Thursday, December 1, 2011

the nitty gritty of my c-section

Having a c-section was not in my plan book. I am not sure what exactly I thought my plan book for having a baby was, but hearing that I would be having a scheduled surgery upset me, scared me and honestly kind of pissed me off.

I think the pissing off part was when I had to tell people when I was due in that last few weeks that I knew he would be coming on the 16th, oh scratch that, 19th when the doctors put me on the schedule. I felt like I had to clarify that he was breech and I wasn’t some vagina birth wimp. Most likely people weren’t even thinking about that when they asked my due date, but I tend to overshare.

But I was disappointed all the same. I wanted the baby to come when he was ready. HA HA how little I knew at that point. I started frantically looking into c-sections and breech babies once I found out my little guy would be making his entrance via knife instead of private lady parts. I had people tell me about c-section births by choice (baby was late) and not by choice (mama pushed and tried but no baby) or the old giant baby c-section. Some people thought a c-section was awful and others acted like it was no big deal. Perhaps I fall somewhere in between. I have nothing to compare it to and imaging stitches in my lady parts sounds much much worse than stitches at the top of my pubic area.

My sister laughed at my husband and told him that he would appreciate a c-section if he ever wanted to have another child or the act that created the first child. She had a baby both ways and kept telling me that it would be okay and I would be fine with the c-section after it happened. I tried not to doubt the older sister wisdom but it was hard to accept. I knew since he was breech that there wasn’t any choice but that didn’t keep me from wishing for something else.

All of that being said, my c-section didn’t exactly happen how it was planned out to happen and I pretty much got my natural birth (minus the whole pushing out the baby and getting stitches deal) on the baby’s timeline that I wanted.

When given the spinal tap, you are numb from the waist down. I could feel some sensation but not pain. Supposedly they stick you with a pin in the foot but they stuck me in the stomach area and honestly less than two minutes after the spinal was started I felt a little twinge but nothing else. I felt the pulling and tugging that they talking about but it was in a third person sense. The pulling and tugging I felt was not where they actually were pulling and tugging but I suppose where the baby was being moved around and pulled out.

After the baby was out, they started stitching me up and again I was so numb that we all just chit chatted while they did it. Kind of odd I suppose but I would rather that then just silence. I think at this point is when they put the catheter in since I don’t remember them doing it after surgery. The catheter was one thing I was nervous about.

Once taken back to the regular room they started removing and adding iv fluids and medicines. Then I was outfitted with battery powered leg compression things. Yes, it was as beautiful as it sounds. Also, noisy. By this time it was early morning and the spinal was still in full force. I was moved to a mother and baby room within a few hours which they would have taken me to right after surgery but they were completely full until around lunch time.

The nurses told me that I could feel itching as the spinal wore off but they had medicine they could give me. I didn’t start itching until late afternoon and it was minor, just a little here and there on my face. It was very similar to the itching that I feel after numbing from dental procedures.

The compression stockings were more annoying than anything simply because they were noisy and my legs got hot in them. I had to leave them on overnite and the battery of course started beeping in the middle of the nite right after we had fallen back asleep. They came off after twenty four hours.

I had the catheter in until the middle of the nite/early morning, so perhaps 18 to 24 hours. I was afraid that it would hurt but it was just one of those weird sensations that you go through in life like getting stitches out. Not painful just odd. An hour or so after the catheter was out, they removed the IV. Having the IV in my arm instead of the hand was so much better. I didn’t hit it on things like I had with a previous IV. It was a pain to hold L with it just because of the length of it and it seemed to get twisted all around me and him.

Once the catheter was removed it was a short amount of time until I needed to go to the bathroom. And wow. No one had mentioned to me that initial rising and how awful it would be. My nurse, who had the personality of a turnip, suggested that I hold a pillow against myself. When I stood up I thought I was going to fall over. There was such a burning sensation and intense pulling that you would think I hadn’t moved in weeks and that my gut was stretched taut instead of having post baby puff.

Later that morning I got a shower and I have to say that between the pain of the water hitting my boobs and the need to stand half bent in the shower, it was not the soothing experience that I thought it would be. I washed my hair and that was it. I remember muffling a wail when I tried to bend over and get something off the floor. I learned quickly that my toes could grab things just fine. Sitting down to go to the bathroom was painful also, so I sat as quickly as possible which could also be known as plopping yourself down without falling into the toilet. I think that was the moment I realized why there is that string to pull for help in the bathrooms at hospitals.

