Today is the three-week anniversary of my baby boy's birth, so there is a lot of catching up to do. Surely, I could have posted sooner, but I have been trying to take everyone's age-old advice of "when the baby sleeps, you sleep" so my days are pretty much feed the baby, clean poop, sleep. and when I am awake and functioning, I have tried to either leave the house (me and the baby have had two solo trips so far!), read work emails, or just chill with the baby in his few waking hours.
So what follows is basically how the little man came into our world. Be warned, in true PP form, it's pretty much as raw as it gets - I've never really been one to hold back, so why start now?
The action, I guess, started the day after the last post - Friday. That morning, after some concern, my doctor thought my water broke, so I was sent the hospital. Excited with bags packed, my husband and I set off, thinking this was out last day as non-parents.
Not so much - turns out the water in my jeans was likely due to poor bladder control - though I begged to differ, as I am accused of a lot of things, but pants-peeing is not one of them (at least not since the second grade).
Home we went.
Fast forward to Monday night - after a quick late afternoon nap, I woke to get ready for my doctor's appointment, which was at 6pm. As I put my leggings on, something splashed to the ground - was it my water? Sure looked like it, but after four times of being told I was in some form of labor and no baby actually came, I didn't want to get my hopes up. Moreover, the splash was neither the large "gush" or the constant trickle.
We got to the doctor's office, told them went happened, and the three tests they do to confirm water breakage were...inconclusive. Doctor did an ultrasound and determined that my amniotic fluid was again really low - down 4 cm in a week - so that was enough for her to order an inducement - even if my water didn't break, they would induce me because my fluid was too low at that point.
Off we went again to the hospital, where they subsequently confirmed my water DID break and my contractions were every 2-3 minutes (and obviously not painful by that point because I didn't know they were happening - but that would change).
Calls were made, and enter the excited family....
The rest went down like this:
They put me on meds to speed up contractions at 1030pm. Holy pain. Once they kicked in, I tried to beat it for as long as possible before asking for the pain meds at 230am. But to be fair, I also asked for the pain meds because they said they couldn't check my dilation until I has the epi. Epi in 230am, and that was last time I felt any sort of pain. AT ALL.
I actually slept for a few hours. The next thing I knew, the doctor came in at 7am, told me I was 8 cm dilated, and again at 8am, and told me I was fully dilated, and ready to start pushing. I was like, "Baby coming! Baby coming!"
Not so fast.
I proceeded to push for 3 1/2 hours. Yeah, you read that correctly. THREE AND A HALF HOURS. To put that in perspective, my sister's friend has a baby a few days ago and pushed for 14 minutes. Granted, pushing times vary dramatically, but 3 1/2 hours is tough. It doesn't hurt, but it is exhausting - so much so that by the end, I was taking quick naps between contractions (about 90 seconds in between each push session).
After that marathon stretch, it was determined that the baby was facing up - after they shifted him to face down, it was determined that my pelvis was too small to get him through. Our options? C-section or forceps.
This is where it got emotional - not in the "why me? my body failed me!" type way, but rather in the "we got so far, and still couldn't get him out" kind of way. It was here that I started to sob, with no one able to console me.
No way was I having my child yanked out using salad tongs, so C-section it was. Within minutes I was in the OR, which was so cold I was convulsing with shivers and sobbing while they set up, numbed me and cut me open. I felt nothing but my body being kind of yanked around (not painful, more like I could tell I was being tugged). The room was so cold my hands wouldn't stay still, and my sobbing made me a complete mess. And then, about 30 minutes after it all started, at 130pm on 12.13.2011, the doctor proclaimed:
"It's a BOY!"
My son, 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches long.
First family photo
So let me pause here and talk about this moment.
The proclamation was followed immediately by a large wailing cry from MY SON. I heard my husband - who sat to my left- gasp and cry, "It's a boy!" I felt an almost indescribable mix of relief (that it was over), shock (that it was a boy, because I spent 10 months convinced it was a girl), disbelief (ohmygosh I have a kid), and exhaustion. And cold. I was just so cold. I know it probably sounds weird that "joy" wasn't an immediate reaction, but in that moment, given everything that happened - and the fact that I didn't even see my child for several minutes, and didn't hold him for the first five-ish hours, it's not that unusual that there were some initial attachment issues.
Now,that's not to say I didn't feel any positive feelings - I did, but in a kind of what-just-happened-on-my-gosh-I-have-a-son kind of way. The real "love" switch got flipped some time later up in my room, when it was just me and him hanging out, and I felt this wave of emotion - joy, love - consume me. It's kind of weird to acknoweldge this out loud, especially since I always read about people fall in love immediately with their kid and all that - and for the last few weeks I wondered if something was wrong with me. But in hindsight, I know that there was just so much going on in those hours that, between the physical and emotional exhaustion of it all, I was just out of it, depleted to the point that it was hard to really take anything in.
