PERSONAL. Fauna - first impressions and facts
First instants of life:
Fauna was born on Monday, 9th of May of 2016, at 08:02am. At 39 weeks + 6 days, one day before the inicial suggested date. She weighted 3070g, her length was 52cm and the diameter of her head was 34cm. She came out of me peacefully, no crying when confronting the new outside world. The midwife put her between my arms but took her away from me quite immediately: her breathing sounded watery. I don't know if we managed to be even one minute together, skin to skin. I was so exhausted... I wasn't able to be aware of anything around me. I wasn't able to be aware of her presence next to me... It wasn't enough time.
We were left alone, Manfred and I, waiting in this dark birthing room. Waiting for Fauna to come back. I don't know how long it was but it felt like an eternity. A doctor came in to tell us that Fauna had an infection and that she had to be taken to another hospital, since the one we were didn't have a pediatric unit. We saw her once more and Manfred took this picture you can see above. I couldn't go with her. I had to be seen by the gynecologist first and to wait 4 hours to be able to leave the hospital. That is the protocol.
I was broken inside. I felt totally frustrated. I felt like if all the effort and pain was for no reward. The waiting was a torture. I was exhausted but a new strange energy emerged from my feeling of unsettledness. After the doctor checked my vagina and confirmed that everything was in order I went immediately to take a shower and to tidy up my things. I needed to be ready to go, ready to run to Fauna.
First week in the hospital:
After this long and sad hours the ambulance finally came to takes us to the hospital where Fauna was taken. Manfred and I were so nervous and impatient. She was in the intense care unit and had breathing assistance. When I saw her I felt to sad for her, what a way to arrive to the world! Being connected to machines and receiving medicaments before being able to taste the milk of your mother. She was so quiet and sleepy, already adapted to this cold world we live in. I am actually crying while I write all of this. I'm trying to stop (since everything is alright and Fauna is sleeping over my lap in this very moment, healthy ever after) but I cannot help it. The image of that room occupied by lonely and weak babies is too much for me.
Finally reunited, I wanted to touch her so badly. They let me take her in my arms and breastfeed her. Then some kind of magic happened: I put her quiet body agains my naked skin and suddenly she opened her eyes, moved energetically her head, automatically grabbed my nipple and started to suck powerfully. It was amazing that, after being her first hours of life alone and away from me, she just recognized me. I felt really proud of her and satisfied too. Some minutes later we were both sleeping deeply, skin to skin.
After this glimpse of breastfeeding and intimacy I clearly saw a change on her: she was stronger than before. My supposition was confirmed when that evening they removed the tubes to assist her breathing. The next morning she was stable and they moved her out from the intense care unit to another pediatric unit. As each day I could spend more time with her and breastfeed her she became stronger. However, she had to remain in the hospital the whole week just to finish the antibiotic treatment.
I suffered a lot of stress that week, especially the first days. The nurses gave me orders continuously and doctors were sometimes really unfriendly. Because I didn't have Fauna with me the first nights and therefore, didn't breastfeed her so often, my milk wasn't coming up as fast as desired. I started to feel frustrated. A nurse came really often to tell me that I had to pump my milk out or I wouldn't be able to produce enough for her. Pumping made me feel miserable. I didn't find the moment because whenever I could I gave the few drops of milk I had to Fauna. In the end I didn't really pump as often as they told me and it came out that it wasn't relevant for my milk production. Everything got better as more time I spend with Fauna and less stress I suffered. In the meantime I gave her formula when my milk wasn't enough. I struggled a lot this first days because I thought I wouldn't be able to breastfeed her and I felt guilty because I wasn't pumping.
After the third night in the hospital I got lucky. The two babies who shared room with Fauna were moved somewhere else for different reasons. Fauna was alone in the room and they put a bed inside for me. I slept with her the rest of the week and everything was easier and smoother from this moment on. Also, Manfred came to be with us every single day and spend as much time as it was possible. This helped me really much to handle the situation without getting too aggressive or depressive. Finally, on Monday 16th, we could go home all together.
First week at home:
The afternoon and evening of that Monday felt like heaven. My beloved husband had cleaned the house and prepared it for our arrival. We just hung around on the sofa and do nothing else than cuddle our daughter and each other. We did the same thing the next day. Slowly we started to go out and to make paper work here and there, solving this things that have to be solved. Her umbilical cord detached from her belly that week, ten days after her birth. There is not much more to tell.
Of course, there were moments when it was overwhelming to care about a newborn. It is something you cannot imagine until you are into it. Sometimes we were tense with each other, even more without having sex nor other kind of intimacy ritual. For Manfred it was difficult to hear her crying, he felt that she was truly suffering pain. For me, it took some time until I got used to her deep dependency of me and my breast. Although I was extremely happy to see that that my milk production was just right as soon as I was at home, relaxed, getting a good sleep and being able to offer my nipple each time she needed (which, in the beginning, is a lot). I must thank the midwife who comes often to check on us. She was the one who assured me that I would be able to breastfeed her normally. I stopped giving her formula the second day we were home because she was satisfied with what my breast offered her.
Following two weeks at home:
Each day is becoming easier to care about Fauna, even if Manfred is at work some hours a day. It is a pleasure to have her despite she is each day more active and powerful, and therefore, crying more often, sleeping less and demanding more attention. Now we are able to enjoy the little things more than in the first days. We make photos of her all the time, specially when she is sleeping peacefully. We go out for coffee. We make walks around the park. I breastfeed her shamelessly in public. We also managed to have sex a couple of times (Oh my god! It is so necessary for the balance of our souls and our relationship). In resume, everything is just fine. Fauna is growing properly, healthy and strong. Today the midwife weighted her and she had achieved 3340g.
We are a little, happy and lucky family of three.
The pictures are in chronological order, taken along this weeks since her birth.
- ▼ May (3)
- ► 2015 (49)
- ► 2014 (52)