Friday, April 24, 2009

Tests Redux

I really need to be in bed, but I would be remiss not to update everyone that I was BACK IN THE HOSPITAL this week. This time was even BETTER than last week because my (frantic) trip to the ER ended with me getting admitted to the hospital. (Although hospital visits are way more interesting excuses for not blogging instead of that boring "busy" with "school" and "new baby" business, isn't it?)

I have never been more freaked out about my physical well being in my entire life. Which is understandable because who would not freak out when they stood up and disgusting goo GUSHED from their previously closed up abdomen? It was disturbing, to say the least, and I bet each and every one of you cannot wait to hear the full story of it, gory details and all, right?

So yes, YET ANOTHER postpartum complication and if this is any indication of my typical recovery from childbirth, my child is going to be an ONLY child, which is something I swore I'd never do to him, but DANG Y'ALL. I am SO TIRED of having potentially life threatening things happen to me.

My official goal for next week is to NOT go to the hospital. Think I can make it?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know, I know. Where is part 2 of the birth story? Definitely not here yet. But! I have a good excuse! How does a nice little visit to the ER sound? Like an excellent excuse to not write the story of my C section!

So yeah, I haven't talked about this much, but I am pretty messed up from the labor and birth. My body is not bouncing back very quickly and I am in a lot of pain. My doctor has been very concerned about me and my many ailments. The night we came home, I realized that part of my right leg was still numb. I completely freaked out and called my doctor. She sent us in the next day to have an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. Everything looked fine, thank goodness, so blood clot was ruled out.

I was hoping once the swelling (IMMENSE swelling in my legs, y'all. IMMENSE.) went down, that the numbness would go away. And while the swelling has most definitely not gone away, it has improved. The numbness? Is still there.

Then yesterday, I realized I began having trouble breathing and had chest pains. My neck was also killing me. I was in so much pain, I couldn't even lay down. For a few agonizing hours, I thought I would never sleep again. I eventually passed out in our crappy old recliner. (Which didn't help the swelling in my feet, by the way.) I had an appointment with my doctor today and when they called to say I could come in earlier than expected, I jumped at the chance.

Alex left work to take me to the doctor, while my mom stayed home with the baby. We figured we'd be gone for an hour or so, maximum. I was fully expecting her to refer me to a different doctor or to schedule some tests for later that day. That was dumb of me to assume.

My mom, God bless her, wound up taking on the unenviable task of giving my child his first Dr. Brown's bottle with new formula because Alex and I were gone for HOURS.

Turns out, my doctor was concerned about my blood clot in my lung (always with the blood clots!), and she felt as though I could get the tests run more quickly if we went to the ER. So she called ahead and a receptionist wheeled me down to the ER to check in. They wound up doing an EKG and a CAT scan on me, while I freaked OUT about the possibility of a blood clot IN MY LUNG. (I also can't breastfeed for the next 48 hours thanks to the dye they pump into you for the CAT scan. I have...mixed feelings about this.)

Anyways, since I am posting this from home, I can proudly announce that I am blood clot free. Woo! But I do have fluid pooling in the bottom of my right lung and I have been instructed to breathe into this little machine thingy that your grandmother or grandfather probably have at their home. And I have to take Motrin every 8 hours for the inflammation. And that's it. Breathe a lot and take some pain pills. Good luck, kid!

I am relieved that it was nothing more serious. But at the same time, I was like...this could kill me right? Fluid in the lung and painful breathing is bad? I'm supposed to just suck on a tube and pop some pills and be ok? I sure hope so. We still have no idea why I am numb or if the pain in my neck will go away. We will just have to wait and see while my body recovers. I had no idea my post partum experience would be this difficult, yet here I am, going to the hospital for a second time for something potentially serious. I am terrified of what will happen and this entire experience has taught me how fragile our bodies truly are. Not only am I now a new mother who freaks at the thought of something happening to her baby, but I am also fearful for my own frail existence. Thank goodness, he's super cute or I might be looking for a refund around here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Birth Story, pt. 1

I woke up Thursday morning to the creepy sound of someone walking slowly up the stairs. I realized that it was either a burglar or my mother. And if it was my mother, that meant we had overslept. I rolled over and asked Alex what time it was. 3:30. The alarm hadn’t gone off. We were supposed to be at the hospital at 4. I freaked out and got up and we both rushed through our showers and grabbed the last minute bags and headed off. I was NOT HAPPY and may or may not have yelled at Alex for not checking the alarm before one of the most important days of our life.