After the shower I put on regular clothes and by regular I mean loose and unattractive. They still hurt. When I came out of the bathroom after it taking longer to get dressed than the actual shower, I felt like I had run a marathon. A really awful – my arms were shaking, legs were queasy- marathon. My sister had warned me to get some big girl panties that were a bit high waisted but at that point I was still wearing those gauzey boy short things they give you. I know lots of people like them and say about stealing as many as possible from the hospital before you leave, but as someone who hates full underwear, they weren’t that great. By the time I left the hospital on Monday I was in regular aka big ass granny panties.

They checked the gauze and incision sight at the beginning of each shift, so maybe four times a day? It had a weird numb sensation which I assume is from the nerves being cut. I think that the numbness is pretty much gone now at ten weeks but it felt more normalish at around 8 weeks or so. The first time I put on regular jeans it was a really odd and uncomfortable sensation and I believe I was walking like a hunched up duck.

My sister had suggested getting a stepstool to get in and out of bed, which was a wise idea. Too bad I didn’t get one. It was extremely hard to get into a sitting position and I eventually used my bent leg to pull myself up with. At the beginning I had Brooks help pull me into a sitting position. That discomfort was definitely worse the first week after getting home and after three weeks I would say that I didn’t really notice it at all.

Then there is the broth and food situation. Somehow the movies always glamorize someone eating a big cheeseburger after they give birth. Um, I had beef flavored broth if that counts. The worst part? I had that damn broth for two days. Two days that really was longer since I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner on Thursday and I finally ate a meal on Saturday after I cried when they brought me broth. Broth for breakfast, broth for lunch and broth for dinner. FUN.

Want to know why I got broth for two days? To help lose the baby weight real quick? No. This girl didn’t fart and apparently there is a strict no farts no food policy.

After the nurse saw me crying to Brooks about no food again Saturday at dinner time I lied and said I farted so that I could get something to eat. Brooks offered to stink up the room with his own brew but I declined his offer. Seriously, when do you ever lie about farting? Word to the wise, I never farted the entire time I was at the hospital. What would they have done if I hadn’t told them I had? Withheld food until Monday when I was discharged?

So that is the nitty gritty of my c-section. Wondering anything else?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How it went for me.

I think I am far enough out of those first few awful weeks to look back at becoming a parent more objectively. It is unreal how I knew I loved the baby when he was in me but then once he was on the outside he was real. A little person. I know, shocker.

Everyone tells you how amazing it is and how much you love the baby. But what most people fail to mention how truly hard those first few weeks are. Heck, maybe in the months territory. I’ll let you know after I make it through a few more months. But as of right now, today as compared to the first month is a breeze. The funny thing is that no matter how much everyone else could drive me crazy in those first few weeks, I never felt anything but this pure and simple love for L.

I think one of the things that brand new moms should know is about how breastfeeding is at the beginning. People tell you that it will be hard, but not really the whole story. So here is mine, which of course might not be yours, but it also might make you realize you aren’t alone.

I decided to try breastfeeding and even went to one of those boobie type meetings a month or so before L was born. Think the Spanish word for milk and that is the meeting I went to. The girls there were nice and it was more of a bunch of moms talking about their boobs and being a mother with some random nursing going on here and there than the crazy boob freaks I had expected. There were mainly newish moms there with babies under the age of 6 months, which was nice and I saw myself going back after L was born maybe making friends with some of them eventually. We all know how hard adult friends can be to find and maintain.

I started bfing in the hospital and it seemed to be going well. L lost weight, but all babies do because they aren’t living in a wading pool anymore. The only bad experience with a nurse that I had was one that fussed at me for not waking L up one nite within their three hour window. Most were super supportive and told me that it would be hard but at the same time the hard awful part wouldn’t last for more than a few weeks.

We came home from the hospital on Monday, exhausted but okay. My boobs were sore and those gel soothies were glorious. Showers were miserable and torturous because of the pain to your boobs. I didn’t even turn to face the shower for quite a while, maybe two weeks at least.

