Archive for June, 2008
Today (06/18/08) was A’s due date. She’s 10 days old and sleeping soundly in the little bassinette area attatched to her Graco Pack n’ Play. That’s where she’s slept since she came home from the hospital. The Pack n’ Play is downstairs in our living room. So, I’ve been sleeping on our couch since we got home. I think it’s mostly because even though we have a regular bassinette in our room, the changing pad is in the nursery. On the Pack n’ Play the changing pad is attached to one of the sides. So, everything is just convenient. I want to move her upstairs as soon as possible though. I want to sleep in my own bed and breastfeed in my comfy armchair I have set up there.
When I was moved from labor and delivery to a recovery room at the hospital things were pretty easy. I only had to leave my bed to pee and change the baby’s diaper. Everything else was brought to me or done for me. I just had to care for the baby. She mostly slept. I, on the other hand, was somehow wide awake most of the time. I honestly haven’t had a full 8 hours of sleep since the Thursday before baby A was born. In the hospital my 2 biggest discomforts were my tear (which was ok as long as they let me sit on these ice packs the nurses would make up for me) and the IV line which was left in just in case I started to hemmoridge (or however you spell it). I kept bumping it on things and it made me feel queasy.
Once I got home though, I got really uncomfortable. My stitches were really sore even with the dermaplast spray and tucks pads I was using. So, I’d take the Lortab my OB prescribed to help, but then I’d end up spacey and irritable. This pain developed in the middle of my back; like nerve pain. My feet suddenly swelled up (supposedly from the IV fluids) and hurt. Lastly, my nipples hurt like crazy from baby A and I still fighting for a good latch. The sleep deprivation didn’t help either. I was waking the baby up every 3 hours or so to eat. If I didn’t she would just sleep.
I’ve cried a lot since I’ve been home. I cried because the baby started crying and I didn’t know what to do for her. I cried because my milk came in 4 days after baby A was born and it hurt. I cried because at her first pediatrician’s appointment I found out she had gone down to 7lbs 4 ounces which was too much loss. So, I was told to suppliment with formula. I cried when I used the breastpump for the first time. I felt like less of a mom because I felt like all I had done day in and out is feed feed feed and now I had to use the pump and formula because my baby wasn’t getting enough to eat. I cried because people kept coming over and I just wanted to be alone with my baby. I cried because I even started to get tired of seeing my own mom (who would bundle the baby up because my house “is cold” or tell me to just pump into bottles and use a pacifier already) and because in-laws that had brought a killer flu a month or so earlier when I was still pregnant wanted to come see the baby after recently having colds. I cried today because I left the house to pick up a couple of things at the store and felt guilty for leaving my 10 day old baby for 30 minutes. I’ve cried because I could see the “I’m hungry” signs coming and my nipples ached so bad I didn’t know if I could bare to even try to breastfeed her (now I see why formula companies send those free cans! There have been so many exhausted nights where I just wanted to break open a can and mix a bottle; give my poor breasts a break.).
Life is great though. The swelling in my feet has started to go down. My stitches don’t hurt nearly as much so I can sit.
Things are getting better. The swelling in my feet is completely gone! They are back to normal. I only really feel my stitches in the shower for some reason (maybe the hot water). It’s still not a perfect process, but breastfeeding is getting better. We have our good and bad days. My poor right nipple got so mutilated that I ended up just pumping that side for a day or so to give it a chance to heal while I fed her from the left side (which she prefers anyway).
Sleep makes such a difference! Last night my husband had me and the baby move upstairs and he got up to change her diapers. So, I only had to feed her and put her back down when she dozed off. Instead of waking her last night and today, I’ve just been letting her sleep and changing/feeding her when she wakes up herself. She feeds so much better!!! She still doses off by the end of the first side or the beginning of the second, but she eats continuously for about 15 minutes. So much better than me having to tickle her feet and stuff for the whole 20 or so minutes just to get a few swallows here and there. She seems to be latching better too. I think the extra sleep we both got has really helped. I feel much less bleary eyed and irritable and more able to focus and be patient; such a welcome difference. SO refreshing.
She’s on target weight-wise. She had a 2 week check up today and everything is normal. Last Monday she had gone back up to her birthweight with the formula/breastfeeding. Today she has gone up 6 more ounces. So, that’s about an ounce a day just on my breastmilk. Yay!
