Loving being in love all over again

“My birthing experience was a delight – except for the hospital I was in…”

So here I am, three weeks after delivery and loving being in love all over again. There is something about a second child that allows you to soak in every moment. I think as a first time mum we worry more than we enjoy the experience. Is the baby ok? Am I doing it right? Is the baby too hot or too cold? Is the baby feeding well or pooping enough? Not to say that these concerns do not crop up the second time around, I just feel that because we have done this before we are more confident of what we are doing.

My birthing experience was a delight – except for the hospital I was in. Let me start with the positive. Ariyana, my 4 year old, was delivered by C -section. This was because of my history of miscarriages and the fact that my uterus is retroverted. My OBGYN suggested that he induce labor at 40 weeks and I just said to him ‘if it is going to end in a C, let’s just do a C. At that time we opted for a spinal tap and though recovery took about 6 weeks, as the book says, I remember just having a lot more pain and discomfort the first time around.

This time, I wanted to push, but in reality I was tired. We scheduled the C- section for 38 weeks and my doctor is a star, I have to say. This time I went under full general anesthetic. The recovery was far much quicker than I anticipated. In fact, as I type, you would not be able to tell that I underwent major surgery 3 weeks ago! My pain subsided within 4 days and I was up and about within 2 days. I kid you not.

Sometimes I wish I had the experience of a natural birth, but I guess it was never for me. The downside of course is, having to wait the 6 weeks. As much as I feel great, the wound needs to heal. From what I can see, I think it has. Also getting back into the gym, which is a biggie for me, has to wait. I may have to wait at least 6 to 9 months before I can train the way I used to. When I get back in the next few weeks, I will take it easy.

Baby is amazing – he is so much fun to be around. We are learning each other. In our tradition we come and stay with our mothers for at least the first six weeks. I am here, with my ma and Ariyana and I have to say – she is a huge help! I rest a lot and she does a lot – including feeding me every hour! As a nursing mother it is fabulous to get the food breaks – as I call them – it keeps the milk production and my energy up. I loved breast feeding Ariyana and I am loving it with Arian too – although this time he likes hanging around the boob more than feeding on it. So now we know why men love boobs, the obsession begins when they are bornJ!

I express a lot and bottle feed him when need be – it is just assuring for me as a mother that he has had a feed as opposed to just played with the factory!

So my experience at the hospital was horrible. I think with Ariyana I was spoilt, it was a different hospital and the nursing staff just took over. I appreciated it more because they helped during the nights especially as I had just had a C section, bending and lifting was a task. They were amazing. This time, quite the opposite. I opted for this hospital as where I had delivered Ariyana was under renovation and my doctor does not work at the other hospital that was an option. So this was our choice and I had heard some fantastic reviews.

Goodness me, was I in for a rude shock! I think the nurses are overworked and underpaid. The less they do the easier it is for them. When you have the time I will give you more details, but let me just point out three things that I was most unimpressed with – 1. The uncooked food 2. The fact that they wake you up at 5am to shower and take your baby for a shower at the same time and 3. Their refusal to take care of baby at night despite the fact that I was recovering from major surgery.

(Oh and the TV was not working, neither was the wireless and one nurse jabbed in my bum so hard I am sure it was revenge for me complaining so much!)

Bottom line: nurses are key at any hospital – look after them, ensure they are well rested and they will do their best to look after the patients.

I hear baby stirring in his cot, it is time for (yet) another feed. Before I go, I must give those of you who are going to visit the new mum and baby in hospital some tips:

Advice to guests

You must be excited that there is a new baby but ensure you give mum sometime to rest before going to see her – you don’t want to see her in her hospital gown moving from one bed to another – i.e. you want to avoid her mooning you.
Check with the hospital about visiting hours – there is a reason that they are there, patients need to rest.
Take pictures of the baby, especially if you are a relative, but ask the parents before you share them.

Mums – here are a few tips for you

Pack a make-up bag. This tip was given to me by a friend of mine. It helps for you to look a tad glam especially after everything you have been through. Slick on some mascara and lipstick, you will be more welcoming toward all the guests who will come to visit.
Invest in a nursing cover – it hides baby and boobs while you feed, again, great for when you have hoards of guests coming to see you.
Invest in a belly bandit – my tummy was back after 2 weeks. May be it is genetics, may be because I exercised before and sometimes (not often) during the pregnancy. With Ariyana it took 6 weeks to go down. If not a belly bandit, if you know how to tie your belly, do it! Consult with your doctor first. I used mine the day after delivery and it even helped with pain.
Ask for help, no matter how many kids we have – we always appreciate the extra help, don’t be afraid to reach out.

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