Tuesday, I cried…

Hard. Like, sobbing, snot-filled tears.

I was trying to lay down and rest. HH was with me, as he needed to rest for work. All of a sudden, I just started crying and could not stop.

He grabbed me and hugged me and asked, “what’s wrong? Talk to me.”

People, I had no idea. I had had a convo with my mom that was slightly irritating, but nothing major. I just had a general feeling of anxiety and being overwhelmed. So, that’s what I told him. He just held me, rubbed my back until I could calm down.

Then uttered his new favorite phrase: “you need to get some rest.”

To be fair, I don’t know how many hours of sleep I was operating with. Probably not many. The ol’ “rest when she rests” sometimes proves easier said than done. Sometimes she’s resting and I’m wide awake and cannot force myself to sleep. And – of course – when she’s fussy, hungry, or just wanting some skin to skin time, I feel dead to the world. Right now, I am not giving her a pacifier or bottle until we have our follow up with the lactation consultant. So all meals are on me, literally.

Back to the ugly cry. I cried so hard that my eyes were swollen and it looked like I had an allergic reaction to something. I think that alarmed HH, so he immediately became the Rest Police. He gave me a pain med for my surgery site, and sent me to bed. Baby L had just laid down. When he left for work, he had mom come in and stay with me so that whenever Baby L woke up, I just had to feed her. Mom changed diapers and burped her and rocked her back to sleep as necessary.

And I got some rest.

This has been our routine for the past couple of nights, and it has worked well. Except last night, because after the 3:45am feeding, mom and I ended up staying up talking. Oops. Don’t tell the Rest Police.

But on Tuesday? I definitely cried.

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Labor of Love

Baby L decided to start her grand entrance into the world around 6:15pm on 11/12. It took me a good 30-45 minutes to realize what was going down. The contractions were like 15 minutes apart, and felt like menstrual cramps. I thought maybe I’d had too much ice cream.

Around 7:00, I shot a text to Middle Dolly and asked her how her contractions felt when she had my niece. She described the same feeling I was having. By that time, they had moved to about 10 minutes apart, and stayed that way until early the next morning.

I tried to get some rest that night, but it was hard, after the intensity got worse. They were waking me out of my sleep. I called the physician on call around 2:00am, and he advised that I could continue to labor at home at that point, until they got to 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration.

By 5:30, the 30 seconds of contraction pain was getting to critical mass. I told HH (via text) that was going to wake mom up and head to the hospital. 5 minutes apart my behind. I couldn’t talk through those things and I was over it dot org. At one point, I just remember not being able to move from the bathroom floor. I literally just laid out on the cool tiles thinking, I might have this baby right here. Let me get myself up.

We made it to the hospital in one piece, and without getting lost (if you follow me on Twitter, you know why that is significant, lol). I made my way up to maternity while mom parked the car. I had pre-registered, so I only had a few forms to sign. My first nurse of the day was Michelle. She had a nursing student in tow, but at that point, I didn’t mind. Which is interesting, because on the birthing plan I filled out (and forgot to bring), I actually indicated that I did not want any nursing students to observe. She seemed nice – and nervous – and I felt like I didn’t want to rob her of a chance to observe.

Michelle checked me and I was 3-4 cms dilated. I was also hooked up to the monitors to checks contractions, my blood pressure, and baby’s heart rate. At that point, the pain was still at a tolerable (but not pleasant) level. Michelle could see when my contractions were about to hit, and of course, I could feel them. At that point, I thanked Stacy and every other yoga instructor I’ve had for teaching me the proper way to breathe deeply. That’s the only way I got through each contraction. They took blood to check my platelets and they were at 122. Yay!

Once I got moved to a birthing suite, it just became a waiting game. HH made it here from work, and after that, he and mom did their best to help me with comfort mechanisms. The contractions were getting more and more intense. I really had intended to tolerate them as long as I could before introducing an epidural, but they became so intense each time one hit. I was using my yoga breathing and doing pretty well, and then one hit that was so bad…I just started crying. HH just looked like he wished he could switch places with me. Mom was rubbing my arm and shoulder and telling me it was ok and to cry if I needed to.

