As promised I am continuing my birth story and this is the one I'm most nervous about. Mostly because I haven't really gone through it all myself, but as with other posts, I have been feeling so good going through everything, working through the negatives and forgiving myself for feeling certain ways.
"I didn't feel the overwhelming joy or love".
I finished off my birth story post where Lexi had finally arrived after some difficulties and the first thing that I always struggle to look back on is the initial feeling of when I held her.
I wasn't unhappy by any means and she was super cute with a badass mark from the forceps however most people always said "wait till you hold her for the first time, it's the most amazing feeling ever", I really didn't feel that overwhelming sense of joy or love.
I didn't feel like I ever "bonded" with my bump as a lot of others do. I really didn't enjoy being pregnant and hated my body changing. People would sing or talk to their bump and I never really did, I'm not sure if this is anything to do with it and if I did spend some more time embracing the changes I would have bonded with Lexi before she even arrived.
Liam was ecstatic. Changing her first nappy and looking at her in awe, I was more concerned with still getting stitched up and the thought of Liam having to go home soon and me being left by myself with a newborn filled me with dread.
We all went down to the recovery room, where I got a cup of tea and toast and not going to lie, I never knew I needed tea and toast more than in this moment.
Liam knew he was going to have to go home soon, it was close to 3am and he had a 25 minute drive after being awake for 21 hours...poor soul. One thing I wanted to do before Liam left was try breastfeeding for the first time. (I will be writing a separate post about my breastfeeding story as I have a lot to say on this that others may find helpful).
I was in bed, still completely numb from my chest down from the spinal and this in itself was freaking me out. Liam had just left and Lexi started to cry. That was the moment I realised I felt completely out of my depth, unable to do anything and useless. I couldn't reach her from her crib, the buzzer to get the nurse was on the table out of reach and I was very aware it was now 4/5am and there were other women sleeping also. Luckily a nurse heard Lexi and came and handed her to me, helped me breastfeed again and then left. I was in bed, tired but couldn't sleep, numb with a newborn baby latched to my boob and wondering if I was ever going to feel my toes or sleep every again.
That shower scene.
The next day came around soooo slowly. I had zero hours sleep as no-one came back to put Lexi in her crib and I still couldn't reach the buzzer. Now it was time to shower. I've just birthed this whole child, can I not just relax for a moment.
I could finally wiggle my toes and stumbled across to the shower room. This was when I learnt that I was going to have to shower with a catheter and a canula in. Just you wait this part is a treat.
I managed to get undressed, I managed to shower. Success! Then it comes to getting dried and dressed. I look down and there's blood EVERYWHERE! I feel like I am in that shower scene from psycho. Then I start to really panic thinking, where is this blood coming from, am I dying, has something fallen out of me. Don't panic everyone, I've just knocked the canula out my hand, crisis everted.
Who knew that much blood could come from your hand. Nurses came in, I warned them not to panic before I opened the door, they helped get me cleaned and then I went back to my bed (more sweaty than before I showered, so it was a waste of time anyway).
Surely now I can have a lie down and relax, no? They have a bed for us in a ward which sounds nice so we head up and get settled up there. Now this whole time I am breastfeeding, changing nappies and cleaning up sick, what a glamorous life. But I'm still not feeling this whole mother bond thing. The only way I can explain it now I'm looking back is that I'm in a robotic routine and of course I know Lexi is a baby but I'm so focused on making sure she's clean and fed that I'm not really taking in that she is MY baby and we are going to be together and build this unconditional bond.
Can I go home yet?
After having Liam with us for most of the day and finally being able to pee by myself the day seemed to be going pretty well. I was changing nappies like a pro, breastfeeding was not the most fun but we were managing even with Lexi's tongue tie but then came night time and Liam had to go home again. I had to stay in again overnight, still not really sure why to this day but never mind.
The downside to being on a ward with 3 other women and babies is that the babies plot against you all and wake up at different times. So when Lexi's sleeping, I'm being woken up by someone else's baby and that rotation continues till Lexi wakes up again. In between the babies crying and waking up I have the most loving mother opposite me telling her baby how much she loves him, how cute his toes are, fingers are, nose is and so on and so on. This was very cute and maybe if I felt a bit shit because Lexi was still this baby with a badass scar that I changed and fed but I just wanted to sleep, I didn't really care for hearing how cute the other baby was.
Morning soon came and I was so hopeful today I could go home. I almost felt like going home would switch something on and we would be a family of 3, managing through newborn life and everything would just click.
Lexi had her tongue tie snipped (I blame this for the difficulties I then had with breastfeeding) and we were finally allowed to go home in the afternoon.
I didn't realise my feet were so swollen and I had to squeeze them into my shoes and waddle to the car. I maybe should have told someone but I was so scared they'd keep me in again so I decided to deal with it at home.
We finally got home and we were living with my parents at the time so they met Lexi and instantly fell in love. She needed another feed and I really wanted my bed, so we went upstairs and I had the most difficult feed I'd had and just broke down. Luckily Lexi then wanted a sleep, so she slept on daddy and I got some sleep finally after being awake continuously for about 72 hours. I must have died. I only slept for 2 hours and I remember waking up as my sister had come round to visit and the only way Liam could describe me waking up was like Steve Buscemi from waterboy (please google it, its the first image that shows). I had drool everywhere, I was so disorientated, my eyes were going in all directions, I had no idea where I was and probably forgot I'd even had a baby.
So now we're finally home, and I've kept you here for longer than I wanted to I will sign off and share the next part in another post. The next part of the journey involves, baby blues, anxiety, healing from birth with a tonne of medication, complications from forceps/tears and Lexi's first Christmas as a 4 day old baby.
Thank you if you have read this far.
Laura & Lexi xx