Sydney Mum finding motherhood is totes hectic
Underneath my calm face were slow deep breaths, I held my faux husband’s hand a little tighter as there was a layer of anxiety. Was the baby okay, will all this surgery hurt too much and how will I recover? is it really a boy or will we re-group, wipe the tears of joy anyway and call it Maxine?
I was told about the tugging, the need to go right up into the ribs to scoop out the baby. I felt everything as I was told and the progress of movements continued from the silent other side of the sheet.
The cry came out. I didn’t recognise it. It was mid voiced; a new cry my body and ears were not ready for. The sheet came down and as I started to say ‘Is it a boy?” a large purple set of testicles were thrust in my face. He was presented to me legs akimbo, testicles first. This was my first vision of Max.
( I later learned this was the surgeon’s favourite way of presenting a child; genitals first)
‘Stats please!’ I yelled to the faux-husband. He was in the side room with the nurses as they weighed, cleaned and wrapped him. Many photos on weighing machines were taken. He was 3.7 kgs and 52 cms.
This time I wanted to hold him all the way through the stitching up and into the recovery room not have him taken up to the room with his Dad. The final part of the caesar and the recovery can take up to an hour. Recovery is in a separate part of the hospital were your vitals are monitored and logged and then you are wheeled up to your room.
I held onto my bundle, this new little squashy face of life. Holding him took away from my surgery anxiety and the coldness of the surgery room. What I wanted most was to start breastfeeding in recovery. This I didn’t know about for my first.
As I loosened his blanket and my top, I cuddled him close and he latched on and started sucking. Technically there is no milk yet as it can take a few days to kick in but it does start the lactation process. More than that it was my first chance to be his mother; to provide and care for him. As he sucked away the tears started. Partly relief the birth was over and then for emotions that come with the possession of a new child. I felt protective, responsible and completely amazed. I was both in my moment and looking at my moment, knowing it was the beginning of our lives together.
My tears brought a nurse over. “We’ve never had anyone cry here before” she said.
He was born at 9:26am. Now came the pressure of informing the waiting relatives and friends. The media communication plan is the second phase of giving birth. There are layers to this plan. Immediate family you text with an image, but the grandparents need a phone call first, then a photo via text or email. After telling my Dad, he then has the privilege of telling the rest of the immediate family, then they call and ask for photos so they can tell the next level of relatives or friends.
Most importantly I had to get photos up on facebook. I learnt from first child’s birth a mere 22 months previously that posting photos 5 days after the birth was way too late for every one’s interest. They wanted photos that day.
As I took photos of Max cuddling next to me on the bed I did that thing. I dropped my phone on his head. The drugs made me do it. Luckily I have an extremely light phone.
Four hours after Max’s arrival and post the high of photos and phone calls the tiredness set in. The adrenaline had gone and we looked droopy eyed at each other. We are both sleep lovers. Within 2 mins we were asleep.
According to the nurses the hospital was full. Women were in labour in the corridors. It was 9 months since Christmas/ New Year and a popular time for babies to be born. I had to share a room and my roomie was yet to arrive. I enjoyed my solo room up until 3:45am when, nicely asleep, the lights when on and the newest baby and mother arrived. She whispered and kept her baby as quiet as she could. Despite my fear we had a good 4 days together in that room as she was probably the only other non-bogan mother on the floor and she had a good baby, a sleeper, like Max.