The First Few Days of Being a Mother
I won’t go into details about my labour but it was long and I ended up with an emergency c-section due to Robin’s heart rate decreasing, which to be fair I wasn’t really taking on board as I was off my face on gas and air.
One thing I can say was the birth plan completely went out the window along with the playlist I’d put together and my idea of being active during labour. Instead I was a bed bound thrashing around in pain…not fun, but then no one said labour is fun!
Once baby Robin Oleander was born it was a relief but unfortunately I ended up getting an infection “suspected sepsis”. I really wasn’t with it at all for the first couple of days of Robin’s life. I couldn’t feed him, I couldn’t change him, I could barely cuddle him.
Once out of the woods and up in the ward I spent all night watching Robin, I couldn’t sleep. I was bed bound and had to rely on others to feed him and change him which was so stressful. He was so hungry and cried a lot and much louder than the other babies. Dad had to take care of all of that during the day and at night the hospital staff would help out.
If that wasn’t stressful enough I felt like I was being judged by the staff. Judged for giving up on breastfeeding, judged because my son screamed when getting his nappy changed and then told “he’s just been fed, I’m not feeding him again” as Robin cried and I couldn’t get over to pick him up.
When I eventually got released from hospital I kid you not it was as if I had been let out of prison. I couldn’t cope with the stress of being ill, recovering, having a newborn that was always hungry and the fact I couldn’t breastfeed. The nights in the hospital were the worst as his dad wasn’t allowed to stay.
Full of hormones and unwell with no sleep for days I found it hard to cope and felt like the staff were judging me and my parenting skills.
The fact I couldn’t breastfeed really upset me, I just couldn’t provide enough for my big baby boy who was always hungry. It broke my heart, I had never considered formula feeding my baby ever. So much so I had no idea what we needed or how to do it! My inability to provide for my son made me feel inadequate, he was going to miss out on all the extra things I could give him like antibodies etc.
I felt guilty, I felt judged and felt like a bad mother.
The first night we took Robin home is now a blur but I remember we were up all night. Why is he crying? Why won’t he settle? Is he ok? Has he got trapped wind? Does he want his nappy changed? Can they get colic this early? Why can’t we burp him! We were literally googling everything you could think of to do with newborns throughout the night. We longed for the morning when the midwife would come and we could bombard her with questions.Thank God for the compusary next day home visit!
It’s weird publishing this 8 weeks after the event. So much has changed, but we will get to that in my future posts.