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Thread: Bonding

  1. #1

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    Default Bonding

    I know this sounds horrible, but even though I knew the baby would be born early - when it happened, I found it really hard.



    I had a caesarian, and when the baby was born they put her head near mine. I almost tried to pull myself away, because I didn't know what was happening and felt really scared and confused. I felt like she wasn't mine. Anyway, she was then taken to intensive care and I didn't see her for 24 hours.

    Anyway, I always felt that bonding was a huge issue for me especially with the PND (which didn't help). I just always worried that what with her being in an incubator for so many weeks, how would she know that i'm her mum? She couldn't see, or smell me (I wasn't allowed to hold her for long because she got tired), so how would she know?

    Did anyone else find bonding a worry?

  2. #2

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    I have found bonding to be a HUGE issue for me.

    Hayley was born at 34w via emergency c/s, I had a quick cuddle in theatre before she was whisked to the nursery. She was born at 1.54pm and I finally had a visit from her paediatrician at 3.30pm saying that they would have to transfer her to another hospital with NICU! I was devasted and the next time I got to see her was when they brought her in on the nets trolley before they took her away. Hayley was gone for 4 days and I didnt see her again until Saturday night when they bought her back and I got my first 2 minute cuddle. I was discharged on Monday morning and Hayley was kept in for another 2 and a bit weeks, so it was twice daily visits for me to drop off ebm and hopefully give her a bath and a feed, sometimes the nurses would have already done it, so I would get really upset.

    I have to say that I love Hayley heaps but I know that there is still a lack of bonding there for us. Maybe because we were separated for so long, I am not sure. But I have to say that she is adorable and I am doing my best to bond with her more now, but its just not happening.

  3. #3

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    Hi Girls

    These stories make me feel so sad. I do try to let mums with babies in NICU hold, touch, bath, and feed them as much as I can. But I need to think of the babies health.
    Perhaps we (Midwives) need to be reminded a little more often of how this separation affects you ladies.
    What I would like to do, if you agree, is collect your stories and put them together in a little booklet for Midwives to read. There will be no charge for this booklet, and it may just give us Midwives the incentive to let you ladies hold your baby for just a few minutes longer.
    If anyone is happy to do this please no surnames just your first name and the date of your babies birth.

    For anyone willing to share there stories could you email them to me at
    [email protected]

  4. #4
    kirsty Guest

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    I feel a little differently to most of you as I think I was allowed to bond really well with James after he was born ~ not initially though, all I got was a flash of his bum & his willy ~ told it was a boy ~ & that was basically it until the next day. However once we climbed that hurdle I was encouraged to hold him skin to skin (kangaroo cuddles) when we did have him out of his incubator, talk to him, visit him in the nursery whenever I liked (I usually walked my ebm over the NICU & would sit & talk to him & stroke his hand for about 30mins then wander back to my bed). But yes often holds were limited as he was a 32weeker & needed to keep really warm & not get too tired, but when I was there I was allowed to change his nappy which was daunting enough considering the size of the butt I was trying to wrap.

    While it wasn't the bonding session I probably would have liked to have had I feel that we have done pretty well. I feel incredibly close to my son & just love to hear him tell me how much he loves me & what a gorgeous mummy I am to him (he's almost 3.5yrs old now).

    Alan ~ what you are suggesting sounds great, I guess as far as you guys (midwives) are concerned you have to think of the baby initially & the mums get forgotten a little, but in time I think you gain a perspective of why that is necessary (at least I did ~ I understood that everything that happened, or that I wasn't allowed to do was to give my son the best chance of a great start to get ahead) though it certainly does suck at the time when you can't hold your baby whenever you want to do it. I wish you every success with your project.

  5. #5

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    I get really upset when I think about it. If my daughter ever knew how I felt, I would be devestated.

    In NICU, they say that the baby recognise's the mother by your smell, voice, etc - but I just don't believe it. My daughter never seemed to know if I was there or not and it was so disheartening. I couldn't even touch her without asking a nurse's permission first, and then being watched all the time.

    I sank into post natal depression, and spent most of my time in NICU with tears streaming down my face.

    I find bonding such a big thing for me. My family don't understand, and they say i'm being silly and of course she knows i'm her mother. My GP said that the baby has bonded with me, it's just me finding it hard to bond with her.

    The thing is, I don't seem to be able to comfort her better than anybody else. I feel like i'm just another person in her life... I love her so much, I would do anything for her I just wish I knew she loved me? I feel like i've let her down.

