Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A whole new world

As I write this today I am sitting next to the most amazing and handsome blond haired, blue eyed twelve day old little boy ... obviously a lot has happened since the last time I posted so let's start at the beginning.

October 15th : I had my 38 week doctor’s appointment, I went along because it was at 11 o'clock and Alex could not get off work because they had a recordable the day before so I told him not to worry about it.

When I went I saw Dr. Ghondal. For some reason I was feeling really overwhelmed at this appointment, I had been worrying the last few weeks about something happening to our little man late in pregnancy such as a cord problem or low fluid levels...I just wanted him out so I can look at him and know he was okay. I told the doctor that I was still getting 10 kicks in two hours but that for Liam his movements had slowed down which was making me crazy. Dr. Ghronals said that we could do an ultrasound to check fluid levels and hook me up to a NST for a while and if all checked out okay he would feel fine looking me in the eye and telling me Liam would be okay for the rest of the week. He also said that if I was interested we could schedule a 39 week induction for the next week as long as I was favorable. I said YES of course. An induction sounded great to me because my parents would be able to get here without rushing, Alex would be able to take off the perfect amount of time from work, and I would be in semi-control. When he checked me he said I was 2 centimeters and about 50-75% effaced making me favorable! During the exam he also stripped my membranes which was not fun to say the least. Next up was the ultrasound and it was amazing. I had not seen Liam since our 20 week ultrasound so needless to say he looked a lot different. He had the cubbies cheeks and the cutest face, it was awesome. Then they hooked me up to the NST monitor and monitored me for 45 minutes. Dr. Ghrondal came in and said that they had noticed a few dips in Liams heart rate and wanted me to go downstairs to Labor and Delivery for extended monitoring. At this point I was very scared because of what I had just heard, because I was going to L&D, and I was all alone since Alex didn't come to the appointment. In L&D I was hooked up to another monitor in triage and was told I would be there for a couple hours. They were going to let me order off the menu since I was there over lunch time but I was way too nervous to eat so I declined. After three hours of monitoring and lots of texts to Alex I was all cleared and told that Liam looked fine! PHEW! My induction was scheduled for the next Wednesday, the 21st, at 8pm.

Monday October 19th. I had to go back into the doctors for another NST. This time Alex went with me, just in case. Everything looked great, I was so relived. This week we met with Dr. Richardson to answer last minute questions about the induction. He told me that they had an induction scheduled for 8am and that the lady had delivered over the weekend and asked if I would be interested in coming in early, we said YES. He told me we would do 12 hours of cervadil then start pitocin.

Wednesday 21st:

