It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted, the main reason being I’m just tired. I’m 34 weeks into my twin pregnancy and I’ve been running on empty pretty much the entire time. I have little inspiration for writing, despite having plenty going on in life and absolutely no motivation anyway. I spend my days going through the motions: work, looking after the wee man, running errands and doing chores that need doing before collapsing on the couch after Bubbles bedtime, too tired to even think. My brain shuts off as soon as I sit. I absentmindedly play games on my phone for a while, not really paying attention to anything before going to bed. I sleep alright and wake just as tired as the day before. In many ways I am thankful this will be my last pregnancy. It is so much harder with two little people growing inside of you. In other ways I’m sad. I love feeling their little kicks and watching my belly bounce around. They’re as busy as their big brother was but being two of them it seems like so much more.
I have around three weeks to go until the twins are born, that being said they could decide to arrive at any moment. If I do make it to the 37 weeks they’ll be born via elective caesarean. If my waters break or I go into labour earlier it’ll still be a caesarean, but the doctors will try to delay the labour as long as possible before opening me up. I have mixed feelings about having another caesarean. This time it’s my choice and I’ve chosen this route based on all the information I’ve been given and looked into. I view it as the safest option for the three of us, but I’m sad that I will never experience a natural birth. What makes it even harder for me is a lot of peoples reactions when I tell them I’m having another caesarean. Most people are supportive, but I’ve had a lot of disapproving reactions too.
When Bubble was born it all happened very quickly. I found out I was having a c section the day before and went through a million emotions. I was scared, no, I was petrified. The thought of being awake and cut open made me feel sick. I was angry. I felt like this was all the babies fault, I even decided for a fleeting moment I wasn’t going to love the baby because of ‘what it had done’. Of course I came to my senses, felt guilty and disgusted at myself, shed a lot of tears and sometimes to this day still feel guilt about those thoughts. Mostly though, I felt ripped off. I was being pushed into having a major surgery I didn’t want. I thought I knew better than the obstetricians. After talking to my midwife I was still upset, but I trusted her a lot more than the doctors and while she wasn’t able to abate my fears or disappointment, she was able to convince me it was the safest option. She knew I wanted a natural birth but as the scan was showing an estimated 12lb of baby, the risks of a natural birth were too high.
Looking back I realise it was the best option. Bubble was 11lb5oz with wide shoulders, he would absolutely have gotten stuck on the way out and needed assistance which could have caused trauma to both of us. Instead he came out healthy, happy and fully intact. I had a textbook recovery. I didn’t even need painkillers the next day, although the midwives at the hospital made me take them a couple of times because they didn’t believe that I wasn’t in pain.
Everyone was very supportive afterwards. I felt no judgement for having a c section, despite seeing many articles online and women in forums talking about how they’d been shamed for caesareans, regardless of the reasons. However I personally had mixed emotions and I truly believe that a large portion of my PPD was due to the caesarean. I blamed myself but felt anger towards the hospital. If only they had acted sooner and induced me I could have had a natural birth while he was still small enough for me to safely do so. They had gone on and on about how I had gestational diabetes, despite the fact that several blood and glucose tests came back showing I didn’t. But why else would I have had a big baby? The fact that Zombie and I were big babies and a lot of our family members were also apparently wasn’t a good enough reason. No, it had to be diabetes. I still feel angry and mixed about it sometimes, 19 months later, despite the fact I know that we had the best outcome possible and that Bubble is a thriving toddler who lives and enjoys life to the fullest. Some feelings are hard to shake.
I have little to no feeling on the skin from my belly button to the bottom of my stomach and I don’t like touching that area at all. It feels strange. It’s not completely numb, but numb enough to be confusing to the touch. Over time the area that’s numb has gotten smaller, but it still catches me off guard when I least expect it. The strangest part about the numbness is that I can feel under the skin and that is constantly tender. Many a time Bubble has kicked me there during a nappy change, making me cry out in pain, yet if he gets me somewhere that’s not numb it doesn’t hurt at all. The other remnants of the surgery are mental. They are worse than the numbness. I have talked about it with peer supporters and I don’t feel as bad as I used to, but I’m guessing it’s going to take me a while longer to get past it.
It took me a while to decide on a caesarean this time. With Bubble I felt like I had missed out on an experience; childbirth. It’s ridiculous because he was born and I got to experience the delight of bringing a baby into the world, but that’s how I felt. When choosing a caesarean for the twins I again felt like I was missing out, but at least this time it’s my choice. The twins are very active and have spent most of the pregnancy changing positions, top and tailing, breech, transverse, breech again… They are all over the place and likely will not be in position when it counts. Even if they are, there is an very high change I’d need an emergency section for the second twin, which is something I’d rather avoid as having to heal in two areas with two newborns and a toddler is not something I’m keen on. There’s a lot of other reasons I’ve chosen a caesarean but probably the biggest is the simple fact that often once the first twin is born, the second needs to be positioned manually. By a person reaching in, grabbing them and moving them into the right place. No thanks.
Of course this time round the obstetricians are keen for me to go natural, despite this time having a genuine gestational diabetes diagnosis and the fact that both twins have consistently measured 3-4 weeks ahead the entire pregnancy. Go figure. My midwife said it’s because they get excited about natural twin births because they are less common. Of course plenty of women have their twins naturally, many with no issues. But I personally feel the risks and potential intervention requirements are too high. I just need these two to be born safely. They already face challenges due to the fact they will be born early, let’s just get them out in one piece each.
I don’t understand why some people are having less than positive reactions this time round, but I wish they wouldn’t. I know there is a stigma when it comes to c sections. Some people have strong feelings about them, claiming it makes a woman not a ‘real’ mother or that it’s the easy way out. Others just seem to think that natural is the way to go but like me with my first born a lot of us don’t get a choice and often a caesarean is the safest option for everyone involved. They are NOT the easy way out. You have scars, you still have numbness and pain years later. It takes around six weeks, sometimes more to heal and in that time there is not a lot you can do, even picking up your baby can be difficult. If you want to breastfeed your milk takes longer to come in, sometimes over a week. You can’t drive, you have to rely on others to do things for you, walking down the driveway can seem like a 5km hike and for a lot of women the mental scarring never disappears. No one has been rude to me about my decision, but the disapproving reactions I sometimes get hurts. I’m not hurting anyone by having a caesarean, other than maybe my own mental health but that is my battle to fight. This is my body, my babies, my decision. It does not make me any less of a mother.
Smiles and Sunshine