So I said I wanted to provide the “real talk” and holding a baby in your arms for the very first time, doesn’t get any more real. Actually, I spent the first 6 weeks asking myself if it was real. Did I really have a baby – was it a dream or some hallucination state? (I think maybe I was so tired I was hallucinating at times) It certainly looked real, it felt real, the beautiful little creature wasn’t going anywhere. “Oh my gosh babe, we are actually parents,” I think I said this multiple times a day for the first wee while. Who am I kidding – I still do!
After a particularly long and arduous labour (I’m allowed to say this – over 24 hours qualifies you to make this statement and not be lumped with the majority. Of course, all labours are painful, but this length of time gives you a special crown you can wear and entitles you to tell anyone who will listen) my beautiful boy was lifted up over the curtain, and placed upon my chest. The rush of hormones, endorphins, the exhaustion, and the mighty anaesthetic drugs just go whoooooosh. Literally. I heard it whoosh in my ears. Like a tidal wave. Some kind of crazy disbelief floods your whole being, and the cliche moment you’ve been wondering about your entire pregnancy actually happens. You made it. You are both here, one of you is intact… and suddenly there is a life, a soul, and another human being in your world. That will very soon become your world and your life and your soul.
I really didn’t expect what was to happen next. I was all stitched up, and bubs had been checked out, weighed, and cleaned off. Daddy had gotten the all-important skin to skin time while I was being put back together. The bed was turned around and bubs was placed in my arms. We were to be wheeled back to a room, where my Mum and my sister were waiting. Right – said the nurse, let’s latch him on now.
I’m sorry what?
You want to do what?
Ummm sorry lady – you can’t do that, there’s nothing in there yet!!
I don’t know why I genuinely did not expect this to happen so soon. I mean, I’d only had two cuddles. He was only literally minutes old at this point, and suddenly the nurse had my gown open and there was a cute squishy baby face smooshed on my boob. I think it is quite possibly the strangest feeling in the world when your baby sucks on your breast for the first time. I don’t know how to find the words… I mean it’s like a weird tug, slightly prickly, and oh my gosh trying to hold a little body while this is happening is like some sort of twisted yoga! I looked up at the nurse and said how does he know how to do this?! She just smiled at me and said he’s a baby – this is what they do. This will give him colostrum, and help to bring your milk in.
I’m sorry… what?
I went to an antenatal class. I paid super close attention to everything. I’m a studious person, I wanted to take notes but no one else was so I didn’t. I’m also a self-proclaimed know it all. I wanted to soak up ALL THE INFORMATION. I watched the videos, I read the leaflets, I participated in all the sharing and storytelling. I listened to my midwife, I asked my girlfriends with babies what to expect. I will give you the HOT tip:
I knew nothing.
I was not prepared.
The superfluous information I thought I needed – I didn’t.
This was the first of many “oh wow, ok” moments.
I didn’t know I would produce colostrum first, and milk later. How on earth did I miss this vital piece of information?
I was born on a dairy farm, shhhhh tell no one – I should have known this…