Candid, not Candied

Monday, 28 January 2013

Motherhood - The Beginning

Previously written Pregnancy - Finding outPregnancy - Middle GroundPregnancy - The Last Leg and The Awaited Childbirth

It took me few hours to come out of the heavily induced sleep. That day, I did not get to hold my baby at all. Anyway she was asleep for most of the day.

That night I got the shock of my life. My girl decided to turn on her lung power. The screeching was only too loud for the small room. Her cry seemed to resonate throughout the hospital. I was worried and a bit embarrassed too. My mother was with me and she called in the nurse. It was time for her night feed. It was just an hour and a half, when we experienced another wail. This time it was soiled diaper. The nurse came up again and gave a refreshers course to my mom on how to hold, handle, change and wrap the baby. The cries continued at an interval of 30 minutes to an hour, depending upon the situation. I still had all the pipes and IVs in me; hence I was only an immobile observer of this night scene.

I was getting frustrated being so tied down. I could hardly move. And in spite of the IV, I was feeling hungry. The nurses said it was impossible, but truly I could feel my stomach growling and I wanted something solid to keep it in. Not to mention the added irritation of not being able to hold my little one being unable to sit up.

On the third day, I was made to sit up and walk around. Thankfully, I did not pass out. Maybe it was my keenness to be able to be mobile again, but I didn't feel faint or didn't stagger my steps. I had a lot of heaviness where I was cut and stitched up. Though there was no pain. I walked over to my baby and took her in my arms. The moment was surreal. Till then, anytime I wanted to be near her, my mom would bring her and let me see her from close quarters.

I was, however, given strict instructions not to sit for too long and strain myself. It was also the day I would begin breast feeding. I was looking forward to it and all that famous "special bond" thing. What I encountered was excruciating pain, soreness and heaviness. All this while I was thinking, rather made to believe that breast milk starts coming in as soon as you deliver. But things seem to be different with the C section cases. It is said that the contractions trigger the milk glands and hence your body gets a clue to supply milk. In my case, I never felt a single contraction.

The nurses came in to aide in the feeding. While one was teaching me how to hold the baby so that she latches on the right way, the other one was educating me on how to massage the chest in order to effectively express milk. Although the entire thing seemed to go the wrong way, the nurses insisted that I keep doing it till the baby latches on properly. They were sure that it would get easier with every feed.

My baby had no problem latching on. It was the lack of milk supply that made her scream. It was an equal nightmare for me (and for many days to follow) that I was getting bruised each time she latched on and tried to suckle.

I was still not flexible or fast and wasn't even allowed to be. That night when my mother cleaned her up again after a potty episode, I cried. I was much too obligated and felt like a burden to my mother. There she was, doing everything for me and the baby and I was hardly even helping. I stood there and cried as I watched my mother do what she did so swiftly.

You feel bad when you can't do what you would have given anything to do. Like holding the baby, rocking her to sleep and even changing potty diapers for numerous times. It felt like I am missing on some precious moments. And from being so lean and bouncy to suddenly feeling tied down and heavy, emotions were on the loose!

The fourth day was as good as the previous ones. We both howled during the breastfeeding sessions; each one louder than the other! There was no pain, either the stitches or the cut, but a lot of heaviness. It felt like my bottom half had suddenly transformed into lead. I needed assistance to get up and down from the bed.

The whole day the baby slept and being alone, I would be worried. How can this girl sleep so soundlessly during the day when at night time she is a banshee? Isn't she hungry? I used to get scared that something has happened to her and would summon the nurses citing one reason or the other to check up on her.

As the clock struck 11 PM, she would start all over again, which is when I would wonder why she couldn't save the drama for during daytime when there was ample background noise to mask her screeches and everyone was wide awake and had the energy to deal with her!

Formula feeding was left to the nurses as they were used to feeding babies as small as she. They would always come by sleepy eyed and we would worry constantly if she was feeding correctly. My mother kept them awake by chatting about sundry details of their life.

I was supposed to be discharged on the sixth day. I was already getting bored staring the walls and being confined in such a small space. I wondered if they would let me go any sooner.

The next day, when my gyn came for the routine visit, I placed my humble request before her and she gave me a thumbs up. She said everything looked fine and I could be going home that evening. I was elated. I called up my mom and told her that I was ready to be home. She panicked as she was not expecting me until the next day. She was planning to cleaning our room, take out some old baby stuff and get the room baby friendly.

... will be continued

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