3 weeks with baby

After a bath, with Grammy

I can’t believe that my baby is 3 weeks old today! I know that as the weeks progress, 3 weeks will seem so little, but right now, it feels like time is flying, and he is already so different than the day we brought him home.

Since bringing him home, he does two main things: eat and sleep. As the weeks progress he has more and more alert time, and I am starting to see a pattern emerge in his sleeping/waking/eating habits, not much of a pattern mind you, but more than the first couple of days.

After my c-section, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. No judgements on what other mothers do, for their babies, but it was really important to me that my son was breastfeed, and not formula fed. Again, if it had come, does come down to it, formula is fine, great even. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure my baby survives. BUT, breast feed, so far, has been going really well. As well as breast feeding goes for a new mom, and a 21 day old baby. The first 9 days were pretty rough. My nipples hurt, and I really had no idea what to expect.  Luckily, my midwife’s office, has an AWESOME lactation consultant on staff, and I made an appointment with her when Anderson was 9 days old. I had been feeling a tiny bit frustrated, mostly due to Anderson’s cluster feeding, and my lack of knowledge about if what I was doing was “right,” as in correct. She had me feed him in front of her, and she said that we were doing pretty well. She gave me a few pointers, that have made things better, and having the reassurance that we weren’t totally off base, was a great self confidence booster.  Now, at 21 days, I’m pretty confident in knowing if we have a good latch, and if he is eating, but feel like I’m on a new part of the breast feeding learning curve. I am feeding on demand,  and I feel like I can’t tell when he is eating because he is hungry, and when he is nursing for comfort. The internet  will tell you that babies don’t use mom as pacifiers, that if they are showing signs of wanting to nurse, that they are doing it either because they are hungry, or they know they need to increase your milk supply. Of course the internet will also give you the opposing position, and say that babies do use moms for pacification, and that you shouldn’t let your baby do that. You can find strong opinions on just about every aspect of child rearing, usually conflicting with eachother.

I have decided that if he is rooting around, and can’t be consoled by any means, than he is probably hungry and I feed him. Unfortunately, I think I sometimes don’t read his cues correctly. Last night he nursed for almost an hour (this was from 2:30 to 4:00 am by the way), I changed his diaper and he was fussy. I tried soothing him in my arms, but was so tired and frustrated (he had been fussy at the breast) that I didn’t really have the patience to try to soothe him with out offering him the chance to nurse. I did that, and he was not interested. I went into the bedroom, and told my husband to watch him, that I had to pee.  When I got back, my husband told me, to get in bed and go to sleep that he would soothe the baby and take him in the living room. And what do you know, he was able to soothe him to sleep, and he slept for almost two hours, till he woke up and was ready to nurse again. My point, I guess, is that I need to try other methods of soothing, and not always jump to nursing, i’m sure my nipples will thank me.

As for sleep, he isn’t sleeping through the night, and I don’t expect him to. I think mothers somtimes have too high of expectations for new borns. The past four nights he has been consistently up to nurse every hour and a half (although if you count from the start of a nursing session, to the start of the next, like some people do, then it’s more like every 2 to 2.25 hours). He is starting to have more of a pattern during the day, with a morningish “nap” and an afternoon “nap” although what times these occur are not consistent. Everything that i have read, says not to expect a baby under 4 weeks to have any sort of circadian rhthym, day and night are the same to them.

My recovery is going well. Two weeks ago I started taking short walks around the block, and this week was up to walking almost a mile. I have walked with Anderson in a moby wrap, an Ergo carrier, and his stroller. I am not quite confident or comfortable with the carriers yet, I feel like I either tie the moby too tight, or too lose, and with the Ergo I feel like his little face is smooshed into my chest. But, with both of these, and the stroller, he easily falls asleep as soon as I get him in the carrier and comfortable. I also have a sling, but it’s too small. I am sending it back this week, for a larger size. I’m looking forward to the new size arriving, so I can wear Anderson when we are out and about. Putting him in the sling is so much easier than the moby or the Ergo, at this point.  Ok, I got side tracked from my recovery….I don’t have daily pain any more at this point, and haven’t since week 1. I do have some pain when I sleep on my side for too long, or lift something too heavy. I’m trying not to get too anxious to get back into an exercise routine, so I can feel a little bit better about my body.

