Friday, December 16, 2011

The Truth about Life Post Delivery

I cannot believe that I'm going to write this.

This is TMI to the max.

If you are a guy, you should probably skip this post.

However, I'm going to share about this because NO ONE warned me about what happens AFTER delivery.

People warn you about the epidural, the contractions, the love you will immediately feel for your child, but no one prepares you for what is to come during the first few weeks at home.

For example-- remember how RAD it was that you didn't have your period for 10 months? Well, after you have a baby you have the equivalent of 10 periods in one day and this bloody mess can last for up to 6 weeks. I was warned to buy pads, but I didn't think I'd have to live in them for 4+ weeks. Seriously, do you know how appealing it is to use your sons diaper rash cream after you've lived in a pad for 28 days (that is a joke- I didn't actually use it)? TMI, I know. But I really wish that someone had warned me for just how bloody things would be following birth and delivery. Consider yourself warned soon to be mamas and invest in puppy pee pads (they seriously make you lay on them in the hospital the entire time you are there), depends and/or huge pads. Steal the mesh underwear and ask for more before you leave.

Another warning- Don't look down for a long time. A deflated baby bump is depressing and ugly. Your stomach will look and move like a jello jiggler. I didn't expect to look hot in the stomach area immediately following birth, but I was not expecting the sheer magnitude of the jiggliness.

Also, the baby blues. I heard about them, but that shit is no joke. I'm not a crier. Having a baby turned me into a crier. I cried fifty times a day for the first few weeks. I cried because John looked at me, I cried because John didn't look at me, I cried because I put on my seatbelt, I cried because I was eating cookies. I cried because I loved my son so incredibly much. I honestly thought I was on the fast track to crazy town. I am here to tell you that it does go away, and that I can get through a day without crying (WAHOO), but don't be surprised if you are an emotional mess after birth.

Child birth is no joke. If you weren't emotional about it it would be weird. Thankfully, childbirth amnesia is a real thing (and probably why no one warns you about the blood, ugly stomach and tears- they forgot about it). Nowadays, I tell my birth story with a huge goofy grin on my face and I'd do it again tomorrow!

Thank god for pregnancy amnesia.

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Month Update

{I'm going to write a monthly update -- and I hope to one day print them out and bound them in a book for my baby}

Dearest Grayson,

You are one month old as of December 10, 2011. My little baby is growing up and this was quite honestly the fastest month of my entire life.

Grayson, you are the light of our lives. I was so nervous about your birth and taking care of a little one, but the moment we set eyes on you all of our fears just melted away. I wake up everyday and thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to be your mother. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have you as my son.

When you were born, you weighed 8lbs, 9oz and were a total chunkster. When we left the hospital you weighed 7lbs, 11oz (just like me when I was born). Two and a half weeks later you were back up to 8lbs, 10oz. I bet you are closing on 10lbs now, but we won't know for sure until the 13th of December! You eat like a champ and breastfeeding is going very well. When you turned 3.5 weeks old we let daddy give you a bottle of breast milk and I was able to have 5 straight hours of sleep. That rejuvenated me for an entire week!

You grew out of newborn diapers at 2.5 weeks old, but you still wear most of your newborn clothing. You are starting to grow into your 0-3 month clothing and it has opened so many doors for you in the fashion department. =)

Your sleeping habits improve every day. The first 3 weeks were pretty rough and you thought that 11pm-2am was party time! You still only sleep in stretches of 2-3 hours, but you are starting to go down easier after each feeding in the middle of the night.

You are absolutely adorable and have eyes that are as blue as the ocean. They may still change, but daddy and I both have blue eyes, so it's likely that you will too. Surprisingly, your hair is brown. Both daddy and I were platinum blondes when we were little. The nurse at the hospital suspected that your hair would fall out and turn blonde, but it's still brown here at 4 weeks.

Your favorite toy is your wubanub pacifier and your activity mat. Over the past week, you have blossomed and have started batting the toys on your play mat and I think you even smiled at me on Monday. On Thursday, you cooed for the first time and it melted my heart.

Our favorite thing to do is to kiss you right before you eat. Even though you're just rooting, daddy and I like to pretend that you're kissing us back. You are the most kissable baby and I just can't keep my hands off of you! My favorite thing to do with you is to lay with you on my chest. There is no better feeling than a tiny infant laying on your chest.

You have many nicknames- G, Lil G, Lil Boo, Gray, Gray-Gray, Graybee (I need to stop this- it's Grayson + Baby all in one), bear, nugget and peanut.

Sweet G, please make time slow down. I don't want to blink and have a five year old. I cherish every moment I spend with you now!