The family meets Baby Boy D for the first time:
Check out my enormous face - I was swelled up like a blowfish, in part due to my hour-long sobbing fest and constant IV. I was swollen for about two weeks after this to unreal proportions. Anyway - this picture was taken while I was numb from rib cage down, more exhausted than I could imagine ever being, and convulsing with cold shivers (still) and unable to hold my child. I was able to use my hands to touch my belly, which was also stunningly swollen. My mouth was so dry I could barely talk (no fluids since about 8am). Here in the recovery room, they covered me with a space blanket type thing that they pumped hot air into so that I would warm up while also allowing me to eat ice chips, which seemed to, at least briefly, counteract the heat blanket. I was a mess. Took me about an hour to regulate. I couldn't even think straight.
Aunt Ellen, breaking Baby Boy D in with a Red Vine (she didn't really feed him this, just in case someone tries to contact the authorities).
Literally hours old at this point.
Look how long he is!
One of the ultrasound photos we have is of the baby - at about 15 weeks - in this exact pose. We call it "the touchdown baby" pose. He loves being in this pose when he sleeps.
In his Christmas pjs - threatending Santa with a knuckle sandwich is he didn't get his presents on time.
So here I am, three weeks post-baby, and it's been quite a ride so far. Both me and my husband are on work leave (he goes back in two weeks, me at the end of January) so we've had a lot of "quality" time together. Some observations about these early stages of parenthood:
1. Your belly doesn't automatically disappear once the baby is out. Imagine my shock when I woke up the next morning and still looked 6 months pregnant. Not.Happy. This took about two weeks to go away, though I still have a jiggle belly, thanks to my almost-exclusive Oreo-and-RedVine-diet in that last month of pregnancy (and cake-for-breakfast holiday diet). Turns out my thighs still rub together as well. Su-weet.
2. It IS possible to projectile doody. Just ask my son. And his other favortie trick? The "fire hose." Yeah, it is what it sounds like. I think it's the sensation of the wet wipe that triggers a golden shower. Last night, during his birth announcement photo session, he was actually skilled enough to pee in his own face (and eyes). My kid's gifted. Trust it.
3. Breastfeeding? It's not natural OR easy. If I've had any issues, it's been this. And when your trying to breast feed, and your kid is struggling, it's REALLY emotional. I mean, you are soley responsbile for feeding your child so he survives, and when you can't do it, and it's 3am, and he won't latch, and your nipples are cracked and bleeding - well, let's just say epic meltdowns are bound to happen. And let's be honest, shall we? I'm not the most patient person in the world, and am also a bit of a obsessive perfectionist (understatement), so when I can't do something, I get a little nuts. The funny thing is is that - despite my own expectations and sense of failure - I must have been doing something right from the beginning, because he gained back both his birth weight and an extra pound in the first two weeks, which is really good. Knowing this, it's helped me to calm the eff down. Three weeks in and we are in a much better place. My kid's belly chub is evidence of this.
4. Speaking of BF - holy boobs. People weren't kidding when they said they would double in size when my milk comes in. Pregnancy blew them up, but BF has turned them into a completely different beast all together. That's all I have to say about that without giving my blog it's own warning label for explicit material.
5. Boob size ineviatbley leads me to think about returning to running, and how on earth I am going to start logging miles with these jugs bouncing around. I have no idea yet, and haven't gotten clearence anyways (given my C-section incision that still healing) but since I will continue to breast feed and thus the mild will be plentiful, I have to figure this out. Plus, BF makes you really tired, so getting back to the gym hasn't happened as I had hoped. I am aiming for sometime in the next few days, as we continue to get our schedule nailed down.
6. I'd say I have about 20 pounds of fat to get rid of at this point. Although I didn't get weighed at the last doctor's appointment (because I was in labor), best estimate for total pregnancy weight gain is about 45 pounds. Yeah, I know. Its about 10-15 more than the books say you should gain, but I was on and off bedrest for the last three months and pretty much stuck on the couch, so I guess I was bound to gain a bit more. And like I mentioned earlier, damn Oreos were the end of me. I swore I wouldn't be that girl, but here I am - 20 pounds of non-baby fat to run off. Superb.
So that should catch us up to speed on the last three weeks. I am hesitant to comment on the fact that our child is about as chill as they come, and for all intents and purposes, has been really...easy. We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop - for colic to set it, for brying jags that last all night to hit - but so far we have been really lucky. And I stress lucky, because I certainly have nothing to do with it - what with my lunatic temprement and all.
I am sure I will have some more Tales of Parenthood as we go on, and I'll squeeze them in between dodging poo rockets and being milked like a cow.