Due to James’ breech position they had a great deal of trouble getting the epidural in. The anaesthetist persevered but in the end, I made the call to have a general anaesthetic. I was so happy to be having a baby; I didn’t care how he arrived, as long as he was safe and healthy.
Some moments later, I opened my eyes and Chris introduced me to our beautiful little boy. It was the most amazing experience ever! Chris was an absolute rock! Funnily, Chris had lots of key roles that he was responsible for throughout the course of our fertility treatment, including being the one to read the pregnancy tests! I loved that he wanted to be so involved! Given this, it was just perfect that Chris got to introduce me to James!
I thought James’ birth was perfect. It was calm, happy, exciting and we were surrounded by loving, amazing people! Chris and I thought we were the cleverest pair on the earth! James was 55cm long, 8 pound 9 and his head circumference was 39cm … phew … thank goodness for C-sections! He was the most beautiful and perfect little cherub that we had ever seen.
Due to the fact I’d had a general anaesthetic, James was fairly tired for the first 24 hours or so. Chris and I spent long hours admiring him and introducing him to his family members. We thought he was the most outstanding baby ever created! By Day 3, things began to get interesting ….
James found the whole feeding thing to be totally overwhelming. He couldn’t attach properly, his entire sucking action was problematic and he seemed to find the whole process really distressing. This meant that I was expressing whilst in hospital and then bottle feeding. In the end, he was bottle fed. I found this decision overwhelming, disappointing and seriously distressing at the time. The best advice our specialist gave us – “So can you tell me which children in your Year 1 class were breastfeed and which were bottle fed? Of course not! What is important is that James is fed, happy and that you’re happy too!” Great advice! It’s advice I now like to routinely share with other mums who really struggle with breastfeeding.
James was very unsettled. He spent long periods of time screaming like he was in pain. His entire little body would be rigid and outstretched. He even managed to burst little capillaries in his face from crying so hard for so long. I kept requesting that the nurse’s come and check him over again in case we missed something that might be causing him pain. And of course, there were many phone calls to my Mum and Dad, bless them both! I cried more than I’d ever cried before. Those that know me, know I’m not usually a weepy person but I was a mess! I remember distinctly crying and apologising profusely to Mum and Dad for being such an ungrateful daughter and for not understanding what it’s like to really worry about a child. I’m still learning that little life lesson!
We stayed in hospital a few days longer than usual due to his feeding issues and also because he was so unsettled. We then spent an additional few days with my Mum and Dad before returning back to Cunnamulla. My mum slept each night with James, giving me some much needed rest. Dad helped us to get the feeding situation sorted out and probably in all seriousness … to get me sorted out (guided by the whispered suggestions from Mum!) I appreciated this so much! Looking at this little baby of mine, I felt like I was beginning to understand that irrespective of my age, I’d always be that little baby to my parents. Bless them both!