Rock Bottom and Bounce



This time, the extended silence between now and my last blog post wasn’t because of laziness or busyness. I did it because I was thinking of you all. Really.

Nobody likes a complainer. And given that a lot of my literary ‘wit’ is naturally acerbic, I thought that to make another post describing where I was at in this pregnancy saga would only be unhelpful to my already blue psyche, and irritating to readers. The entry, I imagine, would have been little more than ‘Woe is me … I’m so miserable … This is so unfair … I can’t cope with this anymore …”

And who wants to read that?

Knowing that negative attitudes only bring others down too, likely making them regret they’d ever asked how I was doing, I struggled with knowing how to answer the question. It became easier to simply withdraw from situations where I may be asked. For the most part this worked, but the question wasn’t totally avoidable. When I visited the library to borrow a book on post-cesarean recovery exercises, a colleague asked it. “Hi Eve, how are things going?”

Long pause. My brain raced. Think of a silver lining! Think of something positive!

Nope, I got nothing. I couldn’t see the silver lining because the big black centre of the storm-cloud of pain and discomfort was in the way.

“Think of the most optimistic and silver-lining way of saying ‘Utterly miserable’,” I eventually said, at least managing a mouth-twitch I hoped passed for a smile, “and just pretend I said that.”

If my imagination couldn’t come up with an encouraging response to the question, I hoped hers could. I don’t know how she did with it. I moved on quickly.

So then, what changed? Bump isn’t born yet, and I’m making a blog entry, so I must be out of the storm-cloud. Or at least able to see around it.

I believe it changed because three of the inflictions either resolved or dramatically improved, and it’s made all the difference!

I’d had “third world” (according to my midwife) iron levels, which resulted in extreme fatigue and a general inability to cope with anything that happened while I was conscious. My iron tablets hadn’t helped much at all, a liquid iron supplement of diabolical taste I tried did help but was too expensive to sustain, but then finally I tried another liquid supplement that I could get subsidised, and tasted better than the former type. By ‘better’, I mean ‘mildly less diabolical’. Now my iron levels are normal, and because I’d spent so long in that ‘third world’ state, I’m still feeling superhuman by comparison. Especially as it’s helped with my pelvic pain, too. The degree of pain used to make me walk like a 90-year-old woman who’d pooped herself. But now I don’t feel a day over 70!

I couldn’t have more than four hours sleep, because it became too painful to lie down. Bump wouldn’t let me lie on my back (or belly, obviously), and acute sternum pain would develop after lying on either side, even with pillow support. So then I’d have to get up. Naturally, this constant sleep disruption compounded the fatigue I already had from low-iron. Now, I get a (mostly) full night’s sleep, having figured out that I can sleep on my back after all, if I just lie inclined on a pillow mountain starting at my lower back. My sternum’s happy, and Bump is kept safely lower than lungs and other vital organs, so doesn’t crush them. (The first night I discovered this pillow arrangement, having acquired every spare pillow in the house, I thought I was sleeping on puffy cartoon clouds.)

Timmy’s turned from a troll back into a little boy again. A few weeks ago he’d had his 15-month immunisations, and while I expected him to be miserable for a while after this, I’d anticipated a couple of days of it (as has been the case with previous immunisations), not a couple of weeks. His extreme irritability and general ghastliness meant that I had to bring him home early from daycare, so I lost my ‘relaxation break’ at a time I really needed it! But now he’s back to his normal Timmyness, with makes him much easier to live with, and I no longer have to worry about how I’m going to cope after Bump arrives — because now Timmy’s back to loving the daycare centre.

Extreme fatigue (from both low iron, and bad/broken sleep) and living with a one-year-old troll had combined with the physical pains of pregnancy and injections to make a black cloud I just couldn’t see around. But with the big improvements I’d had in the last week, I can cope with the rest. Even with injecting myself with what feels like liquid barbed wire, and bruising easily as a result of being on blood thinners. (More good news: after Bump’s born I can move on to the tablet version, so I won’t have to be stabbing myself for the next five months! Woo-hoo!)

With my feet back under me and my mind in a better place, I’ve been making my way through the list of pre-baby To-Dos. Our chest freezer has been slowly filling with pre-prepared meals, my hospital bag is (almost) packed, Father’s Day presents have been organised on behalf of my sons (I expect I’ll be out of hospital by Father’s Day, but certainly not up to leaving the house to go shopping), and other sundries are sorted out too.

Six days to go! I’m pretty sure I can survive another six days, now.


(3) Comments

  • Mrs. W
    19 Aug 2013

    Wow – just four days to go, you’re almost there, just hang in. As a cesarean by choice mom – here’s a tip – the recovery is likely to be far better than the emergent cesarean recovery horror stories you’ve heard about AND almost certainly to be a better experience than what you had with Capt’n Zogg….

    Just keep the lifting down to minimum (lift in a seated position if neccessary)….

    • Eve
      19 Aug 2013

      What encouraging reassurances to hear at the end of a long tiring day! Thank you. 🙂

      I just hope Bump holds on until Thursday afternoon. I had some false labour early on Sunday morning, and it freaked me right out, I can tell you! Fortunately it hasn’t happened since. Still, I’m nervous about every little twinge, now. (I hope tension and anxiety have no labour induction qualities, otherwise I could be in trouble!)

  • Mrs. W
    25 Aug 2013

    By now bump 2 has arrived – I am hoping that it was an atraumatic, uneventful (aside from being the day your second born arrived), and straight forward with excellent pain control – and that both yourself and your baby are doing well.

    I remember enjoying the newborn squishy stage far more my second time around, simply because I was not coping with the aftermath of having a traumatic delivery.

    Wishing you and your family well.

Leave a reply so Eve's not talking to herself...