01 Dec My untold birth story and your concern for my health
For months now, I have been hinting that I have been at my worst mentally, concerning my body. It all goes back to that night before I was to be induced.
I felt so disappointed in my body – I had a tough pregnancy which had nothing to do with my health, but more to do with me vomiting all the damn time, being 30+ weeks pregnant during the hottest summer, and having low blood pressure.
I felt like every time I went out with my family, I was ruining the outing, by having to leave because I needed to vomit, or sitting on the floor because I felt so faint. There is no dignity left when you’re lying on the floor of a restaurant, as people just pass by with a WTF look. Even if I wanted to try and explain what I was feeling, I didn’t have the ability to, because the cold sweats and dizziness left me feeling paralyzed.
But I kept telling myself that it’d be okay!
With Axl, I was induced at 38,5 weeks due to high blood pressure but with Eli, I had no signs of that, so I had convinced myself that this time it would be different, that I wouldn’t have to go through the process of induction. My husband kept saying I was being silly and at least with an induction, I already knew what to expect and wouldn’t end up having my baby in the car, on the way to the hospital.
But here’s the thing about inductions – the process of inserting the catheter is likely to fail – so why is it required? So many women describe this as being intrusive, incredibly painful and uncomfortable – some even said it to be worse than childbirth. With Axl, I seemed to have been so high on adrenalin, that I had forgotten all about it – but with Eli, I can still remember the cold metal, the sound of the tools as they worked on me, the conversation that I tried to distract myself with – and in such painstaking detail – I can remember what the catheter felt like.
Another thing about inductions is that there is an increase in the chance of it ending in a c-section. Most women labour for hours until the point where doctors advise a c-section. It was my worst fear of this happening as I didn’t want to be away from Axl for any longer than I already was, and I have heard just how much tougher the healing process is. (respect to all you c-section, mommas!) The doctor on my case seemed determined that I would end up having a c-section and anytime I had shown any sort of positivity, he would firmly remind me that it is unlikely to progress as quickly as I had with Axl.
And then there was the fact that I didn’t have my partner with me. I am a baby. My mom will confirm this. I can’t handle being sore but with Darren, I feel brave. I feel reassured that he will get me through whatever it is that I have to do.
With Axl, he was there and fuck, he was great. There was a time when I was in so much pain that I couldn’t speak, and he spoke for me. He KNEW what I needed and when a nurse turned him down, he FOUGHT for me. I remember the only relief I could get during those final contractions was to stand up and each time a contraction came, I’d fall into his arms. He held me up after every one. He never let go. He was my strength and he got me through my first birth.
But with Eli, we were denied that opportunity. It was a tough thing to wrap my head around. First, I was going through the intrusive process of an induction – new doctors every 2 hours shoving their hands to check if I had moved along, being in a ward where 8 other women were going through the same induction process, one which gave birth right next to me, and then going through the toughest part of labour without my husband by my side.
Birth is fucken hard and it should be a rule that no matter what, your husband should be allowed there. Hospitals are short staffed, and I understand that nurses can’t be there for your every beckon call, but for God’s sake, let labouring moms have a partner to help and encourage them.
The fact that I had to WHATSAPP my husband to come quickly, as my child’s head was about to crown is just bizarre and still gets me worked up.
Fuck worked up, I am sobbing because this is a blog post that I have been writing in my head for 5,5 months and I am still not quite sure where it begins and where it ends… does it actually end?
Anyway, so I guess the whole birthing ordeal made me feel like my body had failed me. Having so many strangers touch me left me feeling weird, dirty – I actually don’t know. I just didn’t feel like my body was mine anymore.
And then we got home from the hospital, and I looked at myself in the mirror and I barely recognized myself anymore. My stomach was a deflated balloon, my face was swollen, my boobs were huge, my skin had broken out, my eyes were tired and sad. My body WASN’T mine anymore – it sure didn’t look like it.
The last few months I have gone back to old habits. I have eaten my feelings and binged. I have gotten anxiety over not having something sweet to eat later. I feel like I have to wash down dinner with fizzy drinks, and follow with something sweet because surely you have to balance the savoury with sweet. It hasn’t been pretty and it’s only provided temporary comfort – I am aware of what is going on. Very aware.
But then last week, something happened, and it made me so sad – heartbroken. Someone, who knows nothing about me or what is going on right now, told my best that they were concerned about my health – they haven’t seen me, they don’t know me – they just felt the need to bring up my health or rather, the fact that I am fat, to my best friend. I hate that they went to someone close to me, instead of directly to me, because it meant that I couldn’t just face the embarrassment on my own. Instead, I had to hear it from someone who I love and admire. It hurt.
It set me down a spiral of anxiety and depression that I have kept to myself. In fact, even with it being my favourite season, it seems to be tinged with a deeper sadness in the back of my mind. Instead of getting ready for Eli’s first Christmas and time with my family, I am getting myself worked up over how I look, how my clothes fit, what my family will think. I find myself hating photos of myself, reshooting Instagram Stories because I hate my arms, chin – fuck, I hate my body.
Anyway, so I am going to work on this – for me and my mental health. I need to. I am not quite sure what I am going to do yet. I am going to try focus on going back to intuitive eating. I am currently Pinteresting the shit out of recipes with wholesome foods – lots of veggies, yoghurt, wraps and things that make me feel good. I am going to step back whenever I feel the need to binge and ask myself what is triggering it, and focus on eliminating that pressure instead. I am going to try be stronger and accept that not every day is going to be a good day, but I will try a little harder tomorrow.
I am Megan Kelly, the creator behind By Megan Kelly, mom of two boys, named Axl and Eli, and local business owner providing digital marketing solutions. I live on copious amounts of coffee, can be bribed with chocolate and will never admit to having too much makeup – although, I probably do.