Sunday, January 22, 2006

My regrets

I have regrets about things I really have no control over, my birth experience. How it went and my lack of ability to control it. Maybe that should have been my first sign that I was no longer in control of my life.

I've decided I should start writing my thoughts and feelings down about the whole ordeal.

Even after nearly 2 months I still regret having to have a c-section. It really threw me for an emotional loop. I so wanted a natural child birth and didn't even come close to that. I even took "prepared childbirth" classes. I have come to realize that these classes do not prepare you for childbirth. They give you a lot of information that may or may not be useful, but as c/s are a type of childbirth they really do not cover this aspect enough. They briefly skim over the basics, but don't really explain how it can effect you emotionally. Especially when you have your hopes set on something else. I didn't want a natural birth to be a super woman, I wanted it because we were taught that it's better for the baby, not to mention I don't like having excess drugs in my system (or my baby's), or being cut open.

I regret that R didn't get to cut the cord. That I didn't ask them to lower the sheet to see him come out. That I didn't get to see the cord around his neck. I regret that we didn't bring a camera in and can't remember if there was music playing, or the name of the nurse that was so sweet to me. I regret that I didn't try something more to get the birth started on it's own and that I didn't fight more to stay away from the c/s. I regret that I didn't try Pitocin and try pushing. I regret not asking the Dr. Again why we had to do a c/s and if it could have been any different, just for piece of mind. One of my biggest regrets is telling R that it was okay to leave and go to work while I was still in the hospital. I regret not asking for more help, both while in the hospital and at home. I regret not taking a picture of J in his bassinet at the hospital. I regret so many things I can not change, but will always think about.

Our time in the hospital

After Justus was born I was in the hospital for three days. I guess it was pretty uneventful.

Birth Night (Tues)- I feel no pain! After he was born they whisked him off to the nursery with R close behind. I was left in the OR getting stitched back up. While this was happening I started feeling a little funny, kind of like my chest was heavy. I think it was just the meds. I realize in my original post I forgot to mention that they tipped the table in all directions while I was getting the meds, I presume to get them distributed before they poked me to see if I could feel anything. The anaesthesiologist was a really nice guy who said he would take good care of me. He even let me keep a giraffe with me that Connie got for Justus. That Giraffe stayed with me the entire time and stayed on the table next to me the whole time I was in the hospital. I didn't realize the anaesthesiologists were so involved, I guess I assumed they just put the meds in and that was that. After my spinal I watched him mixing another med and asked him what it was. I guess it was the Pitocin to help my uterus contract after the birth. After they finished closing me up they wheeled me into a recovery area. While there they massaged my uterus and checked to see if I could feel my feet. It's the weirdest feeling trying to move your feet and not being able to. I was in the recovery area for a couple of hours while the spinal wore off. I remember everyone filing in to see me one at a time. R had asked the nurse if they could bring the baby to me while I was still in recovery and they did for a few minutes. Things were happening so fast and I remember the baby coming, but R says I tried to breastfeed right there, but they only let him stay for a few minutes because of a shift change. First it was R and my mom. R told me the baby's stats and my mom stayed with me for most of the time I was in recovery. R left to let everyone else visit for a few minutes and they filed in one by one. I don't remember the order, but I know her boss came by real quick, her mom stayed for a few and her brother wouldn't leave until he saw me with his own eyes to make sure I was okay, then his ex-wife came in to say hi, which R and I didn't really understand why she even came by as we're not too fond of her. Then right before my mom left my uncle came in to say a quick hello. By this time they were ready to take me to my room. I guess they were full because I ended up in the "over flow" area. An older part of the hospital away from the regular maternity ward. It was no biggie because although the room was bland it had everything we needed and the nurses in the area were really nice. Our doula said "you never get any rest in a hospital", but was surprised at how quiet everything in that area was. I think there were only a few other women in that wing, so I felt like the nurses were there just for me. However I hate to ask for help, which I regret now. When we got to the room our Doula was there and had brought all of our stuff to the room. A ton of useless stuff that was suppose to be used for the labor. Once I was settled in the room they brought the baby back to us. He didn't stay with us that night so we could "get some rest", but that was silly because they brought him to me to feed and they were in there every few hours to check my vitals so I didn't get much rest anyhow. They brought me some food that night because I was sooo hungry, but it only consisted of chicken broth, juice, and jello. I ache and can not get comfortable when I do try to sleep.

