How Do I Get Over This - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 06-26-2008, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I was expecting a natural waterbirth if not a homebirth and now I am delivering (most likely by induction) at a huge medical center w/an IUGR baby w/a possible coarctation of the aorta. I don't know how to get over it and move on to just be happy about having my baby. I have major issues w/the high probability of breastfeeding issues. I wanted to video my baby doing the breast crawl but now I am told she will be whisked to the NICU for evaluation and an echocardiogram. I know it's best for her, but so am I. I am afraid she won't be w/me for a long time and that I won't be able to see her for hours. I just hate the thought of it all being so medicalized. I want her w/me, I want to hold her, nurse her, room in w/her and take her home 2 days later.
I have so much fear that I am afraid too that I won't be able to progress my labor when/if induced. Induction isn't a definate, but likely. I am doing Hypnobabies to help me w/this. But I just feel closed off to all of it.
I am asking for your stories to help me w/this. Even if they aren't the best stories. But really how you got past not having the birth and postpartum period you wanted/expected.
Thank you!
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#2 of 20 Old 06-26-2008, 10:51 PM
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I feel for you. I have a story for you, I'll post when I have two free hands!
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#3 of 20 Old 06-26-2008, 11:16 PM
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Hugs to you mama. I had a baby whisked off to the NICU as well, but it was unexpected. I can't imagine how hard it must be knowing in advance. Keep doing the hypnobabies - I used the program and it is such a wonderful way to birth and relax. In response to "getting over it" - the only thing is time. I think it is important to allow yourself to grieve. You know you are about to be faced with a challenging time, so allow yourself to go through the process to get to the other side. It is 6 months later for me and while most of the time I am just so enamored with my baby, not a day goes by still that I don't feel some sadness at what we had to go through in the beginning - not just not having the labor I had planned for and wanted, but for not being able to hold her right away, or for having to go home without her.

In regards to the breastfeeding, "they" do say that it is harder when you can't be with your baby right away, but we are proof that is not always the case. They gave her formula in the beginning before my milk came in. I pumped and pumped and pumped and by the end of the first week, I had plenty of supply. And my dear dd turns out to be a breast baby. She'll take a bottle, but she definitely prefers to nurse even though she didn't get that exclusively the first couple of weeks. So don't lose all hope that it will harm your nursing relationship. I think for us it actually helped because all the pumping really got my supply up there.
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#4 of 20 Old 06-26-2008, 11:20 PM
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I mourned the loss of my perfect birth too. As much as we read and learn about the best case scenario, we all skip the part of the book/website in dealing w/ the not-so-perfect delivery. It's so painful, I still get all emotional and teary-eyed thinking back to my failed induction= CS.

First of all, you have to just focus on DC's health. It's of first and foremost importance. Then worry about the rest; breastfeeding is still do-able. Depending on the her gestational age, she may or may not be able to nurse, but for sure you can express and get it to her somehow. These days most NICU's are VERY pro-breastmilk, regardless of the many horror stories you've heard (especially on MDC). I've know several moms who delivered at different hospitals here in Houston (most medical city) who were pushed by the NICU to express BM and do Kanga care.

My own DD had a heart condition in utero which forced her to be away from me for 4 hours after birth (CS delivery) for echo and other tests and when they brought her to me she latched on right away, even though they had given her sugar water. Was it the perfect delivery? No. Was I upset that we were separated for so long? Yes. Did we face obstacles in nursing from the CS pain? Yes. Is DD a healthy, strong child now? Yes, and that's all that matters.

You will find your strength to make it through and know that whatever happens w/ the birth and nursing afterwards, you did your best.

Momma to DD (12/04) hearts.gif and DS (11/09) hbac.gif.
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#5 of 20 Old 06-26-2008, 11:33 PM
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I have been there and know how difficult this time can be.

