Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Part 8: The dad question

I've been holding on to this part of the dad question series for ages. Now you know almost everything about The Assault, this part will make more sense. I know I've still to resolve what happened after I found that letter, but you'll just have to wait for part 7 because I'm jumping ahead!

If you are new to my blog the saga of my journey From Rock Bottom to Parenthood can be found here:

And then came Noo 

“He’s got red hair!” Mum shouted.

After 39 hours of labour at 9.39am Noo was finally suctioned out of me.

I was exhausted. Traumatised. I didn't feel like I'd just had a baby. I felt so removed from what was happening.

The small red ball of flesh still attached to me via the umbilical cord was placed on my chest for the briefest of moments. My sister cut the cord and he was gone.

I vaguely remember pushing out the placenta and the midwife holding it up for me to see.

“I can't hear him”, I whisper.

“Why isn't he making any noise?” I'm seriously starting to get distressed.

My newborn son had been whisked away from me and onto a neonatal unit where there seemed to be a lot of hospital staff surrounding him, prodding him.

My mum was hovering near the crowd but for some reason wasn't answering my questions.

“What’s going on?” I begged.

And then I heard a squeak. He sounded like a baby monkey.

“3.47 kilos!” Mum announced with pride but I wondered if she understood what that meant not being in pounds. My wonderful mother, who'd just spent the last 39 hours with me, was taking photos of her first born grandchild being weighed.

My sister Yolanda was by my side. My legs were spread and shaking. A doctor was stitching me up.

“Can I hold him?” and finally my Noo was wrapped in a hospital blanket and passed to me. It was the weirdest sensation in the world. Ever.

The epidural was wearing off. My legs felt like balloons, massive and out of my control. Noo’s face was fat and squished looking. He did have the brightest red hair and the most perfect rosebud lips.

I fell in love in an instant.

It wasn't long before my dad, brother and sister in law arrived. I saw my dad’s eyes well up at the sight of his grandson. The moment was pure joy. After nearly two years of horror and worry and despair, I’d finally brought some happiness to my family.

Lots of photos were taken as Noo was passed around the room. Finally everyone left, except for my parents, who held Noo as I showered and cleaned myself up.

Still with a catheter attached I tried to clean my body which didn’t feel like it was mine. I felt brutalised. Quietly in that shower room I felt a sense of disgust at what I'd just experienced. Still affected by the painkillers the doctors had given me I couldn't fully cognate my emotions.

I was given the option to either walk or be pushed in a wheelchair up to the maternity ward. Walk? Yeah, right! I gladly took the chair.

I sat down and winced. The pain was excruciating. It rocketed me back to the last time I couldn't sit down without pain. I shook the flashback off and looked down at my beautiful little boy.

My parents left after settling me into my private room and Noo and I were alone. I didn't know what to do. Hospital staff came and went. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who needed to look at Noo, to check one thing or another.

Midwives came to show me how to breastfeed. It was horrible. Noo wouldn't latch on. A midwife hand expressed some colostrum from me into a cup and we syringed it into Noo’s mouth. There was nothing nice about it. I felt like a failed farm animal.

At one stage a midwife told me about water filled frozen condoms in the freezer of the shared kitchen. I was told to put one in the maternity pad I was wearing so it could help numb the area. It felt pretty gross but did the job nonetheless.

In between going to the toilet to change pads and attempting to feed my new baby, I just looked at him with wonder. At the perfection of his face. I thought he could possibly be the best looking baby ever to have been born (doesn't every mother?).

Friends and family visited but essentially I was alone with my son. Day three was Christmas Eve and the baby blues kicked in. I couldn't stop crying. Midwives asked me if I was ok. It was the most bizarre emotion. I felt terrible but it kind of felt like a relief to cry. I felt like I was crying for everything bad that had ever happened to me but at the same time the tears were euphoric with the love I felt for my baby.

I wanted to be left alone for more than five minutes to cry and cry and cry but still people came. Midwives, doctors, social workers, psych consults.

My sister arrived. I burst into tears again. "It's just the baby blues", I assured her. She suggested staying the night seeing it was Christmas Eve and there was no father to share this moment with me.

A chant in the distant regions of my mind started to become louder and louder:

A square peg in a round hole.
A square peg in a round hole.
A square peg in a round hole.

I'd been saying it over and over during the birth but was only just able to hear it.

I cried some more as I made the realisation that my body and subconscious had connected what was supposed to be one of the most glorious experiences of my life with the worst experience of my life: the night I was raped.

It is why I felt brutalised, why I hated giving birth. I should have had a caesarean section rather than pushing through 30 hours of pre- and nine hours of active labour of a posterior positioned baby.

The juxtaposition of emotions made me feel so out of kilter. Having my son is the best thing that has ever happened to me but I seriously do not wish to go through labour like that ever again. The next baby, if there is one, will be planned. From the beginning through to the end.

Despite everything the fiercely intense love I felt (and still do feel) for this newborn being was not lessened by the trauma of his birth.

I love you my beautiful boy Noo.


Don't miss a single babble! Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


erin heels said...

I am not surprised that your labor brought back all of those horrible memories, child birth is horrible without having been brutalised in the past, I can only imagine what that was like for you.

You are such an incredibly brave woman for telling these stories, I cannot wait for you to go back to part 7 now, because I want to know what was in that letter. While my past with my daughter's father wasn't anywhere near as fraught with danger as yours was, I keep finding links between us, and I totally understand your decision that you could do a better job on your own.

Thank you for sharing this story with us, I can understand how difficult it has been for you, but your honesty is very much appreciated.

mumbulous said...

You're right. Ned was one gorgeous bundle. While our circumstances are very different I can totally relate to the way you describe the emotions surrounding birth. You realize that the entire blog community is hanging to find out what was in the letter you mistress of suspense. ;-)

Rachel @ TheKidsAreAllRight said...

It's wonderful how a parent's innate love for their child can overcome so much. It would have been awful for you making that connection mentally during childbirth, but your love for him so shines through in this and all your posts about Ned. xx

EssentiallyJess said...

Wow that is full on! I had a traumatic birth experience with the last one, but not like that. I don't even know how you make it forward from that. xx

babblingbandit.me said...

Thank you Erin. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Yes, I feel bad about the suspense now! I hope it is not a disappointment. I'm actually umming and ahhing about whether it is fair to reveal it. That's why I'm holding out. I guess I've gone this far...

babblingbandit.me said...

It is wonderful! Thanks Rachel. I hope when Ned is older and if he choses to read my blog, he sees that. V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Totally right! A whole heap of WTF! V.

babblingbandit.me said...

Time is the only way forward. And blogging about it really helps. Thanks, V.

Lea, rhymes with h&b said...

I love reading birth stories - thanks for sharing yours.
( i've shamefully only written one of mine .. poor 2nd child .. http://house-n-baby.blogspot.com.au/2008/02/first-time.html )

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving me a comment. I love comments!