Day one (Wed) My morning meal, yippie. Nectar, milk, pudding, and custard. I really am hungry. By the evening they have finally given me real food. I can eat again. It's sad that hospital food is the highlight of my day, but I'm in pain, can't walk or go to the bathroom and people keep poking at me. I won't even go into the more disgusting stuff that a new mom has to deal with. My highlights are food ( a hamburger for lunch a a chicken sand for dinner) and looking at my son, who sleeps a lot or eats. Nursing is hard because of the incision and also the fact that my chest is twice as big as his head and I fear smothering him. Not to mention he is having a hard time nursing as I have flat nips. The lactation consultant comes in to help me and gives me a shield which really help the baby latch on. Thank goodness he can eat too. My Dr. came to see me this morning. He is a very sweet and compassionate guy. He walks in and says "so how mad at me are you?" I tell him "Dr. L I'm not mad at you". I did get the cath out and had to get out of bed today. I first had to go from the bed to the chair. Getting up is exhausting. R gets to give me a sponge bath. Did I mention I hate being helpless? Then I had to walk, sounds easy enough, ALL the way to the bathroom, maybe 5 feet. Oh what a task. And to top it all off I have to go to the bathroom and let the nurse check after, so fun. What a day! We mainly try to relax and I think mamare came to visit. I told R to go home and sleep for the night so that she could go to work tomorrow as I know this whole thing is getting her backed up. It's late and I try to rest.

Day two (Thur) Breakfast: Eggs, potatoes, bacon, a muffin, milk and juice. Did I mention I sent R home last night and to work today? This was the WORST mistake I have ever ever made. Again let me say I HATE to ask for help so I try to do it alone all last night and today. Last night was horrible! I was in pain and I have a difficult time lifting the baby from his bassinet to my bed. I ask the nurse if it's okay if he stays in bed with me and she thinks it's not the greatest idea for fear that I might roll over on him. I can't take putting him back and forth so I go against what she says and fall asleep with him next to me. She can tell I'm worn out so she leaves him there, but also leaves my door open to be able to check on me. I get barely any sleep and I'm depressed. I try to rest during the day as the am nurse tells me a I have to, but it's impossible. Even with pain killers I'm uncomfortable and the noises my tummy makes are really quite odd. They say it's "gas", but nothing like I've ever felt/heard before. It sounds like I have pipes in there make lots of noise. My grandma R comes to visit totally un expected, as well as Connie. I don't think they wanted to let visitors in to see me since I am so worn out, but it helps. I'm in bed most of the day, but try to get up once in awhile to sit up since that feels best even though actually getting out of bed is horrible. Later in the evening Mamare and MaTaunte come to check on me as R is running late. I put on a happy face, but once R is back and we are alone I loose it. I am depressed, I am hurting, and I hated being alone and helpless. The baby will not sleep now unless he is on his tummy or being held and it's wearing me down. R asks the nurse if she can watch the baby while we talk. Even this makes me feel guilty, but the nurse says it's no problem. R and I talk for two hours and I cry a lot. It makes me feel better to have a good cry and express what's bothering me. It's after 11 and we are both exhausted, again. We bring the baby back and try to get some rest.

Day Three (Fri) They obviously didn't get my food order because it's the same things as the last two days. But...We get to go HOME!!! The Dr. came in and asked if I wanted to go home or stay another day. Go home of course (actually I think I said "ummm I guess go home") Not much happened, but we did get to get J's first pics done. They stick their finger in his mouth right before they snap the pic so that he will open his eyes. No wonder they have those funny expressions. The baby and I got checked and everything looks fine for discharge. Most of the day is spent waiting to leave and we don't get out of there until after 4. I make sure to ask for some Percocet right before we leave so i can get up the stairs at home. The ride home is bumpy, but I'm just so glad we are going home. What a day, we are both wasted! Now I just have to figure out how to handle this little guy. Vicodin will be my friend. One thing I do know, I love this little guy.

If it were not for my emotions the experience would have been a good one. Most of the nurses were really nice and the Dr. tried to take my feelings into account and give us time to make our decisions. He was great, as was the nurse who was with me during L&D.

