Wednesday, May 26, 2010

People of Mention

I would just like to send out a huge thanks to a few people who really made a difference and helped me above and beyond what I ever expected.

First and foremost - Dave my partner and father to Riley. Stood beside me 100% with all the decisions I made, was there everyday I was in hospital and even spent a few nights on that really uncomfortable chair.

Heather my LMC - with me from the start, never made me feel like I had the "first mum" jitters and respected every call I made to her and niggle I had. But never babyed me and gave it to me straight. Sincerely hope she is available when we try for another baby. 

Adrienne my back-up MW - is a wonderful lady who again didnt baby me and was always there when Heather wasn't available

Jane my student MW - was only with me for a couple of months at the end and the first 6 weeks after the birth, but when i hit my 3-4day blues and didnt want to see anyone except Dave and Heather, made a quick trip and dropped me off slice and a couple of magazines. Will be forever grateful for that and no matter how much I consider us friends now I love that you didnt stick around when i didn't want visitors ;-)

Sandra my aunty who was in fact down from Wellington for a visit where she works as a NICU nurse. she helped me over her visit with breastfeeding and even sat there for an entire feed holding Riley to me to ensure he had a good latch. Brought us formula when I rang and asked and never once worried that she was on holiday and was meant to have a break ;-) if you can visit the NZ neonatal website to support the cause or even just to have a read about. I have a friend who's son was born at 24+5 and who is now just over 6 months old.. his blog can be seen here

All the ladies on OHbaby! with special mention to the due in March 2010 ladies. Without all of you there is no way I would have gotten through my pregnancy, hospital stay, decision to FF and weeks so far at home. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I love you all :-)

And of course without a doubt my family and my partners family. Without all of you these 11 weeks so far would have been very bleak indeed. 

So a HUGE thank you goes out to everyone and i'm sorry if I missed anyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pain, Pride, PND

Well my days in hospital ranged from morphine-induced happy time, to exhaustion, despair, love, happiness and the beginnings of PND. (Post-Natal Depression). I have a history of depression, and it is a part of my immediate and extended family, which made it possible for me to see it in myself and know that the hole I was slowly sinking into would swallow me whole if I didnt get help. 

Hospital - Day 1. Went to hospital and arrived at 7am on the dot... having not being able to eat since midnight the night before (and was in bed by 9pm... so this made it 10 hours without food... not normally a problem... but being preggy and knowing that you are not allowed to each is a torture all in its own ;-) was lined up to be the first C-Section of the morning... then got bumped to 2nd, then to 3rd.... and of course I wasn't allowed to eat... so 14 hours without food.... then went in for the surgery... Riley was born at 11.29am on Thursday 11th March. Weighing a healthy 8lb 9oz (3.905kg). Got wheeled back into recovery and wasnt allowed to eat until I had passed wind or "gone to the toilet"  to ensure that everything was still working.... well I didnt appreciate that... and got served pretty quickly after the surgery... after all the family left :D Can't remember how many times Riley woke during the night. and all my BFing had to be done lying down... which is hard enough to get the hang of when you're a seasoned feeder (i've been told) and I had nothing to compare it to... so I had no idea if I was doing it right or not..

Day 2. Can't remember. was BFing, but again didnt know if I was doing it right or not.

Day 3. Can't remember. but I do know it was about this time that i started to crack and bleed, and I simply associated it with "getting used" to BFing...

Day 4. By this stage feeding was so painful that i physically couldnt hold my son because I would be having convulsive shakes and bawling my eyes out in excruitiating pain, and would have to get a midwife, nurse or lactation consultant to hold him to me while I clenched my hands and gouged at my palms. Halfway through this day, it wa suggested to me, and we decided to try expressing and finger feeding Riley to give me a chance to heal a bit. (no amount of Lansinoh was helping) which involved pumping, then taping a tube to your finger and the other end connected to a syringe, then pouring the EBM into the syringe and letting him suck on your finger for the EBM. Doing this messed with my head in so many ways. Relief that I didnt have to suffer through the bleeding and the convulsive shaking, but utter disappointment in myself that it wasn't working for us they way that I expected. 

Day 5. Finger Fed through tears as all I wanted to do was BF and "be a mum" and be able to do what our bodies were designed for. 

Night of Day 5. Dave and I had a long intense talk about bottle feeding EBM, FF and trying to BF. By this stage i was so deeply down the rabbit hole that I knew if i kept going the way I was - one day at a time, always waiting... waiting to heal, waiting for the next feed with gritted teeth, waiting for things to get better - then I would just keep sinking down into myself and very likely not be able to come out of it on my own, or with any amount of help. It was at this point that I realised how lucky I was that I was able to recognise my own warning signs. I thought long and hard that night, pros vs cons, my health and happiness, Daves health and happiness (i have never seen a man so upset as he did when i was in the throes of a pain convulsion) That night I made my decision.

