This post was written on the 20th January 2018
Today was a big day. Another trip up to the city for appointments at the hospital where my baby will be delivered via scheduled C-section. Early on in the piece, I would joke that I was “too posh to push”, but the truth is, I’m too fucking terrified to after everything I’ve been through! Too posh to push is absolute bullshit! Although, I did get my hair and nails done haha.
I had an appointment with the anaesthetist, blood needed to be drawn (so they had a sample there) and I also needed to be hooked up to a CTG to track the baby’s heartbeat etc.
It was the first time Mr Unprepared and I would get to see the inside of the hospital and figure out where we might need to be on the Big Day. It was a bit daunting but not terrible. It also made me laugh to see SO many pregnant women waddling around! Of course that absolutely makes sense, but so many of us in one place just seemed funny to me for some reason.
The anaesthetist scared me a bit. He had all these questions and I didn’t know how to answer some of them. He obviously wanted to know about my first C-section experience in 2011 but it was difficult because I haven’t read my records in a really long time, and at the time I was really sick and while conscious, quite out of it when I had my emergency C-section. Also, being 6 years ago, memories fade (well – some of them do). I was totally stumped when asked which pain management I wanted. As with any surgery and recovery, there are risks. An epidural can give a slightly elevated risk of infection and morphine can have the side effect of itchiness. If you’ve been following my story, you would know that an infection really fucked me up when the Little Mister was born (in fact – that’s WHY he was born when he was) and itchiness has been absolute torture during this pregnancy, thanks to my PUPPP rash. None of that sounded good to me and was quite overwhelming. I needed a moment to process and understand it all. Luckily, the anaesthetist said I can tell them my decision on the day of surgery. I am leaning towards epidural for a few reasons but I think I just needed to go away for a bit and think it out, without my psychological scars clouding my judgement!
I realised quickly that it can actually be more difficult to have this much control over it all. Having my wits about me to overthink it all beforehand is difficult! When I had the Little Mister, I was barely functioning and Mr Unprepared had to sign stuff on my behalf. I was wheeled into theatre quick smart and there was no time to stop and decide what I would prefer!!
Everything else went well throughout the day, even though there was confusion at pathology where they took some of my blood. People like to write our street address down incorrectly ALL THE TIME, even though we spell it for them non stop. GAH. I had to sign off on all the corrections they needed to make in their system before I could get jabbed for the thousandth time in the last few years. IT’S A FUCKING ‘U’, NOT A ‘W’. HOW HARD CAN THAT REALLY BE.
Afterwards, we went and had lunch at a shopping centre. I think the overwhelm started to take its toll. I had a cry in the car. I was so done. So many big decisions, so little time. Sometimes a pregnant lady just needs a therapeutic bawling session (something that was probably overdue). I think that sometimes I just know too much. I know what can go wrong. I know because I’ve lived it and so have some of my closest friends. I went through a lot last time I had a baby and I have been through a lot during this pregnancy. There’s the fear in the back of my mind that the birth could be difficult this time too. Also, the realisation that I am SO OVER being so responsible for keeping my baby safe while she’s inside me. There are so many factors – her being a product of IVF and my diabetes – that make me feel like it would just be a relief for her to be out in the world where I can care for her better. The fear also that my pregnancy conditions may not go away. I never worried about that before. Last time my rash disappeared quite quickly after the birth and the diabetes did too. Since then I have heard so many stories about women who never got rid of their PUPPP, even years after having their babies. My diabetes was slightly harder to control this time too – I didn’t need insulin last time. It does freak me out.
People kept asking me about my PUPPP scars. Most were medical professionals who meant nothing by it, but I know they’re unsightly and conspicuous. They are all over my arms and legs and back. I look like I’ve been bitten by a thousand angry insects. I know they were asking in the context of their jobs, but it made me feel unattractive. I know my scars are unusual. I’ve always scarred easily, and my scars have always looked dark and obvious. That’s just how my body works. Reality set in that even if I do find immediate relief from the rash itself when the baby is born, I will still face questions and odd looks from people (particularly in the summer months) for a long time to come (we may even be talking years before they fully fade). I felt a bit down about that, as vain/shallow as that might seem. Sometimes you just want to put the past in the past (and wear shorts again and shit).
I know that’s not life and death stuff, but for some reason the reality of how much this pregnancy has taken a long term toll on my body struck me today. I’ll have a lot of work to do before I can feel like myself again. This is all quite the marathon and definitely not a sprint!
Today, Mr Unprepared and I disabled the ability for people to post to our Facebook timelines without our approval. While we have only told a trusted few about the details (when/where/why) of the upcoming birth of our baby, we thought it best that we protect our right to make the big announcement when we’re ready. While this kind of thing can’t always be completely controlled, we hope this helps us to maintain some privacy. While I would be pretty pissed if someone stole our thunder after all we’ve been through (or gave away all the details before she was even here), it’s more a precautionary measure for me. I don’t want people to presume everything’s fine if we need more time to process anything unpredictable that happens. We are using the fact that the baby is going to be delivered before anyone is quite expecting to our advantage. Aah, the age of social media.
We think our shortlist of baby names has been finalised. And we have NO intention of letting any of the options slip. People keep asking or joking about it but we’ve remained tight lipped! It’s been challenging and we just think we need to meet her before we can finalise anything. I had so many names I absolutely loved over the years, but so many options became unavailable as those close to us bred faster haha. We have also realised that my married name is deceptively hard to match with certain names that I would have otherwise loved! People tend to have a lot of opinions about certain names so we don’t want to know about that until after the fact when they will have to grin and bear it!
I’ve started to realise there’s a countdown on certain things. That part of this process feels good. Each insulin injection. Each tube of steroid ointment. Each worry about every meal I eat and how it will affect my blood sugar (or the baby’s). Sure, I’ve outlined my fears of being stuck with that shit forever, but there’s also a tiny hopeful part of me that looks forward to a break from it all.
The next time I visit, I’m having a freakin’ baby! Three days to go. Holy shit.
Here’s the last photo of me as a pregnant person: