Six weeks before Emilie’s 1st birthday, we discovered, much to our surprise, that we were expecting baby number 2.  I say to our surprise, as in true Davies style, we had talked about more children, we hadn’t planned when and after my first birth experience I was reluctant for myself or Mark to go through that again.  Again, I felt plunged into an unfamiliar world of mixed and strange emotions…

Given my previous birth experience, doing it all over again scared the life out of me!  This mixed with an air of excitement about having a new baby in the house.  I plucked up the courage to tell work at about 10 weeks as I feared this would impact on any opportunity I was given or how I was viewed.  I had just been given a crucial role of an insourcing project, which for the 6 months the project lasted it was very high paced and at times extremely stressful.  I was determined to fulfill my role and decided I would stay until the project had completed and one week into the handover.  This meant I worked up until 36 weeks, by which time I was quite heavily pregnant. The stresses and pressures of working in such an environment whilst pregnant and have a 1yr old is a whole other post!

I again found myself at a loss, not really knowing what to do with myself and so used to working with differing priorities and alot of pressure. I realised quite quickly that I had used going back to work after having Emilie as a means to cope; in my mind it had worked. I found that going back to work after Emilie had meant that most of the mummy friends I had made through Emilie, had formed their own little groups as most of them had not returned to work; again I found myself mostly alone. Mark worked long hours in a stressful and demanding environment and as the due date approached I panicked so much about giving birth and having the same experience I’d had with Emilie that I near on begged the consultant to give me a caesarean. Needless to say he did not and with the beauty of hindsight, I am very thankful for that!

September 22 2009 10am: I had spent the night on the post natal ward as, still heavily pregnant and 11 days over due, it was decided that I would not be induced as there were no beds available! Mark had just arrived and as nothing was happening he decided to go to work. 3:30pm: Mark returned, Starbucks in hand, just as the doctor broke my waters! 2hrs 51 mins later, following a natural, uncomplicated labour, Amelia Mae Davies quite literally popped into the world!

Two wasn’t much more difficult than 1 – right??!?

Boy oh boy was it tough! Mark encouraged me to get out more, so less than 48hrs post birth I met up with him in town. Day 2 and I think perhaps I was still on a high after the birth and the huge relief of no complications. 6 days post birth and I made it to my NCT baby group that I was part of with Emilie – this seemed to be ok, even if I was still a bit petrified of feeding in public! Mark had returned to the office the day after Amelia was born, and again left with no support or back up I muddled my way through the first few weeks.

What was wrong with me! I dreaded going out, I felt exhausted, emotional, anxious, panicky and completely overwhelmed! This time it was worse, I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning; I had no choice. Nothing fitted me, I had 4st to lose and I didn’t want people to see me like this. I sought out my usual 2 comforts, food and alcohol! My unconscious brain knew these would make me feel better and ‘protect’ me from the way I felt; a response it had learnt from my childhood. There were times when I would just find myself eating or pouring a glass of wine without even having thought about it – some days it was like I was running on auto pilot and all the responses my brain had learnt were keeping me going.

By the end of December I had close to 5st to lose and decided that going back to work would be the answer. Amelia only 4 months old I began discussions to return to work – I was so excited! She joined Emilie in nursery and once more I felt like I had a purpose, like I belonged and where I was completely comfortable. The weight started to come off and I was due to begin my gradual return from the beginning of April 2010.

March 1st 2010 – my stomach turns as I remember this day; the feelings and emotions are extremely vivid. A day that we were going to put an offer in on a bigger house that we had viewed a couple of times. A situation occurred, which due to legal reasons I am unable to discuss. Needless to say, we did not make an offer on that house. I felt I had no choice to resign my position at the workplace I was due to return to. From March 1st I had no further contact with my former work colleagues (this is how I now refer to them), some of which who had attended our wedding and had supported me through the last few years of events. I will remain forever grateful to them for being part of my life at that time, the kindness and support that was shown to me and them being present at our wedding when my friends and family were not.

To say I was distraught would be an understatement. I felt like I was spiraling out of control, most days I would spend crying and the food and drink returned. I just didn’t understand what had happened; I had been ostracised again! Other than Mark and our 2 girls, I felt like I had no other ‘constant’ left in my life, I had worked for that company for 12 years and didn’t really know anything else! My need for certainty made me even more anxious and panicky. I had only been out of the religion not quite 3 years, and I still didn’t feel adjusted to life outside, especially having gotten married and now 2 small kiddies – I was drowning not waving.

(To be continued…)

Yours in an emotional battle…
Sarah xXx