This post really continues on from part 1 here. Over the last few weeks I have been thinking more about what had happened to me in the days after Joseph's birth and what could have made it better.
On the Sunday, after my somewhat ill-fated breakfast, I tried to settle down with a book. I couldn't think or concentrate, my head was all over the place, and I felt lonely. There was no one to talk to. Visitors weren't allowed on the ward until 12, so my husband had to stay home. There was no communal sitting room and the cafeteria was an inconceivable distance away in my current condition.I had been advised not to go to the unit that morning as Joseph was having a number of x-rays and other procedures done. So I sat.
A midwife came in to do her notes and check up on me, see how my scar was doing etc. As we were talking she looked at me and scowled.
"You are not wearing a bra", she hissed. "Um, no", feeling like a naughty schoolgirl. "My milk has come in and they are huge, my maternity bras don't fit." She went a funny colour and started to rant "We tell you mothers all the time you must go and get fitted before delivery, you'll never learn will you, its so important to have a well fitting nursing bra".
How I didn't cry I will never know. I grinned "yes, you are right, I never should have agreed to a section at 27 weeks until I had my bra sorted out, how deeply inconsiderate of me. You know what, they should have a Marks and Spencer bra fitter in recovery shouldn't they?"
She barked "well you should have got your mother to fetch you one." At that point tears did sting my eyes. Not only had she reminded me of how awful this situation was, but that comment just reinforced that I was completely alone. My mother was in Australia, and if she thought for one second I was sending my husband out to buy me a bra, she could go and get me one herself!
She made her retreat, muttering an apology. I sat down and had a little weep. Then there was another knock at the door.
A fresh faced woman came in clutching a plastic bag. She was the Bounty lady. Had I known more about it, I would have told her to go away, but she made it sounds like I had to talk to her. She started asking loads of questions about my baby, and even pretended to care, all the time pushing this marketing material at me. This bag contained loads of leaflets and samples, all things of no use to me at that point. She wanted me to sign my name and give my details, and of course, being gullible, and just wanting her gone, I did sign her paperwork. Cue many annoying pieces of marketing material and the odd phonecall in the months to come.
But worse, when she was gone. I opened the bags. I should have known better. As I got out the enormous nappies that could have been a sleeping bag for my tiny little baby, I just cried and cried and cried. I couldn't stop.
It was all so unfair, I shouldn't have to deal with these people, with their agendas and prejudice. I didn't need leaflets telling me how to latch my baby, or enormous disposable nappies supposedly for newborns. I didn't need a nursing bra, millions of women manage to effectively feed their youngsters without them.
All I needed were some friendly faces, a cuddle, my husband. Most of all, I needed my baby.