Monday, May 27, 2013

1 month old

Great sleeper, slow eater, easily soothed, 
Starting to focus more, hoping for a smile soon. 
Love this little girl.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

After the birth...

After the euphoria of having had a VBAC and welcoming our daughter- things started to look less peachy...

I had some "extensive" tears from the hand/elbow scraping and after 1 hr in the delivery room the OB wasn't able to stitch me up correctly.  They moved me into the OR and 3 Attendings worked on me for over 1 hr.  Apparently I didn't tear all that bad, but the location of the tear was very difficult to access and stitch- also the bleeding was reducing their visibility- yes they vacuumed blood out of me during this.  Man so much trauma to my poor body. I felt very panicky in the OR, I was shaking uncontrollably from the increased meds so they could work on me without me feeling it, and something was going on with E and D.  I asked to be mildly sedated because although my legs were numb, I was about to jump off the table.  Something about numb legs makes me very panicky- it happened during my epideral too, but with everything else going on in the OR I couldn't cope.

D was fortunately able to accompany me in the OR with our little girl, E.  But as I was being wheeled in I hear the nurse say to another nurse, "she doesn't sound so good, we need to check her out."  So there I am on the table and they begin to asses E- I look over and she looks a bit blue and they say she needs to be checked out because her breathing sounded like grunts.  So D goes with E, and I go into a sedated state till they finish with the stitching.

When I get back to the room they discover I have a fever and begin me on tylenol and antibiotics (oh joy!).  Then D comes back and tells me E is in the NICU having some trouble breathing- she had to have a CPAP to help her reach 100% oxygen.  I was honestly so exhausted and also so high off the birth hormones that I coped surprisingly well.  A bit later the pediatrician comes in to say they did an X-ray and it looks like pneumonia.  So E was started on antibiotics.

She was born around 6:30 pm and went in the NICU around 10:00 pm.  By the next morning she was doing much better, not needing the CPAP, the next X-ray looked much better (no longer were they thinking pneumonia), but her blood tests came back showing some sort of infection could be present.  So they wanted to continue her antibiotics and monitor her for 5 full days.  This was devastating- I hated being in the postpartum section without my baby.  And despite having a vaginal delivery I was seriously struggling with walking, I was in a lot of pain from the surgery, and carrying around my own IV of antibiotics- so visiting the NICU was no easy feat.  I was also pumping and then visiting her every few hours to nurse.  We managed to use only a few ml of formula (mostly because those NICU nurses were NOT very supportive of exclusive breastfeeding- they are all about pushing fluids, measuring output with each diaper, and expecting major weight gain in the first week- I understand why, but E was not preemie or dealing with multiple major issues).

Long story short- E did great, never needing to stay past the 5 days of antibiotics, and we were able to stay down the hall from the NICU in a parents sleep room for the remainder of E's NICU stay after I was discharged.  It was hard being away from L (we visited with him a few hours at a time), but E needed us, breastfeeding was our full time job till she was out.

My recovery has been rough- at times it feels harder then the c-section, at times not...
I am less then 3 weeks postpartum but still in a lot of pain at times, walking hurts, but at least I have my abs!  I can't imagine being around L after a c-section- this guy has been expressing himself by jumping on me, pulling me, climbing, and throwing himself into me.  Poor guy is really struggling with having missed us for about 1 week and now mommy is even more incapacitated then during pregnancy.  Overall he seems to adore E, but he doesn't like to share me with her.

E is turning out to be such as easy baby- despite the difficult delivery, the NICU stay, and health scares, she is calm, sleeps really well, only cries when she wants her diaper changed or to be fed.  It's like a whole new experience to D and I- L was ridiculously hard as a newborn (ha and even still!), so thankfully E will create some balance in this intense family.  She looks a lot like I did as a baby, very curious to see how she grows both physically and personality.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

VBAC Birth Story

She's here, our little girl, our VBAC baby, our soft tempered child.  April 24th, 39 weeks, around 4 am labor began.  L had woken up and D had already left for work so I went to soothe L back to sleep.  I was cramping a lot and needed to use the bathroom so I was very appreciative when I told L, "Mama will be right back." and L said "ok", then fell back asleep.  In the bathroom I discovered bloody show (what a fantastic term).  I was excited and went to lay back down. I texted D to tell him it *might* mean today. Within an hour my water (well a small part) broke- the pop is like nothing else.  D headed home, my mom came by since L would be up soon, and we waited.

Everything was already off to a better start then my last labor- we were excited, we both had slept the night before and contractions were picking up slowly and giving me a lot of time to figure out how to cope with them.  I ate food, watched some shows with D, and eventually put on the TENS machine when the pain was getting intense.  My mom took L to her house once I started getting agitated and he started getting way too interested in the TENS machine.

