And so we came home. I was already feeling a little blue when I was in the hospital and coming home seemed to make it worse. All was perfect, Oliver was healthy and really good (read sleeping and feeding), mom was here and so was my sister, our dream came true. And yet. I had this sadness which was overwhelming, in the evening especially I just had to cry.
I cried thinking of the bleeding. I cried even more when I kept reliving all the events that brought to the early arrival of Oliver, how it felt to me so so coincidental that I did go to the hospital when I wasn't really concerned, how they kept me in just because they thought I had been through a lot in the past, how the dr had the portable scanner in the morning which prompted a more accurate scan that same day. And I knew rationally it didn't make any sense to say to myself "imagine if I hadn't gone to the hospital" "imagine if they didn't scan me" etc as I DID go to the hospital and everything was well in the end. I kept imagining what would have happened if I had stayed at home, if I had started bleeding at home...I felt like all this joy (which in a very strange mix was sadness too) was pure luck and it could have been a very different outcome.
At least I slept much better knowing we had the monitor checking his breathing. It was something.
Oliver was still on formula, I tried latching him on at every feed but I had nothing at all coming out and he got frustrated after a short time. Add this to the list of things that upset me in those early days. I bought an electric pump to express milk. I saw the first few drops of milk around day 5, it increased a bit only to diminish again. I don't think I ever collected more than a few mLs. I never felt the "engorgement" people talk about, the sense of fullness. My breasts have been very soft most of the time. The midwives and nurses that came along (it's a great home visiting scheme they have up and running here) were fantastic, very encouraging that what I was doing with Oliver was just perfect as he was thriving so to try not to get too upset about breastfeeding. Again, my physical recovery was a matter of conversation, they've never seen anything like it. At one point I also mentioned my emotions and how I felt I was loosing control. Again they were very reassuring, apparently it becomes worrying if it doesn't go away after two-three weeks but in the early days is totally normal to feel all over the place. I said how I felt I never was pregnant (I still feel the same way) and they said the shock of the birth is just taking over all the space in my memory and that eventually it will come back.
I started feeling much better almost a week after I came home. I think the thought that made me turn the corner was the realization I would have met Dr. Wonderful on the 31st in any case as it was my scheduled appointment. So suddenly it sunk in that I would have been scanned by the same amazing doctor and that there was going to be no real risk as he would have made the same call. Strange how I had forgotten about it.
When Oliver was 5 days old I got Mike to drive us into work and I proudly showed him off. They all loved him. One funny thing to mention was that I was chatting to my secretary and when I told her the birth story she....passed out!! Honestly, she dropped on the floor! The poor thing, I felt terrible of course, having been a paramedic for 6 years made me less susceptible to medical drama, but I have to remember it's not everybody's cup of tea!
Let's chat also about how the dad is doing. Mike is fantastic, I think he feels a little uncertain when he handles Oliver, but he is very helpful. He managed to take the full first week off work and went back last monday. I dreaded being at home with mom only (for whom I was putting on a brave face) but it went really well.
Oliver has changed so much already, I changed my banner too and you can see how much more alert he is! We brought him to the paediatrician today for a 2-weeks check up (12 days really) and he passed with flying colours! He's already regained his full birth weight and more (2.66 kg!) which is great. hearing and eyes tests went perfect. We are delighted.
He cries very little, only if he's hungry and we have no milk ready he gets very upset, but then you give him a finger to chew on and he quietens down immediately. We had a few issues with pee escaping from the nappy...tried it all.. in the end we changed brand and it made a major difference. We are still adamant to invest in the reusable nappy, I'll make the order in the next few days.
One final thing on breastfeeding. I haven't given up at all yet. I got a hospital-grade pump and will express as much as possible for the next week and see if it improves. The paed today said that I may really never have a proper milk supply (it's 12 days after c-section already) but to give it a go if I feel I can do it. So we'll see.
I'll post here another couple of pics of our little miracle! I just have to show you his feet (huge!) and how much he has grown already!