I ummed and ahhed about sharing this because birthing my little Winnie was the hardest week of my life. We had a homebirth with our first daughter so I thought our second homebirth would be a walk in the park but Winnie had other plans.
I had a very intense and fast 2.5 hours of active labour and Winnie had aspirated meconium.
Then I had a postpartum haemorrhage and lost 1.7L of blood - nearly half of all my blood.
Winnie had to go on the c-pap machine three times at home before the ambulance arrived, and she wouldn’t feed because she couldn’t breathe properly. Watching her lose all her colour and go floppy a few times was… no words.
She went into NICU for three days with oxygen and cords and monitors and drips, and being separated was excruciating.
I had ‘retained placenta’ (Google it) and I had to leave Winnie for an operation in theatre, and while I was in there, I haemorrhaged again and lost more blood, dropping to transfusion levels.
Then there was the catheter and a Bakri balloon (Google that one too) and oh, the 14cm and 6cm blood clot they found in my leg from the varicose veins I developed during pregnancy.
I felt like absolute garbage in the week after birth when I was supposed to be cocooned up at home in love, and I’ll grieve the loss of that time for a while.
My body was poked and prodded and bruised and battered and depleted from this birth, and as strong as she is now, my baby girl didn’t have an amazing start either.
The separation from Winnie.
The separation from my first born, Floss, who spent her first week without me. I'd never even spent more than one night without her.
The drips of synthetic hormones and toxins and antibiotics and chemicals that I spend my life trying to avoid… I had a lovely concoction of them all.
I had to make so many decisions I didn’t want to.
It just sucked. And I’ve cried a lot about it.
But with every nappy change and every sleepless night and every time I have to tell Floss to stop poking Winnie in the eye, I am grateful. Because despite it all, we have a perfect little girl and that is so very special and she is such a strong, sassy little thing already.
Sometimes you have to walk through the fire to know what you’re capable of.