Thursday, February 19, 2015

2 week update!

I am finally feeling well enough to other things besides lay on the couch and snore like a rhinoceros. This c section recovery is no joke. I know the natural non epidural moms get all the street cred in the birthing world, but this has been so hard also. And it goes on for WEEKS.

I knew it would be painful and crappy, but I just could not imagine in what way, as I have never had surgery or anything.

I've also been nursing which is like a 24/7 job and it's totally for the birds, but I feel so guilty that I had June removed from me at 37 weeks that I will just continue probably until she does not want to nurse anymore (same with Georgia which was around 6 months). So between the pain medication, the actual pain, the nursing (first week complete with cracked bleeding nipples and painful engorgement), and post partum bleeding, you can believe me when I say these past two weeks have been just a big bucket of fucking fun.

The good thing is that June is sleeping and eating and gaining weight, Georgia has had a really easy transition to big sister, and I am only 7lbs away from pre pregnancy weight so yay glass half full.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was cut open. I don't know if other people have a hard time with this. Like, if I actually sit and think about it I start to have panic attack symptoms. It's annoying, and I wish I could just forget about it, but it just bothers me a lot. You can't see the incision at all so it isn't a physical thing. Blah. Need to move on.

So the hospital stay after the surgery was really weird because I was so looped on pain meds. My fist day there, like I said I didn't know which way was up, and thank goodness Kelly and Jill were there to make me laugh and just for moral support. But actually by the way, laughing after a c-section is a really bad idea, so maybe don't invite them to your c-section recovery! OMG, laughing, coughing, sitting up...PAINFUL. So so painful. The first few days sucked while my body started responding to the pain management schedule.

So anyway, here is how the recovery went down. It was a long long time before I could feel my legs. Like a really long time. Everything I read about c sections said to get up and start walking as soon as possible so I was so anxious to get the hell up, I was getting mad that it was taking so long to feel anything. My first adventure out of bed was to go to the bathroom after they removed the catheter like 17 hours later or something. Or 14 hours. I really don't know. It was like 1AM when I decided to use the loo and I called the nurse to please help.

My night nurse Helen was a SAINT. A godsend. OMG. She helped me to the bathroom, helped me sit down..there was so much blood..I mean sorry if this is graphic,but this is what happens after you have a baby. You don't just waltz to the bathroom without a care in the world. The first trip to the bathroom is SCARY. I was scared. Quivering in my booties. Every time I looked towards the can I heard a low, loud MUHAHAHAAAAAA directed my way and I just did not want to go!! But, in the end nature wins over so yes, my first trip to the bathroom happened, and Helen the night nurse was there to help me and clean me and if you ever plan on giving birth just throw all of your dignity out of the window the minute you find out you are pregnant, and don't plan on getting it back until the baby is like 6 months old. People poke you, insert things in you, look up you, cut you open, see you poop, wipe you after you pee, clean your blood, change your pads, and milk you in front of your friends and husband. Then you get home and you spray milk all over everything and your hair falls out.

So anyway after my trip to the loo I was feeling brave so I rang Helen at about 2:30AM and asked her ...for tea. Just kidding. I wrote that sentence in an English accent. No, I asked her if she could please help me walk down the hallway. She held my one arm and pushed June in her little bassinet with her other arm ( babies are not allowed to be in the rooms by themselves obviously!) and oh my god the walk was the most painful 30 steps of my life. My whole body felt like it was on fire. I kept saying to myself "keep going, keep going" I thought my knees were going to give out or I was going to have a heart attack or something. But, I did it. And then walked again a few hours later, and it did keep getting easier and easier. By the next night I could walk up and down the hall alone, and use the bathroom by myself, so I took some more percocetes to celebrate and gave myself a big pat on the back!

The other thing that was hard was that I could not lift June in and out of her bassinet. Like, I just physically could not. Chris did not stay over the first night because we had Georgia at home and did not want her to feel like we neglected her, so I said I would be fine, but actually I could have used someone there to help me get June in and out while I was feeding her and then putting her back to sleep. I felt bad calling the nurses for this and did not anticipate how immobile I would really be after a c section. After a vaginal delivery you know you don't use your vagina to lift anything (hopefully) but you do use your  abdomen for everything so ...every little movement was a million times harder.

