Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Not feeling the connection

When baby A was born I only had twenty minutes with her before I was whisked off to surgery for two hours. I had planned on using the first few hours for skin to skin contact to bond with her, which didn't happen. 

The result was that I loved her more than anything, but she felt like a stranger to me, I never got the thunderbolt of emotions and immediate bond with her. I had to stay in bed due to having a catheter for the first 24 hours after my surgery, my mum stayed overnight with me to give my other half a break as he'd been in hospital with me for two days before her birth. My mum had to do everything but feed her which I was thankful for. But when my other half took my mum home and I was left there on my own with her I sat there staring at this little angel in terror. 

The doctor came to do her checks and asked me to strip her off, I fumbled around and had no clue what I was doing. It turned out she did a huge poo, so I had to change her nappy (First nappy I ever changed). Putting her clothes back on was the scariest thing in the world; She was tiny and fragile and I didn't want to make her cry. I tried to connect with her, I held her as much as I could to try and feel it but It didn't happen.  It's horrible to think but I felt that every day I stayed in hospital, I knew her less and less. 

When we got home and settled I slowly started to bond with her. I was alone with her when she smiled properly for the first time and I cried, I cried because she smiled at ME, nobody else ...ME. It proved she loved me and it really helped me self esteem that she didn't prefer everyone else. 

There were many things that didn't help me connect with her in the early weeks, some things were my fault but others were out of my hands. Instead of explaining them all I'll summarize them in a list. 

Things that didn't help with my bonding: 

-No skin to skin contact after her birth longer that 20 minutes, 
- Not being able to look after her properly for 24 hours after she was born, 
- Constant flow of visitors playing pass the parcel with her, 
- Constantly having people wanting to come over and see her when we got home. 
- Whenever people came over they'd feed her, change her ...Leaving me sat there watching them. 

My advice for anyone expecting a baby is easy...

Do NOT let anyone hold your baby other than you and your partner for at least a week after she's born if you're not feeling 100% happy. I always knew I'd be jealous of people holding my baby when she was only a few hours old but instead of saying no I said yes to keep THEM happy. Looking back I wouldn't let anyone see her for a week (As selfish as that sounds) I needed that time to be just our family of three. If I were to have another baby that's exactly what I would do...Even if it did ruffle some feathers. You need to do what's best for you and your baby...sod what everyone else wants. 

Ten weeks on and I've started standing up for myself and saying no when I want to and not let other people guilt me into things I don't want to say yes to. I have ruffled a few feathers and there's been a few hissy fits and awkward silences but at the end of the day I'M her mother and nobody else. 

*My OH is completely supportive of me and agrees with me even if he thinks I'm being over the top* 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

My Induction & Delivery Story

'Listen to me. Since I have been waiting, for women, that’s for, one centimetre more than I am dilated, have come and gone with their babies. I’m next. It’s my turn. It’s only fair!! If you bring in one more woman and she has her baby before me, I’m going to sue you! (the nurse looks a bit scared) Not this hospital, I’m going to sue you!'  - Rachel Green, Friends 

At my forty one week appointment with the midwife she booked me in for an induction for five days after. I had a sweep at forty weeks (where she said I was 1cm dilated) and again at my forty one week appointment both failed to start my labour off. The first made me physically sick and the second sweep managed to get my mucus plug to start coming away. 

I arrived at the hospital at 1pm on the 25th of October 2016. I got examined and monitored then they inserted the 24 hour pessary. I had been getting slight cramping for two weeks but nothing more which I put down to Braxton Hicks. The cramps got a tiny bit more often but I didn't think anything of it. I was surrounded by women who went into labour and were wheeled down to the delivery suits. It got to 10am the next morning and I had four...yes FOUR women get into the bed next to mine and then go down to the delivery suites. There were three others in my ward that also went down leaving me sat there with no contractions having a Rachel from friends moment (See quote above). At half four that afternoon I had my pessary removed and I settled back onto my bed waiting to go down to the labour ward to have the hormone drip to start off my contractions. 

I didn't go down to the labour ward until half one the next morning. In between having my pessary removed and then,  I had started getting stronger cramps which I had to walk around to distract myself from. The midwife monitored baby and I had a cannula put into my hand (after two failed attempts...ouch). I had the drip started at around half past three in the morning, the cramps become stronger and closer together, I tried being in different positions but none helped so I stayed laying down. I had a anti-sickness injection after I threw up (not for the last time that day) in my left thigh and then an our later I opted for Diamorphine to help with the pain. At five in the morning I got the gas and air which helped to distract me rather than take away any pain. 

My mum arrived at six and she massaged my back and held my hand. My boyfriend did as much as he could but neither of us had slept since the night before so he had a couple of cat naps which I don't blame him for. In between contractions I kept falling asleep and snoring much to the amusement of the midwife who apparently couldn't believe I was sleeping through most of my labour. According to my boyfriend all you could see was me sucking the gas and air then falling asleep, then sucking the gas and air again. At eight when my midwife was changing over the new midwife checked me and told me I was five centimetres, to which I thought 'Ok it'll be at least five more hours'  Only two hours later the words 'I feel like I need to poo out of my foof' came out of my mouth and just as soon as the midwife had put the monitoring clip onto babies head, her head came popping out (My boyfriend was unfortunately looking at that point and had to swap places with my mum) less than a minute later baby A was here and on my chest (Born 27th October 2016 at 10:27am). My mum cut the cord and I couldn't believe she was finally here. 

The downside to her coming out so quickly was that I suffered a forth degree tear (ouch) and had to go into surgery to stitch it up. I had a spinal block and was in surgery for two whole hours, leaving baby A screaming and her dad not knowing what to do. As soon as I was out of surgery I got baby A back and fed her...Not before being sick again. 

My birth story isn't the water birth I imagined, it wasn't perfect and I didn't get the uninterrupted skin to skin for an hour after her birth. Instead I have a  birth story which isn't perfect but it's a day I will never forget, a day I will treasure forever...even if I did end up bleeding all over the floor of the delivery room.