Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Where am I now?

It would seem that I haven't posted on the blog for just shy of 4 months now.

I managed 2 1/2 days at work early April and ended up having some further time off. I used the rest of my maternity days and then fully returned to work at the start of May.
I've always been a firm believer that if you expect nothing, then anything over and above is a pleasant surprise.
I returned in May with more of this attitude and it made each day pass much easier. Somehow I managed to get back into the swing of things and haven't looked back since.
I do have to say though, that without the help of certain people, I wouldn't be where I am now. For those of you who have been following this blog, you will know how much Jodi has meant to me and also later on in finding friendships with some girls at the local Sands group. We still see each other at the monthly meetings and also weekly or fortnightly for dinner or coffee. There is however, one other who has made my life and my outlook so different. I'm not going to mention any names but can only just say that without the phone calls and messages or support different to what I was already getting, I certainly wouldn't be where I am today. I never would have thought that it would make such a difference, but it totally has.

I suppose the main reason for me not blogging for 4 months is purely down to work. I have thought about it a handful of times but usually when i'm not really able to actually do it. At the same time, I haven't really felt the need to. For the people who told me that the blog would be a waste of time and that it wouldn't help me, all I can say really is up yours. Funnily enough, those people have had no effect on how i've grieved at all. They've just shown me what type of people they are.

You really do find out during these tragedies who your real friends are and actually to be honest, you also find out what sort of people your family members are too.

I'm a different person today to what I was a year ago. I can still see some of the old Sian shining through, but i'm so much more aware of things I want out of my relationships with people and what i'm after in my own life.

This time last year, I was lying on my lounge sofa praying that my little ones wouldn't make an appearance with the funneling of my cervix. Little did I know that my appendix had ruptured and in 12 days time, I would have my little angels.

We are undecided as to what to organise if anything for their 1st birthday on 12th August. We both have the week off work but just aren't sure what to do. Do we celebrate? In a way I think we should but at the same time it feels wrong to celebrate such a tragedy. But we should celebrate their lives no matter how brief.

Their headstone went up today. I've seen a picture already but can't wait to go up after work today and see it in person. x

Monday, 2 April 2012

What A Day

I really thought people would be more sensitive at work especially on my first day back. It was always going to be hard but in all honesty there was a glimmer of hope that it would end up being easier and all the worry would be for nothing and it would go better than expected.

Arriving on my first day back I find that actually I have no desk. The lady who was taken on to cover my maternity has been kept on and seems to be keeping my desk. Initial thoughts are that perhaps on my first day back I could at least sit there so I could feel more comfortable and welcomed. Craig's Mum said Hi at 8:30am and didn't say anything else to me until 5:30pm. It's a small office. I wasn't even asked if I was getting on ok bearing in mind that I said only a few days ago that I was going to find going back emotionally difficult.

I decided to go for a walk up town during my lunch break. Arriving back in the office I decided to eat my sandwich. I ate it standing up. I know, I can hardly believe it myself.

I mentioned to the maternity cover lady that I wanted to book some time off in August as it's Lola and Lukas' first birthday and before I got to finish the sentence, I was told that she had a week off in August. Turns out it's the same week. The week beginning 13th August. It's her birthday on the anniversary of Lola's death. I can't see how I can have the time off now and it's going to be a really hard week. I want to celebrate my babies' lives and to also make sure Craig has a more enjoyable 30th birthday on 18th. I know it's going to be really hard for him to enjoy it and I thought that having the week off and doing things together would make it special.

It's been almost 8 months and I still cannot grasp how insensitive people can be. "Just get sprogged up again" and "I understand it must be hard for you" have both been said to me today. I don't know what goes through peoples minds sometimes.

I have no idea what to do. I'm angry and upset. I cried all the way home and to be honest, I have no idea how I managed to get home.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Thinking about work

Today is Saturday. I'm returning to work on Monday morning. I can't believe the time has come. I'm just not interested at all. A text saying "it will be good for you to mix with others" doesn't help. What the hell does that mean? I'm certainly not a hermit by any means! I don't like to socialise with the people I work with anyway but it just seems that possibly it means "get back to work and everything will be normal again". It's that word again isn't it, normal. My way of dealing with my grief is not to shut it out and carry on as "normal" as if any of this never happened. I can't even begin to think how I could ever deal with it that way - it might be normal for others but for me, I need to think about my babies and talk about them. In the complete understanding that everyone deals with things differently, it's just not my way.