We got to the hospital around 4:15 and they were expecting us. A nurse named J took us to our room and showed me the gown I was to put on. She came back later and helped me sign the paperwork and got all the information the hospital needed while another nurse put the IV in for the Pitocin. She did a terrible job with the IV. It hurt A LOT and she squirted blood on the bed and left part of the needle apparatus on the floor, which Alex later found. Awesome.

J hooked me up to the heartbeat monitor and contraction monitor and showed us how to unhook everything when I needed to go to the bathroom. The first time I had to go was quite an ordeal, but after a few times, Alex and I were pros at this. I had to go to the bathroom A LOT.

I started recording information in the baby book, and Alex and I both wrote notes to our still unknown baby. J checked on us at one point and was all, “Oh! You’re having contractions!” And I was all, “I am?” I couldn’t feel them AT ALL. Not that I was complaining, but I thought it was weird. J clocked off at 7 am and happily told us, “I hope I don’t see you when I come back at 7 tonight!” Alex and I laughed and I am pretty sure one of us said, “We’re sure you won’t!” FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

I kept having contractions that I couldn’t feel and life was lovely. Alex and I slept for a little while. My parents came by. His family came by. Everything seemed to be going well. Until around 11 am, when my doctor decided to break my water. For those of you who are blessed to not know, the tool that they use to break a woman’s water with looks like a giant crochet needle. I was…not excited about the prospect of that thing going up there. As I suspected, it HURT. And my doctor happily reminded me that I could ask for an epidural at any time. And I was all, “Why would I need an epidural when I’m not in pain? OW!!!” Then, the two nurses with her informed me that they were putting in internal monitors to watch the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. And thus ended the comfortable portion of my labor.

The internal monitors HURT and made it nearly impossible for me to go to the bathroom. My contractions also started coming more quickly and furiously, so I was in extra pain. THANKS GUYS!

Alex helped me breathe through some contractions for a while. I have no idea how long, but eventually we decided that I might as well ask for some pain relief. I was trying to last as long as possible because I knew the epidural would probably slow my contractions down and it was noon and I was only 3 cm. Alex and I were slowly catching on that this? Was not going to go quickly. However, the fact that the internal monitors were causing severe pain, combined with the worsening contractions led us to call for the nurse. We had been told by both the hospital and from friends who have been there and done that to ask for the epidural kind of early since it would take at least an hour for the anesthesiologist to come.

When the nurse informed us that the nurse anesthetist was in a C section and could be a while, we decided to go with a different pain killer to take the edge off until she could get there. After all, we might be waiting for hours for this person to come. This was a huge mistake. The drugs made me feel drunk and I felt like I had no control over what was going on. And seriously, 20 minutes after they called for the nurse, she showed up. So I got my epidural while kind of drunk on some other drugs. Exactly how I had envisioned it! Poor Alex held my hand during the whole ordeal and tried to talk me through it because WOW, did that needle in my spine HURT. I was shocked because it hurt WAAAAAY more than I thought it would. And I think it’s because I was already experiencing relief from my contractions from the drunk drugs. So I was only feeling the pain of the gigantic needle in my spine. It was over eventually and I felt the weird, tingly numb feelings in my leg kick in almost immediately. They had me lay down on my right side to begin with and then flipped me to my left to help the drugs spread to that side of my body. And then the fun began!

I felt weird. And wrong. And finally the nurse asked, ‘So how are you feeling?’ And I was like…bad. Also? Having trouble breathing. Turns out my blood pressure had dipped seriously, seriously low. They had to pump some blood pressure meds into my IV and give me oxygen. It was at this point that I started thinking that I could actually die from this. (Which, I know drama, much? But! My cousin died giving birth to her 3rd child, so it’s not like it’s out of the realm of possibility for my family.) Alex and I were pretty freaked out because it was obvious both of the nurses were concerned, plus, you know, I couldn’t BREATHE.

Fortunately, the BP meds worked and I started feeling better. The oxygen really helped me breathe and calmed me down. Alex was instructed to help flip me over every half hour or so, to keep the epidural meds even on both sides. And this went on FOR HOURS. Hours and hours and hours. At some point, my doctor came in to check on me and suggested that we lift my leg while laying in order to speed the contractions up. I was just not progressing very quickly at all. Alex and the nurse put my leg up on a table, which stripped yet another layer of dignity away from me. I was useless when they did this since I couldn’t feel my legs at all. So I was flopping around like a fish, while they lifted and hoisted my naked body around.

