Hoping to Move On

It’s here. The eve I’ve been dreading.

I wanted to write this tonight because I don’t want Woody’s birthday to be darkened with my PTSD.  But I had to get it out there.  I hope people can understand.

All day I’ve been thinking about sitting on the antenatal ward, waiting.  Waiting for a bed to become free.  It never happened.  Eventually we asked to be discharged on the promise of being induced the next day.  The weather was horrible that day and I’m glad today has been a bright sunny day, so unlike this time last year.

I’ve also been thinking of someone who did have her baby a year ago today.  If she’s reading, I’m sorry.  I had intentions of posting a card through her door for her son but chickened out, she’s probably the last person she wants to hear from. But I think of her often, of the horrid things I said, of the way she made me feel, of my own issues which I projected onto her and the childish way I acted.  And I’m sorry for all that.

I’m scared about how I might feel tomorrow.  I so want to enjoy the day, it is, after all, Woody’s first birthday.  Something momentous, and joyous.  But I’m worried I’m going to have these niggling thoughts in the back of my mind.

Really, it’s the 18th I should be worried about.  Maybe that’s the day I should have my funk, enjoy Woody’s day tomorrow, and be prepared for the sinking feeling come the 18th.

Woody was born at 11:47 (a time etched into my mind as it was the time I frequently woke in a cold sweat for weeks after his birth).  So really, the shit didn’t hit the fan until the early hours on the 18th.  I should fear that date more.

And what is it I’m scared of?  I think the flashbacks.  They’ve been getting more frequent the last few days.  The things that happened, the way I felt, the things I told myself.  Like an out of/in body experience.  As in, I can clearly, vividly remember lying there, under the blanket, being attacked with needles.  And then of lying in HDU, the darkness of that ward, the painful surges of morphine through my veins.  It is vivid.  Really, fucking, vivid.  It’s real.  It’s become a really sad part of my life.

There are lots, LOTS of people who think I need to let go but I don’t know how.  I am seeking help for that though.  I meet with a therapist on Friday to see if she’s the right one to help me overcome not just this, but all the other things that have troubled me for the last 15 years of my life.  If she’s not the right one, I will carry on searching as I have to fix myself.

On a brighter note, I’m working on some lovely things to share the rest of this week, time will tell whether I find the time to bring them to fruition.

 

This entry was posted in Life.

A Month of “A Year Ago’s”

So here we are. Two weeks away from Woody’s first birthday.  And of course, all I can think is, “This time last year….”

This time last year I finished work.

This time last year I woke up with my hands and feet itching.

This time last year I was in and out of MAU daily.

Next week will symbolise the defining moment I agreed to be induced.

And the week after that will commemorate not only Woody’s first birthday, but also something a little darker.

I’ve made no bones about the fact I’ve struggled this year.  Not sure why I thought motherhood was going to be a walk in the park, boy has it been hard work, don’t know whether it’s because he’s a boy, but Woody is very trying at times!  I often fret and worry that it all goes back to his birth, that maybe somehow it was my fault, that perhaps he’s such a pain at times because of his birth, lack of oxygen for the first few minutes, did the forceps squish his head the wrong way??!

Ridiculous.  Welcome to my brain ladies and gentlemen.

I’m hoping that with the arrival, and passing, of the 17th, something will be laid to rest.  I don’t know if it will be, but I really hope it will be.

It seems to have turned me into an utterly horrible person at times, angry, short tempered (worse than I was before!).  Is that PTSD, PND or am I just a c**t?!  I asked myself this a lot, I usually come to the conclusion it’s the latter, certainly a lot of people close to me have decided that, but actually, as someone told me earlier, I’m ill.  But getting that across to those closest to me is hard, and I get accused of making excuses; that I use it because I can’t be arsed.  The fact is, I’d like to be arsed.  Don’t you think I’d like to be supermummy, and be out, doing it all, enjoying it.  Instead I’m at home, too scared to go out, unsure of how to deal with his tantrums and his crying and SCREAMING!  Afraid of the looks I get when he does any of the above.

