I knew my little girl was stubborn from the beginning. She was our little rainbow baby and she kicked my butt during the whole first trimester – and right into the second trimester too.
The morning sickness scared me to no end. I felt lots of pain, twists and knots in my stomach and almost every day before our first check-up I was so worried about losing her, too.
Our girl measured big from the first ultrasound. Being barely pregnant when I tested, I was off on how far along I was AND then again because she already had a mind of her own. The spotting that I thought was implantation spotting was really my last period. After that mix-up and a due date adjustment we learned we would be having a Halloween Baby!
My due date come and goes
My due date comes and goes. By this stage, however, I was just enjoying the pregnancy. I felt beautiful, powerful and strong. I never knew I could appreciate my body for so much and I was amazed by it. My doctors wanted me to pick a date to be induced, how could we not pick Halloween?
My due date comes and goes. By this stage, however, I was just enjoying the pregnancy. I felt beautiful, powerful and strong.
The day comes; 40 weeks & 5 days. Bags are packed and off we go. I really did have some amazing birth nurses. MJ was amazing, and I wish I’d have gotten to see one of the nurses who had a shift change right before I came in. She was so sweet to take the time out for me before going home. I say that because when we got to the hospital and they didn’t have me scheduled. Instead of sending me home and making me choose another date they hopped right on it and, other than knowing I wasn’t on the schedule, we would never have guessed otherwise. My treatment and care were amazing.
I started to push but her arm became stuck
We check in and get settled at 9am. The clock keeps ticking and around 4 or 5pm I get my epidural because they want to break my water. At around 10pm I was ready to push. I start to push and the doctor tells me to wait, the babe’s arm is stuck. If I do what she says she may be able to free her arm without me tearing and still be able to birth her with no issues.
Emotional, exhausted and starving I laid back as directed and straightened my legs out, she repositioned and told me to push gently. I could almost feel her elbow and shoulder, then it was time to wait again. Those seconds in between pushing have never been so loud, scary and unknowing. Okay, time to push again. A couple more pushes and she is out. I can remember looking over at my Significant Other (SO) multiple times during all of this. Nothing at all was said. Just a hand held and our eyes met. Then she was here. 10.13pm on 31st October.
She began to crawl up my chest
Her precious little body and cry. Her beautiful face. She began her crawl up to my chest and rather than savor the moment, I ridiculously asked if he could hold her. He didn’t say no, instead he let them take her and get her cleaned up. I don’t know what I thought, but it’s not what I wanted. I wanted her to finish her crawl. I wish I’d never said a word. I wish I’d worried only about myself at that moment, but my adrenaline was going and I wasn’t thinking. Unfortunately, I won’t ever have that moment now.
She began her crawl up to my chest and rather than savor the moment, I ridiculously asked if he could hold her.
We got moved to a recovery room and he went and got us food. I took the time alone with my baby. My sweet, precious little girl. Apologizing to her for her entrance into this world. I should have held her and laid there naked with her longer. My perfect little 7lb 3oz baby came out ready to take on the world with a little bit of a black eye, and a powerful little fist first. She came out swinging, fighting to live and that’s what I’m gonna do for her for the rest of my life. Fight and always swing for better.
When it came time to feed, I felt confident
Time for feeding; I pull her up ready to go because I feel confident in what I’m doing. I Googled and read and did zoom classes. I guess I could have paid for more one-on-one content; but decided against it. I even went as far as to send my SO everything about breastfeeding, including Google search results that I had looked up about a partners point of view, how they can help what they can do, etc. I also got a pump, convinced that as long as I mentally stayed positive and believed in myself I wouldn’t really need it. I didn’t look up or into anything about pumping.
I was exhausted, and emotionally drained. As soon as she got to my breast I forgot everything I knew. I was so unsure, seeing and holding her tiny little body. I look over to my SO, but he didn’t know what to do either. He hadn’t read the information I had sent him.
The nurse said I was starving my child
My little girl wouldn’t stay latched. She wouldn’t suckle long enough to do anything other than fall asleep. for hours I kept trying to get her to latch. A nurse tried to help me and my SO ran home to get the breast pump I’d bought (but never thought I’d need). She wasn’t even 24 hours old and we were already having issues.
A little later on, a nurse come in and told me I was starving my child, and that I shouldn’t be ashamed or feel “better than” to feed formula. “Fed is best for baby, she’s losing weight.” she said. Finally, bawling my eyes out I told the nurse to bring in formula…
Feeding her a bottle crying, apologizing to her, wondering where I went wrong. My SO suggests I just try to pump. He says to me that “there have to be people out there who do just pump and make it”. Looking back now, I do wish that he would have supported me more with trying to get her to latch. Once the pump was involved, there were few attempts from him. I was removing milk and that was it, that was the point.
I was prepared for breastfeeding, not pumping or giving formula
I should have had a plan B. In hindsight, I should have hand-expressed colostrum during pregnancy and brought it to the hospital. I should have done more research. Amazing how prepared I thought I was, only to feel so ignorant and unknowing when the time came. I didn’t know anything about pumping, figuring out the settings, or flange sizes. I had prepared for breastfeeding but not pumping or giving formula.
Amazing how prepared I thought I was, only to feel so ignorant and unknowing when the time came. I didn’t know anything about pumping…
We ended up having to spend some time in the hospital to make sure her bilirubin levels were okay, so the entire time I would pump and feed and then give formula. Wash parts, sleep an hour then get up to do it all over again. So, a day after she was born, our pump journey began.
My partner was a big help in the first month postpartum
I have to say without my SO telling me to pump, we wouldn’t be where we are today. During those few nights in the hospital, he’d hold me up and hold the flanges to my chest while I fell in and out of sleep from utter exhaustion. He washed the parts and bottles after every use in the bathroom sink. I am thankful that once we got home he continued to clean, cook, wash dishes and sanitize bottles and pump parts. I am grateful for the month or so he helped me beyond words. I got all our alone time together to cuddle and snuggle… maybe too much time.
When we got home from the hospital my feet and ankles swelled up so badly. I limped around trying to manage the best I could. After our first pediatricians visit, we had to come back in a couple days because of her weight gain. Or lack thereof. Since I was already supplementing with formula they had me adjust the water to formula ratio, thankful to say by her third appointment she was back on track and is now in the 90th percentile of all areas.
Postpartum recovery was hard on every level
Immediate postpartum was physically, mentally and emotionally hard. My mom had already moved across country, and then I was forced to go on a holiday we had already talked about skipping. I didn’t get taken to see my family and ultimately my dad passed away at the beginning of December before ever meeting my sweet girl. Her initials ironically enough, are part of his name and that was completely unplanned.
My heart was so heavy during this difficult time but I tried to find a rhythm to the complete chaos that had erupted in my life. Learning motherhood; relearning myself.
My dad passed away at the beginning of December before ever meeting my sweet girl. My heart was so heavy during this difficult time but I tried to find a rhythm to the complete chaos that had erupted in my life.
9 months on and I’m still figuring things out
Here I am, 9 months later, still trying to figure things out and still learning who I am. Working on healing trauma and breaking generational damages. As frustrating as some days are; I see my daughter and I feel hopeful for the future, as I try to stay mindful in the moment.
I am thankful I am able to pump an average of 18opd, and supplement the rest with formula. My goal was just to be able to do it, then 1 month, then 3. I’ve celebrated every month in between because I never know when it will end. My goal now is 1 year. Every drop counts. I’m gonna take this on swinging fists first; just like my little fighter did, to get here to me.
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