Top Ten (month 2)

Top Ten Things I've learned in my Second month as a new Mom

1. Everytime the baby cries it does not mean he's hungry, but when he wants to eat, he wants to eat NOW! I'm still learning his cues.

2. It okay to leave the baby alone, as long as he's safe of course. Not home alone, just in a swing, a bouncy, on the floor, etc. He's not going to have a fit and it will teach him to play alone and sooth himself, and even fall asleep if he's tired.

3. It's okay to leave the baby with your spouse. The baby will still be in one piece when you return and it gives you a much needed break or the chance to run an errand.

4. Everytime I think it's getting easier, it gets harder again. Why? Because he's always changing. Something he liked at a week old he no longer goes for. So I have to be ever changing as well.

5. Just becasue they sleep 5-6 hrs two nights in a row, don't assume it's a pattern. But be grateful for the extra sleep. Don't fret if you wake up wondering "is he okay"?

6. Swaddling is heaven! No wonder why they do it from day one. They really should tell you in the hospital to never stop. Our little man will be swaddled till Kindergarden if that's what it takes.

7. Babies love to suck. The Binky isn't menat to shut him up, it's meant to save your poor nipples. If they like them, make sure you always know where one is.

8. Even at this young routines are good. They know what to expect and you can bend to what they want you to expect.

9. If your breast feeding always wear pads to bed. Even if you never leak during the day, that one time he decideds to sleep through the night you might just regret it if you don't.

10. It's still the hardest thing I've ever done, but still worth it. Especially now when I get that heart melting "good-morning" smile.

Easy Nursing

We were discussing nursing the other day and I started to think...What was God thinking. Babies love to suck on fingers, at least all that I've encountered. Why didn't God make the milk come out of the tip of the finger? !? It would make things sooo much easier. Crying in the car, pop. In the store, pop. Granted the breasts could still be used as the storage area, but no one would get embarassed anymore by us whiping them out. Also, it would be so much less painful and as for leakage I've got that covered too, Band-aids. What was he thinking??? Oh that's right we were never intended to wear clothes. Darn apples.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Making Me

I think my son has made me soft, or at least the hormones from the pregnancy have. I never really liked scary movies but now I would never want to watch them. I used to be able to to handle war type movies, but now I hate to see the blood. Anything mildly gory I have to turn away except for things on Discovery Health. I still love that channel, but not the birth stories so much anymore. I think this might have to do with the fact that my birth story didn't turn out the way I had hoped. And don't even get me started on shows that talk about child abduction. Oh boy!

Anyhow I'm just rambeling today, but I keep thinking that he's turned me into a softie so I had to note it down.

Monday, January 16, 2006


I've decided I don't really like having visitors. At least not several at once. We just had Rachel's family over on Saturday for her bro's birthday and it wore me out.

First off I feel like I need to make my home presentable, which is difficult when you have a newborn. Then once everyone's here I feel like I have to entertain them. Then of course everyone wants to hold the baby, and expects him to be awake and happy. When he starts to fuss, even a little, they try differnt ways to calm him which just pisses him off more and then they let him scream as he gets hot, sweaty, and beet red saying "he just needs to exercise his lungs." Funny, I didn't know lungs needed exercise!!! Or they comment "I think he has colic". I REALLY hate this one. Come on now, have you ever even seen a baby with colic because this isn't it. We try to tell them the secrets of how to calm him but they don't listen. When he's upset from being overstimulated or tired he likes to be against your chest and patted, strongly, on his lower back. They try but they basically tap his back and Rach tells them to go ahead and swat it but they look at her like she's crazy. Then, not to offend anyone, I spend part of the day in the bedroom feeding. At the end of the day our house is a mess again. *sigh*

Friday, January 13, 2006

Long Overdue Birth Story

My original EDD was 11/25. Due the fact that we pretty much know when I conceived, that date was pretty accurate. On Friday 12/2 I went to the Dr. for my 41 week appt. The baby was still up high and my cervix had done nothing. The Dr. scheduled my next appt for Monday 12/5 where he said we would start discussing a plan as he doesn’t let his patients go past 42 weeks. He said we would start with Cervidil to ripen my cervix and go from there. Of course I was less then thrilled that we might have to induce labor, but after doing some research on Cervidil it didn’t seem that bad and our Doula agreed that it was a fairly low tech approach to start with.

