Monday, October 20, 2008

So far

I cried when I heard my son howl in protest at being forced from my womb, immediately after his first breath.

I totally did not expect that. I'm not a crier. I'm not really sentimental or romantic. There comes certain points in your life however, when instinct just kicks in and you are not in charge anymore. You can't really describe it - you hear other people describe it, but you don't really get it until it actually has happened to you. There is relief, joy, and yes, even fear in those spontaneous tears that you share with your newborn child. As my husband said, "Look what we made - who do we think we are, making all new people here?"

Things I've learned since last Friday:

Planning doesn't mean a DAMN THING.
Epidurals - Um, AWESOME!
Morphine - overrated
Demorol - yeah, that too.
Percocet - seriously, three for three. Why the hell do people get so excited for these drugs? They help, yeah, but they don't make you feel THAT good, they just dull the pain.
You can THINK your child is sucking - it will TOTALLY feel like he is, but the child may not actually be sucking.
Your child can have more poopy diapers than pee pee diapers in a day.
Formula and binkies are not as evil as all the books/websites devoted to breastfeeding make them out to be.
Baby hiccups are just as cute outside as they are inside.
C-sections - you can feel THE WHOLE THING, except the pain. Holy heck was that freaky.
Just because you can see the reflection of your surgery in the overhead lights doesn't mean you should watch it.
Just because you know you shouldn't watch it, doesn't mean that you won't.

We were scheduled to come in Friday at three in the afternoon to be induced. I got a phone call from the hospital that morning telling me that they were full and would let me know when I could come in. Of course, I was so antsy/nervous/excited already that I woke up at five that morning and had NOTHING to do. We cleaned a bit, went and had breakfast, ran to Target, did some grocery shopping, played with the dogs... no phone call. I ate a few potstickers at about three in the afternoon, and then decided to take a nap. I was almost asleep when my phone rang and they told me to grab a snack and come on in. I figured we'd swing by McDonalds and grab some apple dippers for me to munch on the way in.

Of course, my husband had put off showering until the very last minute, and because it was now rush hour, there was no last minute snack for me. No biggie. The doctor had told me that induction had two parts - one drug for 12 hours to soften your cervix, then the Pitocin to start the contractions and get the baby out. She said that during the first part, you could walk around and eat, but once the Pitocin started you were stuck in bed, no food or water - just ice chips.

So I'm thinking, I have 12 hours to get a snack. I'm cool.

Wrong AGAIN! They decided I didn't need that first part after all, and we could skip straight to Pitocin. Crap. So now, because I know I can't eat, and likely won't be able to eat again for hours, all of a sudden I'm ravenous.

Getting the IV started was HELL. I have very good, very strong veins, but for whatever reason, they wouldn't cooperate with the nurses. It took four tries to find one that would hold still long enough to get the IV inserted. They would stick me, then DIG AROUND in my arm with the needle. I have a HUGE bruise on my arm that's about three inches across and the lovliest shade of eggplant from one of those attempts.

I started having contractions at about 7:30, and by 10:30, I was ready for the epidural. By the time the anesthesiologist came in, I was almost in tears. The combination of the pain from the contractions, the pain from the epidural, and just plain being scared out of my mind at that point had me sobbing through the whole thing.

Once it kicked in though - man that was lovely. I couldn't feel a damn thing. Apparently my legs kept sliding off the bed, but because I couldn't see them, I couldn't tell. It made them feel like giant numb pillows or something. I also kept sliding to the bottom of the bed and the poor nurses would have to haul my behind back up to the top again. They also gave me a catheter. After having to pee practically on the hour every hour for the past eight months or so, not having to go at all for almost a day was pretty damn cool.

By midnight the doctor had decided that I was progressing so slowly that I may as well get some rest, so they gave me something to help me "relax". I don't know what they put into my IV, but that knocked me out within 15 minutes, and I slept from 12:30 until eleven the next morning, only waking up twice when the epidural wore off. I'd call the nurse, the anesthesiologist would come in and plug a new cartridge into place, and I'd be back asleep a few minutes later.

AWESOME. I slept through 3/4 of my labor!

When I finally did wake up, the doctor told us that everytime they'd get to a point where things were looking good and even, the baby would start to get distressed and so they'd have to stop the Pitocin until he was okay. They would restart it, things would start to look regular, and he'd get all upset again. I said it before, and I'll say it again - the child is ornery like his mama! Apparently this had gone on all night, so I wasn't really progressing as she would have liked. She told me that she would like to do a c-section and just get him out, and she apologized because I wasn't going to be able to give birth the way I planned.