I love you sweet baby!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Newborn Survival Guide

I used to love when bloggers would recommend their favorite baby products so I am going to do the same each month.

I could not have gotten through the newborn stage without these items (okay fine, I could have survived without all of them, but these were my favorites).

1) Wubbanub Pacifier. These things are hard to find, but I'm glad I finally got my hands on one of them. Newborns need to suck to calm down, but they can't keep a pacifier in their mouths for more than 3 seconds. The wubbanub weighs the pacifier down so it stays in the mouth longer and G can hold on to the dog to help keep it in place. I need like three more of these. STAT.

2. The Cloud B Sleep Sheep: This is a great white noise machine and it helps G fall back asleep each and every night. When this doesn't work and he's really fussy, I'm in love with the IPhone application titled: White Noise. It works wonders.

3. The Fisher Price Rock n Play. We assumed that we'd just have G sleep in a pack n play in our room, but he actually sleeps in this now. The Rock n Play takes up 1/3 of the space, is compact, and it rocks like a cradle. The incline makes it great for any reflux issues and the sides make them feel more enclosed like they were in the womb. We even take this on trips with us when we sleep away for the night because it folds up so compactly.
4. This was a bit of a splurge but I love this JJCole diaper caddy. I made my own makeshift diaper caddy for the bedroom out of a plastic bin, but this one is more visually appealing and matches our living room decor. There is no way I'm walking upstairs every time this boy blows out a diaper. This makes it so much easier to change him downstairs and it keeps everything organized in one place (I'm anal).

5. The boppy pillow. I'm obsessed. He's currently sleeping on it right next to me on the couch. It's especially perfect for breast feeding. Get one!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Son

First.. play this song:

It's our song.

Then, cry with me and look at pictures of my beautiful baby boy.....

These were all taken during his first two weeks of life (holy crap he'll ALREADY be one month old on 12/10)

Would you believe that I'm one of those crazy people that actually misses being pregnant? I'm so happy to have him and to hold him, but I really loved those 9 months that I had to grow him.

Once they come out, you have to share them. When they are inside of you they are warm, protected and all yours. I'm glad that I cherished my pregnancy and that I can look back on it and relive all of those amazing moments.

Despite all the issues during labor, I often replay that moment when we rushed into the hospital and I think fondly of it every time. I'd do it all again, everyday if I could because it was a special day. It was the experience of a lifetime

Isn't he just the cutest? It's so cliche, but time really does fly by once the baby arrives. I'm not sure how my tiny little helpless birdie turned into a chubby little baby that can now move his head easier, stay awake longer, and who already wears size one pampers in what seemed like a blink of an eye. I feel like he arrived yesterday and a lifetime ago all in one moment.

Now if we could only get this sweet little G to sleep more than 3 hours stretches and we'd be golden.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Holidays

With a new baby at home, I haven't had much time to get into the holiday spirit quite yet-- but I have started thinking about our Christmas cards!

This year I want to do a Christmas card/birth announcement combination and Tiny Prints has THE CUTEST selection. They are all so colorful and fun!

I love coming home every day in December to see Christmas cards hanging up around my walls. We tape them to the archways throughout the house so that we can enjoy them all for the entire month. How do you display your Christmas cards?


Well.. in case you were wondering-- It is highly unlikely that I ever had any sort of uterine infection. While I was in the hospital I was so doped up on IV antibiotics and fluids that by my fifth day there my white blood cell count was normal, my fever went way down, and I appeared to be on the mend. That being said, my symptoms matched the uterine infection symptoms to a T so I don't blame anyone for the mistake.

After I was released from the hospital, I continued to have fevers every night at home. I had hot/cold sweats and my OBGYN urged me to go get an ultrasound of the lymphnode in my armpit. Two days after being released from the hospital I did and immediately afterwards, I was rushed to surgery to drain the lymphnode (it was the size of a golf ball). I'm not normally so dismissive of golf ball size lymphnodes, but I had other crap going on that was distracting me.

Seriously, the week after my delivery was a shit show. I had fevers, I had an ultrasound, I was rushed to surgery. On our way to surgery we were rear ended. The day after, John woke up with gout and couldn't move his leg.

Thankfully, now that we are 3 weeks out we are on the mend and order has been restored in our house.

I find it quite hysterical that the easiest part of this entire saga was my c-section.

