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  • Welcome to GOBLIN CHILD

    Goblin Child was created and named by Amber, a former little girl who had a little curl. Its management is shared with Kirsty, who has always been unremittingly good.

    Goblin Child features blog posts on a variety of subjects, including but not limited to pregnancy, same-sex parenting, photography, knitting, twins, minimalist living and the busy but fulfilling life of Posy, the four-legged firstborn.

How I Came to Terms with an Induction

… and also, some 38-week pictures in which I am apparently measuring 47 weeks.

I haven’t been shy about voicing how much I do not want to be induced.  I hate the idea.  It’s funny because I really do quite enjoy medical attention, but there’s something about an induction that seems so invasive.  And I’m not superstitious but I really wanted them to be born on their own birth date rather than one that we chose for them.

And there’s something about birth that makes everybody want to discuss it.  Especially my mother.  The more she ranted about how everybody in the family had needed an induction since the beginning of time, the more determined I was to be the first relative who managed to go into labour themselves and deliver naturally.  I do understand that she was coming from a position of anxiety but it made me so much more stressed and made the idea of an induction much more difficult to accept.  It’s another example of how her anxiety issues and my control-freakiness badly clash sometimes and it’s not something that I can blame her for, as such, but it hasn’t been easy to manage on this occasion.

(Bit of a shout-out to my mother in law here, even though I don’t thinks she reads this blog: She’s been brilliant.  Thank you, Jackie, for having confidence in me.)

I’ve always been the hardy sort.  I’m irrationally proud of it, given that it’s not something within my control.  I have a high pain tolerance and I don’t tend to get sick easily.  Compared to my sister, who spent half of her childhood at Great Ormond Street Hospital, I’m made of iron.  I wanted to breeze through pregnancy, and I have.  I wanted to have the perfect, easy birth in spite of having twins and to come home and blog about how fortunate I’d been.

But here I am, thirty-eight weeks along and properly sick for the first time in my life, even if I don’t feel it.  I have obstretic cholestasis, which means that my liver is failing to cope with the additional toxins produced by the babies right now.  It comes with a high risk of stillbirth.  I had tested as ‘borderline’ for a few weeks but yesterday, heard that my blood test results from last Thursday had tipped into the range of ‘has OC’.  It wasn’t so much that that alarmed me as that I had intended to request more blood tests anyway, as I had been up most of the night scratching (the biggest indicator of obstetric cholestasis).  Bile acid tests take about a week to process, but I’m confident based on my symptoms that I’m actually producing more toxins now than last Thursday.

So in a matter of minutes, we went from the best CTG monitoring that my usually-noncomplient twins had ever had, to ‘grab a coffee and wait because a doctor is coming downstairs to speak with you’.  Typically, I had come to the hospital without Kirsty on this occasion.  Goodness me, did I regret that!

I’ll give it to the NHS and to Princess Royal University Hospital, again – they were bloody brilliant.  They have always been very respectful of my choices and generous with their time whilst I make up my mind.  The registrar who met with me yesterday answered all of my questions despite seeming somewhat perplexed as to why I was asking.  The midwives at the day assessment unit (who monitor the twins) were proactive in checking in with me after my consultation – it felt as though they really cared.  Whilst they strongly recommended an induction (and were keen to do it there and then, even!) they did offer the option of daily monitoring instead if that was my preference.

I had the chance to discuss all of the options and to come to my own conclusion that induction really was the best option in my case.  It was important to me that I was able to come to this conclusion in my own time, choose my own induction date and feel that I had fully consented to what will happen to my body.  And I have, and I do.

I had a membrane sweep last night and had another one tonight but if those don’t work, then I will be induced tomorrow morning.  And I’m as okay with that as I can be.

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Gratitude – Amber

Today I need the reminder.  Today I’m tired and restless and hormonal and I need to rememeber all of the reasons to be glad and grateful right now.  So here are my top five.

1. My blood test results for Obstetric Cholestasis are still ‘borderline’ – no increase.  Aside from that, my bloods are very normal and my iron is actually quite high!  So physically I’m in great shape and a nice, hospitable environment for the boys.

