Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Birth Story: Part 2

We did it. Seven days later, and Maddie is still alive folks!! And I'd like to say that she's a little machine. Girlfriend can cry, nurse, and poop mustard all while sleeping! It must be awesome being a newborn. Except for the whole mustard thing. I'm not too sure I'd feel great about pooping that out. But whatever, she handles it like a boss.

So I know all of you are sitting on the edge of your seat to hear the rest of the this birth story. So let's get started.

After the nurse told me about the merconium, my mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. Maddie would stop breathing and she would either be flown to Arkansas Children's Hospital or worse, we would be leaving the hospital without her. I'm sure I looked like a ghost when the nurse explained what could happen. But there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing. And that was the worst part.

The nurse gave me an IV below my right hand. I can usually handle IV's, but this was the first one I've had in that spot. The tape was pulling my arm hair and the IV never felt "in place" so that was extremely uncomfortable until they took it out after I gave birth. But honestly, I would take "extremely uncomfortable" over any contraction.

Ohhh, contractions. Where do I even start with this one. When I was first hooked up to the monitors the nurse would tell me when I was having a contraction. I laughed saying, "I don't even feel it!!" and she said "you will." and BOY did I!!! I didn't feel my first until around midnight. I was still 1cm dilated and thought maybe, just maybe I could handle this birth thing like a champ. Then 2:00 rolls around and they started to get stronger. The nurse slipped me some pain medication which made me feel loopy and I wish I never got it. I felt drunk. But not the fun kind of drunk. The "ugh, I need to sleep with one foot on the ground" type of drunk. The nurse checked me again (which if we're being honest, she was rather aggressive) and I wasn't making any progress, so at 4:00 the pitocin started.

Side note: through all of this, I was still feeling "the gush" down below and it was awful. I swore I ruined the hospital bed because the towels just weren't enough. I felt gross and... warm. Yuck!

The pitocin obviously did it's job. It sped things right along and I was slapped in the face with some massive contractions. I would watch the monitor and warn Nate what was about to happen. At one point he asked if he could feel my stomach during one....

I was in so much pain that I started singing Sponge Bob Squarepants really loud in order to pass the time. One of the nurses was in the room during one of my episodes and had no idea what I was saying. If I remember correctly she asked me if I needed a sponge. No. Just no.

Some of the contractions were longer than others and I hated everything in that room at that point. I asked Nate if he could secretly rip the machine that was giving me pitocin out of the wall... he said no, so I eventually hated him too.

When I was FINALLY 3cm, the new nurse asked if I wanted an epidural.

Umm..... are you crazy?! YES. Get me an epidural. Like yesterday. Thanks.

She was really nice and I liked her, not because she's the one who allowed me to get an epidural but really, she was nice and funny and she changed my towels often. So I loved her. The anesthesiologist/my new BFF didn't arrive until 7:00 so I had to wait about 30 minutes until I could get the miracle drug. And I wanted it.... bad. You guys!! Whoever said contractions feel like strong period cramps LIED. NO! It feels like you're dying for 60 seconds... then you have to die again. And again.

The anesth... I can never remember how to spell it, so I'm just going with BFF.... my new BFF, Jason, came in my room a little after 7:00 with all of his gear. I was so ready to get the party started that I totally forgot about my contractions... well, until I had another contraction. And I had another one. Annnnd another. I screamed the F word a dozen times and maybe shouted a few "WHY ME!!!! WHYYY" but we eventually got through it and my epidural was in. My left side felt more numb than my right but I didn't care. I was finally ready for battle and nothing was going to stand in my way of getting this babe out of me.

The epidural was amazing besides the fact that it made me feel really cold. I didn't know if it was just nerves or the medicine but I was literally shaking and no matter how many warm blankets I had, nothing was helping.

By 11:00 I was 9cm dilated and the nurse let us know that it would be time to push in about 30 minutes. THIRTY. MINUTES. We did some practice pushes and I informed her that I couldn't feel enough to push so we should probably turn the epi down. This would delay pushing another half hour, but I didn't want to not feel anything, ya know? So we waited. Shish was about to get real in that hospital room and I was incredibly unprepared for what was about to happen.

It was 12:00 and my legs were put in stirrups. They felt like they weighed a 100 pounds. I couldn't lift them so I had a little help from my friends. We were in position. and it was time to push.