I went to my Appt on Monday at 11:45 and they hooked me up to the fetal monitors. I could feel the baby moving and the monitor was even registering some contractions which felt pretty much like Braxton Hicks, just a lot of tightening. I was happy to see that and hoped my exam would show some change. After awhile the nurse came in and said the Dr. had to leave on an emergency, and asked if I could come back at 1:30. When I came back at 1:30 they did my exam and there was no difference. My cervix was still high and tight. The Dr. also said he didn’t get the info he was looking for the first time on the monitor and wanted to hook me up again. After awhile he checked on me and said he still didn’t see what he wanted and asked that I go over to the hospital for monitoring. They hooked me up and gave me some juice to help the little bugger start shakin. Finally at 5:00 the nurse came back in and said she could see the accels, they weren’t as great as they would like, but that everything seemed to be fine and she sent me home.

Early the next morning, 12/3, I woke up at about 2:00am and felt kind of weird, but I went to the bathroom and went back to bed. At about 6:00 I woke up again with the period like cramps everyone kept telling me about. I tried to dismiss them thinking it was just in my head and tried to go back to sleep. About 20 minutes later it felt like the baby punched me hard, low in my pelvis. I tried to turn over and thought “oh no”, jumped up and ran to the bathroom. Sure enough my water had broken. I talked to my sister and she said the contractions would come on really strong now. I decided not to head L&D, but to try to rest some, eat, and take a shower. At 11:30 we finally left for the hospital but my “contractions” were nothing, even after my water being broken for 4 hrs.

I was admitted to the hospital at 12:30PM where they hooked me up to the monitors and checked to see if I had in fact broken my water, which I had. Immediately they hooked me up to an IV. They watched the monitor and could see my contractions, but they were very sporadic and weak. The Dr. came by and said they he would like to start Pitocin to get my contractions coming on stronger. I asked if there was any thing else we could do like walking and he said if I was a little more dilated that he would suggest that, but because I was so closed and the baby was still high, that he didn’t see that helping. He left to give us some time to talk. When the nurse came back she again didn’t notice the accels she would like to see with his movements. They decided to give me some sugar water through the IV and turn me on my side but that didn’t help and a bit later they gave me oxygen. We explained to the nurse that I wanted to try as natural as possible and asked her if I would be able to get out of bed and use the ball during contractions. She kind of giggled and said if we can get you stable and your labor going, you can do whatever you want. Because my water was already broken they could no longer start with Cervidil so we started discussing Pitocin. The Doula, Connie, said some women just need a little push and the nurse said she would turn off the Pitocin as soon as I started having regular contractions, so we finally agreed.

While we were waiting for the Dr. to come back to start Pitocin Connie and I insisted Rachel go get something to eat. While she was gone the nurse did another internal to try and “scratch” the babies head to get a response and see if I was still leaking fluid. She said the bag could have folded over on itself causing the bag around the baby to in essence still be intact. WOW did that make me jump off the table. She was really nice and apologized profusely. She left and when she came back she sat next to the bed and said I wanted to wait until Rachel came back, when in walks Rach, perfect timing. The nurse continues…We’ve been watching you for three hours and we’re still not seeing the accels we would like to see, even after everything we’ve done, his heart rate was pretty flat, meaning no heart accelerations during his movements. I just tried to tickle his head and as you can tell it nearly killed you for me to do the exam. The Dr. is on his way, but I wanted to prepare you, I think he will suggest we do a c-section. I just looked away and lost it. She said honey, the dr will check you and may say something different, but I just wanted to let you know because the baby isn’t responding the way we would like.

Sure enough, when the Dr. came in he didn’t even do an exam and just explained the same info. I asked about the Pitocin and he said we could try that, but that there was no guarantee that after ten hours of hard labor that there would be any change. He said I had been monitored for over 3 hrs, my water had been broken for 9hrs and there had been no change. He thought the Pitocin might put the baby in distress and that would make or break it. He said if it came to that we might end up in an emergency situation. He again left to give us some time, he was really great.

