I know this doesn’t follow the actual sequence of events but, last night I was laying in bed and thought about how grateful I am that breastfeeding has been successful. Ella was given formula in the NICU because her sugars dropped. I was in recovery at the time and they gave DH the option of formula or an IV. He opted for the formula of course, but why didn’t they offer to allow me to breastfeed? Or even give me the option of feeding her the darn formula? She was only there for observation, why couldn’t they “observe” her in recovery while I fed my baby? I was just so glad to have made it out of the OR that I didn’t have the presence of mind to request these things.
After I left recovery, they wheeled me into the NICU to see my baby. I was touching her through the little hole in the incubator when the nurse asked if I wanted to hold her.
Of course I did. The NICU nurse even said something about breastfeeding, but quickly followed it with something about her sugars and that formula would bring them up faster or she would need an IV. So I could choose to breastfeed and she would get an IV, or she would get formula. Not wanting to feel like a selfish Mommy, I agreed to more formula. So before I held my precious one, they topped her up with formula and she promptly spit it back out. Of all the pictures my DH took of our princess, he didn’t take a single shot of her getting formula and I’m so grateful. I feel sad when I look at the pictures, and it would only add insult to injury to see me 2 feet from my baby and she’s getting a bottle of formula she didn’t want. So after an amazing few minutes of getting to snuggle my wee one,
I was taken to the post-partum floor and wouldn’t be allowed out of bed until 8 o’clock that night (she was born at 10:52am). However, once I was made to go to the bathroom, I immediately asked for a wheel chair and the nurse and DH took me to the NICU where I got to breastfeed my baby. She was a wonderfully eager little nurser, and it felt soooooo good to finally feed my baby. She had received 3 bottles of formula that evening and her sugars were still low; after I fed her throughout the night they didn’t give her another bottle of formula. With the assistance of my DH, we travelled the 2 floors down to my baby 3 more times that night to feed her. The interesting part is, she was supposed to come to my room at 8:30pm, but they couldn’t get a hold of her doctor to release her. So all night, between my trips to feed my baby, every little sound in the hallway woke me up because I thought it might be Ella coming from the NICU.
As I started, I am so grateful that breastfeeding has been successful. I had some issues with blisters when she was 5 days old, but with some guidance on her latch they healed within 24 hours. Without being able to feed my baby in this way I think the birth would have totally robbed me of my femininity and my identity of what makes me a woman.
I feel like I may have a lot more to write out, so I've started a journal...
http://www.pregnancy.org/phpBB2/view...1e9e5462d1be02 but I'd still like to visit here just to vent or write out certain thoughts... thank you ladies
I just received the most wonderful advice from a member of my birth board... she suggested picking one moment of the experience and making it the "angel singing moment". The moment where everything felt right... I thought about it for a moment and remembered what it felt like to finally hold my little one. I remember stroking her hair and her face and kissing her forehead. It makes me tingle thinking about it.
I'm going to try to use this as a reference point when I think about the experience. As scary and chaotic as the rest was... that one moment was like magic.
Thank you so much for this little piece of wisdom Val..
Things I didn't do:
I didn't put frozen peas on Miriam's head.
I didn't go swimming.
I didn't find an acupuncturist soon enough.
I didn't go to the hospitals and question the nurses.
I didn't pray to the sacred heart of Jesus, Saint Jude, or Mother Mary, and promise publication (sorry Christian mamas, no offence intended).
I didn't question my MW enough.
I didn't tell the OB to call her partner (my consult) and tell him I was going home if he didn't walk 300m down the freakin' street and catch my baby.
I didn't lock myself in the bathroom and tell them all to piss off.
I didn't go deliver in the parking lot.
I didn't call the other midwife.
I didn't have the hospital call the provincial medical emergency service.
I didn't revoke consent after signing the paper.
I didn't beg at 9cm when the OB had her moment of doubt.
I didn't push.
I'm trying to find an angels singing moment. I'm having a lot of trouble finding anything at all right, never mind perfect. Even the moments with Miriam were so distorted by the environment and all the garbage going on. I can think of moments that should be it except that the whole thing was so wrong. The moment it "should" be is when DH put M beside my head and I could feel her touch my face but I still couldn't even see her. If I have to say "I suppose that's it" then I guess that's not it, eh? It would be obvious? Do i not GET one of those?