With my first, we had a natural birth planned at a birth center with a midwife. At 30 weeks I started contracting and my midwife turned me over to her back drs who were perinatologists. They immediately put me in the hospital that was an hour and a half away from all my family and friends. I was put on drugs around the clock to stop the ptl and stuck in a hospital bed 24/7. It was my worst nightmare. I had been in the hospital for a month when at 34 weeks my blood pressure went through the roof and I had to be induced. Long story short, I didn't dialate and had a C/S on the drs lunch break. When my son came out he wasn't breathing, he had to be recesitated and was whisked away to the NICU before we even had a chance to see him or touch him. It was the complete opposite of the experience I was preparing for and hoped for! My son had a lot of breathing/lung issues, so I wasn't able to nurse until he was one and half weeks old. I pumped for him and he only rec'd my breastmilk through a tiny bottle. The first time I was able to nurse him was wonderful He latched on without a problem. He nursed until he was 16 mo old.

While he was in the NICU I rarely left his side. I would leave to pump and then come right back. I held him all the time while he was in there and we were able to bond perfectly. I had a hard recovery time from the C/S and all the emotional junk that went with the whole experience, but with time I was able to work through it.

I didn't realize all of the healing that was needed. That is one thing I wish I had known ahead of time so I could begin working through it earlier. My dh really helped me talk through a lot of my frustration/anger. It took time to work through my thoughts and feelings. Everyone is different in how they deal with difficult situations. I cried a lot and would get angry thinking about the situation.

My son is now almost 3.5 yo and is thriving. I can say that although it still makes me sad to think about his entrance into this world, I am not angry like I used to be. There is hope in getting through this. I hope everything works out for the best for you!

Wife to my wonderful man, mommy to DS 02/2005, DD 12/2006, DS 07/2008, Matthew 10/4/2009, 2 and Due 11/2010!!
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#6 of 20 Old 06-27-2008, 12:27 AM
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I noticed after I posted the first time that this was the NICU forum (I saw your post from the main page), and my son didn't actually go to the NICU. I can relate on many levels though, so I still wanted to share my story with you.

I planned a birth center birth, when at 27 weeks we discovered my son had a cleft lip and palate. Shortly after that, my bp started to go up and I was transferred to an OB. At 37 weeks, I was induced, which failed and ended up in a c-section. Afterwards, my bp skyrocketed and I was on mag-sulfate and unable to see my baby for about 8 hours. It sucked.

I mourned a vaginal birth, I mourned those first minutes (heck, the first hours!) with my baby, I mourned breastfeeding (he never nursed directly because of the cleft), I mourned that immediate connection/bond with my baby that I expected would happen. It was the hardest thing I ever went through, yet incredibly transformative. His surgeries at 4 months and 7 months were very difficult as well - emotionally and physically exhausting. It hurt, but I'm so much happier with the woman who came out on the other end of it.

If I could go back again, I would try to treasure what I did have, rather than what I had lost. I would keep most of the visitors AWAY and only allow those who were a support to ME around - so that I could express freely the grief and feelings I needed to share. I would have started counseling earlier than I did so that I could have a place to share and get an honest and compassionate response.

For me, it was a really hard, dark time. Now, recently having DD, and having things go so much smoother makes me sad for what I missed with DS. However, I know we did the best we could with what we had and so will you. There were so many times I said, "I can't do this." And then I would look back and be amazed that I did do it! I was there for my baby and I did what needed to be done. DS and I have a special aspect of our relationship, at least on my end, in that we've gone through rough times together. Times where no one else was around, not even DH. Its special.

I'll be thinking about you and hoping for the best for you and your baby. My heart aches for you, I can really relate to how you are feeling.
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#7 of 20 Old 06-29-2008, 01:08 PM
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I was planning a natural birth at a birth center when my son had to be delivered due to pre-eclampsia at 29 weeks. It was traumatic, and I still mourn the loss of a full pregnancy -- for him, since he spent the third trimester hooked up to machines in an incubator instead of being safe and cozy inside me, and for me because I had struggled for so long to get pregnant, only to have it cut short. I still can't think about birth without getting a little emotional. Because my son was so premature and so tiny for his gestational age, the surgeon had to do a vertical incision in my uterus, assuring that I will never have a normal birth. :-(

I still want to slap people who say, "Well your son is doing well and that's what's important", because they're missing the point. Birth is an event in itself, not a means to an end. Something I wanted very dearly was ripped away from me, and I am still mourning it almost six months later.

