Well I’m back!! So it’s been a while since my last post and a lot has happened in my world, I had my baby, a beautiful girl named Rosalia. She is my absolute world and has been well and truly keeping me busy for the last 6 weeks. I thought I might start back with my experience of bringing my daughter into this world;
My beautiful baby had a head size marked above the 98th percentile, we like to think it’s jam packed full of brains and she’ll be the next Einstein but regardless it wasn’t looking good for a natural delivery so I was told at 32 weeks that I should prepare and book in a C Section . I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of a Cesarean as I had always planned for a natural labour, however there was little confidence from my obstetrician and two other OB’s I consulted with that she would make a natural delivery. So, I booked in a date and prepared myself for surgery knowing I wouldn’t be able to lift, carry items or drive for the following 6 weeks. I did my best to stock the house with food, clean and tidy what I could and give my dogs as many cuddles as possible knowing they would be too heavy to pick up post surgery.
When the day came for Rosalia to arrive I was nervous as hell heading into surgery, not because of the procedure, the thing I feared most were the needles required to allow drips and pain killers into my body. I was a shaking mess walking in there but once the spinal and drips were in and I was lying down I really was pretty relaxed and just in a state of disbelief that finally after 9 long months I was going to meet my little girl. My OB, anaesthetist and midwife kept me and my husband laughing and chatting throughout the procedure, it really was such a relaxed surgery, their communication really helped ease any nerves. When the chance came for my husband to peak over the surgery curtain and see our big girl it was such a vivid moment that will stay with me forever to see how happy he was, she was shortly after wrapped up and brought over to me and I fell instantly in love with the little munchkin. I had previously requested a stay in period post C Section whereby Rosalia was to stay with me for the 45mins I was in recovery. Most hospitals whisk bub off with Dad whilst you stick it out in recovery for an hour or so on your own- not my idea of fun at all and the fact you would be missing out on vital bonding time meant I was really keen to avoid this separation. If you are pregnant and know you require a C Section then I highly recommend requesting a stay in period with your new baby. Epworth Freemasons allowed this option if you request it in advance and when there are no complications with surgery. I felt really strongly about the stay in period as I know how important that first hour of bonding, breast feeding and getting to know your baby is. Luckily Rosalia was and has continued to be a big eater, she was straight on the boob and had no hesitations, that’s my girl! The midwife in recovery with me was really happy with Rosalia’s instinct to breast feed straight away. 6 hours later she was still on me snoozing, skin to skin besides a nappy. That time was magical being so close to her and getting to study her features, her long fingers and listen to her breathing I found it so hard to pass her over to the midwife as they dressed her and placed her in her crib for the night.
I’m not the kind of person who likes to sit still or take things slowly so 10 hours after my surgery I was asking the midwife how quickly I could get up and be hands on with my baby. Day 2, just 13hrs after surgery, determined to be the one changing nappies, feeding and caring for my baby instead of watching on from my bed I got to my feet. It was not without a lot of pain and plenty of pain killers, but I knew I had to get my body moving to begin my recovery and get my strength back. I successfully got myself in the shower and picked up Rosalia to change her. God it hurt but I was being her mother and learning the ins and outs of my new role and that felt great. It was a challenge to get moving in and out of bed however by moving about by the end of day two I was really quite mobile and the midwives were very encouraging of my progress. The following day I took a very short walk outside to get some fresh air and I made that a habit of every day during my recovery. For me fresh air and vitamin D is imperative to feeling better.
Since then I have gradually introduced more movement with each day. I am now confidently walking 30mins each day and have begun to drive again, that’s a freedom I really missed! Lifting and moving about was really quite difficult during the last 6 weeks, especially getting in and out of bed when you rely on your stomach muscles so much. I did some internal damage to one of the layers of stitches when getting out of bed too quickly in week 2 and boy did that hurt like hell and cause swelling of my wound, it was a painful reminder that I’d had serious surgery and needed to take a slower pace.
Well there is no warning of just how ‘challenging’ the new role of motherhood is. Wow mumma! If you were wondering what I’ve been up to over the last 6 weeks, well, to put it most simply, I’ve been SURVIVING. Learning, loving, laughing and crying my way through the first few weeks of newborn life err should I be saying bliss?! You just can’t prepare yourself for sleep deprivation, mastitis, breast feeding, post surgery pain and the hundred and one feelings of ‘am I doing this right’ judgement of yourself. But after a a few long weeks and a tremendous learning curve (with plenty more to come) I am feeling confident each day that I am getting a handle on things. When you get a cheeky smile as a reward from your bub or those beautiful eyes stare into yours whilst she’s feeding you know she is with you along your journey. I’ve become aware that babies are resilient, you’re not going to break them when changing, burping or bathing them. You have to believe in your instincts as a mother, you know what’s right for your baby. And by the way, what’s right today may not be right tomorrow… I have back tracked on so many theories already but that’s just come with trial and error and luckily my beautiful girl is happy to be there with me every step of the way.