My initial feelings when Emsley was born were shock and disbelief. I truly couldn’t believe that I was a mom. I remember the nurses placing her on my chest and instead of looking at her, I turned to look at my husband with wide eyes and an open mouth. I couldn’t believe there was a tiny human on me. Even though I had carried her in my belly for 8 and a 1/2 long months, it was still such a strange thought to me. I remember thinking, “this belongs to me?”, “SHE belongs to me?”. These thoughts lasted for quite some time, even after we came home from the hospital. I would regularly hear people refer to me as a mother or to Emsley as my daughter but it constantly felt as though they were talking about someone else. People would often ask how I was adjusting to my new role as a mom, but I never had much to offer in terms of a response. Looking back now, I think it was because I didn’t really believe that she was here to stay, that she was really mine to keep.
When I first arrived home from the hospital with Emsley I was struggling with the whole concept of breastfeeding as well as the incredible amounts of pain that was associated with it, (see The Truth About Breastfeeding part one if you haven’t already read it). Within a few days of being home, a large, hard mass formed in my right breast and I soon learnt that I had developed a plugged duct. My right breast felt as though it was engorged again; hard and uncomfortable as well as extremely painful. A day after I noticed the lump, I also started to experience some minor flu like symptoms. I felt achy, sore and just “off”. I also didn’t have as much energy as I normally did. Despite feeling unusually yucky, I chalked it all up to the fact that I had just given birth, not realizing at that time that it was connected to the plugged duct.