When I first came up with the idea of writing a blog and the reasons for it I never realised the journey it would take me on.
I have found a love for writing that I would never have thought possible as I’ve never been an enthusiastic reader or writer.
It has, already taken me on an unexpected emotional journey.
Navigating the physical and emotional ups, downs, rounds and rounds of the first few days following a ‘traumatic birth.’
I always thought getting my feelings ‘down on paper’ in a very ordered way would be both therapeutic and rewarding. It is also a lot easier than I ever thought it would be as I just write down ‘the truth’.
So here I was staring into an incubator at this tiny little person covered in tubes, wires and CPAP machine, my tiny little person, my son. It was time to step up and be Mum to this gorgeous little boy.
I had done it before with my daughter and had luckily found the transition into motherhood seamless and natural. One of the most amazing experiences in my entire life. This time however was very different. I had literally no idea how to be Mum to Mr A. No clue whatsoever. Here I was learning how to be Mum.
I needed to come with some sort of plan in my head, a recipe of sorts, to deal with this alien situation I now found myself in. It needed to be very structured and easy to stick to, because that’s how I roll!!
Now anyone who knows me will know my cooking skills and ability to follow a recipe are poor to say the least. But this time I was writing my own recipe and the outcome was far more important than the occasional soggy bottom or sunken sponge!! I could not and would not fail at this.
So I did something that, as a mother I find very hard to do. I had to be selfish. Or to use a better word, ‘pragmatic’. So while Mr A slept I took myself into the beautiful peaceful NICU garden with a cuppa and had a quiet word with myself.
Everything else had to wait, what mattered was right in front of me, what mattered most was getting Mr A fit and healthy and back home with us where he belonged. This meant even Missy B had to, in part, be off of my radar for a bit. I still to this day feel very guilty about this. I was very lucky to have a great support network of family around which meant this wasn’t an issue for her. Missy B loved spending time with the family and barely even noticed my absence. Not sure whether to be offended or not at that?!?!
Time to prioritise…. What did Mr A need the most?? I decided to answer this question myself and to follow my motherly instincts. But I still didn’t feel like ‘Mum’ so would my instincts be right?? Only one way to find out….
So my plan/recipe was, to let Mr A get as much rest as possible and not to spend every waking hour staring at him or poking and stroking him through the portholes in the incubator. If he was still in my tummy he’d be snuggled up resting and growing so that’s what I’d leave him to do now.
I was adamant that when he was well enough to take it he would have my breastmilk. So I needed to get working on building up a supply or at least starting it off. My body was still on catch up with the whole situation so this was going to be a challenge. One that I was ready to except.
So that was the two things in my recipe.
1. Let Mr A rest.
2. Get my milk supply going.
A simple recipe with only two ingredients. Even I could pull this one off. It seemed that Mr A was on board with the idea as well. Before I left him to go back up to the ward he started to cry. I looked around for a nurse to tell me what to do. There was no one around. Time to step up and be Mum. So I opened his porthole and placed my hand on his back. Then I talked to him and he stopped crying straight away.
He knew I was Mum, now it was just me that had to believe it too.