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Archive for the ‘Birth Story’ Category

After her first bath was over, the nurse and my husband brought our baby girl into the hospital room that we had been moved to.  We gave our family one last chance to look at her and then they were all kicked out so that I could attempt the first breastfeeding session.

Before she was born, I had been really nervous about nursing. I really wanted to do it but I thought it might be kind of weird or awkward. Well, it was neither of those things.  It came naturally.  She latched on right away and stayed on for a long time.  After the nursing was done, husband and I decided to send her back to the baby nursery so that I could try to get some sleep.  I had been up for nearly 24 hours because of my insomnia the night before.  As my husband changed into his sleeping clothes, I realized that I was extremely thirsty.  We called the nurse and she brought me some apple juice. I gulped it down.  After a few minutes I realized that drinking that juice had been a huge mistake!  I puked all over the place!  We called the nurse yet again, and she came and helped get me cleaned up and made sure I was comfortable.  I guess the anesthesia can do that to you!

Finally, we turned the light off and tried to fall asleep.  Honestly, I don’t know if we were able to or not.  Before we knew it, they were bringing baby into the room for more nursing.   This is what the first few months of parenting are like, it seems.  As soon as you doze off, it’s time to wake up again!  Now that my little girl is over 2 years old, I’m getting so far away from those sleepless nights! When you are in the thick of it, it doesn’t seem like it will ever end.  It does.

The next day was a blur.  The nurse came in and helped me get up to go to the bathroom.  The epidural had worn off and I was starting to be able to feel the pain of the incision.  I took a much-needed shower and got ready for the day.  Between the steady stream of visitors, doctors and nurses were coming in to check on me or baby girl.

After her first night in the nursery, we decided that she would stay in the room with us from that point on.   I’m glad we did that.  I still feel guilty for sending her to the nursery for the first night!   The next morning the doctor came in and I begged her to let us go home.  She said that since everything seemed fine we could go as soon as the pediatrician gave us the go ahead.  Yay!   Even though I had an amazing experience at the hospital, I could not get out of there fast enough. I wanted to get home and start our new life together.

We were released from the hospital that Wednesday morning.  We had been there since 6am Monday morning, which isn’t really that long considering that I had a cesarean section just less than 48 hours before.  The one thing that they stressed to us, was to get baby girl to her pediatrician by Friday.

Finally, we were home! It felt amazing!  My milk still wasn’t in so I nursed her often, hoping the colostrum was doing the trick.  I tried to sleep when she slept but I was so keyed up from the excitement of having a newborn that I couldn’t sleep much.  I think that is what gets new parents thru those first days. After we were settled in, the first thing to do was call the pediatrician to set up her first appointment.

Let me back pedal a minute.  See, before baby girl was born, we had gone to meet with  a pediatrician.  From the beginning, she gave me a funny feeling.  At our new parent meeting before the birth, her demeanor set off my radar, but me being the idiot I am, ignored my gut and didn’t say anything to my husband about it.  Turns out, he had that same feeling but didn’t say anything to me either! IDIOTS!!  Also, I had neglected (simply because I didn’t know any better)  to ask her the most important question about new babies“What is your policy on seeing newborns?”

So when I called the pediatrician and they said that it was their policy not to see newborns until they are 2 weeks old, I pretty much lost my postpartum mind!  If you can say one thing about me, it’s that I live by the rules, so I knew that there was no way on planet Earth that I was going to wait 2 weeks to take my precious newborn to the doctor.  No way!

I looked through the provider guide for our insurance and after making several calls, I finally found a pediatrician that was taking new patients.  We set up an appointment for Friday morning.  What a relief.

The next day was Thursday.  Still, my milk had not come in.  This was getting a bit worrisome.  The baby seemed fine, though, so I tried to assure myself that everything was good, the colostrum was all she needed.  By that evening, we realized that she had not had a poopy diaper since we got home from the hospital.  We called the hospital and gave us a few suggestions for getting her to go.  The last thing they said was that we could try to give her formula.  I was very hesitant to do this so we decided to just wait and see what the pediatrician said the next morning.

