Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hit by a (Flu) Truck!

Since baby Joseph was born I have been desperate to get back to gym.  After giving birth to, and losing my beautiful baby boy I just wanted to get out there and MOVE!  It was such an insult to be stuck with all the painful, ugly after effects of pregnancy and birth (the pain, the bleeding, the leaking breasts, the flabby tummy etc) but no baby, no wonderful joy…nothing.  I was determined to get my body back to normal as soon as possible.

I very patiently impatiently waited until 2 weeks were up and at 2 weeks on the dot I hit the gym.  I did a Zumba class followed by 3km on the treadmill and I felt wonderful: fit, strong and healthy and I thought I’m BACK!  Of course no so when 3 hours later every muscle in my body started aching.  It got worse and worse until I just couldn’t stand up anymore.  My face felt flaming hot…I had the chills…yep – you guessed it! I had the flu.  Just like that, out of the blue!

Since Wednesday I have been (wo)man DOWN.  I have seriously been struggling – battling to get down temps, lethargic, shaky, shivery and just felt really awful.  And my throat!!! It feels like I am swallowing broken shards of glass all the time.  Ridiculous!!!

I have been fairly good, spent all of Friday and yesterday in bed reading, dozing and resting.  Today I only got up at about 11am but since then I have been able to put on a load of washing, unpack the dishwasher and sit at the computer for a little bit so I must be at least somewhat on the mend!

We are flying to London on Thursday so I have, have, HAVE to be better by then!!!! I cannot believe how badly this flu has knocked me! Thank goodness my wonderful husband has been great about letting me just rest while he took up the slack with feeding the kids etc.  I’m lucky to have him.

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Detoxing…good for the body, mind and soul!

So in the aftermath of all the trauma and sadness I have felt like I need to do SOMETHING.  Leon’s gone back to work, Caeli and James are back at school…and I’m at home twiddling my thumbs.  Yes there are things to do like cleaning and ironing and blah…blah…blah..zzzzz……

But I need something to occupy my mind.  A distraction.  Mostly I’d love to be able to just get onto a treadmill and run my ass off and my thoughts away… but sadly my body is not quite there yet.  Just a few flights of stairs or a jaunt around a garden nursery and I’m finished, sore and crampy.  Most frustrating!!!

So I have decided on the next best thing – detox!  Not massively stimulating I grant you, but it’s something.  I’m not following any particular program, just trying to do a general detox (mainly sugar) but with a few of my own allowances.  It keeps it more interesting for me and allows me to have some fun creating menu’s, food diary’s and the like.  It’s something to keep me distracted basically.

It all started when Caeli announced around the dinner table on Saturday night that she would be giving up chocolates until Easter (4 weeks).  The rest of us chimed in that we would join her and do the same…then I had my brilliant flash of inspiration and decided to take my chocolate fast even further – no sugar.  In fact no sugar, no caffeine and extremely limited wheat, dairy, yeast etc.  Alcohol will be very limited, and whisky and water when I do want something. 

I did a very strict detox for 6 weeks last year and so I have a rough idea of what sort of do’s and don’ts there are, but frankly I just can’t be bothered to totally cut out certain things so I’m customizing it.

I am at the end of Day 3 and have not been feeling wonderful today, but also not too badly.  It’s definitely done a great job of keeping my mind occupied for the past 3 days, I’m HOPING it’ll have a positive knock on effect on my poor body which has been a bit battered in the last few weeks, and I’m sure the overall positives will have a great effect  of my soul and general well being.  Well that’s if I get through the chocolate withdrawals in one piece! Haha.

A rough idea of what I’ve been doing is:

Day 1 (felt great, no cravings at all!)

Breakfast: Cooked oats with honey, cinnamon and a handful of blueberries
Lunch: Leftover Chickpea Curry with Basmati Rice
Snack: Mixed organic nuts
Supper: Beef stew packed with veg (no starch)

Day 2: (few panging headaches but nothing terrible)

Breakfast: Cooked oats with honey and a handful of blueberries
Lunch: Leftover beef stew and veg
Supper: Salmon and steamed green beans on a bed of basil pesto & lemon rice.

Day 3: (very crampy and general malaise but possibly not detox related)

Breakfast: Cooked oats with honey, cinnamon and banana
Lunch: Leftover basil pesto rice mixed with steamed red pepper, green beans & baby corn
Supper: Chicken curry with a smalllll baked potato and broccoli … and strawberries, blueberries & grapes for dessert.