I got up at 5:30am, obviously too anxious to sleep. I attempted to eat a light breakfast of an apple and peanut butter but was only able to get half down with all the nerves I was having. I was about to be admitted to the hospital for the first time in my life, hooked up to an IV, and go through the worst pain in my life (from what I hear). I called L&D as directed by Dr. Richardson to make sure there was a room for me and enough staff, they said we were a go and to come in. We arrived at 8am and were taken to our room. It was crazy to walk into the room and see the bed and the warmer that in a few hours Liam would be after he was born. My first nurse was Tori who has purple streaks in her hair, I was hoping it was for Halloween but doubted it. She hooked me up to my IV which was not fun, at all, I held Alex's hand the whole time trying to calm my nerves and breathe through it. I was all set up with a bag of fluids and my first round on antibiotics. At 9:30 Tori inserted the cervadil. At this point I was already having semi regular contractions which were a good sign. We spent all day watching TV and waiting around. Throughout the day contractions get more intense, not painful just stronger tightening. At points it felt like the skin under the motior was going to stretch open. I was able to order lunch which was pasta with vegetables and a cream sauce with lemonade, it was good. Alex played computer games the entire day and i watched tv, it was very boring just waiting around and i was so uncomfortable with the IV i never got used to it. Around 12 noon my new nurse, Sarah was assigned to me. I felt so awkward with her because she kept telling me that they normally bring in cervadil inductions at night so she really didn't know what to do with me, I felt bad like it was my fault I was a boring patient. I had her until 7pm when we got our final nurse AMY! She was awesome from the beginning and would be there until the end. At 7:30 Dr. Richardson came in, this was the first time I had seen a doctor all day. He wanted to check me for progress. I was 3 cm and 75% effaced at this point so he decided to take out the cervadil and break my water. I was so scared of him breaking my water because I could not imagine it not hurting. He grabbed this long, white/yellow plastic instrument.... did a lot of tugging around in there and finally broke my water. It was the oddest feeling ever to have warm liquid gushing out of you. The fluid was clear so Liam did not pass any miconium in utero which was a relief. A half hour later they started the pitocin around 8:15pm. Amy told me that she would increase it every 30 minutes. At 9 pm my parents arrived. At this point contractions started to pick up and hurt. They started feeling like i had to go to the bathroom really badly and progressed with the same feeling but crazy intense pain that i couldn't talk through. Alex was watching ghost hunters and trying to have a conversation with me which was not happening. I could barely concentrate on anything let alone the words coming out of his mouth. Amy checked me again and I was at 4cm. At this point I knew I was getting the epidural it was just a matter of when. I was so indecisive because I didn't want to get it too early but didn't want to hold out if I could be pain free. I am guessing it was somewhere around 11 that I got the epidural. They sent Alex out of the room and he went to sit with my parents. They anesthesiologist came in and was super nice! They told me it would feel like I bee sting when they inserted the numbing medication, I asked what I bee sting felt like because I hadn't even experiment that in my life. Let me just say that the IV hurt 10x worse than the epidural, it was so easy! The shot of the numbing medication was not more painful than a regular shot and he whole process was really fast. Within 10 minutes I was having contractions and only feeling pressure. i had a wonderful epidural because i was able to move my legs and even use my leg muscles to hold myself up for them to change the pads under me and turn myself over. My legs felt like i had been outside in the cold for a long time and the tingle feeling you have once you come inside. Alex was sent back in and I was in my glory. I had one spot on my lower right side that was still feeling some pain so Amy had me lean that direction to direct the medication, within 20 minutes I was feeling no pain. Around 1 am I started feeling some cramp like feelings in my lower abdomen so the anesthesiologist came back to re-medication me. The insertion of the medicine is the coolest feeling because it is like a cold flow right down your back. After that Amy checked me again and I was at a 6, yes...progress. She came back in about a half hour later and said she wanted to check me again; I was kind of surprised because I felt like she was just in to check me. When she checked me she said "Yupp that I was I thought, you are at a 9-10 and his head it right there" WHAT?!?!? A 9-10 holy cow I was not ready to hear that! She left the room and I looked at Alex and said OMG can you believe that, he said "what" I said "I am 9-10cm" he said "oh my god really?!? in disbelief" He went down to tell my parents quick. This was at 1:30....Amy told me that Dr. Richardson was finishing up another deliver and would be in right after to assess. She said if I started to feel intense pressure to call her. At this point I would bound to my left side, not sure why, I didn't ask but I just laid there and waited. I was really happy that I was fully dilated and waiting because I knew it would allow time for Liam to come down further and hopefully wouldn’t have to push as long because he would naturally drop with contractions while I waited. At around 2am I remember trying to kegal just to see what I felt like and I could definitely feel his head there, it was an odd feeling. At 2:15 Dr. Richardson came in and said I was fully dilated and a +3 station, meaning Liam was right there! Yes, exactly what I wanted. They prepped the room brining in all the stuff they would need. Liam's nurse came in and introduced herself as well as the tech that would assist Dr. Richardson. At 2:30 they had me start doing practice pushes. I implemented all the things I had heard, push like you are having a BM after 9 months, push in your bottom DO NOT push in your face, and focus on a focal point. Alex was holding one leg, Amy the other. I was bearing down focusing on the lever that opens the drawer on the "crib". Pushing was going great and I was making progress fast. They had me push for 3 - 10 counts every contraction. I was having the oddest feeling after the first 10 count where I felt like I was pushing up stomach contents into my throat and would have to break from pushing to burp to swallow. No one understood what I was talking about and I kept telling them I was not nauseas and did not have to vomit that it was just a sensation so they told me to take a longer deeper breathe between 10 counts, it worked great! Dr. Richardson asked me if I wanted a mirror to watch and I said NO, I did not want to see what was going on down there! It is kind of like watching a scary movie for me. I am such a wimp but can watch the movie through the tiniest crack in my fingers. This is kind of what I did because I was able to see what was going on in the reflection of the doctor’s glasses so I had a vague idea of the progress I was making. At 2:55 while looking in his glasses I saw a head pop out quickly followed by a body, OMG I was in shock!!! Liam was here.