L was waking up to eat every 2 hours nite and day, which is as awful as it sounds and perhaps worse. When I say two hours, I mean at 8 he would wake and eat for 40 minutes and then fall asleepish in 15 or so minutes. Then I would try to go back to sleep for the about one hour that he gave us until he woke us up again around 10. There was little cuddling and cooing, more screaming (on his part) and boob shoving (on my part). It was harder than I expected just simply because of the sheer exhaustion of no sleep. Then my boobs started really hurting every single time he latched on. So at least 12 times a day for about the first few minutes on each side I was in tear inducing pain. After twenty or so minutes on one side after I had worked through the pain, I had to work up the courage to move him to the other side and endure the pain there.

I decided by Wednesday after a chunk of my nip and some blood came off in L’s mouth that it was time to call the LC. I was in such pain I didn’t even want to feed him on the one side. The LC gave us a hospital grade pump for the immediate future and we talked about some strategies to make the pain less severe. We decided to go visit her on Friday because I was still in pain and she wanted to make sure he wasn’t tongue tied and see how he was latching. You would think driving up to someone’s house and sitting in their living room with your boob out would be awkward, but that lady had seen so many boobs, mine was nothing. She made me comfortable and I am a fairly modest person in regards to people seeing my goods.

We talked about his latch and seeing if he was getting enough milk etc. She actually weighed him before and after a feed and he was getting about two ounces, which was perfect. She gave me some tips and physically showed me how to put my boob in his mouth, which was really helpful. I made sure Brooks watched so that he would remember what I forgot- see above for sleep deprivation related stupidity.

I went home and felt pretty good about things. Feeding was still hard but it would get better, right? And it did. Some.

When we had L’s second day home visit with the pediatrician, he had gained weight really well, five ounces. Who knew I would be so happy about him gaining five little ounces. We had to come back at one week to see how he was doing, aka basically a weight check. He had only gained 2 ounces but that was okay, not great but okay. They typically want a baby to gain half to one ounce a day. We talked to the pediatrician’s LC about what to do and she said to supplement with one bottle a day of two ounces and just pump during that feeding instead. That sounds easy!

Well, that would be easy but there was a catch. I had a two week old baby that wanted to cry nonstop during that 30 minute pump session. If you are the only one home with the baby that makes it tricky. But I stuck it out. I just thought it would be a good prepper for when I went back to work and had to pump all the time to keep up with the eating machine.

In the meantime, my boobs were not feeling any better. There was a short period where it was okay and then it went downhill. The pain was so intense that I went back to the LC. She suggested a nipple shield and when I tried it, it was miraculous. The pain was so reduced from his serious latch that I could tolerate it after the initial clamp down. YAY!

Then we went back to check his weight and he had gained 5 ounces with the help of the bottle. We were giving him what I had pumped after a regular feeding when he still seemed hungry but after I had nursed him for forty minutes. Things seemed to be going better but it was still tough. Then the two day nursefest happened. I know clusterfeeding is common, so I googled it and intended to stick it out. After those two days, it seemed like L couldn’t get enough.

I was pumping for a few minutes after nursing to increase my supply and then still was doing the one bottle a day where I would pump instead of nursing. But somehow my pumping began to decrease. The first week I was getting one to two ounces. Then it became closer to one ounce. Then I was barely getting half an ounce. It was mental torture because the thought that L wasn’t getting enough from me since after almost every feeding of nearly an hour he would still seem hungry. My baby. I am supposed to be providing for him. I am supposed to be the one that feeds him. What kind of mother am I if I can’t simply feed him.

It was hard enough to give him that first bottle after the LC and pediatrician suggested it in the second week. It was heart breaking to think he wasn’t getting more than half an ounce at a time from me. I kept telling myself that the pump isn’t as effective as a baby. But then I would question why it had done so well the first few weeks when I would get one or two ounces.

I would sit in the rocking chair holding him and cry. Cry because it hurt. Cry because he was always still hungry after he ate from me. Cry because I wasn’t doing what a mother is meant to do. Cry because I wasn’t sleeping enough.

After six weeks of nursing, I was getting only drops out of my leftie and maybe a quarter of an ounce out of the right. I had talked to the LC several times and she told me one thing that I have kept in my mind every time I have doubt. First and foremost, the baby needs to eat. Plain and simple. We tried some herbal supplements but nothing seemed to make a difference.

