Friday, June 24, 2011

was that a bus?

I feel like I may have been run over. The fatigue is seriously out of this world. I feel terrible for admitting that, but I am exhausted beyond belief and I just can't figure out why. There are a few factors that may be contributing to it, but I'm not quite sure how to pinpoint which one is causing it. And, no, it's probably not the baby. You see my little bundle of joy is sleeping through the night. Yep, she's four weeks old and has gone 6-8 hour stretches for the past week. She actually probably would have done that starting at birth if it weren't for the pesky weight gain problems. I usually go to bed at 9/9:30 and then wake up to pump when MBL feeds her a bottle between 4-5am. That means I am getting 6-7 hours of sleep in a row myself and, then, usually 2-3 more hours after that. I'm up for at least 45 minutes to pump and help MBL with the feeding/diaper changing, but then I am usually able to go right back to bed. With that amount of sleep, why am I so tired? I seriously feel like I am being robbed of these first few precious weeks with Piper because I am a zombie! I felt better for a few days this week, but yesterday and today, OH BOY!

I'm wondering if maybe it's the that is making me so tired. One of the side effects is fatigue and another is restlessness... The weird thing is when I get so exhausted, I end up feeling like my hands have restless leg syndrome (if that makes any sense). Another thing I think it might be, and this seems totally crazy (and perhaps a little TMI), but my post partum bleeding has always been light and it stopped late last week. Then all of a sudden in the middle of this week it picked back up and is bright red. I'm wondering if it's PPAF?? Someone posted on my due date board that they felt exhausted because of it and maybe that's why I've been having the hit-by-a-bus feelings? I just wish I could get to the bottom of it because every day when I start feeling this way I want to give up on pumping and I feel TERRIBLE about that! I want to be able to provide Piper with some breastmilk (she gets about 40% BM and 60% formula), but it's draining! Perhaps that's not a good enough reason to give up? Pumping is hard and I wasn't prepared for our feeding issues and the extra work it takes to BOTH bottle feed and pump all day by myself. Maybe that's why I'm tired?

Sorry to be so darn whiney when so many of you would love to be in my shoes. I just wish I was prepared for how tired I am and I wish I had a solution for it. I don't want to walk around like a zombie during these precious months!! I guess part of it too is the fact that most of my friends do not have babies, so I don't have anyone to turn to and see if my feelings are normal and when do they end? It reminds me a lot of when we were going through IF... I felt so alone and confused and wishing there was someone there to tell me it was all going to be okay. BTDT moms, will it all be okay? Will I ever feel rested again? Am I going to be able to enjoy my baby without feeling like I'm going to collapse? Help!

Friday, June 17, 2011

the good, the bad, and the sometimes sad

Piper is 23 days old today. I can hardly believe that my baby has already been out of my body for three weeks! They have been the shortest three weeks of my life. Time is flying by already!

The good of the past three weeks? Getting to know my sweet daughter! And getting to know myself as a mom. I kind of feel like I was thrown into this role and I'm having an interesting time figuring it all out. I told MBL that I'm making it up as I go. For example? I read that I should keep noises at a normal level during the day so that Piper knows it's day time. So, I also decided that I should make her naps different than when we put her to sleep at night. At night we swaddle her and turn on her white noise maker and have the room very quiet. During the day I have her sleep in her swing or her bouncy and I don't swaddle her so that she sleeps lightly. I have no idea if this is "right", but it's what I'm doing for now. The good is that she seems to have straightened out her days and nights pretty well. She always goes at least 3 hours at night and more often than not goes 4-5. We've even had two nights of 6-7 hours in a row!! I consider us to be very lucky for that and pray that our stretches of sleep just get longer and more consistent. Another good thing is that I am already down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Actually, as of today, I am one pound below it. I still have 13-16 pounds to go before I'm at my pre-IF/comfy weight, but I'm glad to be closer to it!! I know it's vain to care about my weight when my baby is only three weeks old, but since I'm by no means a stick, I figure it's okay to be happy about smaller numbers on the scale! And since we plan on trying again when we get the green light from the doc, I'd like to reach that number in the next few months.

The bad? The only things I can think to put in this category are the fact that MBL had to go back to work this week (after having three weeks off) and the lack of sleep. The latter point? OH. MY. GOODNESS. There are days when I totally understand why some people choose to be one and done. I have never been so tired in my life. The funny thing is that each night I get between 7-9 hours of sleep, but those hours aren't consecutive and that, apparently, is key. Taking several 3-5 hour naps over a period of 12 hours and being awake for 30-60 minutes here and there during that time is not what my body enjoys. I'm not suprised by the fact that I have to get up several times a night, I'm just surprised by how much I resemble a zombie by mid-afternoon and how I long to go to bed at 6pm each day.