It’s hard work.  My brain is whirring constantly; one thing, the next thing, the other thing, ALL the things.  When Woody wakes me in the night, my brain rejoices, “Ahahaa, I can start whirring again now you’re concious and keep you awake for another hour!”  I’m a zombie a lot of the time, and that’s boring.

I fear I’m pushing my family away, Scarlett especially.  I just want to lie in bed, catch up on sleep, not think, try to stop the whirring.  But instead she wants me to build things and be creative.  And I’m a horrible mummy because I usually just put her off, until eventually she grows bored and starts watching Stampy videos on YouTube (which winds me up because his voice is fucking irritating!!).

There have been times when I figure I should run away, she’d probably be happier at times without me, certainly without me shouting.  She doesn’t listen to me but apparently that’s because she doesn’t respect me (or like me apparently).  So I do sometimes think, Ah fuck it, they’d all be better off without me.

But they probably wouldn’t.  I need to get help, but I don’t know where to start.

Any ideas?!

 

This entry was posted in Life.

Newsflash! I’m Still Here!

I am still here, surviving, riding that giant rollercoaster.

Lately I’ve had a few conversations with people about Woody’s birth. The first time it just happened, a new friend asked, and I gabbled it out, surprised at how big the lump in my throat was, but how desperately I wanted her to know what had happened, her concern touched me and I felt I had to get it out, the dark little secret which hasn’t been told to anyone new in a while.

The second time was on Twitter, and I headlined it purely with, “I nearly died”.

Now, I kind of feel like I need to stop putting it in those terms, I guess I do it because, “What?! You nearly died?! Tell me more!”  Why do I go straight for the jugular (ha, funny story, they couldn’t even get a line into my jugular, because I was…. nearly dead).  See, even in my own garbled trains of thought, the fact that I thought I wasn’t going to make it still seems to come to the forefront.

Is this normal after such a traumatic event? Is it any less interesting to tell people the actual truth rather than the shocking headline?

I think I do it because it’s quite a long story, I feel like I want an index card with bullet points thus:

  • I wanted a VBAC
  • I developed Obstetric Cholestasis; it’s a problem with your liver; it can be quite serious, the only cure is to give birth
  • They didn’t have an Elective Section slots booked; I chose to be induced despite my better judgement and the research I had done
  • ARM (Artificial Rupture of Membranes) didn’t work; they gave me Syntocinon
  • They gave me too much Syntocinon
  • Woody was in distress; his heart rate was Bradycardic
  • He was born via episiotomy and forceps; yes, I had an Epidural; no, my bits aren’t the same but I’m too scared to see anyone about it
  • I lost 3.8l of blood; that’s about 80% of my total blood volume (or so I am told)
  • I went into hypovolemic shock; my veins started collapsing; they were even trying my feet and groin to try and get a line in somewhere; even my jugular collapsed
  • I thought I was going to die; so did Andy – he actually thought we were both going to die
  • Woody didn’t breathe on his own for 4 minutes; within 10 minutes he was doing okay but he was still taken to neonatal care for observation
  • Eventually I went to theatre; I was then sent to HDU for 36 hours so I didn’t see Woody until that time
  • I’m generally in a pretty messed up place about it; I don’t know where to get help from; I cry when I think about it

I think that about sums it up, and it’s not any less traumatic or shocking, but it’s just easier to go straight for the bottom line.  Although, yes, thank you, the bottom line should be, WE SURVIVED THE FUCK OUT OF THAT SHIT!

I know it sounds all very dramatic, and well, it was actually. And I know I sound melodramatic for either going on about it, or dwelling on it, or continuing to battle with my emotions over it, but that’s to be expected, surely?  Am I not allowed that?

