baby brian

baby brian arrived on monday, april 6th at 8:38 pm.  he weighed 7 lb 2 oz and was 20 in long {thank you Jesus that low papp-a turned out not to be an issue for us}.  we think he looks like hubby, and he’s absolutely precious.  it’s hard to believe he’s ours.  he does have a sacral dimple, which could impact his leg development {crawling, walking}, but for now all we can do is pray and continue our faith journey.

there’s so much i want to write about… my labor, his birth, and his first few weeks of life.  time seems to be limited now, so i’m sure this post will be in draft mode for a while {maybe i’ll get to finish it up during all of the frequent feedings}.


let’s start with labor

we arrived at the hospital at 7 pm on Easter sunday {when i was 38 weeks 6 days pregnant}.  i needed cervidil to help further soften the cervix as the most progress i made on my own in that department was 85% effaced, 1.5 cm dilated, and -2 fetal station.  baby brian appeared to be quite comfy in there because at 37 weeks i was 70% effaced, 1cm dilated, and -2 fetal station.  sunday was the easy part.  the doctor on call inserted a “tampon” like device containing this medicine right up against my cervix.  i had to lay for 2 hours as the medicine started to take effect {kind of a challenge for a full-term pregnant lady who pees a lot}.  after my two hours were up {around 11 pm}, i got up to pee and get ready for bed.  then i received a sleeping pill that was horribly ineffective at putting me to sleep.  i asked the sweet nurse what we could do about that, and she recommended adding a pain med she was authorized to give me.  that one definitely helped with sleep, but i needed two doses to make it through the night.

the next morning, the nurse removed the cervix softening medicine, unhooked me from the fetal monitors, and let me get up to shower.  then it was time for pitocin.

the same doctor on call checked me the next morning and i was either 2-2.5 cm dilated {can’t remember}.  she was ready to break my water, but i panicked {i counted on progressing a bit more and having the epidural so i didn’t feel a thing}.  by that time, it was shift change time and i learned that my OB was on call that day and should get to deliver brian!  he was supposed to be on vacation, but was sick the previous week and apparently took someone else’s shift to repay them for covering for him.  this obviously worked out very well for me, so i wasn’t complaining.

i saw my doctor briefly, but then he got whisked away to a c-section.  both doctors left orders that i could have an epidural whenever i wanted {guess they weren’t concerned about slowing down labor since they could just kick up my dose of pitocin}.  i decided i was ready for it, but had to wait for the anesthesiologist to finish the c-section and start one other person’s epidural.

eventually it was my turn.  i expected that inserting the epidural would hurt, but it was a breeze.  the anesthesiologist was a woman who had two epidurals before, so it was great to have her talk me through the process.  and thankfully my epidural was perfect.  i could feel the tightening of my uterus with contractions, pressure when it was time to push, but no pain.  the only real side effect i experienced was that my legs were super warm to the touch.

a bit later my doctor stopped by to break my water.  all i have to say is gross.  there sure was a lot of amniotic fluid.  and it kept dribbling out until i gave birth.

from that point i would get occasional cervix checks between naps.  the rest was definitely a good idea since delivery and the first week of a baby’s life are no joke.  i did snack on ice chips and an orange popsicle before things got super serious.  the closer i got to pushing, i started getting the body shakes.  apparently that is normal.

of course my family was blowing up our phones as i labored all day.  they wanted very detailed updates, but hubby did a good job of sticking to sharing the minimum amount of info possible.  at one point my dad offered to “relieve” hubby and come sit with me.  what part about the fact that i’m naked under a hospital gown, leaking amniotic fluid, in labor, getting a hand stuffed inside my lady parts every so often and not wanting anyone other than hubby around do they not understand?  leave me alone people!!

the last thing i’ll say about labor was that the day time nurse the day i was induced was terrible.  and i had to deal with her from 7 am to 7 pm.  i had to remind her when it was time for medicine {seriously, who is the nurse?}.  my IV alarm went off several times and it took her forever to show up to fix it.  really, it took her forever to do anything.  one time i heard the baby’s heart rate dip after a contraction.  she was in the room so i asked her if she heard it too.  she replied with the typical “it’s common for the baby’s heart rate to drop during a contraction” response, to which I played dumb and replied “was that during a contraction?” {knowing that it wasn’t}.  she then decided i should change positions in bed.  it was her first day back from maternity leave with twins, so i’m sure she was distracted, but she was really awful.


delivery

my doctor checked me maybe around 6:30 pm.  i made significant progress, but his instructions were to let me “labor down” and get through shift change at 7 pm {part of me would like to think he knew how terrible that crappy l&d nurse was and he didn’t want to deal with her either}.  however, the constant pressure and urge to push kicked in a few minutes before 7 pm.  i called the bad nurse to my room and she talked me through how pushing should go.  we may have done a practice push or two, it’s all kind of a blur now.  the heart rate dropping incident happened right around this time and i lost it.  i didn’t trust her one bit and needed a second set of eyes on the situation.  luckily a good friend who works in postpartum was just finishing up her shift.  i texted her and told her i was about to lose my stuff and needed a good nurse.  she was so sweet and came over right away, stayed for a few pushes, and ended up staying for the delivery {it sure was nice to have another helper holding a leg}.

