Sunday, 6 May 2007

2001 - Pregnancy and Birth

My house, located in the same building as the base for my business, was quite well suited to cope with Marie's agoraphobia. I was mostly on the premises, and when I wasn't, other members of staff were; in the evenings, on the rare occasions that I had to go out, some of my older children were present. Marie never had to be on her own. Marie also liked the fact that I had 2 dogs, both pretty vocal if strangers dared to enter the living accommodation. We also had enough space for Marie's mother to come and stay for a few days when she wanted to.

The first three months of Marie's pregnancy were extremely difficult for her. She vomited all day and all night. There was no respite. She could do nothing but stay in bed all the time. Being agoraphobic was no
handicap at this time! But she pulled through without losing too much weight or becoming dehydrated. Then one day the nausea ceased - as if someone had turned off the switch.

Above - Marie could get out more when pregnant. She's about 8 months pregnant in the picture. Here she is enjoying a splash in the river with one of our dogs.

The local Maternity Services were brilliant!

From the start, every possible assista
nce was given to Marie to cope with her pregnancy and agoraphobia simultaneously. We could park right outside the buildings. Marie had her Ultrasound examinations in a unit beside the door of the Maternity building (normally this took place deep in the bowels of the main hospital). I was to be allowed to stay with Marie at all times during any hospitalisation before the birth (if required, but as it turned out Marie had a text-book pregnancy - everything went perfectly), during the birth and after the birth if for any reason Marie was detained in hospital.

Marie's agoraphobia lessened a little during the pregnancy. We were able to go shopping for all the requirements essential for the new baby - cot, pram, cupboard, chair, car seat, baby supplies bag...the list seemed endless, but as the pregnancy wore on with both Marie and baby in the best of health, it was a joy to provide all the necessities (and some luxuries, too!) for the expected new arrival.

Marie did worry about how she was going to cope with the next visit to wherever, or the injections, etc., but each time she coped admirably.

The ultrasound images couldn't tell us what sex the baby was, but we were expecting a girl. This was because 4 of my 5 children were girls and it is a medical fa
ct that older men tend to produce female babies. However, just to be on the safe side, we didn't buy much girls-only stuff!

Kate prepares for labour in the delivery suite.

There was a false labour, but the real thing came almost perfectly on time. Marie's agoraphobic fears meant that she was afraid to have an enema, drugs or gas to assist with childbirth. However there were some paracetamol tablets provided. Kate declined these, too, when offered. I had a bit of a headache, so I took them instead!

Marie took up the squatting position for the birth and I did what I could by way of verbal encouragement and lower back massage. After only 45 minutes labour, the baby began its journey down the birth canal. At the bend, the baby seemed to get stuck and its heartbeat got weaker and slower... The midwife pressed the alarm for the cavalry. However, just as the emergency team were taking up position, the baby moved again and a head covered with black hair appeared. Then, after what seemed to me to be an interminable wait, the rest of the body emerged and Joseph took his first breath.

Yes, against all our expectations, we had a boy! He had all the correct bits in the correct places, weighed the correct amount and seemed to be perfect in every way. Marie, though exhausted, began breast feeding almost immediately after baby was examined. That went like clockwork, too.
Joseph latches on first time!

The next morning, the three of us left the hospital to go home. But Marie, proud of her previous evening's work (and justifiably so!) somehow found a reserve of energy to go to the local baby supplies supermarket (Mothercare) for some "boy" clothes for our baby! She managed to walk around the store without exhibiting any of her agoraphobic behaviour patterns (although she still had her coat, mobile phone and heavy shopping-bag sized handbag).

Things were looking up!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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