Just under seven years ago, I found myself strapped to a bed in a strange place. I was all alone. I was hungry, thirsty and scared. Because I was strapped to the bed, I was unable to reach the glass of water that had been left there, and the hot chocolate someone had kindly made for me had gone cold long ago. I literally could do nothing more than count down the time until I would finally have someone by my side. Listening to the clicks and rhythms of the machines around me was forcing my eyelids to droop and the only thing preventing me from falling asleep, besides the pain, was fear. Pure, cold fear. The same fear I feel still now. On those days where it all comes back in floods, like flashes of searing white hot reminders. On those days where the smallest of tasks seem enormous and the shortest of to do lists threaten to drown me. On those days where I am nothing, apart from what happened to me that day.
Two weeks ago I finished my last session with the Think Positive service. I left that session with a pile of balled up tissues in my hand, tears on my face and a heart dragging down to the pits of my stomach. I left with a referral for further counselling, CBT this time, and an apology from my lovely counsellor for ‘having missed the signs’ that I needed more help than she could give. The thing is, she didn’t miss the signs. She saw them when I allowed her to, because I’ve become kind of good at that. I can hide how I feel most of the time. Or, at least I used to be able to hide it. The tears flowed harder that day as I finally admitted the truth, and that was that I wasn’t getting better. Time (almost see years!) hasn’t really been a great healer and rather than finding myself stronger, I’m actually finding things are a lot worse now.
My life is being impacted in ways that I could never have predicted.
I am not the person I thought I was. Or that I thought I would be, seven years after the event.
I do not have the answers, but I do know this. Birth trauma cannot be swept under the carpet anymore, not for me.
Honestly, I am exhausted. Exhausted from re-living what happened on the dark cold days, and when triggers are particularly bad. Exhausted from the fear that my heart might literally pound right out of my chest one day. Exhausted from the constant anxiety that seems to be literally destroying me from inside to outside. (more…)
Elsie Rose was born at 37 weeks and 5 days weighing just 5lb 5. She’d been growth restricted in the womb and had an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie. For one reason or another we were discharged from hospital just over 24 hours after her early delivery, and before she had had her first breastfeed. In the hospital she had refused to feed, and what little she did take had come back up again amidst coughs and splutters. Having a low birth weight baby who could not feed was highly stressful; she was syringe fed for a week and we were literally hours away from allowing her to be re-admitted for tube feeding. Fast forward two years, and I’d like to say that things have improved drastically since then. And while they have in the respect that she is now gaining weight well, healthy and thriving, there are still feeding issues that we have to contend with on a daily basis.
Lots of IUGR babies have feeding issues, and for Elsie our issues revolve around allergies and reflux. She still suffers badly with both, and is unable to eat dairy and soya. We cannot be sure, but we think there are other foods that react badly with her too. At the moment her eczema is particularly bad, and if she inadvertently eats something containing any kind of milk protein her skin literally erupts. She will also suffer with breathing difficulties, streaming nose and congestion. So, obviously, we are really careful with what she eats. We have to be. And it doesn’t help that she is now two years old! With a ferocious mind and a temper to match, some days she will just refuse to eat what we make for her. And other days we will struggle to fill her up as she constantly demands ‘Eat! Eat!’ (more…)
She is two! We celebrated Elsie’s second birthday by the sea this year, and it was really lovely. We stayed right by our favourite beach in the whole world, and it was the perfect way to reflect back on the most amazing two years. It’s so hard to believe she’s been here for two years. From that tiny poppy seed in my belly, to the tiny little baby struggling to grow… to this!
What a perfect week by the sea! We ate chips and ice cream, we jumped in the waves and we built sandcastles. You can see more in our little video here:
But the purpose of this post is to tell you about the Eco-Splash all in one suit from Muddy Puddles! We were lucky enough to be sent this suit to review, and it arrived just before we went away, which turned out to be a complete sanity saver! Without it, I honestly don’t think we would have enjoyed the break away anywhere near as much as we did. (more…)