Making peace with my c-section

My baby turned six months old on November 6th. He is a beautiful, healthy baby.  He has two teeth, and can sit up by himself, roll over,  and crawl. He eats solid foods (we are doing baby-led solids), and smiles and laughs. He’s perfect. He was perfect from the moment he was conceived. But, it took me until his six month birthday, to come to terms with the circumstances surrounding his birth.

I believe that my c-section was medically un-necessary. I know that because I allowed my mid-wife to break my water, that I was then on the hospitals time clock in terms of delivery. I don’t think she would have suggested a c-section at the end of those 12 hours, if I had been further along, but I don’t believe I should have been induced when I was. There was no medical reason for it, other than my belly measuring large. But, that is neither here nor there. It just gives me an idea of how much stronger I need to be in my next pregnancy, (if we decided to have a second) if I go post-dates again.

But, because of how things worked out….I was able to say goodbye to my dad. When my dad had his stroke three days before Anderson was born, I didn’t really think about what might happen if he died. It wasn’t intentional, but i’m sure it was sub-concious self preservation. My dad slipped into a coma in the early hours of Sunday (like 2am) I was induced at 5am on Sunday. My mom and brother decided not to tell me that my dad wasn’t going to make it, as I was laboring with Anderson. I will forever feel greatful, that they made that decision, and that it wasn’t me in their shoes. When I ended up with a c-section, it was 3 hours before my dad died. What if I hadn’t? What if I had been progessed to a 9, and still had 3 hours ahead of me? What would my mom and brother have done then?

As it was, Anderson was born, and my brother was able to hold the phone up to my dad’s ear, and I was able to say good bye. Holding my hours old baby is what saved me through this experience. Having a c-section, when I did, is what allowed me to do that. Call it God, or fate, or conicidence, whatever you believe, but as for me, I’m thankful.

My c-section was not medically necessary, but I believe, it was emotionally and spirtually.

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.

My bags are packed…

…I’m ready to go! It’s official at 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant, my baby to-do list is complete. Our cloth diapers arrived yesterday,I got them all washed,dried, stuffed and finally put away this morning.

20120426-144922.jpg
Top drawer of our dresser/changing table combo. All 21 cloth diapers. Extra inserts, bibs, a few toiletry type items, and the 6 or so pieces of new born clothing we have. I am not expecting our child to fit in newborn clothes at all, and if he does, it will only he for a few days. All of his 3 month clothes are in the next drawer down.

Oh. I forgot. We have one small, tiny, minuscule thing left to do….pick a name! We are taking a list of top Nama to the hospital…and he will get a name on his birthday.