I decided to “tap out,” and asked my nurse to please get the anesthesiologist for the epidural. All my fear of that needle in my back flew out the window. The process was actually more tolerable than I thought it would be. However, due to it being a “procedure,” only one extra person could be in the room. HH went to the waiting area and mom stayed here. The anesthesiologist was very nice and explained each step in the procedure. Nurse Michelle was awesome and held my hands/shoulders while the epidural was done.

Once that kicked in, I could tolerate the contractions, and the nurse indicated I was at 6 cms. The only down side is that I could not move around. The nurse kept having to come in and turn me from side to side. My left side was ridiculously numb, and I could barely move that leg. It would periodically slide down off the bed, and mom or HH would have to put or back on the bed. LOL

By the time I got to the third nurse of the day, I was wiped. I was hooked up to everything you can think of: Foley catheter since I couldn’t get up to the bathroom, IV for meds, and blood pressure cuff to keep track of my BP. All these numbers were on the same monitor screen, and mom kept looking at them periodically and let me know. The nurses at the nursing station could also see.

At one point they brought me a “clear liquids” dinner: chicken broth, sprite, apple juice, and jello. HH moved the bed up so I could sit up and drink. I got like 1.5 sips of broth and then the nurses came in to say that sitting up was making Baby L’s heart rate decrease. So, I was forced to lay back down and I never got my dinner.

They kept checking me and kept saying, “still at 6cms.” The next step was to insert a monitor to determine if my contractions simply weren’t strong enough. After delaying as long as he could, the doctor came in and advised that the contractions were indeed strong enough, but his concern was that the baby’s head was not moving down. He wouldn’t have cared about the 6 cms if she was progressing. He looked as disappointed as I was, when he said he felt surgical intervention was needed. However, he left the decision totally up to me. By that time, I’d been having contractions for over 24 hours. I told him that I didn’t want to be having this conversation with him 9 hours from now, so let’s just proceed. I must’ve burst into tears for the third time that evening, bringing forth the part of my mom’s personality that I love…she said at the end of the day, the goal was to get Baby L here safely and for me to be healthy. I dried up my tears and gave the go ahead.

I listened to the childbirth ed lecture on C-sections, but never thought I’d be having one. There are so many doctors and nurses in with you. HH sat at my head, and there was a big curtain up, so we couldn’t see the actual surgery. The doctors started cutting and chatting about their travel plans. LOL! I actually started feeling a little sleepy. Next thing I know, they were telling me I was going to feel some pressure. It felt like someone was pushing down on my stomach. Then she was out!

They whisked her over to the warming table for examination and I didn’t see her for like 15 seconds, but I could hear her crying. Then they held her up so I could see, and I just started crying. I remember thinking, I’m that little girl’s mother!” HH took some pics of her on the table and her being weighed. Everyone wanted to know her name, and we told them. One of the nurses took a pic of the three of us together. Next thing I know, the room was clearing out, they had sewed me up, and were moving me from the surgery table back to my bed, so I could be wheeled to recovery. I was completely numb/paralyzed from the waist down. It was such a weird feeling to have them rocking me back and forth and feeling like I was outside my body.

In recovery, I was cold and shivering, and they had to bring me heated blankets. They were ready for me to start skin to skin contact with her, but I wanted to wait until I stopped shivering. Eventually, I did get to hold her and look at her beautiful little face close up.

When I look at her now (1 week out…because I started this a week ago, but as you can imagine, it took a while to finish), it was all worth it. Swollen feet, numb heels, prednisone, headaches, and even those ridiculous contractions. Now, I look forward to learning from her, and doing a better job of living in the present.

Dear Dad

This time three years ago, I couldn’t sleep. Of course, for a vastly different reason than having a baby on my bladder. I was worried about you. When I left you in the hospital that night, I was scared that you would not make it to Fra.ncis Hou.se.

I was right.

You left us peacefully, in your sleep, around 7:00am. We were going to move you at 9:00am. I knew you did NOT want to be in that hospital, but we couldn’t take you home. The doctors had given you 2 weeks, but they rarely are able to pinpoint it exactly. It was just a guess.

It seems crazy that it’s been 3 years. Lots of happy events have come our way since then. Granny is 101! And she’s still the most sarcastic one on that side of the family. Aunt Shirley and Aunt Betty have been checking in on me. When I talk to them, it’s like talking to you sometimes (especially when they imitate your voice and phrasing, lol).