Honestly, I wasn't married to any particular way of birthing my child, as long as I got him out healthy and in one piece. I'm not one of the people who think that I'm some sort of failure as a woman if I can't get my baby out through my vagina! Heck, I already MADE a baby - I'm impressed enough by that.

Turns out, even if I had progressed, I probably wouldn't have been able to get him out that way anyhow. I do not have child bearing hips. My doctor said there was no way THAT head was coming out of THIS narrow pelvis. So at least I got to skip all that pain and suffering, because to have to go through all that, and then have a c-section anyway - well, saying that would have really just sucked would be an understatement!

Getting wheeled on the bed to the OR...heck, the ENTIRE operating room experience was very surreal. The doctors and nurses kept complimenting me on my pedicure, haha! Thanks Susan! Apparently, it's very admirable that I can pull off orange polish. :) I also felt like I had cheated somehow - there was none of the blood, sweat, or drama that you normally hear associated with childbirth that I had gone through. Just a little pain, a lot of sleep, and an apologetic doctor and nurses. Huh.

During the procedure, I could feel every single thing they were doing to me, with the exception of actual pain, of course. I realized that I could also watch it all in the reflection on the overhead lights. That's REALLY freaky. I felt them prying open the incision, digging around with their hands, and then forcing him out. I could feel them afterwards, pulling back my skin and stretching it to stitch it closed. Again, very surreal.

They wheeled me into a post op area, where I learned that I'm a shiverer - I shiver uncontrollably with anesthesia. I've seen people do this on Dr. 90210, haha! Everyone who came in for whatever reason told us one of two things - one, that we had SUCH a cute baby, and two - LOOK at those eyelashes! I told my doctor thanks, and she was like no, he's REALLY cute! She said that you knew that your baby was cute when the staff said so, because not all babies are cute like ours. The nurse's eyes widended and she was like NO, they're not! Apparently, if they tell you that your baby is "sweet" or they compliment a body part (Look at those teensy little toes!) or even just tell you congratulations - the odds are, your baby isn't very comely. The things you learn!

We were there for a bit, and they they wheeled us to our room. As they do this, they play a lullaby over the hospital's loudspeakers so that everyone will know that a new baby has been born. It's sweet when you hear it for your child, but after being here for three days... um, it's kinda getting old, LOL! I feel bad for the nurses.

Everyone tells you that when you give birth you just don't CARE who sees you and what state of affairs you are in. Well, not this girl. I'm a prude in a lot of ways. I don't even pee in front of my husband, and now I had to have two strangers help me go to the bathroom, and clean myself and show me how to breastfeed... this was, and still is, very, very hard for me. I was so happy when I was finally able to get to the bathroom by myself last night!

Sawyer made it his first 24 hours and had not peed yet. He had pooped three times (my child is POOP-TASTIC) but no wet diapers. Every book, and every website that I had read about breastfeeding said that, no matter what, do NOT give your child any sort of artifical nipple, or you will just make things that much harder on yourself - but what do you do when your child is now starving? You give him the damn formula and you feel like a failure, that's what you do. Actually, you let your husband give him the formula because you don't want the baby to associate you with bottles. Then, the next day, when you STILL can't get him to latch on so ALL he's had is formula, you have the lactation consultant bring you a breast pump so that you can get stimulated enough to make milk, and you realize that those times when you thought he was sucking - well, he wasn't sucking RIGHT. Turns out, he didn't know HOW to suck properly, so the nurses had to show my husband how to teach the baby to suck. Who knew?

I didn't expect it to be this hard. I keep telling myself, I just had flipping SURGERY, that of course it should be hard. But to have to sit here, and not be able to help my husband when the baby is crying, or when he needs a diaper change, and not be able to get water, or go to the bathroom, or even get something out of my bag - well, it sucks. Add to that the whole "OMG I HAVE A BABY BUT NO CLUE" feeling and you will have me, at three this morning, having a little pity party by myself in bed. My husband had gone home to take care of the dogs, and I was by myself sobbing because I couldn't feed my child, I couldn't even help take care of him, I couldn't even take care of myself... it was bad. Borderline pathetic even.

