I had my baby B during Level 4 Lockdown at Lincoln maternity hospital. I desperately wanted my mum at the birth also but this wasn't allowed due to COVID. She did however come to our house for the first part of my labour. The birth Of B was beautiful and a really positive experience for myself and my partner.
Post labour is when it all started to unravel. B was born at 8:22 am and my partner had to leave by lunchtime. I have never felt so alone, scared & helpless in my life. I had no idea what to do with my newborn baby. I was exhausted & couldn't rest because I was the only person there with my newborn baby. I was responding non-stop to people calling & texting to congratulate us. I felt too nervous to go to the toilet & to leave B alone.
I did get help with breastfeeding but this was also awful as B would scream and he was forced onto my breast in order for him to latch. I did get fed well & the midwives would come when I buzzed. What I felt I missed was emotional support in the first 24 hours.
No one asked how I was doing, no one sat with me just to have a chat. Because of this, I decided I was only going to stay one night. I desperately tried to get B to latch so I could leave the hospital and be at home with my partner. My partner picked me up the next day at 4 pm. For weeks I struggled to get B to latch. I had this dark feeling I was alone and a bad mother.
B often cried & so did I. I became extremely anxious & overwhelmed. I couldn't cope with having visitors which led to isolating myself further & getting postnatal depression. I eventually sought the help and support I not only needed but deserved.
4 months on I'm doing much better but it's still painful for me to think about. That feeling of loneliness and sadness is still very much there when I think of those first 24 hours.
I wish so desperately my partner could've stayed longer so we could work together to get to know our new baby. I wish the midwives didn't have to distance themselves from me. I wish my family could've visited. I wish I had more time to practice breastfeeding (they may have picked up I had Raynauds too instead of feeding for weeks in severe pain). I wish for so much & can only hope I get that when we have baby #2.