I officially have only one full day left of this pregnancy. On Monday morning at around 9am provided there has been no emergencies throughout the night where the theatre has been required, we will be meeting our little girl. I thought it might be beneficial for other rainbow parents if I shared exactly how this last week has felt and how we have coped.
I had a plan in my head of how things would go. Of course, I’ve already had to change my birth plan from a VBAC to a C section but also, I had a plan of exactly how I was going to feel and when. It turns out that was unrealistic. I should have known better really but I just presumed that it was only Sunday night I would feel anxious and unable to sleep. How wrong was I. Last night was my second night with little to no sleep and I’ve certainly felt it today. It turns out my head had a lot more to process than I first realised.
One of those things is the delivery method. We were still given the option to be induced but we decided a section was the best for baby and our own mental wellbeing after discussing risks with the doctor. I thought it would give me peace of mind, because the last thing I wanted was for my VBAC to go pear shaped and either my life was at risk with a scar rupture or her life was at risk due to her growth restriction and the gestational diabetes. We were both scared of the emotional impact of an emergency occurring during labour and how we would cope.
I honestly don’t know how anyone who doesn’t have medical reason to would ever opt for a section. I know I’ve had one before but it was an emergency and I knew it was the only way Silver would be born alive. I would have done anything for her. This baby on the other hand has left us very much in the grey area, something I don’t particularly cope well with due to suffering borderline personality disorder. I like facts, I like to know for certain. In theory we maybe could have had a successful VBAC, whilst at the same time in theory, on Monday I could go into theatre and not come back out.
In hindsight I think an emergency section would have been easier to cope with, because you know it’s the right thing and you also don’t have this time to think. Each night we are getting closer and closer to me having major operative surgery and I’m not going to lie, its pretty terrifying.
With this knowledge my initial plan was to have a really nice relaxing weekend, knowing I needed my mind and body to be prepared. Both my mind and body disagreed last night. Me and Fabian both couldn’t sleep so it was already a late night of talking through our worries with each other but my body is in so much pain. I had such a restless night and it would seem my body is physically struggling more than ever with the pregnancy now. I had intense rib and hip/pelvic pain making it impossible to sleep despite my fatigue and regular painkillers (which I usually never take!). Add to this a nervous mum brain and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
It’s strange how things have started to creep into my mind that I have managed to neglect thinking about throughout this pregnancy. I’ve been so focussed on “the pregnancy” that I’ve not even contemplated life afterwards. These will all be things we thought about before trying to conceive Silver, but that was two years ago! It has honestly only just dawned on me in this last week just how different life will actually be. If we thought food shopping was hard now with Beau just imagine what it will be like next week, recovering from surgery plus a new born plus a neurotic toddler on a rampage…
Not only is it going to be in some ways so much more difficult for us as parents but I’ve also realised how this could affect Beau. He is so precious and I am dreading the day when he asks politely if I can do something with him and I have to say no because I’m sorting out his sister. I’m dreading that look of disappointment on his face and don’t want him to feel left out or neglected. So yes, mum guilt has kicked in with full force. My remedy for this right now is to hopefully spend a lovely day with him tomorrow, his last day with our undivided attention, especially since both me and Fabian will be in hospital for a couple days.
I’m hoping we can go for a nice walk (body permitting) and maybe do some baking together (then I can eat the sweet treats once she’s born and my diabetes is gone!). We are also hoping to do some activities with him whilst Fabian is on paternity leave too such as Fabian taking him swimming etc. Ensuring he still gets quality time with us but also it will give me a break and possibly nap opportunities whilst Leilani sleeps.
Sticking with the topic of mum guilt, I know this might seem silly, or perhaps other loss parents have felt the same? I am absolutely terrified of looking into her eyes. I’m scared of seeing how pure and innocent she is, how vulnerable and naïve she is. Why? Because this pregnancy has been tough and I have regretfully at times said how all I wanted was Silver, implying I didn’t want Leilani. I have so much mum guilt. Knowing that she is so pure and deserves as much love as Silver. Knowing how lucky I am to have her yet I’ve not always appreciated it. Knowing I have put up barriers to protect myself from bonding with her when I should have been cherishing every moment and falling in love with her.