If only it were so easy to tell your brain that formula was fine for the baby, that I wasn’t giving up. I kept trying to nurse for another week with the amounts decreasing still when I would pump. What happened to supply and demand? Apparently my supply and demand didn’t get the memo that there was supposed to be more supply. At eight weeks, I finally conceded that my body wasn’t doing things well and bottles would be okay. I cried so many times during mixing up bottles that I can’t even tell you how many times I cried. I felt like a failure even if no one was calling me one. I felt like a failure even though it was obvious that L was so much happier. He was sleeping better, napping more and just generally happier.

I read about how to stop nursing because I imagined it would be painful. Old leftie honestly felt little to no pain in less than two days. A sure sign that it wasn’t producing the way it should have been. My right boob was a bit longer but in less than a week I wasn’t nursing at all and my boobs were flat as could be.

On some level I wanted someone to just tell me to stop or someone to tell me to just stick it out. But no one would. I had to make that decision on my own and every time I thought about stopping I felt like a failure. Then everytime I counted the minutes that L was nursing I felt like a horrible person to be wanting to rush my newborn baby and get him off of me and my useless boobs. I wasn’t enjoying anything but so many people said that it got better so I thought I was just being a wimp.

One of my closest friends and I talked about everything about a month into it and one thing that we both determined was that if you were dealing with only one thing at a time, everything would be so much easier. But you aren’t. You are exhausted from a lack of sleep. Your boobs are aching and a mess. Your hormones are completely out of wack and you can cry at the slightest thing. Plus you are recovering from either a major surgery or a natural birth, neither of which are anything too easy. On top of that I got an infection at the incision less than ten days after birth. Happy 30th Birthday – here’s some antibiotics for your hootch.

I still feel self induced guilt over not sticking it out and what I perhaps missed by not breastfeeding longer. That bonding time with L that I am missing. But I just have to keep telling myself the same thing that the LC said to me – first and foremost, the baby must eat.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The rest of that birth story. Okay, at least part of it.

They pointed me in the direction of the room and told me that if I would have been having a natural birth this is where it would have happened. At that point, I was still having quite a few natural birth contractions so I didn’t really give a crap about what room I was wheeled to. I could have stayed in the elevator and been just as comfortable.

The nurse asked if I was planning to breastfeed and gave me a gown to change into. This particular gown was of the regular ginormous variety but had the extra special two slits in the front for your boobies to slide right out of. Those hospitals, they know how to make a big pregnant girl feel good don’t they? As I went into the bathroom to change, lord knows why I was all modest, I heard Brooks on the phone in a mock whisper about just getting to the hospital and how I was in the bathroom changing. I am pretty sure he was talking to my dad since he is the only person that would call at almost 4 in the morning.

I fussed at Brooks to get my clothes off the floor since the effort of bending down was too much. I held onto the sink several times as the contractions rolled over me. Since my beautiful gown was open in the back, again with the modesty, I asked Brooks to tie it for me.

The nurse came in and asked a few questions but directed me to lay down so they could start an IV and check my progress. Everyone seemed to be moving quickly but not in any real hurry. They helped me breath through the contractions which amazingly enough did seem to help. I was still groaning and feeling the pain but I was okay.

The nurse checked me and at that point things went into warp speed for me. She told me that I was ten centimeters dilated and fully effaced but that my water hadn’t broken and she didn’t want to anything more that might break my water. I barely remember the next few minutes because it was a barrage of the nurses flying around trying to get things done quickly. Apparently breech baby and fully ready to go mama means HURRY THE HELL UP.

It seemed like my contractions went from groaning and bearable to holysh#tmotherf*cker in a matter of moments. The nurse was having trouble getting the IV in my left hand so they went to my right. They couldn’t get it in there and so they moved to my left arm. I thought there were three or four of them working on me at one point, all in a hustle bustle. Then I heard it.

“Okay, someone check on Dad over there. He’s not looking too good.”

There it was. Brooks thought he was going to pass out. I looked over and he was a lovely shade of gray. He had changed into scrubs and was being pushed into a chair. I didn’t realize this but my nurse count was a bit off. There were at least six or seven nurses doing various things to me but in my state and with my eyes being clamped shut because of the pain I didn’t notice. There was also blood and apparently the nurses were a lot more frantic than I realized. The doctor came in to check me and at that point I thought I wasn’t going to make it through contractions. They were coming so fast and the pain was unreal. I am not a screamer but there was screaming. Serious screaming. All of that and frantic pace everything was happening at was enough to make my dear husband afraid for both me and the baby. I don’t think it is too often that nurses and doctors really work that quickly.

