Friday, March 02, 2007

He sure makes a lot of noise at night for such a small baby

I'm up at 4 AM with Jonah in my arms who is for the moment quietly pretending to sleep. With any luck he actually will doze off for good. He's a great baby, not a lot of crying or anything but at night he just does not settle easily and he groan, grunts and stares around if we try to put him to sleep in the bassinette. During the day I can get him good and tired and sleeping in a baby seat or even the bassinette but at night I'm just too tired to wait with him until he's fully out.

Last night I fell asleep in the nursery in our big soft chair for an hour with him sleeping in my arms, that's how tired I was. Sleep seems to come in snatches of an hour or two and sometimes three. I'm probably averaging somewhere between 5-7 hours of sleep a day. People have this wonderful advice that one should sleep when the baby sleeps but in the morning is when I'm awake and a nap isn't really on the agenda. I try for afternoon naps which if I time it right can run as long as almost 2 hours, though more likely just over an hour.

My partner has a client meeting in the morning so I'm just having to suck it up right now. As my mother is gone now I could set up with baby in the guest room and try crashing out there but for now I figured I would try typing and see if that didn't wear him out.

I noticed the other night that there was a lot more singing going on in our bedroom at night now -- both my partner and I try lulling Jonah to sleep. We can calm him down that way for sure (and again, he doesn't really upset easily so we're just winding him down) but it doesn't yet totally put him out.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

About Diaper Changing and New Mama with the stomach flu

Jonah has surprised us every few days with poo spewing out in the middle of the change, wetting while you are trying to get the new diaper out and getting the changing table, his clothes and the new diaper wet, or spitting up half of what he just ate in a flood that makes us wonder if he isn't related to Linda Blair. We're getting more savvy now though so we wait after a feeding for him to have a BM and I now know better that after he poos then he pees. The cloth diapers are working out well and my partner and I have a good handle on the changes. Jonah's only had a touch of a start of a rash but its responded quickly to ointment -- I don't want my boy to have a sore tushy. (did you guys know that it's the poo that combines with the ammonia in the urine to cause the irritation -- not the pee itself)

I was soooooo sick on Sunday. It started at 11pm on Saturday night as I went up for bed; I started feeling nauseous. I was up most of the night with gastroenteritis and a 101+ fever (12 hours of spewing from both ends). My mother called the nursing hotline for new moms at the hospital on Sunday so we were operating under their guidance. I also look it up in What to Expect the First Year and it said that you should continue to nurse through your own illness as it would help protect the baby from the illness though you need to help prevent the baby from getting sick from limiting his exposure elsewise.

I was in bed all day with my mother bringing me ginger ale, saltines and chicken broth while my partner minded the baby and just brought him to me to feed. It was awful and I think it was the sickest I've ever been. It made me think that for however well Jonah is doing he really is only 2.5 weeks old and pretty vulnerable. He's doing fine though and it didn't seem to affect him at all -- though my supply dropped temporarily but he just fed more frequently and seemed fine. What a nightmare it was.

I'm in the middle of working on sewing up a Mei Tai carrier for Jonah. With any luck he'll let me focus on it for more than 20 minutes at a time. Here's the style of carrier if you aren't familiar --

Monday, February 26, 2007

About my c-section delivery after myomectomy

Friday morning I woke up early, as was typical for my pregnancy, though I couldn't have a snack as I would normally do -- no food after 1:30 AM. I took a shower at 6AM and got myself, my mother and partner ready to head out to the hospital by 7:30 but we were still a little late.

I waddled into the hospital entry and we figured out which elevator to take up to obstetrics where my sister was patiently waiting for us (actually she had texted me on the way to the hospital and I jokingly replied that I had changed my mind about the delivery).

They got us into a room right away, which was used for both pre-op prep and recovery. I changed into a hospital gown with nothing else on though I did leave my socks on for a while as my feet were cold. The nurse hooked me up to a monitor on my belly and the baby started kicking right away -- he hated having things resting on the belly such as books when I was reading in bed at night. They were checking his heartrate and checking me for any contractions. I didn't think I was having any contractions, braxton-hicks or otherwise and this was confirmed by the nurse (I was proud to know my body so well). They got my IV started, hooked me up to some IV fluids to keep me hydrated and then the nurse gave my pubic area a shave with an electric razor.

I explained that my sister would be attending as a doula and they were cool with that. My partner and sister both changed into surgical garb with booties, hats and masks. My sister had brought some lavendar with her to help calm me during the procedure -- a French lavendar sachet smelled awesome. My doctor came in to check in with us, and soon it was time to get into the OR. I rubbed my baby's knees and feet inside of me for one last time.