Fortunately, I was able to get some sleep in between the side flips, because hey, what else could I do? My parents came in and out, as did the in-laws. Everyone immediately would walk to the monitor to check on my contractions and give me a prognosis on how I was doing. It was pretty funny how everyone was so interested in the length and strength of the contractions.

During all the flipping and switching and breathing and sleeping, J came back at 7 pm. I was not happy to see her.

More flipping! More breathing! More contractions! Hours of it! It kept getting later and later and I asked Alex if everyone was mad at me for not having the baby yet. He laughed at me.

Finally. FINALLY. Around 1 am-ish, I was at 10 cm. And the pushing could begin. Now, you have to understand that I have been dreading pushing. I was extremely nervous that I would not push well and just basically make a mess of the whole thing. I’m not sure why, because I’ve never heard anyone say, “Pushing was the worst part and so hard!” But I was still terrified. And at this point, I had been in labor for 20 hours or so. I was exhausted, but the end seemed to be in sight, so I decided I was going to be the best pusher in the entire history of the world.

And pushed I did. And then I pushed some more. And then, when I thought I couldn’t push anymore, I pushed again. And yet, the baby was not moving. He seemed to be stuck. And J was not helping at all. She kept saying that it would be okay and he was moving and blah de dah. Keep that in mind for later.

About two hours into the pushing, I started to lose my steam mentally and physically. I looked at Alex and sort of wimpered that I wanted my mom. Bless his heart, he went and got her and she came in to help keep me going. I wound up with Alex on one side watching the contractions and counting for me, with my mom on the other side encouraging me along. Again, I pushed and pushed and pushed. And guess what? THE BABY WAS NOT MOVING. J made it seem like he was maybe going forward a ½ centimeter or so. Apparently he’d move forward when I pushed and then would shrink back in a little bit when I stopped. I remember I started saying, “I really, really need him to move forward.” I’m not sure why I thought that was important to voice, but I did. I said it. A lot.

My doctor checked in on us and told us to keep going. She touched my stomach and declared, “Your baby is not going to be that big!” She checked on my progress, but had to leave pretty quickly. Why? She had another mom who was also induced at 4:30 the previous morning and was pushing. Basically we were in a race to give birth. Alex kept encouraging me to hurry up and beat them. I kept encouraging him to SHUT UP.

Remember how J said the baby was moving? SHE WAS LYING. And then she decided that I should stop pushing. Why? Because my doctor was stuck in a C section with the other poor girl who was also induced at 4:30 that morning. She had been pushing for a while, her baby was stuck, they tried to vacuum him out, and it didn’t work. So they had to do an emergency C section and were then having problems with the mom. I distinctly remember thinking, “Wow. I really hope that doesn’t happen to me.” FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

The doctor showed up sometime around 5 or so and I could tell from her face that she was not pleased. She was mad that I had stopped pushing. She was mad at the nurse for doing something else…I don’t remember what it was, but I distinctly remember her telling the nurse to stop doing something. It was obvious things weren’t going well. She watched me push for another 30 minutes and gave me the news: C Section.

She explained that she didn’t think the vacuum would help. There was a possibility that it wouldn’t get his head all the way through the birth canal. And even if it did, his shoulder might be stuck, since he was so big. The safest way to get this baby out was by C Section. I tried so hard to hold it together, but I just melted after a whole 5 seconds of keeping it cool. All of that hard work. Four hours of pushing. 25 hours of labor. And we’re doing a C section? Alex asked her and J if we could have a minute, so I could break down in semi-privacy. After a few minutes, I felt better and I knew we had to do it because it was best for the baby. But I was seriously scared and so tired at that point. I was worried about my baby’s health, my health, and my entire family was FREAKING OUT.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter from the Sand Palace! Our latest addition is EXTREMELY EXCITED to celebrate this blessed event with you.

His Tatta (my mom) got him his very first Easter Basket, which included his very first basketball. She also got him a super cute card that I am planning on keeping in his baby book.

Then Grandma (Alex's mom) dropped by with a bunny for baby and chocolate for mom and dad. I'm extremely excited about the chocolate, though I certainly do not need it.