I like to talk about Lola and Lukas. No matter how hard it is trying not to cry whilst talking about them, at the same time it's lovely to know that some people want to hear about them. Crying is good anyway and sometimes after a good cry I do feel a little better. I've had many of those in the last 1-2 weeks. I did this week make a breakthrough. Since Lola and Lukas died 7 1/2 months ago I don't think once have I ever sent anyone a message saying I needed to talk. Not even Jodi. Jodi has been amazing and has constantly been messaging and asking how my day is and when we see each other I don't think there has been a day when we haven't spoken about Lola and Lukas. I can't remember ever actually messaging myself and saying that I was having a bad day. I just don't do it. It's difficult for me to talk to people but this week I actually started a conversation. It did feel good and although it was only via text, perhaps in the future I may be able to speak in person. It comes quite naturally when people ask me questions and talk to me.

I wonder how Monday will go? Mmmmmmmm....

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Emotions Running Wild

Going away on the weekend was one of the best decisions ever made. I wanted to feel special on Mothers Day and not forgotten about. I didn't want to spend the day with anyone else but Craig, Lola and Lukas. The idea of spending it with people who have no understanding or even compassion is horrific.

Saturday we went to the Lakeside Brasserie and watched the Rugby and my Team Wales, win the 6 Nations Grand Slam. We went straight to the hotel after the Wales game, placed the bottle of champagne i'd taken in a bucket of ice and then watched the England game and a lovely meal after.

I woke up in the morning feeling so emotional. The day should have been so different. I should have been celebrating my first Mothers Day with Lola and Lukas with us. Craig did however, get me an amazing card and giraffe charm for my bracelet from them. I couldn't help thinking about what Mums would be doing with their babies. Mothers Day will ALWAYS be hard. Lola and Lukas will be missing in person but they will always be there in my heart and mind. I want others to realise that I will always be upset on birthdays, Christmas, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and due dates.

After a lovely few hours in the swimming pool at the hotel, we went to see Lola and Lukas on our way home. My special little Angels.

I've only got around 11 days til I return to work. I'm getting so scared, it's such a big step to make. I've just had a conversation with Craig's Mum who asked about my return date which is 2nd April. The response being "that will be good won't it". Do people have any idea whatsoever? I just wish I wasn't such a coward. I want to shout and scream at people and tell them that it's not going to be good. It's going to be bloody awful. It makes me so angry that people just don't think about how I might be feeling. "Going back to work will be good for you". I wish now that i'd looked for a new job to start. Going back to work with people that don't understand how i'm feeling is my worst nightmare and having Craig's Mum as my boss who as far as i'm concerned gives Craig and I no support is terrifying. No mention of our babies, no mention of anything. I'm so fed up of people assuming we've got over it or them not being able to deal with it themselves. It doesn't help us.

I find it so hard to say that i'm struggling. That's one reason I started this blog but the important people don't bother to read it.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

On My Own

Craig went back to work 6 days ago now. I still can't believe how hard this recovery is. Last night I went to bed in quite a lot of pain and it hadn't gone away this morning so my 11am appointment that I was intending to walk to, I had to get a cab to and from.

I had a complete meltdown last night. Suddenly around 5pm I realised it was the 12th. 7 months before I had given birth to our beautiful babies Lola and Lukas. The best yet the worst day. A comment last night of "someone decides when our time is up" really upset me. Who really would look at unborn children and say "they've had their time and i'm going to make their parents feel like crap for the rest of their lives". Seriously? I'm not religious, I don't know where my children are but I know they're happy and they're together. There are so many other Angel Babies that they must have so many friends. I have to think about this to keep myself sane.