2. Two days ago we found ourselves having some emergency monitoring after I downed a bunch of cake mix and then noticed that only one baby was turning somersaults!  Thankfully the lazy baby (and yes – it was Naughty Twin) was just fine, but it was a very scary realisation of how quickly everything can go wrong.  Of course, I’m exceedingly grateful that Naughty was just having a sleepy day.

3. This lady.  I’m not much fun to live with right now and I know that my sniping, snarking and general hormonal misery is proving more than a little trying but yet again she’s my rock.  I can’t imagine doing this without her, just like how I could never imagine any of life’s other milestones without her – revising for my GCSEs, adopting my first pet as an adult, moving out of my mother’s home.  I feel so fortunate to have met my soulmate at such a young age and to be in a position to have children with her now.  I’m sitting on our bed right now and watching her knit by the window; she’s making tiny cabled coats to keep our little boys warm this winter.

She is going to be a wonderful mother.

4. … And this little girl.  I’ve always had pets, but I’ve never before had a dog who seems to read my mind.  There have been some interesting studies that seem to show a positive correlation between snuggles with dogs and lower blood pressure, so I’m crediting Posy hugely for keeping mine in check right now!

5. And you.  All of you.  Everyone who reads this blog, everyone who comments.  Your kind words mean so much and have been so needed at times.  Thank you for sharing yourselves with me.  Thank you for your time and your knowledge and your friendship.  I do believe that it takes a village to raise healthy children and I’m grateful to have another village inside my computer.  I’m glad to have you all.

POSTED BY AMBER

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Thirty-Seven Weeks (and what is Obstetric Cholestasis?!)

Well yes, I am still pregnant.  And no, I’m not ‘feeling any twinges’.  But thank you for asking, because I didn’t already feel enough like a small white mouse in a glass vivarium.

Thirty-seven weeks, by NHS standards, is considered overdue.  This is when most women are induced.  I was offered an induction and declined, and as a result am now down for biweekly CTG monitoring to make sure that the goblins are still happy in their rapidly diminishing space.  Thus far, they seem to be just fine and perfectly happy to take their time.  I’m glad that our birth plans have been taken seriously but at thirty-seven weeks today, I’m also acutely aware that I could have been plodding into the hospital with my suitcase right now, in preparation for these children to be evicted.  It’s tempting.

And it may become necessary.  Blood test results from last week showed that my bile acids were ‘borderline high’, potentially indicative of obstetric cholestasis.  This is a liver disease fairly common in multiple pregnancies, but it can be rather nasty and does come with an associated risk of stillbirth.  Current medical advice recommends delivery at 37 weeks so if the bloods taken yesterday show any worsening in liver function, I suppose that I’ll be having a chat with my consultant about that.  I really don’t want a more medicalised birth than is strictly necessary, but it’s very scary to think that the little ones could be affected.

As always, I reached out to Twitter.  It turns out that Honest Mum had experienced this condition with her firstborn and had, in fact, directed an incredibly informative film explaining the condition.  And Twinderelmo was kind enough to share a blog post about her own experience of obstetric cholestasis.  I won’t know until Thursday whether I’m directly affected by obstetric cholestasis but I did feel that it was important to be informed about this condition just in case, and thanks to these lovely ladies I now feel much more aware about the symptoms, implications and my options.  And now that I know that one of the main symptoms is persistant itching, I feel that I should probably apologise to the dog for accusing her last week of having fleas!