Day 6. Discharge day. After having made a certain decision and put my own plan in place (albeit in my head) I felt so much better and happier. I had decided to switch to Formula, but express as long as possible. after days of lactation consultants, my midwife and nurses/midwives on duty on the ward, I didnt feel like I was gettin anywhere and could not see a light at the end of the tunnel. When my midwife came to see me before being discharged, I informed her of my decision, which she supported, but then suggested another alternative. nipple shields. Which i tried before we left the hospital. and they worked. was still painful, but i could hold Riley there myself, so I decided to give it one more shot. 

At home. We used them for a few days and they were working great, I was even healing, slowly, but I was... we tried BFing again without the shields, and he seemed to be doing great. but was still loosing weight. at his lowest point he had lost approx 12% of his birth weight. I was cracking and bleeding again. I was sinking again. Nothing I was doing was working and my poor boy was not getting fed properly, was sleeping all the time and lost all his chubb. 

My midwife and I came up with another plan of action. pump and bottle feed exclusively (no BF at all) until i was completely healed with formula top ups so he could get back to his birth weight. One pump hire later and we were in business. After 2 weeks of this he was regaining his chubb and I was healing. When I was back to 100% I wanted to try BFing again. (I still didnt feel like "a mum" because I wasn't BFing) but I noticed after a week of this that at every feed it was the last thing I wanted to do... I would give him his dummy first to try and keep him quiet and not want a feed, but in the end I would have to feed him, and by this stage he was so worked up and hungry that he would not feed properly, scream, cry and fill up with wind. Which obviously didn't help the situation. 

By the time my 6 week midwife discharge visit arrived, I knew that BFing was not something I wanted to continue with Riley, because I believe it is a beautiful and natural thing, but I was resenting the situation, and I didnt want the resentment to turn towards my son or BFing in general. I would love to try again with our next child when we have another. I knew though, that if I kept going, I would not even want to attempt BFing for fear of history repeating itself. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that BFing just didnt work for us, especially with so many people BFing around me, and such a pro-BFing environment... 

But the main thought that has kept me sane, happy and willing to try again is this...

Children rememebr the love you have for them, give them and show them... They don't care where their food comes from, as long as they are fed, comfortable and safe with you. 

and on that note I leave you with some of my favourite pics of those hard, hard, hard weeks that really kept me going :-)

In the hospital

11 days old (at home)

2w 6d old

playtime with dad

Real Love, Real Mess

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How exciting!!!

As I sit here on the couch watching Monty Python's Almost The Truth, waiting for my man to cook dinner... it occurs to me that I could be spending some time taking account of my life as a new mum, and my sons life as a new human. Because let's face it, I cant even remember if I ate breakfast and it would be nice if I have a record of what happens in my life, so that when Dave (my partner and father of my child) and/or Riley (our son... born March 11, 2010 - currently 10 1/2 weeks old) come to me further down the track... I would like to have proof that I'm right.  

To get the ball rolling, a few facts about how our son came into the world, because this blog is about being a mum first, homemaker second. If my son only knows one thing in this world, I want it to be that he is the most important aspect of my life, and the dishes can wait until after he has shown my his latest drawing and told me about his day.  

He was a footling breech position from 19weeks. He was head down for a total of about 10 days, and decided that positioning himself to look like a russian Cossack dancer was so much more comfortable.  

Was born via C-Section on 11th March, 2010 at 11.29am. everything went perfectly and when he came out and the nurse took him to the side to suction his lungs (as you have to with a CS baby due to them not going through the birthing process and everything associated with it) he managed to pee all over the nurse and Dave. In recovery for 45 mins and had his first breastfeed, then through to my room on the ward where my mum had left work and was waiting... (as the assistant manager i found this even funnier)  

To be perfectly honest... the first 24-48 hours i have almost no recollection of... mostly due to the pain medication and being in a permanent out-of-it state. There were some very proud grandparents, aunties and uncles who lovingly didnt turn up all day everyday. And for that I will be forever grateful. 6 days in hospital (due to BFing problems) and finally got to go home. Don't remember much of that either.  

When I come back in the morning I will make a quick post (ahaha yeah... quick short post... hmmm) about the first 10 weeks and will take it from there.  

Don't shake your head. If you made it this far down the entry I know you must be somewhat interested =D

Dave and Riley after he got peed on 

an hour old. first family photo 

with the BFing problems I had to express and we had to finger feed. 
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