Saturday, February 14, 2015

S's Birth Story

Scheduled c-sections are such a weird thing.  On one hand, it's great to be able to plan everything in advance.  We were able to make arrangements for W and for Addie.  I was able to triple check and make sure I had everything packed.  Even the house was somewhat picked up and clean.  But on the other hand, there's the opportunity to over think things when you know exactly what time a major life event will occur.  And when I over think, I have a tendency to focus the negative/scary aspects of a situation.

I didn't think I'd be able to sleep the night before baby S's arrival, but much to my surprise, I slept decently.  The prior night, I was very emotional and scared about my upcoming c-section.  I cried and looking back, I have no idea why - I want to say it had something to do with with seeing an ultrasound picture, but I'm really not sure.  However, I awoke on Thursday, February 5, feeling excited and optimistic.

We had a quiet morning.  A and I both got ready for the day and I remarked how we'd be meeting our second baby in a matter of hours.  It was surreal.  We enjoyed a quiet breakfast with W.  I had to remind myself not to eat anything.  Before we knew it, grandma G was at the house and it was time to head to the hospital.  I snapped one final picture outside - wanting to be able to show baby S how much snow we had on his birthday.

I was very quiet on the ride to the hospital.  Nerves were getting the best of me.  I was receiving very sweet texts and messages, but they were also making me nervous.

We checked in at 10am without issue (when we checked in for my scheduled c-section with W, there was a mix up and we weren't on the schedule).  As we checked in, I heard a hello and looked up to see my doctor sitting towards the back of the reception desk.  I really like him and it was funny to see him looking so casual, while I was preparing for such a life changing event.

I headed to triage where I changed into my hospital gown, the monitors were placed, the IV was administered, and I answered a bazillion questions.  There was a final ultrasound.  Baby S was head down as I expected, but he was a little tilted - sort of at an angle.  I was having significant contractions and didn't realize it.  My doctor commented that I had a high tolerance for pain... thank you very much!  The nurse also told me I was tough, though I don't recall why she said that.

My c section was scheduled for noon and my doctor told me that we were right on track and I'd be heading to the operating room around 11:50am for the spinal.  The spinal is one of my least favorite parts.  That thing hurts.  Side note - when W was born, the assistant holding me for the spinal had the same name as W.  It was a great coincidence and I just took it as a sign that everything would be ok.  Well, this time, the nurse holding me had a son with the same name as baby S. :)

So once the spinal was administered, I quickly laid on my back and could feel my legs tingling and turning numb.  I had a significant drop in blood pressure and began to feel really nauseous.  I was told this is common and especially common with big babies because of the weight/pressure they apply while lying on your back.  I was given medicine to help and cool towels were placed on my head.  The anesthesiologist told me the nausea would only last a short time and I did start to feel better quickly.

The curtain was raised and A finally got to come in and be by my side.  I did have a few more bouts of nausea, but it never seemed as bad as I experienced with W.  As baby S was being delivered, it felt like my whole body was moving like crazy.  I'm not sure how to describe it.  People say you feel tugging, but this was different.  My whole belly was moving.  The doctors were remarking that he was big as they were delivering S and before I knew it, he was out.  He immediately started crying - music to my ears.  He pooped and peed on the doctor - same as his big brother. :)  He was brought over so A and I could have a quick peek and I could not believe how enormous he was.  My first words regarding W were, "He's so cute!".  My first words regarding S were, "He's so big!".  The operating room was abuzz, with "He's so huge!", "What a big guy!", etc. etc.  There were several doctors and nurses in the OR and they began placing bets on how big S was.  It was really funny.  Several guessed over 10 pounds and I think I said at least 10 times that I couldn't have had a 10 pound baby.  I was seriously shocked.

Meanwhile, as I was being put back together, A went and snapped pictures, cut S's cord, and stood by while he was examined.  He went with S to the recovery room and I (along with the surgical team) awaited word on S's weight.  Soon it came - 10 pounds, 4 ounces.  I gave birth to a 10 pound baby.  I'm not a big person and I'm not sure how he got to be 10 pounds, but so be it.  S also scored a 9 on the APGAR.

