The amazing Amanda Tinker with her son Arran (15 months). Amanda says that she was always a bit ambivalent on whether or not she wanted to have children. At 35 she realized her biological clock had begun ticking. In 2012, Amanda was in a relationship that was near ending and fell pregnant for the first time ever. She says that her life changed the moment she found out. Something shifted inside her and she realized that motherhood was something she needed to do. She was very intuitive throughout the whole pregnancy, knowing she was pregnant before she took the first test; she knew something was off and went in to be checked to find her progesterone was low and knew her baby had died at 9 weeks though she didn't start bleeding and miscarrying until near 10. Amanda was devastated and came out of the experience knowing she wanted to be a mother. She knew that at 42 that she didn't have time for a relationship to materialize and decided to become a single mother by choice. She started looking into sperm donors but her hormonal profile was very low and most clinics refused to work with her. After three failed IUI attempts she turned to IVF. Amanda only had three eggs and two of them ended up being viable, one of which was Arran.
Amanda's pregnancy was wonderful. She says she put on 3 stone, got really juicy and felt great. Her only real side effect was horrific belching throughout her pregnancy. She absolutely loved being pregnant and was so excited about her birth. Unfortunately she found the medical system to be very fear based and was told at her first appointment that she would be induced at 40 weeks due to her age. She instead found an independent midwife, hired a midwife and planned to birth at home with an open mind about moving into hospital if the situation warranted it. Amanda knew her son would be a 42 weeker and he was after a 4 day labor at home with off and on contractions. She began laboring on Monday and carried through to Friday when she was exhausted. She had progressed to 9 cms but told her midwives that she wanted to transfer to hospital and have an in labor cesarean rather than wait for it become an emergency. Her midwives encouraged her to go ahead and transfer, have an epidural and rest. By time she got there she had gone back to 5cms, labored for hours, had several failed epidural attempts before finally having one placed. She delivered via emergency cesarean, exactly opposite of the natural childbirth she'd desired. She also required an additional surgery as it turned out she had a Bandl's ring obstructing her uterus and putting her at risk for rupture.
Amanda had a birth plan that left room for skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and several other more holistic measures even in the event of a cesarean and she has been disappointed to not have had access to those things. Arran stopped breathing and had to be rushed to NICU, she didn't see him for 10 hours and didn't get to hold him for 4 days. Amanda didn't have a partner, her parents are both deceased, her sister had a cold and couldn't come in and she says it was one of the loneliest moments of her life. Thankfully Arran recovered well but she was made to feel guilty and responsible for the choices she's made.
Arran has continued to face some challenges that have greatly affected Amanda's ability to be the mother she hoped she would be. After 5 months of him waking every hour she had a breakdown and ended up in a psychiatric ward with him for two weeks due to sleep deprivation. She was worse in hospital with her anxiety and staffing complications. She says that things have gotten better but she still struggles with PTSD from her birth and her doctor believes she has postnatal depression. Amanda feels she's been trying to catch up with herself since her sons birth and he is just so lovely but it's so much harder than she ever expected.