Since my epi was turned down I could feel when a contraction was on its way. You could also look in the monitor but I knew before it showed up on the screen.

"Here's one"
"Ready, push.... 1....2...3...4...5...6...7...8....9..10
deep breath, push again... 1...2...3...4...5...6....7....8...9...10
deep breath, and again... "

We pushed for 30 seconds each contraction. I was given some good advice beforehand and pushed with my stomach muscles and not like I was pooping. We were making progress... quickly...

After pushing for about 10 minutes, Maddie's heart rate dropped. The nurse said to call my doctor and have him make his way over to our room as soon as possible. No one panicked, except for me. I could hear the machine with her heart rate and I had every bad thought running through my head. Every time I pushed, her heart rate would drop which made the nurse believe the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.

And there was nothing i could do besides push. And I pushed hard. We continued to push every contraction and my doctor finally made his way into our room.

12:23 pm I felt a contraction coming, and we started....


"We have a baby!!!"

and I could see it. The cord.

Although it may look like it in the pictures, she wasn't crying, and I was worried. I kept asking, "is she ok?!" "what's wrong?"

I wanted to hear that terrible newborn cry so badly, but we didn't.

They let me do skin to skin for about 60 seconds. She wasn't breathing right, so they suctioned a lot of fluid out of her lungs. They then took her straight to the nursery.

I honestly didn't know what to think. For one, I just had a baby. I was in shock that we made her. She was mine. And she wasn't doing very well, which broke my heart into pieces. I just wanted her to be ok, and then I would be ok. I knew then that I was a mom... a real mom. 

 I don't know how long it was until we saw her again but it was the sweetest moment of my life. She had more color and was breathing normally. She was perfect.

We did the whole breastfeeding challenge which was comical but she latched! We didn't get very far with that but I didn't mind, I was just happy that she was happy and warm and with us.

Little did I know, the "afterbirth" war had begun. The epidural was gone and a nice young nurse came and pushed on my stomach... and by "pushed" I mean, made me feel like my insides were coming out. That was just the beginning of my recovery....

Part 3: recovery. holy shiz, it's no joke.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Birth Story: Part 1

Well it happened. The day I've been waiting for the past 10 months. After 15 hours of labor, Madeline Ray arrived on Wednesday August 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm with 10 fingers and 10 toes. It was probably the worst yet most exciting time of my life so while it's fresh on the mind I figured it's a good time to share our birth story/I got to have a nap today AND a shower, so I'm feeling good.

Where to begin. Ah, yes.... Tuesday afternoon. 3 days until the due date.

I woke up feeling ok. I hadn't been sleeping well since the beginning of this pregnancy but lately it had gotten worse. I was waking up at 1:30 and would stay up until Nate's alarm went off for work at around 6:30. I would nap when he left, then I would get on with my day. This lasted for a couple days and I knew something was surely about to happen. SURELY. I was 0 cm dilated according to my last doctors visit, and had another one on Wednesday that I was looking forward to. I was doing everything you're supposed to do to jumpstart labor. Pineapple, walking, spicy food, cuddling with your husband..... NOTHING was working. Girlfriend was comfortable in there but I was praying to be at least 1 cm dilated at my appointment the next day. So I continued my pineapple-walking-spicy food routine on Tuesday morning beginning with a walk around the neighborhood with Emily. A couple hours later, something was different. I started feeling something I haven't felt in months... cramps. I sent Nate a text letting him know, just in case...

Two hours later... the cramping stopped. I was using the restroom a lot so I figured I was mistaking the cramps for a stomach ache. So, I continued on with my day and forgot about it. At this point, I was prepared to be pregnant for another couple weeks because of how little progress I was making at my appointments, so the cramps didn't worry me at all. When Nate got home from work, I was making BLT's and he asked me how I was doing. I was fine and told him it was just a false alarm. After dinner, Nate wanted to watch the newly released Spider Man 2 movie and we made a trip to a nearby redbox. When we were on the way, I mentioned that I started to feel "different" again but didn't think anything of it since the cramping stopped earlier in the day... they'll probably stop again.

8:40 p.m.