I wish you well. Know that you aren't alone! *hugs*

Re: breastfeeding. Talk to an LC in the hospital where your baby will be born as soon as possible and learn as much as you can about how to start pumping with a baby in the NICU and how soon you can start kangaroo care and nuzzling at the breast. My son was in the NICU for two months, and I EP'd for a long time but was finally able to get him to the breast. We now are exclusively nursing. It IS possible!

PS: My birth story is posted here, if you're interested:

I wrote about the start of our BFing journey here:
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#8 of 20 Old 06-29-2008, 02:19 PM
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HUGS! I'm sorry this was soooo not what you expected. I saw the video and was amazed at how strong and healthy he looked at birth. You didn't fail your baby--you made a beautiful baby; instead, your body failed YOU---and none of us can predict when that might happen in life (but it always seems to be during an event that matters so much in our heart). Let yourself grieve---and know that you are NOT alone in your feelings.
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#9 of 20 Old 06-29-2008, 03:10 PM
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NOTHING about DS's birth or the end of my pregnancy went as planned or how I wanted.
While a birth center or homebirth were never options for me (I'm a kidney transplant recipient with a bunch of complications, so hospital birth was it for me) I was really proud of myself for not setting my expectations too high.
I wanted 2 things: I didn't want a c-section (if needed) under general anesthesia and I wanted to bring my baby home with me.
Well, I got the c-section with only a spinal, but my baby still isn't home, since he was born at 28 weeks due to pre-e so severe it caused me to have a minor stroke 4 days before his birth.
I was put on mag-sulfate to get my BP down, and because of my kidney situation, it didn't filter from my body correctly, and I lost the first three days of my son's life. I have no recollection of anything. Every time I fell asleep, for 10 minutes or 10 hours, when I awoke I thought it was a new day... I thought I'd been in the hospital for a month. I thought my pregnancy had been fake, I didn't believe tha the photo on my bedside table was my child.
He was born on Thursday, and I don't remember seeing him until Sunday evening.
DH and I had wanted 2 kids, and doctors have since told me that this birth was a best-case scenario, and another pregnancy could kill me or at the very least be just as early as this one.

It's normal to mourn. I missed my entire third trimester! I never felt him have hiccups, I never got a chance to take really great photos, I never got to do a lot of things I had planned, and now I probably never will. I loved being pregnant, and that's a feeling I'll never have again. It sucks, but it's life and it's the card I've been dealt. I can sit and home and cry and hate my life, or I can use what I've been through to make me and my family stronger and better. I believe you have to choose which way to go, and focus on the good. I have a gorgeous little boy who I love more than I could have imagined possible, and an amazing husband who I love now more than ever. Life isn't so bad, even when things aren't perfect.

Big (((HUGS))) Mama!
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#10 of 20 Old 06-29-2008, 10:27 PM
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keep in mind that even if you have breastfeeding troubles, you can get your milk into your babe. my son is a 33 weeker who only stayed in the nicu 15 days, but never could breastfeed, despite several lc's and six months of daily effort. i have been eping for 11.5 months; turns out he had major lip and tongue ties that were missed until he was 10 months. he also has an immune deficiency unrelated to his prematurity, as well as a few severe food allergies. all our specialists agree he would have been much, much sicker without the benefit of my ebm.

i knew from the moment i conceived that my baby likely be early due to my own medical hx (cervical cancer and severe endometriosis). i was in prodromal labor starting around 27 or 28 weeks, so making it to 33 weeks was better than anyone expected. so i knew to expect the nicu. still, it was hard, and it takes a while to get over it. i'm still not completely beyond it. so definitely give yourself permission to grieve the experience you wanted, but don't let that keep you from enjoying every moment you can with your baby.
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#11 of 20 Old 07-04-2008, 02:56 AM
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I know how you feel. I found out at 34 weeks that my daughter has brain malformation and was told that she would be a NICU baby. I wasn't expecting them to actually whisk her away as fast as they did and all for nothing really (she was just there for observation). I would continue doing the hypnobirthing and read up as much as you an on your babies condition. I would also ask your doctor if it is possible for them to observe her on your chest so that you have that bonding and they are still able to see how she is doing. It might be possible depending on the condition. Also see if she is doing well (good apgar scores) if you could have the first breastfeeding session before they take her to the nicu.