We got up the next day and got ready for her appointment.  It was an absolute relief to meet Dr. C.  She was amazing!  I loved her from the start.  She examined baby and found that she had lost over a pound and that she did have jaundice.  She wanted us to bring baby back again on Monday in order to monitor the situation.    New parents, please, listen to your gut instinct!  If I has stuck with the first doctor, we would not have found any of this out!

That night, my milk came in.  That was a shock.  I hadn’t realized that your boobs turn into rock hard, painful, softballs.  I nursed baby on demand all that weekend and by Monday when we went back to the doctor, she had gained a good amount of weight.

My husband went back to work and baby and I settled into a good little routine of nursing, sleeping and diaper changing.  Minus the super annoying case of carpal tunnel syndrome that had hit me the day before I went into the hospital, the first few weeks of parentdom were pretty darn good.

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After about two hours on pitocin, the contractions were still bearable.  The worst pain that I was having was on my tailbone from sitting in the bed for so long.  It was really, really  painful.  My mom,   sister and sister-in-law channel surfed while I made phone calls to my friends, updating them on how it was going.  At this point, my husband was still gone.  I was starting to wonder why he was taking so long. Of course, he did have to go thru the baby’s room looking for all of the things on the list.  Poor guy.  I know that was not an easy task.  Also, he had to deal with the dog.  We decided to just leave him outside and hope that someone would be able to tend to him that night.

Finally, by about eleven A.M. he showed up bringing bags and suitcases.  He had decided that it was better to just bring most of the baby’s stuff than to forget something.  He also had a Burger King cup.  And what was that big stain on the front of his T-shirt?  Ice cream, he said.  Really? Your wife is in the hospital having a baby and you sat down and finished off the cherry vanilla?  This guy is never going to live that one down.  Honestly, I am still confused by that one.  Okay, so it’s getting close to lunch time and keep in mind that I have not eaten anything since the night before.  I was STARVING. They would only let me have popsicles and I think I ate about 5 of them.  I couldn’t quit thinking about the mexican place down the street.  Someone was definitely going to have to get me some takeout from there as soon as I could eat.

Now that my husband was back, my family decided to go get some lunch.  While they were gone, the contractions seemed to go from bearable to absolutely excruciating in seconds.  I endured it for about 30 minutes and then I asked for the epidural.  I don’t remember feeling a thing when they were inserting it.  The pain from the contraction was all I could feel.  Almost immediately, I felt relief.  Night and Day difference.  Plus, because I was numb from the waist down, the tailbone pain was gone.  Aaaaaahh.  When my family got back, they were relieved that I was pain-free.   We watched TV and visited and waited for things to happen.  Unfortunately, nothing happened.  They checked me in the afternoon and I was only a 3.  Every few hours they checked again and nothing. Still a 3.   In the evening, my husband’s family showed up and invaded the room.  Still, no progress.  We watched the Big Bang Theory.

When the Dr. came in at about 7 P.M., she said lets give it another hour and then we may do a C-section.   That kind of freaked me out.  I hadn’t really ever considered that I may have to have one.   She came back and checked and saw that it was the same.  Dilated to a 3.  We determined that C-section was the way to go.  Immediately, things started happening.  Not in a scary kind of way, just in a let’s get this thing going kind of way.  The nurses started to unplug me from monitors and the anesthesiologist came in to explain how they would keep me numb.  My mom came over and squeezed my hand.  She was scared. She hated to see her child being taken to an operating room.  I smiled and let her know that I wasn’t afraid.

