littlelamb99: Lauren's Birth Story
Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:30 PM
"Overall, it was a sweaty, uncomfortable, emotional and hormonal experience but worth every minute..."
On Thursday, September 18, I had a regular appointment with my OB, as well as a biophysical profile (ultrasound) due to my chronic hypertension. I was going in twice a week for NST’s at that time and it was getting a little old, especially when I’d have to have an ultrasound afterward, due to “failing” the test. (Sometimes my 30-minute appointment would last over three hours!). At my September 18 appointment, the tech tried very hard to get an accurate measurement of the abdomen, head, etc., and said the baby was measuring behind. (I was not surprised, since I have always been carrying smaller than average.) "Behind" meant that she was in the 27th percentile, with an abdomen measuring in the 8th. (This was down from a total of 39% from the previous two-week ultrasound.)
The OB then came in to my room, we made some small talk, and then she got down to business. She told me that the baby had to get out at 37 weeks, as she was not gaining weight and nutrition from the inside of me. We scheduled a c-section at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 22 -- the first day of autumn. The doctor was on vacation all week but wanted to come in to do my c-section. What an amazing physician.
That weekend I cleaned, got stuff ready, and tried to relax. We had a nice dinner at our house on Saturday night, since I knew I’d be nervous and not want to eat a huge meal on Sunday.
The big day
Finally the morning came. I was tired but excited, as I didn’t sleep the night before. I was also starving since I couldn’t eat since the night before (but I managed to have some chocolate milk and a protein bar right at midnight!). Our trip to the hospital was uneventful, as we had to get there at 7:30 for our check-in. When we arrived, I filled out some paperwork, they took me to the OR prep area, and I was given my gown and my bed for the next few nights.
Changing into the gown made it a reality that in a few minutes I was about to have surgery. But I still thought of the end outcome: our little Lauren making her debut into the world. I wondered who she would look like, my husband or myself. (Or would she have a combination of both of us?). I cried a little in anticipation as they drew blood, inserted my IV, and asked me who my pediatrician was. I was going to be a mom in a few minutes!
The anesthesiologist came in and had along a nurse anesthetist. (The nurse was nice but not a good provider.) I told him my concern (nausea) and he told me he’d make sure to put Zofran in my IV and then give me another product as soon as Lauren was out.
My OB came in, and the one thing I told her was that I wanted the surgery to be “like a typical day for her”— meaning I wanted the radio on, her to talk normally, and the environment to be very relaxed. She smiled and told me she’d make it happen.
I proceeded to the OR (which was so cold!) and got on the gurney and proceeded to get my spinal. That was the worst part of the entire delivery—not that there was pain, but the nurse anesthetist could not find the proper location to numb me completely. The spinal, which usually consists of two shots (a local and the spinal itself), took almost 12 minutes to get it in right, which was about 8-10 tries. My back was so sore and it was so painful. The nurse must have been training or something. The main doc then tried to do it and sure enough, he got it in the first try. Almost 10 seconds later, my legs filled with numbness and the procedure commenced.
About eight minutes later, Lauren Elizabeth made her way into the world. she was crying, but crying so beautifully. She scored an eight and nine on her APGARS, weighed 5 lbs, 11 oz, and was 19.5 inches long. My eyes filled with tears as I kept calling, “My baby my baby!” My husband got a little choked up too, but his job was taking photos so off he went with that. The nurses cleaned Lauren, gave her eye drops, and weighed her all within my sight. Never for a minute was I sad that I could not hold her immediately. In fact, I wasn’t sad that my husband got to hold her first, as we had shared the moments of pregnancy together.
My OB sewed me up (which took about 20 minutes), and then I was moved to my original bed and wheeled out of the OR to my recovery room. This was when I got to hold Lauren for the first time. My mom, dad, and sister were walking around the hall when I saw them while being wheeled to my room. Lauren lay in my arms with her eyes closed and was so peaceful.
The nurse started taking vitals as I was holding Lauren and my family around me. I felt pain but was comfortable until I got the sweats—I was so hot and was using ice chips on my face and neck. I slept and felt better hours later. It was from my medication as well as my hormones rapidly changing.
The hospital stay was all right; my nurses were okay, but not as helpful as I thought they could be. I had to track down someone from Lactation myself and was so glad I did; I learned a lot from them. Breastfeeding has been hard since her latch is strong so right now I am exclusively pumping. I am getting great results and my husband can feed her, so I am happy for that. I will try to BF again soon but right now both Lauren and I like this method better.
Recovery is good. It hurts, I won’t lie—but as long as you KNOW you will be in a lot of pain and realize it, you will be ready for it. My stitches look great and I can bend down to my toes now. It hurt to lie on my back in bed (also due to the bad spinal!) but every day gets so much better. My biggest pains so far have been from early cramping after delivery (it felt like your worst menstrual cramps ever, since uterus is returning to size) and pain from the catheter removal. Going to the bathroom has burned for a while!
I am struggling with being a mom and keeping the house clean! I am a person that always wants things to be nice and neat especially when visitors come over. I have overdone it a few times this week by doing chores that were both unnecessary and not getting a lot of rest. Rest is key! It’s hard to nap during the day when taking care of a little one but my nights are getting better.
We are on a three-hour feeding plan; 3 a.m., 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m., 12 a.m. It of course shifts a lot but I know she’s getting the food she needs and is growing. She’s already almost up to her birth weight and I am sure she’ll pass her two-week check up.
I was been pooped on, peed on, and spit up on... all in the first week! But it’s been totally worth it. Seeing my daughter look at me and make her little noises; her soft skin and smell; it all just melts my heart.
Overall, it was a sweaty, uncomfortable, emotional and hormonal experience but worth every minute. Spending time with Lauren this week has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love my husband more and more with our bond growing stronger every minute we take care of our little one together. Don’t get me wrong—we’ve had a few “moments’ during this week—but we really truly understand each other and our union will continue to grow with the addition of our children.
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