Sunday, 28 April 2013

this week in photos

funny old day

Yesterday was such a funny old day. Skittle was a bit out of sorts in the morning and has been for a few days really. It was the morning of my fundraising sale that I had been preparing for for weeks. Hubs has the weekend off work, which at the moment is pretty unheard of due to operation-overtime. I really didn't want to leave Skittle all morning but knew a manky Church Hall (I know not all Church Halls are manky, but this one was) was not the best place for him. Plus a morning with Daddy would be fun for him.

Excuse my wittering.

So, the day. It was a really big deal for me to be brave and stand there with things I'd made on show and be sociable and chatty. I found it exhausting and was so pleased my Grannie and Grandma were there to run the show. I was also acutely aware of why I was there, it was something I felt strongly about and was so pleased I appear to have finally made steps from "NICU trauma is all I think about" to, "let's do something positive with our NICU experience." Hurrah.

But that hour and a half without Skittle was no fun. No fun at all. When hubs brought him back I actually packed up the stall early so that we could just go home and be together. Turns out being separate from him still really effects me. I know without the NICU separation I may well have not like leaving him, but it's the fear that goes with it I think, NICU still has it's part to play. When other people say "oh all mums are like that" I think no, some mums don't have a clue what it's like.

Then in the afternoon, Skittle went down hill and after a demanding morning I didn't cope well with his whimpers of pain and constant tears. I found myself watching him constantly, on edge, wondering what was about to happen. You know, that incubator feeling. What now? What next? What signs should i be looking for?

He's probably just teething mama, give it a rest.

All in all, a funny old day. Lots of positives, lots of realisation, lots of anxiety.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

on the other side

Before I got pregnant or even knew whether or not I would ever be pregnant, I used to be driven crazy by the number of pregnant people I saw every time I went out in public. If they weren't obviously glowing with roundness, I would be wondering whether or not they were in their first trimester and carrying a wonderful secret with them everywhere they went.

After our second miscarriage this only got worse! I can remember taking a train from Waterloo back down to Dorset and between our flat, the tube ride, walking through the station and boarding the train I counted 27 obviously pregnant or new mums with babes. I was driving myself mad and these will I ever be, can I ever be thoughts were getting a bit consuming.

Now that I'm on the other side of that wall, I wonder if there are other hurting women looking at me in the same way? Or even friends who are caught in the fertility taboo and don't feel able to talk about it. I wonder if I'm walking along with Skittle strapped in the carrier or pushing the pram and women see us and are filled with sorrow like I was 2/3 years ago. Probably.

Sometimes I think maybe I should wear a T shirt that says, this-didn't-come-easy or sub-fertility-nearly-meant-this-couldn't-happen etc. The thought of me and Skittle being the cause of other women's pain makes me sad.

I wish women would talk about miscarriage, fertility, loss, pain, post natal depression and all the other thing that come along for the ride. I wih we could be more open and compassionate with each others stories. Especially when we've not been through the same, but just choose to show empathy, sympathy and sensitivity.

Ladies on the other side, don't suffer in silence, don't let it consume you, every mother or mother to be you see is not leading a stress free, pain free life. Everyone is on a journey. Let's talk about it. If you want to.

Thursday, 4 April 2013


Warning: this is pretty graphic in places. Just don't read it if you're PTSDish or have any kind of sensitivity regarding c sections. Don't read it if you're squeamish or grossed out by blood.

This is how I slept last night. I just want to write it down, as an experiment really, to see if writing down my nightmares makes them less real. Makes them go away. Makes it so that when I lie down at night I'm not picking up where I left off.

Skittle had been in NICU for seven months and the girl in the bed in front of us had had her baby in there for a year. Time was long, there was nothing we could do to make it speed up. The girl in front of us had long, blonde, wavy, frizzy hair, like she'd worn it in plaits when wet and let them out once it had dried. Me and hubs were sat either side of Skittle with his CPAP face and the NICU room span with activity and medical mayhem. All around me, on every side there were things going on that I didn't understand or didn't want to see, I wanted to be alone with my baby but instead I was in the middle of a ward that resembled a spinning top. A spinning top with no walls, a room with no boundaries.

I ran away so many times. Up a long drive way to the side of this imaginary hospital. Sometimes hubs would come after me, sometimes I would meet the blonde lady. She wouldn't talk to me because her baby had been in there longer and she said our situation didn't count.

The insane scene just got more harrowing, NICU was also theatre and was also recovery. Next to us a woman was about to have her c section, her stomach was cut open from her rib cage to her groin and blood and muscle and tissue was exposed but they couldn't get the baby out safely. She screamed and tried to roll over and her husband tried to stop her. I cowered behind Skittle's incubator and tried to focus on him and nothing else, but it was too late. I fainted, sliding underneath the table and waking up covered in blood.

In recovery there's screaming, despair and death. Confusion and tubes scattered everywhere.

Sweaty, cold and exhausted I drift back into consciousness and realise Skittle has not been in NICU for seven months, I have not run away, my scar only goes from my belly button to my groin and its not reopened. I am in bed, next to Skittle, I can feel hubs, everyone is breathing.

On goes the phone, it'll take me a while to block that out and get back to sleep.

I guess it's just PTSDishness that makes me dream like this. It's not every night, thank goodness. But it doesn't make for restful nights. One day I might sleep peacefully again, maybe around the time Skittle sleeps through the night...that could be good!

another baby

We can't have another baby for many reasons. I thought of another one today.

What if it all went well?

It would be awful. I would know every single little thing that Skittle should have had. I would have everything with another child that I could not have with him. A birth, skin to skin, seeing them, being with them, holding them, hearing them, dressing them, feeding them, changing them, bathing them, closeness, relationship, tenderness. Everything me and Skittle didn't have, or didn't have for such a long time.

I just couldn't let that happen. The guilt, the comparison, the knowing what it should have been like.

This thought hit me like a slap in the face while walking through the bus station today, I couldn't really tell you how I got from there to sainsburys for overwhelming, swirling brain motions that made me feel light headed.

It's a jolly good job another pregnancy might kill me then. I owe it to Skittle to never have another.


Really, 14 months have passed. It'll soon be Skittle's due date. Babyhood is over, he is taking steps, understanding words, eating finger foods and wearing big boy clothes.

Can't help but feel I've failed. Can't help but feel I should be fine by now. Can't help but think everyone, including the blog world has had enough of hearing it. I've stopped talking to other people about it, not that I really talked to anyone in the first place. You see I'm feeling a bit lonely, I don't really have any friends. The 2 good friends I had in London are now miles away. I've always been crap at making friends, and feeling anxious and depressed doesn't make one jump at the opportunity to go and socialise.

But I should, for Skittles sake, be out and about. Helping him meet other babies. But what about his immune system? What if he gets poorly again? Blood test on Monday...maybe if the results of this one are good we could perhaps venture out? Maybe. Maybe not.

Maybe I should find another counsellor. But then I would have to tell them things that I really feel are best left locked up in my brain and not uttered to anyone. If I say them out loud they might happen. That would be terrible. Beyond terrible.

Maybe I should just pull myself together. I do try. It's all over now. Get a grip. Move on. I fight for a while but then I get tired and it feels like the depression just grabs me by the ankles and woosh, I'm face down on the floor, grappling to get up again.

Stop moaning Hannah, stop mulling and stop musing. Just stop. Stop.