Not wishing to rub salt in the wound for those awaiting the arrivals of babies that don't want to budge, but hopefully this will give hope to some. Baby Robert arrived on 15th Jan, missing his due date by just a few hours, after a short, spontaneous labour. He is feeding well (every 1.5-3 hours) with pretty good attachment. The most amazing thing for me is discovering that I do have maternal instincts and that this can be enjoyable.
I have had 3 pregnancies, 1 daughter now 3.5 years old, one miscarriage and now our little boy. The 2 successful ones have been quite similar physically, pretty straight forward with some challenges as you'd expect, but this time I've been a lot more accepting of the effects and restrictions on my body, which has helped me mentally.
With my 1st I resented everything about being pregnant and looking back I realise that depression was well set in long before my little girl was born. Labour with her was reasonably quick but I had a bad 3rd degree tear followed by a lot of internal pain too, something wasn't quite right but no-one was interested and I was told it was just the after pains that everyone gets after birth, I know now that they were wrong. In addition I was stitched too tight and we spent 2 years ttc before an operation to correct this. I then conceived 4 months later but miscarried at 12 weeks, only finding out at the early scan. Throughout this time I suffered from depression to varying degrees, my doctor was very helpful and understanding but as we were ttc I didn't want to take anti-depressants. For various reasons breastfeeding just didn't work out and after 3 weeks my milk began to dry up and by 6 weeks she was entirely formula fed. In all I have found motherhood extremely tiring and seem to have constantly fallen short of the mark, although that's hopefully more in my head than reality.
In contrast, this time is proving far 'easier', more natural and hugely enjoyable. My labour was even quicker than 1st time, and although I had another 3rd degree tear it wasn't as bad, and is healing far quicker. I haven't had the stabbing pains inside that I had the 1st time, just general aches and pains as my body deflates! Breast feeding is going so much better, which I'm sure is in partly because I did skin to skin this time (1st time round baby went straight to Daddy as I was totally emotionally detached), and because I was able to give him a quick feed before going to theatre (last time I went straight to theatre and it was nearly 5 hours after birth when baby tried her first feed).
I have learnt far more than I can detail here, but here are a few things that have helped me this time. Early on we were considered high risk for down's syndrome, we didn't want to risk amniocentesis so paid privately for the Harmony test at Harley Street, at £600 it felt like a fortune, but it gave us a lot of reassurance and in the long run was very worthwhile. Towards the end bending down was almost impossible, a friend lent me a litter picker/grabber, this has been a godsend. The skin to skin contact was very cathartic, and trying breast feeding straight away meant I knew I'd done my best. Whilst breast feeding got off to a good start, just a few small blisters, it could easily have gone back over when I became engorged, I used gel breast packs that can be purchased from chemists and nipple shields (as he couldn't get any breast into his mouth and I could tell I was going to become very sore). The breast shields were removed once the pressure was off and I now only need to use one on one side some of the time. I invested in Lansinoh nipple cream this time as nothing worked last time, it's expensive but worth every penny, although needs keeping warm as it's very hard to squeeze from the tube. Oh, and drinking lots of flavoured water has helped keep me hydrated, something I failed to do first time around.
No doubt there will be set backs, but it's nice to have had such a positive experience to counter the first one. And I should mention my husband, his help and support have being paramount
Good luck to you all.x