I’m not saying I like dwelling on it, and actually, even just looking up Uterine Rupture or Hypovolemic Shock scares the shit out of me, but it’s something that will forever be here, indelibly marked in my soul, I have the scars to show.

I’ve had some incredibly hard times lately, I’ve mostly wanted to hide in bed a lot of the time, but that’s no good when you have two children!  Andy keeps asking me, “What’s the matter?”, but I invariably don’t really know, and I feel like everyone gets mad at me when I say, “Just thinking about Woody’s birth again” or even, “I don’t really know.” In fact, the latter seems to wind Andy up more than the former.  It’s hard for people to help you when they don’t know what’s wrong.  That’s frustrating beauty of depression, right?!

Even last night, I started thinking about the operation I’m going to need to have my gallbladder removed, and I started panicking; the thought of going into theatre, of going under, of the pain of recovery.  It should be a walk in the park compared to what I went through, but, there it goes, sneaking back up on me, reminding me how awful it was.

And that’s sad.  I’ve spoken before about how ultimately sad I am about Woody’s birth. He’s growing into an utterly amazing, adorable, characterful little boy, and in some ways I’m glad, because he has not been an easy baby, but then I think, but you’re not that little newborn any more, I missed that, because I was so ill and suffering SO tremendously from PTSD and flashbacks and all sorts of nonsense,which I still am, but to a much lesser extent.

Anyway, I’m rambling now.  Heh, that’s my blog for you…!

I have lots of other things to update on and I will do, in more happy posts.  Needless to say, I’m back bitches!

This entry was posted in Life.

Book Review: The Hive by Gill Hornby

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of The Hive by Gill Hornby by Mumsnet for review (my very first review at that!).  I’ve struggled, what with the house move and a teething Woody, however, in amongst some of the chaos, I’ve had the pleasure of snatching snippets of me-time to read it.

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I saw this book when it was first published and like so many things I just never got round to treating myself to it. The reason I  was attracted to it? Well, it’s about a primary school PTA….

Those who know me, will know that I have been Secretary of Scarlett’s school PTA since she was in Reception year and it’s had it’s moments let me tell you.  Coupled with interesting personal conflicts at the school gates in general, I was looking forward to getting stuck in!

I felt the need to identify with one of the main characters early on, but struggled as so many were introduced – some we knew a lot about, some we knew little about and I was overwhelmed by all the names and had to keep flicking back to remind myself who was who.  I kept thinking maybe I was Georgie, certainly her attitude towards housework was something I identified with and for some reason, her husband was strangely attractive (in my mind, he was a rugby player turned farmer…!)

It became quite apparent though that despite their lives seemingly revolving around their children and the groups activities aimed towards improving their school, the childrens characters weren’t really developed and it did give the sense that the women in this group were rather self-absorbed and pre-occupied with climbing the food chain – and I guess this is where the beehive analogy really does ring true. Equally the elusiveness of the main character Bea, resonates with the behaviour of a real-life Queen Bee.

When the new Headmaster (who was merely there as the inevitable love interest – he’s apparently single and ‘sexy’ and half the female population seem to want to get their claws into him, given that they all seemed to be newly divorced or separated) dares to call the Committee  a ‘clique’ I couldn’t help but respond with a snigger and a snort as I felt I could relate this to my own experiences at the school gate.

That is to say, there were some very cleverly observed nuances in the book, and it’s clear that the author has done her fair share of time at the school gate.  In the acknowledgements at the back of the book, I noticed Hornby had directly referenced ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes‘ by Rosalind Wiseman.  For those that don’t know, this is the self-help manual which Tina Fey used as a basis when writing Mean Girls, and I felt Hornby’s reference to this was quite interesting; at times, the main female characters in the book were definitely more like cliquey adolescents (and trust me, I went to a girl’s school, she gets it nearly spot on!)