As far as breastfeeding a nicu baby. Pump as soon as you can even in the first hour after birth. Your body produces a bolus of colostrum right after birth that disappears after the first couple of hours after delivery. If you pump right away you will get that and be able to feed it to your baby. Also be adament (sp?) about no bottles/pacis/sugarwater. If you can't breastfeed they can cup feed, tube feed, use a SNS or finger feed. A bottle is more dentrimental to breastfeeding than all the others.
Stand up for you and your baby...dont' let the doctors bully you..of course there are instances when doctor does know best but if she's fine after delivery....ask about breastfeeding and then observation.

Megan: Wife to DH (2-19-09) Mother to DD (3-26-07) and DS (8-14-09) Exclusively breastfeeding, babywearing and cosleeping.
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#12 of 20 Old 07-05-2008, 01:33 AM
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I'm sorry you are dealing with this mama. My second son was born with a heart defect called TAPVR and we didn't know about it until he was 2 weeks old. He had open heart surgery a few hours after we found out. It was scary and he had a 10 day cardiovascular ICU stay after surgery but he is doing so well today.

It is really hard to let go of your dreams for birth/babymoon/postpartum. I can completely relate. But you can still have a nice birth, you just have to change your expectations around a little to accomodate your situation. There are some great resources right here in this forum that can help with BF issues and many other issues you may face. Allow yourself to mourn the loss of the birth you had dreamed of, then set it free and re-work your birth plan. Maybe even consider having a doula present to help you through. Journal as much as possible to deal with the feelings and post here if you need to share those feelings. What you are feeling is normal.

Have you had a fetal echo? Is that something they will be doing? I was told (for future pregnancies) I'd need a fetal echo to rule out heart defects.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#13 of 20 Old 07-10-2008, 10:54 PM
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Hello. As for me, I was planning on having a normal birth (but not drug free mind you, lol). I was hoping for one anyway, but it didn't turn out that way. At 32 weeks my OB-GYN noticed that my BP was high and there was a lot of protein in my urine. So she told me that I might have preeclampsia and to go to UCSD Hospital (I live in San Diego). Anyhow it turns out that I had a severe case of preeclampsia so they had to induce me right then and there. This was my first child, so I was a bit nervous as I had never given birth before. I was in labor for 17 hours and had only dilated to 4cm, so I told them to do a C-Section. I did have an epidural already in place after the contractions grew very strong, so I knew I was numb already (although they made me even number before the surgery). The Doctor said that she agreed that a C-Section was the best option at that point. My labor had been going on for so long and I was not making any real progress. People had said to me, "You don't want a c-section that's a big surgery." Yes, but I did not want to be in labor forever either. So the c-section was done, and my ds was delivered at 7:55pm on Friday November 16, 2007. And honestly the recovery from the c-section was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Sure I was pretty sore, but they gave me great painkillers. So all-in-all it was not so bad, even though I would have preferred a full term birth without a c-section.

Mom to Ryan, born 11-16-07 :
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#14 of 20 Old 07-13-2008, 04:09 AM
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Hi Jenn,
I just had to post a quik response to you because I went through/am going through the same thing. We had planned for a homebirth, we had just done our home visit with our midwife and I was getting the final touches done on the nursery. Our backup OB had noticed our baby was kind of small so he was watching me closely for IUGR. I was not convinced anything was wrong, so going to the weekly Non-Stress Tests was just a pain in my opinion. Every time my midwife listened to the baby's heartbeat it was good, so I wasnt worried.

Three days after our baby shower I went in to see the OB again for another NST, this time he wanted to do a Doppler Scan to see how the blood flow was between me and the baby. There was NO diastolic flow! I was still not convinced that it was emergency, so we asked for a second opinion. The nearest perinatologist was closed for the day but could see me first thing in the morning they said. DH and I told him we wanted to talk to our Midwife and see if we could wait till the next day. The OB said he wanted to see one more thing, he put me on the NST machine and the baby's heartbeat was going from 130 down to 70 in big waves. He said "That's it, we're off to the hospital, we've got to get this baby out!". I was in shock! We called our Midwife again and she said, "Dr xxxx is not an overreacter, I have worked with him many times before and he even delivered MY baby, if he says it's an emergency, you have to go!"

