21. Apr, 2016

A Mother’s Journey PART 1: The Early Light

The First Part of My Personal Story of how my world changed after the birth of my 1st son.

I am older than the average mother, now almost 41 years old, as I couldn’t conceive for many years. To my surprise I found out I was pregnant! I was over the moon, I remember spending most of the morning dreaming about the baby inside me and at long last of becoming a mother!

The pregnancy went reasonably well. Although my son was in a breech position, almost having C section, he moved just before it was booked. Which despite not wanting a C-section, disappointed me somewhat. Even then he was induced, at ten days late, his movements had reduced a lot and they were worried as were my husband and I.

So I was booked in for an induction, so bang went my wish of having a drug free water birth. The induction went very slow initially and then the contractions came on fast and strong, at this stage I needed gas & air, which helped somewhat. I felt like I was drunk, it was a strange feeling

36 hours later I was no closer to having him. My husband and my mum looked worried, more and more medical staff were coming into the room so I knew something was a miss and started to worry myself. The doctor advised me that my blood pressure was extremely high and they suspected I had pre-eclampsia and needed to treat me for it just in case. So I had another drip put into my arm, they warned me the drugs they were giving me weren’t very pleasant.  This still didn’t properly prepare me for what was coming. The feeling was awful and I wanted to rip the drip off my arm! I felt exhausted having not slept for days properly and panicked as more doctors and midwives were still coming in and out of the room.

Despite my blood pressure coming down to a more reasonable level the baby still seemed to be in distress and I was advised to have an emergency C section, I felt like a rabbit in headlights but all I could think about was that I wanted my son to be okay so I decided to go ahead. I was given an epidural dose and rolled into the theatre. I was petrified, as have a phobia about hospitals, but I knew I wanted my son to be okay so that was my main priority.

Our son James was born just after 4am weighing a whooping 8.7 ibs! When I saw him for the first time, he looked huge and I remember saying whose baby is that and they said yours! Part of me was surprised as he measured small throughout my pregnancy. I was relived to hear him cry, and they handed James to my husband who looked a bit shell shocked himself!

Shortly afterwards they took James out of the room and asked my husband to leave.  I lay there in disbelief that I was at last a mother; I was so tired and still hadn’t held my baby. It seemed like an eternity until I was rolled in the recovery suite where I saw my son again. I was still in shock and exhausted, they handed James to me and I looked at him and thought how gorgeous he was, I held him skin to skin how I read about so much and loved it. He started feeding, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right as it wasn’t anything like I imagined.

When I think back to these first few hours and in fact days they are a bit of a blur. Partially from exhaustion and also due to how the overwhelming emotions, it wasn’t like I imagined due to the traumatic birth, although I realized that the birthing plan was just that, a plan and we all know things don’t always go to plan!

I didn’t want to leave my son alone as was so paranoid that something would happen to him, so I was usually wide awake whenever I was alone with him, watching him like a hawk until family came in to visit me.

I often rang the bell to get advice on breast-feeding and was often seen by a different member of staff with each having their own views so felt even more confused. It wasn’t anything like I imagined but I so wanted to do it as felt it was the best start for my son and you were encouraged to do this too.

I was very tender following the C Section and couldn’t move very well or get comfortable and was only allowed out of the bed after 2 days and that felt so restricted and extremely sore

It felt so surreal that I had a baby, and a handsome baby boy! I was a Mommy!!! J

When I had visitors I felt so very proud to show him off he was a good baby but would frequently sleep whilst feeding so wasn’t sure if he was getting very much.

He had jaundice too so was being regularly tested for that as they couldn’t get very good samples. Thankfully it was only mild so didn’t need any treatment.

It was a huge learning curve, breast-feeding, caring for a baby for the first time. When we left and fastened him into the car seat it felt a bit more real. In fact we almost smothered him with putting him in the car seat with his all-in-one suit on! Much to our dismay, thankfully I was sat at the back with him and realized. We both felt like we weren’t very good parents already!

It was a bit of a shock being home for the first time with him, both of us were exhausted and over whelmed and tearful.

In fact it was from that point I felt very overwhelmed and tearful almost daily, and was still struggling with breast-feeding.

Look out for The Second Part of My Personal Story of how my world changed after the birth of my 1st son.

Shirley