There is nothing else quite like bringing a little human into the world. The process is a whirlwind of uncertainties mixed in with an array of overwhelming beautiful emotions that are really hard to put into words. It isn’t something that you can anticipate before having gone through it.
The moment Ruby May arrived definitely shoots to the top of the list as one of those life changing unmatchable moments. Realising first of all that I DID IT! While tears of joy streamed down my face and I finally got to see this beautiful baby girl I had carried with me for the last nine months. It’s a moment I will never forget. I had worked through what was one of the most challenging and amazing events of my life to bring this little angel into my arms. The other part which was a huge relief was that aside from my trembling legs, everything had stopped. The pain was gone, the intensity had lifted and all that was left was our little family, and the fact that everyone and everything was ok.
Every labour is unique. A friend told me a couple of days before I had given birth that whichever way a child comes into the world, it’s beautiful and I think that this is so important for new Mums to remember. Through pregnancy, navigating the labour, and becoming a new Mum we place so much pressure and expectations that everything will go according to a plan. Even though you are told umpteen times that you need to be flexible and go with whatever comes, there is still a part of you digging your heels in believing that everything will go according to plan. This can really lead to feeling overwhelmed when trying to deal with the twist and turns you can be presented with.
My labour was unique to me and as I said, it was the biggest challenge and also the most amazing experience which I will never forget. My early labour kicked in Christmas Eve which in hindsight was pretty easy and painless but just long! I thought for sure this was going to be a Christmas Day baby but because she had decided to do a last minute flip into a posterior position things just wouldn’t kick in. I stayed in the early stages of labour for 50 hours. Overall this was tiring due to the lack of sleep. This stage was also super confusing especially because this was my first time.
We had an appointment with the obstetrician Boxing Day morning. He was strongly advising for us to opt for breaking my waters and to induce my labour. In my rigid beliefs of wanting everything to happen naturally I already felt like my birthing plan was starting to go out the window but I also knew I was tired and needed to do something. The decision to induce turned out to be the best decision for everyone because when he broke my waters there was no fluid left from what was lost in early labour. At this point the obstetrician also said that it was looking like a 50/50 chance of a caesarian. Due to Ruby’s position and the lack of fluids a natural birth was looking unlikely. Again I felt like nothing was going to plan.
Once things kicked in, there was definitely an intensity I had never experienced before. I was able to draw on knowledge and research that I had done before going into labour but there were some things that just completely didn’t work. Looking back on this I actually find it hilarious at how angry I was. I have never been this angry in my life! It was a constant whirlwind of asking my husband to rub my back to only in the next breath yell at him not to touch me. He was beyond amazing in how he helped me deal with everything that happened.
I remembered the words of a midwife where she told me that labour would be hard but not impossible. The whole time I focused on things I loved and on my breath. After what was a shaky start I ended up with a 6 hour natural birth where Ruby and I worked together. After asking her to turn into the right position she finally did which took hours off the whole labour. When it was all over I just felt so tremendously grateful.
For the most part I think I had been so set and focused on the labour that I kind of underestimated the recovery. In saying that, I had read blogs beforehand and anything that was listed as a good item to buy and have with you at the hospital to help with recovery, I was all over it.
My hospital bag Essentials included:
- Body Ice – This was a tip off Zoe Foster Blakes blog. Although it was freezing putting them on your bits really pays off doing this 4 times a day
- Maternity Pads – the hospital provided some of these but definitely a must have
- Nursing tea and tea flask to help with milk coming in sooner
- Lactating biscuits – to get the milk in pronto – My favourite are these ones
- SRC Compression shorts – These help with recovery and healing any ab separation
- Stone fruits to help with number 2’s
- Melatonin and Magnesium – you are so jacked with adrenanllin you need this to help you sleep the first couple of nights
- Easy access tops so that you can get used to whipping your boob out when ever needed
I am only 3 weeks into this journey and can already feel it getting easier but definitely some additional things that will help
- Nap when you can – I am actually really bad with this but it is important right in the beginning
- Look after yourself. I can’t stress this enough. You need to have a strong team and you are no good to anyone if you end up sacrificing yourself to this
- Drinks loads and eat amazing food to keep your milk supply up
- Have low expectations of yourself and realise that everything takes a lot longer to do because you never know when you will have a breastfeed to slot in, a cranky child and a nappy change to deal with
- The first couple of weeks are pretty intense but it is only a temporary intensity until everyone finds their feet and rhythm
With the recovery behind me and the road with a newborn ahead of me all I can say is, this journey has given me a new prospective on women as a whole and what it means to be a Mum. It left me with so much compassion and in awe seeing all of the different journeys that women undergo and endure for their children. To all of the Mums out there and to women who are about to embark on the motherhood journey, I salute you and the warrior spirit that you have within you x