Well done, you did it! You made it through the long 9 months of pregnancy and your little bundle of joy is here! You have undergone labour, whether it be natural or caesarean, you did it and now comes the fun, and to be honest sometimes the hard times.
I am not sure if it was just me or if it happens to everyone but in that first 24 hours, I was running on some serious adrenaline! I woke up at 9am on Sunday the 11th of September, had Harlee-Jae at 2.12am on the 12th of September, and did not sleep at all in between that. Once she was born the relief was unreal hah but if you have not read my labour story you can read about it Here.
I couldn’t believe how fast time flew by after I had her. I kind of just laid on the bed and came back to the realisation I had just had a baby. It is all kind of a blur but I laid on the bed for what must have been sometime just admiring this perfect little girl. I remember Mum and the midwife taking her for a bit to dress her and give her a good little check over. Then she came back by me and we were all just having cuddles, photos, and all that fun stuff. Before I knew it, it was 4.30am! Our bags were gathered together, my mum and co were off home for some much needed sleep, Harlee and I were popped in an ambulance and Ben followed behind to Taranaki Base Hospital. By the time we had done all of this we arrived to the Maternity in New Plymouth around 6am – Still with no sleep!
It was just Ben, Harlee and I, I was completely overwhelmed with what to do with my little girl. She was so tiny and fragile. I was not ready to put her down. One of the nurses at maternity encouraged I should put her down for a sleep, so I did but she just screamed leaving me thinking what the heck do I do now? Until the nurse came back and put her back in bed with me (as I wasn’t allowed out of bed because I had haemorrhaged). She put the side of the bed up and told me to try and get some rest. Only problem was ahhhh I thought I am not meant to sleep with my baby? However, being a first time mum and having no clue I just said okay because I was too scared to bring this up with a well-trained nurse.
Ben had managed to pull two very uncomfortable seats together and somehow curl himself up and fall asleep. He totally deserved it considering he had only probably had half an hours’ worth of sleep in the last 24 hours and had a pretty hectic day at work before she made her entrance to the world!
I think I managed to get maybe half an hour to an hours’ worth of sleep. Not only was I scared about sleeping with my baby – which I would be a lot more comfortable to do second time round in a safe way, now that I know what I know. She would also make funny noises and I was like what the f**k is that? No one told me newborns were so noisy! Then I would be questioning things like when am I meant to feed her? Or when am I meant to change her bum? I was honestly so clueless, it is crazy how clueless you go into this situation but you quickly become a pro!
So after little sleep, I decided I wasn’t really tired anyway – jokes, my body was probably actually exhausted but like I said you run off some crazy amount of adrenaline! My partner and I used this precious time to enjoy our daughter with just the three of us. We were completely smitten with our precious little bundle but we were both as clueless as each other, we totally winged it and it turned out fine so hey, don’t stress too much if you are a clueless first time parent because you will get there!
Finally I was allowed out of bed! It must have been around 10am and I decided I wanted to go for a shower. No one really tells you about the first shower but I will! I made my way over and in the shower I hopped. First thought, holey crap that’s a lot of blood! It is like getting that whole nine months of missed periods in one go! Seriously invest in some good surfboard, king sized mattress like pads hah. Second thought was, who knew your vag could become so swollen!? Like, seriously it almost felt like that thing was hanging down… Obviously it wasn’t hah! However, I felt like I had to be sooooo gentle after what the poor thing had just endured. Third thing I thought, which isn’t really gross I just didn’t expect it was, my tummy! It was pretty strange carrying a basketball like tummy around and then it kind of deflates into this deflated floppy basketball – Hah! Considering I had some new knowledge that I found pretty gross after labour, I automatically felt 100 times better just from being freshly showered!
We had been transferred to Taranaki Base Hospital because of the haemorrhage but at around 11am on the 12th they let us head back to Hawera Maternity. I was so happy about this. Hawera is a smaller and nicer environment and my family were all just two minutes away. At Taranaki Base I felt less important and kind of a pain. I felt I was just another number and annoying. The rooms were also tiny there and it was all communal bathrooms where as in Hawera you get a nice big room with your own bathroom! All might sound a bit stupid as people in big cities would deal with maternities similar to Taranaki Base on a regular basis but being from a small town and knowing the difference made me want to be in what I think is the better facility!
Our bags were packed, our little girl was in her capsule and we were ready to leave as our new family of three. As the clueless, new parents we were, we went to put the capsule in and realised we had never tried it before. We got it obviously but it took us awhile to make sure we had it right because safety-first people! So as some advice from me to you, make sure you do try your capsule or car seat out before your baby comes, hah!!
Eventually we were on our way! Obviously had to have a must have stop at good ol McDonalds! I was starving and not a fan of the hospital food!
We finally arrived back to Hawera where most of our family were waiting with anticipation to see or meet our little girl! Before Harlee-Jae was born, we made the rule we would only have our parents and grandparents meet her on the first day, and I am so glad we did this! I was running on adrenaline but I was exhausted and still learning about my little girl. Do not feel pressured to have everyone come on the first day because your little baby is not going anywhere and there is plenty of time for everyone to meet him or her! I felt that the truth of the matter is that if they really care about you, they will not be hurt or offended by your choices.
The day flew by and before I knew it night time had come. It must have been around 8pm when all our family had left and it was just the three of us again. I was sooooo tired all of a sudden. So Ben left around 9.30pm. I think because I was so tired, I didn’t have a chance to worry about the first night alone with her. I think I also felt good because my midwife was the one who was on duty so I was completely comfortable to go to her if I had any problems. Ben left and I was putting Harlee down and as I put her down, my midwife came in and offered to take her for a few hours so I could get some sleep. Best thing ever! I really did have a good catch up sleep and Harlee was very well behaved and slept the whole time too. She brought her back in for a feed at some stage in the early hours then we both went back to sleep. Our first night really wasn’t too bad!
So that is a rundown of the first 24 hours after labour! It’s a whole new life of meeting your baby and becoming the mother you are going to be! I am lucky to have had a reasonably good experience in my first 24 hours as I know some people aren’t so lucky! Hope this has given you a slight insight of what you may or may not expect after birth. Feel free to email in the contact box below if you have any questions or anything!