Coming Back

September 11, 2009

As mentioned before, we briefly considered a planned c-section when we learned the baby might be a big baby. When we made the decision to induce and move on to a Cesarean if the labor did not progress, it never entered my mind we would have anything but a traditional vaginal delivery. The shock of have my options removed from me was quite unsettling but overall the Cesarean was not a negative experience. Even with the dour anesthesiologist, who by the way is an excellent anesthesiologist who has performed more than 10,000 spinal procedures, and the unpleasant reaction to the epidural the actual surgery itself was not that bad. I made a conscious effort not to think about what all of the pushing, pulling, and tugging was all about and focused on Russ rubbing my head and the thought of our baby girl about to be introduced into the world.

The really hard part came after the surgery…

The only think more surreal than the pushing during the surgery was when they moved me back into my bed and I watched the nurse move these legs that could have just as easily been yours onto my bed. VERY strange!

They tell me I have made an excellent recovery but it was tough at first. I was on a morphine drip for until the day after the surgery and was not happy about having to give it up. I must say, I was even less happy to find out that less than twenty four hours after I had my abdomen cut open I was supposed to get up and walk around! They have this crazy idea that the sooner you get up and move around the quicker you heal. I fought it for as long as I could and eventually they removed the IV, changed me over to Percocet and Motrin for the pain and cramping, and believe it or not I even walked to the bathroom. To say it hurt like the dickens would be quite the understatement. To be honest, it hurt like nothing I have ever experienced before – or at least nothing that I can remember experiencing.

My only real complaint with the Cesarean is not being able to pick up my child with ease. The first few days I had to have someone hand her to me, as I simply could not pick her up safely, and I really craved the ability to pick my daughter up and hold her of my own accord. Of course, without the Cesarean we would have been in a very different place, as a vaginal birth was impossible with the cord wrapped around her neck three times. And without the medication, I would not have been able to stand the pain and heal from the surgery so all and all it worked out for the best. I consider myself blessed to have such an excellent physician who did such an excellent job of taking me apart and putting me back together again.

Today, eleven days post surgery, I have what feels like a sinewy cord under the incision site and it is still sore but it does not hurt like it did even three days ago. I have been off the medication for two days and while I am still very tender I can make it up the steps in less than three minutes. 🙂


Happy Birthday Jellybean!

September 8, 2009

I had great plans of documenting Jellybean’s debut each step of the way, providing my blog followers (all three of you :-D) with a hopefully witty day-by-day accounting of her first week with just a few dedicated minutes of blogging effort per day. Well, as you parents out there probably could have told me, for parents of infants, there are no available “few minutes per day” for essential items like sleeping, much less blogging.

So here is best summary I can finally muster here day eight post birth.

The Expectant Father

The Expectant Father

After a wonderful late dinner at Willow, Mother, Russ and I checked into Virginia Hospital Center right on time (midnight), settled into our room and got started on medication to soften my cervix. Things were moving along just like Dr. Williams and Dr. Caskie said they would. We all went to sleep at a decent hour, woke up Monday morning, had breakfast, an exam by Dr. Williams, and I was given my first dose of Pitocin… and so the morning progressed: Pitocin, contraction monitoring, exam, fetal monitoring.

The delivery suite was peaceful at 2:30 p.m., as I was receiving a foot massage from Mother and a head massage from Russ, when all of sudden the doors swung open and the room filled with medical staff surrounding my bed, barking orders and physically rolling me onto my side. Before I even appreciated the existence of an emergency, it had passed. I was confused as to what had just happened when Dr. Caskie appeared at the foot of my bed.
Dr. Caskie said that she had ordered that the O.R. be prepped right away and that we we’re going ahead with a c-section. What?! When? Now, she said. She explained that the fetal heart monitor had indicated a drop in my little girl’s heart rate from 150 bpm to 60 bpm in just few seconds, but that it was now back up again due to me being rolled over. [kudos to the Virginia Medicate Center nursing staff!] Although we were out of immediate danger, she continued, that little episode was in all likelihood indicative of problems to come if we continued with a traditional vaginal birth.

Meanwhile Russ was being instructed on, and donning, surgical garb and an anesthesiologist was standing by. Dr. Caskie said we did not have to go now, if I objected, but . . . and while she was not coercing me into having a cesarean, she was coercing me “just a little”. I trust Dr. Caskie implicitly and while I was scared six ways to Sunday I had a quick prayer and consented to the c-section.

