Baby Makes Three ( Part Three )
I was taken down to the general ward in the middle of the night and
climbed up onto my bed, suddenly realising I needed to pee again.
The nurse wouldn't let me go to the toilet, so she brought me a bed
Now, have you ever tried to pee into one of those tin things in the dead of night, when all is quiet and you can hear a pin drop? The nurse
hoisted me up onto the pan and pulled the curtain, informing me to
ring the buzzer when I'd finished.
I sat there surrounded by patients in the other beds, some were snoring,
while others were breathing heavily. Every time I tried to pee, the
stitches would pull. I began to cry, tears filling my eyes, it was an
impossible task and the stitches hurt like crazy as I know I've already
There was nothing for it, but to ring the buzzer. Luckily one of the
ever so nice nurses came to my rescue, she wheeled me in a chair
down to the toilet. “This is very kind of you!” I said, with a feeling of
relief that I didn't get my head bitten off.
The next morning I was moved to another ward with three other
women, we all exchanged thoughts on motherhood and cooed over
My son was so beautiful, he had gorgeous brown skin, dark hair and
blue eyes. I thought the brown skin was a bit unusual, considering
me and hubby were both white, till I was told that he was born with
yellow jaundice. Well the skin tone looked good anyway.
Many doctors came and went that day, each telling me a different
story about a problem my son had. First it was the jaundice; then
another doctor informed me he had an ear and eye infection, baby
also came out with a snotty nose, due to the fact he'd contracted my
bug, which made me feel even worse.
But possibly the biggest worry was to come. I had been trying desperately hard to breast feed, my son refused to suckle, I couldn't
understand it...was there something wrong with me? I felt at my lowest low and just wanted to curl up with the sheets over my head
and sleep. I cried so much, my eyes stung and were sore. I was also
getting stomach cramps and pains in my side which didn't help. The
nurse thought it was problems with going to the toilet, so she gave me
an enema, which I've only experienced once, never again.
About three days after my son was born, a doctor came to see me in
the middle of the night. I dragged myself out of bed, still half asleep
and drowsy. I followed him down to the nursery. As we approached
my son's cot, I felt a sudden panic at the realisation that no doctor
would escort me in the middle of the night to my son, unless it was
serious. “Whatever is the problem?” I asked.
The doctor took out a torch from his pocket and shone it in my son's
mouth, he told me to look. I couldn't believe my eyes, for there at the
back of his throat, was a hole about the size of the head of a drawing
pin, it was so close to his vocal chords, I just sat down and wept.
Doctor informed me that this was why my son had refused to suckle,
the milk they were giving him was coming out through his nose.
'This couldn't be happening!' I thought to myself.
The doctor assured me they would keep an eye on him, but that I
would need to be transferred to the special care unit. My baby was
six pound seven ounces at birth and he was loosing weight, he drowned in the baby gowns and now I had something else to worry
With the pains in my stomach getting more painful by the day, I was
now being told by the nurses, that I must express milk using a hand
pump. 'A mother's life is certainly not an easy one!' went through
my mind at that moment.
I found using the hand pump extremely awkward and unpleasant, it
just added to my already depressing mood...though I did keep trying,
but with little success.
The nurse seeing my predicament, came to my rescue with two
electric pumps, one was called Daisy and the other Buttercup.
“Try them out dear...see which one suits you best,” announced the
nurse smiling sweetly. She was one of the nice nurses.
I named these contraptions, milking machines and hated them with
a passion. Daisy and Buttercup could sling their hooks for all I cared.
But for my son to receive any of my milk at all, I would have to
persist and hope the milk came sooner than later.
Now you may laugh, but there were three different speeds on the
machine, slow – medium – fast, it was like watching a cow being milked. Nurse suggested I start on slow and build up. After ten
minutes, all I could express was half a teaspoon, I was mortified and
my breasts were so sore, as I'd taken the speed up to maximum in the
hope that the faster it pumped, the more likely hood of milk coming out, but no luck.
As the days went on, trying so hard to express was becoming a
mundane necessity. Then one day it just happened.
Attaching the pump to my already sensitive breasts and switching
Daisy on, I waited...slowly and surely some milk came, in fact 15mls
to be precise, that was the amount the nurse said I would need, now
I know it sounds very little, but when you've spent days expressing
nothing, 15mls is a lot.
At last...I freed myself from Daisy, shuffling down the corridor, still
the stitches troubled me. I had my cup in hand and called to the nurse.
“Nurse...Nurse! Look I've got my son's milk at last.” I was so pleased
with myself, I failed to see the woman behind me coming down with
five pints for the bottle bank.
My face went red and I felt like a right looser. 'Why did I make such
a big thing of 15mls?'
The nurse took the cup from me smiling, but didn't say anything
except...”your son's waiting to be fed.”
Well not even a congrats or that's good – zilch. My big
moment had deflated to nothing. I followed the nurse down to the
nursery and proceeded to feed the milk I'd expressed to my son by
spoon, to make sure it all went down okay.
Slowly my son started to put on weight, but It was going into the
third week and I was still getting the pains. Then one day I happened
to be sitting on the loo, when I felt something slither out of me, I
became hot and my face reddened with panic, I thought my insides
were coming out, it looked like my liver drowning in the basin.
Quickly I rang the buzzer in the toilet and a nurse came.
“What's the problem?” she enquired.
I opened the door and said, “Look!” I was panicking pretty bad by
now pointing to what I thought was a piece of liver.
“Oh dear!” she declared. “It seems that some of the afterbirth was still up inside you, that's what was causing your stomach pains,” she announced.
Well I stood there, not quite sure whether to feel anger or relief, but
decided that being angry wouldn't get me anywhere, so was relieved
to know that I should be al right from now on.
I'd been in hospital for nearly a month with my baby, but once I'd
had my stitches out and my son was starting to improve, I was finally
pleased when they said I could go home. It was difficult feeding my
son as he had to be spoon fed, but it was these moments that we became close and had a special bond which I will always be grateful