#SecondChances – Life & Motherhood

My transition into Motherhood the second time round was not too easy.
Grab a cuppa and settle in…
This is going to be a long post!

Our birth experience was beautiful and so peaceful, this time around it actually went according to plan.  We prayed that baby Asher would hold on and wait, because Adam wanted out at 36 weeks.  Doctor decided to do a C-section at 37 weeks as baby Asher was a big boy and I really struggled to move around towards the end of my pregnancy.
Everything went smoothly and baby Asher was out after those few tucks you feel while the epidural does it’s thing or as I described it that morning at 07:25 …”it feels like someone is washing dishes, in my tummy, and it’s alota dishes!”
Yeah, I know, one says crazy things when you’re nervous and a little scared, well that plus a spinal block.
Baby Asher was checked and a few minutes later placed on my chest as they pushed my bed to the recovery room.
He immediately latched.
Our big boy was the cutest squishy and weighed 4.37kg!
Don’t laugh, but the nurse asked me what I ate during my pregnancy, I laughed and replied “Oats!”…because that was about the only thing I could keep down.
I was admitted to hospital a few times during my third trimester because the all day morning sickness showed me some real flames.

It felt like a super long season premier episode of Grey’s Anatomy!
I was fine.  In pain, but fine.
Until I wasn’t fine anymore and couldn’t handle the pain.
I was just not healing.
I called my Doctor 3 weeks after giving birth when I just couldn’t stand the pain anymore.  Doctor advised me to come in immediately to be checked.  By then I struggled to breathe, struggled to walk and felt completely overwhelmed by the pain and worried feelings.
Upon arriving at the Doctor’s room, after being checked, my Doctor immediately admitted me.
Within a few hours of admission, various blood tests and X-rays confirmed a Pulmonary Embolism.  A day later the pain moved and as I described on the day it felt like my leg was filled with cement and the most horrific pain I could not handle.  The PE had now escalated to DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis.
The blood clot had moved overnight.
I felt weak and so broken.
When I sit up, I am in pain.
When I lay down, I am in pain.
When I stand up, I can’t do it without assistance and my diet had to change due to meds I have to take to #stoptheclot.

Asher turned 3 weeks old when I was admitted to hospital.
I felt like a complete failure, like I had failed my baby boy who needs me.
Leaving my newborn baby behind was the toughest thing I have ever had to do.
Everything happened so fast.

My friend, I never felt so vulnerable in my entire life.
I remember having to phone Kevin to explain to him what to pack for my maybe one or two day stay, ha!  If only I knew .
This happened a week before the country went into lockdown.
This means getting my things to me was already then a mission with hospital visiting hours being cut.
With Covid 19 rules in place, Asher could not come to hospital and this meant I had to express milk for him and Kevin had to collect for every feed.
Four days have passed and I am still in hospital,  things are rough and I am so extremely despondent and slowly giving up on breastfeeding as we struggle with the new hospital rules and my low milk supply.  I felt so well prepared for baby number two and especially my breastfeeding journey this time around.
Not as naive as I was 
that time I wanted my boob back   (you have to read it)…
I went as far as making a list of breastfeeding tips and included all the right foods, along with recipes that could help increase my milk supply.  I was so ready to test and try out my news recipes, but nothing could prepare me for what happened next…

“You will have to stop breastfeeding Mom”Doctor said.
This hit me real hard and since then I can’t explain to you how it broke me as a Mom.  I have to take blood thinners and this means I have to stop expressing milk for Asher.
I called Kevin to get formula for our baby.
We didn’t budget or plan the formula route, but we had to go with it.
I pushed myself and tried to be strong but I cried every single day while I was in hospital .
I pleaded with God and cried some more.
I prayed and hoped for more.
I tried to hold on but it was so so hard.
I was terrified that I would fall into the deep black whole of depression.
I was already in lockdown mode and didn’t even realise how the world is about to change.
Day six and I am still in hospital wearing my funky white blood circulation socks trying to stay calm and stay positive, while being poked full of holes.
I get two injections everyday to prevent more clots from forming.
I feel like a dart board.
At this point I have stopped breastfeeding and cry each time I see the milk go down the drain.  But I am still pushing to stay positive so I can get out of this hospital and get to my boys.
I now have a new diet, because so much of what I eat on a daily basis will effect the medication I am on.
Oh what fun it is to eat anything without onions, no sushi, no garlic, no ginger, no green veggies, no vitamin K and no vitamin A…. uhm does that not sound like almost everything we eat?!
It was one heck of an adjustment.
But I am still here, still breathing, still blessed.
My husband is something else.
He was so so strong for me.
For all of us.
My mother was also our pillar during this time, she moved in to help with the boys.

A week passed and Doctor discharged me with the condition that I still go in weekly for the INR test.  I can’t explain to you how emotional I was when I held Asher again when we got home.  We went into lockdown and I had to leave home to go hospital once or twice and sometimes even three times a week to have my blood count checked.  I received a special permit during level 5, and as much as this spiked my anxiety, I think it really helped me cope with things.  I was able to get out, and get a few min of fresh air.
I still go regularly to have the blood count checked, as this determines the dosage of the blood thinners.

I mentioned to a close friend that I feel a bit down that I wasn’t able to be as creative as I would’ve loved to be during lockdown.  He reminded me that I was dealing with all of this and adjusting to being a Mom of two.

My second chance at life and motherhood had a bit of a rough start, well that and a pandemic thrown at us but, we are still here.
We are still breathing.
We are still blessed.
Even though it broke my heart, I remain grateful.

I thought I would share what worked for us.

  • Ginger tea, fennel tea and rooibos tea will keep you hydrated.
  • Jungle Juice still works (recipe in link).
  • Invest in a good feeding pillow, we love our Snuggletime nursing pillow.
  • Be patient with yourself and your baby, you’re both learning and it takes time.
  •  Flora Force Fenugreek capsules works like a bomb!
  • Persevere as best you can, your baby can’t say it to you, but he sees you and he is grateful.
  • Nipple cream for the win so stock up Mom!
  • Invest in a manual as well as electric breast-pump if you can, because loadshedding is a thing mos.

Even though my second chance at breastfeeding was really short, I still had a second chance.  Even though I had to stop, I am still able to feed my boy and continue to bond with him through a bottle feed.
Fed is best.
These are magical moments that I know will fly by.
I am so so grateful and also happy that Asher has taken so well to the
Tommee Tippee feeding range.

Farewell breastfeeding.
Hello second chance at life.

Please keep me in your prayers.
I am still on blood thinners.
I still miss onions.
I still miss sushi and garlic and green veggies.

Love & Laughter
Rae
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