I've written about my labour and birth with Ophelia so my next installment is all about my post natal stay at the hospital.
On Saturday 21st November, I spent the rest of the day after giving birth to Ophelia just staring at her and feeling on top of the world (aside from the cesarean pain). I was feeling like most mothers should. I was happy, proud, just beaming with joy. My husband went and collected our older daughter Eva and brought her in to meet her new sister. We wanted her to be the first person to meet her. She loved her but didn't want a cuddle. I lay looking at my family with so much emotion at what I had achieved and I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have such a perfect family. Eva was unhappy when she realised I had to stay in hospital but I assured her I would be seeing her the next day when she would be coming to collect us to bring us home.
That night I was on a high care ward because I had a cesarean. There were 3 of us new mums and babies in there. When I had my observations checked I kept having a temperature. I didn't seem to bothered by it as I was so focused on my new daughter. I didn't get much sleep as I was getting used to looking after a newborn baby again and also as I was on a shared ward it was rather loud so I didn't get much rest even when Ophelia was sleeping. Not to worry, I thought. I'm only here for 1 night and I'll be back in my own comfy bed tommorow...
The next morning I woke up and received some rubbish news. After having our bloods taken both Ophelia and I were showing signs of an infection. They thought it was something that had been passed on before labour. I didn't mind too much as I thought we could be given antibiotics and be on our way back to our home. However, seeing as we both had to have IV antibiotics we then had to stay in hospital for 5 days. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The thought of staying in hospital for another 5 days was devestaing. All I wanted to do was go home. We were also moved from the ward we were on to another one which had 8 beds and they were always busy.
In the extra 5 days I was in hospital, I honestly thought I was starting to lose my mind. I was depressed. I cried all the time. I sat behind my curtain staring at the same things for what felt like an eternity. I managed to care for Ophelia in the way I should but I was desperately unhappy. If I had a visitor, I put on a brave face. I smiled, I laughed. Inside, I was screaming for help. One night, I was so upset and sleep deprived I considered walking out of the ward and never coming back. I got as far as the corridor doors. This wasn't because I didn't want Ophelia, I just didn't know what I was doing or thinking. The lack of sleep and unhappiness had completely messed with my head. This was not how family life was supposed to start.
I know you're probably reading this thinking 'well what's the big deal really? Lots of people go through this.' What I haven't mentioned is that I wasn't getting the support I needed and craved from my husband. My mother in law was terminally ill with a brain tumour and at the time she was in a hospice with days to live. He felt very torn as to where he should be. He spent most of his time at the hospice leaving me alone in the hospital. I had Ophelia on the Saturday and she passed away on the following Wednesday. She never got to meet Ophelia. What was worse is that I was stuck in the hospital at the time and I wasn't allowed to leave. It really was a terrible situation.
I know you're probably reading this thinking I sound completely selfish and i'm some sort of dragon but there's a lot more to it than me just needing my husband. My mother in law had been diagnosed and battled this illness since I had found out I was pregnant. I guess I felt the pregnancy was forgotten about by family members and I wasn't getting any support or help. My husband had associated the pregnancy and Ophelia with his mum's illness and was pushing us away.
I don't want to get into the nitty gritty of it all as this post is about my post natal stay. I felt the need to discuss what happened with my mother in law and my husband so that you could understand how horrible I felt during that stay. I was alone, frightened and scared for how things would pan out. What should have been one of the most precious times of my life turned out to be a complete nightmare. This is why I am determined to make up for lost time.