All washed down with lots and lots of water and the odd herbal tea.  Yum!!!  I’m happy to be doing something constructive and looking forward to feeling healthier.  It can only help me heal.  

Wish me luck….

 

To add insult to injury…

My milk has come in.

It’s emotionally so difficult.  I constantly feel the tightness in my chest, and have had one or two tiny letdowns where a bit of milk has come out, but it’s not too bad.  I think if I leave it it should just dry up on it’s own but it’s tough.

On the one hand I’m so grateful that my body at least knows what it’s doing and is responding correctly.  I am also absolutely amazed at nature and how my body at only around 14/15 weeks of pregnancy is already capable of making milk.  Wow.

But on the other hand it is so heartbreaking.  My body keeps cruelly reminding me that this milk is for HIM! I feel like this is the last link to my baby boy and as much as it pains me to HAVE the milk, I know I will also have a meltdown one day when I check and the milk has dried up.  Everything about this just seems so wrong.

The rollercoaster of emotions is ridiculous – I guess it doesn’t help that my poor hormones are doing loop the loops in mass confusion, but one minute I want the milk and the bleeding to stop…the next I don’t.  One minute I want to fall pregnant THIS MONTH just to help me move on, the next I don’t ever want to go through this again as it’s just too hard.  One minute I’m laughing, the next I’m sobbing…it’s ridiculous really, up, down, up, down…  But I know it’s early days.  Heck it’s been only 5 days since I met, and lost, my precious baby boy.  And if time doesn’t completely heal…well I’m sure it will go a long way towards helping.

On a further bittersweet note I am getting a photo of my baby boy.  At the hospital when we spent time with Baby Joseph the midwife asked if we’d like pictures and we both said no. We were in such shock, to be honest we were not in the right frame of mind to be making any big decisions.  Anyhow, by Friday Leon and I had both realised our huge mistake and were so regretting our hasty decision.  Of COURSE we want a photo, he’s our son!! And we both felt suddenly so scared of forgetting any tiny detail about him.  Anyhow I contacted the hospital on the off chance and hallelujah, those wonderful midwives had taken a photo or two anyway and kept it in my file in case we changed our minds.  I am allowed to collect it/them tomorrow and I am so unbelievably relieved and grateful.  I’m going to have a photo of my baby!!!!! The staff at the hospital has a HUGE box of biscuits/chocs or something special heading towards them I tell you.

Of course I started sobbing the moment I put the phone down.  What a huge moment!

Anyway, we got some lovely plants this week-end to plant in our baby’s honour.  I’ll post photo’s once everything is done, but it’s all coming together.  Our baby will not be forgotten.

Thank you for all the continuing thoughts and prayers – they mean the world to us.

Heartbroken.

It is with a very heavy heart that I have to update this post with the birth announcement of our baby boy.

Our gorgeous little man was born sleeping, and way too soon, at 14 weeks.  Leon and I were absolutely shocked by how perfect this tiny little being was.  At just 14 weeks we could count his fingers and toes, and see his face…he was just utterly perfect. We are so devastated and I miss him so very much.

I feel empty. And I miss my baby.  He should be with me.

Back to where I left off a few days ago…I was anxiously waiting by the phone for CVS results.  I wanted them, I didn’t want them…I didn’t really know but I wanted to get out of the hell hole that I had found myself in.  Late on Friday afternoon the phone rang.  I just knew.  I bolted upstairs to a private spot away from the kids, took a deep breath and answered.

The poor midwife was lovely, I really felt sorry for her-  it must be awful delivering such terrible news over the phone.  She very kindly and sympathetically told me that they had in fact found a chromosomal problem with our beautiful baby boy.  He had Trisomy 18, otherwise known as Edwards Syndrome.  T-18 is a very severe chromosomal defect which is considered to be “not compatible with life” by doctors.  By far the most of the babies with this syndrome will die in utero before they are full term, and the few that are born will either die during the birth or a few hours, maybe even days after.  Those that do live for a while do so with huge problems – they often have cleft palates, heart problems, lung problems, brain damage etc.  The list is endless.

