Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Newborns: Not So Scary The Second Time Around

Throughout my pregnancy with Hayden I worried about how I would cope with the newborn phase again. When Skye was born I wasn't hit with the instant overwhelming bond of mother and babe. I knew she was mine, I knew that I loved her, but she scared me. I felt a little lost and unsure as I am sure most first time mums feel. Even though my birth experience with Skye was by comparison straightforward and dare I say it, even easy, I felt that I had " failed" because we had required Ventouse. 

I struggled with breastfeeding, and swaddling and putting tiny hands in Wondersuits. But more than anything, I had not come to grips with the complete change to your every waking thought and movement a baby has. I spent much of those early months with Skye resenting the demands of a newborn and how unaffected those around me seemed to be. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get everything "right" and missed a little of the magic.

Skye was gorgeous but scary.

I don't know if I will ever write Hayden's full birth story, it's not comething I wish to recount in detail, but if I had to describe it briefly I would use terms like posterior, stuck, episiotomy and scary. I would say to anyone having their second child to not take any notice of the experts telling you that your second labour will be a piece of cake, and I would strongly suggest getting a shot of morphine BEFORE they break your waters, because you probably won't have time for one after.

Experiencing that drug free does not make me feel like a hero, it just fucking hurt.

Despite all that, when they placed Hayden on my chest, it was instant. I still had no clue whether he was a boy or a girl and definitely did not know that he was 8 pound 8 ounces but THAT is the moment I wish I could capture. At 11.23 pm on the 13th of December 2012, that was the moment that I felt an instant connection and I instinctively knew my role as his mother. I can still feel his warm skin on my chest, I remember feeling the weight of him and knowing he was bigger than Skye. I remember the joy of seeing his full, chubby arms tucked against my body.

He was here, he was safe, he was perfect. 

I fed him in that birthing suite for an hour before they took him for his checks. Finally, I showered and we eventually made our way up to the ward at 2.30am where Mr Bond slept on a thin, hard camp mattress on the floor, while I held our unnamed little boy in my arms. There was no long recovery sleep for either of us that night, he wanted to be held, and I wanted to oblige. After a couple of hours, Mr Bond woke and tried to get me to have some rest but my little boy wanted to be held and fed and as exhausted as I was, I did not mind one single bit. 

I decided to take the full 5 day hospital stay, partly because even limping the 3 steps to my ensuite was a mission, but mostly because I wanted that time to focus on Hayden and I getting to know each other. Granted the food was not fabulous, but it magically appeared and then was whisked away in a timely manner that allowed me to do nothing more than be with my baby.

Once we got home, things kind of just fell into place. We still experienced the same initial struggles with breastfeeding and unsettled nights (this time with a more windy and refluxy version), but I had the knowledge that it would get easier and that gave me the confidence to just enjoy his tinyness. 

Free from the cloud of first time doubt, and feeling less inclined to worry about the state of the house, I got the chance to really love the newborn stage. It gave new depth to my love for Skye too because I now got to see her as the loving, protective older sister. I had a better appreciation for how simple the newborn stage really is and how blessed we are to have two beautiful, healthy, happy children. 

I'm linking up with Jess at Essentially Jess for iBOT. Please pop over and say hello, she hasn't been well this week and it would really cheer her up :)

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