I never expected to only push for 25 minutes and have it be so easy. He came out peeing and with a HUGE hush of fluid. Because he was so low when they broke my water he "corked" the fluid in. The fluid came gushing out and went all over the chair in the room and very close to being all over Alex who dodged it. They asked Alex if he wanted to cut the cord and I am so happy that he decided to do it. Then they asked me if I wanted to hold him and I said yes. It was an interesting feeling to have him placed on me. Ts little person I had been growing, nourishing, and nurturing for 9 months was finally in my arms. I was in awe of the site of him, to finally put a face to the kicks and rolls. I looked him over quick, 10 fingers, 10 toes, and the cutest face ever! They took him over to the warmer to get cleaned up and checked out. He was screaming so we knew the lungs worked but it was a great sound to hear. At this point the placenta came out with an easy push, it was a weight feeling. Dr. Richardson said I had a second degree tear and he "fixed me up", it took a while to fix up. Liam scored an 8/9 on his apgar scores which I good. He color was perfect but the nurse was worried about his breathing which was a bit labored so they called in the special care nurse to assess. They had been suctioning his airways with a long tub trying to get fluid out. The special care nurse (two of them) came in and said they thought I was upper airway swelling and would come back in a half hour to reassess how he was going. This was really hard because for over an hour of birth I was not able to hold him. When they came back they said he looked fine! Thank you god! For a good two hours after the birth I had horrible uncontrollable shakes, they said it was because of the rapid drop in hormones. I was able to hold him and look at his and just take in the moment. After that Amy gave him his first bath. About two hours after the birth Amy and another nurse got me out of bed to "clean up" gross I know. I was so scared to get out of bed because I had heard stories of fluids rushing out when you stand up, luckily I was able to the the 4 towels that were under me with me on my walk to the bathroom. Walking was odd because my legs were still a bit numb and weak but I made it. Cleaning up was interesting and at this point I had no sense of modesty with these women. Again it was so great to have a nurse that I felt comfortable with and was able to really let go in front of knowing there was no judgment. They told me if I felt at all lightheaded to let them know. I was almost done when I started to feel lightheaded so they had me sit down on the toilet for a while, after losing so much fluid and blood it is common to feel this way but it was scary. I am so happy I didn't pass out. They got me back into bed and in a new gown. I had my fist post birth meal of a turkey sandwich and apple juice and Liam got his first meal as well, he latched on like a champ and nursed for while.

The next morning we were woken up by a man coming into our room. When I woke up I was drenched in sweat and felt like such an idiot as I introduced myself for the first time to Liam's ped Dr. Cosgrove. He looked his over and said he checked out great! He said that they would do the circumcision either this afternoon at lunchtime or tomorrow morning. Around 10 am we were moved to a post-partum room upstairs. When they were rolling us up there I was Tori, Sarah, and the triage nurse I had the week prior. It seemed everyone had heard about the quick and easy delivery and were full of kind works of congratulations. At 11 we found out Liam would be circumcised at noon, I was so scared for my little man who was only a few hours old. At noon Dr. Cosgrove came to get him and explained everything to us and said he would be back in 20 minutes. At this point I went to take a shower and change. When I got out he was back and the nurse said he did not even cry, that's my boy!