Assuming that the womb tenants are still inside on Thursday, I’ll check back in and let you know my blood test results.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

POSTED BY AMBER

+ - 6 comments

October 21, 2014 - 6:49 pm

Elizabeth - Hi there, I had obstetric Cholestasis with my little girl. My bile acids were sky high and the itching unbearable. I was induced at 38 weeks and really nervous about the whole thing as I had so wanted to have a natural birth. It didn’t exactly go to plan but it really didn’t matter – I have a wonderful little girl and despite my apprehension about the birth – I barely think about it now. And I know it was the best thing for her as you just don’t know the implications Fortunately, it sounds like you don’t have a severe form – so hopefully you are ok with the itching etc a but if you have to be induced, don’t worry! They have to come out somehow and some way. All the best with it. Good luck! Xx

October 21, 2014 - 8:56 pm

Beth Twinderelmo - Glad to be of some use. Hope it’s not at the level. Will wait to hear what they say xx

October 21, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Bex @ The Mummy Adventure - You are looking amazing and well done for sticking to your guns! Hopefully the little womb squatters make their own way out before anything needs to be done! Your bump is looking amazing and beautiful x

October 23, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Goblin Child - This is such a kind comment – thank you! I’ve just discovered your blog and am loving it, and how sweet is your little girl!! Those curls are divine.

October 23, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Goblin Child - Still borderline, I’ll take that! We’ll see what happens next week…

October 23, 2014 - 9:07 pm

Goblin Child - You are much too kind! Thank you! x

35 Weeks – Amber

We are on pause.  Nothing is happening.  This is a time punctuated by the clacking of Kirsty’s needles.  Occasionally we turn to one another and growl about how tremendously BORED we are, how these babies are NEVER going to come.

It’s my own silly fault.  I have read too many horror stories about twins coming early and convinced myself that mine would be amongst them.  Now that I’m at a point where it wouldn’t be a dreadful thing to happen, I’m waiting for it.  And ready.  I’ve always planned to decline an induction but perhaps that was because I was so sure that our twins would come early of their own accord.  I still want to go into labour spontaneously but if they’re still comfortable in there in a few weeks’ time, I might change my mind about the method of eviction for my little womb tenants.

So we are trying to take it easy, to enjoy the silence whilst it lasts!  To enjoy each other.  To spend time with the little dog, who has known attention and affection for such a little proportion of her life and craves us desperately.  There have been times recently when we’ve been happy and laughing and then the sheer dread of losing that has hit me like a brick.  Kirsty was my best friend before she was my partner; I’m not ashamed to admit that, selfishly, I’m not entirely sure that I’m ready for our priorities to move away from each other.

We spend a lot of time these days reminding each other of how in love we are.  We take short waddles with the little dog and sit on the benches to watch her pootle and sniff.  We snuggle in bed at bizarre times of the day and she doesn’t take offense when I shortly drift off to sleep!

It’s all rather lovely, and frustrating, and slow.  I just keep reminding myself that nobody passed university textbooks up to their uterus so that their children can achieve an education – they have to come out at some point soon!  And if I really want to have a set date, then I really ought to set one via an induction.

POSTED BY AMBER

+ - 6 comments

October 8, 2014 - 10:20 pm

Bex @ The Mummy Adventure - I know of someone who went to 41 weeks with twins in America, her bump literally went over her knees by the end, but she gave birth to two healthy 8lb babies on their own terms. Good luck whatever you choose and I hope it goes as much ‘to plan’ as it can x

October 9, 2014 - 8:39 am

sharon rose - My twins were born a couple of weeks early although my previous two babies were late.

My cousins twins were here first pregnancy and she was induced on her due date.

Good luck I can remember the waiting game xxx

October 9, 2014 - 7:15 pm

Goblin Child - Sob! 41 weeks?! That is the stuff of nightmares! I bet she looked amazing though – in the literal sense. x

October 9, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Goblin Child - Thank you, Sharon! How are you doing, and your gorgeous little one? xxx

October 10, 2014 - 3:44 am

Beth - Those last few weeks can seem to last forever. I imagine it would be more uncomfortable with twins. Try to relax and enjoy this quiet time as long as you can. If you become too uncomfortable then you can schedule an induction.

October 21, 2014 - 3:23 pm

Katie (@mami2fiveblog) - I was induced on my due date, so I can completely relate to how you are feeling right now! This was 13 years ago so I’m pretty sure they don’t like you to go so far along with twins now, although maybe different areas are different? I know you are probably uncomfortable but enjoy the quiet and being able to nod off at any given moment while it lasts x
This post would fit in great with my new #multiplemadness linky. I do hope you can stop in to link up :D