During my first pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by advice from family, friends, medical bodies, magazines and forums. Overwhelmed, I ended my subscription to the last two halfway along. But it was hard to turn a deaf ear to family and friends who meant well. The big surprise was the conflicting advice given to me from certain medical bodies (hospital brochures, my doctor, and some nurses) about everything from giving birth to breast feeding to what is and is not a good reason to put a newborn in the hospital nursery. Sure they all meant well, but surely I have some say in what and how I wanted to handle my pregnancy and baby?
Cherry picked info in hand, I decided to have an elective caesarean, and bottle feed. The reasons for these are personal, which all mums to be are entitled to have. One of them being that I was simply not maternal and cannot for the life of me imagine pushing a baby out! I couldn’t even watch the video of the woman giving birth naturally in our ante-natal class. Eek!
I ran my elective caesar plan with my OB who immediately tried to talk me out of it, much to my dismay. “Do you realise that a C-Section is major surgery? Major.” Okay.. I suppose OB knows best. Let’s make a birth plan that consisted of little plan and an early epidural. I thought I saw a glimpse of rolling of my OB’s eyes.
Another surprise was when I had a guided tour of the hospital and it was full of posters of pacifiers with a big red cross on them. I could almost hear the speakers chanting “Say no to dummies. Say no to dummies”. The reasons were obvious I guess, but this would become one of those decisions you would make when the time comes.
I was then given a “Why Breast is Best” brochure, along with one on mastitis and other nasty looking photos. Yipes..
At the hospital, 10 days late and waiting to be induced, my body seem to just know what my mind and my heart wanted all along. It seem like they were conspiring for me to go through this as easy as possible, as it had meant to be. I went through 0 hours of labour, which I was 0 hours of pain.. and ended up having an emergency caesar anyway!
Contrary to what I had read and heard from other women who have had a C-Sect, I recovered well, walking around the next day. Of course this is different for all women, but as I’m sure as long as you’re in a good hospital, you’ll be in good hands.
The nurses and midwives were lovely at the hospital. They did encourage breast feeding and we did try to feed colostrum to our baby. However after trying for 15-20 minutes with lots of wailing and screaming, I put my foot down and demanded we give her formula. Well… this certainly worked as she was sound asleep within 2 minutes! She was on formula until the end of stage 2 – she has never had health issues, skin issues, allergens, etc. She is the healthiest baby I know and is now growing at such a rapid pace!
This time round, I found myself seeing a more understanding and supportive OB. We are booked for a C-Sect next March and am looking forward to a newborn BOY!
My message to all mums-to-be : stick to what you are comfortable with. As I experienced, the professionals are not always right, even though they mean well. At the end of the day it’s your pregnancy, your baby and you should make your experience the way YOU want it. Being in 10 hours of labour will not make you a better or worse parent. Your baby will love you no matter what!