Monday, 11 June 2012

The Moment

In the end it was a C-section. So we had to be at the hospital for at least five days for recovery, but it ended up being six because of the issues we had with breastfeeding. I, like many other women, wanted to give it my all in the breastfeeding department for many of the positive reasons out there. Being that most members of my immediate family and circle of friends (yes, this is sad) were very uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding, this determination of mine was very isolated. So my mission to breast feed and recover was a difficult journey and one that I want to share with you.

This is how I spent those six days after Lo was born:
• Grabbing my nipples.
• Squeezing my nipples and my son’s head simultaneously.
• Almost strangling my little one.
• Almost dropping my little one. Many times.
• Holding my arms at a 90 degree angle for hours.
• Attending numerous breastfeeding clinics.
• Trying out all the crazy external contraptions meant to assist in breastfeeding.
• Throwing the contraptions across the room.
• Milking...literally, with the support of a machine. (Disgusting!)
• Being naked from the waist up for most of the day.
• Yelling at the nurses to stop giving me conflicting advice.
• Giving nasty glares to a very inexperienced nurse who kept asking me, “Are you afraid to
go home?”
• Drinking a crap load of water, or any fluids (while dying for a glass of wine).
• Barely eating, because hospital food is sooo terrible.
• Barely sleeping, because we opted out of the private room. (Next time we will pay the
• Sleeping in a very short hospital bed, with my partner stuck sleeping in a chair.
• Sitting or lying in a number of positions in the hopes of finding a comfortable one.
• Being unable to walk for at least four of those days.
• Popping very weak pills for pain.
• Fighting with my partner — in front of my parents (we were all crying by the end).
• Actually telling my partner, “You don’t have nipples so you don’t know what you’re
talking about” when he attempted to give me advice.
• Contemplating why the hell we started this whole thing in the first place.
• Thanking my sister and wondering what I would have done if she had not been there.
• Crying — both happy and sad.
• Feeling disappointed that I did not get to hold my baby on my chest after the birth.
• Feeling proud of myself.
• Feeling proud of my partner for not falling to the ground when he saw my opened belly.
• Wondering who my little boy will be.

Within the chaos and blur there was a moment of clarity and peace that gave me the courage
and confidence to realize that everything would eventually be okay. It was the morning of our
last day at the hospital. I was exhausted, I had still not mastered breastfeeding, Lo was still
losing weight, the nurses were as confusing as ever, the lactation consultant was away, and I was scared to go home (that nurse was right).

It was about five in the morning, my partner had passed out in the chair beside the bed, and
a nurse came in and encouraged me to lay Lo on my chest so he could sleep and I could
lie down and rest. (Finally some good advice.) As I lay there all cozy with my new family, I
experienced this overwhelming feeling of calm. I looked out the window and noticed the sun
peeking between the buildings. An angelic stream of light shone through, and in that moment I had a feeling that everything was going to be okay: I will make it through, and we as a family will be okay.

And then we slept for five blissful hours.

-Gray Mama

[sunshine onesie by: iota illustration]

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