Physically I don’t have too many concerns. I don’t dare look at my stitches. I just take care of the area the best I can and figure the doctor will tell me at my 6 week appointment if anything is wierd. My belly has gone down to nearly my prepregnancy amount of protrudance. It just looks like I had a mini gastric bypass with all the hanging skin. The stretch marks have begun to fade a little bit already, but the linea negra is still pretty dark and there. I’m still wearing my pregnancy belly panel pants for now. With everything else I’ve been dealing with, I didn’t want to add depression to do the fact that I can’t pull on my pre-pregnancy jeans to the mix. For now I’m just reminding myself that it’s all worth it to have this beautiful little baby here with me. So, the physical changes (which are more uncomfortable mentally than physically) aren’t really an issue. There is just too much else to worry about at the moment.
My advice so far:
3 products I really like so far: The Dunstan baby language DVD and Bravado Original nursing bras, and Gerber onsies with the cuffs at the ends (our baby has talons and likes to try to disfigure herself with them! My husband who has scars from this happening when he was a baby insists on keeping her hands covered when her nails are long and the little mitts we had get flung, pulled off or stretched out too easily).
As long as the baby is eating well, gaining weight and producing the right amount of dirty/wet diapers, let her sleep!
Find a way to get some rest! Even if it’s only here and there. It makes such a difference.
Accept help and surround yourself with supportive people if you can. 2 of my best sources of advice and support have been a girlfriend with 3 kids who I never see, but who I keep in contact through email and the gals in this online forum I belong to. Even just having my best girlfriend come over and bring coffee and cupcakes was really nice and refreshing. A little piece of life before baby mixed into my new mommy role.
Vent! Last night I vented for like 30 minutes to one of my brothers (who is 2 years younger than me, but incredibly similar in temperment) and it felt so good. Afterwards I could just leave all of the emotional baggage I had been carrying around, that didn’t really have much directly to do with the baby, there.
Remember…until 2 weeks ago, this baby was snug in my belly with no ideas about what the world outside was like. She has been thrust quite suddenly into a place where she can get cold, wet, hungry and upset tummies and the only one who can fix things is me. So, it’s no wonder she frantically cries for me when she’s feeling uncomfortable. My husband comes home from work every night and sees a baby either being fed or sleeping snuggly and gives me a big kiss and says “good job honey.” Don’t forget to look at the perfect little baby in front of you during those quiet times and tell yourself “good job honey.”
My Labor Experience
Day 1 – I thought my water broke. I got up out of bed and there was this huge gush. My contractions were the same as they had been all week though. So, I called my Dr. and he said to get to the hospital. My husband was working so my mom came and drove me. When I got there the nurse hooked me up to monitors and checked me. She said my contractions were 2 to 5 minutes apart, but that the bag was still intact and I was only 1 cm dilated and sent me home.
When my husband got home that night my contractions were really bad so he took me back to the hospital. The nurse that was there this time was SO not gentle. She said I was still 1 cm and that my contractions were most likely from not drinking enough water. So she made me drink a ton of water and monitored me for like 2 more hours before sending me home again. During the night and whole next day my contractions had me close to tears!
Day 2 – So, we waited till I couldn’t stand it anymore and went back around 5ish the next night. I kept thinking they’d probably just send me home again, but this time when they checked I was dilated enough to be admitted. Yay! So, they hooked me up to an IV and drew a ton of blood. Then, I got moved to a L&D room. My mom got there right about then. She was pretty excited. During the labor and delivery my husband, mom and sister were there. The epidural took a while to put in, but once it was there and took effect I was pretty happy. I almost fell asleep a couple of times. ( My contractions stayed nice and strong though so I didn’t need pitocin or anything like that until after Aria was here and they started it to help deliver the placenta.) They kept having me lay on one side and then they’d check me and have me turn to the other side. I guess it helps the baby move down faster naturally. After turning and being checked one of those times though is when everything got bad. It was like I could all of a sudden feel the catheter (or however you spell it) and that grew until I could feel the contractions really bad in that whole area. So, the anesthesia guy came back and gave me another dose which really helped, but in no time the feeling was back again! So, I kind of freaked out because it was in such an uncomfortable area. The anesthesiologist said we could try another drug in my epidural and if that didn’t work he’d have to try taking the whole thing out and starting over. Well, the other drug didn’t help for very long. So, they had to redo my epidural while I was having full on contraction pain. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I was scared it wouldn’t help and I’d have to deliver like that. In the end it did help a lot.
