I thought because I’ve had a few new followers since the change of name, I’d do a little post about myself – the voice (or hands…) behind The Unfiltered Mum, and tell you about my journey to becoming a mum!
I’m a 33-year-old, married, mum of one beautiful daughter who is 2 years old. I also have struggled with my mental health – Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, and OCD. That alone can make life tough going; adding to that, being a parent, it can make it somewhat of a minefield. This blog is my outlet really, to share my life and experiences of juggling parenting with mental health. I’m hoping to make it a bit of a resource for others in similar situations, mostly to let them know that they’re not alone. Both being a parent, and having problems with mental illness, can be very isolating. To have a support network behind you can really make such a difference. I’m very lucky to have a great amount of support, and it really helps me, especially during rough times.
My husband and I were married in March 2010. Not long after, around June that same year, I stopped taking the contraceptive pill and we started trying for a baby. I guess we were pretty naive at the time and assumed it wouldn’t take long. We couldn’t have been more wrong! It turned out to be a very long and incredibly emotional journey. A lot of disappointment and upset along the way, and we started to think it would never happen. In a way, I tried to come to terms with the thought of never being a mum. But, as we were about to start the process of being referred to the fertility clinic after all the tests that the GP had done hadn’t shown any issues, the miracle finally happened. On November 2nd, 2015, I took a test and was really shocked to then see it was positive. After so many negative results over the years, it took a further 2 or 3 tests, to actually make me believe it! Including a Clearblue Digital, that said clear as day “Pregnant”! It was literally the most amazing feeling, but also absolutely terrifying! The 9 months ahead of me were really daunting. It meant the world to us that we were finally expecting, but there was always that fear that something would go wrong. My pregnancy was relatively smooth though, but we did have a fair few episodes of Reduced Fetal Movements, I think it was about 6 in total over the last few months. Each time was really scary, your mind starts to work overtime, imagining the worst. Thankfully, each time I went in to be monitored and everything turned out to be okay with the baby. I had an Anterior Placenta, which can play a big part in not feeling movements, depending on where the baby is laying! I used to love feeling my baby move and kick though, it was a surreal but totally amazing feeling. It’s definitely something I miss! Now I just get jumped on by a toddler!!
I went into labour on Tuesday 5th July, at 39+4. It was pretty slow going to start with, with sporadic contractions, which I managed at home. By the Wednesday lunchtime though, they had started to get more frequent and increasing in pain. So I went into the maternity unit to be checked. It turned out I was about 2 or 3cm dilated. They wanted to keep me in at that point, but I said I’d be more comfortable labouring at home for as long as possible. So, somewhat reluctantly, they let me go. We went home via Tesco’s for some food, and by the time we got home, around 7.30pm, I attempted to eat, but couldn’t. Literally, every time I went to take a bite, I’d have a contraction and had to concentrate on that!! I think I managed about 3 or 4 mouthfuls of pasta that evening! By around 11.30pm, I was starting to struggle with the contractions and they were getting rather scarily close together. So I called the labour ward, and they advised me to go in. We gathered our bags and headed in. It felt like the longest, most uncomfortable journey ever! Every bump was agony, and I was so glad to finally arrive. We went in, and I then had to tackle about 4 flights of stairs up to the delivery unit (I totally hate lifts, they make me really claustrophobic!). By the time we got to the door of the DU, I couldn’t talk, so my husband buzzed the door and told them who was there. I was let in, and checked by a midwife, and was the 4 or 5cm dilated, so she admitted me. Contractions had slowed a little by that point, so she told us to go for a walk around the hospital for a bit to try and get them going again.
Fast forward a bit, as there was a lot of waiting around! But I had to have my waters broken, as they didn’t seem to be wanting to go of their own free will! It was then discovered that there was meconium in my waters, so they alerted the paediatric team to be on standby for the birth. By about 6am on Thursday morning (7th July), progress was still pretty slow and I was getting exhausted as hadn’t slept much since the Monday evening! I was advised that I should be hooked up to the hormone drip; I was a little reluctant, but to be honest, I just wanted it to all be over and have my baby in my arms.
Within about 20 minutes of the drip going on, I was having very strong and almost back to back contractions. So, it was definitely having the desired effect! The midwife said I was apparently very sensitive to the hormone drip, which was regularly increased as things progressed. By the end, I was only getting about 2 or 3 seconds between contractions. It was super intense, and I had zero pain relief (by choice). I was constantly being offered some but refused. Some call me crazy, some call me badass! I just wanted to have something I could be in control of. 10am came around and I started having the urge to push; I was checked and was pretty much 10cm. They told me to hold off pushing for a bit, but my body took over and I had to go with it. 2 hours later, and I was so so tired, I was finding it really hard to push. So, a doctor came in to assist. It resulted in an episiotomy and ventouse delivery. But finally, at 12.16pm on July 7th, 2016, our long-awaited baby was born. It was all a bit of a blur for a bit after that, as after delivering the placenta, I then haemorrhaged really badly, and was quite unwell. I don’t really remember it much, but it was rather traumatic for my poor husband. Thankfully, the doctor got it under control, and I was stitched up and finally able to rest!
After 2 nights in the hospital, we were discharged, and the crazy, amazing, parenting adventures began!! Leaving the hospital with a 2-day old baby, was very daunting, but I couldn’t wait to get home, sleep in my own bed, and start enjoying life as a family of 3!
So, that’s me, and my story of becoming a mum. It wasn’t quite the post I was planning, but it just felt right to re-live my birth story. It’s made me quite emotional, but it was genuinely the proudest moment of my life, and always will be.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, feel free to like or comment below! Am always happy to interact with my followers 🙂
Will post again soon….