Category Archives: matherhood

Looking for the Manual

Pix from phone 038     So after my debacle, which lasted a month, at the hospital I was literally handed a pile of discharge paperwork, asked to sign it and kicked out. I had been on bed rest, attached to 4 different machines, sliced open without a completely working spinal, had a child ripped from my abdomen, and could have lost my life, and I didn’t even get a high-five as I left. Seriously?

I tore through the paperwork when I got home in search of a manual. I needed some sort of step-by-step instructions for this little human I must now carry outside my womb. Obviously, it had to eat, it needed protection and such…..I waited for those ‘instincts’ to kick in, but all I felt was bloated, sore and exhausted. Is this the elation everyone was talking about when referring to motherhood?

Why did no one tell me that there was a chance I might not instantly bond with my daughter? I was both mortified and ashamed at how I was feeling and assumed I was alone with fear. I had pictured my birth experience over and over in my head; no drugs, vaginal delivery, doctor pulls her out and places her directly on my chest, she latches without incident and I immediately bond with her as our eyes meet  and I can see into her soul…blah blah blah. Missed that boat, didn’t I?Pix from phone 042

Here I was, a brand new mother, who was now pumping breast milk around the clock in three hour intervals and then bottle feeding my newborn. This was NOTHING like I pictured motherhood to be. I was determined, while pregnant to exclusively breastfeed after reading research on the benefits, but could not get my own daughter to latch after she was born. Granted, that was in part due to the fact that I was on Narcotics from the C-section and exhausted from the trauma of her birth. However, my head was also filled with all sorts of nonsense from the NICU nurses, lactation consultant and everyone else in the world who had NEVER been in my situation; your nipples are too small to nurse, it is because she is a preemie, you have to use a nipple shield to start out, if you cannot latch her by the next feeding we are inserting a feeding tube with formula. PRESSURE?!?!?

For 3 whole weeks I pumped around the clock and NEVER supplemented with formula – this meant I pumped for 20 minutes and then took another 40 to feed my daughter. Ex. 12:00am Pump. 12:20am Bottle feed my daughter. 1:00am Wash bottle, freeze remaining milk. 1:30, go to bed. 3:00am Pump 3:20am bottle feed my daughter…..you get the picture. Motherhood was completely robotic for me at this point. I longed for things to be ‘normal.’

After a friend invited me to a La Leche League meeting, which I first thought she was asking me out for coffee, I did get my daughter to latch. The leader asked if I had ever heard of the ‘lift and push method.’ Assuming she was not talking about my new method of putting on a brassiere I sat there, bare-chested and allowed this woman, whom I had never met before, to show me how to correctly place my daughters mouth onto the breast. My daughter latched instantly, and for the first time since I gave birth, I felt like a mother. She was 3 weeks old.Pix from phone 043

So, lesson learned; there is no instruction manual for those first few weeks so that you are forced to learn what works for you and your child. This is the process that creates the bond between mother and child. So if you find yourself frustrated and lost and not sure where to start or who to turn to for advice, just focus on cuddling that little human being you just grew in your womb. As thier body heat radiates enough to start a fire, take comfort in the fact that you will figure it all out together. I promise.

What no One Tells You About Parenting

Sometimes, choices in parenting, require that you simply close your eyes and hold your breath. No one tells you this of course before your child arrives. Instead they say things like, ‘it is completely natural,’ ‘you will figure it out as you go along,’ or ‘everything will work itself out.’ Well for those of you like me…..with mild OCD and lacking a verbal filter……to those who dare to give you such advice….just simply say ‘bug off!”  Then run. They are hiding the truth from you….

Parenting is the greatest blessing in the world. I know all of you reading this can remember the very second, those first seconds and the moment you met your first born. That feeling of elation and excitement and fear all contained in those uncontrollable tears falling down your cheeks. You can describe that moment with all the words you want, but until you have been there, there are no word to describe it really. Me? I didn’t get any of that with my first-born.

There I was, in the OR, strapped to a table like a  science experiment or a crucifix, drugged, naked and shivering. No, this was not a typical Friday night for me, thank you for asking. I had full frontal placenta Previa and the case was so sever, that we had decided to deliver in the OR rather then L&D in order to have access to emergency plans we may need.

My spinal didn’t work right. Although everyone in that room will tell you different, they were not the one with no control over their body, counting the layers of skin being cut and then sutured by feeling it!

By the time they pulled my daughter out and I heard her first scream I had given up. I had decided that as long as she were fine, if it were my time to die, then I would be alright with that.

I lay IMG_20141112_101458519on the bed, in and out of consciousness, while I heard clinking of tools, suction of blood and little paper-like blue booties scurrying across the floors. My OB was playing music and ‘Your So Vain’ came on…..SERIOUSLY?

So my husband followed our daughter up to the NICU for a pneumo-thorax and I stayed behind, waiting to bleed out and die.

See? I totally got jipt with the whole ‘elation and instant love’ for my child because I was too busy trying not to die.

I closed my eyes and held my breath. Welcome to freekin parenthood.