The day my best friend called to tell me that her baby had died is etched into my memory. We’ve been friends since we were four years old – raised our Cabbage Patch Kids together, took the babysitting course side by side, and grew into young women who sometimes wondered what life might be like if we had kids of our own one day.
You might want to sit down for this. Take a couple of deep breaths. Relax. You’re going to hear that a lot over the next little while, actually.
Giving birth by caesarean was the last thing I expected when I went into labour with my first baby. We were all set for a home birth, and I was confident that all would go to plan. We ended up transferring to the hospital when I was around six centimetres dilated, because of meconium in my amniotic fluid. It wasn’t an emergency. Everything was fine. I was still on my way to having the vaginal birth I wanted.
About a week after my first baby was born, we were sitting on the couch in our living room and heard a loud noise from outside. Our second-floor apartment overlooked a busy street and when my husband got up to investigate, he saw that a dog had been hit by a car on the street below. He bounded downstairs to help. I stayed put; my newborn daughter resting skin-to-skin against my chest.
When it comes to self-care as a new mom, you have to think like you’re taking off on a holiday. (Trust me; I’m going somewhere with this.) And, while any new mom will tell you that early postpartum life is hardly a vacay, there is a pearl of wisdom perfect for new mama self-care that you’ve likely heard recited by your flight attendant just before take-off: You must put on your own oxygen mask first.
I had an awesome birth plan.