And now, the sad. What could be sad about having a baby after IF? Well, being reminded once again that my body doesn't like to do what it should and feeling like a failure because of it. Prior to Piper coming, I wasn't that excited about breastfeeding, but I knew I wanted to do it because that is what is best for the baby. So, I went to a class and intended on being gung-ho about the whole thing for the sake of Piper. Well...what I was not planning on was having a total crap supply. As it turns out, I am not a human cow. Right after Piper was born, the hospital did their best to get her to latch and feed right away, but it was a few hours before we got our first feed in. Then, the next day, she went 8 hours without eating a lot. Not for lack of effort, she just wouldn't stay awake long enough to get what she needed. The LC at the hospital ended up having my pump and feeding Piper through a tube (using her finger). I thought we were just off to a rocky start and that soon I would be overflowing. Nope. At Piper's 8 day appointment, she was still at the weight at which she left the hospital. I nearly burst into tears at the doctor's office. I went and met with a lactation consultation who basically told me that the problem was me. Simply put, I was not making enough to make Piper gain weight. That night we had to start supplementing because Piper was inconsolable. Talk about feeling like a total crap parent. My baby was hungry because my body can't do what it should. The supply issues have hit me harder than I imagined. I have friends and even a cousin who have similar issues and I always thought, "Oh poor them" while simultaneously thinking, "I'm sure that won't happen to me." Which, incidentally, is exactly how I used to view IF. Something that happens to other people, not me. It makes me incredibly sad that I can't provide Piper with all the nutrition she needs. I'm taking medication and supplements and my supply still hasn't gotten to where it needs to be. Oh, and I have to pump instead of nurse because Piper doesn't empty me when she nurses and otherwise I'd have to pump AFTER I nursed AND try to feed Piper the additional ounces she needs. The whole thing is completely frustrating and infuriating!! I'd like my body to just work a little bit better (please?).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

birth story continued!

All right, I'm back to continue my birth story!

So when I left off I had asked for nu.bain to help with the contractions and, like I said, it basically didn't give pain relief but just made me care less about the pain I was in. What I really think would have helped with all the contractions is a heating pad. I brought my own from home, but upon arrival was told I couldn't use it because it had not been approved by the hospital. BOOO!! They did get me one of their "heating pads" but it didn't work very well and did not get as warm as I needed it to be. My mom and MBL were great help during the contractions, MBL would come rub my arm or hold my hand and my mom would put counter pressure on my hip. It was awesome to have their help! I actually ended up feeling the most relief when MBL came and got into the hospital bed with me and just snuggled me. Something about having his presence so close helped me relax and made the contractions more bearable.

FINALLY, it was 3:00!! The anesthesiologist came and talked to me about the spinal and how things would go once we were in the operating room. My main concern was that I would throw up while on the table. He told me that most people do and that it wasn't a big deal...not exactly what I wanted to hear. I told him I wanted an anti nausea med with my spinal and he said he would give me one if I needed it. He then gave me a salty tasting drink that he said would make my stomach less acidic in case I did throw up. They then brought in the wheelchair for me and loaded me up. Once we got into the operating room, I started shaking (I was told it was from nerves and all my hormones). I kept praying that I would have a contraction before they started the spinal so I wouldn't flinch when there was a needle in my spine and, thankfully, I had one right before he started. The spinal itself was not bad, I jerked a bit when he went in with it, but I think it's because he hit a nerve that made my foot move. They reminded me to stay perfectly still. Once the spinal was in I could feel the medicine rushing into my spine and as soon as he was done, they made me lay down immediately and started getting me prepped for the section. The anesthesiologist was upset because my OB wasn't there yet and apparently once they do the spinal they like to have the doc in immediately. I later found out from my husband that she had gone to OB triage thinking we were there and that's why she was late. He said he knew it was her running because of the click clack of her heels. My OB has fantastic style :). The rest was kind of a blur, MBL came in and sat by my head and held my hand. They tested my belly to make sure I was numb and then started cutting. They were very chatty through the whole thing, like it was no big deal. It actually made me feel better to hear them bantering. In what seemed like mere seconds, I heard a cry and my OB was yelling, "Lower the curtain, lower the curtain!!". She then held out my daughter for me to see and then went and plopped her on the warmer.

I was in shock that a real baby just came out of me. To be honest, whenever I heard women talking about wanting "to be present" during their births, I was confused. How could you not be present? Now I totally get it. Having a csection was a completely bizarre experience...and it felt so surreal to have a baby just pulled out of me. Oh, and I should mention that when the pulled her out, the OB said, "A double cord!" As it turns out, Piper had the cord wrapped around her neck TWICE. And that is why they don't let first time moms deliver breech babies, because there is no way to tell if the cord is around the neck until the baby is in distress. Anyways, MBL left my side and went over to the warmer where he asked the nurse if he could touch Piper and she was like, "Of course, she's your baby!" The csection team was awesome! They thought MBL was so cute in his shorts and scrubs that they were taking pictures of him. They made the whole experience so wonderful. After I was sewn back up, they wheeled me to recovery with Piper and MBL. They gave me water and tried to get Piper to breastfeed. This part of the section was a total mess...Piper wouldn't latch and was screaming and I started throwing up. I am impressed that the hospital did such a great job of trying to get BFing started right away, but it just didn't work out for me.