I have lost, with out trying, 30 pounds of the 42ish that I gained. I figure that 30 was the baby and fluids etc, from pregnancy, and the remaining 12ish are what I gained from not eating as strictly during pregnancy as I did, pre-pregnancy. Of course, like all moms, even though I have lost lots of weight, things are shaped differently, and my prepregnancy clothes, even my “fat’ clothes don’t fit yet. All in good time.

So, life with baby is good. His sweet little face makes every sleepless hour, and stretch mark worth it.

Advertisements

Letters to Dad

May 6th, was both the most wonderful, and saddest day of my life. My son was born at 6:24pm, and four hours later, my dad passed away.
My dad had a stroke on Thursday May 3rd. My brother called to tell me that evening. Needless to say, the days leading up to my sons birth were the most emotionally charged days of my life.
My dad would have been the consummate grandpa. Truly. My heart aches that he never got the experience.
So, as part of my healing from and dealing with this, I am going to start a series on my blog called “letters to dad.” and they are going to be just that…letters to my dad. I think they will be updates on the baby, and life, and they might just be emotional letters that matter only to me.
My dad was a letter writer…even in this day of email, he wrote real letters to my brother and me, now…I will write to him.
And because I think my baby is adorable…

20120521-191627.jpg

Birth story

This is the Birth Story of our son Anderson. It is disjointed, and reads more like a journal entry. I was going to go back and edit it, to make it more of a story, but decided I’m not going to.

 

3pm Friday… Midwife appointment.
Belly continues to grow! Agh!! Still at once cm but my cervix is lower and softer. Midwife inserts a foley catheter and tells me it should help with dilation. I am all for this. Not too comfy. Can’t lift my leg to get dressed. Husband has to help me put on my underwear and jeans. Let the humbleness of birth begin. Get put on monitors. Pretty cool to see my contractions. At the very end had super intense contractions. Get a really bad contraction/ cramp as we leave. Am extremely uncomfortable an start getting hot an sweaty. Not comfy and I need to use bathroom. Get home and have loose bowels and vomit. Bad bad contraction. Beg husband to call midwife to see if this is normal. It is. Get on my exercise ball. Start feeling better. Having contractions that are similar to the last two days. Need to use the bathroom again and woop! The catheter falls out! I tell my husband, look at it and my mucous plug is on it! Call the midwife because I am a crazy first time mom. She assures me it is fine. Call her if I go into active labor, and If not she will see me tomorrow!

I do not go into labor on Friday, nor during the day on Saturday. I continue to have intermittant cramps, but nothing serious.

We arrive at the hopsital, and I have a mini-break down in the parking lot. It just felt monumental. When we left the hospital, we would be parents!

We checked into labor and delivery at 5pm, got situated in a labor and delivery room, and were also told that we had already been assigned a recovery room, so we could leave our stuff in there, and use it as needed.

My midwife came to check me, and I was 3 centimeters! I was super stoked about this. She inserted the cervadil, and I was told I had to stay in bed for two hours, and then I could get up and move around and eat some food. The rest of the night prooved uneventful, the cervadil did not throw me into active labor.

I was up at 5am, to take a shower before the induction started. By this time I was no longer nervous, just ready to get the show on the road.

The nurses hooked me up the IV, and the party started. I also tested positive for Group B Strep, so I had to have IV antibiotics. I was NOT happy about being tied to an IV stand, but such is the nature of induction.

I was on an intermittant monitor, so I was able to get up pretty easily, just had to take my IV pole with me.