There were some wickedly funny parts to the story that did have me chuckling to myself in recognition of the situation and some pretty sad parts too; I felt sorry for a few of the characters on a couple of occasions – mainly Heather with her desperation to fit in which leads to a transformation in her character and Rachel, with her ex-husband woes.  However, with so many people on the periphery of the plot, it was hard to feel anything more than a pang of sadness for some of the incidents in the story.

Overall, it was an easy read, if we do manage a holiday this year, I can see myself probably re-reading it alongside similar ‘holiday’ reads by Marian Keyes or Sophie Kinsella.  I’ll be honest, I think Hornby has a fair way to go to be on a par with her contemporaries, but I think this is a pretty good first novel.

 

 

* Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this novel by Mumsnet for review – however all the opinions expressed are my own and represent my honest thoughts. *

This entry was posted in Reviews.

#MarriedMay – First Dance

I’ve not managed to do as many blog posts as I would’ve liked for Married May, but we’ve moved house in the last 10 days so things have been a little bit hectic around here!

Our First Dance was to Chuck Berry’s, You Never Can Tell.  Andy and I don’t really have a song that is ‘ours’. I think we both like such different and varied things that whilst I might think something by the Beastie Boys might be resonant for our relationship (you never know!), he would think it was absolute dirge and would pick something by Duran Duran (or other, appropriately 80s band…)

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You Never Can Tell was picked by a couple of our guests for the evening playlist – as part of our RSVP form we asked people to choose up to three songs (I have to say, there were some bloody good choices in there, and some rather questionable ones that we chose to exclude…!)

As the day drew nearer we realised that we hadn’t given much, if any, thought to the first dance, we had decided at various points that we just weren’t going to do one or that we’d just play something by The Specials and pogo our way through it!  We knew, absolutely, utterly knew (no offence everyone!), that we didn’t want three minutes of awkward shuffling to something slow.  Sorry, as I say, that’s likely to offend a lot of people, but I just didn’t want that to happen, it always ends up being awkward, everyone standing around watching, awwing, taking photos.  And so we chose to pretty much ignore it, pretend it wasn’t going to happen!

Come the Thursday before the wedding we realised we’d better do something. So we trawled the playlist and You Never Can Tell came up.  Not that we’re teenagers but the first line talks about a ‘teenage wedding where the old folk wished them well.”  We realised it had quite a good beat and that we could probably throw some of our swing dancing knowledge to it.

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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, many moons ago, Andy and I had enrolled in Swing Jive lessons with Surrey Jive. They were brilliant and I really enjoyed our lessons. Sadly, we didn’t practice as much as we should’ve, and despite saying we’d go back in the run up to the wedding, things obviously didn’t quite work out that way.

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In the end, we didn’t remember enough to fill the entire song. So we decided to start off with a bit of good old hand jiving a la Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. As any keen movie fan will know, You Never Can Tell was the song Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega danced to in the Jack Rabbit Slim’s Dance Competition.  Copying their moves for the first verse of the song seemed to work well followed by the short bit of swing dancing we were able to remember!

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Come the day of the wedding, things went slightly wobbly.  The plan had been to do our first dance, then present the band which we had kept a secret, Beatles for Sale, then a playlist of stuff we had chosen that took us from the 50s right up to current day (being the music nut I am, I had my own playlist, the aforementioned Dance Through The Decades, and then the second playlist for after the 2nd band set which was all the stuff chosen by our guests.  I think I even had a special 10 minute playlist to be played at the end of the night – of course, we weren’t there so I don’t know if this happened!!)

In the end, ‘George’ got stuck on the motorway so we had to do our first dance and then into the first playlist. This worked really well as it meant we could get people up and dancing straight away to limit the embarrassment factor!

I was given a large glass of whiskey, and off we went….

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Sadly I don’t have a video anymore, we had uploaded it to YouTube but thanks to Copyright infringement it was removed! I think we did pretty well if I do say so myself.  I think one of Andy’s friends even more or less said, “For a bigger girl, you can dance really well….!”  Why thank you!