I can remember feeling the baby drop down and immediately the contractions got even worse, which I am not sure how was possible at this point. The nurse right next to me just kept saying breathe honey, breathe. I told her that I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t know what I thought I couldn’t do but apparently I was done with contractions and was ready for them to stop. Apparently it doesn’t work that way.

The next thing I know the nurse says to me – DO NOT PUSH! DO NOT PUSH! As soon as the doctor checked me and verified my dilation and effacement I was immediately rolled into surgery. I can remember not even being able to give Brooks a kiss but I wasn’t even thinking about that. I just told him to make sure that he brought the camera with him.

As soon as I was in the room and on the surgery bed, I heard the doctor start doing a head count of basically every one of her staff that needed to be in the room. She was definitely not wasting any time calling out who all she needed there. They immediately started prepping me for the spinal tap. The anesthesiologist started to introduce himself to me and I can only remember yelling at him – I don’t care WHAT your name is. He launched into the verbal consent for the spinal. Then they made me sit up and hump over like a cat. Well let me tell you that when you are having contractions and are as big as a house, arching your back like a cat is not the easiest. It took two tries for them to get the spinal in and within moments I felt relief. Relief and nothing. It was like the skies opened up and the most glorious pain relief that was ever invented just rolled itself over me.

I immediately apologized to the anesthesiologist for being so mean and told him that I wasn’t usually like that. That was apparently when I got it together.

The doctor was working quickly to get me cut open and the baby out. Brooks came in at this point and I think he was relieved and astounded that I, who was screaming like no other five minutes before, was splayed out on the table in a zen state. I professed my love for the spinal over and over.

I heard my ob say here he is. But no crying. None. I can remember feeling panic because you always hear the baby cry right away, don’t you? I kept saying – is he okay? Why isn’t he crying? Why don’t I hear him crying?

No one would answer me. Not Brooks, not the doctors, no one.

And then after a few minutes, which felt like hours, he cried. Apparently there was merconium, likely from the stress of the last hour or so, in his lungs and they were working to suction it out. Brooks could see them doing that but I think he was paralyzed with the same fear I was but also didn’t know exactly what they were doing either.

Immediately I felt a crazy happiness that my baby was okay and here safely. At the time I didn’t realize the stress and pressure that the medical staff had been under to get me and the baby safely through the csection. It seemed like there was a sort of jovialness in the room right after the baby started crying. They did it! The baby was safe! Mom was okay! If high fives would have been appropriate I think they would have been flying.

After cleaning up the baby for a moment and Brooks cutting the cord, they brought him over for me to look at. He was so red and sweet. I loved him already.

I only got to see him for a few minutes before they took him down to the nursery and out of the operating room but it was the most amazing few moments of my life. Our baby. I was a mother in that moment. It is cliché and ridiculous but that is how I felt.

That and exhausted.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I don't know about your damn deodorant.

The next time I have to "poop" five or more times in 45 minutes and I am five days from my due date, tell me to go to the damn hospital already. 

On Thursday the 15th, I felt miserable.  I had been to the doctor the day before and my blood pressure was nice and high 140/90.  My swelling was increasing and I was sent for blood tests that showed my kidneys weren't too happy about being pregnant.  I was headed back to the doctor Friday for more blood pressure tests and another blood draw. But all day Thursday my head was pounding and I just felt awful most of the day. At one point I crawled from my office chair (at home) to the floor and just cried a little.  I was sure the headache was from the high blood pressure and with a big headache everything feels worse. 

Thursday evening my headache finally broke and I told Brooks that I wanted to go to the grocery store for our big prebaby stockup shopping trip.  He suggested that I just wait until Friday since it was just such a rough day.  I gave in and we lazed around the house.  By 1:30 I woke up with what I thought was um, poop pains. I had been sleeping so poorly and up at least three or four nites a week so I thought nothing of it.  I headed downstairs, let the pup out to pee and fed the cat.  For some reason, the poop pains I was having weren't quite normal and I was going to try to poop quite a few times in a short amount of time.  I headed to Dr. Google and imagine this - lots of the forums suggested that I could be in labor.  After a few more trips to the bathroom I realized that I should at least wake Brooks and we should call the doctor.  Maybe these were Braxton Hicks?