In less than 3 weeks, I have to return to work. I'm dreading it. The next support meeting is 2 weeks today and in a way it can't come slowly enough as it will mean I return to work the following week but on the other hand, I really need the support at the moment. One of the girls from the group came over for a cuppa earlier and her little boy was stillborn the day before. We both said that there was a realisation this month on their anniversaries  that it will be their 1st birthdays soon. In reality it's only 7 months but it's closer to their 1st Birthday now than their actual births. I need to start thinking about what to do on their birthday which is also the anniversary of losing our little Lukas. 4 Days later, losing Lola and then 2 days later, Craig celebrates his 30th Birthday or not as the case may be. I honestly don't know if he will want to celebrate as I have no idea what state of mind we will be in. I however, do know that that whole week will be full of so many emotions.

It's Mother's Day this weekend. What can I say? I'm a Mummy which people don't realise. They feel that because my babies aren't here, i'm not a Mummy and it angers me so much. Mother's Day will NEVER be the same as Lola and Lukas will always be missing but I will never stop loving them and being a Mummy to them. Craig and I have decided to have a night in a hotel. I still want to celebrate Mother's Day but on our own. I don't want to have the day with anyone else. Just us and Lola and Lukas will be with us every step of the way.

So here I am, struggling on physically and mentally wishing things were very very different.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Operation and Recovery

Waking up the morning of my operation, I feel nervous. The surgeon arrives early to discuss the procedure again. It's simple. Cut me open, push the stomas inside and re-join. It doesn't seem that simple though when the surgeon explains that due to the mass infection last time, there is a very high risk of bleeding, leaking and other serious complications. I know that they need to tell you, but 2-3 hours before the op is concerning to me. He tells me also that he will use different "special" sutures this time round which will be better cosmetically and for future pregnancy. I have no idea what to expect but assume that I would not have 61 staples this time.

The Aneasthetist arrives to discuss pain relief. I've already read in my information about epidural and can tell you, there was no way in hell I was having one. He recommended it immediately and I responded with a firm no. I explained that I had been scarred for life following a lumbar puncture at the age of 19. He then advised me that having the epidural would be the next best thing to not even knowing i'd had an operation. It would make me feel very numb and would make mobility for the next couple of days very easy, whereas the morphine would possibly make me feel sick, queasy and perhaps still in pain. It wouldn't feel anywhere near as bad as the lumbar puncture as the needle wouldn't be going into the spinal fluid space. I agreed with nervousness to go ahead.

Being taken down to theatre I think I became more nervous about the epidural than the operation itself. The surgeon came to see me on his was through and a simple hold of my feet on the bed was the little reassurance I was looking for. The epidural actually felt ok - when I say ok, I mean ok. It wasn't pleasant in any way shape or form. It was extremely uncomfortable but not painful. However as he was completing the final stages of this, I was starting to feel feint. My palms were sweating and I wasn't sure if I would be able to take any more. Thankfully he had finished inserting it and decided to lay me on the bed as quickly as possible and give me some anti-sickness through IV. As the heart pads were placed on my chest I knew it was time and a minute later around 10:25am I was under general.

I remember waking in recovery around 2:10pm. I wasn't expecting it to have taken so long but perhaps there had been a problem? Had they managed to join me back together? I didn't even have time to ask as pain swept through my body like someone was stabbing me repeatedly. At the same time it felt like I had something in my eye. I couldn't stop playing with it. A nurse was with me, telling me to calm down and be quiet and that the epidural would be working. I think she was implying that I was imagining the pain due to the panic of waking from the anaesthetic. I told her I was in pain and after 15 minutes or so of this continuing, she went on a break. I could see the other nurses nearby and not long after my nurse went out of the room, one was over to see why I was making such a fuss. She understood straight away that I was in pain. Moments later they were pumping morphine into me to help and at the same time, they were rolling cold things up my legs - I felt everything and shouldn't have felt a thing. Looking at my eye, it seemed that there was nothing there but it was driving me insane.

The next few hours were a blur. Jodi's Mum came to visit and used saline to wash out my eye. Nothing helped and it became clear that while my eyes were taped shut, an eyelash must have gone into my eye and scratched it. I slept for a little while and when I awoke, I could still feel it, but it was much improved. I had during this time been informed that my operation was a success.

I couldn't work out why I was hurting so high up. The surgeon came to visit Saturday morning and he explained that for better access, I had been cut higher up. It wasn't until the Nurse changed the dressings, that I realised how high it was. I had 2 2" scars which were sutured and then a large 10" vertical would which had been closed with steri strips.

