Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Apologies

I've had a bit of an absence here and it has apparently raised some eyebrows so I guess it's time to come clean, time to share a little of what I've been trying to internalise of late...

I also feel the need to apologise for the fact that with all this happening this month and how I've tried to protect my family and friends from my concerns, worry etc etc that I've also apparently retreated too much and it's become painfully obvious in my lack of participation. I am sincerely sorry for this.. I've a room full of half filled projects that need final touches or the likes, and I've been unable to concentrate enough to do anything productive let alone finish them. I'm going to have to rectify that this week.

So, a little about what has been happening, it's not pretty and probably sounds like a heap of garbled gobbledy-goop... but this has been my life for at least the last month, and no matter what the outcome I need to do my best to at the very least protect my older children from the distress I've been feeling and am currently experiencing...

This last month has been a month of turmoil for me. There has been several celebrations and happy times that I've struggled with to ensure that what was going on in my life, and in my head wouldn't bring others happy times down, or at the very least let me to try and fit in and not appear to be the sad sack leaning on the back wall withdrawing from society. We've also had the joy of finding out our little Splodge is a gorgeous little princess and perfectly healthy and doing all she should be doing. We have already revealed her name (Aerynn Paige Nalani) and her siblings are very excited to meet her. But this high in particular was overshadowed by my appointment with my obstetrician the next day. I had previously been advised that the docs here in Mount Gambier would want to either induce Aerynn or ceaser her so she arrived to their schedule - this I had been kinda prepared for and had a minor panic attack and researched all my options regarding that to present to the good Dr to fight this move. What he presented me with instead has literally turned my life into a real tail spin...

Even though I have had 4 previous drug free labours, quick labours (3 hours from water breaking, 1.5 hours of contractions and super quick second stage), no intervention required labours the doctors have labelled me 'high risk' Their reason is that I am now 35, this is baby #5, I have had 8 miscarriages and I have also had 2 minor post-partum hemorrhages. These hemorrhages were due to midwife intervention and had they allowed my body to do it's job (as they had with my other 2 labours) I would not have had any intervention - as it was no intervention was required for these, they rectified themselves within an hour of my babies being born. I knew about this label a few months ago - I was shocked and felt sick that my plans for another natural, hands free, drug free, non-intervention labour were being thwarted...

So what has the obstetrician said that turned my life so upside down?? The fact that now the doctors are wanting to send me over 400KM away from my family 2 weeks before Aerynn is due, to a city I've never been to, in a city where I know no one (as in never met anyone - I know a couple of people online but that's not the same as 'knowing' them!). They want me to find my own accommodation in Adelaide, pay for it, pay for my transport, go to a hospital I've never been to, deal with midwives and obstetricians I don't know, have my baby with no support!!! My husband is struggling to get time off work as it is, to get time off for an approximate 4 weeks to be with me when Aerynn arrives is going to be impossible. He works full time - and what will happen to our other 4 children? One of whom has Aspergers and struggles with change??? There is no way that Nathan would make the trip from Mt Gambier to Adelaide in the approximate 3 hours that it takes for our babies to arrive, there is no way he can get an extended time off work with no repercussions... I simply don't know how we can make this work and keep a smile on our face and feel supported at the same time as trying to hold out family together...

So I'm in a constant state of panic at the moment. If the doctors here have their way there is no way that I would have any support person that I know for my labour. I wont have a friendly face I recognise when Aerynn is born... I will have no one for the following few days after our princess arrives... no one familiar to visit, to share their joy in person for my baby.. she will be several hours or even days old before her daddy sees her, let alone her siblings... This important bonding time will be lost :( I will be all alone in a city I am not familiar with, in a health system I am still struggling to understand etc...

Oh I know the most important thing is to have a healthy baby and mum.. I know that and I get that... I know they can induce her on a set date to fit into a schedule - however this comes with increased risks again that make my apparent 'risk factors' more risky... Having a baby is something that is natural, something to relish, enjoy (yes I enjoyed bringing my baby into the world) it is not something that should be done to schedule unless there is a medical reason that the baby needs to enter the world earlier than when they need to... Then that comes with it's own complications.... Yes we will be in a bigger hospital who can cope with these complications - but why create these issues in the first place???

I have an appointment this coming Friday with an anaethestist who will give me his answer as to if my fighting and research has paid off and I can have our baby here in Mount Gambier or if they are sending me on for whatever reason they see fit. It's times like these I love the Tassie health system - this would NOT have been happening over there!!! In fact my fertility specialist and obstetrician over there both were keen for me to have more babies because my antenatal care, labours and post natal care were so easy and uncomplicated!!!

So I've spent the month researching other options. I've been in a mad panic I guess.. trying to find something that can keep my family together as well as bring Aerynn into the world when she wants to arrive in the safest way possible... And to be honest it's not an easy thing to work towards when you're in a regional area. There are no independent midwives practicing around here, so the only choice I seem to have at the moment is to have what is called a "Freebirth" And to be honest the thought at the moment terrorfies me.

"freebirth" is where you birth your baby at home, with no assistance. There will be no one to help me if something goes wrong other than maybe a support person (my hubby) and the phone ready to dial 000. I know my previous labours haven't had complications, but that doesn't mean Aerynn's will either... I know this has been done several times and safely, I know that there is support for home-births and free-births and I've been doing my best to find that... But the reality is starting to set in about what we're facing, the risks etc... It's just sheer panic about the unknown I think coupled with the realisation at how much I was comforted by knowing if anything went wrong there was help just around the corner in the hospital... We live a 5 minute drive from the hospital at most and just around the corner from the ambulance station so in the scheme of things have help close at hand, but I've also been told that if I'm ordered to transfer the doctors can refuse to treat me unless Aerynn is already born - they can transfer me mid-labour to Adelaide!!! To be possibly forced into this position has me unable to sit still, unable to concentrate... in a state where I'm trying to control my emotions to not let on to the outside world that my plans for our new baby aren't panning out as expected...

So again I apologise. I have been trying to keep this personal situation out of the public eye. I can't have my children think anything negative about the arrival of their sister and I can't allow them to know how worried I am at the moment. This is meant to be a happy time., a time to be relaxing and enjoying middle pregnancy and baby kicking and growing etc... After Friday I'll at least know what path we're walking down with our baby and be able to concentrate rather worry about someone else making their decisions - I'll have a clearer picture and be able to focus on that... Hopefully I've been worrying for nothing, but at the very least I now know that there are alternatives, even though they're not what I planned there are ways to keep my family together... Until then I will make a more concerted effort to push my worries and fears etc aside and plug back in to everyone and life in general...


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