If you have been following our journey for a while now you will know that becoming a mama has been my ultimate dream.
I have always imagined having a big family and apart from the labour side of things nothing else worried me about living my life in a mother role. Two to four children is always what I have said I would like for Nath and I and that hasn’t 100% changed but the way I view the years to come definitely has been altered since Mason arrived.
With hyperemesis gravidarum deciding to be my best friend for a solid part of my pregnancy and then welcoming my baby into the world with a scare its left me shaken. Many people have commented over these past nine months how amazing I am and I’m the ‘Mum to be’. It’s so flattering but if only they could witness how my brain works and insides feel.
Going through hypnobirthing was my way of being able to stay in control during the birth of Mason. I’m a person and many of you who know me well will agree with this… that likes to be in control of situations to enable me to reduce my fear around it. I was determined to birth naturally and I found that no matter what route I went down to welcome my baby into the world I was going to feel anxious. The unknown is freaky. Hypnobirthing was so powerful for me. Reading about how our bodies are made for this and attending classes to learn all the techniques to stay calm was really beneficial.
If you have read my birth story you will by now know how well hypnobirthing worked for me. I made it through with no pain relief except a TENS machine and then the birthing pool. I was and am still so proud of myself but the last 10 minutes of Masons birth has really affected me.
After Mason entered the world:
I haven’t spoken out about the months following Masons birth much and even though I have been in a better head space since he turned 7 months deep down I still feel the affect of it all.
As Mason got stuck on the way out it resulted in quite the emergency exit. As I shared in my birth story I remember parts of it very clearly. Although I know I wont have remembered every detail, let alone know everything that happened I have a clear picture in my mind of how I was feeling, the words that I heard and especially my baby boy being placed on me not breathing. I couldn’t believe how far I had come with my labour it had all gone how I had hoped but that last 10 minutes really shook me.
Once Mason was here and happily lieing in my arms trying to feed I often think back to how I didn’t feel like I really absorbed or even processed what was happening. Part of me feels like I didn’t lap it all up enough and the moment was filled with bright lights and exhaustion/shock as a result of what happened at the end of the birth. It wasn’t until I was back from surgery that I actually got to spend that moment taking in my precious boy properly. Reflecting now I can’t quite believe its my story I’m telling and that I lived it.
I felt a connection with Mason definitely from the beginning don’t get me wrong. I never had any feelings of anger. I was just in the zone of not really believing I had just created and birthed my own mini human being. It wasn’t long before the emotions and effects of it all hit me though. I’m an emotional person as it is but this was different. It was hands down the most afraid I had and have ever felt. Mason was born at 7:15pm on a Sunday and by Monday night it all started to sink in. I remember settling down for the night Mason, Nathan and I in our little hospital room. The exhaustion had hit again and my throat was really sore from the tube they used in surgery. As I went to close my eyes all I could see was panic and the words and memories of that last 10 minutes filled my mind so clearly. That’s when the tears came.
It was from here that it all came out. I’m so incredibly grateful for the people I had surrounding me during this time. The hospital midwife was really awesome, she chatted to me about it all and reassured me it was understandable to be feeling the way I was.
Every time I looked at Mason I just couldn’t believe he was mine and it reminded me of how close I was to not meeting him. Well that’s how it felt to me anyway. By the time we arrived at Birthcare yet another amazing midwife took the time to chat with me about how I was feeling and another two after that. The care was heartwarming and being able to voice how I was feeling so comfortably to genuine people was definitely helpful.
I actually spoke it through with quite a few people over the week and although every time it bought me to tears I feel so lucky to have had that support network from the very beginning. I remember lying on the bed crying and sharing with my parents how I was feeling. Them having been at the birth and witnessing the scare too. My midwife wasn’t at my birth but when she entered my room a couple days later at Birthcare we both cried in each others arms. She cried so upset she missed the birth. I cried expressing to her how I was feeling and then together we both cried as she felt my pain and wish she had been there.
I am doing lots better now, don’t get me wrong. Talking about it that much at the start allowed me to get my head around it and since I have been able to share our birth story without breaking into tears. I have shared quite a bit on Instagram how anxious, protective and worried I have been at times over Mason. Thankfully the extent of these feelings are gradually becoming smaller but for the first seven months at least I spent a lot of time with a knot in my tummy and never wanting to let Mason go. Every time I heard of a baby who had passed away or a family who had gone through the worst imaginable, loosing a child my heart sank. It would take me straight back to that moment at Masons birth and each time I would just cry into Mason as I held him in my arms. My situation is only small and I know there are such bigger, awful situations out there that breaks my heart people are having to go through. Its just really hard to shake the ‘what if’ on my end.
So this is where I know I am going to need support before round two happens.
The next pregnancy:
As I had a big tear from Mason getting shoulder dystocia at birth which resulted in surgery; I was required to get a follow up check to ensure I was healing well. This side of the whole experience hadn’t really been to bad so when going to the check I didn’t expect to hear what I did. Again, if you have read my birth story you will know that natural was always the way I wished to go when it came to welcoming my babies into the world. I’m not against epidurals or c-sections but one I hate needles and the concept of being cut open awake just really messes with my mind. I knew that I would always go down that track if I really had to but in my mind I was really hoping it wouldn’t happen.
So that day in clinic I again shed tears. Louise shared with me that for my future pregnancies she recommended I take the elective c-section approach. This really threw me. It wasn’t because I was fully against it but more one of my bottom of my list scenarios was now pretty high on the list and I had no idea how to comprehend it all. I was quite in shock on the inside.
The reason behind her recommendation has come from my strength down below, the fact my future pregnancies could be the same in me having a rather big baby for me and I have a high chance of shoulder dystocia alongside tearing occurring again.
I ended up in tears to her talking about how I had felt after the birth. She asked if I felt I needed support and I told her I knew I definitely did before we decided to have another baby. So she referred me then and there.
Speaking to a counsellor is something I have chosen to do a couple of times now in my life and in my eyes no one should ever be ashamed of needing to choose that path.
Still having the option of either a natural birth or c-section in future I was left feeling really lost and emotional for a week or two after the appointment. I felt nervous and unsure as I really wanted to continue birthing my children naturally but I deep down know that mentally I don’t think I could go through that again. Masons birth was amazing and I am so so proud of myself. I was so in zone and in control but yet look at how it ended. Next time round or however many rounds we decide to go I just don’t feel I could bring myself to that relaxed, controlled state again.
It really breaks my heart because I did it and I know I can. I’m no way saying c-sections can’t be amazing too and I have no doubt they can be just as special but a part of me feels so broken and disappointed that my body and mental state has bought me to a place where I need to rely on surgery instead of believing in my body.
Talking it through and having some really emotional times with my Mum and Nath I realised that I think I know my decision. I still have a while to decide, shit I don’t even have to decide til along way into my next pregnancy but I am a planner and I like to be ready. I want to be the healthiest version of myself for my children. Mason and his future siblings. I want to be a Mum at 30, 40, 50, 60 and so on who is healthy and able to care for and witness her children grow with no issues. I need to put me first with this.
Where I am at now:
So for now I’m nervous. I’m quite sure I know my decision but it still scares me. I 100% love being a mama and want more children but when its right for us. At the moment I’m lapping up being Masons mama and adoring the role, it’s definitely the happiest I have ever been. I have attended one counselling appointment but am hoping to change to someone a little more approachable and understanding. I’m still pretty overprotective at the best of times over Mason and certain things trigger my feelings and take me back to that day I met him for the first time. There’s no words to express how grateful I am to hold him in my arms each day though, he has seriously made me grow as a person and encourage me to continue to be the best version of myself I can be.
Thanks for reading.