  6. #6

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    This issue is really close to my heart
    For those of you that don't know - our twins were born at 31 weeks
    My son had a 10% and my daughter a 20%. There wern't enough ICU beds where i was aFrances Perry House, so my son got taken to Royal Children's Hospital and was separated from his sister and me for 5 days.
    Having two children in two different hospitals was definately an eye opener. I found that nurses in ICU at RCH very encouraging about bonding with my son. They encouraged me to kangaroo cuddle him, and hold his hand as much as possible. Even though he was the sickest, I got to hold him so much more because of their attitude. He was so much more dependant on machines - but this didn't matter, as they just moved him and the machines together.

    My daugther was not as dependent on machines and was in special care, yet it wasn't until 4 days after her birth that i got to hold her. It was almost like it was a hassle at the start for them to get her out of the isolette. It wasn't until I said that we still haven't held her, that they made the effort. Becuase of what i was experiencing at the other hospital, I pushed for more contact, and that is what made the difference. I had to even push for the two of them to be put together for some 'twin time'

    As for bonding - i bonded with my babes , but bonded with my son quicker b/c of the contact.

    Alan, i would love to partake in your booklet. Just let me know what you are after, and I can send it through. the AMBA have recently put out a brochure for midwives on mutiple births- perhaps something like that could be linked together.

    I would definately like to stress to midwives how important- even though sometimes inconvient, skin to skin and contact is. Even being able to take their temp or gavage feed them, gives you some input. Also, for the midwives to help out with expressing and feeding more. It is the only thing you can do for your babes, and so important. Also, b/feeding prems has its own challenges and as a new parent, trying to b/f a babe is hard enough-let alone a prem- so more assistance would be great.

    enough of the ramble
    just my heart pouring out

    odette
    mum to ariel to immogen - 5/12/2002

  7. #7

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    I totally agree Odette.

    Re the breastfeeding, I also agree. I could only express for my daughter, - she couldn't latch on properly because she was so small. The nurses would try to help for about 5 mins at a time, but they'd be so busy they couldn't really help me for longer. I regret not being able to breastfeed Seren for longer, I think it may have helped us bond more if I had.

  8. #8
    tiggy Guest

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    My babies are still in the NICU, having already done five weeks and I can totally relate to all that you are saying.

    As a midwife too, I am finding it so hard. I know that I am heading towards PND because I feel like I have to fight tooth and nail to even breast feed my babies. It was the same with all of my babies. They just don't feel like yours and you have to work really hard to feel as though you are doing anything constructive for them. Just when you think that you are getting somewhere it feels as though the midwives/nurses are undermining you whenever they can. I know, as a midwife they are trying to do the bast for the babies but we come as a package deal, if you look after the baby, you should look after the Mum too.

  9. #9
    tiggy Guest

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    Alan,

    Just tried to email you at your addy but it wouldn't let it go through.
    Would love to take part.



    I am also a midwife. What's more I have had my twins in the NICU for the last five weeks, with about another three (long) weeks to go.

    Being on both sides of the fence I can relate to the midwives/nurses point of view but can also fully understand how the mums feel, having all of my babies (5) in the NICU and having my son die there.
    Let me know what you need.

  10. #10

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    Hi Girls

    What I am looking for is your story, what happened, how you felt at the time, how you feel now what could have been done to make things better for you.

    Also a big sorry 8-[

    the email address I gave is a little wrong

    it should be

    [email protected]

    Again I will not be selling this booklet. It will be used for educational and information. By sending me your stories implies that you are happy for your story to be used in this way.

    WelshGirl
    thank you for sending me your story

    Odette

    I would be happy to colaberate with the AMBA

  11. #11

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    Tiggy - how are your babies getting on in NICU? Do you know roughly when you'll be able to take them home yet?
    How heavy were they born?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by odette

    My daugther was not as dependent on machines and was in special care, yet it wasn't until 4 days after her birth that i got to hold her. It was almost like it was a hassle at the start for them to get her out of the isolette. It wasn't until I said that we still haven't held her, that they made the effort.

    Like odette I was not allowed to hold my baby for 4 days after she was born. I was in the Royal Womens in Melbourne March last year, and I found that it was a "hassle" for some of the nurses to even let me B/F her. I have bonded with her now but for those first 4 days, I started to wonder if I would ever get to hold her!

  13. #13
    tiggy Guest

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    Hey Welshgirl,

    We are in the level 2 now. "the fat farm' I like to call it!

