Thursday, 28 May 2020

21.08.2019 Life was never the same again...

The day my life changed. I woke up at 5am with cramps coming and going- from that moment I knew my life will never be the same again. On the same day, I ended up in hospital with broken meconium waters. The anxiety had begun and since then it haunts me again and again. At 23:48, my husband and I welcomed  my beautiful son into our world and life felt…perfect. I felt complete. My main goal was to give son everything I could possibly give from love, protection, comfort and of course the materialistic aspect crosses that too. However, life was not perfect, and it was not so easy.

A few days after giving birth, it really hit me. I was no longer in this bubble; the bubble like all bubbles had eventually popped. The reality of life hit me. A few sleepless nights which consisted of Zak constantly crying unless he was latched onto me. Felling so helpless, drained and more than anything tired. During the day the tiredness would never leave. The phrase you hear “sleep when baby sleeps” never happened. By the time I would fall asleep, Zak would wake up. Some days especially at the beginning, I was just too scared to sleep.

Three days after Zak was born, we had a visit from our midwife at half eight in the morning. For one, it was far too early for human interaction and secondly she just brought with her bad news. Zak had lost almost 10% of his birth weight, and I instantly felt I was not doing enough for him, and mum guilt had kicked in. Secondly, I was advised to carry on breastfeeding, and I could feel myself feeling exhausted already. So the next few days Zak spent latched onto me almost every half an hour for at least forty minutes to an hour. It was hard, I felt drained but I just kept going. I was adamant to breastfeed and to make it work. Again as before, the nights he would just spend crying and wanting to latch on. I was so confused, not knowing whether he was hungry, wanted comfort or too hot- the heatwave did not help. 

A few days later we had another visit from the midwife, and Zak had gained weight. The feeling of  happiness rushed through my body and I felt a sense of achievement that I was doing something right. The good news motivated me to continue breastfeeding despite the pain, low moods, and struggles it brought about.

Two weeks later, Zak had reached his birth weight once again, and we were finally discharged from regular visits. Now, do not get me wrong, I appreciate everything midwives do. However, at times, when I told her I was struggling, she just kept telling me to do what I was doing. I felt a sense of pressure to carry on breastfeeding, even though everyone around me told be to do a combination of bottle and breast. On the same day, we had a visit from our health visitor, who was much more relaxed and laid back on the whole feeding situation and told me to do whatever I was comfortable with. So from that day, I weaned down on the breast milk, and started offering Zak formula milk. Life got a little easier, and a little more relaxed.

What I have learnt is that, only you will know what is best for you and to go with your gut. Personally, I found breastfeeding quite depressing, maybe because I was not producing enough milk. When I tried to express milk, I would only end up with 20ml after an hour of expressing- again depressing. Moreover, every pregnancy, birth, baby, mummy body is different. Something that may work for one, would not necessarily work for you- and that is something I just could not get my head around.

Thank you for reading!

With Love,
Alisha X
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