They wheeled me down the hall just a few doors and into the cold operating room which was full of people who would be assisting with the delivery. There was my OB, another OB, the surgical nurse who helped prep me, another nurse, two anaesthesiologists, my partner and my sister -- and possibly more. The first thing was getting the spinal set up which wasn't painful at all as they had one of those automatic blood pressure cuffs squeezing the life out of my left arm -- I didn't feel anything in my back. Next they lay me out on the operating table and pulled a drape up close to my face -- closer than I thought it would be. We then waited for the spinal to take affect, first a warm feeling and then they kept checking to see if I was getting numb where they would be cutting me open. Finally I was numb enough and they quickly got into action.

The anaethesiologist said to let him know if I felt nauseous and quite soon after I was hit with a wave of nausea. I barely had to say a word before he put in some medication to help control it and it passed quickly. I was feeling stressed and overwelmed though as I could feel pressure of them working on my belly and the curtain was so close to my chin and the spinal does make your breathing feel a little weird. I had my partner rub my shoulders and my sister brought the lavender close to my nose and that helped to keep me together. It was intense being awake during the procedure and they don't give you any sedatives or anything as they don't want to affect the baby, just the spinal which removes the pain sensations but not the touch sensations.

The time came for them to pull out the baby from me and one doctor was pressing (more like heaving) high on my belly while they yanked him out with a suction cap. Oh boy that was a crazy feeling.

Then there he was. A wet, vernix coated crying baby boy. He was a big healthy baby I could see as they whisked him across the room, with long arms and big hands. I got misty at seeing this little being finally here -- and with me in such a state. My partner was recruited to help trim down the umbilical cord and they wiped him off some and did what not and all I could do was look over at him in wonderment. The doctors continued working on me but having the baby to focus on helped to distract me from the pushing and pulling sensations.

Finally they brought the baby over to me (really it was only a few minutes after he was pulled out) and as I started talking to him little Jonah started cooing and making all sorts of noises to me. There was no doubt about it, he knew I was his mama -- what a precious memory that is for me. I was able to touch his soft cheek and give him a kiss and then they had to tend to him some more mostly stabilizing his body temperature I think.

The whole affair lasted about 40-50 minutes total and after that we were wheeled back in to recovery where they got me set up with the PCA pump. A nurse helped to get the baby to latch on and showed my partner what to do. I was totally out of it with the narcotics. My partner, sister and mother got to hold the baby lots at this point while we tried to stay ahead of the pain. I loved how they would try to give me directions and things while I could hardly keep my eyes open.

They moved us into our private suite and over the evening hours they removed my catheter (inserted after the spinal took affect), had me go to the toilet, had me drink cool water, took my and the baby's temp religiously to make sure we were both stable, and switched me onto percocet and ibuprofen. I was able to nurse Jonah with my partner's help and he was wetting diapers, and soon started passing meconium.

I fell asleep with Jonah layed across my chest at one point and when I woke up and saw his little face I just about melted; he was so tiny and perfect. My partner stayed with us in the room and slept a few stretches with the baby next to him. I also shifted to one side of the hospital bed and he lay next to me with Jonah which was super nice as well. It was just a really nice nesting experience and it was like the rest of the world didn't exist for those couple of days.

He was very tied into my voice in the first few days post delivery and would seek me out and start to root if he heard my voice. He's more confident about my presence now so he isn't quite as anxious to seek me out and knows I will come if he needs me.

We decided to check out of the hospital as soon as possible on Sunday as the nurses kept pushing percocet, stool softeners, gas-x and ibuprofen on me. I didn't have that much pain after my myomectomy and also since I had been through that experience my body wasn't as shocked about the pain and I found it manageable. The nurses couldn't seem to understand that even though I kept telling them I was doing okay. On a scale of 1 to 10 my pain never got to be more than a 4 -- unless I was moving around a lot and most of the time it was barely a .5. I also hated that the percocet would make me feel all loopy and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I took ibuprofen for the next five days and after that I didn't need anything.

I found one of the most interesting things about my recovery from the c-section is that compared to how tired and big I felt in late pregnancy my body felt a lot better post delivery. The operation itself also was less invasive than excising the large fibroid and even my OB confirmed that nature wants to make the mother heal quickly to help tend for her baby.

My incision actually looks better than after the myo. The skin lines up better and that extra pad of fat above the incision isn't there any more. Not bad, now I just wonder how I'll look in a bikini (LOL).

My OB said that they felt around while they were cleaning me up and the fibroid didn't feel too significant. He said I can get an ultrasound in six months to see how its doing. My partner asked him how soon we could start trying again (oh brother) and my doc said 8-9 months post-partum as ultrasound studies have shown that the site where the placenta had attached still showed signs of healing at 7 months post-partum.

So, while I don't think the c-section was fun, it was definately not an entirely miserable experience and all things considered I would rather have a scheduled c-section than an emergency c-section.

(I'll add more details as I recall them)