496. Skin to skin.

Little bubs birth was planned. It was going to be lovely. He’d be immediately placed on my chest. He’d gaze up at me. We’d get a hit of gushy hormones and we’d fall in love.

As you might know, things didnt go to plan. It was ages before I held him and then he was whisked off to the nicu. I didnt hold him again for a few days I think. It’s all still a bit hazy.

No proper snuggles or skin to skin at all whilst in hospital. Not the start I wanted. But I cant dwell on that now. That wasnt my fault.

Now we’re home, I’m soaking him in. After little man heads off to bed myself and bubs sit for about to hours, with him snuggled in my chest.

I dont know what skin to skin does exactly but it feels just lovely. It calms me right down and he snoozes so content. I cant stop looking at him. I love him, I really do.

Things feel a little different this time around. Good different.

Loopy x

495. Deranged.

Oh my goodness, what a fortnight I’ve had. Little baba is 2 weeks old today!! He arrived 5 weeks early, by emergency C-Section. I’m not being dramatic, we both could have died.

I’d been feeling really really unwell for weeks. I’d had iron infusions that did nothing for my extreme fatigue, and I had an oral glucose tolerance test that proved I wasn’t diabetic, despite my insane thirst. And I do mean insane! 3 litres, 4 litres, 5 litres and more! Nothing would quench my thirst. I was tight chested, out of puff, sore everywhere! I was starting to think it was long COVID. No one was really listening.

Then the itch started, followed shortly after by little pink spots breaking out on my hands and arms. Throw in some right side abdomen pain, ferocious Brixton hicks and oh yes!, I knew something was wrong, and as my consultant wasn’t listening, I rang my GP. He was great to be fair and quickly organised a barrage of blood tests. Early the next day, I got the call. “Loopy your liver and kidney results are deranged.

Deranged was a term I’d hear a lot over the next few days. Here’s what it meant. My kidneys and liver were struggling, working overdrive, values through the roof. The GP had queried HELLP syndrome, but the conclusion was probably even marginally worse. I was diagnosed with acute fatty liver in pregnancy. It’s all a bit of a haze, but baby needed to come out now!

At 6.44pm two weeks ago today little man no 2 was delivered. It was scary. He wasn’t breathing, moving or crying. He was deadly silent and all we could do was wait. It felt like forever, but the fantastic team did their magic and suddenly a little squishy tiny baby man was plonked on my chest. The rest of that day, the next few days in fact is hazy.

12 days in the nicu, and now on the children’s ward, we’re getting ready for home. I only spent my first night with him last night. It was bizarre and beautiful. Lots of questions still to be answered, lots of blogs to come.

We’d planned this birth meticulously. It wasn’t going to be traumatic. It was going to be special, controlled, calm. Nothing ever goes to plan!

For now though, he’s getting stronger every day, he’s stolen my heart and he’s my little warrior.

Loopy x

494. Times going too fast.

I’m booked in to deliver baby on Sept 22nd. I’m not ready! I’m freaking out! I don’t want to do this!

I’ve been prepping. Washing little mans old baby clothes, buying new stuff, sorting a crib, new car seat, cleaning our old travel system, buying little toys, food prep essentials, cute blankets, cute hats and off course hospital bag essentials. You’d think this would bring me some joy, some excitement, anything….. but it doesn’t. I’m like a robot going through the drill, but I’m really dreading it all. Right now I want him out of my belly, but not back to my house. How awful is that?

I’ve had multiple scans and I fight back tears at every single one. I look at the screen but I don’t want to. I listen to the doc explain positions, heartbeat and healthy signs but I just want them to shut up.

I don’t want to be a mum anymore. I just don’t think I can. I’m exhausted, I’m scared and I’m not ready.

Oh shit!!!

Loopy x

492. Tracking thoughts

I’m back in therapy and have been asked to keep a record of my thoughts etc, so this will be a growing post.

29th of July- Terrible nightmare. I woke in shock, flustered and a little frantic. In my dream Murphy died (my little pup). For some really bizarre reason we decided to throw his dead corpse on our fire. Just as the flames began to rise, Murphy woke up and stood staring at me in agony as the flames engulfed him. If you’ve ever seen one of those ISIS burning videos, it was very akin to those. If you’ve never seen one, please don’t look them up. Murphy moved around and eventually dropped, me watching terrified and guilt stricken, and devastated…….then I woke up.

