Wednesday 23 September 2020

Breastfeeding (The first two weeks)

Last time the boys couldn’t suck, so I had to express and it was all a big pain. After 8 weeks, I gave up!

This time around I was adamant I was going to give breastfeeding a go again. As soon as I got out the operating theatre and reunited with Gavin and baby, they asked my feeding preferences. I said breast. They lifted up my gown and popped her on my chest. She literally latched on like a dream. The midwife spent the first 30 mins with me doing obs, and then left us to it. We had some breakfast and lunch, and honestly she just kept latching on no problem.

Then Gav went home at 10pm, and it’s suddenly got much more difficult. Between 1-3am I just couldn’t get her to relax. She wouldn’t latch on. She just screamed. I was tired and could feel myself getting overwhelmed. I pushed the buzzer. A midwife came in and gave me some amazing tips. She really took the time to care. 

By day 4 my nipples were a mess, and my boobs felt incredibly engorged. Every time she feed, I got pains in my stomach and tops of my legs.  The stomach is the uterus contracting, but no one seemed to know what the leg pain was. I was on the brink of giving it all up! I took a warm shower to relieve my breasts, and then pumped which helped the pain. 
She slept really well that night, and I woke up with the mindset of 14 days. To give it 14 days and that way I’d given it my all.  The community midwife recommended using the Haaka instead.

Well by day 9 my nipples were so much better, and the initial 10 seconds of extreme pain disappeared. 

One big thing I’ve learnt is, do what’s right for you. Then pretty much every health professional since has contradicted the last person who givens next advice. Express/ Don’t express. Manual pump/ Electric pump. Add top up formula feeds/ offer her the breast more often even if you have to wake her....

I’m certainly not waking her for a feed! I’d prefer to feed her more during the day, and get bigger gaps at night, so we can both get some sleep. 

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I never thought about nursing clothes beforehand, so I spent a lot of time in my bra. I popped a question on my Instagram for recommendations for clothes, and lots of you asked me to share the responses. I’ve listed the shop and who recommended them below;

💖 Gap - @mummymannbakes @aisha106
💖 TheBShirt - @justanormalmum
💖 Juno Jacks - @Traceylm85 @beautifulchaos.x @katielouiseryan @cuddles4breakfast
💖 H&M - @lifewiththehazelwoods @3boysand2littleladies @mommabeatrice @littlesweetie10 @josie_jjl @vikkipott21 @laura_mccabe_
💖 ASOS - @jessica.and.jack @ashleighpaigeexo
💖 Lovedgarms - @ourlife_in_colour
💖 Milky tee - @mummataralouise @dream1ncolour
💖 Amazon - @newmummyunleashed
💖 Jojo Manan Bebe - @riosavannah @loving_ethan_and_alice
💖 Altered Apparel - @my.robbins.nest
💖 Latched - @aprilandenid @lifeat.no18
💖 Stylish_mum1 - @Benniebloomw
💖 And then LOADS of you said to buy cami vests from primark and wear underneath your usual clothes. Then one can go up and one can go down. 

Thursday 10 September 2020

Our 2nd Birth Story

For all my worries, it was much worse than I could’ve ever imagined. Gav dropped me off at 7.30am. I had cried solidly the whole journey there. I went to a ward with 4 beds, and asked to gown up, along with three other ladies. I was lucky to be first on the list, due to my anxiety issues, which became very apparent when the surgeon couldn’t even understand me through my sobbing. They all then did my obs; took my temperature and blood pressure. My blood pressure was so low the machine wasn’t even picking me up, which they then did manually and it caused some concerns. They then said my temperature was high. Having a temperature right now, is like carrying a weapon. After some long discussions with the entire team, they decided to go ahead, thank goodness!! At 8.45 I called Gav to come in and meet us at theatre. He got into his scrubs. 

Everywhere I’d been then got decontaminated. I was in the theatre for a long time. Much longer than the twins. I don’t want to scare anyone, but it was horrific. I got a spinal and epidural. After 5 mins, the room began spinning. I felt sick and was about to pass out. They hadn’t even started cutting yet and I was already feeling atrocious. Thoughts running through my mind like, Gav was about to become a widowed dad of 3! They gave me another drug which helped; but I had beads of sweat dripping off me. I took off my hair net and face mask, because I felt trapped by panic and heat. I then began violently shaking. Gav held my hand without the cannula tightly above my head. Finally at 10:10 she was born but it took another 40/50 minutes to stitch me up. About 10 minutes after she was out the “tugging” “washing machine” feeling became unbearable. The tears were rolling down my cheeks. The trainee anaesthetist thankfully noticed that I couldn’t even focus on baby, and Gav asking me if I was okay. They then stopped proceedings. They asked if I wanted to be put to sleep, but I was desperate not to. So they agreed to top up my spinal again and put local directly in my open tummy. It helped slightly. But I was definitely still letting out some grunts of discomfort. It felt like someone was repeatedly hitting me with a baseball bat to my stomach and then using as a rolling pin.

I could hear the crazy amount of staff talking about the next patients being delayed because they’d need to shut down theatre after me.  I ended up in a side room in the consultant led delivery ward (again! This happened with the twins too.) They removed any unnecessary furniture beforehand. Gav stayed post birth up until 10pm. It was comfort for me and worked to their advantage as he was able to keep an eye on me, whilst they stayed clear of the suspected coronavirus girl! 

Of course overnight it was much more difficult. They kept me bed bound. Catheter, Cannula drips..  I’d have to push the help button to help get me a nappy etc. I could tell that it was like “oh gosh! It’s the corona room again!” Thankfully a wonderful midwife came in at 2am and really helped me. 

Then yesterday morning my results came back again negative. I didn’t think for one second I did have it. Staff were suddenly making an appearance, and they said they’d discharge me. I rang Gav in pure glee to come pick us up. 

Then over the next 4 hours details started coming forward about my amount of blood loss (850 mls), my blood results, the amount of urine I was passing since having my catheter removed (apparently you should only go if you need a wee 200mls or more🤷🏼‍♀️)... the list goes on. They took my bloods again, and then started talking about giving me a blood transfusion. Long story short, my levels dropped again. But with some persuading they agreed to prescribe me with 6 weeks worth of iron, and I must get bloods taken in 2 weeks. If no significant improvement, I’ll have to go back for a blood transfusion. 
At 5pm we finally left!