They rest of our hospital stay was long; I really just wanted to go home. I felt fine since the time they brought us upstairs. No pain and little bleeding. I was able to move around just fine from the beginning. I was so relieved that I did not experience any of the postpartum horror stories that everyone had told me about such as the diapers and ice packs. So lucky!!! Our nurses upstairs were hit or miss. When we first went up we had Anna who was okay, she certainly not Amy. That night we had Lisa who I liked a lot more she was very outgoing and helpful; we ended up having her both nights we were there. The next day we had an older women and another lady who was “rounding” from IU, she was nice and again very helpful and older lady who was our nurse was probably my least favorite while we were there. Saturday morning, the day we got discharged, our nurse was Carol. The funny thing about her is that she is a participant I had to outreach to during Clarian West attempts.

We came home on Saturday October 24th around 10 am. Liam weighed 6 lbs 13 ounces when we left the hospital, he had passed his hearing test and billirubin checks. Liam wore a Penn State outfit that was about two sizes to big but he looked darn cute.

My parents stayed with us until Wednesday when they went up to my brother until Friday. Our days were spent staring at our little guy in disbelief at what we have created. On Sunday we had our first visitor, Erin and Berkley came to see Liam. It was great to see her and she came bearing wonderful and generous gifts for Liam. A few outfits, a teething toy, and nursing compresses. We also went for our first walk around the block, Liam seemed to like it and it was great to get out and get some fresh air.

I also carved a pumpkin with It's a Boy to set out on our porch for Halloween.

Liam has been a great sleeper since we have been home. While in the hospital it never felt like days but more of just a long stretch of a repeating pattern. Alex and I didn't kiss good night or even say goodnight we just stayed in this pattern of feed him, hold him, sleep, and repeat. Since we have been home we have regained our "goodnight routine". The first few nights Liam stayed up until 12 or 1 (one night of 3am) and sleep the rest of the time only waking up to eat then go back to sleep. The past few night have been awesome; he has gone to bed between 10-11 and wake at 3, 6:30, and 10 to eat, he stays up from 10 until 12 or 2 then naps for the afternoon only waking up to eat then naps again until around 7 or 8 pm when he is up until he goes to bed. Today November 3rd he stared interacting with toys. Before now he has only vague been able to make our objects in front of his face and today I was holding Freddie the firefly in front of his and he was following it, staring at it, and smiling...it was really exciting to already see how much he is changing and able to focus with his eyes. So far I am doing great, I am so lucky because I have such an easy baby, I am spoiled and I know it! In the hospital feeding his was the most nerve wracking part because we were having a very hard time getting him to actually eat. He would latch on wonderful and then either wiggle off or just sit there and not suck. It was very trying on all of us even though everyone kept telling us that it was totally normal. In the hospital the nurses had me start to pump so that I would stay stimulated so that my milk would come in. Once we got home we decided that I would continue to pump and we would supplement him with formula so that we knew he would be getting something. I still think that this was a great decision on our part. I helped to put him on the great sleep schedule he is on and satisfy his little tummy. In the beginning I was only produce a few syringes of colostrum and now I am up to a good 2 ounces at every pumping session. Pumping is time consuming and to be honest there are many times I just do not feel like doing it, especially at 3am but I know that it is the best stuff that I can give him and that is what drives me to pump at 3am. I feel great, fairly well rested and still have energy. Today while Liam was napping I was able to make a batch of sugar cookies, upload pictures, and type this whole blog, oh and I showered which is a fairly big accomplishment from what I hear. Last Wednesday we went to Liam's one week check up, again he checked our great and was so well behaved. He gained back all of his birth weight plus 6 ounces so he was up to 7 pounds 13 ounces. He shrunk an inch, which the doctor said is totally normally because everyone measures differently, so in reality he did not shrink but it makes me wonder what his real length is/was. Our next appointment will be his one month check up and little guy will have to get a shot which i am already sad about.

On Sunday November 1st we gave him his first big boy bath since his umbilical cord fell off last Thursday. He LOVED the bath and hated getting out.

I really have no words to express what having Liam in my life feels like. Honestly when I look at him sometimes it feels as though my heart can explode because it is so full of love for him and how utterly blessed I feel to have been given this gift. There has been a part of me that has been missing for many years that Liam has filled. I finally feel whole again and so grateful for this gift.

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