I can’t work out if I’d just forgotten the hormonal rollercoaster of late pregnancy, or if it simply didn’t happen with the pixies. Everything about the Miracle has been different; his gender, the fact that he was a natural conception and consequently I didn’t have four months of synthetic hormones to start with, the way I’m carrying him, the fact that I already have three children of five and under to run around after… The list goes on.
I am five days away from Rubber Gloves Day. I’m spending a lot of time in tears. In tears over trying desperately to collect non-existent and reluctant colostrum. A soul destroying process that’s time consuming and sore. Trying to catch whatever tiny drips I can create in a syringe before a small child grabs the syringe and runs off with it, or demands a drink or takes their nappy off to show me the contents. Generally, the midwives are unsympathetic and suggest treating it as if I was feeding the baby. There’s a fundamental difference: the baby will be latched and catching the milk. Small children cannot grab the baby and run off. And of course, the baby will be the best stimulant anyway!
I’ve been very tearful over Rubber Gloves Day being brought forward to 38 weeks from 39, and I’m not sure I understand why. I had a very tearful conversation (tears are a common theme at the moment!) with a particularly lovely midwife a couple of days ago about this. I just have this niggling gut feeling that I won’t be ready. I know the Miracle is term. I know he’ll be ready. But if I’m not, there’s a higher risk of tearing and of the induction resulting in a c-section, something I am desperate to avoid.
Big was induced at exactly at 38 weeks and the experience was horrendous. I know that much of that was due to hospital mistakes, which, as a first time mum, I was not equipped to cope with emotionally, practically or mentally. Much of that has changed, as has the hospital that we’re booked into, so the chances of a similar experience are low. Nevertheless, there is definitely an association there that’s adding to the maelstrom of emotions.
A c-section also means some sort of ‘help’, something I am very resistant to. I know there are fabulous nannies and mother’s helps out there, and I’m sure they’re worth their weight in gold to their families. For me, it’s not something I would find easy. I simply do not want to have someone in the house when I’m recovering from pregnancy and birth, trying to teach my newborn Miracle to feed, establishing a milk supply and helping the pixies cope with our new family dynamic. However helpful the extra pair of hands may be in practical matters, I’m quite a private person that loves my family bubble. I would really struggle with anyone piercing that. Put simply: I just don’t want someone hanging around.
With any kind of birth, there are risks that need to be weighed up. With my history of postpartum haemorrhage, Lovely Husband doesn’t want us to delay the Miracle’s arrival. His concern is that the bigger he gets, the more dangerous it becomes for me. I understand that, though I think I’m more likely to tear and have problems if I’m induced too soon and my body isn’t ready to do it. I totally get it: all the time he’s enjoying his deluxe VIP suite in my body, he’s growing bigger and bigger. He’s already over the 95th centile, so waiting too long means delivery could be difficult and, again, it could end in a c-section. Difficult scales to balance.
I’ve agreed to go in on the booked Rubber Gloves Day in any case. The midwife will do an examination and see how ‘favourable’ I am. If it looks like it’ll be easy, they’ll go ahead. If not, they’ll treat me to a sweep and send me home for a day or so. I think I feel better with this plan, but still the tears roll.
Many of them have no reason. Seeing videos of a young Marti Pellow and realising how much I miss my best friend in Australia sets me off. A Dogs’ Trust advert with lots of pleading faced hounds reduces me to a puddle. Big telling me she likes it best when ‘just Mummy’ comes to pick her up from school. Medium cutting Gransy spoily time short because she just wants to see me. Little picking a daisy and proudly presenting it to me. Realising the building work over the road is disturbing the magpie nest and they probably have babies they’re trying to protect. My feet being cold because they’re in flip flops as I can’t do up my shoelaces anymore. The house being untidier than normal. The overwhelming realisation that this pregnancy is hurtling towards its conclusion and all the worries that come with that. Everything and anything sets me off.
I’m having acupuncture, which has levelled out my mood a little. I’m a big believer in the power of the needles and my acupuncturist will do an acupuncture induction the night before Rubber Gloves Day. Let’s hope the Miracle decides to arrive before the rubber gloves get their moment of glory and I get my sanity back. For a brief spell, anyway.
Thanks for listening, friends. You’re good sounding boards. I feel a bit better now.