When things don’t go to (birth) plan

I don’t know how long it will take me to write this post since I have 2 newborn babies, am recovering from major surgery and find the whole thing troubling emotionally to go over in my mind. 

When I found out I was pregnant it was a huge shock, when I found out it was twins I was in shock again. Over the 37 weeks of my pregnancy my feelings changed so much from sheer terror and sadness to excitement and joy. One thing I desperately wanted to avoid was having a cesarean section. I knew twin births very often were c sections but I was desperate to do it naturally. The main obstacle would be the twins position, if they were both head down we could go natural and if not they would likely plan a section. 

Josh and I prayed and prayed that they would be head down and when we went to our 32 week scan we were elated to find they both were! It seemed perfect.

My induction was booked for Wednesday 10th August however from Saturday evening I began to start what is called “slow labour” and felt contractions on and off. It got to the point where they became regular and we went in to hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning, only to be told we were only 1cm dilated. 

The next day was the day. We anxiously journeyed to the hospital knowing that when we left we’d have babies. We were told the induction process could take days… however when they checked me over they found I was already 5cm dilated by myself! It was a miracle and we were so happy knowing that my body had started the process itself. My waters were broken in the hospital and I was left on a monitor for an hour to measure my contractions. The gas and air didn’t help the pain at all and just made me feel dizzy.

Since I was having twins I wasn’t allowed to get up and move around in order to make labour more bearable as I was strapped up to a monitor. I couldn’t even roll on to my side to take the pressure off my back because one heartbeat kept getting lost when I did so. My midwife told me they wanted to start me on a drip to speed up my contractions and advised me to get an epidural. In my birth plan I had been so against an epidural… I wanted to be so natural but by this point I was in so much pain and unable to move to help myself naturally and so I decided to get the stab!

Let me tell you it was not enjoyable. Of course having a huge needle inserted in to your spine wasn’t going to be… but unfortunately for me the cord was placed wrongly twice which resulted in searing pain and me fearing I’d be paralysed! Eventually the epidural was in and the pain was beginning to ease. 

My contractions began to come more quickly and more intense and by 10pm I was fully dilated. Twin 1’s head was in a sideways position so they left me for an hour for it to change. At around midnight I began pushing and we were so excited.

I pushed with everything in me but unfortunately her head wasn’t moving. The Midwife called the doctor in and she said the words I had dreaded hearing “we will have to do a c section”. Immediately I was protesting, crying inconsolably. I felt so devastated that I’d worked so hard but I was also terrified at having surgery… terrified I was going to feel it and not cope. 

Very quickly they brought me through to the theatre… Josh was not with me but was going to be allowed in when all was ready. They put a big sheet up so I couldn’t see what was going on and various people tried and failed to keep me calm. Josh came through and talked to me whilst holding my hand…

They say you don’t feel anything but what they mean is you don’t feel pain. You feel everything… all the pulling and tugging and this weird suction sensation. And then just like that, within a few minutes we heard our baby’s beautiful cry. We looked at each other in disbelief. Is that our baby crying?! They confirmed that twin 1 was born at 2.22am and moments later we heard the next heart filling cry. They were brought round the curtain to us in towels and Josh got to hold them. I kissed their heads. It didn’t feel real. I was just lying there and one second they weren’t there and then they were. We gave them their names; Twin 1 was Dorothy and Twin 2 was Margot.

They took the babies to be weighed and suddenly I started to feel pain in the top of my abdomen. They checked a few times and the pain was still there so they decided to put me to sleep to finish off. 

The next thing I know I’m waking up in a strange room with people all around me. Completely groggy and for a minute I forget everything that just happened. Eventually they wheel me back through to my squeaky new family and my babies are put in to my arms. I’m drowsy and confused but glad to be back with them. I’d already missed so much of their first moments.