I took my time after that, showered, bounced on the birth ball, ate more food (I was very hungry!), then called our doula to give her a heads up.  I felt great and was able to relax during the contractions.  As far as timing of contractions I varied from 4-5 min apart to 7-12 minutes apart.  We decided to have our doula come by around 12.  She was awesome and supportive and encouraging.  She wanted to work with me to get me to the hospital to push, meaning labor mostly at home.  I wanted this too, but things turned out a bit differently.  It seemed like the intensity of my contractions and the pain I was experiencing increased, but the frequency/pattern of them varied and weren't consistent.  Certain positions were so painful I would refuse to do them again.

Around 5 I started loosing it- crying during contractions, wanting to go to the hospital.  My doula and D really pushed me to stay.  D and I took a shower and he kept me in there for about 1 hour, each contraction I begged to leave, he stayed strong and got me to stay.  Now why did I want to go to the hospital?  To escape the pain, and to know where I was dilation wise, to be closer to the end.  I always said I would love to have a natural unmedicated birth, but my only true goal was to have a VBAC.

Driving to the hospital was horrendous and traumatic- lets leave it at that.  We arrived and I tearfully stumbled down the halls to Labor & Delivery.  They put me in a triage room to "assess"- that sucked.  In that room I experienced the worst cervical check of my life- it was so painful I about jumped off the table.  Then the words, "3 cm 70% effaced" made me cry.  I felt the same thing happening from Ls birth, lots of time, pain, little progress.  Looking back it was more progress then with L, and I had been able to sleep, eat and manage it better.  But at that point I wanted to be admitted and we discussed pain meds.

I was still fearful of the epideral, which I believed stopped the progress with my last labor and led to the c-section.  So we discussed morphine and decided on that.  Once in the room our doula had D take a nap- she was awesome about encouraging us to rest at different times- this actually made a huge difference because last time we were both so sleep deprived.  I sort of dosed off between contractions, but then felt like I had to pee after each one and had to get up.

Something really special happened for us while we were there, we had previously made friends with a mom at Ls preschool who happened to be an OB at the hospital.  She was very natural birth friendly and had a home birth herself, and was friends with our doula.  Our doula was texting her throughout my labor with updates so when she knew we were headed into the hospital she called and let the staff know to take good care of us.  They absolutely did, I felt more attention and support from this huge teaching hospital with OBs and residents then the small midwife birthing center we used for L.

At some point they said they wanted to check me again- I can't remember the time, but we had seen my contractions slow down from the morphine and with my water being broken pitocin was our next step.  I knew I could not deal with pitocin without an epideral so I agreed.  At this point I was sad, and believed that a c-section was in our future.  I agreed to a check, but requested a different Dr- that first check was so awful I needed a different touch/energy.  We go a great Dr and it didn't hurt at all (amazing how different  check can be).  She noted I was still 3 cm but now 90% effaced.  I cried, I felt broken.  This was hours later, and no more dilation.

Then I heard words that changed everything- the Dr. asked if I had any past cervical procedures- I had about 12 years prior and asked why.  She said because you have scarring.  She noted that my internal part of my cervix was more dilated then the external, which is the opposite of what they usually see.  She massaged out the scarring (again basically painless- this woman was a godsend)- I immediately went to 4 cm.  Not a huge difference, but now I had some hope, and some explanation for why labor is so slow.

I got the epideral and they started me on a small dose of pitocin.  We ended up stopping at 6 (which is a very low dose) because thats all my body needed.  The next time I was checked a few hours later I was a 7 and 100% effaced!  I cried, happy tears of course, I had never heard anything above a 4-5- my body was working.  I was able to sleep some with the epideral- again big difference from last labor.  My Dr. came by to visit me which was nice- again I just felt very supported there.

At once point I started feeling more pressure and they checked me to find the rest of my bag of waters had broken (D said he could hear the water rushing out of me it was so much) and baby was moving down and engaging.  A few hours passed and the nurse made a call, and very quickly a bunch of people rushed in the room to check on me.  They decided on an internal monitor on the baby because they weren't picking her heart rate up on the monitors.  The Dr. checked me first and said, "you're complete and baby is at +1 station""- of course I cried again and I knew it was really happening this time.  As quickly as the people came into the room they left.  They let me labor down a bit, turned down the epideral and rest so I could push.

I was so happy but also afraid that pushing would be hard.  I got the best nurse for the delivery, and until our little girl crowned, it was just D, our doula, and our awesome nurse.  I puked and started to feel some intense pain prior to pushing.  When I started pushing I liked using the mirror (something I wondered would be uncomfortable prior to labor).  I didn't feel her moving down, but I did feel her crowing and seeing her head and touching the top of her head was incredible.  I felt a lot of pain on the topwhen she came out and that was due to her hand/elbow tearing me on the way out (more on that later).  When she came out they handed her to me and I said, "shes so slippery".  She was, and had almost no vernix.  She cried and looked around.  Her cries were a bit "wet" sounding (more on that later as well).  But she was there, on my chest, my little girl, my VBAC baby.

After the delivery things got a lot less positive and I will write about that soon- both little girl and I had to have some medical attention.  We are both happy and healthy now.