This post is a little reflection back on the birth of my son and having a newborn. An open letter shared by another Mum blogger, was honest and hit home. I shared the post on my personal account and its hit home with lots of other Mums I know.
Daniel was a IVF baby. He’s our little miracle who took us 4.5 years. I dreamed of a natural water birth, breast feeding, being a stay at home Mum. That was everything I read in the books and magazines. Why wouldn’t I want that?
That isn’t what we got. Daniel arrived by an emergency ceserean section at 37 weeks (technically 36 weeks as we know exact conception date. But they dated me a week ahead on our scan) after a week of reduced movement episodes. Starting at exactly 36 weeks. An emergency scan was requested after our 1st episode as my bump had shrunk. I’d also had the norovirus just days before and hadn’t eaten a stitch for 4 days. But bump had shrunk by 2.5cm. The scan showed a perfectly healthy, but small baby. They estimated around 5lb. We were exactly 37 weeks when we went in with reduced movements again. I’d only had monitoring that morning and everything was fine. Before they did anything they told me they were inducing me.
Our induction began at 3am on 15th March 2015. I struggled to sleep. As soon as breakfast hit….I was on it. I was thinking about keeping my strength up. They hooked me up to the monitor and Daniel wasn’t happy, his heart rate was all over the place, so they removed the pessary and put me nil by mouth. They began mumbling C section, and a consultant was called. I was taken up to the labour ward around 11am and hooked up to a drip and my waters broken. Contractions soon kicked in. Really mild to begin with, similar to the cramps I get each month. I wasn’t allowed off the bed as they were monitoring him closely. It wasn’t what I’d imagined. My bag was full of snacks to give me energy for birth, and drinks to sip on. I wasn’t allowed a single thing. I was pleased I’d had tea and toast for breakfast. I panicked a little that I would get tired not even being allowed to sip on water.
By 5.30pm I was asking for some pain relief like paracetamol. I’d had gas and air all afternoon and I was feeling naff. The midwife offered me something stronger and I remember jumping and asking for an epidural so I could sleep as I was only 1cm dialated. Then things got weird, the midwife went to request an epidural for me, but the contractions were coming thick and fast and I remember thinking “this isn’t how it on on OBEM!” I wasn’t dialated, why was this happening? Then Daniels heart rate dropped. Massively. We buzzed and the midwife came in. All was ok again as he had recovered quickly. She left the room and said to buzz if it happened again.
She cant have even got back to her station when we hit the buzzer again. I remember coming around from my gas and air watching his heart rate drop on the monitor and panicking trying to find my buzzer. I felt like a lifetime. I hit the buzzer and I heard the footsteps of the midwife running to our room followed by a Consultant. They stood and assessed the situation. The Consultant said observe for 30 mins. The midwife glared at her along with my husband. I then remember waking up with an oxygen mask on my face (can only assume I passed out) and they were asking me to scribble my signature on a form, whipping my vest off and throwing scrubs at my husband.
I was whizzed off to theatre for an emergency section.
Daniel was born at 19.12, perfectly healthy and weighing 6lb 4oz. He was perfect.
Craig held him and everything was perfect. The baby we longed for was here safe and well. We were a family.
I didn’t arrive into recovery until shortly after 9pm. I was shaking uncontrollably from the spinal. It made it difficult when I first held him, I couldn’t get him to latch as I couldn’t hold him still. I was wired up. It was impossible. His first feed was formula.
The midwife that evening helped me try and get comfortable with him to feed him. No luck. She provided me with syringes to collect my colostrum. This was a success and I felt useful (after all I was bed bound and needed help getting him from the crib).
The following days they gave me more pointers and advice on feeding him. When I was home I persevered between formula and expressed milk. I tried him at the breast with each feed. I was promised a home visit from a breast feeding group. That never happened. Then when they finally called I was quizzed as to why I was offering formula and not just exclusively breast milk or breast feeding. I felt like I’d done wrong by him. But my instinct was to feed him. How was I doing wrong? Thus the Breastfeeding Mafia being launched (named by my husband lol) .
I tried every feed for 2 weeks and it wasn’t happening he couldn’t latch. It was exhausting me. I felt guilty. I felt terrible that I couldn’t feed my own son like my sister and my best friend had fed their babies. I beat myself up terribly and I was envious of other mums who could do it.
I got over my guilt and jealousy when he hit the weaning stage. My husband gave me pep talks and told me to stop being silly and stop putting pressure on myself. He told me that every choice I had made as a mother, was the correct choice. The correct choice for our son, and for us. He was thriving, he was cheeky, he was perfect and he was ours. So nobody’s opinion mattered.
And do you know what. He’s not even 2 yet and he’s had a Macdonalds. So nerr!