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Oh Me, Oh Mãe II

The Story So Far (14th / 16th February 2022)

(Photos from 14th February – text from 16th February.

The images are new versions of these photos: I Have A Lot Of Respect For My Body And What It Did.)

25th May 2022: Again I feel awkward posting these images. The problem with posting so out of sync is I have a completely different relationship to the images by the time I post them…

#WeCouldHaveBeenDischargedFromTheHospitalOnTheSameDayAsLsBirthButIWantedToStayOneNightToMakeSureThatBreastfeedingWasGoingOkay

I originally got kept in hospital with B due to breastfeeding problems – and then she had jaundice.

#SheLatchedOnAnHourAfterBeingBornAndNoOneFromTheBreastfeedingTeamEvenCameToSeeUs

I was a bit annoyed that no one bothered, but to be honest I did not need their help.

#WithBIReallyStruggledWithBreastfeedingAndDuringOur4DayStayInHospitalItFeltLikeEveryoneHadSeenMyBoobsAndTriedToHelpUs

I did not ask anyone else for help after the midwife who was there for L’s birth helped me.

#IHadBeenDreadingBreastfeedingAgainSoItCameAsANiceSurpriseThatItWasSoMuchEasierThisTime

A couple of midwives did a home check and checked the latch and could hear L drinking quite noisily. I do not remember B drinking so loudly, but at this point with B I was expressing a lot.

#MyNipplesWereSoSoreAfterAFewDaysThatIWantedToUseNippleShieldsButICouldNotGetLToFeedWithThemWhichHasNowPaidOffAsMyNipplesHaveToughenedUpMore

It was so painful. I’ve been alternating between a couple of different creams – Lansinoh and Weleda Nipple balm (I never used the Weleda one with B).

#IWishIHadNotStayedANightInHospitalThoughAsIObviouslyDoNotDoWellInSuchPlaces

I was miserable. I did also want one night there to just adjust before going home to being a Mum of 2. At least Tiago got a good night of sleep.

#WeEndedUpStayingInTheDeliverySuiteFor8HoursAfterTheBirthAsTheyCouldNotMoveMeToAWardUntilMyCovidResultsCameIn

And the staff were so overworked. I think it was a combination of things.

#TheyDidTestsOnMeAndTiagoAt1InTheMorningAndBy10TheyStillDidNotHaveTheResultsSoTheyMadeMeDoARapidTestAndOnceThoseResultsCameInICouldBeMoved

The lab got the tests at 6.30 in the morning.

#TiagosResultsHadStillNotArrivedAndSoWeCouldEitherWaitOrICouldMoveAndHeCouldGoHome #SoWeSaidHeShouldGoHomeAndTakeOverLookingAfterBFromMyMum

I was a bit annoyed by the whole situation, but what else could we do.

#TypicallyLNeededToFeedAsWeWereAboutToMoveSoIFedHerWhileIGetWheeledThroughABusyWaitingRoom

I felt so awkward being wheeled past so many people. I just kept my head down and looked at L.

#OnTheWardIHadNoBedSoISatInMyCurtainedSpaceFeedingLAndEatingAVegetableCurry

I think another reason the breastfeeding team never came is because the staff were ‘so impressed’ (their words) that I was feeding the baby and feeding myself already. Fair enough. They closed the curtains and it wasn’t until the next day I noticed that it said to keep the curtains open unless you’re dressing or feeding, so this probably also didn’t help with making me feel so lonely.

#TheOther3WomenOnTheWardLeftNotLongAfterIArrivedAndTheirReplacementsHadTheirBirthPartnersWithThemUntil8InTheEveningSoISatAloneFor8HoursListeningToThemAllTalking #YesIDidGetUpset

Your birth partner was allowed to stay with you until the end of visiting hours, but if you had been there for a day already they were only allowed to visit for 4 hours. I was okay until I started to get really sleep deprived and then the crying started.

#LSleptWellInHerCotDuringTheDayButAtNightSheWouldNotSettle

She would sleep for 10 minutes, I’d feed her, she’d sleep for 10 minutes and repeat. No wonder my nipples were sore…

#IDidNotSleepInTheDeliverySuiteAsIFeltUnableToButIWasAlsoWaitingToBeMovedToTheWard

I thought we’d move then Tiago could hold the baby while I had a nap etc – things I missed out on with B.