Today has been better. I can get out of bed by myself, even if I do have to go really slowly. I'm allowed to eat real food again, so I'm feeling more energetic. We're working on the breastfeeding thing, and pumping after Sawyer has a go first. After he's been with me, then he goes to dad for a bottle. We also give him anything I get, which at this point is a tiny bit of colustrum, but it's good for him. I haven't changed a diaper or gotten to swaddle him yet, but I figure, I have many many many opportunities at that in the coming months. They gave him a binky in the nursery last night, so now, even though I can't lift him out of the bassinet by myself yet, I can give him that and rub his belly to help soothe him when he cries. We also took him down to get his first portraits and I was able to dress him in his cute outfit.

I am so in love with this little man, my little man. I think we're gonna be okay. It's been so great to come on here and read all of the congratulations from everyone and well wishes. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to check in on me and my little family. It really means a lot to me!

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Blogger Felicia said...

Well I agree with the docs and nurses...your little one is very cute. Congrats again!

9:20 PM  
Blogger Susan... said...

alright - let me at him! Seriously - I just have to come see for myself!

good job reliving it for us - you made it - way to go - I knew you would!

now comes the best part - the next 18-26 years! Bring it on!!!


9:28 PM  
Blogger mademoisellechitchat said...

I am SO happy for you!!!

5:31 AM  
Blogger Susanne P. said...

awesome! a play-by-play. that's what us moms love. sounds like they took great care of you. i am glad you weren't in a lot of pain.

you're smart not to wrapped up in all of that "you gotta' do this, or do it that way". you have to do it YOUR way and what works best for you.

i have fallen' for your man so watch out! i may head to your neck of the woods! LOL

7:01 AM  
Blogger kingsqueen said...

Sounds like they took good care of you. Epidurals ARE awesome aren't they? That whole crying thing - get used to that for a while, your hormones are in even more of a tizzy now than they were when the baby was INSIDE. LOL. It will pass, but it's normal.
Isn't amazing how deeply you fall in love with your baby? No one told me to expect that the first time around. I knew I would love him, but I didn't realize how it would feel.
We are all so happy for you! Can't wait to read about your experiences as a new mom. I'm sure it will take most of us back to when we were in your shoes. :)

7:55 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

Congratulations! He is absolutely adorable. Stick with it with the breastfeeding. My baby had a "lazy" suck and it took her a full week to figure it out. Even now (2weeks in) she's still using a shield. I had to supp with formula too. It's not the end of the world. And btw - breastfeeding makes the weight come off faster! :)
Enjoy your little cutie pie and try to get as much rest as you can in the hospital.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Sawyer is adorable! I am so so happy for you!! I am looking forward to seeing you and the baby soon...


11:49 AM  
Blogger Paula - Buenos Aires said...

I smiled at the similarities of our giving birth stories in a "yea, sister, that´s exactly it" kind of way.

Got misty eyed with you.

And about the milk, it comes after you go for #2 iykwim. I thought it was a wives tale but worked with both my kids. :)

12:04 PM  
Blogger Sweet Simplicity said...

I'm glad you have enough energy to blog! I love reading people's labor stories! Although, they kinda scare me. :) (I'm not pregnant and have not had any kids.)

7:32 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Big congrats to you on your beautiful son! And good for you for just rollin' with it when things didn't go as planned. Get used to it - parenthood is just as unpredictable! :-D

7:54 PM  
Blogger Miss Anne said...

hey little mama, just a heads up, when you get around to it.. you received an award on my blog :)

happy mama'ing! :)

1:42 PM  
Blogger em said...

I think that crying is totally natural!! But then again I cry at everything!! I'm so happy for you, though your birth story scares me a little!! Can't wait for more photos!

2:07 PM  
Blogger emily said...

What an exciting time for your new family. I truly appreciate your sharing about the whole experience...I take this all in from people to prep myself for "someday!" Can't wait to hear updates on how he's learning and growing and how you are learning and growing with him! Take care!

5:17 PM  
Blogger EatCrayons said...

Awwww, gosh. Seriously he is beyond baby doll cute! His little features, so little and perfect. :) Congratulations again! I'm so happy for you guys. Hope you're resting and recovering well. The c-section experience is NEVER as the books attempt to explain, and each one is so different from the other, pheeew.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

on everything!
you survived...he is beautiful!
hooray you! you made a kid!!!

8:28 PM  

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