The birth of my gorgeous boy was traumatic.
There is no getting away from it, it’s just the truth.
At the time I was a trooper and I took the sudden blood loss and emergency c-section in my stride, because what good would it do to get all upset – in fact, it might hinder the doctors getting things done as fast as possible.
The only thing that may have actually hindered them would be me incessantly asking midwives to call my husband because I didn’t want him to miss the birth of his son.
Fair play I thought, to be quite honest, of course I wanted him there! I didn’t appreciate being told, forget about him and focus on you and the baby! Look love, I’m the one here in hospital and I have alerted you to the fact something’s wrong, we are in good hands and I know you’ll sort us right out. But my husband is a good 20 to 30 minutes away, asleep in bed (he wasn’t allowed to stay overnight until labour started), and needs to be here! Look, I’ll make it easy and I’ll keep tabs on him on using my phone’s tracker app…
Yes, they did think I was a bit mental, but we do genuinely have a location-tracking app called Life 360 that my whole family is on, which meant I knew how far away he was (or I would have done if they would have handed me my bloody phone).
Anyway, I digress…
There were moments throughout the birth that I thought I was going to totally lose my shit, but I kept it together because when the going gets tough, I always pull it out the bag and get through it. I have flaws and often worry about the many little things in life a lot, but in a crisis I am usually dependable.
The whole labour, from the time I started getting what I thought was contractions through to actually being in recovery, often plays through in my mind. It plays like a movie that I know I am a part of, but yet somehow I am totally separate from the girl going through it.
I know I’m actually a woman, but that night I definitely felt like a girl.
I’m not entirely sure why I am writing this down in a blog post, but I think it’s partly because I personally haven’t ever read someone’s account of a traumatic birth and I think I would like to, so I would feel like it isn’t just me who looks back on the birth of her child and really hates it.
Because of the traumatic nature of my baby’s birth, I really didn’t like the first few weeks after he was born (and breastfeeding didn’t work out but that should really be it’s own blog post). I hate that I am a mother who didn’t get to enjoy her precious newborn the minute he came out, but I actually didn’t register his first cry because I was so doped up during the c-section (I only know it happened because my husband tells me it’s the first thing he heard when he walked into the operating theatre).
I remember seeing my baby’s tiny form wrapped in a BAJILLION towels and thinking he looked like a tiny doll. He didn’t look real and I didn’t feel an instant connection with him.
I hate that it was a good hour or so before we got to meet him properly, as he was in the neo-natal unit, and do skin to skin. I hate that he was so teeny tiny and I felt like all my movements with him were so clumsy and awkward.
And I hate that my mother in law noticed I was having trouble feeding him and had the sheer audacity to suggest she could take him from me to feed and burp him. We had barely had a chance to hold him as he was in an incubator to try and sort out his temperature. How dare she overstep and add to my feeling of inadequacy of being a new mum by trying to take over, I thought.
The whole day had been one big trauma and that single act basically pushed me over the edge. I think me loudly saying ‘No no’ at her conveyed the message well enough. I will never forget that after knowing what we had all been through that day, she still tried to put her needs before ours and just added to … everything.
So yes, I don’t really look back on the day my son was born fondly, or really the weeks that followed either. I just hope that it isn’t only me that has had this kind of experience after the traumatic birth of their baby!
I love my son more than anything in this world, please don’t misunderstand that. I simply wish the way he had joined our family had been a lot less traumatic!
I have post natal depression and I definitely think that the way my son was born, and the struggles that followed are the cause of it. I was very scared to admit it and felt like I was a failure to begin with, and that they would definitely take him away from me.
However, now I know that getting help is the best thing I could do for my son and my husband and myself, and would encourage anyone else who is struggling to try and get help!
PND doesn’t mean that you are weak or a bad mother, and admitting that you need help means that you are being the best mother you can be!
Here is a picture of my beautiful boy when we were still in hospital!