Such a neat idea, to find the "angels singing" moment. I guess mine would be when I got Ashlyn latched onto my breast for the first time. I didn't know what I was doing, I hadn't seen an LC yet, my room was full of family - but in my mind, I needed to "complete" my experience by getting her skin-to-skin and at least trying, kwim?
Of course my BFing experience was traumatic and limited, for a number of reasons, but I guess that would be my moment. I was no longer feeling addled by the epi and ketamine, I wasn't in any pain, and I realized at that moment that I had really done it - I had made a baby! :D
Rmacburn, thanks so much for that little piece of wise info - it's really helped me to think back and reflect.
Robin, perhaps your moment will come to you at a later date. You're still coming to terms with your birth experience, right? Until you're able to fully wrap your mind around the experience and be "at peace" with it (or at least be as much at peace as possible), you may not be able to find your moment.
I think about you a lot and all the things you're doing to empower other women and make a HUGE change to the birthing community. You are to be commended. Big hugs to you, sweetie.
My husband is very queasy when it comes to the body. I fully expected (and so did he) that he might faint during Ella's birth. His plan was to stay near my head and try not to see anything that might make him want to run. When the time came however, he was really there for me when I needed him. He held my hand, told me I was doing great and he didn't even come close to fainting after seeing some pretty graphic medical procedures.
So by no means would my husband mean to hurt me and I completely saw the innocence in his question when the other day he asked, "in medical jargon would Ella's birth be called a "birth" because it was a c-section?" I stared at him for a few seconds before my eyes welled up and I muttered, "yes..". Since then I've struggled with his question. If my husband... with his university degree and his infinite sensitivity and love can ask such a question, how many other people out there don't consider a c-section a "birth"?
My baby was born and therefore I've always referred to her coming as a birth no matter what opening she came from but it's made me doubt this otherwise simple, basic thought.
Rebecca I get that. I've struggled with this too.
I think my daughter got born. But I don't feel I gave birth to her. Being born is something that the baby does; giving birth is something a mama does. Because giving birth was defined for me so clearly when my son was born, I really don't feel I gave birth to Miriam. I laboured... but it wasn't me that helped her out of my body. That hurts. A lot. Maybe with time I'll look at it differently. But that is one of the things that makes me so angry. They took so much away from me, I LET them take so much away from me because on some level I believed it right, and the biggest thing I lost was the priviledge of birthing my daughter.
I know this doesn't help, except maybe to know you're not alone in it.
rmacburn, I love that idea, the angels singing moment.
Edited to remove my own moment--I realized after the fact that many of the more recent posts were about c/s, and my experience doesn't add to the conversation.
I'm reading this thread and all these thoughts and memories are piling up in my mind like some kind of train-wreck. Three births, none of them what I REALLY wanted them to be, although my DH reminds me that we stuck to the 'important stuff' (like he gets to decide what was important to ME about the births, especially when so many of my sadness about the third involves things that he failed to follow through on). Right now, I need to go sort through all these regrets and losses and sorrows. My youngest child is almost three and still there are days that it hits me; the "why didn't I?"s come out of nowhere and completely derail me and the worst is that I will never get the chance to have the birth I want, and that makes me so MAD, and HURT, and ROBBED... and I never felt like anyone could possibly understand until I found this thread.
So, thank-you... and I'm sure you are all very confused, but when my mind makes sense of it all, I will explain better.
It's funny how the blues are still coming and going. It's like I'll suddenly notice that I've been happy for a while - which will promptly plunge me into dwelling again. My latest fantasy involves yelling "I revoke consent" and delivering M on the floor of the OR onto a towel or something. Catching her myself. I was supposed to catch her myself. And I didn't even get to give birth to her.
I have a pg friend right nw who has been looking to me for birthing and parenting advice... I don't know her that well, we did a show together over the holidays when she got her BFP and since then we've been talking birthing etc. she's 16 weeks now and sold on at least "trying" to go NCB. I love talking to her about it all but at the same time it really hurts... she has a chance to do this now, a chance I may never get again. some of my sadness is just the possibility of being "done"... but I'm so angry that I only got 2 opportunities in my life to give birth and one was stolen from me. Still screaming inside.