Luckily DH was there with me so we drove over to the hospital (about 5 minutes away) I barely had a chance to call 2 people and tell them we were having the baby NOW. I was at 36 weeks.
Our midwife was at the hospital waiting when I pulled up, she opened my door and said "let you husband park your cars you have to come with me". (DH was behind me in his car cuz we had met up at the OB's office) So poor DH was left in the parking structure parking two cars while I was whisked away into the Operating Room. They literally walked me into the OR, had me take off my clothes and put me in a gown while they were asking me all sorts of questions, "what's your blood type? when did you eat last? do you have any allergies? do you have any other children? etc" I was sitting on the operating table with needle in my back for the spinal tap with not one person in the room that I knew. My OB was still scrubbing in, my midwife was washing up and waiting for DH to get there so she could give him a gown. I was sitting on the table, sobbing and pleading for them not to start till my husband got there and wondering how, in a space of 15 minutes, I went from planning for homebirth to waiting for the Dr to come take the baby out of me.
I didnt know if the baby would survive, if I would survive or what was going to happen.

DD was born seizing, she was not breathing and she was blue. Her apgar scores were 2, 4 and 6. I never heard her cry before they took her to the NICU. I just remember my husband telling me it was a girl and our midwife kept telling both of us to send her white light and love and let her know we were with her and thats he was going to make it. It was the most terrifying experience of our lives. I still cant think about it without crying.

Our beautiful baby girl spent 1 month in the NICU and they told us she had had a prenatal stroke at some point before delivery. They couldnt tell us what to expect or what kind of delays she'd have, if any. They also ran me through a battery of test to find out what went wrong. My placenta was about 1/2 the size it should have been and it was 80% clotted. My poor baby girl was trying to get enough nutrients to grow through an undersized placenta that was almost completely clotted but she still pulled through! She is such a fighter and I thank God every day that she is here.

Yes, I mourned our beautiful natural homebirth, yes it took alot of work to get her to latch on and to breastfeed (which she does beautifully now after 2 months of pumping and feeding her through a tube and then with a bottle after alot of Occupational Therapy), but when I think of the alternative... when I think that if they hadnt taken her she may not have made it. She was barely hanging on when they saw her on the NST. And only 3 days before our midwife examined me and listened to her heartbeat and it was good. That goes to show you how quickly things can turn around.
The hematologist that looked at all my bloodwork and the placenta pathology said that with results like that normally resulted in a miscarriage during the second trimester!
And when I heard that I gave up all of my anger and depression about not having the birth I envisioned and I looked at my DD and cried tears of joy.

I'm telling you all this not because I'm trying to scare you, but just to tell you that I was totally Anti-Intervention and it almost cost me my baby's life. And I realized that being tied to my vision of what I wanted for our birth was not as important as having my baby with me now.

She is doing great now BTW: She is a little behind on her milestones but she is progressing nicely and the Drs are now not so sure whether she had a stroke at all.

Have faith. Pray to whoever it is you pray to. Envision yourself holding your baby in your arms, Talk to your baby, now and after the birth. Give your baby thanks for coming to you. However he/she gets there is the way it is supposed to be. The birth is just the beginning, you've got a whole lifetime with your baby to enjoy!
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#15 of 20 Old 07-17-2008, 12:53 PM
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I think you just helped me a lot by posting this.:

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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#16 of 20 Old 08-03-2008, 01:46 PM
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Hi, That sounds really tough. My son was taken off to the Special Care Unit (not Nicu but a step up from the regular nursery) after an unexpected, emergency c-section. He was only there a few hours for observation but I still regret that his first hours were spent alone in a warmer (4 days of labor, DH and I were pretty much physically unable to be with him).

My advice, based on that, is to have someone, your mother, a sister, a best friend (who will not be exhausted from supporting you during labor) to sit with the baby if you can't be there. It broke my heart to think of DS all alone but my original birth plan was for an unmedicated birth followed by uninterrupted hours of bonding afterwards, or worst case scenario he would be with DH while I recovered, it never occured to me that there might be a problem with DS himself. Obviously that was not the case and when DS came out at 2am, all our family was 2 hours away. I really wish there had been someone to sit with him, it might have enabled me to relax enough to get more than the 3 hours of sleep I managed that night.

