Sunday, December 30, 2007

2 week birthday (new years eve), birth story

Ok, I understand that I am supposed to be tired.  Everyone told me I would be tired, I accept that.  What I am having trouble with is the level of bone-aching tiredness that has been the last week.  This weekend has finally started to get better and I am now truly up and about so I think (hope) that we are on an upswing.

Anyway, lets start at the beginning.

I had a lot of reasons for wanting a c-section.  I have a real anxiety about labor.  I have a deep-seated fear that I will freak out during labor and make the entire experience much worse that it has to be.  I had spoken to my dr about this and asked that some sort of calming agent be available.  He said that was perfectly acceptable but that since I was so open about talking about my anxiety and fears he didn't really believe that I had much of a problem.  He felt that those with the real issues are those who deny there is a problem, or don't recognize when they are in the throws of an anxiety attack.  H was sitting with me during this appointment and he made a face at me like, "He doesn't really know you very well".

Another reason for a c-section, I have had two miscarriages.  In each of these, nothing happened.  I never started bleeding, I never felt any cramps, nothing.  I had a real concern that my body wouldn't really know how to go into labor. 

Oh, and I didn't want to have my baby on xmas.  That just seemed so unfair to him.

Anyway, my dr was fine with all my reasons and allowed us to schedule.  We were scheduled for 39w1d.  This put us at Dec 17, and if I went into labor naturally I would have just attempted to have a natural birth, but if I hadn't gone into labor by that date, we would have the c-section.  Having a plan, an end point, was so incredibly helpful.  It made everything fall into place.  We had all our xmas shopping and shipping done.  All the cards had been sent, an email list was created for the birth announcement.  I just felt like I had a level of control that I needed.

My appointment was scheduled for 12:30pm, things were running a little behind but nothing surprising.  My BIL is a resident at a different hospital, but he did tell me a few things to expect from the spinal which was really good.  I got the spinal and immediately started to feel nauseas and dizzy.  It was pretty horrible, apparently your blood pressure can drop which makes you feel this way.  As soon as I mentioned it, they started another medicine in the line which increases your blood pressure, it took about 5 full minutes to really work, which felt like forever, but once it did work I felt so much better. 

I could tell they were cutting, but not really where, it felt like they were cutting higher on my belly than where the scar actually is, so perhaps most of what I was feeling was the pressure from their hands and the retractors.  H got some video of the 'experience' but so far I have refused to watch it.  I guess he saw them pull out my intestines or something to get at the baby.  I didn't really get a lot of detail there. 

We were told that as long as things went well, they would remove the baby, show him to me, wipe him off and give him to me or H to hold while finishing up all the cleaning out and closing up.  Well, that isn't exactly what happened.  There was a sheet hung up between me and my belly so I couldn't see any bloodiness, and when they finally got the nugget out, the dr said 'Look up, look up look up, here is your son!"  He basically flashed the baby at me for barely a second and then immediately brought him to a table I couldn't see.  It was very quiet, at this point there was no baby crying. 

They had to suction his lungs and give him oxygen.  He wasn't really breathing and no one would tell us anything.  They let me see him again after a few minutes when he was a bit better, but he hadn't 'passed' the Apgar tests, so they brought him to the NICU for a half an hour.  As far as NICU visits go, a 30 minute visit is not bad.  I think they just wanted a bit of privacy and quiet to get a real sense of what kind of trouble he was having with breathing.  For the next day or so, he was still 'wheezy', which they call grunting, but if he was held upright the sound stopped. 

We basically kept him in our room the entire 4-day stay except for the first night.  They nurses wanted to keep him in the nursery to be able to listen to him breathe during the night.  They just wanted to make sure the fluid was clearing from his lungs.  We had agreed that we wanted to try breastfeeding.  I know that the milk doesn't come in right away but still the nugget was losing weight and quickly.  Each nurse had a different suggestion as to how to hold him, latch him, everything.  It was a little confusing but still everyone was very kind. 

He was born at 8lbs 8oz, and by the third day he was 7lb 8.6oz.  At this point, we were told to begin to add formula as my milk still hadn't come in.  We added 1/2-1 oz after each feeding.  We left the hospital on Friday afternoon and had our first pediatrician appointment on Saturday morning.  By this point, my milk had finally come in, and his weight had gone to 7lb 15.5oz.  Basically he had gained half a pound in about 30 hours.   We were told we could stop the formula and just breastfeed for the near future. 

By this point though, breastfeeding was so painful.  I was cut and bleeding and it was not a pleasant experience.  It is still getting better, but really there is still pain whenever he feeds. 

We are still going in for weigh-ins at the pediatrician's.  He is not gaining weight consistently yet.  I think the formula really put us in a weird situation.  He gained too much weight, too quickly and now we are trying to re-normalize what his weight gain really is.  Part of the problem might be that I wasn't able to eat very much for a few days.  He was feeding so frequently and for so long, that I never had the time to make food or eat anything.  Apparently this makes breastmilk be 'skim' since there isn't really anything spare to put in it, making him need to feed more frequently.  This got to be a brutal loop that we are trying very hard to break.

I lost 15 lbs while in the hospital, and another 5 in the next five days at home.  This seems a little quick to me, so I am trying to be more conscientious about my intake.

Things are starting to settle in a little bit.  He is a beautiful angel and becoming far more alert every day.  He slept every minute he wasn't eating at first but now he eats and then is alert for a little while before falling asleep.  He is already a little spoiled.  He does not like to be put down at all.  If he is not eating, he still wants to be held.  This makes showering and going to the bathroom a little complicated.  It is alright though.  He is totally worth it. 

His name is Sebastian, he is mommy's little angel.


J Fife said...

Wow! What a whirlwind of experiences. Just try to remember that it really all does get easier. Honestly. Those first few weeks are the toughest.

So, so, so happy for you and The Nugget - I mean Sebastian.

Nico said...

I can't say congratulations enough! I am so so very happy for you. And the breastfeeding definitely will get easier and less painful, the first two weeks are by far the worst and things should start improving soon.

I'm very glad he didn't have to spend much time in the nicu, it must have been frightening for you nonetheless.

Finally, one piece of assvice - in addition to making sure you eat, make sure you drink a ton too. I would drink a 24oz poland springs bottle (refilled with tap water because I am cheap as all get out) with every nursing session. It really helps keep the milk coming.