After Birth & Recovery

The night I had Charlie I remember my phone buzzing and a picture message from my mum of her, my stepdad my brother & his girlfriend with a class of champagne, It’s one of my favourite photos to this day I just sat in bed looked over at Charlie and smiled, I text her back to say I loved it and to have a glass for me!

I stayed in hospital for the next 5 days, it was only on day 3 that I started to question the things going on around me. I was having my blood pressure taken every 4 hours religiously & I was on a drip, and Charlie was being wheeled off in the middle of the night for around an hour. I had wondered why until now, when one night at 1am one of the midwives came to take Charlie again. “Where are you taking him?” I asked. “To get his antibiotics” she replied. Then everything stopped, “What? why is he on antibiotics I asked?” I pulled myself up in bed, I suddenly felt very panic stricken and very protective. “We think he has an infection; well we think you both do” she replied placing a hand on my shoulder. “I don’t understand” I started to cry. “Let me go and get the baby doctor to see you, he’s okay” she said. As she wheeled him off, I sat there in the darkness and sobbed, how could I have not realised that there was something wrong? I defiantly hadn’t been feeling well the last 3 days, but I thought it was just because the ward was warm, turns out it was because of this infection. I picked up my phone and text Matt, he called me straight away and I cried down the phone – I was panicking big time!

The baby doctor poked her head round the curtain in the darkness and came and sat on the edge of my bed, she explained that whilst in theatre both our temperatures had spiked, and I had told the nurse I wasn’t feeling well. She told me that Charlie had what they called “sticky blood” to they were keeping a close eye on him. They also thought that I may have passed the infection onto him, so we were both on an IV drip, and that’s why he was being taken away every 4 hours to have his antibiotics. I was so overwhelmed, I cried hysterically couldn’t breathe. The doctor calmed me down and assured me we were both going to be fine, but they needed to keep us in until we were well enough to go home. I rang Matt and told him what the doctor had told me, and we felt better, but he & my mum both felt awful for not realising there was a problem. But to be fair, none of us did. Apparently, I was told all of this in theatre about the infections, but I can’t remember I must have been out of it.

Recovery was painful, some days I felt ok if I had been topped up on tramadol, but if I’d forgotten to take it then it felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I could hardly walk! The midwives were amazing, I found It hard to breastfeed Charlie, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I felt like a complete failure. One of the midwives told me I needed to hand express, I sat there and thought how the f* am I supposed to do that?! It was all completely alien to me. I asked her to explain and she did, but I still didn’t quite understand – in the end I was getting so flustered and confused she milked me like a bloody cow. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my life! I was getting next to nothing from hand expressing maybe 0.5ml it looked ridiculous to me. Every time I would feed Charlie it was a huge struggle; I didn’t know how to get him in the right position and how to be comfortable myself. My boobs were so swollen when my milk did eventually come in after a few days, my mum had told me how painful it was, but I never really understood until it happened, it was agony.

After the first day or so my nipples were red raw and so painful so I had to stop breastfeeding I honestly couldn’t bare it, I think it was because I couldn’t get Charlie to latch on properly every time. I was bottle feeding Charlie for the next 2 days until it was bearable to try again. The midwife showed me how to feed him with a cup so he wouldn’t get confused with the nipple & the teat of a bottle. Matt was coming in every day; he didn’t stay with me in hospital there was no point. My mum came in most days, and on the second day my stepdad & brother came in. My brother came over and hugged me and burst into tears, I couldn’t remember seeing him so emotional, and it instantly set me off.  I sat in bed and watched them all beaming from ear to ear it was the best feeling ever. Matt brought his mum into see him the day after and she brought me loads of cards from his family which was lovely. God he was so tiny, I look at him now 5 & ½ months and wonder where my baby has gone! It really does go so quickly.

My mum was bringing in things every day, I honestly thought I’d packed everything and more, but I was so wrong! I remember she brought me two more nighties in, I was passing her washing. Knickers galore, I thought id packed a 100 but I was still texting her asking her to bring in more of my Bridget jones’s. By the way they are hands down the most comfortable knickers on the planet!! I still wear them now ha-ha mostly because they tuck my kangaroo pouch in which I’ll talk about more. Matt brought my laptop in which was a life saver because I could watch Netflix when I was on my own, I had loads of magazines too. It could get quite lonely in the evening after everyone had gone.

I don’t think it was until day 4 when I had my first shower, this was complete and utter bliss. I had practically been bed bound; I did have a few sponge baths mind! Trust me your dignity goes out the window completely after having a baby, I hate to think of how many people have seen my “nunny” (vaj,vajayjay,flower) whatever you want to call it. I remember the day I got told we were going home it was funny because I was so used to being in hospital, I’d forgot that id eventually have to go home! A few different midwives came and spoke to me about the usual things, breastfeeding, safe sleeping, the general do’s and don’ts. Charlie had a hearing test which was all fine. Then I had a run through of all my medication I had to take home, I had to inject myself with antibiotics for another week, so was shown what to do and had to show I was able to do it. Then finally I was told everything had been signed off and we were both well enough to go home! I called Matt and gave him the good news, I think he was relieved to be having us both home.

Me & mum got all of my things together I had accumulated loads over 5 days. Matt arrived, and they started to go load it all in the car and I got Charlie ready to go home. I don’t think it really sank in at that moment that we were going home. I remember we said thankyou & goodbye to the midwives who had looked after us over the past week, Matt had to lead me out because I didn’t have a clue where we were. We walked out through reception and it was filled of people, loads of pregnant women, a week before that had been me in that reception. Now I was walking out with my beautiful baby boy. We stepped outside and it was absolutely freezing, I had a shock I couldn’t remember feeling that cold! We struggled to get Charlie into the car seat, and as the cold set it it caused a heated dispute between us both. I ended up sitting in the back with Charlie whilst we googled what to do. We really should have been more prepared! We finally worked it out and off we went, I sat in the back and suddenly felt really scared.

Driving home I sat there thinking oh my god what do I do, I didn’t have a button I could press and have 5 midwives around me telling me what to do anymore. I could feel my eyes welling up, my stomach was turning into knots. What would I do if I couldn’t get him to stop crying? How would I know when to feed him? What if I still couldn’t breastfeed him? All of these questions whizzed through my mind. We got home and Matt took all of my things in and carried Charlie in his car seat. We put him on the sofa and our two fur babies came over to have a nose, we sat and watched as they tried to work out what this alien was! I gave them lots of cuddles Id missed them so much, they’d been my only babies before Charlie came along, now it was all going to change.

When I said you think you don’t know what you’re doing it’s a bit crazy because I couldn’t tell it what it was or how, but when it came down to it, I just knew what to do. Yes of course everything is a learning curve, but you do get that mothers instinct!

Mum, stepdad Terry , brother Sean & his girlfriend Alex
Mum & Charlie
Terry & Charlie
Sean & Charlie
Going home!
Charlie’s first car ride
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