So, more of the same. I was there for 4 days and went home on Thursday early evening and made myself a little home on the couch. The pain meds just kept me so out of it, I actually can't remember too much..I just slept and fed June and watched other people clean my house and bring me things when I asked. my incision hurt less and less each day. Georgia's transition to big sister has been extremely non eventful. She is very proud of her new role and has asked to help with chores, and basically has been excellent. When the pediatrician came to the house to do June's first well check up, she told us how to "handle" Georgia, that there was going to be hitting and defiance, and I was like, "no..I don't think so." and she kind of dismissed me and said, "well yes she is  going to start hitting." I was sort of offended, but then just said to myself that she does not know Georgia at all. My god lady, don't you know my kid speaks French and does double digit addition??! We are way past hitting. Actually, we never really got into hitting. A few times here and there when she was younger, but anyway, the point is that she is doing great! She is a natural big sister!

So now I am just down to taking one motrin during the day if I need it. I walked 4 blocks to CVS yesterday which was a big deal, and I think today I am going to do my hair and put on some make up. Please contain your excitement.

So that is the 2 week post c section update. I have no updates on the baby. She just eats, and sleeps, and poops..doesn't cry a lot and is totally adorable. I'll let you know if anything changes!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

June Birth Story

So, to get right to the point, I have given birth vaginally  and I have had a c-section, and I can say without a doubt that c-section was way scarier and the recovery is much harder.

After having Georgia, I took her for a walk in her stroller like the second I returned home from the hospital. Chris and I went out to brunch with her, I was serving champagne and mimosas to any guests who came to visit, my hair and make up were somewhat done, I was in my jeans a week later. Yes, I was uncomfortable because OW pushing a person out of your crotch hurts and whatnot, but  I was not as immobile as I am 6 days after c section birth.

I can't do anything because I'm on a bunch of pain medication, and it just knocks me out. I'm not really that tired from the baby. The second baby is not as overwhelming. There is no culture shock involved. She's nursing fine, sleeping a lot. I tried yesterday to take a smaller dose of percocet and it was a disaster. I was in SO MUCH PAIN..but not really from the incision. My incision actually looks and feels really good. It's from the damn catheter. My urethra is a god damn mess I tell you! I'm going to call my doc tomorrow to make sure this is normal, but I'm pretty sure it is. The thing was up there for like 17 hours or something. More on that later! I'm sure you are excited!

So anyway, while I was awaiting my due date, I tried to read everything I could about scheduled c-sections. I tortured my friends who had them, asking them to tell me EVERYTHING.I needed to be mentally prepared. Almost like getting ready for a performance or something. I needed to imagine it happening before it actually happened. I needed a few mental run throughs, and I am so glad that I asked so many questions and was as prepared as I could possibly be, because it was really freaking scary.

I was scheduled to be in labor and delivery at 7AM on Monday, 2/2. So of course I couldn't really sleep that well the night before. Georgia was at my mom's house, Chris and I were up around 5AM, got there on time...pretty non eventful. We were the first surgery scheduled for the day, so that was helpful as far as wait times and everything.

We were called into the prep room and I met with the surgeon and anesthesia. Everyone was SO NICE. I can't even begin to say enough kind things about the O.R. team that did the surgery. I was trying really hard not to cry,but I did a few times out of nowhere during our meeting time and they were just very understanding, or pretended to be very understanding or whatever they did, it made me feel like I was in the best place possible, under the circumstances.

The next hour was pretty boring. I was just asked standard surgery questions and everything.Finally I was told I would go back to the surgery room to get ready, and then Chris would come in once surgery was about to start. the first weird things was that I walked into the operating room. I guess I thought I would be wheeled in or something. It would have been nice-I was shaking so bad I thought my knees were going to give in. I think the nurse was holding my hand. They had me sit on the bed and started explaining what they were doing (which was the spinal). There were two anesthesiologists, and the same really nice nurse. I had tears streaming down my face at this point because I was so scared and she just rubbed my legs, patted my hand and told me I would be okay. The harder I tried not to cry the more I ended up crying, and I was seriously just like FUCK STOP CRYING YOU DUMB BABY but I couldn't help it.

They laid me flat on the bed, strapped my arms down and kept checking to see how the spinal was working. It felt so weird. I could not feel anything underneath my kind of felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I just kept taking deep breaths although I could not really feel them. They put a sheet up and I could not see anything from below my neck...nor did I want to. It was fucking freezing in there and I know they put heated blankets on me in the beginning which was nice and cozy, but once I couldn't feel anything I'm sure I was strapped down with everything out for the world to see.

