I have never written a birth story before, and this is possibly not going to be one either, but I want to write this down, because I am forever grateful for this. For her.
We have tried for another baby so many times, that I was starting to wonder if this wish, this desire will ever be answered. I have started to think, maybe I am greedy. Maybe I should just be happy with what I’ve got. Two beautiful children.
When I fell pregnant with her, I knew that it will be the last time, never mind the outcome. I knew I cannot be this sick again for nothing. She stayed past 8 weeks, past 13 weeks, past 24 weeks. She made it to the end. Alive and well. It still caused me an incredible amount of fear. Fear for her life and fear for mine. I knew the risk was bigger for me to bleed at birth. I’ve read a lot about it. I’ve read about a thing called placenta accreta. I feared it. I feared leaving my kids behind. Others thought it was an ungrounded fear, but it was always in my mind. I’ve wrote letters to my kids, not knowing what to say. I did not want them to have a broken heart. I am all they know. I ground them. I’m not a model mum, but they know they belong with me and they know that if there was no one else, I will still be here for them. The thought of getting that ripped from them, broke my heart.
My obstetrician is a clever man, but he did not know I felt this way. He always told me that I looked worried and I’ve always replied with “I’m just tired”. So when he gave me a referral for a blood test to x-match my blood on my last appointment, I knew it. I knew my fears are valid. I knew, that he also knew. I may loose a great amount of blood. He was prepared. He prepared the anethesist. The anethesist prepared me. He has told me that he will put me to sleep after the baby is born and they will control the bleeding and look after me while Jason will look after our baby. I wondered if I will wake up again. I then closed my eyes and prayed silently in my heart. I prayed as they put in 3 access lines. I prayed during my spinal block. And then I was calm. It was not in my hands any more.
My baby was born, and she was checked over. They gave her to me and I was awake. They have stitched me back together and I was awake. There was no bleeding. I’ve lost a mere 200 mls I’ve heard them say. I was awake. I’m not bleeding. I can hold my baby.
We made it through recovery without a problem, when the peadeatritian told me Hailey’s blood sugar was 1.7 and she wants to take her to special care to give her glucose and possibly some formula, depending how she goes and how much colostrum I can express. And that is how it started. My baby in special care with Jason and I am far away from her post operation being monitored. We were separated. She came for a visit twice. Jason sent me photos and a video and I was waiting for her to be ok. She did well. She only stayed one night.
Jason brought the kids the next day and we all got to give her the first bath. Bradley was right into it, but Hannah stood back to see first if it will all be ok.
Hailey and I have spent the next few nights feeding and when she had what she could suck, she had to get top up formula and I had to express after. This cycle took most of the night and I would often sit in the chair expressing while looking at her sleeping next to my empty bed. I missed the cuddles. I missed drifting off with her sleeping on my chest. I knew, I was blessed and this was a small price to pay. I needed to put in the hard yards now to get the price of breast feeding later. I knew it will take a few weeks of sleepless nights. I’ve done it all before. I knew everything will work out if I sacrifice enough hours of sleep. The breastfeeding consultant even called me “an experienced breastfeeder” and that made me proud in some way. Does that mean I also get experienced in motherhood? It is an awakening thought. Even though I have put my courier on hold to be a mum, I am still growing. I’m moving forward. I get experienced in the best way possible.
She did so well, until day 3 when she was a bit jaundiced. She became sleepy and hardly fed for 5 minutes at a time. I could not wake her up to feed so we end up expressing most of her feeds. She had a beautiful window spot during the day, to absorb some of the UV light, but did not require any other treatment for it.
These syringes represent my breastfeeding journey. Formula to top her up and keep her blood sugar stable, tubefed so she can still stimulate the breast while feeding, and then the few drops of colostrum. Every drop was saved. Nothing went to wast. I often got less than a ml. But it was precious stuff.
Our last day was bitter sweet. We end up staying a day longer to make sure her sugar is stabilised before we’ve left. I will miss the days and nights with just her, but we are also excited to introduce her into our family life. Bradley was detergent to stop the photo shoot from happening. He decided it is not a photo day and he was not going to let photos happen without him in it either.
This is a blog circle please click on this link to see Cindy’s post