So here we go, a new section of the blog now that I am a MOTHER!
I assume that if you’re here, you are up to date on the whole journey so far, but if not, here’s a very brief catch up…
I have kept a diary of my pregnancy here on my blog, and the last I posted was the birth of my daughter, Maisie. I figured the birth is the end of the pregnancy journey, so I’ve created a new Parenthood section of my blog to continue the story! This is the first instalment of that… and the best place to begin is the first 48 hours!
Where we left off… I had just birthed our baby, she’d been weighed, cleaned up and laid on my chest. Next, Tom got to cuddle her while I was fixed up!
My legs were shaking uncontrollably (apparently normal from the shock of labour), and I had to get a couple of stitches. Jill, my midwife, wanted the OB/GYN to do the stitches as they were a little tricky, but thankfully I still had access to the gas and air when they were done! A little later I was asked if I had been able to pee yet – supposedly it helps your uterus recover if you can keep your bladder on the empty side, and sometimes immediately after labour you’re not always aware of how full your bladder is. I tried but nothing happened so the nurse had to put in a catheter to drain my bladder. Again, I was allowed to use the gas and air for this as it wasn’t the nicest experience!!
Soon after all that unpleasantness, I had my first go at breastfeeding. Maisie took to it straight away and fed for about 25 minutes! I had some toast and got to ask Tom and Jill questions about the delivery – it was all so fuzzy to me. Jill seemed surprised and impressed with my capacity to do it all so quickly, especially just using gas and air. I was pretty surprised myself by how quickly it had gone in the end, so it was nice to hear it from someone with more experience!
Once Maisie and I were stitched, checked, emptied, wrapped and fed, Tom and I were left alone with her and it was so lovely, but oh so strange too! She was so peaceful and looked so content – just a tiny burrito baby left in our care.
By the time we were thinking about food, the hospital cafe was closed, so we ordered pizza, and we watched some Brooklyn 99.
Tom had been sending updates to our family the whole day so it was nice knowing they had shared the experience from afar. It was just after midnight their time when Maisie was born though so a later one! (Also meaning that in the uk, technically her birthday was July 23rd…)
Maisie had to have a hearing test and blood tests within the first 24 hours, so we had to stay in the hospital at least until then, but hopefully could go home after that.
The hospital room was amazing – probably not far off the size of our apartment! We had a huge bathroom with a big bath, shower and loo, but no door (- all the boundaries between Tom and I came down over these 24 hours!). We had a tv (but the remote didn’t work properly), there was the hospital bed, a sofa in the corner of the room which Tom slept on, there was a little kitchen out on the ward but I didn’t actually get to see it.
The cafe provided me with three meals a day, and Tom could go and buy whatever he wanted from there too. There was also a Starbucks in the children’s hospital which was a nice treat the day after delivery.
The first night was intimidating. The nurses swaddled Maisie and placed the bassinet next to me, and came in every few hours to check on her and me. I did sleep, but not a lot. The sofa was comfy enough for Tom, but not the best for sleep.
Changing Maisie’s first diaper was the first I’ve ever changed in my life (except for practicing on a toy), so that was a diving in feet first moment!
I had a shower and changed out of my hospital gown into pjs which made me feel a bit more normal, though it also made some of the pain feel a bit more real. I was also still wearing disposable undies which are definitely the most comfortable option, but also make you very aware that things are not quite normal…
All the tests were done and Maisie passed with no issues, so we got to go home on Friday evening. The blood test was horrific – she cried so much and these huge tears came out of her tiny eyes as the guy bent her foot and pricked her heel. He didn’t get enough the first time so had to repeat it too. I was also given the all clear from GD – yay! By the time we were discharged it was around 10pm. We got Maisie dressed (terrifying and very fumbled) and into her car seat and then very slowly walked our way out of the hospital.
Tom drove home and we chatted in the car about how crazy it all felt, I remarked that it was mad how we could just leave with a baby and now she’s our responsibility – it almost felt like we’d stolen her away too soon.
On the Saturday we decided to head to a couple shops – I wanted to get a few postpartum bits from the baby store, and also some meds from the grocery store pharmacy.
Maisie was so tiny in her car seat, and so many people cooed over her and asked how old she was, the response “two days” felt very weird to say, and was met with some gasps. It felt good to get out and about, but the one block walk between the two shops was a bit too much for me really – I had to sit down for a few minutes before heading back to the car. The following day we kept it much more chill at home.
It was still really warm in Vancouver and Maisie was not keen on clothes. She also didn’t like being swaddled, or sleeping at all, but it was so amazing to be home with this gorgeous little bundle. We bought a cake to celebrate her 0th birthday!