Things started to progress, and my contractions were getting stronger and stronger.  I was getting really hungry, and the nurse brought me my “clear liquid diet tray.” On this tray was: jello, soda, juice, tea, and beef broth. oh, and a popsicle. I have never been so excited for a breakfast of beef broth and a red popsicle. The nurse would come in every once in a while, and check on me, but for the most part we were left to our own devices while I labored. I was working through my contractions, breathing and thinking “relax and open, relax and open.”

My midwife arrived about 9am to check me. I was still at a three, after 3 hours of labor with pitocin. She asked me if I was ok with her breaking my water, with the hope that the baby would descend a little bit, and put some pressure on the cervix to help with dilation. I said it was fine.

HOLY COW. I GUSHED water, and proceeded to gush water for the next hour. I had SO much amniotic fluid, my belly shrank a TON after my water broke. I was almost worried that the baby was too small there was such a difference in belly size. The midwife agreed, that with the amount of amniotic fluid I had, the baby probably wasn’t as big as we assumed, but that he would still be a sizeable baby.

The nurse started upping my pitocin, and around 1pm, the contractions were 1 minute apart, and coming every minute. Minute of contraction, minute of rest, etc. And they were painful. I see now why people get an epidural at the start of their induction. Those contractions, when your body doesn’t get the chance to warm up? They are no joke.  I told my husband I wanted an epidural. He asked me if I was sure. I told him, that I didn’t know. He told me he would ask me again in five minutes, to see if I still felt the same way.

5 minutes later….I still felt the same way. I could not relax through the contractions. The nurse checked me and I was a 4. She called the anesthesiologist to come in (this was sunday, so he had to come in from home). He got there about half an hour later, and I was MORE than ready.

I feel like I was in a significant amount of pain with each contraction, but I could still feel the epidural. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t super easy, or with out pain like some women experience. In fact, I think  I said “women who say they didn’t feel their epidural are lying.”

The anesthesiologist was great. He was nice, and took the time to explain what he was doing, and had me tell him when I was having a contraction to he could stop and wait it out.

I never wanted an epidural, but as epidurals go it was a good experience.

I felt immediate relief…I labored with the epidural for the next 5 hours. The plan was to check me again at 5 o’clock and see how I had progressed. The nurse checked me, and I was only a 5. I have to admit, I was surprised that I didn’t burst into tears. She called my midwife, and the midwife came over and confirmed that I was a five, and only when I was having a contraction.

She told me, that she thought a c-section was going to be necessary. I knew she was going to stay that, and she had told me that was going to be ‘on the table’ (ha) the previous week. I asked her what she thought about me laboring for another hour to see if I made an progression. She told me that she would be ok with that, but that she didn’t believe the baby would move down enough or that I would progress all that much in that hour. She told me that in her experience, since we had already tried, a foley catheter, cervadil, and pitocin, and I had only dilated 2 centimeters in 2 days. Because we had broken my water, I only had 12 more hours, to try to have the baby naturally.

I asked her if she and the nurse would give my husband and I minute to talk it over. We talked, and he said he supported me no matter what. If I needed him to fight for no c-section he would. I told him, that the logical part of my brain, realized that I had only dilated 2 centimeters in the past 12 hours, with a full bag of pitocin. The baby was healthy, I was healthy, and that this was the ideal situation for a c-section. It wasn’t an emergency.

So, we consented to the c-section. I wasn’t upset, but I was scared. My epidural had started to wear off, and I could feel contractions on my left side. I was nervous about the surgery. The surgical team was called in, and I let my nurse know that I could feel things on my left side. I was so worried that I would be able to feel them cut me.

