By MICHELLE RYPER
As all first time mums to be, I had a lovely vision for my labour. I had read, read and read some more, attended my hospital classes and completed a HypnoBirthing class. I was actually looking forward to it all.
And then reality struck. Yes, I had birthed a little baby boy but when he made his entrance into this world, he forgot to breathe.
What followed was him being rushed out of the room 30 seconds after he had been born and given oxygen.
I was then given the chance to hold a pile of blankets that contained my baby before he was hurried off to the Special Care Nursery for monitoring.
There was no skin to skin contact, no letting my soft and creamy bub self-attach and nurse for the first time, no tears of happiness and scarily for me, no overwhelming feeling of love. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I had been thinking of this moment for nine months and it wasn’t happening how I thought it would.
Finally, I got to see him properly after a shower and a rest. He looked nice enough. He was healthy and content, everything a newborn should be but I kept searching my body for this newfound love and I couldn’t find it and I was devastated. I didn’t say a word. I replied to texts and Facebook messages – “Yes, it’s amazing, overwhelming but incredible, he’s perfect, blah, blah, blah”. I didn’t mean any of it or at least I didn’t think I did. I was struggling to put a finger on what I was feeling.
Life with a newborn begun. We went home, we lived in three hour blocks around the clock, week to week. I couldn’t believe that this was my life and was going to be my life forever. I truly believed it would never end and that terrified me. I voiced my concerns to my partner. He kept a close eye on me, helped cook, clean, care for our child and dried my tears.
The first six weeks came and went and I pulled myself up little by little. Eight weeks in and I looked at my little boy and felt the first twinges – love, was this it?! He smiled, he cooed, he slept on my chest and my love grew. He laughed and chattered and the feeling I had been waiting for was here.
Each day it grew, this all-encompassing feeling in my heart. And now, eight months on, I get it. I sit in the dark with him after a night feed, feeling his body heavy on mine, his soft little cheek pressed against my neck, that sweet, milky, warm breath on my face and I’m the happiest woman in the world.
So if you are feeling like I did, hang on, hang in there, it happens. I promise.
Michelle recently became a mother-before-her-time to her awesome little boy. Taking it all in her stride, she’s swapped pints for nappies and inner-city to the suburbs. In her spare time (haha) she runs her own business Red Owl Business Support.