Happy New Year everyone! I’ll get back to some beauty content and some other new bits very soon but I’ve been promising a Q&A so here it is! If you have any other questions feel free to comment or DM me on Instagram (@ozproductjunkie).
Why are you sharing your story? It’s so personal!
I’ve had this question a lot & I can completely understand why some people would feel that if they were in a similar position they wouldn’t want to share it. I guess the short answer is that I’ve always been an open book and pretending our journey is something it isn’t would feel like a lie. Also reading other people’s stories online has really helped me to cope with our situation. It’s definitely put me into a “Me too” mind frame rather than a “Why me?” one and helped me to feel less alone. Hopefully by sharing our story I can do the same for other people experiencing a less than “perfect” pregnancy.
On that, I also find it interesting that no one would ask that question to a person simply announcing that they are expecting. That’s the “normal” thing to do and is met with a flurry of “Congrats” but by sharing our story which isn’t “perfect” it’s somehow a question of why I would be so honest about it. I think it says a lot about society, and social media in particular, as soon as something isn’t perfect it shouldn’t be shared and hidden away instead.
How are you staying so positive? I’d be a mess!
Firstly, it’s best to point out that I haven’t been positive and strong the whole time. I’ve definitely had my moments. I think it’s completely normal and healthy when you’re dealing with an emotionally trying time that you have moments where you feel like you aren’t ok, and that you aren’t coping all that well. At times it’s overwhelming and you’re most likely grieving a bunch of things. The important thing for me has been to allow myself to have those moments when they arise, to feel them completely but then to get myself together, remind myself of the facts and to get on with it. For me, I know wallowing in self pity or negativity will do absolutely nothing but harm to me and ultimately our little boy. We’re in the best possible hands, it can be fixed. It will be hard but we will get through it. Everyone has their battles, this is just ours.
Can you still have the baby naturally?
In short yes. The heart problem isn’t a reason for me to have a c-section. Of course something could change and I may need to have one anyway but his condition isn’t a reason to have one according to my OB. They will however induce me at 39wks just to be a little more in control and prepared.
Can you breastfeed the baby?
Initially no, I won’t be able to attempt to breastfeed him for quite a while because he’ll be in NICU and sucking is very tiring for babies, plus he’ll be hooked up to a bunch of machines. We need him as strong as possible for surgery & recovery so we won’t want to exhaust him even if we could try. It’s looking like if I want to eventually breastfeed I’ll have to express from the word go. They’ll be feeding him a special formula in NICU but they can top him up with milk I believe. Looks like the pump and I will be BFF’s but if that all gets too stressful on top of dealing with a baby having major open heart surgery, or isn’t working, I’m ok about formula feeding. Everyone has an opinion on this and to be honest I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. What worked for them might not work for me and our baby. So far the people that have been putting the pressure on to breastfeed are the people who found it easy and who had normal, healthy babies so their experience was VERY different to what mine will be. I’m definitely going to try, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I’ll have enough to deal with and I’ll be taking my lead from the Specialists, Dr’s and nurses.
Do you think you’ll have more kids?
This is usually a question reserved for those of us who already have a child, typically kicking in around the 1 year mark so I hear. I guess because my start to parenthood has been a little more on the stressful and dramatic side, I’ve had a couple of people say “You’ll probably only have one now!” or “You won’t want another one after all of the trouble with this one.” I mean, I can see why people might think that but to be honest, at this stage, I don’t feel that this situation would stop me from wanting at least one more child if I was able to. This baby’s heart condition is NOT genetic and what I’ve been told so far is that there is no reason to expect that any future children would have problems. This situation is simply bad luck and I’ve read countless stories of other heart mum’s who went on to have children with no heart problems. Of course, there are a million other reasons why I might not get to have a second child but those reasons are the same for me as they would be for any other person really. Of course, I haven’t even had the baby yet so I have no idea how I’ll feel once I get to a stage where I might naturally start thinking about a second, but for now, I don’t feel like this experience has turned me off another.
Thanks so much for reading!