When telling you the story of my parenting adventure, it makes sense to start at the beginning. With giving birth. I had a wonderful pregnancy, I felt blessed and beautiful every day, I worked out, ate healthily and played out in my head a beautiful vaginal birth, perhaps without an epidural (the judge was still out on this one), my doula with me and I’d hold my baby skin-to-skin for hours on end, bonding. I managed to see and touch him before he was rushed off to the neonatal ward at the hospital where he was born (also different to the one I’d imagined).
Yep, my baby was born premature. At 33+5, to be exact. No one has been able to explain to me why my waters burst that day, why he wanted to be born early. Perhaps the fact I was premature also played a part. Who knows? What I do know is that I went through a whirlwind of emotions… my membranes were ruptured and I was hospitalized (after being initially misdiagnosed, but my instinct told me something was up and thank God I followed it). I spent 4 days in bed-rest as I lost my amniotic fluid, drip by drip. I was given some shots to speed up his lung development (apparently THE biggest issue with premature babies) and he became breech. I was admitted on a Sunday and my baby was born via emergency c-section the following Wednesday.
Nothing prepares you for the pain of not having your baby with you that first night. I wept silent tears so
I wouldn’t disturb the other mothers, the ones who had their babies close. My first thought was “I want to breastfeed” so 6 hours after my surgery I had to get up, go the bathroom, return and sit up to start expressing milk. The pain once the anaesthetic wears off is indescribable, especially for someone who’d never undergone surgery before. But the worst pain is psychological. We were fortunate in that our baby had a healthy weight (upwards of 2,100g) and no health issues, so he was in an incubator for a short while only. I got to hold him about 12 hours after he was born. My baby.
I can’t possibly begin to write my whole experience in one single post, no one would dare read it, so I’ll continue my tale, discussing different subjects as I go along, in the hope I may help more parents who are going through the same, or have gone and are still trying to get to grips with it. Because let’s face it – no parent ever thinks their baby is going to be born premature.