If you'd like to use this space to tell stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...
I have for days now... written, saved, drafted, and deleted a post for the basement. Each one, more raw, more detailed, more tears shed...
Tonight I have to make it end. I have to get this out, before I break down and actually tell my friends for the umpteenth time...
I think there really is something wrong with my daughter.
And I blame myself.
I didn't want to be pregnant, I didn't want to have another baby so close to my middle child....... I was miserable. I was so tired, so big, so horrible with my other two children towards the end... it was so hard. I cried for days and days... just like when I figured out I was pregnant... I cried non stop then too. I apologized to this baby so often, I'm scared she knows the sound of that phrase. I'm more scared she knows I was so miserable.....
My midwife was wonderful (having had an 18 month difference between her last two children too!), she sat with me for hours on end... just letting me talk. She had been the second midwife at our last birth, my first homebirth. Our first child was a single footling breech, they took him from my abdomen despite my tears and terror. But that is another story all together, of depression, desperation to be the perfect parent, no sleep, early walker who didn't crawl until he was two, turned picky eater.... oh yes, I still need to get around to some therapy over that one.
I was so terrified of this child's birth, it wasn't even funny. I woke up every morning begging it to not come today, I'm too tired and too scared.
Finally I gave in emotionally and went into labour, with a bit of help (membrane sweep). I had a good early labour, by the time my other two were in bed... I was losing control (NO I am not a sadist... I was desperate for an epidural, a gun to the head... anything to take away those contractions!, but alas with low bp and a scar on my uterus, I wasn't going to chance it... hence the home birth). I was scared, I was hiding in the bathroom telling everyone to go away.
My midwife finally came in, despite my protests... at least I think I protested? She asked what I was so scared of... I didn't know. I told her I couldn't go on. So we broke my water.... she had to help the head down... for some reason it was still very high, despite my body being the required 10 cm's. I flopped my feet towards the floor... and before I knew it, and a few "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUSH!!!!" comments... she was out. It took all of five minutes.
Four minutes later, she was in an ambulance with the second midwife and my husband.
I was still perched on the edge of the sofa...
(Which is kinda funny when you think about it, six EMT's in my teeny livingroom, me in black tank top (this is end of October on the Prairies!), towel over my legs trying to keep from delivering the placenta until they left....)
Here is where the guilt comes into the picture.
An umbilical cord is supposed to be like a phone cord, nice and fat and curly..... My daughter's was not. It was around her neck for a long time. She grew with it around her neck, so it was nice and fat and curly from placenta to her neck, neck to belly button. She could have died at any time in utero. We are very lucky that she is alive in general. The neo natal neurologist who cared for her at the hospital said that because we had her at home, unmedicated and so quickly is the only reason she is still alive. When she tucked her chin down to "dive out", she cut off the last little bit of life sustaining oxygen she had from me....
My daughter was born with an apgar. An apgar. One. She had a heartbeat of less than 100.
I remember turning around... and wondering why midwife #2 was getting our doula to grab the phone... why my baby was so blue... why no one was saying anything... What is with the oxygen tank? WHY are you getting out the intubation tray?!
What the hell are you phoning 911 for?!
Someone pass me my daughter!
She was fine by the time they took her in the ambulance. She was pink and howling and fine (she didn't need to be intubated after all). But she had to go. They had to take her to be checked over.....
So I spent three hours waiting for her. Wondering if she really was fine. Calling people and waking them from their sleep... trying to remember how everything went wrong? Was it 2nd midwife who said... okay one more big push ? How come they were so calm? They knew she was in trouble when her head was out...
*I'd just like to say... THANK GOD FOR REGULATED MIDWIFERY!!!!!*
"We had a girl!... no, we haven't named her yet... I don't know how big she is... yup she seems to be as long as the boys were... well because she is at the hospital.... no, they will bring her home again, I don't have to go... Husband is with her and 2nd midwife... no she is fine.... everyone keeps telling me she is fine.... yes, she is fine...."
But is she?
She is very happy, she smiles at the smallest hint of someone looking at her. She loves to cuddle. She squeals with reckless abandon... I swear dolphins can hear her! She adores nursing, eating, sucking her thumb, rolling to the dog so she can suck on his paws or tail.... going after toys...
But she doesn't sit.
She has no urge to sit.
She topples over when I try and let her do it on her own...
She won't sit.
I carefully brought this up with my friend, a chiropractor. She laughed then stopped as she noticed the tears.
I think she has Cerebral Palsy... she took me seriously after that. It seems that my daughter does not have CP, nor does she have an sort of muscle atrophy at all. All her reflexes are fine. All her muscles are developing. Her hips and joints are fine too.... seems that she is a little on the long side though. According to the new WHO charts... only three percent of baby girls are the same length as her... so yeah, a little on the long side.
But that doesn't explain why she won't sit up on her own.
I keep thinking that maybe there is something, something that is wrong. I know that I will always watch her with a careful eye. I can't stand it if she so much as coughs or sputters.... I had a baby who didn't breathe at birth... I want to make sure she breathes every second of the day now! I listen to her breathe on the monitor, I move her back on to the panel to get that little click sound... making sure she is breathing and moving... I am exhausted. I am terrified. I am going insane.
I won't even get started on ambulances. I can tell you which siren is police, fire dept., rcmp... ambulance. Fucking ambulance sirens make me want to crawl out of my skin. On occasion I actually get through listening to one going to its destination, without crying. I have post traumatic stress disorder.... but of course I don't fit the nice little norm of it, so I can't find any help. No one seems to know what to do with me. I don't know what to do with me.
My friends and family all think I should just move on, let her develop at her own rate... ignore the books and charts (obviously she is in length and fine motor skills!). I should just block out the sirens. I should just move on.
But here I am, curled up in my own little basement. Scared to blog about it in too much detail, scared to say it out loud any more. People will stop listening to me, tired of my inane ramblings about something that had a "happy outcome". I didn't want another baby so soon... and I think that I've been punished for that.....
I love her so much I hurt. It hurts to look at her and wonder what I did. To know that I almost killed her. To know I didn't want another baby (her)... and I almost had her die. Some days it is just too much... some days I am the worst mom on the planet, because I am so ... I can't even describe what is wrong with me... It is just too much some days.
Thanks for the corner.
Thanks for listening.
I hope that tomorrow I can be a better mom, now that I've got this out... and sent.