"Love is the bridge between you and everything" -Rumi
Where to even begin this post.....Lordy so much has happened. The biggest news, of course, is that my baby is HEREEE!!!!!! So, let me back up 3 weeks and explain how it went down, how everything went sideways and was a lil scary, and how now we are home and figuring it out.
On November 27 I was scheduled for a C-section due to the gestational diabetes and his measuring bigger. I got bumped back a couple of times at the hospital due to emergencies that came in, but after several hours, and me being STARVING, the whole thing set in motion. Mom and I were hanging out in the triage room watching "White Christmas" waiting for my turn to go into the operating room. I met the anesthesiologist who was nice, but very cut and dry and to the point. I noticed she had lash extensions so I knew as soon as she asked what I did for a living, she would warm up. I was right. hehe.
When I went to the OR, mom had to stay outside, and the doc and the nurse guided me through having the spinal block done, which is different from the epidural in that it lasts only a few hours and is a one shot deal. Once its done, its done.
Holy crap that hurt. I tried so hard to be still! The nurse stood in front of me with her hands on the front of my shoulders to steady me so I wouldn't lurch forward when she went into my spine with the block. They were both so great- so reassuring and calm. Once it was done, it literally took less than a minute for the effects to begin. My legs felt heavy and tingly and then from the ribs down, I was basically paralyzed. I kept mentally saying "move little toe, move!" to test it, but nothing happened. It was one of the WEIRDEST sensations I have ever felt. Why did I do a spinal block vs. an epidural? Well, I asked my OB what she prefers and why and she prefers the block, so that's what we did. I was ok with either. For more information on them click HERE.
Once that was done, they put on music (good music actually), and I thought of all the episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" or "ER" where they put on whatever makes the doc feel good. So if she felt good, then GREAT! I began to feel kinda sleepy, which was odd, but ok, because I was trying not to freak out about being cut open haha.....ayayay. The anesthesiologist was at my head monitoring my vitals and levels and was really quite chatty and talking about Christmas shopping which was lovely. My mom was to my left at my head and was soothing and telling me what was happening. My OB was talking too and told me, after a lot of tugging, that my lil man was out and he was big!!! Then I heard him cry and was just.....astonished. Speechless. I mean, I MADE A BABY. AND NOW HE WAS ON THE OUTSIDE. Whaaaaat?!!!
I was still feeling sleepy and I think I said something about it, because the Anes. said, well that's because there's morphine in the block. I thought there wasn't morphine in there because I had asked if there was at the OB office and she said no, but apparently there was, which was fine- I get it, but I couldn't figure out why I was so sleepy till she said that. When they brought him around to meet me, his mommy, I was still so astonished he was there. I just kept kissing his lil round cheek. :)))) And I couldn't believe how much he looked like my nephew, which is genetically impossible due to the embryo being from an egg donor and a sperm donor, but holy cow, he looks like him!!! My gamble on the looks of the sperm donor paid off I think and he looks like he is genetically apart of my family. We even have the same chin!
After he was delivered, they weighed him and he was 9 lbs, 4oz and 20.5 inches!!! I KNEW he was gonna be long. They took him away to the nursery and mom went with him while they got me ready to go to recovery. The Anes. told me that they were going to move me from the surgery bed to the roll-y bed and it will feel like I'm falling, but I am not. Y'all. It felt EXACTLY like I was just going to go "plop"! onto the floor! But, of course, I did not.
They wheeled me into recovery and I was in and out of sleep for about 3 hours. During that time, mom was running back and forth between me and lil man because they wound up taking him almost immediately to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) from the regular nursery due to his blood sugar being dangerously low and respiratory dyspnea (breathing difficulties).
Why, you ask? Well, in the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy I was on insulin for the gestational diabetes, so he was getting a regulated dose of insulin in the womb. When he came out, that regulation was gone, so his own little sugars plummeted. I remember mom telling me where he was, and I was ok- I didn't freak out, because I knew that was the best place for him to be. And then I fell asleep again. My poor mom- she really held it together like the professional nurse she is so I would stay calm and everyone would be ok. She had to watch them put the IV in his oh so tiny head, which I really don't know if I could watch. Through that IV, they would deliver essentially sugar water and try and get his levels up. Which also meant that they had to prick his tiny heel every 6 hours for 6 days to check his levels. Oh how I hated that. I was there for a couple of the tests and he cried so loud. It was awful. But the end justifies the means, and it had to be done so we could go home.
I was eventually moved to my postpartum room and was still kinda out of for a few hours. I did, however, keep scratching my face, particularly around my mouth, since I was in recovery and the whole rest of the day and night. It was the morphine!!!! Oh my God, it made my face itch so bad!!!!! On the third day in the hospital, my skin was actually raw and I was putting balm on it because I had scratched it so much that first day. Noted for any future drug use- Morphine is no bueno for the skin.
The rest of the day of recovery was kind of a blur but I do remember throwing up a couple of times from the anesthesia. So, that wasn't great, but a side effect I was aware of. That night, I finally felt ok enough to make the journey via wheelchair down to the NICU to see lil man for the first time since he was born. My best friend was there and wheeled me down and my folks were by our side helping. There are lots of doors to navigate and bracelets to scan to get access. I saw him in the little plastic box and was allowed to reach my hand through to stroke his little head, being careful not to touch the IV teepee on top of his teeny tiny head. For 9.4, he was still really small and so cute.