I was sad we didn't get a chance to leave the house today, but it will come with time. I am slowly but surely recovering, so it's me that is keeping us homebound, not the baby.

I am only allowed to go up and down the stairs twice a day and I was told not to go out of town this weekend for family Easter celebration. So, the family had to come to us to visit. It was a nice, relaxing day and I am looking forward to a more traditional Easter celebration next year. But for now? I think today was perfect first holiday for a 9 day old.

P.S. I'm almost done with part 1 of the birth story. It should be up tomorrow.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Well! That certainly was...interesting.

The down and dirty details:

25 hours of labor.
4 hours of pushing.
1 Emergency C-Section.
9 lbs. 9 oz.
21.5 inches long.

Number of times I cried: 3. (Twice while pushing and then a total meltdown when the doctor said we had to do a C-section after ALL THAT HARD WORK.)

I haven't gotten to walk yet, so I am still very invalid-like. However, I am officially, completely tube free.

UPDATE: Nurse just came in and helped me to the bathroom for the first time. OW. But hey! I can still walk!

Needless to say, I am tired and sore. But we are all doing well. Alex has been amazing throughout the entire process. And he is SO CUTE with the baby. It's ridiculous how much he loves this child. He is on diaper change and swaddling duty since I have been confined to bed and he is doing great. The best part is when he holds him and exclaims over how adorable the baby is. I, of course, find them both to be adorable in that moment.

More to come later. I want to blog his birth story, because I loved reading other people's, plus, I don't want to forget anything.

But for now, take a look at him. I know I'm biased, but he is super cute.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's the Final Countdown

We are scheduled to be at the hospital at 4 am to begin the induction. So there you have it.

I'm having a baby tomorrow.

I...don't know what to say. I've contemplated what I would post today and nothing seems to do. I'm on the brink of a life changing event and I have no idea how to adequately express my feelings. Alex has already posted about this today and he is all mushy and sweet. So if you're looking for something sentimental, there's somewhere to go.

Right now, I can't really focus on the baby portion of the event, because all I can think about is the terrifying parts leading up to said baby. I've never been in the hospital before. I've never had an IV before. I've certainly never had a needle inserted in my spine before (I know that part is optional). It just seems icky. Like, I am going in tomorrow to knowingly intake a drug that will put me in A LOT OF PAIN. And I'm having trouble seeing past that part because the fact that there will be an actual BABY at the end of it all seems absolutely preposterous. And I know everyone says it's worth it and that in the end, none of it matters, but I can't wrap my brain around it yet. All I know is this. Me. Pregnant. Me. In pain. I don't know the future. I don't know him. Us. A three person family. I still think of myself as a 12-year-old girl most days. Who said I could have a baby?

Maybe part of it is I'm a little disappointed that we don't get to wait to do it the natural way with the contractions at home and the rushed, excited trip to the hospital, hoping that I'm dilated enough that they let me in the happy place with the drugs. I always assumed that's how my labor process would go. But it's not. And I'm okay with it, but it just seems so surreal and wrong and COMPLETELY not what I have thought about my ENTIRE LIFE. I've been mentally preparing for something that isn't going to happen and I need to change my focus a bit. I guess I thought I'd be better prepared if I could start contracting at home in my comfortable bed and easy access to my things. But I don't know. Nothing really prepares you and that's all there is to it.

In the interest of adding some levity AND some non-baby (yet still baby-related) talk on this post, I now present to you a list of things I'm looking forward to doing once I'm not pregnant.

1. Drinking a Diet Coke(s).
2. Drinking a CAFFEINATED Skinny Vanilla Latte. (Venti)
3. Shaving my legs. (I can still do this one, but WOW, it is hard.)
4. Painting my toenails. (Alex did his best, God bless him.)
5. Leaning forward without feeling like I'm breaking the baby/me.
6. Laying on my stomach.
7. Laying on my back.
8. Getting out of bed quickly and without assistance.
9. Going longer than an hour or so without peeing.
10. Eating normal amounts of food.
11. Eating pizza, lasagna, pad thai, and lunch meat.
12. Wearing whatever shoes I want because my feet and legs will be normal sized.

I'll see you on the flip side, guys. Next time we meet, I'll be a mom. Now I have to try and sleep. Because tomorrow? My life completely changes.