Here he is, only moments old. After 14 hours of, sadly, non-progressive induced labour (due to my waters breaking and natural labour not starting), I ended up needed an emergency C Section. Before labour, I told myself if I needed to have one, I needed to have one and it was just one of those things but in my exhausted, labouring state - honestly, I was heartbroken. I cried and although I wanted Bun with us safe and sound, I felt like I'd failed. But, thanks to the incredible staff at the hospital, I was able to put this aside and get 'my head in the game'. The C Section itself was a very, very short procedure and Bun was with us in minutes. Mummy & Daddy cried a lot and the surgeon told us he was incredibly handsome with very big feet haha. All the staff at the hospital were wonderful, they put me at such ease from the very start of my induction, to the moment Eli was born. Whilst in surgery, the anaesthetist even gave Chris an iPad and asked him to choose some music!! So when Eli was born, Dolly Parton 'I Will Always Love You' was playing & this was not intentional, but it was beautiful. Once Bun was with us safe and sound and we were returned to the ward, within 6 hours I was up and sat in the chair, I had my catheter removed and had had a shower. Although initially you think the midwives are insane for wanting you to get up so soon after major surgery, I cannot stress enough how important getting mobile, even if it's only a tiny bit, is.
Chris was and still is my absolute rock. During labour and during my C Section, he did not leave my side. He held onto me and told me everything would be fine. He cradled our little boy with such love as soon as he was born, I felt like my heart was going to burst. Now, almost three weeks on, he is such an incredible father, he looks at Eli with such pure love. I really could never have asked for a better husband or father.
I will be honest, once we were home from the hospital, I really struggled with being so immobile due to my surgery. We were discharged from the hospital after just one night as there were no complications, which I was not arguing with, as I was desperate to get home - but it was hard. I was so desperate to do everything for Eli but I could barely even make it to our bathroom. I cried a lot and slept sitting up for just over a week because I was too scared to lay down. But, after a week or so i started to notice things greatly improving, I could move around more, get things for myself and sit our little boy on my tummy without any pain. Again, during my time of immobility, Chris was incredible, he did EVERYTHING for me and Eli, minus feeding Eli as I was exclusively breast feeding at the time. Now, almost three weeks on, I am near enough fully recovered, although I still need to take it easy and cannot class myself as 'recovered' until 6 weeks. Where breastfeeding is concerned, we were incredibly lucky and from day one Eli had a wonderful latch. Thanks to a lovely midwife, I found a more comfortable position to breastfeed with larger breasts and have even expressed (due to attending a funeral), which was not remotely as scary as I first thought it would be (I use a Tommee Tippee hand pump and it works great).
Dolly has been incredible with Eli. She is his protector and his little companion. When he cries, she will go and give him a little sniff to make sure he's doing ok and the same goes for when anyone she doesn't recognise (such as midwives visiting the house etc) pays Eli any attention. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for families whose pets do NOT take well to a new arrival, but thankfully, we could not have wished for a better dog or friend for Bun, in Dolly.
In the spirit of being completely open, being plus size and having a C Section was always a huge worry for me due to the chance of infection in the wound. Numerous midwives and doctors have told me that providing you keep your incision clean and dry as much as possible, being plus size and having a 'fold' of skin over your scar, should not overly cause any issue. However until very recently I just could not get my head around that and was CONSTANTLY obsessing over the fact it could get infected or could not heal properly. I really struggled with my inability to shake this worry and it made me very sad but thankfully, after endless scar checks by health professionals, I am feeling much better about it and have not had ANY problems with healing. So please, any plus size women who are worried about having a C Section for this reason, please don't - you can and 99.9% are more than likely to have a normal, healthy recovery.
I am endlessly thankful for the incredible support I have from my Mum too. After originally saying I didn't want her at Eli's birth (not in a disrespectful way, just because I thought I only wanted Chris there), she stayed for the entire time and despite not being in theatre when he was delivered, she was there as soon as we were brought back to the ward. She has visited us at home almost everyday, which has made such a difference to me and she ADORES Eli. I really don't know what I would do without Nanny Jay!
So now we have been home for nearly 3 weeks as a family. Eli is changing every single day, we are now combination feeding due to his insatiable hunger which is working wonderfully and I can do almost everything I could do before my C Section. Although I have struggled with Chris going back to work and not being with us all day, everyday, it is something that a lot of new Mum's have to deal with and I will be OK.
As someone that hasn't struggled with their self confidence in years, since giving birth, it has been strange to not really know myself - fashion or body wise. My body HAS changed since becoming a Mum, my tummy is a lot squishier, I'm actually slimmer than I was before I got pregnant and I have found it difficult to reconnect with my sense of style. But I am getting there, I am rediscovering myself and plan to start blogging A LOT more frequently now as it did taper off whilst I was expecting!
I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for your well wishes and messages of love. I may not have been able to reply to each one but please don't think they have gone unnoticed or unappreciated. We love you all <3.
Lots Of Love,
KLJ & family x