Before I knew it, a dour anesthesiologist was disclosing all of the risks associated with an epidural, Russ was in scrubs, and I was being wheeled down the hall on my back to an operating room trying to think of anything I could to stall my very first surgery. So many thoughts were going through my mind as I tried to breathe and psychologically surrender control of the situation. Much easier typed than done!

Birthday (25a)

Kyle had the honors of stapling me back together again

They wheeled me into the OR and onto an operating table where the dour doctor began preparing me for the epidural and Russ waited outside while my OR team “got me comfortable.” Now there’s a euphemism to be sure. Oh boy. I had no idea how uncomfortable this was going to be! They had me hunched over the table while the anesthesiologist swabbed my back and gave me a shot of Lidocaine in my spine before inserting the catheter for the epidural. Remember what I said about children and plans? That goes double for patients that to pass out during the administration of an epidural.

Yep… in went the catheter and down went the patient. Everyone scrambled as now my blood pressure and heart rate dropped dramatically. Then came the oxygen and I came back around. Okay, no catheter. The anesthesiologist begrudgingly removed all of his careful preparations from my back; there was a hasty pow wow between Dr. Caskie and the anesthesiologist. Plan B – spinal block. Meanwhile, Russ is pacing the halls like the proverbial expectant father wondering why it was taking so long to “get me comfortable.”

Eventually I was on the table, Russ was in the OR, and my team was working away. Talk about a freaky experience…Russ sat beside me stroking my head as I felt them pushing, pulling, and tugging away on the other side of the sheet. Next we heard Dr. Caskie say “I knew it! The cord is wrapped two, no three times around her neck.” (OMG, thank God we went with the cesarean delivery!) Then at 3:15 in the afternoon our little Jellybean made her debut in the world weighing in just under eight pounds. Our dour anesthesiologist reached over and pushed the screen down in time for Russ to see our little girl being lifted out of my abdomen.

They paused and gave us a brief look at the little darling on our side of the curtain before cleaning her up. At that very moment, all of the surgery anxiety faded and my heart left by body took up residence in my daughter.

Jellybean is a Watermelon!

August 25, 2009

You heard it here first, folks!  Our little jellybean is in reality an Amazon sized watermelon.  I am not sure what to think of all this “big baby” syndrome, after all I experienced two petite weeks in my life when I was born just under seven pounds, how on earth could I imagine carrying an almost nine pound baby??

A smart cookie would have checked with her husband in order to be better prepared.  As it seems, Russ nor his two older sisters were petite babies.  According to Russ they weighed in as follows:

#1 – 9.5 pounds
#2 – 8 .6 pounds
#3 – 7.5  pounds (born two months early – translates to roughly 10.5 pounds had he gone to term)

According to today’s ultrasound, the fetus formerly known as Jellybean weighs roughly 8.5 pounds meaning that on her due date she will weigh in somewhere between 9-9.5 pounds.  YIKES!

We were toying with induction or a c-section but after meeting with our doctors today have decided to induce at 40 weeks to the day if she has not come on her own accord.  Being that I am not the earthy type that is married to the notion of no drugs and vaginal childbirth, the doctor says we will proceed with a c-section if the labor has not “progressed” in a reasonable period of time.  Oh my! 😮

The Dress Rehearsal

August 22, 2009

My OB/GYN was concerned enough about my ‘near accident’ mentioned in Here Comes Mama Bear she had me go straight from the Apple Store to Labor and Delivery at Virginia Hospital Center.  It was a little frightening hearing the certainty in the nurse’s voice when she said “yes, I am sure the doctor wants you to report to labor and delivery” and I wasted little time getting out of the Apple Store and over to the hospital.

So it was rather interesting as I lay there with an IV in my arm, contractions 4-8 minutes apart, and thinking to myself “this could be it”.  Quickly a list of things I had yet to complete went through my brain:

  • Knobs for dresser
  • Rocking chair for nursery
  • Sign paperwork from Cord Blood Registry
  • Pack hospital bag

and the list goes on.  I quite rationally looked at my OB and told her I was not psychologically prepared to have a baby that day nor was the nursery ready to receive its occupant. 

They decided to keep monitoring me while doing nothing to progress or halt the contractions.  Thankfully the contractions stopped around 2-3am and I was able to go home around lunch time the next day.

Meanwhile, Russ and I had a wonderful time exploring the hospital and getting a lay of the land so we will be perfectly comfortable when the “big day” does finally arrive.   We even found a great sandwich shop that delivers to the hospital to save us from having to dine on the bland fare from the hospital’s cafeteria. 🙂