Day 3 ~ 2am – After all that though, when it was time to push, I got Aria down pretty quick. Then she just kind of got stuck and wouldn’t decend anymore. I pushed for 3 more hours with no progress really so they had my Dr come in and he helped me with the vacuum. With his help it only took like 2 or 3 more pushes and she was out. It was so cool! The only bad thing is that I ended up with a “second degree laceration” aka yucky hurty tear in a sensitive place! ~
When the baby came out and they put her on my chest all I could do was stare. It was like all this effort and pain and pushing and exhaustion…and then she was there on my chest and everything else was gone. I kept thinking “I’m done?” “It’s over?” “That’s my baby?” They whisked her away to dry her off and check her vitals and everything. I was just kind of laying there in shock. I didn’t even know my husband had cut the cord until like 2 days ago when I was going through pictures on my mom’s camera. I remember seeing the baby nurse put a footprint on a little foam star and sticking it to my husband’s shirt with some tape. I remember the Dr. saying something about placenta and massaging my lower tummy. I remember him stitching and thinking it seemed like a lot of blood and a lot of stitching. I know the nurse had me try and breastfeed right away and her instructions on how to care for my tear. Besides all that, my biggest memory was when they had taken the baby away to dry her and she started to cry. That’s when I finally started to cry too. I was a mommy and that little cry was coming from MY baby!
Looking back, I don’t know how I did it all (even WITH the epidural). I certainly can’t imagine doing it again, even though my husband and I want to try for a boy too. But I also can’t imagine life without my baby. It’s like now my life has been split into all the time before she came and now. Now is pretty great guys. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Baby A came 10 days “early” ! She was born June 8, 2008 and weighed 8lbs 2oz. She was 20 inches long. Read all about it and what comes next under the I’m a mog section of my blog from now on. See you there.
eta: I’ve consolidated all the pregnancy stuff into geekygirl 2.0 and todler stuff into little ones FYI
What I’ve Been Up To
I’ve been trying to get out as much as possible lately. I really want both to take advantage of being able to get out while I can and maybe stimulate labor a bit by being more physically active. My husband and I like to just relax together at home when he gets time off. Recently though, we decided to try and see a couple of movies out while we can. Iron Man was pretty awesome. I’d definitely see it again. Indiana Jones, on the other hand, wasn’t one of my favorites. We didn’t regret spending the money to see it, but I’d reccomend waiting till it’s out On Demand or from Netflix. Besides that I’ve mostly just been out for lunches with my mom and sister or running small errands.
Besides getting out I’ve been able to stay semi-active around the house; getting chores done to a lesser extent (there is only so much I can do now with this huge belly). I usually take care of all the home and financial responsibilities for my husband and I. I’ve had to deal with a couple of irritating/stressful situations on the financial side. I’m still fighting with my insurance company to get the deductable back from the car accident in January. The lady who hit me isn’t being cooperative at all. The other bothersome thing is actually because of a purchase I made online. I bought two SIDS preventing mattress covers (one for the baby’s crib and one for the bassinnette) from an online company. I purchased the covers in April and to this day I haven’t received the covers and can’t get anyone from the seller to respond to my emails. So, since I paid using Paypal, I’ve opened a dipute claim with them for a refund. I waiting to see what happens with that.
On a more positive note, I traded my 2-door VW Rabbit in for their new Tiguan. I should be able to pick it up by tomorrow. They only had the fully loaded models in blue and black available on the lot. So, I’m waiting for a more basic S model Tiguan in gray to be brought from the port in CA to the dealership here. I was suppose to pick it up the end of last week, but the sales person I dealt with got promoted to a different position and the sales department never called to tell me the vehicle delivery would be delayed. Another little irritation!
How I’m Feeling Physically
I’m in the “done being pregnant” phase of my pregnancy. Last week I was having a lot of cramping. This week it’s full on contractions. They come and go all day long. The contractions go away if I change position or sit and lay down to relax for a while. They’re also not very close together; so not actual labor just yet. I keep hoping though! I want to get my little girl here already and try and get back to some sort of normal physically. I’d also like to be able to shave my legs without accidentally gouging myself )~ The heat is making things pretty miserable too. I feel bad because I’m freezing my husband and poor chihuahuas out of the house just to stay comfortable. I can’t help it though. If the house gets up to a certain temperature I get headaches and am extremely uncomfortable.
How I’m Feeling Emotionally
Mostly I’m just feeling anxious to be done with pregnancy, labor and delivery. I just want to be past it all and getting into mom-mode already. I think my frustration with not being able to do simple things I used to do around the house makes me grouchy too. I take it out on my husband sometimes which kind of isn’t fair because I get mad at him for not doing things I can’t do myself when he’s not used to having to do them. I’ll see a basket full of laundry which I’ve cleaned and folded, but can’t haul upstairs, sit in the laundry room for weeks. In my mind it’s obvious that it needs to be taken upstairs so I can empty it, but my husband doesn’t seem to notice it until I mention it and even then it’s not a priority. So, I get grouchy because I feel like he’s not helping me. Then I feel bad about getting grouchy with a husband I barely see. So, that’s kind of yucky.
Overall though, I’m happy. I’m just uncomfortable and ready to have my baby girl safely outside the womb and in my arms.