I was watching Y and R with Mom yesterday, and she wanted to know why Victor was still alive. Seriously? LOL! I told her how we used to talk about Y and R and Victor’s shenanigans. I’m so glad you survived dating her in the teen years, even though she admits she threw your engagement ring at you several times. Thanks for hanging in there, or I wouldn’t be here.

HH is a great husband. I don’t know his exact conversation with you in the hospital three years ago, but I feel like he made some promises and he is living up to them. He makes me laugh at least once a day, and we are just focused on making our way through life together.

I was hoping that your youngest granddaughter might make her way out today. But, as I’ve learned, there are some pieces of life I just can’t control. However, if you want to have a chat with her, feel free. 🙂 Meanwhile, I’ll let Mom take me on another walk today (translation: I will go walking with her so that she doesn’t get lost again. LOL)

We all miss you, and sometimes I want to pick up my phone and call you. Your number is still in here. I can’t bring myself to erase it yet. I will, at some point. I just wanted to check in before this day gets cranked up.

I love you!

Let’s Play Catch Up

Hey peeps! Time has been flying by, and I haven’t been too anxious to blog. I have been venting on twitter as needed.

I had my shower on 10/19 and we had a blast! I missed having my sisters and mom there, but my aunts drove up from Savannah. It always feels like my dad is around when they are there. We’ve started organizing everything, and just need to finish putting things away. I need to get to the thank you cards as well.

Mom got here on 10/27. I was kinda hoping Baby H would be early, but this chick is yet holding on. No thinning, dilation, nothing. Straight chillin in the womb.

Speaking of, we’ve hit a little snag with gestational thrombocytopenia. In plain English, that means my platelet counts have dropped. Why does it matter? Well, none of the anesthesiologists at the hospital where I’m delivering will give me an epidural if my count is below 100K. I’ve been to the hematologist for testing and started taking prednisone at the end of last week.

Let me tell you about prednisone. It is the devil. I have been having headaches since I woke up Saturday morning. Matter of fact, just one long azzed headache. Today it was so severe that my head hurt any time I moved it off center. HH came home and ran up to hug me and hit my head with his torso and I just started crying. He immediately determined that he would drive me to the hematologist and to work.

I just leaned my seat back and took the ride. When we got to the doctor’s office, the nurses all wanted to be chatty about my due date, etc. and I was not in the mood. Can’t you see I feel like death warmed up?

The phlebotomist took my blood sample and I think she thought she bruised me because I just sat there with my eyes closed and tears streaming down. Like, I could not stop crying from the pain. And the more I tried to stop myself, the more they fell (I really hate to cry in public).

They took me to the exam room, and the nurse came in and told me she was waiting for my results, and I nodded my head. Then she asked what was wrong and what she could do to help. I know I burst into what had to be the UGLIEST cry of 2013. It was probably fugly. I choked out how much my head was hurting and how I’ve been having these headaches since Saturday. She told me she’d check with the doctor, but she suspected it was the prednisone.

Stupid medicine.

She came back and said that he said it was indeed the meds. So I asked her, “well do we at least have some results for all this pain?!?” She told me my platelets had gone up from 95K to 97K. Womp Womp! 2K? But I guess that’s better than nothing.

My dosage has been dropped from 80mg to 60mg, and I’m hoping that will help. We left, and HH stopped at the store to get me some Tylenol. By the time I got to work, it seemed to be kicking in.

Everyone at work wants to know when I’m going to stop working. Problem is, if I am not written out medically, it will eat into my time. So I have to talk to my doc about it Thursday. If she doesn’t write me out, then I will be in there doing the bare minimum next week as well. *sigh*

Or, Baby H could just come on in the room. Because we’re certainly ready to meet her. 🙂 plus, being on prednisone slows her movements down, and that sort of freaks me out. I’m sure she’s tired of me eating/drinking cold stuff to make her move. Nerve wracking.

I have enjoyed pregnancy up to week 38, but I am not going to be disappointed if she comes out before the 16th.

So, now we’re caught up. Hope everyone is doing well. I hope the next time I check in, it’s to tell you that she made it here safely!