred things so that I could see her almost continuously while they dried her off, nappied her, and wrapped her up. I managed not to cry, but couldn't stop my hand reaching out towards her; she seemed so far away. She was put across my chest at a funny angle, because the screen was still in the way, and I was able to sort of hold her. Then Gina asked if we wanted her dressed now or later, and I was much affronted. I said something like "She's been messed around enough, poor thing."

They stitched me up, and we got from theatre to recovery somehow. I was in a proper room for that, too, with a real door. They left us with Fiona to be tired and happy.
ailbhe: (hospital)
On Friday evening, late, my mother arrived by ferry and train from Dun Laoghaire. On Saturday we all went into town to fetch a wheelchair and give the invalid (me) an outing. On Sunday we rested and Rob took to his bed in the afternoon with a slightly queasy stomach.

On Sunday night we called a friend to take Rob to A&E as he was vomiting uncontrollably and his temperature was dropping faster than we liked. Early Monday morning he came back, and I started vomiting. Later Monday morning Rob was in bed, pale and wan, and Linnea was being babysat by a neighbour while my mother took me to hospital. I was attached to monitors which I had to detach in a nurry to rush to the loo, and later a doctor came in and asked "Are you ok?" as I spewed into a cardboard bowl. I wasn't in a position to retort anything witty, unfortunately.

They took some blood, and as the baby was apparently fine, said it was ok to come back in the following morning for the section, but that Rob needed to be asymptomatic for at least 12 hours, preferably 24, to be allowed in.

We found someone else to care for Linnea after I got home, and I lay on the library floor while Rob lay in the master bedroom, both sick as parrots, trying hard to rehydrate. Late in the afternoon Rob managed to eat a fair bit of toast, and Linnea came home. We decided he was well enough to attend the section.

So on Sunday night I got less then three hours sleep, between Rob being sick and my being sick, interrupted by Linnea being woken by the commotion. And on Monday night I got about four hours, between pre-op nerves and alarms set so that I could take my pre-op antacids.

However, come Tuesday morning, I was wide awake and cheerful - optimistic even - and I even made Rob drink something before we set off. Linnea woke in time to be kissed goodbye too.


Aug. 19th, 2006 08:05 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
We are all home and well, and I am still too tired to write the birth story up :) Hardly surprising, given how ill we were before going in.

I'm very happy. Rob's very happy. Linnea's very happy ("Where's my baby sister? I NEED him!") and Emer's very happy. My mother's very happy - I can hear her singing to Emer now.

Birth went well, healing is going well, Emer came out of the oven fully cooked and ready for the universe, feeding is going well - tandem feeding coming soon to an icon near you - and I have plans for getting involved in a group aiming to improve maternity services in the hospital where I delivered both times.

Emer has HAIR. And is unfeasibly tiny. 7lb 2.5 oz is a lot lot smaller than 9lb 14oz. She's 1.5oz bigger than I was.

Oh, and this time? Her first bowel movement was passed outside the womb, so we got to see it. Wow. (She also peed all over the obstetrician; ob said "She just weed all over me!" and I said "Good girl!" for some reason.)
ailbhe: (Default)
15 August 2006, 3250g, 9.39 am.Amazing how tiny.

She and I are both well as poss given circs. Ihave lovely story and some breastfeeding "help" rants for later.

birth was like a party.
ailbhe: (Default)
A few more hours, before they tie the knot...

Rob hasn't been sick for about 24 hours now, so there should be no problem with him attending the birth, if he can stay awake long enough. I wasn't half as unwell as he was anyway - he started off exhausted, and I started off well-rested and well-nourished.

We're both much better. The whole household was in bed by 8:30 pm, which was good given that the previous night even Mum, who was perfectly well, only got about 3 hours' sleep.

The anaesthetist will probably be thrilled with me; all I've eaten in the past 36 hours is two pieces of white toast with jam, and I've drunk water and some lemonade. I also took the most amazing antacid, as per pre-op instructions; I'd love to get my hands on a jarful of them and blow the corks out of vinegar bottles. We used to shoot pill-bottle lids over the roof of the house on Aran.

At 6 I need to take another antacid, then do my hair, have a proper shower, get Rob fed on dry toast and weak tea etc, make him shower, and book a taxi. He and I will go to hospital, and Mum will stay behind with Linnea. I do hope Linnea wakes so that we can say goodbye; she won't be impressed if she wakes and we're gone. Also, we haven't seen much of her since all the illness started.

I'm not much nervous. I'm certainly not having panic attacks. I had no nightmares. I'm not excited either, but that could be because I'm tired and hungry. My main worry is that we'll forget the Travel Scrabble. Or perhaps that Linnea will be very very cross with us - she was pretty unsettled by us both being ill yesterday.

I haven't the faintest who will get later updates or when. Rob's journal is at [livejournal.com profile] rrc so there might be something there. If your number is already in the phone you might well get a text message. I never got around to figuring out text or voice LJ updates from my phone.

I'm going ot see if I can get another hour's sleep before it's all go, innit.
ailbhe: (three generations)
In the past three days, about half a dozen people have told me they think I'm very brave to be going through All That again. I'm getting better at just saying "thank you," or whatever, but the truth is, it didn't take much bravery at all, really.

It took far more courage to face the fact that I might never have another pregnancy. The courage it took to have sex, to get pregnant, to contact midwives and doctors, to go to hospital, to research and plan the c-section, to stand up for what I want even when actual doctors with real authority don't like it? Piddling. Never being pregnant again was a truly terrifying thing. I attribute the drop in panic attack frequency and intensity, and the accompanying return of sleep, serenity, and domestic harmony to our lives, at least partially to my beloved teddy-bear beaded-flip-flop-wearing gynaecologist telling me that I could carry another pregnancy, even if I couldn't deliver vaginally. Basically, we went and got me pregnant the very next time I ovulated.

It's true that I've always gone straight back out and done the scary thing; when I first moved to England I promptly fractured both elbows (three fractures along the length of the bones in one arm, meeting at the joint, and two in the other, also meeting at the joint) ice-skating. As soon as my arms had healed enough to dress myself properly again, I got Rob to take me back to the ice-rink. It worked. And largely because going new places and meeting new people was terrifying for me, I made a point of going to all the afpmeets I could. That worked, too, though I was still crying with panic when I first went to Sweden. It's a tactic that works for me. Without it, my life would be unbearably restricted by now, because, well, enough nasty things have happened to me that avoiding the whole thing would be extremely, er, restrictive.

(OK, the phrase "Feel the fear and do it anyway" is sitting in my head begging to be said, so here we go, I've said it, though I don't believe I've read the book.)

The point is. The point is. The point is. Um. Probably that I don't feel terribly brave. I wouldn't be doing any of this if I could see pleasanter options. There aren't any. this is the leastest worstest path for me to take, so I'm taking it. It's still bloody difficult, yes. And I really appreciate when people acknowledge it - which is what "You're so brave!" remarks are doing. But I don't see much in the way of alternatives that don't involve rewriting my personality, and it took me long enough to write this one.

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