I felt awful every day I was in hospital. Sick, dizzy, feint. I couldn't wait to leave and wanted to be home. The consultant had said perhaps Tuesday for discharge but when it came, he wasn't happy to let me go as i'd had a bad 24 hours of feeling sick and having high temperatures. I was finally discharged on Wednesday 22nd February. I wasn't feeling well but I had to get out of there, so I didn't say anything.

Apparently my recovery would be easier this time round. I can only say no to that. I think because I had Lola and Lukas to think about last time round, I didn't notice how sick I was. This time I found the pain excrutiating. I'm aware that I have been much more mobile whilst in hospital this time due to not having the infection but that is the only thing. In August 2011, I didn't care. I just wanted my babies. I still want them now and want them with me 24/7.

I've been writing this blog post for several days now. I'm now starting to notice big differences in recovery. Since Friday 2nd March, i've noticed an improvement in mobility. I've been speaking with a wonderful lady in Canada who is in a similar situation. Although she wasn't pregnant, she too had a ruptured appendix and has an ileostomy which she is hopefully having reversed tomorrow (5th) and I wish her all the luck in the world.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Admission Day 2

After a fabulous weekend in Cardiff for the Rugby, i've had the biggest stoma nightmare ever. Returning on Sunday evening we decided to have a Chinese. Chow Mein, pancake rolls and chilli beef.

Monday I had no issues until I ate spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. Whilst eating it, I had huge amounts of watery fluid pour into my bag. A couple of hot and cold sweats later i'm thinking I have a stomach bug. Not great timing I know but still, I hoped it would be over by the morning or maybe the following evening. No. I have eggs on toast Tuesday morning and again, water pours out. Bearing in mind that i've had to get out of bed every hour to empty during the night, even after taking some immodium.

I decided to contact the stoma nurse at the hospital. When she called me back I explained everything hoping that it wouldn't effect me going in today. No pain, no vomiting and no real nausea apart from the slight sweats and a little sickly feeling which lasts only a few minutes at a time. I think i'm blocked which is why I called. It can be dangerous and a partial blockage means you get a high watery output and get very dehydrated. No pain, no vomiting. Stoma nurse is as baffled as I am and advises me to take immodium and drink lucozade and thinks that my ileum is over acting. I still think I have a blockage, but I take some immodium anyway. It has no effect whatsoever (although it probably does internally). Ending the phone call, I tell the nurse that I will see her at the end of the week. Clearly this needs to be sorted before as she said, well, lets get you sorted first and call back tomorrow if nothing changes.

Wednesday comes and each time I eat, more and more water comes out. I can't keep up with the fluid loss. I'm frantically looking on the internet for solutions to blockages. Hot tea? Nothing and the more I eat, the more water comes out but at the same time, i'm getting more and more blocked and making everything worse. By Wednesday evening, my stoma is about 2-3 times it's normal size indicating that it is swollen due to a blockage somewhere. The blockage apparently is usually right near the stoma and it can unblock by placing your finger inside. I feel sick just writing this now but I decide that I have to give it a go. It certainly wasn't the nicest experience i've ever had, that's an understatement. But it doesn't work. I can't feel anything. I didn't really eat dinner as I was getting quite worried about today. Returning home, removing my bag once more, I get in a hot bath hoping it will get things moving. Nothing much comes out. It's quite watery and I try the finger method once more.

Placing my third bag of the day on around 11:45pm, i'm worrying more and more. I can't get to sleep but about an hour later, I start feeling a little uncomfortable. I realise that solids are coming out. Not much, but some. Due to the shape of the stoma and the fact that part of the blockage is clearing, my skin is showing and starting to itch due to burning. I contemplate changing my bag yet again, but I can't. My skin is so sore. During the night and early morning, some of the blockage clears. I have no idea if the whole blockage has cleared or not, but I can only assume that three days worth of food, has NOT come out.

I'm on my second cup of tea this morning and haven't really had much output. I have no idea if it is because the blockage has cleared completely and I didn't really eat last night. I'm going to shower without the bag on and see what happens.

Jodi is picking me up at 12:15 so we can have some lunch before we go in. Hopefully this time tomorrow, the ileostomy will have gone.