#IHadToCallTheOverworkedMidwivesTwiceToTakeLFromMeForALittleBitSoICouldGetSomeSleep

I was starting to get hysterical. I called for help and they offered to take her. They had her for an hour and a half I think. Later I called again and they probably took her for half an hour – I woke up to her crying. As I was the only one without ward visitors I think I was also the most annoying one as no one else really buzzed for help.

#LuckilyIHadHadANapTheDayBeforeButAsLWasBornAt3InTheMorningIHadNotSleptSinceThen

Luckily I made myself nap as I kept saying maybe this is my last chance. With B my waters broke at 1am and I had about an hour or two of sleep. B was born in the afternoon though.

#LWasMoreThanHappyToSleepOnTheShouldersOfTheMidwivesWhileTheyWentAboutTheirWork

Phew.

#TiagoCameInAfterLunchToSeeUsAndToTakeUsHomeOnceWeGotDischarged

Hurrah. It was nice to see his face and feel less alone. I even started to chat to the other women. Their babies were all 5/6 pounds and I realised how big L was… (L was 9 pounds 9.)

#LCriedAllTheWayThroughHerExamAndIHadToHoldHerTheWholeTimeWhichTheMidwifeSaidWasAFirstForHer

She said she’d never had to examine a baby while they were in their Mum’s arms the whole time before. I find it hard to believe, but whatever.

#ThatNightSheWouldNotSleepInHerCotAgainAndTiagoHadToHaveHerOnHisChestSoThatICouldGetSomeSleep

When she slept she slept well though.

#MySisterRecommendedASleepingBagWhereTheyHaveTheirArmsUpRatherThanDown

With B she had sleeping bags where the arms can be in or out. I bought some 0-3 month ones for L and I couldn’t get her in them, so she was in B’s 3-9 month ones. She’d nap fine in them during the day, but at night – nope.

#AMumOnALocalWhatsappGroupWhoIHadNeverMetBeforeLentUsOneAndSheSleptSoWellOnceSheWasInIt

They are pricey, delivery was a few days and I doubted that it would make such a difference. Well, it made a huge difference.

#IAmDefinitelyRestingMoreThanIDidAfterHavingBAtThisPointButOnceTiagoIsBackAtWorkItWillBeABitDifferent

L is currently asleep, so I am going to try to nap once I finish this.

#IThinkThingsAreDefinitelyGoingBetterWithLThanTheyWereWithBAtThisPointButIDoGetVeryEmotionalWhenIDoNotSleep

Yesterday I did cry quite a bit. L had some long periods of being awake where I just felt like a milk machine and got upset. Tiago let her sleep on his chest in the end and I got some rest. Hurrah.

#TheOtherNightMyAfterPainsWereSoBadThatICheckedOn111AndItSaidWithAllMySymptomsIShouldCall999

I swear I never had afterpains with B. I had a couple of blood clots and my blood got heavier. I was crying with pain and it was awful. Labour wasn’t as bad as the pains…

#TheAmbulancesAreSoOverworkedThatAClinicianCalledInsteadWhichIWasHappyAboutAndByTheEndOfTheCallMyPainsHadStartedToSubsideButTheySaidToCallAMidwifeOrDoctorInTheMorning

I really did not want them to send an ambulance.

#AMidwifeCalledToBookAnAppointmentWithMeForNextWeekButCameOutToSeeUsAsSheWasConcernedButLuckilyAllIsFine

I had called my Doctors and they had arranged for someone to call me in the afternoon. Then the midwife called and could come to see me before the Doctors. It’s so much easier having someone come to the house.

#BIsTakingWellToBeingABigSisterThoughSheDoesNotKnowHerOwnStrengthWhenShePutsHerHeadToLsForAKissAndSheLikesToPointToLsNoseWhichIsFineButIHaveToSayCarefulALotWhenSheGoesToTouchLsEyes

I was worried about how it would be, but B seems to like having another little human around. When she points to L’s nose she says ‘no’ or something like that. The headbutting thing for a kiss is still funny. It’s very cute. I hope they get on well when they’re older.


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