I hope that others find peace in the fact that my c-section was finished on November 10th at around 1am. By 9:30am, I got myself out of bed, walked to a wheel chair and headed down to the NICU to feed my baby. Within 24 hours I was fully mobile. It didn't feel awesome, but it wasn't terrible and I never needed anything more than motrin to kill the pain (not even in the hospital).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grayson's Birth Story

Up until week 36, my pregnancy was pretty text book without any complications. At my 36wks, 3days appointment my blood pressure started to spike up pretty high. At that point, the doctor told me to try to relax as much as possible at home and that we’d continue to monitor it the following week. At my 37wks, 3 days appointment my blood pressure continued to be high so they sent me straight to labor and delivery for monitoring. I was hooked up to machines and my BP was monitored for hours. Whenever I laid down my blood pressure fell below 110/70 so at that point it was decided that I should start on bed rest. In the meantime, I was scheduled for an ultrasound and weekly NST scans to check on the baby. I was about 37wks, 5 days when I went in for my ultrasound and at that point, Grayson was measuring 8lbs, 4oz. The specialist decided that because of his size and my blood pressure that they’d prefer if he was delivered before I hit 39 weeks. I was scheduled for an induction on November 10, 2011. I would have been 38wks, 6 days pregnant.

(My last bump picture. Holy hell I was huge)

Two days before my induction I ignored my bed rest instructions a little bit and went out for a pedicure and did a TON of laundry (i.e., I walked up and down my stairs a million times) to help prepare our home for the baby. On the 8th, hubs and I cuddled up on the couch, watched TV and ate Chipotle. We sat around saying, “only two more nights without a baby” and imagining what he would be like. At about 2:45 am I had a dream that my water was breaking and thought I felt a little something, but didn’t think anything of it or even wake up long enough to check what it was. A few minutes later I rolled over to get more comfortable and I felt a pop and a trickle of water. I ran to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet thinking that perhaps I wet my pants (had never happened before, but I hear it happens to pregnant ladies). When the trickle didn’t stop for over 10 minutes, I figured it was show time. I yelled from the bathroom, “Umm, John! I think my water broke.” The next half hour was a whirlwind. I jumped in the shower, we packed up the car quickly and we were on our way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at about 4am where they checked me in immediately. Upon arrival, I was only about 1cm dilated and 80% effaced (I was closed up on Monday). From 4am-7am, I got my IV and we waited to see if my contractions would start on their own. I did have a few contractions but they weren’t regular/strong enough and pitocin was started at 7:30am. I needed a lot of pitocin to get things started. The highest dose that they will give you is 24, and I made it all the way up to 22 before things really got started. Of course, Grayson was sunny side up, so I was experiencing back labor. I got an epidural at 11am. I could have waited, but there was a line out the door for epidurals so it was a get it now, or wait hours type of situation. The nurse suggested that I get one soon to help relax my pelvis and to help my cervix progress so I did. The next few hours were heavenly. I napped, watched TV, played around online and just relaxed before the hard labor set in. I told my doctor that I would do this one hundred times it was so enjoyable. Ha.

My doctor came in at 2:30 and I was already at 4cm. Although this was good, she expressed her concern about the fact that I had developed a fever and she said we would need to monitor things closely. She said that at a minimum, Grayson would need to be in the NICU for at least 24 hours (and up to 7 days) because a fever makes it very likely that I had a uterine infection (which is a result of water breaking spontaneously). They started me on antibiotics and said that we would wait and see how things go. At 4:30, I was 5 cm. The doctor decided that if I did not hit 7-8cm by 7:30pm that we would go for a c-section simply because I was already at the heaviest dose of pitocin and my contractions were not regular. Between 5-7pm, the baby started to go into distress. His heartrate was all over the place and the nurse was very unhappy with how things were looking. They started to call for a c-section again and while waiting they made me lay on my side and put oxygen on me. These two interventions helped, so we went back to the waiting game. When the doctor checked me again at 7:30, I was finally 8cm and the baby was doing well with me on my side. At that point, she said that we would wait and see how things go. At 8:30, I was 9.5cm and the pain was beginning to become unbearable. I didn’t feel contractions, but at that point, Grayson had descended into my cervix and the pressure was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I literally felt as though my pelvic bone was about to burst into a trillion pieces. They boosted by epidural a few times, but it didn’t really touch the pelvic pain for more than 15 minutes or so. At about 9pm, the doctor came back and had me push for a bit—with very little progress. I couldn't believe it because it felt like his head was literally falling out of me. She said she wished that was the case and that he was engaged, but he was not moving down the canal. She noted that there was an anterior lip on my cervix that the baby was getting caught on. She said that I would need to lay on my other side in an attempt to have the baby’s head stretch that area out. I had to wait ANOTHER hour. The pain was ridiculous and although John was so supportive, I literally thought that I was going to explode.