We got home, popped the movie in, Nate and I met in the middle on the volume level (he likes to feel like he's literally in the movie) and I opened a bottle of root beer and got relaxed on the sofa. "Ahhh..."  but in typical pregnant fashion, as soon as I got comfortable I had to pee. I got up and again mentioned how different I felt as I made my way towards the loo. Warning: the next part may be TMI. I got to the bathroom and did my usual business. Squeezed a pee out, wiped, and got up. Before I flushed I looked into the toilet and noticed that it didn't look like my normal pee. There was something in it.... blood. As soon as I realized what was happening I felt something start to come out of me so I sat down on the toilet again and there it was... THE gush. My water broke.

I screamed for Nate and he and Emily came running into the bathroom.

"I think my water just broke" **more trickles into the toilet** "and I think it's still breaking"

I started to cry, Nate lost all of the color in his face and said "let's go".

Nate grabbed the hospital bags, I changed clothes and put a roll of toilet paper in my pants and we headed out the door. Fluid was pouring out of me and I was scared. I won't describe what it looked like but just know that the movies lie to you with that clear crap.

On the way to the hospital, I wasn't feeling contractions, I wasn't feeling cramps, I wasn't feeling anything labor related. I WAS feeling: like i was peeing my pants, nervous that something was wrong, and 100% not ready to have a baby.

We got to the hospital. Finally. And we made our way to labor and delivery. A trail of fluid was following us from behind. It was really a red carpet moment.

I checked in, and they got our room ready. I was told to take everything off and put a gown on and they made sure that my water in fact DID break and they let me know that it would continue to break until I delivered.

"Um, I'm sorry... you're telling me that I'm going to pee myself the rest of the night?"
"Yes ma'am"


And then the nurse said something no one was expecting:

"that brown stuff you saw in your water and what we're seeing now is called merconium, so the nurses may take her right away in case she inhales it and stops breathing"


To be continued.. 

Part 2 will include: contractions, epidural, the beginning of pushing, and the nurse telling us the umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My thoughts on BREASTMILK

... the movie. A movie specifically on breastfeeding. And even if you're not a mom, don't plan to be a mom, or don't care about it in general, hear me out.

Before I start rambling, I should mention that while I would love to give you my opinion on actual breastfeeding, I don't think my thoughts or opinions really matter on the subject. Just know that I'm excited and grossed out all at the same time. I think the only opinion I want you to know is that I hate seeing breastfeeding pictures on instagram or Facebook. I think how you feed your baby is your business and I think some moms share their breastfeeding boobies just to get a rise out of people. Just feed your freakin' kid and move on, ok?! ok.

I think the movie is something every woman should see. It shows you what our bodies are capable of and how we're engineered to grow healthy babies. It's pretty neat. I learned that you don't have to have a baby to produce milk (weird, right?) and if you are breastfeeding, breastmilk will leak out of you in the most inconvenient times (ya know, like when you're in bed with your husband/whatever your sleeping with) WHO KNEW?! I mean, I knew they leaked, but not in an intimate moment. I also learned that some women use their breastmilk in their food. One woman proved that by squeezing her breast into her eggs... then she made an omelette with those eggs. I CAN'T. 

I paused the movie several times, wiped sweat from my forehead, and turned away 90% of the movie. The different scenes of boobs expressing milk into the air literally made me gag, and I almost decided it was time to turn the movie off. The film was also up close and personal with pumping. If you've ever seen a nipple being pumped, good for you... I have not been graced with that vision before yesterday, so you can imagine the look on my face when I saw it for the first time. Here's what it reminded me of:

just let that sink in for a bit. 

The women you meet throughout the film had all the same thoughts I'm having right now. 

"Will I make enough milk?"
"What if it doesn't work?"
"will the baby latch?"
"how do I know she's latched?"
"I don't want to use formula"

yada, yada, yada. It was comforting knowing that I'm not alone. It was also interesting to see that a majority of those women eventually went to formula and only a couple exclusively breastfed. It lowered my confidence at times, but also made sense in the fact that this is really hard and time consuming. It's going to take a lot of patience. A LOT. And since I'm not working, it can be something we (the baby and myself) can focus on. 

I wouldn't recommend eating anything while watching this movie. If you have a weak stomach, this isn't for you. I know my thoughts will probably change once baby Maddie arrives, but for now this subject makes me cringe even though I'm 100% for it. It's totally weird, I know. So obviously I had to blog about it. Does anyone else feel this way about breastmilk? am I just immature? What are your thoughts?