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Pregnancy Waiting

Failed Blood Tests (7 and a half-ish weeks)

This is a post about the sixth image from my series Waiting For Things In A Time When You Rarely Wait For Things where I documented my pregnancy from October 2019 to June 2020.

I haven’t posted about this project since July. I was just having a morning stretch and thought I should post about it again – even if they’re just short posts. Before I was making my life difficult by digging through outtakes, so I’m just going to focus on the photo/s that I chose for each set of hashtags.

So here we go…

Photo of my body. Arm has a plaster on it from a blood test
Failed Blood Tests (7 and a half-ish weeks)
 
#SoTheyTriedToTakeMyBloodAndFailed
#ProbablyBecauseItWas10amAndIHadNotEatenYet
#AsIHadBeenSickThatMorningAndItPutMeOff
#ItSeemsSoEarlyToBeTalkingAboutOptions
#WhereIWantToGiveBirthWhenItSeemsSoEarlyAndIDoNotKnowTheFullFacts
#TheMidwifeMentionedAHomeBirth
#ILikeTheIdeaOfItButImmediatelyIJustThoughtAboutTheNeighboursAndWhatTheyWouldThink
#LivingInAFlatWithNeighboursOnMostSidesAndUpAndDownDoesNotMakeItSoAppealing
#ButIDoNotHearMuchFromThem
#ApartFromOneNeighbourWhoCoughsLoudly
#AndOnceICouldHearOneVomitingThroughTheVents
#WhichIsWhatIWorriedThisMorningWhenIWasBeingSick
#TIsWorriedAboutTheRisksOfHomeBirth
#SoINeedToFindHimSomeInfo
#OtherPeopleHaveExpressedTheirDisapproval
#WhichUpsetsMe
#AsItIsSoEarlyAndItIsNotSetInStoneYet
#ButThatIsMyPersonalPreference
#AndIAmTheOneGivingBirth
#AndIWantToFeelAsRelaxedAndComfortableAsPossibleToDoTheJobThatPeopleHaveBeenDoingForThousandsOfYears
#AsICanNotBeBotheredWithBeingSuperStressedOut
#LikeISaidMyMainConcernIsTheNeighbours
#SoLetUsHopeForAShortLabourThatIsMidDayAndNotMidNight
#ButItMightNotHappen
#MaybeIWillGoToTheHospitalOrABirthingCentre
#ABirthingPoolIsAllIReallyWant
#AsIWillNotGetASummerHolidaySoICanPretendIAmInTheSeaWhichIsWhereIFeelMostAtPeace
#FingersCrossedThatAllGoesWellFromHere
#ItAllSeemsTooEarlyButTodayMadeThingsABitMoreReal
#IDoNotKnowHowIGotTheScratchOnMyBelly

So I took this photo in November when there wasn’t even a whiff of pandemic in the air (ooh so poetic).

I really do not know how I got that scratch; I’m guessing it was a rogue fingernail.

The photo is cropped and rotated – I don’t like having to crop my work for some reason, but too much boob felt unnecessary. I do like that the picture is a little abstract.

#SoTheyTriedToTakeMyBloodAndFailed
#ProbablyBecauseItWas10amAndIHadNotEatenYet #AsIHadBeenSickThatMorningAndItPutMeOff

Typically it was the first day that I had actually been sick. Later on I would realise that eating a little bit when I felt sick would make me feel better, but at this point I did not know that.

Afterwards before every blood test I would make sure that I drank plenty and ate something. Usually my appointments would be in the morning so I would have less time to eat, and I went off a lot of food so I’d at least try to eat something that I could tolerate (usually some light crisps – like the oven baked ones).

#ItSeemsSoEarlyToBeTalkingAboutOptions
#WhereIWantToGiveBirthWhenItSeemsSoEarlyAndIDoNotKnowTheFullFacts
#TheMidwifeMentionedAHomeBirth

Back then there were more options, but it did seem super early. I remember calling the hospital when I found out I was pregnant and they were like ‘so you’re having the baby here?’ I did not know what my options were; I hadn’t researched or talked to anyone about them yet.

I did read ‘Give Birth Like A Feminist’ by Milli Hill when we were trying to get pregnant, which is when home births first became an idea in my mind.

Then I was surprised at my first midwife appointment that when she asked where I wanted to give birth that she said ‘at home?’ first. She said she had never registered someone for a home birth before. I thought maybe I should think about it more as she straight away referred me to the home birth team, but she did say I could change my mind.

I really wanted one, but I was worried about the neighbours in case the birth was during the night…

#TIsWorriedAboutTheRisksOfHomeBirth
#SoINeedToFindHimSomeInfo

I told T and he wasn’t very enthusiastic about the idea. Back then he was very much ‘you go to hospital and you do what the doctors say as they know best’. Luckily, we did an online hypnobirthing course together and he completely changed his mindset.

Now if he finds out that anyone is pregnant he really recommends the course to them; he says it made him feel empowered (so imagine how it made me feel). There is so much that we never knew about pregnancy before doing the course and it just explained things in a way that made things less daunting. T always says that ‘knowledge is power’ and with the knowledge you know how to advocate for yourself.

In the end I never got a home birth, but the course definitely empowered me to say no to a c-section (if I had needed one then fair enough, but I didn’t) and to ask for a vaginal delivery. T wasn’t there during the discussions due to Covid, so I did not have anyone to back me up. Luckily it worked out in the end, though I didn’t get a home birth or water birth. It’s just really good to know your options and think about your preferences (though my birth plan never accounted for a breech baby – so if you’re reading this while pregnant please think about it and what you would want to do).

I also learned that staying calm will help labour continue (adrenaline stops surges), so I focused on doing the breathing techniques that I had learned on the course and danced to music and tried to relax as much as possible whilst waiting on the maternity ward. If I had got stressed out then I probably would have had to have a C-section as they put me on a countdown (at 9am they said if I wasn’t in established labour by 6pm then I would not be allowed to have a vaginal delivery). I do love a challenge…

#OtherPeopleHaveExpressedTheirDisapproval

Funnily enough with Covid and all, those who weren’t so keen on me having a home birth in the beginning actually saw it as a good idea in the end. It seemed less risky going somewhere where I could possibly get Covid and everything. However precautions were in place there (I had a lovely swab up the nose) and it was so odd but nice to be around a lot of strangers for the first time in months.

You can read my birth story here and about my hospital stay here.


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