Adjusting To Motherhood
So this blog is more to do with my few first weeks of motherhood. How I coped, and the various thoughts that went through my head! We had an interesting start so thought I would share my experience.
I came home from hospital on the Sunday afternoon, 2 days after Rory was born. I had had a Caesarean section, and also a drain fitted, so without sounding dramatic, I did have it a bit worse than others! I was walking around very gingerly and it took me a while to get anywhere! I was sent home armed with a box of medication. Every day, I had to take 4 doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen, 3 doses of iron tablets, and an injection into my stomach - 19 tablets and an injection! I had suffered quite severe blood loss, hence the iron tablets, and the injections were to help prevent clotting after my surgery. All that whilst donning a pair of sexy compression stockings which I had to wear!
Luke sent me to bed almost instantly, seeing as I hadn't really slept in almost a week! I got a solid couple of hours which was well needed, but all I remember when I woke up was the fact I couldn't move! I lay there flat on the bed, calling Luke's name in the hope he'd hear me to help me up out of bed! This was the case for a fair few days every time I got up or down - I was missing the morphine already! The side sleeper which we'd bought for Rory became an absolute godsend (check out my Essential Luxuries post).
Getting about for the first few days was probably the hardest part for me. Although it was nice to be waited on hand and foot! Not much has changed since if I'm honest! It didn't bother me in the slightest thought that my recovery would likely take longer than most people because I was just so grateful my gorgeous boy got here safely. Would you believe there are people out there who have said that because I didn't have a natural birth, I can't call myself a real Mom? This is something that really angered me, and still does to this day when people mention it. I took the advice of the professionals, and I didn't really have a choice in the matter by the end of it! Rory would never have been born naturally due to his positioning. I've heard stories where women have refused Caesareans because of their pride. I for one am incredibly proud of my scar and honestly couldn't care less how you give birth, as long as you're both safe and healthy by the end of it!
I had wanted to start breastfeeding, but know it doesn't work for everyone, so like my birth plan, I kept an open mind. When I was taken into recovery after my surgery, Rory latched on immediately which was great. Then throughout the first night things seemed to be going well. The next day, I could see Rory was latching on but not getting enough. The midwives were great and helped me out a lot. However, they were struggling to express anything to help top him up. My second night in hospital was tough. Rory was on and off my boob for hours. The midwives assured me the latch was fine and suggested topping up as I was obviously just not producing enough milk for him. The next couple of days at home were the same. In the day he was feeding fine, but the nights were horrendous. Rory would scream for literally hours with no way of calming down. I used the helpline at the local midwifery unit and they said it was probably stomach ache. Unfortunately I couldn't go in to see them as they were full. Our first few days at home, I phoned the midwife for a visit each day. Yet again, they confirmed my latch looked good, and to just keep persevering. The third night of continuous crying was tough. I decided to give him a bottle and he slept for 4 hours! That then was the turning point. My breastfeeding journey was short of just under a week, but it was the right decision for us. We finally had a happy baby - I'd clearly been starving the poor thing!
When Rory was a week old, we held an open house. We felt it easier to have family and friends round all in one go for a day. I came downstairs with Rory when my Mom arrived and she was shocked to see me in a vest top and Rory in a short romper. Mom thought I was crazy and said that it was freezing, and I obviously disagreed. After her constant nagging, I dressed Rory in more clothes but I was still convinced it was warm. Throughout the afternoon, my belly started to go hard where my drain had been fitted. I phoned the midwife team and they suggested if it got any worse to book an appointment with the out of hours GP. Once everyone had left, we took the risk and just drove straight to the minor injuries unit. I was seen straight away, and the nurse barely prodded my stomach before she pulled out a box of Flucloxacillin. She said there was a build up of fluid inside there as my wound had healed almost too quickly, and the antibiotics would sort me out. That night, I'd gone the complete opposite, and couldn't get warm. Clearly I had a fever, and it started to make sense why everyone kept saying to me it was cold earlier in the day!
The nurse had warned me that the wound may seep a little, as the antibiotics pushed the infection out, but said I would unlikely have any issues. Well obviously I'd be the exception to the rule. I'd taken two doses, then the following morning my drain wound burst open and the most foul smelling green gunk poured out of me like a tap! It was disgusting! Nothing could stop it seeping, and it continued for a few days. I ended up back in hospital because it wasn't healing. Luckily after a few tests, they sent me home with the all clear, and it just stayed dressed for a little longer than planned. After all that, this was the main reason why I had struggled so much with breastfeeding. My body had been trying so hard to fight an infection that it just couldn't cope. There were days where I'd see other breastfeeding Moms and feel guilty that I couldn't do it, but now it doesn't bother me - Rory is a very happy, healthy baby!
Apart from those few hiccups, I found adjusting to motherhood surprisingly easy! The newborn stage is definitely the best, with all the cuddles! It all goes by so quickly so Luke and I made the most of his paternity leave. 2 weeks is such a short amount of time with your new baby, we're just incredibly lucky that with all of the school holidays he has, it's never long before some well earned family time.
Just before I sign out, here's my top tips for those early days as a family -
Make the most of your partner's paternity leave. We went out for meals, short walks and lots of family time together just the 3 of us. We get far longer off with our babies so it's essential bonding time.
Use the midwives in your local area. No question is considered silly and they were an incredible help in those early days.
Do not be afraid to call for help for those of you who have close friends and family nearby. Our parents would pop in every day with something for us, even if it was a pint of milk, and my other new Mom friends would be up at all hours replying to my messages.
Look out for new posts coming soon! But in the mean time, check out my Instagram page @mommy_davies - feel free to drop me a message with any posts you'd like to see!
Mommy Davies x