Oh and after those several hours, DS came to me, latched on like a pro and has been happily breastfeeding ever since.

Good luck!

Alison: BFing, BWing, ERFing mama to KidA (12/25/07) and KidO (6/26/10) nocirc.giffamilybed2.gif

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#17 of 20 Old 08-10-2008, 03:43 AM
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wow, sassypants, thank you for sharing your story

i had a normal pregnancy - my 32wk u/s the technician said - your cervix is iron clad shut

i was approved for a homebirth by the head of obstetrics at the hospital where my midwife has privileges

at 34 wks pprom and labor came fast - within 6hrs i was at 9cm. i meditated and had a pain free labor. my son was stuck in a footling breech position. at 35wks i had an acupuncture treatment scheduled to help turn him. oh well.

i had an emergency c and joked through it trying to deflect from the trauma and sadness that would set in

searched for reasons why - had everything tested, including myself. even though i mourn the natural birth i had dreamed of, i am now really proud of how i dealt with it all.

i pumped exclusively for 2.5mths before my son learned how to latch. i must have cried at least once a day at that pump. he received formula for the first 48hrs in the nicu...and has never had a drop of formula since. i set short term goals for breastfeeding and as our nursing relationship nursed me, the goals became bigger. 16mths into our breastfeeding relationship, those early days of pumping 10-14 times a day remind me of how strong a woman i've become and how even though my body failed me in his birth, it has been a success and a provider in his young life. i found it's been really important to forgive myself for things i couldn't control.

you aren't alone. i learned that from visiting this board. it doesn't make it all better but i am so thankful for it, as it does help. i hope in time you will find healing.

mama to callum (april 8,07) and everett (sept 24,09) - blessed to be married to my life's love since '98. novaxnocirc.gif

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#18 of 20 Old 08-10-2008, 10:25 PM
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I will probably always grieve the fact that I didn't have her with me immediately after birth, just like I will always miss my grandma! Grief is like that, it comes in waves and subsides and comes back. Like you, and all of us, I imagine, I had an idea of what that first hour would be like. I had been looking forward to holding her in my arms naked and messy, and the one thing I didn't want was for us to be separated. I'd looked forward to the breast crawl also. One day, after we'd come home (our story- planned home birth turned to emergency transport to the hospital turned to c-section) I realized that even though I couldn't have that first few hours like I wanted, I could do everything else I'd dreamed of doing with her. Sometimes I hold her naked in my arms and think about her birth and cry for both of us, sometimes I'm happy and think "well I'm holding you now" and life goes on. It helps to talk to someone who understands. A lot of people don't understand. Sometimes I feel like all the hours I've spent with her so far have made up for the loss of the first hours, but then again, I'm crying as I type this! It'll be OK, though. (for you, I mean!) (for us, too!)

ETA- tarajean56- I love this: "It hurt, but I'm so much happier with the woman who came out on the other end of it." So true!!

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#19 of 20 Old 08-15-2008, 03:56 AM
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I had originally planned a HBAC, then a VBAC then due to complications that were occurring I ended up having a planned c-section.

My son was taken to a children's hospital the next day.

I was a wreck, I was recovering from surgery (a rather bad one) and my new baby was across town.

I was slightly hysterical before the surgery, I made a lot of phone calls and sent a lot of pms to members here and talked to another Dr in my area.

Now that ds is here in my arms it matters less.

Going through each step was painful and even scary sometimes.

When ds was in the hospital my life was measured by three hours. Three hours between each time I would pump and then three hours between nursing sessions.

As long as I compartmentalized my time, it seemed less overwhelming. I couldn't start my day thinking about how I wouldn't be bringing ds home, or how much easier it would be if we could co-sleep..that would be too much

I don't know if what I am saying makes sense or not.

Just take one step at a time, you can worry about getting over it later. Just get through it first.

Not all those who wander are lost 
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#20 of 20 Old 08-15-2008, 07:08 AM
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One thing which I think would really have helped me in those first few hours would have been visiting the NICU before hand. It was so hard to have DD away from me and in a place I couldn't picture at all. Once I had been and seen her, met the staff etc I found it a bit easier.
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