Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Birth & Aftermath

After the amnio, we came home and I immediately started to contract again.  I spent the next 5 days contracting every 3-6 minutes.  I got nervous twice when they were 3 minutes apart and went to triage.  Still no cervical change so they sent me home - always with offers of more procardia.  Umm.  No thanks since I nearly died with the first dose.  I was flat out totally exhausted by the time it was scheduled c-section time.  I asked my sister to come up to help my mom and the golden child watch A2.  And truthfully, to help the stress level with the two of them.  The golden child had chewed the inside of her lip raw over the weekend worried about the impending birth and my mom was a nervous crying wreck.

We showed up on time and things got rolling.  As they were about to take me back, they had to take back an emergency c-section -  so I got bumped for about an hour.  Baby A2 came up with my mom and sister and wanted NOTHING to do with the whole process.  He saw me with an IV, my gown, and get up and immediately requested to go home.  Now.  Please.  Thank you.  Do you see the door over there?  Let's hit it.  So everyone went to lunch and I went to have a baby.

I had a sort of bad impending doom feeling as I walked into the OR and straddled the table to get the spinal.  I tried to chalk the feeling up to anxiety.  The CRNA student prepped my back and tried to put the spinal in and missed.  Unfortunately, at that exact moment, the anesthesiologist walked in to see how things were going.  I didn't recognize her and pretty quickly figured out that she was a locum tenens.  Bad news.  She then proceeded to attempt to get the spinal another six times.  Six.  As in - not enough fingers on one hand to count how many time she jammed a needle into my back.  There was talk of general anesthesia.  I was freaking out about getting an epidural abscess or hematoma or spinal cord injury from her nincompoopness when the OB/friend came in all scrubbed and ready.  I finally had enough and asked her to stop - and asked her to allow the CRNA to put the spinal in.  She got in on the first attempt - I was hugely relieved.  Relieved for about 30 seconds until my blood pressure and heart rate dropped down to nearly not measurable.

You guys.  Seriously.  I have never, ever felt that sick.  I was puking and freaking out, watching the monitor, listening to the anesthesiologist bark orders for drugs that I give patients during codes when the situation is nearly hopeless.  And then give more.  And more.  And more.  They gave me 6 liters of fluid in a matter of minutes.  I finally started to feel somewhat better - like I might possibly live through the experience and they let Monk in.  He took one look at me and freaked out.  I would have to imagine that I didn't look exactly excited and happy to be there. 

The nice part about them overdosing the spinal was that I didn't feel a cotton picking thing.  At all.  Nada.  They took the baby out and he immediately started screaming - a scream I was so glad that I was awake, alive, and able to hear.  He was perfect.  His lungs were obviously mature.  They collected cord blood (has anyone else done that?!?), tied my tubes,  and the closing took a long, long time.  I had a lot of muscle damage that she sewed up.  The OB/friend left to fly to a conference in Vegas and assured me that her partners would take care of me well in her absence. They moved us to recovery where I was finally able to hold my peanut.  After all my worries about a giant monster baby, he came out well over 7 pounds and 21 inches - but I swear he looks and feels like a 5 pound peanut.  He is still curled up soooo tight.  He looks just like his older brother did - but somehow tinier (actual weight difference was a mere 3 ounces), and much much darker in complexion.  His blood sugar was low - 35 - and they encouraged us to nurse.  He easily latched on and contentedly nursed for close to an hour.    I suddenly got another wave of nausea and started puking - and puking - and sweating.  It was so awful.  And just wouldn't stop.  They finally called anesthesia to give me something else.  I don't even remember what it was but it helped immensely.