Then we had the whole week-end to wait, wait, research, chat, cry, wait and wait some more.  Our appointment at the hospital was on Monday morning.  We discussed the issues over and over and always came to the same conclusion.  We did not want our baby boy to suffer unnecessarily.  We were going to let him go.

Even though termination of pregnancy is usually not allowed on the Isle of Man our very kind doctor told us that in exceptional circumstances, such as ours, they would make an allowance and do the termination.  My husband and I had had many discussions over the previous two week and we had also done our research.  We immediately concurred that termination was the way to go, and heartbroken as we were we headed to Gynae Ward where I was given the first tablet that was going to end our tiny baby’s life.

I had to go home after that and just tried to keep myself as busy as possible.  We spent the next two days putting arrangements in place for our 2 older children to be cared for while I went into hospital, and on the morning of Wednesday, 27 February 2013 I was booked into the hospital where the termination was to take place.  It was terrifying and devastating.  It was so hard to take in that we were here to voluntarily end our baby’s life.

At 10.10 the first tablets were placed against my cervix to start dilation.  The cramping started immediately after the first tablets were in although it was mild at first.  The midwives kept telling me to call for pain relief if required as there was no point in being in physical pain, so at 11am I called for some pain relief as I was feeling some discomfort.  By 1pm the pain had escalated immensely and I got another tablet to help with pain.  They assured me that morphine was also available should I need it but in a way the physical pain was a welcome distraction from the emotional anguish.  That said I found it very scary not knowning WHAT to expect.

At 13.10 the doctor came back and placed more tablets in my cervix.  She didn’t say anything about my progress which I found rather disheartening and despite multiple wee trips I hadn’t started any bleeding or anything yet.  I felt like this could take an extremely long time!  Immediately after the finished placing the tablets I was wracked by extreme pains/contractions – they were short and sharp and right on top of each other one after another.  I kept wishing I could ask for some morphine then but honestly they were so relentless that I wasn’t able to ask anyone for anything.  Apart from the contractions my back was aching and I could feel my hips moving apart.

Suddenly in the middle of a contraction I just felt an almighty hot gush.  As a few more contractions wracked my body the gushes kept coming.  I burst into hysterical sobs and remember telling my dh “it’s just all coming out, it won’t stop”.  He ran off to ask for help and almost as suddenly as it started, just 15 minutes after the terrible and intense contractions began they eased off.  By the time the midwife arrived I was no longer in pain but I couldn’t stop crying.  She checked my pad and it was full but said it was just blood and water.  She also mentioned that the pessaries had come out again so I thought that might be why the pains had stopped so suddenly and panicked thinking I’d have to go through all that again.

My husband and I sat in quiet shock for about half an hour or so.  Everything was beginning to seem far too real.  Eventually I got up to have a wee.  When we arrived the midwife had explained that she was leaving a pot in the toilet as often things happen while you’re ‘going’.  Thank goodness it was there because as I sat down my little baby boy fell right out.  I looked down between my legs and could see the placenta was half out, and just below I could see my gorgeous baby boy’s feet, crossed at the ankles.  I immediately began sobbing again.  I was only 14 weeks pregnant and totally unprepared for how perfect and fully formed those beautiful feet were going to be.  Again I asked my husband to run out and call a midwife.  She rushed in and asked me to cough a few times which expelled the rest of the placenta.  She helped me back into bed and took the pot away while my husband and I just sobbed and sobbed.

We had asked to see the baby and so about an hour later they returned.  They had detached our baby boy from his cord and cleaned him up as best they could.  They placed him in a tiny little basket with the teeniest blanket covering him.  My husband and I spent about 20 minutes checking out every detail at him, heartbroken and amazed at how perfect he was.  You could count his fingers and toes, you could see bones and shoulders and knees and..and…and….!  What a miracle.

What an absolutely devastating, heartbreaking miracle.

It’s a few days after his birth now, and we are all floundering a bit.  We have moments when we KNOW we are going to be okay, but then there are other times when we just miss him and feel so robbed of the life that we were meant to have with him.

I don’t for a single second regret the termination.  I believe with every fibre of my being that I did what was best for my son.  I didn’t want a life of pain for him, and I feel that by releasing him into Jesus arms we were the best parents we could be to him.

But that doesn’t stop me from wishing that things could have been different.  Wishing that he could have been healthy.  Wishing that he could have lived.

Rest in peace, beautiful baby Joseph.  Mommy and Daddy love and miss you so much.