HELLP – I am a Mummy
I don’t remember much about the first day of being a mummy. Anyone reading my First Hours post will know that, so this has been written to the best of my memory. I am told that I was awake a lot more than I can remember, albeit not for long periods. I had originally aimed to put this post out last Friday; however, I found it incredibly hard to write. I needed to walk away and re-group a few times. So hear goes, my next chapter…
I am asleep. The hubby stays awake all night watching the boys, marvelling as they are mirror each others’ movements. Their intricate gestures were too complex for it to be coincidence. They must have been undertaking similar actions and patterns of movement in the womb. Incredible.
I wake up, eyes blinking in the sunlight.
I am not sure where I am or what has happened. The first person I see is the hubby – concerned eyes looking at me. I panic, I remember that the boys are here. Then, I remember I am a mummy. I want to know if they are okay. Before I can ask, the hubby second guesses by the look in my eyes, “they are fine”, he says. I glance to see them under a heat lamp, the midwife is there. I didn’t notice her at first. She says, “their temperature has dropped a little, nothing to worry about”.
Someone asks how I am.
I reply, “I feel like I have been hit by a truck”. My eyes close. I feel like my body is shutting down.
***In this time we have a visitor. My hubby’s eldest brother. I don’t remember him visiting that day***
I open my eyes. 12 hours of the boys lives have gone by and I have slept through most of it. I see my parents in the room. They are feeding the boys with syringes. I remember thinking that I should be breastfeeding them. They look up and ask how I am. I don’t answer. My heavy eyes close once more.
14 hours after the boys are born, I am back in the room again. Visiting hours are over. My parents say goodbye. My Dad leans in to give me a hug. I wonder why he is crying. These are not happy tears. There is fear in his eyes as he looks at me. I mutter goodbye and close my eyes. The look on his face haunts me in days to come. This was when I realised I was seriously unwell.
16 hours after the boys are born I wake up. This time I don’t fall straight back asleep. It is evening now; my hubby looks shattered after his bedside vigil.
I ask him what is wrong with me.
He doesn’t know. The doctors don’t know.
My blood pressure is all over the place. My blood tests are worrying. I am blue. I have been slipping in and out of consciousness for the last 20 hours.
All I know is I feel like I am dying. At points I wonder if this is how it should feel after you give birth? Maybe I am being a wimp and just not coping?
I am fearful to hold my babies.
Fearing I don’t have the strength to hold them. I fear I will drop them. The best I can do is watch in wonder at the sleeping beauties laying side-by-side in their cot and I hold their hands. I just don’t trust myself. Unable to tend to their basic needs. I can’t give them what they need from their mummy.
A midwife walks in. She says she is here to help. She asks what would make me feel better. I say I would really like a shower. This is a big ask for someone that has been unable to stay awake for more than ten minutes at a time over the last day. She doesn’t flinch. “If you feel up to it, then let’s do it”. She is the second guardian angel I meet on my HELLP journey.
The midwife and my hubby sit me up in bed.
They swing my legs around so they are touching the floor. I attempt to stand up and fall backwards. When I say that “I can’t do this”, the midwife responds positively, yet forcefully, “yes you can; we will help you”.
I eventually stand up on wobbly and unsure legs. It takes me a long time to take the short walk, probably less than 10 steps, to the bathroom. I have to sit in a chair to rest a couple of times. I am flanked on either side by the midwife and my hubby. Eventually, I make it to the bathroom and feel the bliss of the shower washing over me as I sit in the bath. This was possibly the best shower I have ever had in my life.
This guardian angel takes no prisoners.
She tells – or should I say orders – the hubby to get some sleep. My hubby startles as this is the first person that has taken an interest in him for the last two days. I understand the staff were more concerned with me and the children. But, the thing is, he has been through the mill too. As he looks at me and the two boys, one of whom is tiny, he wonders if we are going to make it. He fears the worst. He is emotionally and physically drained.
The hubby helps to feed the children through syringes. I am still not strong enough to hold them in my arms. The midwife expresses from me and pours the breastmilk into syringes. Babies fed, we are ordered to sleep as best we can. The hubby settles down on a gym mat on the floor.
I gladly succumb to a restless slumber.
Day one of being a mummy and I have let my children down. Day one of my HELLP syndrome journey is over and no one has diagnosed me yet.
Baffled doctors are wondering what is wrong with me. Unbeknown to us, they have called in a specialist…
Want to know more about the days leading up to this event? Find my previous posts here.