My perfect baby girl is here & is just over 4 weeks old. My pregnancy continued to go pretty well & I managed to work until just over 38 weeks. Right at the end of my third trimester, my fluid retention did get ridiculous and I could barely stand my feet and legs were so swollen, but other than that, I had a healthy & happy pregnancy.
Unfortunately labour & birth did not follow suit! I won’t bore you all with the full details as I’ve already detailed this in Len’s diary, but in summary, I had to be induced & never really got into full labour before things started going very wrong. At 4cm dilated, I was rushed into theatre, without my partner, and had a crash c section under general anaesthetic. My baby’s heart rate was evidently dropping drastically and when the midwife broke my waters, they were full of meconium. According to her hospital notes she was born “floppy, unresponsive and covered in thick meconium”. She had to be resuscitated and the meconium suctioned from her mouth.
After battling years of infertility and waiting 9 long months to meet my daughter, both my partner & I missed her birth. I’ve cried about this daily, I think I always will. My daughter was born for over 4 hours before I got to see her. We couldn’t skin to skin for 3 days as she was in the SCBU and then as a final blow, my milk never came in, so I couldn’t breastfeed her. I pumped for 12 days trying to express something, but there was nothing there, not even a drop. Eventually my midwife managed to help me see that this wasn’t going to happen for me. I was flogging a dead horse as it were.
I think this will upset me for the rest of my life.
I know, in my rational mind, that all that matters is that I have a completely amazing, healthy & beautiful daughter, but I just wanted everything to be perfect for her. I now feel like I have failed her. I couldn’t conceive her, I couldn’t birth her and now I can’t feed her. Biologically, I guess my body just wasn’t designed to have children and yet despite this, I have been blessed with the most precious baby. I almost feel like I don’t deserve her. I owe some very clever doctors and the NHS so bloody much.
So now I’m at home with a little one and feeling somewhat overwhelmed. The sleepless nights, coupled with raging hormones and trying to recover from major surgery has not been easy, but it’s all worth it when her little face looks up at me. I honestly feel like my heart might explode. I can’t wait for her first smile!
Now, bizarrely, I need to discuss contraception with my partner. I have no frozen embryos and no money to do IVF privately, so we need to discuss whether we want to use contraception or not. Obviously I am pretty convinced that it won’t happen naturally, based on my previous track record, but you never know. You do hear stories about people getting pregnant naturally after years of infertility. But do we even want another baby?
After a C section, you are advised not to get pregnant for a year. I’ll be 39 then, and over 40 if I ever gave birth again. Could I do all this again in my forties?
Also, more importantly, I feel like having another child would also be unfair to Len. The past 5 years have been all about trying to have her. She is the centre of my world and deserves to be so. She didn’t ask me to do what I did, so I feel like I owe her my undivided attention. She doesn’t deserve another baby to come along and share my love.
If any other infertiles have opinions on this, I’d love to hear them. Did you try for a second child? And if you were successful, how did your relationship change with your firstborn?
For the moment, as I heal from a crash c section, this is not a decision I have to make just yet! I shall just take time to enjoy my little IVF/ICSI miracle and make it my life’s mission to love her, cherish her and do my best to make her happy for as long as I live.
My journey has been tough, but all worth it and I am very lucky to get my happy ending. I know so many ladies out there who have not been so lucky and every day I count my blessings as this story could easily have ended so differently.
Thank you for reading this blog and sharing my journey. Thank you also for all your support. I doubt I could have coped without the online infertile community! For those of you still mid – journey, I hope with all my heart that one day, you get your miracle too.
For those still wondering…………………………………. Len was actually named ‘Kitty Constance’