Rachel left for a second to use the bathroom which I found out later she had gone to cry herself because she felt bad for telling me, at an earlier time, that she really didn’t want me to have a c/s. She came back and we talked about it. I was really upset but Rach and Connie were very supportive. I explained to them that it was just a loss and I needed to come to grips with it and that I didn’t even get a chance to try. Once I got over that I started worrying about the babies health. I asked but they said they couldn’t tell one way or another if he was in serious distress. While we were talking Rachel said she just had a feeling that it’s what needed to do so we agreed on the c/s. They immediately got me prepped and we headed for the OR.

While I was getting my spinal the nurse was holding me telling me if I was her daughter, who was actually due in a month, that she would have insisted she do the c/s. As they prepped me I know Rach was outside pacing the floor. As the surgery started they called her in. We were so frazzled about the quick change in plans that we completely forgot to bring a camera, which I regret. Fortunately we do have a voice recording of the surgery. Within about 20 minutes our son was on his way out and the Dr. told Rachel stand up and look. When she did she said the cord was around his neck twice and his shoulder once, a picture she says will be engrained in her memory forever. As soon as he was out he was screaming and healthy. The Dr. said he was extremely happy we had decided to do the c/s because he wasn’t sure that the outcome would have been good otherwise. This helped me to cope a little bit better with the outcome.

Our son, Justus Ryan was born at 5:48PM, only 11hrs after my water broke. He was 6lbs 14oz, 19 in and would have been soo easy to deliver vaginally had he just cooperated. We should have known he was a little pill when he hid the first time the Dr. tried to find his heartbeat at our 14wk appt. But, he was healthy and that’s all that really matters. His Apgars were 8 at both checks.

The next morning my dr. came into the room and said “how mad are you at me”? I said Dr. Langley, I’m not mad at you. The baby’s healthy and I’ll recover. Even though my birth went nothing like I wanted, it really was a good experience. The nurse was great and my Dr. was exceptional since he gave us time to talk and decide. He knew I wanted to go as natural as possible. Well heck I just threw natural childbirth out the window.

I was in the hospital for 4 days, but that’s a story for another time as are my feelings about the cesarean.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Top Ten

The Top Ten Things I have Learned in my First Month as a New Mom

1. NEVER tell your spouse to go home and leave you at the hospital alone after the birth. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Take advantage of his or her desire to help or you might regret it. That was my hardest day ever.

2. No matter how much you read or what advice you get from friends and family about birth and parenting, it will never turn out like that for you! Your baby will cry and will not sleep through the night just because Grandma passed on the tricks of the trade. In fact all this advice and reading will make you crazy.*

3. You are no longer in control. *follow the advice everyone gives you to "sleep when the baby sleeps". This is the best piece of advice, but the hardest to follow. Give in at the beginning because your life is no longer yours and now belongs to the baby. Your house will be messy but the baby won't care and does not want to give you a chance to clean. Don't try to be super housewife. Take-out can be pretty yummy.

4. Everyone will want to see your baby, but limit visitors as much as possible and keep visits short as this will only tire you out even more. If they want to perform a chore while they visit or bring a meal, by all means LET THEM. Again, you are no longer in control.

5. Babies poop and pee A LOT, often on you. Don't buy changing table covers because blankets work just as well and your bound to have more of them.

6. You can never have too many blankets, clothes, or birp cloths. Babies produce lots of laundry, which of course adds to the messy house theroy.

7. Babies are noisy! Not when they cry, but when they sleep. Even if he sleeps for three hours straight he can still wake you up grunting and moaning for no real reason.

8. You may think you'll never co-sleep, but when it comes right down to it, if it's no sleep or co-sleep, sleep will win out every time, even if baby is right on top of you in the prone position.

9. Cuddle as much as possible and take as many pictures as you can because they change in the blink of an eye.
10. This is the HARDEST job you will ever have, but it will be worth every second. Even watching him poop, this one craks me up!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oh my goodness...

I'm a mother, and my son is almost a month old! Wow.

I still need to post my long birth story, but I've just been so crazy busy! Okay not crazy busy, but I have been nursing a newborn non stop. He really is a little piggy who eats almost constantly. Anyhow I just wanted to write a post since its been over a month.