After I finally had enough dilation, I got to push. This is the only part of the delivery that I could not remember properly. These are just shreds of memory put together.
What I do remember is that the OBGYN kept saying that I had to give it my all. She also did something that really hurt me. I screamed (as the pain was far worse than the contractions) and I remembered that one of the nurses asked the OBGYN if that really hurt that bad. Which she confirmed. What scared me the most about this phase was that your body completely takes over control. As I am a control freak I find this very difficult. There was nothing else for me to do than go with it. Towards the end, I felt my baby move back and forth in the birth canal. Very frustrating. At this point, I saw one of the nurses prepare a syringe. It turned out to be the sedative for the episiotomy. The sedative was administered during a contraction so I did not feel it. The episiotomy happened during the next contraction which I also did not feel but I clearly remember hearing it. Cutting with scissors will never be the same…. With the next contraction, her body was born. The OBGYN took her and twisted her to help her head being born. I had to keep pushing and a few seconds later there she was. She was immediately placed on my belly where I could clearly hear her breath. This is the only part of the delivery that I clearly remember. Everything else is a daze. The nurses and gynecologist were very busy around me. Daddy had to take off his shirt and my baby was placed on this chest. I was rushed to the OR as the placenta was stuck.
I remember seeing all these strange faces. Something was placed over my mouth and nose which I did not want as I was still having contractions. I really did not cooperate but suddenly I was gone (this was my third push toward the PPD). My next memory was sitting in a bed crying as I wanted to go home. Unfortunately, we had to stay a few more days. I luckily did not have to share a room and my boyfriend could stay with me if he helps with taking care of our baby. I was still very weak because of the blood loss. Afterward, I was told I lost about 1,5 liter of blood. I did not see this but my partner did. He was very scared when they took me to the OR. Because of the blood loss, I could not stand on my own let alone walk. All the care for my baby was done by the nurses and my boyfriend. The only thing I could do was feeding the baby. She did not latch on properly so I had to use a pump to give my baby my milk. This milk was given to her by finger feeding which my partner could do. When I received a blood transfusion I quickly felt a lot better. The catheter was removed and a soon as I could go to the bathroom without help I was allowed to go home. The next morning we got to go home.
In the Netherlands, each woman who gave birth is entitled to about 40 hours of maternity care so when we were home, the maternity nurse came only half an hour later to help us. As latching on still did not go well we also arranged a pump at home and the maternity nurse arranged for a meeting with a lactation specialist. Unfortunately, this did not help much. This only useful tip we received was kangarooing (lots of skin to skin contact). This was very nice and helped us relax. She also recommended an osteopath to check for blockages caused by the birth. By now we knew she had reduced movement in her neck. She could not look to the left. This was probably caused by the fact that her head was in an uncomfortable position against my ribs. The doctor also gave a referral to a baby physiotherapist.
The first weeks after birth I cried about everything. ‘I had such a beautiful baby’, ‘my boyfriend was so sweet’ but also negative thoughts like ‘how am I suppose to do this on my own?’. Part of this is normal. This is called the baby blues and is caused by the rapid changes in the hormone system of women who recently gave birth. Usually, this stops after a few weeks. In my case, it became worse.
Continue reading about my post natal depression here.