So here it is. The quick lowdown on Avery's birth story.
- We ended up having a planned c-section after much consideration of my health situation, which in retrospect was 100% the right decision. More on that in another post.
- He was born to the strains of The Doors (Riders on the Storm) thanks to a surgical team with great musical tastes.
- We weren't separated for a single minute. He was taken from me, had his umbilical cord cut and his vitals taken quickly on a side table, then returned to my side in Himself's arms. They both stayed there beside me while the operating team finished up, then we all went to recovery where he was handed over for me to breastfeed straight away. When I was cleared to head off to our room all three of us headed there and roomed in for five full days.
- Avery entered the world then went straight back to sleep and has remained pretty much calm and peaceful since. He took days to find his crying voice and so far only really uses it sparingly. It made our first few days together really enjoyable. I was tired, but not overwhelmed, with him sleeping and resting happily between feeds.
- The midwives who took care of us in the first few days post delivery were amazing. They took great care of me while I was at my sorest and supported me to start breastfeeding as soon as possible.
- Our breastfeeding relationship started off brilliantly, with my colostrum coming in straight away and Avery taking to it all with ease. The midwives helped me to learn the basics and get him into a 3-4 hour feeding pattern asap.
- My obstetrician and the hospital were very supportive of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They made sure they understood what assistance I would need, and what they would be able to provide. I was given a place in the Mother & Baby Unit to go on to after my full five days of recovery on the ward (which I didn't end up needing as we had such a positive start and my health has been fantastic), and plenty of information about all the help that they could offer at any stage.
- My fatigue has been completely under control and my physical recovery from the c-section was painful but very manageable. I'm already feeling relatively good and have great movement and motion. My body is recovering well and is much easier than I expected.
- Both Avery and I are here, happy and well!
The Bad... and The Ugly:
- Maybe it was the long weekend, maybe it was a coincidence, but the midwives we had after the first few days ranged from poor to outright awful. One ended up spending around 30 minutes telling us about her outrageous religious beliefs and trying to convert my atheist partner. No kidding, she was talking about 'scripture' and her belief that the world was going to end because the eclipse, meteors and the jews discovering a faith in Jesus were all due to happen soon and they are predicted in... you guessed it... The Scriptures... as signs of the apocalypse. She finally left the room after praying over Himself for him to find salvation. Another midwife (who would have been about 80, I swear) couldn't say the word vagina (she kept asking how things were 'down there'), and said that while the hospital wanted her to talk to us about contraception before we left (as part of the information they give you about recovery and early days at home) she knew nothing on the subject and thought it was inappropriate for her to talk me about it. Then there was the midwife who thought helping me with breastfeeding problems was manhandling me to the point that it hurt, and reprimanding me for my technique without answering my questions or offering any real help. Lets leave the examples there, but you get the picture.
- After leaving the hospital I've discovered that I haven't learned how to breastfeed properly and the conflicting advice I was given by various midwives have left me confused as to how I need to fix my problems. Thank god for my Australian Breastfeeding Association membership. After my already giant breasts became engorged as my milk came in I asked for help after it became apparent Avery wasn't coping with the excess of milk and the changes to attachment, but this really didn't happen and now I have a rather painful path ahead with my cracked nipples and a very poorly attaching baby.
- At our final health check the nurse told us Avery has an irregular heartbeat which needs to be checked by his pediatrician. She was pretty dismissive, but one of the other midwives was quick to reassure us that it's not uncommon and not to worry about it in the meantime.