My doctor told me that I had minimal scarring from my previous c section and that I healed very well.  Good news.  Soon enough, I was headed to recovery.  I nursed S right away and he was a champ from the get go.  He knew exactly what to do.  S got his first bath.  I had a million checks.  When I could move my legs, I was on my way to my room.  As we headed out of recovery, A got to play the special lullaby song that lets the entire hospital know a baby has been born.  It's really sweet and hospital patients have remarked how uplifting it is to hear that lullaby. :)

S's birth was a really great experience.  Once in the room, I felt really good.  We sent the big announcement and pictures to family and friends.  We revealed S's name for the first time, which was tons of fun.  We also planned for W to come meet his brother.

W arrived around 4:30pm with Nani and Papa.  He was wearing his Big Brother shirt and I was so excited to see him.  Unfortunately, at that exact moment, things took a turn for the worst.  I suddenly felt extremely nauseous.  Of course, until that point, I had felt fine.  Everyone quickly left the room and I began vomiting.  Now, the same thing happened with W, but I only had one round of vomiting and then I was fine.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen this time.  I tried to visit with W and introduce him to little brother, but I was feeling awful.  Not the meeting I was so looking forward to. :(  That's still disappointing.  W, Nani, and Papa didn't stay long.  I had 2 more rounds of vomiting despite 3 different anti-nausea medications.  I pulled out my IV in the process and started bleeding from my incision.  It was awful.  I was also determined to get out of bed as soon as possible and the vomiting pushed that back.  I didn't eat and hardly had anything to drink all day.  The nurses were concerned that I was urinating enough - well, I was so afraid of any more vomiting so I wasn't drinking anything (even water was coming back up).

Finally, by the next morning, I was feeling better.  Some time in the wee morning hours, I began eating crackers and trying to drink more.  I ordered breakfast - an English muffin and kept that down.  My nurse told me she thought the vomiting was over and she was right.

W came back to visit on Friday and I was thankful for a redo.  He sat next to me in bed and we all took S for a walk as a family of four. :)  I even got my long awaited hot dog for dinner.  S was also doing great.  Eating well and such a sweet baby.  He's my gentle giant.  The nurses and techs that came in said that S was the biggest baby in the nursery and they all talked about how surprised they were that I had a 10 pound baby - I just didn't look like a person who has a 10 pound baby.  There were blood sugar checks for S because he was so big, but he passed with flying colors.  There were also billirubin checks since he was a little jaundice, but again, he passed the checks.

This was such a different experience than with W.  W lost weight quickly.  A pound while in the hospital and I was constantly being told to feed him.  It felt like I was doing something wrong.  He was also quite a bit more jaundice and doctors were concerned that he wasn't eating enough and would continue to get more jaundice.  W's latch was never great and despite producing more than enough milk, feeding W was a struggle.  S only lost about 10 ounces and was gaining weight by the time we left the hospital.  He was a natural at nursing and so far, that continues to go well.

We were discharged from the hospital on Sunday, February 8.  Since then, we've had our share of challenges - W is having a tough time adjusting.  More on that to come.  I've been a lot more ahem... emotional this time around.  I think it's because I'm having a tough time with W having a tough time. :)  Also, the lack of sleep is no joke.  But on the bright side, S has been a dream so far.  Good eater, good sleeper, easy going.  He only cries when he's hungry.  I'm crossing my fingers that this continues.

I was so eager to get out of the hospital and looking back, I wish I would have appreciated that hospital time more.  It was nice to be able to bond with S - and it was also nice to have all meals and medications provided while I relaxed. :)

I also want to say that c-sections seems to have a bad reputation and doctor's who recommend them are often criticized.  I love my doctors.  They kept telling me this baby was big and they were certainly right.  I have no regrets about S's birth and I'm pretty sure he wasn't coming out any other way.  Other than the vomiting episodes, my recovery has gone great.  A week later, I'm off of pain medications and 20 pounds lighter.  I feel awesome (albeit tired).  I know everyone's experience is different, but for me, both of my c sections were very very positive experiences.

I also loved that S was born on a Thursday - just like big brother.  The same doctor that delivered W delivered S.  S was born on the 5th and my birthday happens to be on the 5th.  A has requested that if we have another baby (highly unlikely, though I did admit I can't imagine not having another sweet newborn - easy to say since S is such a content baby so far), he be born on a multiple of 3 since both boys were born on multiples of 5.  Of course he's kidding.

So there you have it.  I'm feeling incredibly blessed to be raising these two sweet boys.

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