30th of July- Depressed, heart broken and stressed. I feel like crap anyway these days. Pregnancy is really tough this time. I had an iron infusion last Monday, but no benefit as of yet. I’m tired, everything aches and I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m also sadly dreading the arrival of littlest man. I’m currently at home and today I cried as I watched little man being overwhelmed by all the kids that were running about. I cried as he hid away trying to escape them and I cried again when I overheard them mocking him. He can cope to some extent with one child, possibly two if he knows them well, but today’s 7 completely stressed him out. This evening it was then just him and O. They had great fun until O ran off to join the others. Little man stood and watched him leave, then begged for his shoes so that he could follow, then trundled home again sadly, forgotten by the group and left behind as they all carried on their fun. I can’t bear to see him so lost and sad. I don’t know how to help him integrate, I don’t know what to do, I feel so useless. I hate being home, his symptoms are always more pronounced here. I can’t wait to get back to our little family home.

Mum by the way caught me weeping. She just can’t ever be supportive or empathetic. ‘Well you should see what poor Sharon has to deal with and then you’d know about worries”

Thanks for that.

2nd of August- Very low, exhausted, worthless and a 2nd iron infusion. At the hospital my resting pulse was 125, and baby’s heart rate was up too, although it settled. The nurse commented; ‘you’re not yourself today’ She’s only met me once before. She was right though, I’m feeling crap today and I spent the whole infusion fighting back tears. I can’t explain my feelings or the cause of them. I’m really really sad. I’m not ready for baby number 2 and already going through the motions is draining me. I have that familiar feeling of; I wish I could run away. I wish it all would stop!

3rd of August- I’m struggling with little man. His mood swings and his temper are really grating on me. It’s partly because I’m so physically unwell, breathless, nauseous and all my joints are failing me. I don’t want to be pregnant anymore. I’m not sure I want this baby and the guilt of those thoughts is crushing me too. I can’t do it. I’m back at work but I’m not really fit to be there. I’ve no focus, no energy and I’m just hating it. I want to lie in bed all day, partly because I’m physically struggling and partly because I want to shut out the world. I threw up earlier due to nausea, but it felt good so I purged a bit more. I’ve been really craving self harm, and tonight I’ve finally succumbed to that urge. Right now it feels great but I’m sure I’ll regret this tomorrow. Little man is being really clingy again and I’m worried about his upcoming ASD assessment. I’m also worried that little bump might have albinism. You think I’d be o.k with that given I’ve experience in that area, but nope it would come as a terrible blow. Selfish huh?

5th of August- I don’t know who to ring! OH is working and I’m in agony. Excruciating ankle foot and leg pain! No swelling or redness so unlikely DVT. No cramps either, it feels more like a fracture but it’s not. I CANT DO THIS ANYMORE!! I I DONT WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE! I want pills, I want help, I want to talk to someone! I don’t know who to call??? ……….. Update- I have listened to hypnobirthing rainbows relaxation. It is hard to relax, I’m too sore BUT I’ve stopped crying and gotten my breathing under control. A bit calmer now.

7th of August. Why do I answer the phone? Sis just rang on yet another rant about our darling family. Went on and on about the usual put downs, mum drinking etc etc. I try to compartmentalise Mums comments these days into a box in my head called; ‘let it go, you know what she’s like, her opinions don’t matter”. —-still working on the title:)…. Anyway apparently her and sis were talking about a brutal murder in Dublin where a fella killed his ex girlfriend and how common these types of things seem to be these days. Mum off course has her opinion; “it’s the youth of today, ruined, spoiled, demanding everything and never being told no!, can handle nothing! and when they don’t get their own way they just can’t cope! Ruined!…. That’s not the bit that got to me though, it’s how she ended her little rant..”AND ITS THE SAME AS ALL THOSE ONES COMMITTING SUICIDE”………………..I’m angry, really blood boiling angry. Considering a revenge suicide, where I send letters and videos to all media declaring I’ve committed suicide, so that she can’t possibly hide the truth. Oh how it would embarrass her!! Off course I know this is just anger talking and since we don’t do healthy dialogue in my family I need to park this and move on….but as someone who has felt that low on numerous occasions, as someone who has been hurt by those times that mum is so ashamed of my illness, I just can’t ignore this. I can’t stop my blood boiling….

490. It could have been me.

I blogged some time back about a nurse who tragically killed her 3 children but failed in her own suicide attempt. This week she was found not guilty, by reason of insanity.

I’ve heard people scorn; ‘you just don’t harm your kids!!’

My neighbour came out outraged until she sized up my view. See here’s the thing. It’s a scary and a sad truth but…..that could have been me.

This poor woman hated herself, and was convinced she was an awful mother, damaging her kids beyond hope. She feared that her illness had sentenced them to a life of mystery. I’ve had those very same feelings towards little man.

This mother knew in her own mind that her children would be better off dead. Such is the harsh reality of mental ill health and delusions. I at one point also knew that little man would be better off dead. How scary is that?

I’m lucky though, somewhere in my head, despite the constant barrage of self hatred , despite the constant attacks on my abilities, and the constant fears for little man, I knew from some tiny nugget of logic that my thoughts were irrational. I knew something was wrong and that healthy people don’t feel like this. I knew I needed help.