The nurse was talking to us, but honestly, I couldn't tell you what she was saying. I had this overwhelming feeling of being sleepy and tired and I felt nauseated again. Kels was trying to find a throw up bag for me, and I was trying not to throw up in the NICU for pete's sake, and then the nurse came and we all soujourned back to the room. I told lil man I would see him in the morning.
I allllmost made it to the room without being sick. I literally got to the door frame and threw my toenails up. The nurses came and mom was there of course, and got me into bed and they ordered fluids, because perhaps I was super dehydrated from throwing up....but mom knew I was going into shock and they called the doc to come the next morning to check on me. Apparently I was also the color of a sheet. I never really felt dizzy or anything, so the nurses didn't suspect shock too much and were there every hour while mom slept in the chair thing, checking my vitals and such. My blood was drawn the next morning to check my HCT and HGB (hematocrit (HCT) which measures your red blood cell count and indicates Iron levels and clotting, and Hemoglobin (HGB) which essentially deals with your oxygen levels in the blood). These need to be a certain number and mine were very low. The doc (and everyone else) were a bit confused because I was asymptomatic overall- I wasn't bleeding uncontrollably, and wasn't dizzy. So, it meant there must be bleeding internally. One of the risks of the C-Section is you could be cut somewhere you weren't meant to be or a tear of tissue. Well, because NOTHING about this whole journey has been easy, meant I had a little knick inside that was bleeding and causing a hematoma (a small pooling of blood). Great.
The rest of the day I felt ok, just kinda tired and thought maybe we were in the clear after fluids and that the knick was clotting and all would be well. I went to the NICU a couple of times and saw my baby and thought I was on the upswing. Well, the universe was like, "hold my beer".....
The next morning (Thursday) they took my blood again to see the levels and they were EVEN LOWER- a 5. Which constitutes critical. It was baffling! Doc came in and we talked and went ahead ordered 2 units of blood for a transfusion. If that didn't work, there was a chance they'd have to go in and fix it which may have caused a full on meltdown on my part when talking with mom about it. The hormones are way fun. (Insert eye roll so big I can see behind me.)
So Thursday was spent in the hospital bed pretty much alllll day being transfused with blood, essentially becoming a vampire, and my back getting pretty pissed about being layed up. haha. Lordy. The transfusion is really slow because the blood is thick, of course, and it was mildly uncomfortable in my hand, and did cause bruising a couple of days later. Funny enough though, that bruise didn't hurt. Weird. I was so happy when it was done because I felt better, could move around more freely, and looked somewhat human according to everyone who saw me after.
Lil man was healing too- his sugar levels were coming up and he was moved to the NICU 2 which less critical, and wasn't in an enclosed plastic box. It was so hard and so wonderful to see him in there all at the same time. I tried to have him breast feed and he would latch about half the time but my milk wasn't really coming in (even after pumping) and so he continued on formula. Which is fine. I continued to try and have my milk come in and pump, but I think my body was just done.
I also had my first real experience with anxiety. I don't have anxiety really, ever, and so that experience was scary for me and I didn't like it one bit. They say its the hormones, which now that they are sorting out, I understand that. I was in my room, lil man was in the NICU, my parents left to go run errands, and I was freaking out for no reason. I was where I needed to be for the best care, and he absolutely was where he needed to be, both of us were safe and being taken such good care of.....my feeling of anxiety was this vague, abstract thing that was frustrating to me and hard to recognize. I told mom about it, albeit through tears because those were ready at a drop with all the hormones too (super fun), and she was assuring and amazing. I also spoke with my doctor about it and she said it was normal. If it persisted is when we needed to take a look at it, and I must say it lifted. I know it doesn't lift for a lot of women, and now having experienced it in a minute form, please don't be scared to talk to someone. There is help out there. Message me if you are nervous to talk to someone. I can help point you in the right direction.
I finally was released Saturday afternoon. 5 days of being in the hospital. oooof. Lil man had more tests to pass before he was released, but it finally came on Sunday. His sugars normalized and we had instructions for seeing the Pediatrician soon after and the cardiologist in January for a follow up. Oh my God, I was so happy and thankful to be taking him home!!!!
I took him home in a little onesie with rainbows on it, as he is my lil rainbow baby. He lost almost a pound in the NICU, but by 2 weeks later, he had surpassed it :)))
We've been home for almost 3 weeks now and I have no idea what day it is. HAHA....Life is literally being lived in 2.5-4 hour increments! My mom is a rockstar and a life saver. My dad was amazing while he was here, running errands and helping in every way. He is kind and steady and so sweet. Always loving and reassuring. I don't know what I do without them. The amount of love and support from everyone is overwhelming and lil man is doing so well!!! He's a hungry lil honey badger and growing big and strong.
I will tell you this: Getting pregnant, being pregnant, having the baby, and the newborn stage are no freaking joke. This is one of, if not THE, hardest experience I have ever gone through and am still going through. I am trying to be patient with myself as I am healing and trying to sleep. I am so happy I have him, my lil human that I get to keep and love and take care of. It is a responsibility I proudly take on with love and hopefully some grace.
He's the best Christmas present ever and when he's not crying, he is just the cutest thing ever.
I will keep posting for a little while longer I think as I navigate this, but I am not sure how long. Wish me luck!!! ;)