Saturday, February 09, 2008

And Baby Makes Three

I didn't expect it to be this tiring.

I wish I could say that the minute they laid my son on my chest, in full bloody glory, I was totally in love. Instead at that moment, all that I could think of was 'why wasn't he crying?'I remember Blake's babies who made 'sweet moans, sweeter smiles'.

A fear gripped me that something was not quite right. My baby, born through assisted delivery, was vaccummed out on Monday, 21.1.08. He spent the first 3 hours of his life in neo-natal intensive care (NICU) due to lack of oxygen. Once out of NICU, he wailed his chest out into his mummy's heart.

A strange hollowness gripped me the minute he was born. I feel emptied out, as if some part of me had been ripped away. Pregnancy, though accompanied with a steady stream of whining and winges, had been incredibly fulfilling. I felt that my body had reached for its own rhythm, as a vessel carrying life. The baby in my tummy shared many little secrets and we both kept each other company throughout the major upheavals of those few months.

Once he was delivered, for the few hours that he was placed in a glass incubator, I was strangely detached. As the epidural slowly eased off and I could feel my legs again, I felt that the baby was no longer mine. We couldn't share secrets anymore. It didn't help that a steady stream of visitors popped around to claim their stake on him.

The hospital stay was a blur of distress. I was exhausted from the whole labour process and when the baby was put to breast, he didn't latch on. I didn't lactate for a good 5 days which was a greater source of stress as I had been quite intent on breastfeeding him exclusively. We had to use formula which broke my heart into many tiny pieces. Even now, he is still on supplement though I try to pump as much a possible to increase my supply. Then there was the first few times that I tried to pacify him and he continued bawling, I felt personally rebuked. I had never felt like such a failure before.

But I am being pragmatic about it now. I do what I can do, and beyond that call for help. M has been a hands-on dad and I don't think I would have survived the first two weeks without him. There will be days when this whole motherhood thing is going to be more fulfilling than others and I must allay self doubts. Granted, I am never going to be one of those militant soccer moms, will go on to make loads of mistakes and am often clueless as at what to do.
But so what? If there is such a thing as pure love, then I am experiencing that every day. That and those 2-3 hourly feeds.
(oh yeah, he is going to be Baby S on this blog).


may said...

awwww, Welcome to the World, darling Baby S!!

rest well and take care, little miss Sunshine. I would love to meet your babe one day, and definitely give you the biggest hug there is! I have a good feeling that you're going to be a wonderful mum. :)

Jane Sunshine said...

May: Yeah, rest is the key word. If I get a snatch of 1-2 hours sleep these days, I am so grateful. I do badly need a hug and would settle for a virtual one. As for the mom bit, I guess I will just have to learn on the job and give my best. Beyond that, I don't know really.

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year, darling.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Baby S!
Glad to hear you're all well...
I'm sure you are not alone in the way you felt when he came into the world...And yes, you are doing the very best only you, as his mother, can...You are and will be a brilliant mum!(in a non-soccer way haha)
Hope to meet him one day...Big Hugs xxx

Kak Teh said...

aaah, so it is Baby S!!! I am so glad that I made that ten minute visit to see Baby S and the proud parents. Enjoy him Jane and M and I look forward to the day you bring him here and we can enjoy the walk in the park again. Missing you heaps.

Sunrayz said...

Jane!!! Congratulations!
Thank you for writing such a honest post. But like others before me have said, you will be a great mom. You are smart,compassionate, beautiful and have such a firm grasp of what is right and what isn't. That, my dear is what makes a good mom (ok, not all may agree about being beautiful as a prerequisite- but it doesn't hurt does it? :)). How about sending a picture of you and Baby S via email.
**big virtual hugs for you**

Lydia Teh said...

Hi Jane, congratulations! Enjoy your baby, and get lots of rest (if you can!)

Anonymous said...

Hellooo Jane! Congrats on your bundle of joy!!

You know, I have never met a single one of those famed soccer moms with impeccable homes, immaculate dressing and the perfect husband and 2.5 kids.. Which planet do they exist in again?? :D

Every single mom I know just does what she feels is best, learning from mistakes along the way, and they do a darn good job of it too! Learning that is.. :D

There used to be quite a strong support group for breastfeeding moms a while back when I was still breastfeeding my kids. Not sure if they are still around, but if you are interested, I could hook you with one very supportive mom. She has helped heaps of new mums who were on the verge on giving up breastfeeding.

30in2005 said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Rest and recover, you mum of one! I'm not sure I have ever met a mom who doesnt live in some doubt - but the learning on the job I hear is the very best part! Take care and enjoy these baby days. Hugs.

Jane Sunshine said...

G-ster: Ha, ha have to go on- soccer or no soccer. Me thinks there's a chance to meet up in December. Otherwise, pop around KL anytime!

Kak Teh: My darling KT, I am so glad baby S got to say a hello to my dear friend, albeit briefly. Hope to that walk in the park soon someday. Miss you too.

Sunrayz: Aww...such nice things to say dear. Thank you, thank you. Photos on the way when I am able.

Lydia: Thanks so much. Must take some pointers from an experienced mom like you!

Kat: I so agree with you esp as I grapple with this whole new world myself. Could you pls, pls forward the lady's contact no? I really need some help. My contact add:

30in2005: Momof1 has loads of learning to do!!! Thank you for all the good wishes.

Anonymous said...

Jane, I have had trouble sending mail to your yahoo address. Could you please email me at katclim[at]gmail[dot]com? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

congrats mummy.
no chance of baby S appearing on this blog?

Anonymous said...

that was me - atn

starlight said...

jane sweetheart, relax and enjoy this new chapter. enjoy even the mistakes, for you will be laughing your head off when recounting them down the road. strangely enough, I know exactly what you mean when you said you felt detached and that you no longer shared secrets with your baby. but there will be other secrets to share in the future. :) we have still to meet, but yet I feel I'm able to say that you will be the best mom to Baby S. many many hugs and let me know when you are ready to meet for coffee and cake!

Anonymous said...

Jane! You never told me you were pregnant. What a stroke of luck I chanced upon you today. Congratulations! Many many congratulations.

Love, Ailin

30in2005 said...

How goes life. If the lack of posts is any indicator you must be utterly busy with the Baby that makes 3! Hope its all going well...