Friday, May 22, 2009

Time Flies (and the Birth Story... finally)

Ok, so I changed my mind. Time does fly even when you're sleep deprived. Little Bee was 4 weeks on Tuesday and I couldn't believe it. Seemed like the perfect time to post something here and I thought I'd finally post the birth story. But as most days do, it got away from me. Then on Thursday, based on the day of the month, we hit the one month mark. Another good day for a post, but again the day flew by. But today's the day. I have new photos and finally the birth story.

First the fun stuff.

Having a snuggle with his big sis

Who is that handsome boy in the mirror?

Tummy time makes me sleepy

Catching some ZZZs

And now without further ado, the story of Little Bee's birth

After everything we'd been through with this pregnancy--the FET, the Lovenox shots, the incompetent cervix, the 7 1/2 week hospitalization, and additional week and half of bedrest at home, the birth story seems like such a stereotype. I woke up at 2:15 am on April 21st and felt a decided squirt when I rolled out of bed to go to the bathroom. I thought it was odd and didn’t really believe that I could have lost control of my bladder that much, but it wasn’t a huge squirt. I went to the bathroom and then as I was standing up from the toilet I felt another squirt. I was suspicious, but the squirts were small enough that I first went into my room and got some clean underwear on. As I walked back out of the bedroom on my way to refer to What to Expect… there was another, much bigger, squirt. At this point my husband had woken up and asked “what’s wrong?” I told him I was pretty sure my water had broken and that I was going to call the doctor. Sure enough as I called the after hours service and waited for the doctor to call me back there were several more and increasingly larger releases of fluid. So of course the doctor told me to go to the hospital. Fortunately, my mom had driven up earlier that evening so she could take me to my doctor’s appointment the next morning, so that meant that we didn’t have to drag the Ladybug to the hospital with us. I woke up my mom and told her what was happening and that we’d call her later on to let her know what was going on. During the drive to the hospital on quiet empty streets, we laughed that we were going to end up with this stereotypical story – water breaks in the middle of the night…

Check in at the main desk took about 5 minutes and then we went upstairs to L&D triage; by this time it was about 3:15am. I was sopping wet and feeling pretty gross with the maxi pad soaked through. It was very quiet; I was the only patient at that time. After I peed, they hooked me up to the monitors for the baby’s heart rate and contractions. Though I’d only felt one or two contractions prior to all this, they started coming very regularly not long after I was hooked up. I felt pretty miserable because all this time I was still leaking fluid and it was very uncomfortable lying in all the wet. Plus they wouldn’t let me up to use the toilet, so when I needed to pee I had to use a bedpan – both icky AND uncomfortable. During this time they drew a bunch of blood and started an IV. A very nice resident came in to do a manual check –OUCH— so he could call and report to my doctor. I was only 1 centimeter dilated, so there was no need to do the c-section immediately. At first they told us the c-section would probably be at 7 or 8am, but pretty quickly they came back and said it would be at 6am. I was glad they were planning to do it soon because I was dreading the wait. I was physically uncomfortable, beginning to feel anxious about the spinal and the surgery, and just plain impatient. But then I asked my husband what time it was and it was already after 5. Actually I must have asked him what time it was at least a dozen times! The anesthesiologist came in to go over what would happen, but also to tell us that they needed to wait until my CBC tests came back before we could proceed (basically they needed the Heparin I’d been taking twice a day to be out of my system). He told us that if the CBC didn’t look good we’d either have to delay the section or do it under general anesthesia. Fortunately, the CBC was fine and shortly thereafter they wheeled me down to the OR. We entered the OR at almost exactly 6:30 am. My husband was outside getting scrubs on while they prepped the room and me, including giving me the spinal. I confess I was terrified of the spinal and I was shaking while they were getting things ready. Fortunately, the spinal wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I’d expected. My husband was brought in shortly after they got me on my back and had strapped my legs down and inserted the catheter. I was at this point shaking from I think both the anesthesia and fear. My husband was trying to figure out what to do with the camera when I pretty much barked at him to grab my hand and talk to me. I squeezed his hand really hard (for me anyway) the entire time and we talked about goodness knows what because I really needed the distraction. I have to say that while I did not feel any pain, feeling all the tugging, pulling, pushing, etc was very disconcerting.

Little Bee was born at 6:44 am and taken to the side of the room where the nurses tested him and cleaned him up. He was 6 pounds and 4 ounces and 19 ½ inches long. We all cried and then hubby got up to go see him and take some pictures. I have to say that it all seemed very surreal at that point and I think I was still so focused on my own anxiety about what I was going through that in some ways it didn’t really register that he was really MY baby. His Apgar scores were 8 and 9 and most importantly they did not whisk him off to the NICU. Hubby came back to sit with me while they continued to clean up the baby. Then one of the nurses brought him over so I could see him up close and give him his first kiss. Then hubby went with the baby and the nurse to the PACU, where I would meet them once they were done closing me up.

After my husband left with the baby, in some ways it felt like I was the uninvited guest in the room that everyone ignored. With the drape up I couldn’t see either of the doctors, who were having a lively conversation all the while they stitched me up. The nurses were moving around and chatting too, but I couldn’t see them either. Then it was shift change. Thankfully the doctors didn’t walk out, but in the middle of everything new nurses and a new anesthesiologist came in and the others left. They were nearly done at that point, but it still seemed sort of odd. I was still sort of shaky and nervous, so it seemed to me to take a long time for them to stitch me up. But they did finally finish and in no time at all I was wheeled to the PACU to join my baby and husband. The nurse in the PACU was wonderful, and it was so great to be able to just “be” with my husband and the baby. The baby’s blood sugar was a bit low, but otherwise he was just fine and even though the lower half of my body was still immobile, I was able to hold him for awhile. Having my lower body paralyzed was REALLY weird. I kept trying to move my toes or my knees and nothing would happen. I wasn’t ever worried about it, it was just odd, and it’s funny now to think how excited I was when I could finally wiggle my toes. Of course at that time the good drugs that they’d put in my IV were in full effect, so I was feeling just fine. The pain hit later, at about the 24 hour mark, as the IV meds wore off at about the same time I was due for another dose of Percoset.

Back at home, my mom was getting Miss Ladybug ready for school and telling her the news that she was a big sister. She was so excited that she picked out a special outfit to wear to school. She told my mom that when everyone asked why she looked so nice she would tell them it was because her brother was born.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

3 weeks old!

WARNING: Below is a description of my Mother's Day and pictures of my kids!

I'd like to say time flies, but when you're really sleep deprived it doesn't. But that doesn't mean we haven't had fun during these last few weeks. In addition to his first two trips to the grocery store, Little Bee has taken his first trip to Borders (trips to Borders are a very regular event for our family, so this was a milestone for us!), and his first walk to park for the Mother's Day picnic my daughter planned and packed for us. He helped me enjoy Mother's Day by actually sleeping in 3 hour blocks the night before. (Now if we can only get a repeat of that!)

My Mother's Day was pretty good. I was up at 6am feeding Little Bee and then the Ladybug got up around 7am. After everyone was fed and my husband woke up, I was instructed by the Ladybug to go back to bed. (Twist my arm!) I knew that pancakes were in the works, but I didn't know that my daughter was planning on breakfast in bed! I must say that after 9 weeks of bedrest, eating in bed doesn't hold the same appeal, but I loved that she planned it all out! Later that day she decided that it was so nice we should take a picnic to the park. With just a little input from me, the Ladybug made sandwiches, and then packed bananas and some dessert for all of us. So, we put the Little Bee in the carriage and off we walked. It was a beautiful day and I did enjoy the walk, but I'm still moving a little slowly from the c-section.

Actually Mother's Day started a bit earlier for me, as these were delivered on Friday.
My Mother's Day Flowers from my husband

Little Bee slept in his carriage during our picnic,

while his big sister played.

Today is our first day home alone together (my husband went back to work today) and Bee had his first non-sponge bath in the kitchen sink. I was fully prepared for a screaming wiggling baby, but he actually seemed to enjoy it. (I realize it doesn't look that way in the photo, but really he seemed quite happy in there.)

In the Bath


Clean Boy

As for me. Well the last 3 weeks have had there ups and downs. The exhaustion is really taking a toll on me. The nights when he sleeps in 3 hour stretches are bearable, but unfortunately most nights he up every hour and a half to 2 hours. It's hard to feel like I can be a very good parent to either of my kids when I'm this exhausted.

That being said, today has been a pretty good day. I've managed to get both of us bathed and fed, and I've cleaned the dishes and gotten a couple of loads of laundry done! And tomorrow my mom arrives for a few days--Hooray!

Friday, May 8, 2009


May 8th. On all my calendars -- the electronic one used at work, the date book I carry around, and the one hanging on our refrigerator at home -- May 8th was THE day. On each one in the box under May 8th you can see "C-section" written in. Yep, today was the day I was supposed to be going in to have my baby. In fact, if my water hadn't broken prematurely, I'd be on my way right now. I was instructed to get there around 10:30 for my 11:30 C-section.

Instead, I'm lying on my couch with my feet elevated because 2 1/2 weeks later and my feet are still so swollen they look like they belong to one of the Flintstones. And while I lie here typing and reading, my little boy is downstairs with his daddy sleeping through a soccer game.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2 Weeks Old

We just returned from little Bee's 2 week appointment with the pediatrician and a few errands. The Bee is doing great. He weighed in at 6 lbs 7 oz; his length was unchanged. The doctor said all she needed to see was that he was back to his birth weight and he surpassed that by a few ounces. Right now he measures 5th percentile for weight and 25th for height; though, since his gestational age is still only 37 1/2 weeks the percentiles don't mean anything. The doctor said he looked great and our next appointment is his 2-month check. That's SEVEN weeks from now! I was very happy when the pediatrician told me that I could feel free to call and schedule a weight check prior to that appointment if I didn't want to wait so long. Have I mentioned that my husband and I LOVE this doctor. If he keeps eating well and growing into his clothes perhaps I won't feel the need, but my daughter (who was born at 32 weeks) was probably between 6 and 9 months old before we went that long between doctor visits. The notion of waiting another 7 weeks to find out how he's growing seems almost shocking to me.

After Bee's appointment, my husband and I took him and went out for a late lunch together and then went to the grocery store for a few items. This is something else odd for me. Because of our daughter's prematurity, her monitor, and the time of year, I don't think we took her anywhere public until she started daycare at age 6 months. And now here we are taking this little guy to a restaurant and then the grocery store! Granted it was mid-afternoon and both places were pretty empty and no one even really looked at him, much less breathed near him or tried to touch him. Still the experience is just so different this time around.

The little man gave us a wonderful gift by behaving himself. The only time he cried at the doctor's office was when they weighed him, and he slept through the entire rest of the trip and long enough after we got home for us to get the groceries put away and for me to go to the bathroom and make some tea! And right now he is lying on my lap and dozing off to sleep with the most peaceful and contented look on his face.