    They are going really well, Noah doesn't have much of an idea regarding sucking. Ivy is going pretty well, despite me having to fight with the nurses to not top her up after BF, she has put on 60g in the last 48hours. That's my girl, I knew she was getting enough!

    They are 35 weeks and four days today so I'm thinking another two to three weeks and we'll be home but you know how it is, it depends on how they go with their feeding regime and how much weight gain there is.

    Ivy was 1600g born and Noah was 1700g at 30 weeks born. Tonight, Ivy weighed in at 2370g and Noah was 2560g.
    I can't wait for them to come home and make them my own!

    We had head ultrasounds today and hearing tests, Ivy is fine but Noah didn't pass his hearing test and they took a very long time with his head scan. Haven't heard tha reports yet.

  14. #14

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    Tiggy
    We are in the level 2 now. "the fat farm' I like to call it!
    LMAO I love that

  15. #15

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    Tiff - you are one strong lady! I was a total and utter wreck when seren was in NICU. I know what you mean about the fat farm too! Glad they are doing so well...

    Any news re Noah yet?

    How many weeks were they born at? And what about your other kids? You must be a familiar face at NICU by now!

  16. #16

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    when ryan was born after a c/s his father was with him in special care till i could get there and over the next day he seemed to settle whenever his dad stroked him, then they transferred him to nicu 2hrs away and i couldnt get there till the ambulance came for me in the morning (what a nightmare ride less than two days after a c/s!) but at least i was with him but i found that although he would react to me stroking him he definitely seemed calmer when dad did it. so i just concentrated on getting him milk, got to know the machine very well! now ryan is 11mths old and he loves me i know but he is a real daddy's boy and thats ok as i can go to work and know that his dad is there for him and i dont have to worry.

  17. #17
    tiggy Guest

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    hi Welshgirl,

    Ivy and Noah were born at 30 weeks.

    Imogen and Madeline (my eldest and first set of twins) were born at 35 weeks. Immy had a pneumothorax from overzealous bagging when she was resuscitated. We were in there for two weeks and at the time, I thought it was the most traumatic thing I had ever gone through.

    Lily was born at 37 weeks. She was huge but was breathing up. She was only in the NICU for a few hours but on day five (after being home for two days ) had to go back in for a week on oxygen because she caught bronchiolitis.

    William was full term, he was the biggest baby in the level three NICU and also the sickest. That was my lowest point in my experience with the NICU. I hated it, I hated the nurses and doctors, I hated the alarms and the drips and the tubing and wires. You can read my whinge in the 'anyone had a prem' thread if you want (I won't bore you with all the details). I learnt that all NICUs are the same with William, who was transferred to the kids hospital Grace Ward at Westmead on day three.
    That is where he died.

    I have alot of hangups about that. I guess that is why I hate it so much this time around and why I fight the nurses for every little hold, cuddle, bath, nappy change, opportunity to feed.

    Thanks for saying I am strong, most days I don't feel it. I try not to show my emotions in the NICU. They have already sent the social worker around to me twice. I just hold it all in until I get home and then deal with it in private.

    No one has said anything about Noah's scan, so I am hoping it's a case of no news is good news. He hasn't displayed any signs of having a bleed (although they can be silent). He just looks like a small baby boy to me.

    How is Seren, after her NICU experience and how are you? Do you still feel totally traumatised by the experience? I STILL have flash backs of William's time there, it was so awful. I'm sure I will take a while to get over this time around too. It took me about four years to deal with the first set of twins' birth. After telling myself for years I should just feel lucky, I had a total wig out one weekend (when I was a student midwife and I was witness to my first flat baby). I cried and cried and cried and then when I was done, I felt alot better. In hindsight, it was not very bad at all.

  18. #18

    Default

    Tiff, my heart goes out to you. I really feel for you and the spot that you are in at the moment, it sounds like you are doing it tough. And I can totally empathise. I know what it's like to have to get permission to hold, cuddle, bathe (etc) your own child. I often said to Paul when Joshua was in hospital that it didn't feel like he was ours. Good on you for fighting for each little bit of contact.

    I think about you and little Noah and Ivy heaps. Unfortunately my computer has had unknown issues with the site recently and I have only been able to read, and not post. (They seem to have been resolved now O). So, I have been following you around the boards, reading, to see how you are all doing. How are you all today? I hope it has been a good day...

    WelshGirl, sorry to hijack your thread! It sounds like you have been having a tough time too. How are you and Seren doing?

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