Of course I do love her. Throughout the pregnancy at any sign of problems or any time I’ve worried about movement it has terrified me, confirming to myself that I do love her. I think I’ve just struggled to feel a “bond” so to speak and instead allowed stress to consume me throughout this pregnancy. I’ve wished every day away and wanted the time to go by fast, wishing to meet her sooner yet not prioritising living in the moment and enjoying this time I am having with her. All I want is to be able to tell her she is loved and wanted and I want to be able to show her this as I hold a living breathing baby in my arms.
Another thing that’s been plaguing my mind is how exactly I will feel meeting her. To be honest I think I know how I will react. I think I’ll cry my eyes out with overwhelming happiness and at the same time at some point during that day I know I will cry and deeply grieve my other little girl. The problem I have is I really don’t cope well with overwhelming emotions. It’s a borderline thing. So it’s really hard knowing that that is inevitably going to happen whether I like it or not. I’m going to be overwhelmed and everyone is going to see me at my most vulnerable. It is going to be such a happy day and yet at the same time it is going to remind me of the worst day of my life too.
I’m just not sure how I’m going to process it all. I don’t want to spend the whole day crying and I also don’t want my thoughts to be consumed with Silver that I miss any precious moments with Leilani. I want to notice every little thing she does, I want to memorise her face and how it feels when she reflexively grabs my finger. Time has gone so fast through this pregnancy and I’m already dreading that the day will go too fast and before you know it, it’s evening time and it feels like all I’ve done is blink. I can understand why loss parents don’t like when other parents wish their children wouldn’t grow up but at the same time I don’t want to feel like I’ve blinked and missed it. I want it to be a fulfilling long day that goes by slowly and mindfully as I take the time to bond and love on my little girl.
The last little thing I want to talk about here is something that I’ve found really difficult to come to terms with this week. This pregnancy has been by far the hardest most awful pregnancy I’ve experienced. Physically my body wasn’t ready and I knew that. I was beyond sick in the first tri and getting pregnancy so quickly after Silver has contributed to all my physical complaints. It was hell getting from one scan to the next leading up to twenty weeks with the one in four chance looming over our heads. I then got the diabetes diagnosis, with that a risk of stillbirth. Add to that the growth restrictions and more risk of stillbirth and quite frankly I don’t know how I’m not in a mental hospital.
With this in mind we have finally had some serious talks about the future. I had initially wanted three biological children and potentially done an international adoption. We now feel we may not ever opt for a pregnancy again, not wishing to roll the dice and test fate. We just don’t know that we would be able to go through this again plus it would now most certainly be a c section birth in future. It’s something we are looking to revaluate in five years’ time. We have however had more serious talks about adoption and feel this may be our way forward in the future. Fabians only reserve was with doing an international one compared to a domestic one.
The problem is, there are parts of pregnancy I love. It’s heart breaking to know I only have tomorrow and Monday morning to possibly feel baby kicks and then I’ll never get that experience again. I have a love hate relationship with pregnancy but there are parts of pregnancy that are so magical and knowing I won’t get to feel those things again has been hard to come to terms with. I’ve tried to make the most and enjoy every last kick I feel, I’ve tried to be mindful and embrace every moment. When I’ve had a bath, I’ve tried to focus on just me and her instead of the outside world and social media.
I honestly don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what life will be like from Monday moving forward, I don’t know if I’ll ever be pregnant again. I don’t know if we will adopt or decide to just have Beau and Leilani in our lives. What I do know is that Monday is inevitable. I’m going to fall madly in love with her on Monday and I know that Silver will be there with us all the way. She will always be in our thoughts, in ten, twenty, thirty years… She will always be there with us and we will still always treasure those sixteen days as our lives move forward and change.
It means so much to me that people have followed my journey through this pregnancy, I can’t believe this part of the story is coming to an end but I hope you guys stick around and follow me through the next part of my journey with Silver Rose and all my other babies.
Until next time