Not long after I was lying looking at my babies and a doctor came in and told me they had to be taken to special care. I was devastated that I’d only just seen my babies and they were going to be taken away again. Josh and I got some rest whist they were gone and a couple of hours later Dorothy  was brought back through but no Margot. We felt so incomplete without her but glad to have Dorothy back. She took to breast feeding without any problem and I was so glad. It was early afternoon by the time we finally got Margot back but we were so glad to be whole again. 

The recovery for me was horrible. I could barely walk, was completely swollen and had a very sore throat. I thought I’d never get better and my arms were like pin cushions from all the tests. 

I didn’t want cesarean. Nothing went to plan. Sometimes I look back on those moments when I was desperately trying to push naturally and I feel so much grief. I can’t help thinking that I did something wrong but I know that wasn’t the case. 

Sometimes things don’t go to plan. You can sit and cry about it and ask God why and feel angry and cheated by him or you can accept it and move on. Currently I’m in between the two. I can’t say I’m fully there yet but I’m on the way. We know that God works all things together for good and if I have faith in Him I must have faith that this was the right outcome for me.

I have 2 beautiful babies who are now one month old and I am so blessed!

Sorry this post was a bit long and rambly but I wanted to remember everything so I have it all documented for myself.

What to expect when you’re not expecting to be expecting…

Bit of a tongue twister isn’t it?! I have been pretty quiet on my blog lately… mainly because I have one secret thing consuming my every thought. I am going to be a mum. I am pregnant. But not just pregnant, pregnant with TWINS.  I am growing two humans inside me, and after I go through the traumatic experience of birthing said humans I am going to be responsible (along with my husband, of course) for keeping them alive, looking after them and fashioning them in to somewhat decent human beings.

The problem is I was never planning on being a mum. I guess I knew it would happen, but it always seemed a fairly abstract, far-off eventuality that a future version of myself would have to deal with. I always thought that future version of myself would be ready, she would have planned this, she would have thought it through. She would have experience with other people’s babies, she’d probably be an auntie and she’d just simply know what to do.

The moment I found out I was pregnant was one of the most crazy moments of my life. Unfortunately it wasn’t joy that filled my heart and soul at that moment… more fear, disappointment, confusion, sadness and tears. I always imagined the moment I found out I was pregnant for  the first time would be a moment of elation for me, but that wasn’t this moment.

Before I go on, let me first say that a child is always a gift. There are many in the world who so desperately desire to have a baby and it doesn’t happen for them, or their journey is riddled with pain and anguish and so what I say now I intend to say with the greatest sensitivity to those still trying or indeed those who have given up hope. I was not trying to have a baby, in fact I was actively trying not to have a baby. I had dreams of travelling the world and being a career woman before I even thought about becoming a mum. So when I found out I was pregnant it was not met with joy but week after week of tears and depression.

I think the world sells us this image of a happy little family but we don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. Unplanned pregnancy isn’t necessarily made easier because you are married or in a relationship. Unplanned pregnancy is a shock which can hit you at any stage or any age in your life. I felt guilty because I thought I should feel a certain way and I didn’t, which I think made me even more depressed. But now I’ve come to the realisation that it’s okay not to get those butterflies and feelings of elation when you find out you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a bad parent and it doesn’t mean you’re ungrateful for the gift that you have been given.

I thought people would judge me for getting pregnant so young. In all honesty I didn’t want to live up to the stereotype of getting married young and settling down. I was afraid of what people thought of me. I was afraid people my age would look at me and feel sorry for me, they’d think to themselves “well that’s good for them but I am so glad it’s not me”. Well the truth is out now and I don’t know if people are thinking those things… if they are I don’t blame them. But I have no plans to settle down, not when I got married and not now I’m having kids. I am still going to see the world, it just might be in a different format to the way I’d originally planned. I’m still going to have a career, only now I have a couple more years to decide what I actually want to do with my life.