It had been about 45 minutes since I first woke before I headed upstairs to talk to Brooks. I tapped him on the shoulder and whispered that I thought I was having contractions.  He looked at me in a state of befuddlement before the sleep haze cleared and he asked me a few questions as he climbed out of bed.  I told him we needed to get our bags finished packed and I wanted to get a shower.  At this point I was still going into the bathroom every few minutes because of the pressure I was having.  I wasn't sure why it felt like I needed to go to the bathroom but I wasn't going to risk it and poop my pants.  Brooks started getting somethings together and I gave him the mission of calling the doctor's office.  Brooks has the habit of making little funnies when he is nervous or trying to seem not worried.  Believe me, I did not want to hear his little funnies about the baby wanting to come on the 16th like originally planned.  I just wanted a damn shower and the bags packed.

The doctor suggested that I head in but talked to Brooks and didn't seem overly concerned. So I wasn't overly concerned.  I got in the shower knowing that I wouldn't be able to get a shower for quite a while if I was truly in labor but didn't realize that standing in the shower would be such a task.  I just wanted to wash my hair.  Maybe shave my armpits.  I had high priorities.  I couldn't see my bikini area at that point because of my belly so I wasn't worried about prettying that area up. 

At one point I yelled for Brooks because I wanted him to be putting things in the bag for me but he wouldn't answer.  That pissed me off.  I learned later that he was downstairs washing the dishes.  Seriously, we both had priorities before heading to the hospital.  Mine was washing my tends to get greasy hair and his was the dishes. 

As I got out of the shower and stood pantsless next to the bed, another wave of pain came over me.  They were quickly getting worse and just standing up was an effort.  I got dressed as quickly as possible and as I was getting some things together, Brooks asked me if I had packed his deoderant.  I honestly said to him - "Are you f-ing kidding me?  I don't know."  There was no abbreviation in what I really said though. 

We knew we needed to take the Jetta which meant the cars needed to be moved around in the driveway and also meant that we had to get gas in the car.  Yes, the gauge read 25 when I parked it the day before and 12 miles remaining when Brooks started it that morning.  I didn't care at that point and just wanted to get to the damn hospital.  Sidenote- keep a full tank of gas near your due date. 

I was having contractions around five minutes or less apart at this point and they were so strong that the only thing I could do was grip the car door handle, breathe and watch my legs shake. Since it was three something in the morning, there wasn't much traffic which was a good thing considering how fast Brooks was driving.  At one point I looked over and he was doing 75 on a road that I would normally drive 40ish on.  I actually fussed at him for going so fast and said that if he killed us getting the hospital it would defeat the purpose. 

We pulled into the parking lot of the hospital.  It was a mess because of construction.  Brooks ran to the main entrance to get a chair - bwahaha he asked if I needed a chair.  Dude, I can not walk at this point.  He then came running back to the car frantic to tell me that the entrance was closed and he couldn't get a chair.  He said it in a what will we ever do manner. I am pretty sure that I yelled at him - then go to the other damn entrance.  I kept thinking that I was going to kill him if he asked me one more stupid question.  It was a good thing we were at the hospital. 

After getting a chair, we headed up to the fourth floor on the elevator with a phlebotomist who told me she would see me later.  As Brooks wheeled me into Labor and Delivery, the nurse asked if I was Stephanie and once we confirmed that, she said that they had been waiting for us.  Apparently spontaneous labor and Breech baby means a warm welcome at nearly 4:00 in the morning. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The day gets closer yet further away.

I am a worrier by nature which is not good when you are pregnant.  I think about where the seatbelt is positioned on my ever expanding waistline, I worry about the dog jumping up on me and bumping my stomach.  I worry about my husband driving two hours away when I could have the baby soon.  Worry worry worry.  It is my nature. 

Last week I headed to my 38 week appointment with another new doctor at the practice.  I really didn't care that I was meeting a doctor that I hadn't met before because - I'm having a c section with a doctor I know. Next week even! The visit started as usual, weight (just don't even look at the scale anymore, seriously), pee, strip from the waist down.  After I plopped my white pasty butt down on the table and delicately ripped the "sheet" as I attempted to tuck it around my arse the doctor came in.  I kept thinking about how my behemoth rear was peaking out the back and attempted to pull my shirt down just a little further.

The doctor started in on the regular details of my urine looking good, my blood pressure has started to go back down a bit, etc.  Then she said that she saw that my version was successful.  I looked at her like she had lost her marbles.  Lady, I didn't even try for a version because I don't have enough fluid, baby is too far down in my body to try to turn, etc. I thought that since we had the consultation, perhaps that is why she thought it was successful.  Oh well, chalk it up to poor record keeping.

