The Aftermath

So it's been about 6 hours since I had Oscar. I'm lying in my hospital bed, pale as can be - I lost 1.2 pints of blood during the c-section and I am now considered 'temporarily' anemic. I have knee high white socks on to prevent from blood clots and a sexy white and blue diamond print hospital gown on. I'm wearing crepe paper disposable pants and a pad as thick as Kim K's ass. I cannot move except my arms to reach things and have an electronic bed that goes up and down and the back support back and forth. I have been cut open about 6 inches wide and have stitches along my wound, covered by a bandage. My stomach is orange in colour, having been tinted from the iodine used to prep me during surgery. My belly is now empty and feeling deflated and bruised.

 The midwives draw with a biro around the blood so that they can see how much its bled since they last checked which I thought was clever!

The midwives draw with a biro around the blood so that they can see how much its bled since they last checked which I thought was clever!

I have a capped cannula in my wrist and the back of both hands are bruised from trying to get it in previously. I have a catheter fitted and a bag of my own pee at the foot of my bed. I am having rounds of paracetamol, ibuprofen and oramorph (liquid morphine) around the clock and have to have an injection in my stomach to prevent blood clots. I had been woken up at 8:30am to have a blood test and be given my toast and (surprisingly) coffee. I had a baby at 2am and it is now around midday. He is in an incubator down the corridor in an intensive care unit, weighing 5lbs 5oz using breathing machines and being fed through a tube. I have told a few of my closest friends and family, and Luke the same. 

Suddenly I get a ton of texts from people I'm not close with at all. Old work colleagues. Distant friends from school. Friends of friends. Congratulating me on having Oscar. I ask Luke if he has told anyone I don't know about or put it on Facebook and he says no, he hasn't. I click on my Facebook to find notifications saying "Joe Bloggs (or whatever) and 4 others have liked a status you have been tagged in". Considering how physically weak I was, I have never been so seething with anger and wanted to punch someone so much! One of Luke's friends had tagged us both in a status congratulating us on how he had woken up hearing the news of our baby being born. I messaged him every curse word under the sun, saying how dare he announce such precious news, especially considering Oscar was 5 weeks premature and who knows what's going to happen. The last thing I wanted, especially after having been so careful about who knew my pregnancy news before 12 weeks, out of sheer anxiety of anything traumatic happening, was the whole world knowing I had had a premature baby, before I had even held him.

I felt like I had cheated and betrayed my closest friends that hadn't heard yet. That they had to find out on a Facebook status from some idiot. And that this idiot knew before them. I felt that I had worried friends and family by not being able to explain that I and the baby were O.K. I then felt such pressure and panic that I wanted to prevent anyone else hearing the news from anybody but me, that I posted on Facebook myself that he was born. And what photos do I have to go along with the status? Oh, a photo of Oscar covered in breathing equipment and pulse monitors, in an incubator. I have honestly never felt so robbed of such an intimate moment that should have been left for me and partner to decide when we were ready for this news to become public. I have no idea when I would've announce the news on Facebook, maybe later that day, maybe later that week but I didn't even get the chance to decide that for myself.

So far the first time I had seen of my child was on the screen of an iPhone and the news of the birth of my first child came from someone else's Facebook. I craved so much to be living 50 years ago, before any of this dumb, artificial technology existed. I have never, and will never forgive him for posting that status.

I would strongly advise you only trust your news with those you can trust. And if you can't do that, then at least spell it out for the dumb dumbs that think its O.K. to put it on Facebook before you do! 

Moving swiftly on. Hospital life was far from glamorous. I could hardly sleep because of the woman next door's husband snoring and the sound of the breast pump going off every 3 hours. Luckily, I had earbuds. I suppose I can't complain, a ward with 4 other women with babies would be a louder ward than 4 without. 

Every 2 hours I had a nurse come with more tablets to continuously over lap the pain relief. Rather than taking 4 tablets every 4 hours I was taking 2 every 2 hours. They would also take my blood pressure every 2 hours and write it in my notes. Time moved so slowly. The nurses ensured they would inform us of any news about Oscar, but as he was well and had no complications, he was just sleeping in his incubator the entire time. I expected hourly updates when really they had nothing to report back other than he was fine, so it was just a matter of waiting until I was healed enough to lift myself into a wheelchair. All we could physically do was sit and wait. It's bizarre because, what do you talk about? We knew so little about what was going on with Oscar other than he was stable and sleeping, it wouldn't do us any favours to sit and speculate what will happen to him or if he will be ok in the long term. So we just watched films and had small talk with the nurses and it was as though nothing had happened. 

 When I first met Oscar

When I first met Oscar

Luke could go and see him any time he wanted, as he was able to walk and I wasn't! I Facetimed the pair of them a couple of times, it was hard to watch as I felt so helpless. I couldn't help but have a little cry as it all sunk in what was really happening.

Looking back at the photos now my face was so fat! Ahh the joys of pregnancy.

It definitely felt weird not having a baby in my stomach anymore and lying down I looked like I had quite a flat stomach. It felt so weird not to have a little baby kicking around in there anymore. It felt like I had dreamt my whole pregnancy and that it never happened. I had always wondered exactly what your stomach looks like after you have a baby... well, here it is.