Once again, I was thrown by the way I had my baby. After having my waters broken and the first baby being breech, you’d think that I’d be more ready for a surprise, but of course after hearing all the wonderful VBAC stories (which, admittedly, I was seeking out!) I convinced myself that I’d be able to do it, especially since this baby was the correct way around.
However, about four months ago, I was happily brushing my teeth, looking forward to settling down to an evening of reading, when my waters broke again, two weeks before my due date and when everyone else had gone to bed! This time though, to add to the drama, there was – gross warning – meconium in it. If you don’t know what that is, then there’s probably no need to know now. In my panic, I tried to stop it and thought a shower was a good idea, it was not. My son woke up and started crying as we told him he’d have to go to a friend’s for the night and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I even had the crazy thought that if I just went to bed, it would all go away and I could have the baby at a calm, controlled time of my choosing. Manically getting dressed again, I grabbed the last few things to put in my hosptial bags and headed for the hospital. The nurses were so kind and calm which really helps.
After waiting a few hours for contractions to start, and nothing, we decided to go for a c section again. I was sad and frustrated for a little while, but given that my body was doing nothing and that there was no guarantee that I could avoid a c section, I thought it most sensible to go with it.
I was whisked into theatre and I felt calmer knowing that it was all happening. The surgery itself was actually a fantastic experience with such a calm and compassionate doctor. I think it also helped so much that it was the second time; I knew roughly what to expect and wasn’t so shocked as the first time. This time around, I was also much more lucid and felt less groggy from drugs.
Latching was rough again; it felt more cruel as we thought we’d figured it out but turns out that the little guy was just going through the motions of nursing and didn’t seem to be getting enough as he lost more weight that was normal. Anyway, in my fear, I asked for a pump at the hospital and began, ”just in case” (when really in my head, I was beginning to give up a little). Part of me feels like a failure again, but then the other part is relieved that he gets all the benefits anyway and everyone else gets to feed him. So silly that there is so much guilt and baggage with this topic and I’m even sillier for knowing it and still getting upset about it.
I’ve been lucky enough to have family come and help, and the newborn weeks have been much much better this time around. I know that one day, I will sleep again. The surgery recovery was remarkably different this time: I am convinced that it’s because of course it was the second time, that I started moving around much more (within reason of course!) but also that I didn’t fight it this time.
That being said, I was so thrilled to have been getting back to a very light gym routine, that I began over-eating. Clearly, I don’t really know what 500 extra calories looked like, and was eating about 1000 extra each day! I was hungry all the time and not eating the correct kind of food that was nutritious and filling, but rather lots of simple carbs which seemed to only make me more hungry. To compound matters, I was doing in the middle of the night, so my poor teeth took a beating too! Anyway, a little more healthy and on track now. Completely obvious to many I know, but the key for me was pre-packing snacks like veggies and hummus or having oatmeal with apple and cinnamon ready to eat.
We’ve recently also moved to Portland to start a new adventure and wow, packing with a newborn can make you freak out. My mind has been all pumping parts, diaper rash cream and pacifiers! I have also been rather cranky and tired which doesn’t help, but we’re finally kind of settled and unpacked and it’s beginning to feel like a new crazy kind of normal…