By all accounts this poor woman had also reached out for help. She expressed some scary thoughts to professionals. She tried in my view, to manage things.

Like me though, she hid it all from her OH. I know why she did that, it’s the reason I do it too. She felt ashamed, ashamed of her condition and her thoughts. She probably felt he wouldn’t understand and that he might even hate her. She probably also wanted to hide that fact that she was a horrible person. Yes in her head this was fact!

I personally have no doubt that she went insane. I feel so so sorry for her, her husband and those 3 beautiful kids. I hope she gets the help she needs to somehow live with this. I hope lessons have been learned by those professionals who had treated her. I hope that those who now hate her, can somehow forgive her.

But most of all I hope I never have those thoughts again, and that if I do, I’ll find the strength to reach out. I hope that the little nugget of logic that saved me before, saved us before, saves us again.

Loopy x

487. The anomaly scan

Today was our big 20 week scan. These are always a bit nerve wracking, more so today than with my first. I think I had talked myself into the notion that something must be wrong. After all the stuff I’ve been up to, and with depression and meds etc, I was just worried. I’ve also not been feeling any movements which I certainly should be by now, given it’s a 2nd baby.

Well the first thing we saw was a very active little baba, punching away and kicking, and pouting. It is certainly moving. Then we did the usual; heart, head, kidneys, spine etc and I’m happy to report that all looks as it should. What a weight lifted!!

Now the big reveal…………………………………….

It’s a boy!!

Mum and sis are just a little disappointed, but I’m delighted to be honest. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m far from a girly girl, more content with footballs, tools and nerf guns!!

Another little man, 🙂

Loopy x

486. A night off meds.

I’m home, I’m coping (outwardly anyway) and my little man has completely showered me with hugs and kisses and spontaneous outburst of; “my love you mammy”. Little man has been frigging wonderful, a true tonic for my sadness and doubts. His bond is real, and strong and full of love. I must be doing something right after all…

Baba though, oh you little bugger!! I have to say the growing bump, the regular scans and the family excitement is finally bringing me a little joy. Some hope, some excitement and dare I say it, some confidence.

The sickness though, jeez will it ever go away.? O.k it has lessened but last night I projectile vomited just before bed. Unfortunately that included my nighttime meds. Wow what a massive impact that had! I couldn’t sleep and when I did dose I’d immediately wake up with terrors. Very random, very scary dreams. Even OH confirmed I’d been swearing. As for my mood, it plummeted, and has stayed very low all day. I’ve been in bed, I’ve been crying and for the first time since leaving hospital, I’ve felt suicidal.

How scary is that? How can one missed dose of nighttime meds have such a devastating impact or was it just coincidence? Whatever, I’m glad this day is done.

To end on a positive note, I had a frigging excellent psychologist in hospital and his work has stuck with me, more than any other. I can hear him (not I) challenging my negative thoughts or at least prompting me to. To be honest I kinda wish I had recorded him :), but anyway….

Loopy be proud, you got up today, dressed and fed little man, showered him with love and walked him to school. You really really wanted to self harm, but you fought it and resisted, and finally you rang a friend to check how she keeping (even though she didn’t answer), and you know you’ll ring again.

Little steps Loopy, little steps…..

Loopy x

485. Gut wrenching.

I have low self esteem. I often see the very very worst in myself. I didn’t know that as part of my discharge/care plan that OH had agreed that I would have no unsupervised contact with little man.

OH didn’t actually tell me, but I’ve had several follow up calls from various professionals who kindly dropped this little bombshell on me. I don’t think OH was ever going to tell me.

When you feel like the crappest mum in the entire world, and then you’re told; ‘we don’t want you to be alone with your son” , it’s quite frankly devastating, heartbreaking and a real kick in the gut.

I would never ever ever put my little man in harms way. I’ll jump through whatever hoops I need to, to get my life back on track, but sorry social services, this is just cruel!!

Where was all this “help’ and ‘support’ this past 12 months when I’ve been literally crying out for it?

Loopy x

484. Being discharged

Well folks, that’s another hospital admission over. I’ve been in here for 6 weeks. It’s time to go home.

I’m filled with the usual terror and uncertainty that’s always accompanied these situations. How will I cope? Can I ever properly change things? How do I move forward in a positive way?

My intense crisis has passed though and some hope has returned which itself will sustain me for a while. Come on Loopy, you’ve got this!!

There’s a baby on the way. It’s hard to see it now, but this IS a good thing.

Loopy x

481. Jelly bean

Well there’s defo one in there. I had my 12 week scan and so far all appears healthy.

Why am I not happy? Why can I not enjoy this? How can I be so cold and detached?

Loopy x