Thursday, April 19, 2007

Birth Day

Good God, where to begin?

Baby L is ten days old, counting his birth day as day zero (as the hospital did) and we've been home since late last week.

I have barely had time to think, let alone blog or read other people's blogs. I'll make short statements about what's been going on.

1. The c-section birth went well. I walked confidently into the OR and asked if anyone ever walked out. "It'd be a miracle if anyone could walk out after the spinal/epidural," I was told. Getting a spinal/epidural injection in the back freaked me out in theory, but the reality was that I barely felt it going in, I did not know/see how long the needle was, and although I'd been warned about "the worst headache of your life" if the spinal didn't go well, that was thankfully not my issue. My legs and lower body felt really numb, really fast. So fast, that I felt like perhaps I was having a low blood sugar during the section, but I'd brought my meter into the operating room, had Mr. L. help me test, and I was 116, up from a steady 87-95 range all morning as we waited to be admitted to the OR.

2. Felt nauseous twice during the c-section, and both times the anesthesiologist waved an alcohol swab under my nose, which took the feeling away. The second time I felt like I would throw up, I asked "Can I get more alcohol over here?" My OB laughed (from the other side of the sheet that was held up by my chest so I didn't have to watch my own c-section occur) and said that was the first time she'd heard a patient ask for alcohol during a section.

3. Mr. L was in scrubs at my side during the whole thing, and brought a camera into the OR. I could feel pushing and pressing on my lower half during the section, and smelled something being cauterized, but when a nurse asked if I wanted to know what was being pushed, pulled, or cauterized during the procedure, I declined. Not typical for me, but I didn't need that much detail right then. However, the OB announced that I had "beautiful Fallopian tubes."

4. At one point, the OB yelled out "I see a head!" and I asked "Then why don't I hear any crying?" Within moments, we heard Baby L crying out loud. Healthy lungs, he has.

5. Someone held the baby up and showed the Mr. and I, but we'd requested that the baby be cleaned off before being handed over to Mr. L. The baby was weighed and measured, and given Apgar scores of 8 and 9. This made me proud. My boy did well on his Apgars! He's going to totally rock his SATs. You just watch.

6. Mr. L. held the baby and I took pictures as the OB reconstructed my nether regions ("We're putting the uterus back where it belongs!"). Near the end, two people in the OR (there were something like six or seven people in the room during the section) rolled me around and onto the bed that wheeled me out of the OR. Still felt numbness in my legs, but otherwise, I felt fine and lucid and good.

7. Looking at the baby, I saw immediately that he has my chin, big lips (that kid is going to be a great maker-outer, I said) and other characteristics that made me realize he looks a lot like me. I stopped worrying about whether I'd been carrying the wrong embryo post-IVF transfer at that point.

7. I don't want to say having a c-section was a piece of cake, but with morphine, torredol, two IVs and plenty of percoset and motrin afterwards, this procedure went (knock wood) fine for me. Having had a more extensive abodominal operation in the past gives me something to compare it to, and believe me, the section went very well.

8. In the recovery room, I called my mother from the bed as Mr. L called his mother and sister (all of whom were waiting in the hospital's lobby) and we simultaneously told our family about our newest arrival. My mother couldn't believe I was calling immediately after the section and started crying. She was very relieved that both the baby and I were doing just fine.

9. The baby was put under a warmer next to my bed because his temperature was a bit low, and I got to hold him on my chest and tried to breastfeed him (he latched but didn't get the hang of sucking. Much more on this to come in a future post). This is called skin-to-skin contact and it's really good for bonding with mom and baby. It's pretty fun--the baby chilling out on my skin is something I really enjoy.

10. Eventually, I was wheeled up to my hospital room, the Mister's parents and sister came to visit, and my parents visited after my mother went and bought many outfits for our newest arrival. My brother, who lives several states away, called all afternoon and at the end of the day, knocked and walked into my hospital room with a huge bouquet of flowers, having decided to make the four-hour drive to meet his new nephew. I was thrilled we had all this family around to meet our new boy.

11. Kept trying with the breast feeding thing. I'm still trying. In fact, feeding this kid has become my latest focus. Honestly, in the last week and a half, I feel like I've gone to college and become a scholar on the different techniques and tricks of feeding a newborn. One who needs to be supplemented because of too much weight loss. One who has a mother who overthinks and researches links between cow's milk and diabetes and wonders about nipple confusion and finger feeding and number of hours (minutes?) since the last feeding. Oh, and breast pumps. I've honestly never spent so much time topless as I have in the past ten days.

More to come, I promise.


Kerri said...

Lyrehca, I am so happy for you. I'm just grinning to myself as I read this post. While my co-workers may think I'm nuts, I'm just brimming with happiness for you.

serenity said...

Oh yay I am SO HAPPY to see this post. Yay!!!

I hope that the breastfeeding gets easier for you both soon.

Penny said...

I'm so happy for you,L.

Thanks for sharing your story with all of us.

Ottoette said...

Sounds like it went great. What was babies' bs? Doesn't sound like they had to supplement glucose. They did with mine, even though I had skipped the am insulin shot.
Check out for great tips on breastfeeding and pumping issues. You'll figure it out, seems this is when we really miss the extended families of yore, not too many aunties and cousins to assist - but a good lactation consultant can definitely sub in.

cesnh said...

Congratulations to all of you. I laughed reading of your experience. You're going to be a wonderful mom with your great attitude!

Minnesota Nice said...

Sister, yours is the victory!!!!!!
Tell the Mister that he did a superb job in the announcement post. And, your brother sounds like a dear.
I came upon the blogging community just as you were trying to get pregnant, and witnessing your journey as been fabulous.
May your days ahead be brimming with peace, joy, and fulfillment.

julia said...

Hang in there with the breastfeeding. It's not easy. I had so much trouble nursing O and Boo, but after a few weeks, they both got it. The Bug took to nursing like a duck to water, thankfully.

I'm glad you had a good c-section experience.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Too bad you cannot see my BIG smile! OMG have C-sections changed! I cannot believe what you say. I remember when Eric was born I felt my stomach being emptied, but it didn't hurt and then I was totally out! Next I woke up in an operation recovery room that was horrible and I didn't get to even SEE Eric for at least 2-3 hours. I used the word SEE. Touch came much later. He went to neonatal for observation - he weighed 2.8 kgs ie about 6 lbs. Boy have things changed! TELL US MOE! Good to be home - huh?

SaraS-P said...

Good luck with the breast quest and all the rest of motherhood!

Kevin said...

So glad that everything is going so well. Hopefully you're getting some sleep in there, too!

Samantha said...

I'm the c-section went smoothly! Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted!


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