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Reflecting on Max’s Birth on His 1st Birthday

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Wow! I can’t believe that a year ago I had just given birth to my beautiful baby boy after 23 hours of labour. It was such a surreal, yet amazing moment to finally hold my son in my arms and look into his eyes. He was everything I had ever wished for and more. I had waited for 13 years to have him, when the time was right for us, and we were blessed to fall pregnant in our first month of trying. And now after 9 months of carrying and growing him, he was finally here. I was literally in love from the moment I saw him and I knew that he was now the most important thing in my life and I would do anything to protect him.

He was born at 12:08am on 18th Jan 2019, via a forceps delivery, narrowly escaping a c-section. He weighed a chunky 8lb 11oz and we named him Max Lincoln. He had to go to the NICCU for a few hours after he was born due to inhaling meconium during birth and so he had slightly laboured breathing and a slight temperature. They monitored him and gave him antibiotics via a canular while the midwives cleaned me up. I had an epidural so was completely numb from the waist down. The midwives offered me the normal tea and toast at around 3am, and they managed to burn the toast and set all of the fire alarms off in the maternity and labour ward, no doubt waking everyone up and upsetting many babies. Whoops! the caretaker put the kibosh on using the toaster after that so instead, I was offered tea and an egg and cress sandwich!

The first time I looked into his gorgeous eyes

I was finally rolled onto the ward around 4am, the ward was dark and so hot! Why do they always have the heating so high in hospitals, I requested to be in a bed near the window. I remember Max was wheeled over to me about 1/2 hour later, the nurse chirping happily, “Mrs Alexander, here is your lovely baby”. She settled him next to me in his cot as he was sleeping and left. I remember suddenly the enormity of my responsibility for this little one setting in and realisation that I felt so unprepared and was expected to now just take care of him. He started to cry and I couldn’t even reach him due to my lower body still being numb. I had to guiltily press the buzzer and call a midwife to help. She came and reassured me and placed him in my arms and then helped me to try and latch him on. Which I managed to do after a few re-ajustments. I didn’t really sleep that night, but strangely the next day I didn’t feel tired, I must have been running on love and adrenalin!

It was such a surreal, yet amazing moment to finally hold my son in my arms and look into his eyes. He was everything I had ever wished for and more. I had waited for 13 years to have him, when the time was right for us, and we were blessed to fall pregnant in our first month of trying.

In the morning the epidural had worn off and the pain from my stitches kicked in with vengeance! I couldn’t sit, only lie half propped up. Every time I tried to feed Max sitting up it was so painful. I had to eat my food half propped up with the table wheeled right up to my neck and Phil helped! The first shower was a mixture of wonderful and awful in one. Going to the loo was petrifying. I had to stay in for 2 nights due to Max having to finish his course of antibiotics and waiting for test results to ensure he didn’t have any type of serious infection.

The nights were so long and hard as Phil had to stay home with our dogs, so I was alone while all the other women had their Husbands with them to help. The pain was so bad and sometimes the med rounds were late and I was in so much pain by the time they reached me. I had to just keep going to care for my little one, I guess that was the first taste of having to sacrifice my comfort for his wellbeing. I finally found a way of feeding that was comfortable, lying down and with the support of the Midwives and breastfeeding support workers, we had established a good latch and Max was feeding well by the time we left the hospital on the Sunday lunch time. He passed all of his checks including hearing. He did have a little bit of jaundice, but was doing well. It felt so great, but also so scary putting him in his carseat and heading home in the car, and knowing we were on our own taking care of this little human! But we were so so happy!

Happy 1st Birthday my darling boy!

Going home
stephaniealexander.co.uk

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