Things with the baby went well after that - He was mildly jaundiced but passed all of his other screenings well.  He nursed, peed, and pooped like he was supposed to.  Things with me were incredibly uncomfortable.  I had close to no pain at all with Baby A2.  I realized that this was my 3rd section - but it honestly was nothing even close to the other two in terms of pain.  I could barely move - even with decent and frequent doses of pain medicine.  It hurt to lift and hold the baby- it hurt to walk, to turn.  My lower back was extremely achy - and bruised like you wouldn't believe from all of the spinal attempts.  They kept telling me that my incision was fine, that it was a different baby, different experience.  It didn't feel right.  I finally asked to go home because I felt like maybe I would be more comfortable here. 

I went to the OB to get my staples out on Tuesday to be told that I have a massive incisional hematoma - something that she felt I should have gone back to the OR for to have evacuated.  Apparently no one looked at me as close as I thought they did.  At this point, there are really no options but to let it resolve on it's own.  I'm just now - a week out - able to get in and out of bed without help.  My blood pressure is up and I still have massive swelling - so I'm getting a work up for post-partum ecclampsia.  Seriously.   

Baby A2 has done so much better than I thought he would.  He and I have both had melt downs at times - more on that later.  Someone in my house has hungry lips and is ready to nurse.  Had to get the details down before I forgot them.  And ohmygoodness the in-law drama. Seriously.  I might have to start a new blog just about in-law drama after this birth.

Friday, December 9, 2011


We are home, nearly tucked in for the night.  It was a very, very rough delivery and continues to be a rough recovery, but we're both alive and healthy.  The baby has done great - he's a trooper.  He was 7 pounds, 13 ounces, 21 inches long.  He did have some post partum hypoglycemia - but never required NICU care.  It corrected with breastfeeding alone.  He's nursing well, has all of his parts in working order, and is only mildly jaundiced at this point. 

Baby A2 is handling things very well so far, much better than I could have hoped for though I sense some sadness looming on the horizon.  The golden child is in love with her newest sibling, and after being more helpful than I would have thought possible for a teenager, escaped tonight to a hot tub party with friends. 
For several minutes when I got home, baby A2 "helped" me nurse baby K (held my breast while the baby suckled), and the golden child held baby A2 propped on me to allow him to help without hurting my stomach.  It was, honestly, almost more than I could stand.  These three lives that I've somehow brought into this world, helping and loving each other and me through enormous change.

More details when I can sit up for longer than 4 minutes. 

My newest love, Baby K, dressed in his take home outfit.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Life will be changing pretty drastically around here in less than 24 hours ....which is exciting, and wonderful, and terrifying.  There are so many things that are perfect right now that I know will never be the same once the newbie arrives.  My sister had her 3 babies at the same time that I had the golden child - boom boom boom - one after another.  I distinctly remember being in the delivery room with her and seeing this tiny perfect being in his first moments on earth, and how wonderful it was.  And how, minutes later, when her older children were brought in the room, they seemed decades older to me.  The fourteen month old baby seemed suddenly gigantic and old and childlike instead of the infant he was before I walked in the delivery room. 

 Things I want to remember and keep just as they are right now:
  • The fact that although the golden child has her driver's license and her own car, she mostly remains dependent and not at all excited about driving around.  She's still content to be here,with us.
  • That the golden child could not be more excited about a new baby coming into our lives, even though she understands the sacrifices it will mean for her with college, and college visits, and spring break trips.  That she isn't somehow embarrassed.
  • The unabashed way that baby A2 laughs at whatever strikes his fancy - deep baby belly laughs at things we would otherwise not notice.
  • Baby A2's need for skin to skin contact for comfort
  • The way A2 pronounces his "R"s ....especially when requesting a "haircut".  Haircut is perhaps my favorite word that he says right now.   Either that or "withgether".  As in, "Mommy, want to play soccer withgether??"  We can't get him to say together for anything.
  • His insistence on referring to himself as "the baby".  If someone is carrying him out of the room, he often says "Ohno!  Where is your baby going, mama??"
He had several moments today when he nearly lost it when talking about "the little brother" who is coming out tomorrow.  I wish I knew how to comfort him, how to let him know that it will all be okay in the end.  That he will still be loved.  That even though our relationship will change - especially over the next few weeks when I can't pick him up and am wrapped up in establishing a new routine with 2 babies, we'll find our way back to each other.