When the doctor came back at 10pm she said that we had two options- we could wait another hour to see if I progress past 9.5cm (I had been there for two hours) or we could go for a c-section because the baby was still so high and because I was stuck at 9.5cm for 2-3 hours at this point. I asked her and the nurse for their opinions. She said that we could try to push, but that it was a possibility that I may need to push for up to 3 hours to get him and still need a c-section.

She also noted that there was an unprecedented number of c-sections that night (it was a full moon) and that there was a line for the OR. At that point, I asked them to keep the pitocin going, but to also schedule me for the OR just in case. I begged her, please tell me this can happen by 11 (it didn't). I was so spent and the pain was so intense. Well, emergencies kept coming up and I kept getting pushed back and my cervix wasn’t dilating past 9.5cm. Finally, after seeing how much pain I was in, they called in a second anesthesiologist and opened a second OR. Apparently, this rarely ever happens (the night Grayson was born, they had 9 c-sections). Luckily, my nurse was feisty and when another doctor tried to cut us in line, she told me that she flipped on their nurse and rushed me out of my room ahead of them.

(Terrible pic, but I'm keeping it real. This was after 20 hours of labor)

I kept my eyes closed almost the entire time in the OR so I can’t tell you what happened in there. I was terrified and exhausted. My water broke at 3am on the 9th and I was just being wheeled into the OR after midnight on the 10th. I had had nothing to eat in almost 24 hours and the last 4 hours of my labor were literally exhausting. My c-section was a whirlwind. I remember them asking me if I felt something really cold on my stomach. I felt something on my stomach, but it wasn’t cold (John said that that was when the cut into me). I know that once they gave me the anesthesia my blood pressure must have dropped significantly because I kept screaming out, I’m fainting. Everyone, help me! I’m fainting. I remember some lady rushing up to me asking me my name, what I’m doing there and trying to distract me. John was by my head rubbing it. I asked John later if I fainted (I swear I did), but he said I didn’t. After about 5, 10, 15 (I couldn’t tell) minutes I started to feel less faint, but I definitely had a panic attack on the table. I kept telling them that I couldn’t breathe and I just couldn’t get a good breath. My anesthesiologist was amazing and he kept reassuring me that my oxygen levels were great and he attempted to distract me. After awhile, I felt the pulling and pressure and at 12:44am I heard a tiny little whimper (I think he was still inside me at that point because I hadn’t felt them pull him out yet). After that, I felt them pull him out and two more whimpers. I don’t remember if they said, it’s a boy or anything. All I know is that five minutes later they took John and had him follow the baby to be weighed, washed off etc. I’m so happy that John was able to experience that, but feel a little robbed of the fact that I wasn’t able to see him until a bit later. Before they left with my baby (to head to the NICU_, they brought him up to my head so I could see him. He was beautiful.

After my c-section, I had to go to recovery and at this point, John and I were SO exhausted. We thought we’d only be there for an hour, but I guess something was slightly wrong (I still had a fever, I was bleeding a lot and my heart rate was really high), and we were down there for 2-3 hours. Finally, on the way up to our room, we got to stop at the NICU to see the baby. John and I were both able to hold him for the first time, but I was devastated that we had to leave him there (it was 5am by this point).

Although my story is a bit scary/overwhelming etc., in the end, everything that happened was worth it. I am so appreciative of my doctor and everything that she did. I had a lot of factors going against me-- small pelvis, large baby, a fever, my water broke and we were approaching 24 hours, I wasn't progressing, and my baby was in distress. I have my perfect baby and my c-section recovery has been a breeze. I was stuck in the hospital for 5 days because my fever never went down and my white blood cell count was crazy high. After the fact, I’m pretty sure that it had nothing to do with a uterine infection at all and it was probably related to an infected lymph node that I had developed (and ignored) two weeks before I gave birth. I’m kicking myself now for not taking care of that earlier because as a result, Grayson was in the NICU and I had to spend 5 extra days on IV fluids and antibiotics, but what can you do.

(My little conehead- can you tell he was stuck in the birth canal?)

Thankfully, Grayson only spent 36 hours in the NICU before he was released back up to our room. He was given antibiotics as a precaution, but luckily if I had an infection, it never spread to the baby (which is what leads me/my doctors to believe that it wasn’t a uterine infection after all).

If you are having a c-section, don’t let my story scare you. I think I only panicked so terribly because I had already been in labor for almost 22 hours. I was exhausted, hot, tired and upset to hear that my baby was going to be whisked away to the NICU. After my c-section, I was up and able to walk out of bed by 9:30am the next morning and It really was not as terrible as I thought it was after I’ve had time to reflect. If similar complications arise, or if my doctor feels as though c-section would be more appropriate for any future children that we may have, I would not hesitate to do it again.