I wouldn’t be any sort of Christian if I didn’t believe everything happens for a reason. I believe God has a plan for my life and sometimes that plan doesn’t necessarily match up to my own. God works all things together for good, He sees the big picture but he only reveals to us what we need to see right now. These babies may not have been planned by Josh and me but they were planned and purposed by God. He is knitting them together in my womb as I type this. He guides my path and always will. I put all my trust and faith in Him because I know that He is always faithful to me.

I’m 17 weeks pregnant now and in all honesty I still have my ups and downs. I have days of sheer excitement and I have days when I cry for the life I thought I was going to have. When people say congratulations sometimes I find it hard to play the beaming mum-to-be but I appreciate all the love and support we have received. I wanted people to know our story, to understand how we came to be where we are. But most of all I want people to see that even when your plans don’t fall in to place the way you’d expect, God is still working.

 

Have faith!

Kate-Sig-1

The most inconvenient time of my life…

In an effort to describe our future nuptials, my mum recently said to me “You and Josh are getting married at the most inconvenient time in your life for all the right reasons.” As I pondered this statement I realised that it was exactly true.This post is not meant to sound pretentious or judgmental to those who decide to take a different path, I believe everyone is free to make their own choices, however I wanted to explain why I have made mine.

Ever since I was a young teenager, I have known that I want to get married. Spending my life with another person and sharing in every season together has always been an exciting prospect for me. As a Christian, I believe that marriage was designed by God, to glorify God. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, they shall become one flesh” Genesis 2:24 – This passage shows that God designed men and women to be in a union together, two becoming one. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be our own person once we are married, or that we don’t have our own mind/disagreements/differences but it means that we make a promise, a covenant, to live out the remainder of our lives as two people on the same path. One life, two people.

Clearly, a big part of marriage is sex. I don’t want people to think that Josh and I are getting married quickly simply because we are desperate to have sex and can’t wait any longer. It’s true, as Christians we believe that sex is to be within a marriage context and that is why when I was around fourteen I made a promise to God that I would not have sex until I am married and also why at the beginning of our relationship, Josh and I decided that we would not have any sexual contact with one another until our wedding night. It feels slightly awkward to talk about this but that is what we decided. It says in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 7:9 “It is better to marry that to burn with lust” and I’m not going to lie and say that this hasn’t been part of the motivation for us getting married, the temptation has been more than we could have anticipated and we are not professing to be in any way perfect. But this is not the main reason behind us getting married, only one strand.

We have spent the last year becoming best friends, falling in love and getting to know each other inside out without needing to get to know each other sexually. I would do anything for Josh and I believe that he would do anything for me. I do not have a doubt in my mind that he is the person that I am meant to spend the rest of my life with and this doesn’t make me feel trapped – actually it feels remarkably freeing! I don’t see us getting married as a ball and chain type scenario, we’re not going to become anti-social, or boring… we want to travel the world and have experiences together and on the way have a tonne of fun. I don’t want to believe what so much of today’s culture tells you; that your fun and exciting life ends with marriage. Marriage is just the start in my eyes!

The most important element of why we have chosen to get married now is because of our love for Jesus. We have said from the beginning that our relationship and future marriage is not just between the two of us, but the three of us. Josh, me and God. Every decision we make, we pray it through, every trial we face, we thank God and ask Him for His help and guidance. We believe that God has brought us together to spend our lives together and that is why we have decided ‘why wait?’. We want to live out our calling from God together starting as soon as we can. It’s that old cliche; ‘When you know, you know’. We know marriage isn’t going to be easy, and we know its not a decision to take lightly but we also know that “If God is for us, who can be against us” Romans 8:31 

So yes, I am getting married at a most inconvenient time. I am still at uni, we have absolutely no money and very little time to plan a wedding.. but we have never been happier in our whole lives. I heard it said once ‘The best place you can be is at the centre of God’s will for your life’ and I thank God that I am in this place.

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“I have found the one whom my soul loves” Song of Solomon 3:4