I'm getting pretty nerved up now about the physical aspects of what's happening tomorrow - all of the discomforts of getting the spinal, the nausea and itching and pain afterwards.  Trying to not overmanage who will be allowed to come in when ...worried about every living sole that I work with peeking in to say hi when I'm trying to bond and nurse with the new (still un-named) baby.  Trying to figure out a way to not be mean to my mother in law who somehow managed to contract a plague like sinus infection 2 days before I give birth when I tell her I don't want her around or touching the baby.  Because umm.  Yeah.  How do you do that tactfully??  And of course - worried about the baby.  That he will handle the transition well.  That his lungs will be okay.  That I've done a good job managing my blood sugars and he won't experience any hypoglycemia after delivery.  That he's healthy.  That he has all of his parts and they're all in working order. 

I just want it to all be okay.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Trial Run

Yesterday was perhaps one of the most physically unpleasant days of my life.  Of course, I've decided to blog about it to keep it fresh in mind for all of eternity.

The amnio was scheduled for 9:45.  We woke up, got to the hospital an hour early as directed and things progressed normally.  Amnio was eventless - the fluid was amber and clear.  Typically,with mature lungs, it should be colorless and very cloudy.  I didn't really feel like they were going to be mature going into things, so I wasn't incredibly disappointed.  About a half hour after the amnio, I started contracting, which is mostly expected.  Contractions quickly escalated to every 3 minutes and became very, very uncomfortable.  The official fluid results came back as early transitional - but definitely not mature.    We then spent the next eight hours trying to stop labor.  They gave me three liters of fluid and 2 medications - none of which worked.   I didn't seem to be progressing as all - they weren't getting more intense or more frequent and my cervix wasn't changing.  They called the MFM for recommendations.  He felt like we should still try to stop labor for 2-3 days because the baby would probably otherwise end up in the NICU - maybe even vented.  WTF?!?  At nearly 39 weeks?!?  I don't get it at all.   He also thought that maybe because I wasn't progressing that my uterus was just pissed off about having no food for 24 hours and suggested feeding me.  I was reluctant - because that guaranteed another 6 hours of uncomfortable labor if it didn't work.  So we settled on an oral dose of procardia, which they assured me they would know if it would work or not within 20 minutes.  About 10 minutes into it, I thought I was dying.  I turned myself on my left side, adjusted my IV rate to give me a crap load of fluid, and asked Monk to get the nurse.  When she came back, I was feeling somewhat better - and my blood pressure was 60/20.  The baby didn't seem to mind at all and tolerated the whole thing really well.  After a couple of more liters of fluid, I started to feel a little better - just incredibly flushed, racing heart, and horrid headache.  And hey ...the contractions stopped.   So they fed me ...and sent me home with plans to return on Wednesday for the section.  I'm supposed to be on super limited activity.  No sex, no activity, no shopping or lifting and do what I can to avoid labor between now and then.  Who would have thought?  Who stops labor at almost 39 weeks?

We came home and settled in for the night.  We comforted my distressed mother, daughter, and two year old and tucked ourselves into bed.  I have another three days of pregnancy before a section and tubal ligation ....and hopefully a live baby to cuddle to show for it afterwards.

The only thing I'm really struggling with is how to parent a 2 year old and a newborn.  My 2 year old is very very cuddly and needy.  He still needs to cuddle and "touch nursies" several times throughout the day.  He is recently potty trained and sleeping through the night.  Today, when laying down with him for a nap, he kept trying to touch nursies (which I have been avoiding to avoid contractions) and when I said, "No", he screamed, "THOSE ARE NOT THE NEW BABY'S" !!!   I sense big big problems coming my way and don't have a clue as to how to deal with them to make this less painful for him.  There's a reason that my first 2 kids were 13 years apart - I swear.

Any and all advice accepted and appreciated :)