After an hour in recovery, they wheeled me to my post partum room where my mom was waiting to meet her new granddaughter. The first night in the hospital was not the greatest as I was hooked up to all sorts of machines and the one taking my pulse kept alarming because I kept dropping below 50bpm (I have a low resting pulse when I'm not pregnant) and they refused to shut it off until 4am. I ended up being quite exhausted on Thursday, but I was blessed to have loads of visitors who wanted to meet Piper. Those first few days with her in the hospital were just magical, with visitors stopping by to see our new little one and having time to bond with MBL and our new addition. All in all, even though my birth story is not what I was imagining it would be, I feel so blessed to have a beautiful daughter who got here safely.

Oh, and one interesting point is that my hospital doesn't do VBACs due to the risk of uterine rupture. So it looks like if/when we're blessed with another little one, I will be having another csection. Pretty crazy!

Here is another picture, of MBL snuggling with Piper:

Friday, June 3, 2011

she's here!!!

Sorry I've been MIA... I have a good reason, our baby arrived last Wednesday!! Here are the stats:

Name: Piper June
Birthdate: May 25, 2011
Weight: 7lb
Height: 20.5 inches

I went to my doctor last Tuesday (may 24) for a NST and my weekly checkup. The baby did not move at all the first 20 minutes, but then passed the test the second 20 minutes. The doc checked me and I was 3-4cm dilated at the bottom of my cervix and 2cm at the top. She said that I was dilating like a woman who had given birth before. She scheduled my induction for May 31st in the evening. I told her that I was too concerned to wait that long and asked if there was anything else we could do. The night before my appointment, Piper hadn't moved at all over an hour and I just about had a heart attack. So... I was not keen on waiting a whole week for my induction, not knowing if I would go into labor before then. Thankfully, my doctor is incredibly understanding and got on the phone with the hospital and moved my induction up to that evening. I had to call the hospital at 6pm to make sure they had a bed. I did that and they told me it would be until after midnight or early the next morning before they would have anything. During this time I called my mom and told her it was go time so she could head up here from Chi.cago. She arrived around midnight and we talked for a bit and then we both went to bed. Around 3:30am I woke up to go to the bathroom and realized that I was having what felt like period cramps with my contractions (I should mention that I had been contracting regularly for over a week but they hadn't been painful). I started timing them and they were coming every five minutes. I tried to sleep because they didn't feel painful enough to warrant going in right then...but that was pretty much pointless. Eventually I got up and finished my nesting and at 6am I woke MBL up and told him it was time to get up and get ready to take me to the hospital. My contractions were getting more painful and at times coming every 2-3 minutes. I could tell that he was in disbelief that it was actually time and just kind of meandered about trying to figure out what to do. Right before we left I decided to eat one frozen waffle to give me some fuel for the long day that was likely ahead of me.

We got to the hospital and they checked me in right away. They brought me up to L&D and said that they were actually going to call me because they had a bed ready. I got changed into the glamorous gown they had for me and then got hooked up to the contraction and fetal heart rate monitor. I continued to have painful contractions that ranged between 2-6 minutes apart. Because the contractions were not happening at regular intervals, they wanted to break my water and start pitocin. I couldn't believe that we were actually going to be meeting our daughter soon! When the resident broke my water she checked my cervix and I was at 3cm and 60% effaced. She was letting out all of the "pockets" when she suddenly asked, "When was your last ultrasound?" MBL and I told her it was at 26 weeks. She then said, "This baby is not on it's way out!" And, at this point, I'm two seconds away from having a panic attack...wondering why the resident wants to know when my last ultrasound was and how could my baby not be on it's way out?? She went and got the machine and put it on the bottom of my belly. I couldn't make out a head so all I could think was that my baby didn't have a head!! She then lifted the wand up to the top of my belly and showed me that her head was actually up at the top of my belly!! She was breech!! The resident asked if I knew what that meant and I said, "Yep, c-section."

She said that I was exactly right and then asked when was the last time I ate. Remember the ONE waffle I ate before we left? That ONE waffle meant that I had to wait at least 8 hours before they could do the section. Because I was hooked up to pitocin, my contractions started coming more frequently and were more painful. Basically, I ended up having to go through 8 hours of real labor knowing that the contractions would never accomplish what they were created for. I tried to go through it without any pain meds (all they could give me was IV narcotics), but the contractions became unbearable and I ended up asking for something. They gave me nu.bain which they claimed would "take the edge off". What it actually did was make me high and sleepy without really taking away any of the pain. It did make me care less about the pain I was in, but definitely offered little relief from it.

I'll have to continue this story later as my little girl is demanding to be fed...

In the meantime, enjoy this picture: