Monday, March 18, 2013
Well, sometimes Jonathan watches Cambria so I can take a nap, and then he comes in and wakes me up. The other day he came in, and woke me up, and I stretched and I heard "sttrreeeeeeeetttccccchhhh" HAHA! That woke me up! So I opened my eyes and he said "Oh! There are your eyes!" and then I yawned... can you guess what he said next? :)
He makes me laugh. I love him!
Friday, March 15, 2013
Can I just tell you? That’s exactly what I needed. Sunshine and social interaction. Sunshine does good things to a person, physically, emotionally, and mentally. We thought about it later, and realized that it had been almost a whole week since I had seen the sun… not ok. It was a bit cold, but the sun was shining, and we really enjoyed each other’s company!
So… my lesson has been learned. I need to see the sun more often. Since then Jonathan has been great and reminded me to get out of the house. I haven’t gone out much, or for very long, but even just a few minutes in the sunshine does the body good.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
- Being able to eat SO MUCH in one sitting.
My stomach being squooshed by my beautiful baby happened so gradually that I forgot how much I could eat before. There were a few times that I got my meal in the hospital and looked at the food and said "wow! That's a lot of food, I don't know if I'm going to be able to finish that" and then... a few minutes later I had eaten it all and I could still eat more. That was definitely a surprise.
- How comfortable it was to lay flat on my back.
I remember going to take a nap and rolling from one side to another and stopping on my back and stretching my legs out. AAAAHHHHH, it felt so good! I would do that while I was pregnant, but it didn't feel so good, and I had to remind myself that I needed to sleep on my side. Not anymore!
- How good it feels to be close to my hubby when we hug.
Again, my belly grew so gradually that I didn't realize how far apart we had to be when we hugged. But once I had Cambria, all that changed, and I could get close to him again, and oh how good that felt!
- How awesome it is to cuddle without a belly!
That one's self explanatory :)
- How quickly my belly bounced back
Don't get me wrong, it's not where I want it to be, but it's a lot flatter than I thought it was going to be at this stage. (Ok ladies, don't forget that this is my first baby, and a lot of women bounce back a lot faster with their first...)
This one I debated even mentioning... But I wanted to because I think there's a reason behind it. First, I wasn't expecting to not have abdominal muscles that could hold in my internal organs. It totally makes sense that they would be stretched out, but for some reason I didn't think about that. I was expecting to have a nice flabby tummy (people told me about that) but I was expecting it to be skin, not my organs too... Well, I have a friend who lent me all of her maternity clothes, and in that wardrobe there was a little support thingy like this one
well, you can also flip it around and use it for postpartum support. I did that and within a few days my belly felt more normal. I felt like my internal organs where were they were supposed to be. I really think the band helped. I didn't love it for pregnancy, just because of the nature of garments and everything else, it was just one more layer to deal with, especially when going to the bathroom... ugg... :)
- Speaking of going to the bathroom...
Ya... you remember what I said about eating... same thing with my bladder :) It's so nice to not have to make a trip to the loo every half hour!
- How thirsty I am
Holy cow! I can chug a half a liter and not blink an eye! And then do the same thing 15 minutes later! That shocked Jonathan too... actually, he's the one that brought how much I was drinking to my attention. When I was pregnant, he had to strongly encourage me to finish one liter a day... now I am easily drinking two, and if my cup stays full, and close by, I could probably do three!
-How often I need to eat
a meal every two to three hours, with snacks in between... that's a lot of food. And so much protein, I didn't realize that protein helped with healing... but apparently it does. So eat your protein if you need your body to heal.
And then of course there's the things with recovery that nobody talks about. ... I heard there were things that nobody talked about, but ... nobody talked about them to me. Come on now! I wanted to know :) (If you want to know, I'll be more than willing to talk about them to you...)
Just thought I'd share :)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I have always been a little curious to see if I could give birth without anesthesia. I have always had a desire to try, people would ask me why and honestly I have my reasons, but when I try to explain them it doesn't come out the way I want. All I know is that I have wanted to for a while. Let me try anyway, I am of the opinion that if I don't have to use medicine then I'd rather let my body work through what it needs to. That's one reason, I have also heard that it's a powerful experience, and I wanted to experience it. I wanted to be as alert and awake as I could be for my babies birth, and I didn't want to be "tied down" to a bed. I wanted to be able to walk around, and go to the bathroom when I needed to. I wanted to let gravity help me. When I talked to my doctor about the possibility of giving birth without anesthesia I was seriously doubting my ability to do so, and I was very impressionable. (Refer to this post http://wp.kbconnect.org/melissathan/2012/10/18/labor/ if you want to see what I was thinking). Thank goodness for awesome doctors. He told me that giving birth naturally was like running a marathon. If you prepare for it, then it's doable, and can be very rewarding. But he also said that if I didn't, then I may not be able to do it. Just like if someone just decides to run a marathon. I really liked the way he put it. It's doable, but it's really hard! He strongly suggested doing something to prepare, he mentioned Lamaze or the Bradly Method. I had heard really good things about Hypnobabies, and I had a few friends who highly recommended it. When I went home for Christmas I borrowed my cousin's hypnobabies stuff and Jonathan and I started preparing. If people are interested I can go into details on what I think about Hypnobabies in a different post.
Ok. Here goes, for real.
Sunday morning February 17, I woke up and I was feeling crampy. People have been telling me that I’ll know when I go into labor because it’ll feel like I’m starting my period. Well… it did, but I didn't have any contractions to go with the cramps. So I just continued on with my day and wondered when they were going to start. The day progressed and nothing was happening. We had plans for some friends to come over for dinner, I didn’t really want to go into labor right when we were sitting down to dinner or something so… Jonathan made all of dinner, while I tried to stay sitting and relaxed. They came over and we had a really good time. We had Chinese food (well, Panda Express style) and we played Pictionary. I started having contractions while they were still here, but I didn’t time them or anything. We went to bed that night, and around 1:30, the contractions woke me up. That wasn't the first time contractions had woken me up, so I timed them for about an hour (2:45) and then woke Jonathan up. We continued to time the contractions (I hadn’t been timing how long they were lasting, so we started doing that) and Jonathan got our bags together (we had our bags packed, but we didn’t pack the things we were still using, toiletries and stuff) and we called the doctor.
It was kind of funny because he asked how far away we were, and I said “from the hospital” and he said yes, so I said “we’re about 15-20 minutes away” and he said “well, I would definitely wait till they are about five minutes apart, lasting a minute long” and I said “oh! My contractions? They are, and they have been going for a few hours” and then he gave me the go-ahead to start heading to the hospital. As we went, I tried to listen to a Hypnobabies track (they have CD's of helpful hints etc that you can listen to), but I was so distracted, and the contractions were coming on so strong that I needed to focus on relaxing through the contractions rather than trying to listen to the track.
When we got to the hospital, I had a contraction right as we got there, so we waited for me, and then headed in. The nurses at the front desk looked at me and smiled. Then said “how can we help you?” and Jonathan said “well… we think she’s in labor, and we hear this is a good place for us to be.” They all (there were three of them talking) laughed, and said that was one answer they had never heard before. Then they started asking me all the questions about my insurance and stuff and asked how far apart my contractions were. I stopped timing them a while ago because I knew I was in labor, so I just told her 5 minutes. As she was asking me different questions I stopped and breathed through a contraction. Then they continued to ask me questions and I stopped and breathed again. Jonathan told me that she looked at me, and then at the clock and scribbled out five minutes and put 3. Then they took me back to the triage room (where they assess you to see if you are actually in labor). When they checked me, they said I was 5 cm dilated and fully effaced! I was excited to hear that! But when the nurse checked me I started bleeding. She said that that was more blood than she was comfortable with, I’m not sure what they did to fix it, I think they just wanted to monitor me more closely since I was loosing blood while I was in labor.
Then they admitted me! I got wheeled to my room, and I started the process. At first I could relax through the contractions on my own, but soon they were coming so quickly and lasting long enough that I couldn't focus on my own. Another thing that was kind of funny was while I was at a manageable state, Jonathan decided to email a girl from his lab and ask her to help him with his cells, so that he could stay with me. I had him email my visiting teaching companion and the girl I was supposed to visit teach that day, and let them know I wasn't going to make it. I thought they should know that I wasn't going to make it so they wouldn't wait for me... they thought it was funny that I was thinking about that while I was in labor. As I got into the room Jonathan kept asking me if I had turned my light switch off (a Hypnobabies technique) I hadn't I started trying to listen to a script from Hypnobabies, but the doctors and nurses were coming in and needing to use my arm, or listen to the baby or something, and it was hard for me to focus. So I ditched that, and just had Jonathan hover over me and rub my back and help me stay focused. As long as he was there, I didn't feel overwhelmed by the contractions. It was kind of crazy actually, I had programmed myself to be able to deeply relax to the sound of his voice, and seriously, if he was there, I was able to relax my belly and my legs and my back enough to handle what my body was doing.
One thing that I wasn't anticipating or expecting was the discomfort in my hips and pelvis area. If I would have thought about it, I would have made the connection, but for some reason, that surprised me. I had trained myself to relax my lower back, and my abdomen, but not my hips and pelvis. If I felt pain at all, that’s where I felt it (as long as Jonathan was there, if he wasn't, I felt it all over).
Another thing that I wasn't anticipating was how much focus, and how much effort and time it was going to take. I don’t know if it was because I wasn't using the hypnobabies techniques as much as I could have, but I was thinking that I would have time to eat, and to do other things, but when contractions are coming every three minutes and lasting a minute to a minute and a half, there isn't much time to do anything else but relax. When you are trying so hard to work through discomfort that is coming that quickly and lasting that long, it gets tiring and I wasn't expecting that.
Honestly, the next eight hours were kind of a blur. I didn't really do much besides keep my eyes closed and listen to Jonathan, and try to relax. I did change positions quite a few times. Once I got a birth ball, I spent some time on my knees leaning over the ball. That helped a bit, and I was able to relax, and release my hips in that position. The shower was also a life saver! I went through the hardest parts of my labor there. I spent the last two hours in the shower. For those of you who want to know my progress, here it is... I was about 7 cm dilated at 8:30, and by 10:30 I was at a 8.5. By noon the nurse said that I just had a little lip left, so it wouldn't be long. I'm really grateful that every time she checked me I had made progress. I was hoping I had made more than I did, but it was so nice to know that things were moving along. There were a few times that I told Jonathan that I didn't want to do it anymore. He was so wonderful and told me how great I was doing, and that I was doing it. He also told me that I don't need to think about the next few hours, just focus on one more contraction. All I needed to do was get through one more contraction. That was just what I needed to get through those few hours.
(I had a friend who when she was going through her 52 hour labor (!!!) she had told her husband that she didn't think she could do it anymore, and that she didn't want to. He just looked at her and told her that she was doing it. I told Jonathan that I wanted to hear that too when I was doubting my ability. He did so wonderfully, he said exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it. I also told him about the one more contraction thing, that helped tremendously!)
When the nurse told me that I had a lip I asked if she could hold it back so I could push through it. She didn't seem to do that often, so she told me just to wait and it wouldn't be long. That was a bit annoying because I had specifically asked my doctor if the nurses would do that if I had a lip left. He told me they did... so I was a bit bugged that she left and didn't help me, haha. Then she left, a few minutes later I told Jonathan that I really felt like I needed to push. He told me that my body knows what it needs to do (I probably should have waited... I knew better than to push when my cervix wasn't ready), but I gave a good hard push and something exploded out of my vagina. I told Jonathan that something exploded and that he needed to get the nurse quick. That’s not something that anyone wants to hear, and I think I worried him. He got the nurse and she checked me again and said that my water broke. Oh, what a relief that was to hear! I was afraid I had broken a blood vessel or something. She also said that I was fully dilated, and I was ready to push! What a relief! So I started.
I don’t know when doctor Penman got there, but he got there and asked me if I wanted to roll over on my back, and I told him I didn't that I wanted to stay on my side. I pushed for about 20 minutes and then I felt her come through my birth canal! It was kind of funny because I was pretty vocal as I was pushing, and doctor Penman was trying to coach me through it, but I didn't want to be coached, I just wanted to push when I wanted to push. At one point I started screaming, and after that push the nurse told me that I shouldn't do that, I should just hold my breath, I knew that I shouldn't hold my breath, so the next time I released the tension, and (according to Jonathan) just let a really high, very sustained soprano note go. Jonathan said it was pretty funny, and he almost started laughing. I’m glad that I was able to release some of the pressure for him.
As she was coming through my birth canal it felt like I was the most constipated I had ever been in my life. But at the same time, I also felt like I needed to push her out. Usually when I’m constipated and it starts to hurt, I stop pushing. Not with birth! At one point, Dr. Penman told me that he could see her head, and then Jonathan looked and came back and said “she has dark hair”. That was the perfect thing to say! We had always imagined her with dark hair, and hearing that she actually did have dark hair gave me the added energy I needed to push her out so I could meet her.
Feeling her come out of my birth canal was something that I had heard was an amazing experience. For me it was so fast, I almost missed it. It was an amazing experience though, what I really loved was seeing her, and having her put on my chest. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't want her on my skin in all her messy glory, but I didn't care one bit! This was my daughter, and she was absolutely beautiful! I had anticipated a huge spiritual and emotional experience, but I don’t remember feeling that. It was just so natural, and I was so awe-struck with how beautiful she was. I have had moments since that birth moment that have been powerful both emotionally and spiritually, and I almost prefer it that way. I have so much more energy and focus to appreciate the moments that I have had.
My birthing time couldn't have gone any more perfectly! I am so happy with the way that everything worked out. I'm so grateful for Jonathan. I know for sure that if he wasn't there for those 11 hours there would have been NO WAY that I could have given birth the way I did.
After Cambria was born is when the complications started happening. We waited two hours for my placenta to come, and it never did, they even gave me Pitocin and my uterus didn't even start contracting. I had to go into surgery to have another D&C done to remove my placenta. I’m so grateful for modern medicine, and that it went well. We found out later that if my placenta wouldn't come out then the surgery would have ended in a hysterectomy. Thankfully, the placenta came out just fine. I’m so grateful for that! As I was in surgery, they took Cambria’s vitals and found that her blood sugar was a bit low and that her temperature was low. As the day went on, she also wouldn't keep anything down. Anything she did eat, she threw up and then some. Eventually she just didn't want to eat at all. They tried to force feed her a few times, but it didn't help. She didn't keep anything down.
The next day she was admitted into the NICU, because they wanted to monitor her more closely, and because they wanted to give her an IV to make sure she stayed hydrated. She also hadn't had a bowel movement in 24 hours, which worried the doctors. I had a hard time swallowing that pill. The first few times we went in I just cried! I didn't like seeing my baby in the NICU, especially with an IV in her head. Eventually I realized that it was a blessing that she was there. She was being monitored 24 hours a day and the staff was far more qualified to take care of her than I would be. I realized that I would so much rather have her there, than at home not eating or pooping.
She was in the NICU for almost a week, and now she's home and we're both learning and growing :).