Then I asked her if it was possible to learn the time that the c-section would be occurring on the 16th since my MIL is coming in from 9 hours away and we would like to do a little planning.  She then seemed to have a slap her head kind of moment like DOH!  Somehow they overbooked the cesareans for that day and lucky me I was the one to be bumped. Um, say what now?  But no worries, we can move it to the next week with Dr. X, Dr. X or Dr. X.  Fan freaking tastic but I have never met any of those doctors and I had plans dearie.  Plans, you hear me? 

I was already flustered a bit from explaining to her that I did not have a successful version and then she tells me that they are changing the date of the Cesarean.  In reality, not a big deal but it was the fact that they waited a week and a half after my appointment where the Cesarean was scheduled to let me know.  A week and a half after we started making all kinds of plans - like people coming in from nine hours away kind of plans.  I was equal parts mad and upset.  I didn't want to be at this appointment by myself picking a random date without my husband there. 

So I cried a little and she told me that we could head down and meet the one doctor that was there and we would schedule the Cesarean for that doctor.  Better than nothing I suppose. But first, let's check on that baby.  She started the doppler on my stomach and for a while had a little frownie on her face and moved the doppler around a bit. Since I was already flustered and worrisome, the time that it took her to wander around my stomach and find the quiet heartbeat were agonizing.  I was there on the table by myself thinking the worst thoughts possible.

Everything was okay in the end.  I am meeting the new c-section doctor this week and once next week the day before the surgery.  I chose the new date without my husband there.  I heard the quiet heartbeat.  But I still went to my car and cried. 

My heart has been so heavy lately thinking of Janet. I think about Baby Miller so often.  I can't imagine the pain and aching in their family right now and it makes me feel as though my little worries of what date to tell my mother in law for the c-section is ridiculous.  My little worries are just that - little worries.  I think about the true devastation that a young family is feeling right now and ache to take some of it away with my simple words and thoughts.  But I can't.  So instead, I send my love and thoughts their direction 100 times each day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doctor makes a difference

Since Dr. Google had freaked me out about not only having a breech baby but also c-sections in general, I was nervous going in to my follow up appointment. The option of turning the baby also produced some general gloom and doom like feelings as well. 

It is interesting how various people and websites will make you feel like a cesarian is the wrong choice no matter what. That you should of course try to turn the baby. That c-sections are for pansies who simply don't want the joy of ripping their goods. It's funny how people have opinions about your situation before they know the whole story. 

I was able to schedule my follow up appointment with one of my favorite doctor's at the practice.  The practice encourages a consultation about turning the baby and trying for a vaginal birth before they will schedule a c-section.  The one good part about this is that you get an unplanned ultrasound. Ultrasounds are like money when it comes to a pregnancy.  Pregnant ladies want to "see" the baby as many times as possible via ultrasound. After hearing about the options and learning about how they try to turn the baby but are prepared to deliver the baby immediately if there are issues, we headed for a visit with the ultrasound tech. 

The tech was pretty quick but explained what we were seeing and what she was looking for.  When considering turning a baby, there has to be enough fluid around the baby.  Think about it like a water balloon with a toy inside it.  If there is lots of water, the toy turns easier.  Not lots of water, not lots of turning. They also look for the placement of the placenta and to see how far down into the pelvis the baby is.  Those are the three biggest factors when determining if you are a candidate for the old baby spinnaroo. 

The tech first verified that the baby was still breech and what type of breech position.  He is considered frank breech, which sounds miserably uncomfortable to me. His head and feet are both at the top.  Basically he is sitting in a v shape.  Secondly, she started measuring the amount of fluid surrounding the baby.  The standard cutoff for fluid needed is 15.  I am at 11.  Phewwy. Then finally, she checked to see how far down the baby was. Once she got pretty far down in to my pelvis she stated that he was so far down she wasn't even able to go further with the ultrasound machine and get an accurate reading.  Phewwy number two.

The one good part of an ultrasound at this point is that she quickly pointed out a few things that were easily visible like the ribs and spine.  She made the comment of - oh my goodness- which is nothing you want to hear at any baby related appointment. But then laughed and said that she could tell us that the baby has a lot of hair on the back of his head. He may be sporting a mullet - which would be awesome in it's own way - but there is for sure a lot of hair. The way he is squeezed in there didn't let her see the front of his head, though I am guessing there is a lot of hair there as well. Not a surprise if you have seen the amount of hair on my husband's head.

