Wisdom Passed from One Woman to Another
I have had two
children. The first child was born almost 10 years ago and the
second just turned three years old.
The first child was born by c-section. I had both my children born in the hospital. I would have preferred a home birth but because of personal circumstances it was not possible.
During the first pregnancy I threw up almost 9 months. The first three were horrible and the last three months were just as terrible. I felt I knew nothing and this is how I was treated by the medical professional. Very clinical.
I joined a Babyville group from the local community health department. One of the kids from the group is now my daughters best friend. They are in the same grade in the same school. Same height, weight, colour -- I find this amazing!. This group provided a wonderful support system.
Recovery from the delivery was aweful. I had the worst case of the "blues" imaginable. I was afraid to the tell the Doctor. I thought she would take my infant away from me if she knew what my inner thoughts were. I didn't share. I suffered in privacy and carried tremendous guilt and fear. I had a healthy child -- "what's wrong with you?" That was the response from my mother. I know better now. I had such guilt that my body failed me because I needed a c-section. The women beside me in the hospital delivered a still born child and the grandmother told me while I was walking up and down the hallway. The grandmother also told my husband. I didn't want to tell my husband and he didn't want to tell me. Nobody knew why I was so upset when I was being prepared for a c-section. It was a time that I felt very lonely.
Recovery from the c-section wasn't that bad at all. The worst part was my mother who kept cracking jokes in the hospital. It hurt to laugh or cry! What an experience. Looking back, I find that part very humorous.
My hormones were so out of whack! I bawled when I looked at myself naked in the mirror! I looked like a "go-go dancer" with the enormous boobs that I had grown. They were so hot and heavy.
I didn't know what was normal or what wasn't. I felt so uniformed.
A friend of mine who had 3 kids helped me nurse my first child. If it had been for her help I am sure I would have quit. We sat outside the front of her home while she helped latch my baby to my breast. All the family watched. Dad, kids and her family and my inlaws. I am not shy. To me it was normal but I am sure to others it may not have been. I look back and I am most grateful to her for her help and support. I have let her know several times. I nursed both my children till they gave it up on their own. They just decided it was enough and that was it. What a wonderful experience! They are both extremely healthy kids. No vaccines, no flu, no ear trouble -- nother. I believe nursing had a lot to do with it.
The second child was born just 3 years ago. Very different experience. I still wore my regular track suit at 9 months pregnant. I had a vaginal delivery with no tearing or complications. It was a long delivery and I was really exhausted afterwards.
I had learned so much over the years. I felt confident, happy, relaxed and all was terrific. I took red raspberry (I believe that was it). I took many assorted supplements. (protein, B's, vitamin C, calcium magnesium, homeopaths...) No nausea, no vomitting, no food cravings. I loved every moment. I spent quite a bit of time during pregnancy being active (as I did with the first). I did yoga, meditation, relaxation, walking, swimming and anything I found relaxing to myself. I stayed away from any stressful events and negative people.
I had no real issues with this pregancy. I went back to work a day later in my home office. That was special for me. Breastfeeding was extremely easy (not like the first experience!) I must have decided I was wonder woman or some one like that because I had a bit of set back about a week later. Just tired. I must have been too much too soon.
I had only wished what I knew now when I had my first child. I was so laid back this time. So relaxed. The first child I worried about everything. Is my child STILL breathing. Is she okay. I am sure this all is very normal.
Now my children are very good friends despite the age difference. They look after each other. It has been a wonderful experience.
I had a vaginal birth - lots of stitches. Very important to take the salt water sits-baths - speeds up the healing and feels so good.
Full recovery took about two months.
The most helpful things were in my freezer - two weeks worth of dinners that were prepared and delivered by the 'Helping Hands' ministry at our church.
The best thing I did was join a couple of different mom's groups when my daughter was 4 months old. It got me up and out of the house by nine, which is more that I can say for the first four months. Networking with other new mom's was a great way for both of us to make new friends.
One more thing – at work, my Koren manager's wife had a baby and their tradition of not allowing mother and child out of the house for 30 days and no visitors for 49 days sounded like music to my ears. The reason they do this is so that the mother can bond with the baby.
I think that new mothers feel like they have to keep up with the Jones'. Not all new mothers have a baby one day and go to church the next day.
Women as whole need to be kinder to each other.....and that's all I have to say about that!
Retained placenta hindered my recovery. Called doctor a few times before they would actually see me. They thought I had postpartum depression. I had a slight temperature and could never sleep well. Anyway, I had a d&c seven weeks after my daughter was born which revealed the fact that I had retained placenta - I felt 100% better the next day and knew that I would
never go back to that doctor again.
Most valuable resource is my mother.
I wish I had known of Dr. Lisa Doran and her fabulous clinic before I had my daughter.
I had vaginal deliveries for all 3 of my children:
I liked the tea my naturopath made me for my sitz baths (squirt bottle thingy), and I
also liked the herbal stuff my Doula gave me to use after I had my third child. After
him, I had almost 3rd degree tears, so whatever her concoction is, it really helped.
My advice to expecting moms would be: have a midwife and a doula, speak up, and if you have to go into the medical world, be sure to speak your mind, and ask lots of questions, and make sure all questions are answered--but don't worry about bedside manner from medical world.
Since I was induced with all 3, I still say that the homeopathics and the acupuncture my Naturopathic Doctor (Dr. Lisa) did for me helped me to not end up with the dreaded c-section--But I've recently heard of hypnosis, and wish I could have felt that connection with my babes.
Recovery took just a few days...I don't really remember it being a big thing...except
after Rose, when I was on prednisone, so I felt like doing too much and bled
alot after I had stopped bleeding (if you know what I mean).
Being on steroids for PUPPS hindered my postpartum recovery --but I'm unique!
My Naturopath, my doula, and my midwife were valuable resources
If I had to give any advice to new moms I would inform them more about post partum depression and or sad feelings and the sheer amount of energy it takes to look after a new born.
Recovery took, I would say, a full 6 months once you can sleep 7-8 hours a night you feel a whole lot better
I think I was pumped with a lot of fluids and had fluid retention so bad that I couldn't walk up stairs or even put shoes on my son was born in January
I wish I had a better support system the public health nurse called once and never tried again and I didn't learn about the family resource center until my son was almost one. I guess I would have built up more support before I was to overwhelmed to.
I gave birth 1st time at a birth center in the US. The package deal included a visiting nurse that came and visited a number of times to check on both me and the baby. Between her support and the midwives calling, I felt really supported.
I had no idea that birth would leave my bottom all ripped up. I couldn't sit. Hemmorhoids hurt badly! I tore. I would say that I think both of these problems were because they told me to push REALLY hard, which I now think was just WRONG. I don't think it needed to hurt THAT much later on. Also this led to constipation which in turn made it hard to sit. Also, as much as I thought I'd prepared, nursing was difficult for us and this is worth anticipating and preparing for. More below.
I didn't have any time to take care of my sore bottom. We had severe nursing challenges. As much as it hurt to sit, I had to sit for hours at a time trying to get my baby to latch on or stay latched on. Agony. Not a nice intro at all.
Finally I found a lactation consultant that saved us.
Some things I really wish I had known were: