Tuesday, 29 January 2013

When only a mum will do

When I was in hospital for the night after my second birth, the woman in the bed opposite me seemed to be having a difficult time. We both had our curtains shut so didn't communicate with each other, but I could hear her conversations. She'd had a C-section and needed help to pick up her baby for feeds and changes. Feeding was not going well. She was being patronised by midwives. Her baby kept crying. She was exhausted. 

I wanted to go and see her in her cubicle and tell her it would be ok. I was so reminded of the moment in hospital a few days after my first birth when my mum came on a mercy mission. "Your baby needs a cuddle" I told her. "Which one?" she said. I meant me of course. I was exhausted and feeling defeated. Feeding had not been working. Sleep was elusive. I was rapidly becoming institutionalised. 

But on this night I also knew that the kindnesses of strangers, whilst sometimes just what is needed, isn't always the right thing to do - perhaps she didn't want platitudes from a second time mum, or a stranger inviting herself in to her private space. 

So I did nothing. But I was so pleased the next day when her own mum arrived, flung down her bags and gave her a cuddle. She started telling her mum how upset she was. And her mum, lionesses that mums are, growled. Literally, I swear. "No-one treats my baby like that" she said, and soothed her grown up daughter. I knew then that she'd be ok. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love that blog post! It's made me feel all warm and to want to carry Kraken Junior home from school with her scruff between my teeth.