Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Reflections on the First Week

The Birth

I feel really lucky to have been able to have personal care from two midwives during pregnancy and birth. Joy was saying that every birth she attends leaves an impression and on her journey home she thought about how as my baby was crowning I took her head in my hands to guide her out slowly. Joy said it was really powerful and it's how a baby should be born. I remember that feeling and when I put my hand on Mio's head now and feel her soft hair I'm brought back to that moment of slowly guiding her into the world.

Mary said she was amazed at how as soon as Mio was born I was on my feet and I walked without effort to the shower and got in and out of the shower without assistance. As soon as Mio was born I had all the energy in the world, I felt really good and I wasn't tired anymore.

My birth experience with India was so different. I remember getting out of bed to go to the toilet and being hit with the wave of a contraction and from then on it was a hugely intense experience and I needed Dave and mum to hold me both in and out of the pool. This time I didn't really know when labour started, I didn't know if it was labour or not. It's hard not to be influenced to some extent by a previous birth experience so I wasn't expecting to have any signs of early labour and in those early moment I didn't feel like I was in labour at all. While my active labour was similar in length to what I experienced with India my lack of sleep made this birth experience challenging. As challenging as it was though I managed the whole labour with little support from our midwives or Dave, I was way more independent the second time round and I had way more strength- even if it didn't feel like it at the time. I think that part of me also forgot a little about how much an intense experience giving birth is- it really is hard work. I'm so proud of both my birth experiences and I'm so happy that I was able to bring my daughters into the world in our own home.

Baby Blues

It's pretty normal to hit a low around day 3 or 4 after the birth, there is a lot of hormonal change going on as your body adjusts to a new role. I remember with India that I had a very brief but overwhelming sense of helplessness as it hit me that the little person I just gave birth too was completely dependent on me. During that moment Dave was out and even though I had my mum there to take care of me all I wanted was to be wrapped in Dave's arms. Those feelings didn't last very long, probably only a couple of hours but it left a lasting impression on me. I was very conscious that this might happen again so this time I told Dave that I would probably really need him at this time and that I wanted him around at all costs. Because my babies were born at different times of day I experienced a low at night this time rather than during the day. This time though it was a beautiful experience, I was lying in bed just relaxing with my baby and looking at her and touching her hair and all of a sudden I just wanted to cry, she was just so beautiful and so perfect and giving birth to her was so amazing that I just needed to cry. I got up to find Dave because I just wanted to be wrapped in his arms so we could share this experience together. He held me in bed and I cried and felt so much love for him and our two beautiful daughters. We talked and hugged and then I drifted off into a beautiful sleep while feeding our baby.


Straight away Mio was great at feeding, she just knew exactly what to do. She had a really big feed when she was born so she ended going 12 hours through that first night without feeding. Her first poo was just a couple of hours after she was born and we changed her a few times during the night but she was happy to sleep through the night without another feed. She feed a lot through the first day and the meconium continued to clear from her system. My milk came in, in the evening of the second day after she was born. My breasts were heavy and full but I didn't seem to have an oversupply and I didn't leak milk everywhere every time she fed. I haven't really needed to use my breast pads. My nipples were a little sensitive but I think that breastfeeding India had conditioned them quite well and I didn't get any cracking. when Mio was 3 days old she had trouble very briefly with the switch from colostrum to milk so she had her first big cry when she was having trouble burping but she quickly got used to the change.


Mio is an amazingly calm little baby. I believe all the yoga and taking good care of myself helped to bring such a calm and centred little girl into the world. She doesn't cry when I change her nappy and she doesn't cry when she needs to wee or poo. She's so calm when she's awake and she sleeps so well at night. She doesn't cry when she is hungry, she just looks for the breast with her mouth and moves her head around. I'm actually surprised that I wake up at night when she is hungry because she only makes little sucking and grunting sounds.


I'm recovering really well, I feel great. Because we only have 3 seats in our car and I haven't really felt up to going out without Dave and India my outings have been on foot, and while I feel great when I am out I get home and feel quite tired which I'm sure is to be expected after you have walked a couple of kilometres. I managed to go to the city on my own with the girls while Dave was busy, it felt good to get out but I was tired when I got home.
My bleeding is minimal and my uterus is well on its way to contracting down to its original size. My handmade cloth pads work well and are super comfy (way better than wearing plastic). My stomach muscles feel strong and my pelvic floor muscles are not at all sore even after being on my feet for a while. 

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