They wheeled me to the room and my husband was taken into an area to get his operating room “outfit” on.   I remember that there was a radio playing 80’s music.  I smiled to myself because I am known for liking 80’s music. I could definitely tell that the drugs were different in the operating room. I felt a bit out of it.  More so than when I was in the regular room.  My husband came back in and the Dr. reminded him to take pictures.  He was pretty scared.  Probably more scared than me.   The surgery went well and I wasn’t able to feel a thing.  After about 15 minutes the Dr. remarked on her cheeks.  She was sucking her thumb already.   They pulled her out and held her up for me.  Wow, she looked so different from what I had pictured. But, she was BEAUTIFUL.   I asked if she had ten fingers and ten toes. Is that right? Ten? Stupid drugs. My husband had tears in his eyes.   He went with the nurse to help give the baby her first bath.  While they sewed me up, we talked about Halloween costumes.  Weird.

While all of this was going on, my poor family had to move all of our junk to another room.  Apparently, the big rooms were only for those having vaginal birth.  Not a big deal.  The new room was small but nice.  When they wheeled me to the room, our families were waiting for us.   The baby and my husband were still in the baby room.  Finally, they brought her in.  She was so perfect.  We let the family look at her for a few minutes and then they nurse declared that it was breastfeeding time.  They all had to leave.  At this point it was about 9 or 10 at night so they were going to go soon anyway.  Truthfullly, I wasn’t sad to see them go.  I was ready for it.  Now, it was just me, my husband and the baby. Now, the fun really began.

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Driving to the hospital that day was one of the most stressful and scary moments of my life.  Not only because it was raining and dark and my husband was driving like a maniac to get there fast, but I was terrified that the impact of the fall on my stomach had harmed my unborn baby girl.  As we drove, I tried to tell if she was moving but I couldn’t feel anything.  I tried to remember if she was active in the early morning or if she was more quiet then, but I couldn’t get my brain to focus.  I was just worried sick.  We finally made it to the hospital and they sent us straight to the Labor and Delivery wing to get hooked up to a monitor.   As the nurse worked to get the monitoring started, my husband and I exchanged glances.   He had a kind of dear in headlights look on his face.  My face itched and I couldn’t figure out why.

Eventually, the nurse had me hooked up and it seemed that everything was going okay. The baby’s heartbeat was good.

Then, a thought struck me like a ton of bricks.  I looked at my husband.

“They may induce me today. I am almost 40 weeks along.”   He just looked at me.  It was like I was speaking another language to him.   Most people will think, so why didn’t you think that would happen?  Honestly, it had never crossed my mind.  Looking back now, I see that the wise thing would have been to pack a bag and prepare.  All we had with us was what we were wearing when we got up that morning.   In such a rush to leave the house, I don’t even know if I had my purse.   In my defense, I did have the baby bag packed.  At home.  With all of our other stuff.

When my doctor got to the hospital for her shift, she came from the clinic to see me.  Sure enough, she wanted to induce.  She said that even though it seemed like the baby was fine, the placenta could have torn and we wouldn’t know about it until it was too late.   Up until this point, I had wanted to try to have a natural birth.  Now, with my baby’s life on the line, I was willing to do whatever it took to get her here safely.  They sent us to a room and before I even knew what was happening I had on a hospital gown and they were telling me to try to use the bathroom. I went into the restroom and looked in the mirror.  I looked awful. Dark circles, stringy, unwashed hair, unbrushed teeth.  I looked more closely.  There were tiny cuts all overy my chin.  The grass from my yard had sliced my face when I fell.  I still had grass in my hair.  There would be no cute baby/mama first pictures for me.  No, I looked like a strung out rugby player with grass stains on my knees.  Lovely.

I went back into the room and they started an IV and got the pitocin going.   God, this was happening fast.  Just two hours earlier, I was tossing and turning in bed, listening to the rain. Now, I was attached to a hospital bed.  That is why, to this day, when I hear the term “birth plan” I chuckle a bit.   You never know what could happen. Be open minded. Be prepared for anything.