We headed back to chat with the doctor and while she told us it was entirely up to us in regards to a c-section versus trying to turn the baby, it seemed fairly obvious to us that the baby would not be easy to turn.  She made me feel better about having a c-section by saying that she had the same situation with her oldest and then later had a VBAC with her second.  It is amazing what bedside manner can do to a nervous patient.

With all of that done, she broke out the calendar and we literally sat there and picked the date for our baby to be born.  It was slightly unreal and crazy to think that we picked his birthday.  Now if only we could pick his name.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And now by c-section

The month of September is a big birthday month.  I think our calendar has over 20 birthdays for family and friends on it and our newest family member is set to arrive this month.  Last week I headed to the doctor for my 36 week visit.  I was meeting with a new doctor in the hopes of meeting all of them prior to having the baby so that I could at least recognize the person that is going to become intimate with my private parts in a very big way. I hadn't asked that Brooks go to too many visits with me other than the big ones but for some reason I kept pushing him to come to this one.  He has been working about 1/2 hour away and it always seemed silly for him to come to a visit where I peed in a cup, got weighed and briefly listened to the heartbeat.  But 36 weeks seemed like a bigger one and he was luckily working nearby.  I was being checked (internally, yay!) and they were checking for a strep B infection, blah blah blah.  I just felt like this was a more than 15 minute appointment and I wanted him there.

Um and let me tell you in advance if you don't know, the group B strep test isn't a blood test.  It is a swab test.  In personal areas. TWO personal areas. I didn't see that one coming.  Half way through the appointment with my somewhat dumpy doctor, she began doing the internal exam after pushing around on my stomach some.  I had heard that the internal exams weren't that bad but nothing of great fun for sure. Similar to a yearly exam but a bit more invasive - as in they use their hand and check things out. I think I am a wuss because that internal exam was somewhat painful.  She even apologized, which made me think that she was being a bit more in depth than usual. 

Then she got that look on her face like she was about to tell me something not so fun. And she did.

The littlest one, she believed, was breech. Bottom down, head up. After heading to their quickie ultrasound room she confirmed it, presented us with the options that were available and we were on our way. The options were try to turn the baby and hope he stayed put for a vaginal delivery or a c-section. 

I am not going to deny that I was so grateful that Brooks was there. I am an emotional crying kind of girl and then add to the fact that I had planned on a fun little - you might be dilated - kind of visit and it turned into a hey your baby is bottom down and now you get to have a c-section.  The doctor was nice enough but fairly blunt in the perspective that her quick ultrasound didn't show a lot of fluid around the baby and that his butt was nice and deeply settled into my pelvis so turning him was likely not an option. She also made me a bit nervous about trying to turn the baby and the harm that it could cause both the baby and I. 

We scheduled an appointment for the following Tuesday and went on our merry way. Merry as in I started crying before we were a mile away from the office.  My perspective on c-sections was that you had them when it was an emergency or otherwise medically necessary.  And by medically necessary I really thought giant babies, odd shaped pelvis, distress to mother or baby.  Not baby butt first which seems like the wimpiest of ways to require a c-section. I was getting ready to laugh like a 13 year old with my husband at the childbirth classes, not fill out forms and pick a date for the baby to be born. 

It felt like it wouldn't be the experience I expected. I suppose it was more of the shock of the bluntness of the doctor and the unexpected change of events. They do c-sections at 39 weeks, which would make our time to get ready for baby even shorter. Somehow all of those little things made a difference.  I worried about not holding the baby right after he was born (your arms are strapped down, I hear). Not being able to see him when they were doing measurements and the like. Brooks leaving me to go with the baby and being on a surgical table all by myself (and lots of doctors and nurses).   Would breastfeeding come naturally?  Just all of those things overwhelmed me. So I cried.

And then I began googling.  I will be honest that I never really looked at the c-section part of books, websites or emails because that wasn't how my birth was going to go - according to me. Then I started looking into breech babies.  Well don't do that. I fell victim to Dr. Google.

By yesterday's appointment I was sure that the baby was too small, his hips and legs were not formed correctly, I was leaking amniotic fluid and I was headed to have the baby immediately after having the appointment.