anyway, after shift change, the sweetest l&d nurse i could possibly imagine came in.  we started pushing more seriously around 7:15 pm.  my doctor wasn’t in the room yet, but apparently they don’t come in until right before the baby is going to pop out.  i had several good pushes, everyone could see hair!  but i did the typical ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ thing with my first few pushes.

eventually my doctor stopped by to check on my progress and watch a few pushes.  he ended up staying and helping coach through delivery.  i’ve said it before, but my OB is seriously the nicest and most patient doctor on the planet.  i’m so thankful he was there to deliver brian.

after pushing for about an hour and twenty minutes total, baby brian entered the world!  when the doctor held him up and put him on my chest, hubby and i were shocked at how big he was!  he then proceeded to wail for literally two hours as we did skin to skin and tried to get him to nurse, all while the doctor was delivering the placenta and stitching me up {somehow i managed to only land a 1st degree tear}.  finally a lactation consultant came in the room – she tried latching brian and spent what felt like an eternity talking about skin to skin and everything under the sun.  i finally lost it.  as my baby was screaming, my tears just started flowing.  i was exhausted and felt utterly helpless at being a mom.  at that point i think the lactation consultant finally got it – she just needed to feed my baby.  so she spent probably the next hour hand expressing colostrum into a medicine cup and feeding it back to brian with a feeding spoon.  not what i pictured his first feeding to look like.

brian then got his footprints made, weighed, and received his first bath while my l&d nurse helped me get up to pee and clean up.



postpartum

we finally got to our postpartum room around 12:30 am following delivery.  our sweet night nurse did a quick check of me and baby, then my parents {who had been camping out in the waiting room for quite some time} came to meet the baby.

my good friend works in postpartum and set us up with an awesome room with a view of uptown {where we used to live} and great nurses.  but the next day and a half are a blur in my memory.  every single muscle in my body hurt from delivering {back, abdomen, neck, arms, calves – you name it}.  i don’t think i slept more than 4-5 hours total while at the hospital.  there was always someone in and out of the room – doctors, nurses, lactation, housekeeping, nutrition, birth certificate, financial, photographer, etc.  after breakfast on the first day in postpartum i lost my appetite – it was a struggle to eat anything, and it stayed like that for the next 5-6 days.

feedings continued to be an issue for brian.  latching was hard {impossible without a nipple shield}, and i was instructed to pump and feeback after every nursing session to further stimulate my breasts since i have PCOS, which can sometimes cause an issue with milk supply.  i was frustrated, but lactation and our nurses kept encouraging us to put brian to breast.  he was peeing and pooping, so he must be getting something.

eventually we were discharged for the fun to continue at home.


life at home

the first week was rough.  i seriously thought my body was going to quit on me.  as i mentioned before, i couldn’t eat or sleep, and i was still so sore.  on top of it, brian was starving and feedings continued to be a challenge.  the first night home, he wanted to be attached to my boob for literally 3 hours.  my milk still hadn’t come in, and for my sanity we resorted to formula.  we went to the pediatrician the next day and discovered his tongue needed to be clipped, which is likely why he had a hard time latching.  he lost 9% of his birth weight at that point, jaundice was getting worse, and he was dehydrated {as evidenced by red crystals in his diapers}.  we all decided it was best for me to pump, feed back whatever i got, and then supplement with formula until my supply was established.

i’m happy to report that mother’s milk tea helped with supply, so now brian is drinking all breastmilk.  but i’m still pumping.  i had an outpatient appointment with the lactation consultants at the hospital where i delivered, and they wanted me to latch first, then pump, then feed back the remainder.  that took feeding times from 30-45 minutes to 1.5 hours+ and i quickly decided that’s not for me.  i know that eventually  he won’t eat every 3 hours, so i won’t be connected to my pump all day long.  we still had his frenulum clipped as it can impact speech development, which would require general anesthesia later vs. a quick clip now.

sleep has improved greatly, although i still wish there was more of it.  hubby is back at work, so daytime naps are impossible as i’m always either pumping or feeding or cleaning bottles or doing laundry.

seems as though i’ve developed mastitis today, so that’s lovely.  really, i feel horrible – sore boob, red boob, fever, the whole 9 yards.  my OB prescribed an antibiotic, and i’m praying it works quickly.



family

what made the first week even harder is that my mom and dad would not leave me alone.  i got constant texts {most of which i didn’t reply to – heck i didn’t reply to anyone} and requests for them to come visit with more family members {which i had to turn down}.  no one seemed to understand that i literally felt like i was going to pass out all day long – no sleep, no food, and wacky prescription drugs will do that to a person.  they all thought i was crazy i’m sure, but i really couldn’t take care of myself, so didn’t want to deal with anyone else.

well, that was quite the lengthy update.  who knows how long it will be before i blog again.  thank you to all who have provided support throughout my {in}fertility journey.  and thank you Lord, for my beautiful baby boy.