Shake shake shake. I could not stop shaking. I felt dizzy with fright..Chris finally came in and he said they told him not to look until he got past the sheet (LOL) so seriously I'm sure whatever position you are in for a c section is pretty bad.

I felt much better once he got there. He was nervous but held my hand and I don't event think I knew the surgery started started.

It's weird to be awake during surgery. The doctors were talking about football, the superbowl, Chris was chiming in, I just closed my eyes and pretended I was getting a massage that I could not feel and literally like 5 minutes later the surgeon said, " I see baby hair!!"

What the hell? She's almost out??!! It was such a confusing feeling, I have to say. It was so fast... I wasn't even ready. I heard a baby cry, Chris jumped out of his seat and yelled something like OMG SHE IS HERE and just started laughing and crying and he looked so relieved, happy, name it, it was on his face.

They showed me the baby, but I was basically dumbfounded. I think I cried. They took her to the infant station and I couldn't see shit, but I really didn't care because I was so shocked I couldn't even, like, think anything. I felt like I could have been shown any random baby.

That is my baby? How is that my baby? How the fuck did this happen? I'm still supposed to be pregnant.  Ugh. It was too much for me.

"Tying your tubes!" the doctor said. I think I just ignored her, but not on purpose. I just couldn't think of anything to say. What would be appropriate?  "Super! Thanks!"  I mean, I had requested it and everything but again, there was just blank space in my head.

Someone brought June over to me and I kissed her. A lot. To make up for what I was not feeling.

Please Please Please let this weird, empty feeling go away I pleaded to...someone. God? Myself? I have no idea. I just felt empty. I was empty.

Surgery was finished. The surgeon said she hated me because I was skinny again. I wanted June to go back inside. I couldn't laugh or if I did it was a fake laugh.

I was wheeled into recovery. I just stared at her. I was shaking again, probably from the morphine drip or spinal starting to wear off..who knows?

My sister Jill and best friend Kelly thankfully had been waiting and joined us in the room. They held June, took selfies with her, kissed her, snuggled her. I was so thankful they were there. I was too tired to hold her so everyone took turns. I think I slept for a while.

Finally I was set up in my room for the next few days. I was starting to feel my legs. I was starting to feel like a person. The nurses were a little worried about June because her breathing sounded weird so they wanted to take her to the NICU to be monitored.

I wasn't that upset. Being born at 37 weeks via c-section, I knew she might have some lung trouble. When the babies do not pass through the birth canal, they do not naturally expel the amniotic fluid in their lungs, and sometimes need assistance.  I had actually already told Chris that this may happen so we were both ready for it.

Chris and I kissed her again, and away she went. I felt sad that I was not sadder. Does that even make sense?

A lactation consultant came in and asked if I could pump some colostrum for her in the NICU.

Colostrum is what comes out before  breastmilk, and basically it's like liquid gold for newborns.  It has carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and antibodies that fight bacteria and viruses. I'm not like a breastfeeding asshole or anything, but I would recommend to every new mom to try to get your baby to even have a few ounces of colostrum if possible. It's good shit.

Anyway, apparently I'm like a breastfeeding rockstar, because she hand expressed  2 oz of colostrum from each boob in like 10 minutes. June was set for the next few hours in the NICU.

So that was cool. My sister, my husband, and my best friend all got to watch me be milked for a few minutes. MOOOOO Bitches.

A few hours later, June was back. She was fine. The nurse who brought her back could not believe how much colostrum I made. It was like the theme of the night.  She helped me for like two minutes to get June to latch and away we went with breastfeeding.

For both Georgia and June, I started out with "football hold" to get them to latch. It's somewhat aggressive, but I really think it works better than the classic cradle hold, and it was good for me not to put her on my abdomen since I had just had a c section.

I felt her little cheek against me as I nursed her, and WHOOOOOOSH! There it was. I loved her. I felt like my fucking heart was going to explode. My sick,empty feeling was gone. I didn't care how she came into the world, she was my daughter and I was her mother. I felt euphoric almost.

It was weird. It was probably the pain medication. But whatever. I held little June and told her I loved her, and that her sister loved her, her dad loved her and I kissed her like twenty billion times and then felt like a big shithead for how dramatic I was about the whole thing.