As I was prepped for surgery, my husband was given scrubs to wear, and I texted my mom that I was having a c-section. My parents weren’t able to make it, due to a medical emergency that my dad had. (A whole other post, and actually something that is going to affect a major portion of my blog). It all happened pretty quickly, we decided on the c-section at 5:15 and by 6:15 I was being wheeled into the OR. This was the worst part, being in the OR with out my husband. But everyone was really nice and calm and told me exactly what was going on. The same anesthesiologist was there, and he was right by my head telling me what was going on. Before I knew it, the drape was up, and my husband was by my side. I was given oxygen, and I tried not to freak out about feeling claustraphobic. I felt nothing, and before I knew it people were saying ” he’s here!” and I heard him crying. I could hear poeple saying he was beautiful. I told my husband to go to him. They checked him out, and cleaned him up and brought him over to me. He was beautiful. My husband and I both cried. He was taken off to the nursery, while they finished putting me together.  I again, felt nothing. I started to feel a little groggy. Before I knew it they were wheeling me into recovery. Within minutes my husband was there with my son. And it was perfect, and I didn’t care that I’d had a c-section. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and I knew that it didn’t matter how he had arrived.

I think I will end the story here, and talk about what happend after in a post about recovery.

Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks

My nephew Ben, born by emergency c-section, 4 weeks early

Today is my due date, according to my LMP. According to my charting, I think that Friday or Saturday should be my due date, but when we are only talking a matter of days, I suppose that is neither here nor there.

Yesterday was my 40 week appointment, and I have to admit, I was once again hopefull that my body had progressed. I’d has an increased amount of contracts in the last week, including low back pain. I thought for sure that I would be 2cm’s dilated. At my appointment, everything looked good, baby’s heart rate was good, and my belly measured 42 weeks. UGH. 42?!?! I swear, this baby better not weight 11 pounds.

And then it was time for my internal check. I don’t find these as painful as some people have described them to be, mostly just uncomfortable, still better than going to the dentist in my opinion. And the midwife announced…..1 centimeter. Still. Damn.

She asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that I wanted to wait on induction as long as she would let me. She said, that based on my belly measurement, she is sure that the baby is large. Duh. She suggested that if nothing happened (ie going into labor naturally) we induce this weekend. And I was crushed. Tears welled in my eyes, as I asked question, but I was able to keep them in, at least until she left the room.

The plan is to check in to the hospital on Saturday night at 5pm, insert cervadil, and then in the morning start pitocin.

Here is the thing, I’m sort of a situational hypochondriac. Have I written about that before? Even though we only made the plan for induction, in my mind, I was already in the Operating Room getting a C-section due to failure to progress. Even though we still had 4 days for me to go into labor naturally, all I could think about was, what was in my opionion, the worst case scenario.

After the midwife left the room, my husband hugged me and I burst into tears. Damn. I hate crying in public. I pulled it together, and went to the check out window and made an appointment for this Friday for a non stress test, and one final cervical check. I also made my 6 week post-partum appoint, which sort of tripped me out. 🙂

Ever since everyone around me started having babies, and I started reading pregnancy and birth blogs, I knew that my ultimate hope was for a natural, non-medicated birth. Yesterday, I felt like I had already failed, like my body had failed, and what I so firmly believe it was made to do. I let my self have a pity party, and call and cry to my mommy, and then I started talking some sense into my self.

A) there was (is!) still time for me to go into labor naturally.

B) even if I don’t go into active labor, my cervix could dilate and efface more, and by Sunday, an induction might be easier.

C) having an induction, doesn’t necessarily mean my hopes for a natural birth are off the table. It might be harder, and I might chose to have an epidural, but the option has not totally dissappeared.

D) having a c-section is not the end of the world. People survive them all the time, babies survive them all the time.

E) and at the end of the day, and most importantly, the only thing that matters is that the baby (and I) come through this alive and healthy.

There are only three “givens” in pregnancy: an egg was fertilized, you are pregnant for 37-42 weeks, and then there is a baby. Everything else is a guessing game, and while births usually follow a typical pattern, there is no way of knowing how YOURS will go.

So, today, I am working on letting go. What ever will be, will be. I am not trying too many crazy “natural” induction techniques, just bouncing/ hip swivels on an exercise ball. Not having the birth I dreamed of, does not make me a failure, nor negate how easy and healthy my pregnancy has been.