Monday, March 30, 2009
Anymore after a mother gives birth via c-section or vaginal, once she is in her postpartum room the baby can stay in the room with her in his or her own crib. This allows for more mother/baby bonding and the ability to breastfeed the newborn on demand, which experts say is the best way to breastfeed. That recovery would still be challenging I'm sure, but that mother isn't forced to walk to a whole different wing every three hours for feeding times. She has the ability to hold her baby whenever, a luxury not afforded to mothers whose newborns are being kept in isolettes in special care nurseries.
I don't really think recovery happens for mothers who are so concerned over the health of their newborn in special care. She is focused on providing milk for her child's feedings, feedings that are often given through tubes and on being there to stroke her child's hand as he or she lies in that isolette. Somehow these moms heal, but that in and of itself is a miracle.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I still had quite a bit of the strong surgery meds in my system when the nurse came in with that yellow breast pump and the kit of little tubes and attachments. Now that is an experience that is completely unnatural. Having a complete stranger showing you how to manipulate your breasts to fit in plastic phalanges and tell you how to apply cream when you are done to help your sore skin was the last thing I ever imagined I would be doing as I recouped from major surgery! I still am amazed at how the nurse was so relaxed about it and that I didn't even seem to mind that invasion of privacy. Which would explain another lesson I have learned since becoming a mom, privacy is a luxury from the past.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The day I went into labor started off like all the other days of my 3rd trimester- I was trying to finish the nursery and have everything ready for my new baby. I made the mistake of not getting prepared during my 2nd trimester like all the books recommend- my first mistake of motherhood! The main difference was that I wasn't all that hungry at lunch time, but I wrote that off as being focused on the nursery. However by 6:15 that evening my water broke, of course I told myself it wasn't my water, just a loss of bladder control, so I didn't tell my husband right away. Instead I told him I wasn't feeling well and didn't want dinner. Of course since my water had broken I couldn't hide that from him for long. Eventually he made me call my midwife and tell her what was going on. While I was on the phone with her I started to feel the fear rise in me. I couldn't really be in labor because my son was not due for another six weeks!
I was quickly admitted to the hospital and that was when everything stated to happen extremely fast. The doctor came in to make sure my water had broken and believe me that was a very easy test for him. He only needed to see the large puddle quickly growing on the hospital bed I was lying on. So fear number one had been confirmed- I was in labor 6 weeks early. Then the med student brought in the ultrasound equipment to make sure baby was alright. Fear number 2! The baby was completely breached, his head was up in my rib cage of all places! And the words I had prayed I would never have to hear came out of the doctor's mouth- "Looks like you are having a C-section." I was scared- a c-section was not something I had even looked into because I didn't want one, and now I was going to be forced into one and the contractions had just barely started!
Only once I was climbing up onto the operating table did it all start to truly sink in- I was going to have an emergency c-section 6 weeks early. Looking back on it I have to admit, I stayed fairly calm until that point. From that point on though I wasn't calm. I let out a good scream when they gave me the epidural for the surgery; I panicked when they said they were going to start; I had a true panic attack as soon as I heard my son's first scream. That panic attack was the last straw I guess, and they upped my meds so I don't remember anything else from that evening. My husband says that I was very entertaining though once I was heavily drugged. I guess I was swearing in French for most of it! And I don't really speak French, besides the French I learned in college and high school!
Now you would think that this crash course on delivery would tell me to take it slow and recover, but I did not get that message, and was as stubborn as always. My second lesson since having a child, your stubbornness never wins when it is matched with your newborn!