At first, the contractions weren’t that bad.  I can handle this, I thought.   On the way to the hospital, we had called our moms.    My mom, who was in the last stages of a cancer battle, had been scheduled for chemo that day.  When I called her back to tell her about the induction, she was pretty thrown by it.  She didn’t know what she should do. I urged her to call the cancer center and tell them she was going to miss that day.  She did that.   Instead of going to chemo, my sister would bring her to the women’s hospital for the birth of her third grandchild.  Within another hour, my sister and my mom got there.  I was glad to see them.  They were excited and wanted me to tell them the whole story about what had happened with the dog.  I could tell that my mom (not a dog person) was ready for us to get rid of poor Collin.  She had hear enough about this crazy dog.  Now, that my family was there, we decided that my husband should go home and get our stuff.  I rattled off  a list for him:

Baby Bag – in closet in the baby’s room

Polka dot baby outfit – in same closet

No, white baby outfit

No, pink baby outfit

Oh, just bring them all

Nursing bras

Toothbrush

Pink sweatsuit for me, not the baby

The poor guy was trying to keep up with my brain which was going a million miles a minute.  He left and I can only imagine what he was thinking as he headed back to our house to hurredly do the job that I should have done weeks ago.

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One of the things that I enjoyed the most during my pregnancy was listening to the Pregtastic podcast every week.   It features a panel of pregnant ladies discussing their latest pregnancy symptoms as well as really informative talk about birth, baby care and anything pregnancy related.  The panelists are pretty much the same every week until they give birth and then they are on the show to tell their birth stories one last time.  The birth stories were always my favorite shows.  So in honor of  Pregtastic and Mother’s day, I share my birth story:

The story begins with a dog.  At the time we had what some would call a rather lively (I’d call him demonic) wire fox terrier named Collin.  Although he was the cutest dog you had ever seen, this dog was INSANE.  He actually got banned from the groomers.  Well, I shouldn’t say banned.  The lady would only groom him if the Vet was there to put him under first.   We spent at least a thousand dollars in about 6 months on things dog related after we got him.  He chewed on our air conditioner, cable lines and furniture.  We faithfully took him to obedience school in the 100 degree weather every week  during my third trimester.  At the end of the 6 week course our instructor suggested we get a weight and tie it around Collin in order to slow him down.  He said one of his former students had done that with his wire fox terrier.  WHAT???  At that point, we knew we were in trouble.  We were just going to have to learn to live with this dog.  We did the best we could with him, walking him a lot and trying to wear him out.  One thing we could not do was let him out in the rain because he would go nuts and become a disgusting, muddy mess.  So instead of letting him go out in the rain, we would put a leash on him and take him out in the front yard around our porch to do his business.

When I was 39 weeks pregnant I was really not sleeping well at all.  One Monday morning, I tossed and turned all night and finally just decided to get up and let the dog out.   I think it must have been about 5 am.  So, because of the rain outside, I put Collin on a leash and slipped flip flops on my ginormously swelled feet.  At this point husband was up and getting ready to start studying for a test he had coming up.   Collin and I went out to the porch and walked around a bit.  Then, I decided to take him further out into the yard because it wasn’t raining too bad.  I don’t know what exactly happened but before I knew what was going on, his leash had fallen out of my hand and he was looking at me like “am I free to go now?”  I knew that if I did not get his leash fast, he would be gone in a flash and we would never see him again.   Like the idiot I am, I lunged for his leash, totally ignoring the fact that I was 9 months pregnant.  Although I tried to brace myself with my elbows, I fell flat on my face. I know this because I had grass in my hair for hours afterwards.  I was stunned, laying there.  But I did have his leash.  I yelled for my husband.  Thankfully, I had left the front door open.  He ran out and helped me up, trying to figure out what on earth had just went down.  We went in and I immediately started panicking.  I had just fallen on my stomach.  I was scared. To death.   Fingers shaking and adrenaline pumping I dialed the number of the women’s hospital.  I told the nurse that answered what had happened and explained to her that I had my weekly appointment later that day.  She didn’t hesitate.  “You need to come in right now.”  5 am.  No bags packed.  No bra on.  No contacts in.  I told my husband to put his shoes on.  We got in the car and drove silently to the hospital.  I was praying like I had never prayed in my life.

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