I wasn’t sure I wanted to write this, and I am still not really that sure either. But when we were told that our beautiful Elsie Rose (at that point unnamed, simply The Poppyseed) was an IUGR baby and likely to be born very early and very sick, I made a promise to myself. To learn all that I could about IUGR. To be strong. To talk to the doctors with knowledge and confidence. To be her advocate. Her strongest supporter.
To never give up.
We were told at 31 weeks that there was reduced blood flow through the cord and that our precious little Poppyseed was not getting enough oxygen or nutrients. She was not growing as she should be; my body was failing her and there was little I could do. We lived on a knife edge for many weeks. Constant trips to the hospital for growth scans, doppler scans, and CTG monitoring for reduced movements. I used to lie in bed at night with my hand over my bump and will my baby to be ok. To kick just once. To move. To fight.
And she did. She continued to grow, slowly, and we continued to learn. With support from the IUGR awareness group and Facebook support group. With support from other parents who had been through the same. We continued to tell our family and friends what was happening and why, whilst at the same time trying to understand it all. Why our baby was not growing and what it might mean for the future. We began to prepare for an early delivery, pushed dreams for a VBAC aside and concentrated on what it would mean to have a premature baby.
And when 34 weeks came and went and we were told that our pregnancy could continue a little longer, I knew that I needed to write it all. I needed to document our experience for our own peace of mind, and then later perhaps for other parents who might be going through similar things.
This blog has always been my little space. My place to write about my son, and what happened with his birth. His reflux. My struggle to cope with PTSD and all the rubbish that came after he burst into the world. A corner of the internet to record my pregnancy with his little sister, his most loyal defender. The activities we’ve enjoyed. And then Elsie.
The planned VBAC.
The end of the VBAC dream.
I have written all of this for me, but if there is just one person that might find what I write and take comfort from it then what I do here suddenly has new purpose. If I want people to know about birth trauma, Maternity Matters, IUGR and Hypermemesis Gravidarum, then I must ask them to consider voting for me.
The 2015 Brilliance in Blogging awards are now open for nominations and to receive a vote in best writer and family category would mean the world to me. And hopefully another parent going through the uncertainty of IUGR and the agony of birth trauma might also read my story, and know that they are not alone.
If you would like to vote for me in best writer category, thank you. If you think I fit better into family category, thank you. The nomination form is here.