We escaped the hospital within hours of Squirrel’s birth but when we popped to the hospital for her 5 day check they were a little concerned about her jaundice levels so unfortunately we had to get admitted to the post-natal ward for phototherapy.
Just being on the post-natal ward for the paediatrician checks was causing anxiety and flashbacks to Munchkin’s post-natal stay so when I heard we had to be admitted I burst into tears. We had such a horrible time with Munchkin, I really didn’t want to go through it again. Luckily my fabulous supportive supervisor of midwives was on hand to keep me calm and thankfully I got my own room and Squirrel and I made it cosy with my chillout birth playlist and birdy lights!
We were in for 4 days (3nights) in the end and while it wasn’t a fun experience (difficult to sleep in hospital especially when everyone ignores your “please do not disturb” signs so you can sleep. Humph no I don’t need pain relief at 6am on the drug round- I need sleep- that is why there is a sign on my door!) it also was much much better than my first post-natal ward experience.
Firstly I wasn’t as worried about Squirrel as I was about Munchkin (bit of jaundice to get rid off is nothing compared to a suspected brain damaged baby with congenial pneumonia who had a cannula, nasogastric tube and various monitors attached.
Secondly it turned out that first time I learned a stupid amount of information about sterilising, hospital grade breast pumps, hospital routines etc. which meant second time felt a whole lot less stressful as I knew what I was doing, not only with my newborn but with all the hospital faff going on. I also think I was more confident to assert for the care I needed which I wasn’t first time around. So actually it meant that I now feel more positive about my first horrid postnatal experience as it held me in good stead for my second.
Thirdly- it defo helped the staff on the post natal wards were just a lot nicer! There were still some characters but I never encourntered anyone who was even a fraction of “evil midwife from hell”
So all in all, while getting readmitted days 5-9 was not great and I was kind of fed up to work out that even after my fab birth experience, some of the birth trauma stuff was still with me, overall some positive stuff still came out of it. So it’s all good really.
I suppose there will always be things that “trigger” me but now I’m able to recognise and deal with them positively rather than get too hysterical and teary (well hysterical tears may sometimes be part of it but they now act as catalyst for positive change rather than wallowing in anxiety!)