13 August 2011

Bundle o joy...

It has been a very busy week since my last post and please accept my apologies for this. When I started writing this it was about 9pm and both my little girls (who share a room) were screeching and giggling with each other...I thought I could get away with not stepping in as they were not crying, or jumping around, but alas I had to step in and it is now two days later that I finish this post.

While I have not had time to post recently, I have been stealing away a few moments now and again to read blogs...what did I ever do before I found this world? Anyhoo...a few days ago A Cup of Jo was all about breast feeding and Jo asked her readers to share their stories. It was a wonderful post and it was so good to read all the comments from breastfeeding moms to bottle feeding moms. It was a good dialogue offering opinions and not judgements. It got me thinking about my experiences nursing my three girls and about my birth stories for each. So I thought I would share...if you don't mind.

My oldest daughter is Caitlin. She is a wonderful, smart, funny, beautiful, 21 year old woman now...which is just crazy, and although she thinks I remember nothing about her childhood, I remember all the important bits.
Caitlin  age 21 and Chester (her new puppy)
I was just 16 when I realized I was pregnant. It was a scary time, full of decisions, consequences and pain for me and for my family. When we found our way to the other side having decided that her father (who was 10 years older than me) and I would get married (our choice not my parents), we adjusted to the new life we were all embarking on. When I came to terms with the fact that this was happening, I fell in love with this baby and with being pregnant. The pregnancy was uneventful but for some major morning sickness for the first trimester. I cannot explain it, but in a time before you could find out the sex of your baby I just knew I was having a girl. It seemed to be innate, I only ever picked out a girls name and bought girls clothing without thinking about it. It just seemed that I knew it was a girl though I never really thought about it that much.
Cait age 12ish
One evening towards the end of the pregnancy we were sure we were in labour...we had called the hospital numerous times hoping to get clarification, and finally decided it was best to head over there in person. In we went excited that we would be leaving with our baby...or not. It seems I was not in labour and I was basically told I was stupid for coming in and wasting their time. Not in those words, but that was the basic tone of the night. It was awful walking out of the maternity ward hearing newborns cry and seeing moms and dads with their little bundles and not having one ourselves yet, but it would come, we were just impatient.

Cait age 17
About two weeks later the real show began late one night and it was clear that this was different. Not wanting a repeat of our previous trip to the hospital, I was adamant that I was not going to the hospital that evening. Finally early the next morning I was told we were going and it was no longer my choice...so off we went and after being admitted, checked and confirmed that I was in labour we were off and running. We arrived at the hospital at about 5:30am, around 11am they decided to break my water and then -boom- the contractions really hit hard and fast. One on top of another it was all I could do to catch my breath before the next one was upon me. At one point I levelled my then husband dislocating his thumb as I grabbed his hand during a contraction... However I felt I was doing okay, so when I was told to roll on my side and they injected me with something I was confused.

We had spoken with our OB about not wanting any drugs, and here they were sticking me with what I would later find out to be Demerol...which I would be allergic to. Needless to say this changed the dynamic of the whole affair and now I could not even keep my eyes open. Just before 2pm it was time to push and push I did. With not too much work, she arrived at 2:15pm on a beautiful early May day. Weighing 7lbs 5oz she was the image of her father people would say though now they say she is the image of me (lucky her). It wouldn't be until much later when I recovered from the Demerol and an infection that I would be upset that the doctors had not abided by my wishes. This very thing would be the center pin of my birth plans for the younger two girls. There was no discussion about my options, nor why they felt I needed the injection. From my perspective I was fine, the baby was fine and there was no need for intervention. My guess is they felt a 16 year old could not handle childbirth and felt it their place to step in without consent or consultation.

Regardless, everything turned out fine and though she was a little jaundiced, and I had the infection and the allergic reaction, we went home from the hospital after several days and recovered nicely.
Cheer Cait!
Over the next several days and weeks, I would make my best attempts to breast feed. I was immensely uncomfortable with the whole thing but knowing it was what was best for my baby I tried. It hurt, I had no support with it, as my own mother had never breast fed, and I cried every time I had to feed her...which as those of you who are mothers well know is often. After a few weeks, my family doctor finally encouraged me to bottle feed her telling me that my state of mind as I was nursing her was not good for her. The fact that I was so uncomfortable meant she was not getting the emotional connection that she needed. In hindsight I am sad that I did not soldier on, however I believe that at the time it was the best decision for us all.

Speaking of hindsight, fast forward two years and I am sitting in a surgeon's office discussing breast reduction surgery and being asked if I would want to nurse  again...being closer to my first experience and not even contemplating having more kids in the future I said no...big mistake...more on that when I share Izzy's birth story.

As an aside...there are not baby pics in this post...I am at the gallery without the aid of my photos and my scanner...so forgive me Caitlin...but everyone can trust me that she was adorable right from the word go! These photos were grabbed from our facebook pages.

And to my beautiful grown girl...never forget that your mother loves you with all her heart and is proud beyond measure...you were there first and have been by my side the longest...thank you and I love you.
Cait and I about 4 years ago

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