Friday, March 21, 2008

I slept on my belly last night!

That's all!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Random Sampler

This is just a random sampling of some of the things going on around our house recently:

Every time I change Baby's diaper, Sweetsa comes up and says, very seriously,"Naughty Naughty, Naughty! Poopies in a potty, no poopies in pants!"

At her two week appointment, Baby weighed in at 8 pounds 2 ounces (40th percentile). She was also 21.25 inches long (80th percentile) and her head circumference was 36 cm (I don't remember the %). Of course the pediatrician said, laughingly, "Given family history, I expect [the percentile for length] to come down in the future."

I am now cleared to drive again. The interesting thing is that I didn't even really miss being able to drive until the past 2 or 3 days. I guess that means I really am recovering! Now just counting the days until I can really start exercising again...a c-section apparently gives you a different kind of post-partum I will NOT post any pics!

Yesterday, someone was driving down our street, our quiet little street, and forgetting to watch where she was going, managed to plow into and demolish two
(parked) vehicles across the street from our house. With the amount of damage done to them, I would guess she was going 35-45 mph when she hit the cars. It was interesting to watch the "drama" unfold through the kitchen windows...yup slow day at Patrick Place!

Baby, like most newborns, gets hiccups at least once a day. The difference with our Baby is that they get so bad that she starts to sound like a squeaky toy. Buddy finds this absolutely hilarious and literally laughs himself silly when he hears her.

Believe it or not, Baby has actually smiled, even though she is only 2 weeks old! I haven't caught it with a camera yet, but I will!

Sweetsa asks every day for me to pick her up, which I have been told not to do until Baby is 4 weeks old. She's getting a little more resigned to the fact that i can't lift her, but the first few days were not good! Sweetsa was not so sweet to Mama during those first few days. But I can tell she is starting to understand the situation. Now, when reminded that I can't lift her up, she holds her two fingers up moving them together and apart a few times and says "Snipped? Mommy Snip, snip?!"

Before Baby came I ran to the local discount store and bought a few new toys/fun items and put them in a "nursing basket". Now the kids can only play with these new toys when I am nursing Baby. When we're finished they have to clean them up and put them away, to be brought back out in two hours when we nurse again. The fun thing is that now when it's time to nurse Baby, Sweetsa will say, "Noosing?! Hooray!" And run to the basket. Buddy also is very quick to get the basket out and enjoy the new toys. It makes nursing a much less stressful time than it might otherwise have been.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby is here!

As some of you have heard through the grapevine, Baby joined our family last week, Tuesday, March 4 (Happy Birthday Tee!). She was 7 pounds 6 ounces and 21 inches long at birth. Her head circumference was 35.5 cm. Comparing her to the others at birth she's right there in the mix: Mimi was 7 lbs 3 oz 19 inches, Buddy was 7 lbs 9 oz and 19.5 inches, Sweetsa was the lightweight at 6 lbs 15 oz and 19.5 inches (I don't have the older kids' head circ. #s right now.)I haven't thought of a nickname for her yet, but Mimi likes "Squishy" (Baby LOVES to squish up in a ball when you hold her against your chest!)
Here is her first professional picture. And this is her first pic

I'm only now getting to blogging this because things definitely did not go as planned, and I am recovering from an emergency C- section. (Or as the hospital codes put it: a manual assist delivery!)

What follows is a somewhat incoherent retelling of this most recent birth story. I will not be offended if you don't want to read it. I have managed to record each of my children's birth stories and wanted to do the same here for Baby. So enjoy or bail now!

We went to the hospital early Tuesday morning to be induced. I didn't think of it as such, since the OB scheduled it, but it was considered an elective induction. (I guess induction for precipitous labor is not a medically necessary induction, just a convenience to have the kid at the hospital!) It was very comforting knowing that D would be there, since he works an hour away from where we live and if I had gone into labor during the day, he would most likely miss the birth (He carpools, and would have had to take the bus back home and then try to get to the hospital. When labor is less than 3 hours, that's not leaving much time for all that travel!)

Anyway, we went in for the induction. I had been reassured that we would do a low dose pitocin drip this time. With Buddy it was a hi-dose pit drip, and the resulting labor was only 52 minutes from first contraction to delivery! As the IV drip was started on Tuesday, I had hopes of experiencing a somewhat normal labor. Although I do remember being startled when the nurse doing the IV said something about it being my constant companion for the rest of the day. I was startled because in my mind (and due to my previous labor experience), the baby would be born by noon at the latest, and the IV long gone by dinnertime! Ha! (Cue the irony!)

As Dr N broke my water and hooked up the internal fetal monitor, he exclaimed in surprise, "Hello there!" We all looked at him for explanation, and he said, "She just shook my hand!" Apparently Baby was trying to feel what had just been done to her scalp! Everything proceeded normally for the next little while. They slowly upped the pitocin, but then backed it off a bit because baby's heart rate was elevated and didn't come down for a bit. Despite backing down on the pit, I continued to feel contractions coming. When they came to check my progress I had just begun to feel like we were getting to real labor...I had to start concentrating a bit to get through the contractions. The irony is they had barely started feeling like the first contractions I felt with all three other kids! I had had a hour and a half of gradual build up labor. What a new experience!)

When the nurses came in to check my cervix for progress they said that Dr. N wanted to see if an amnio-infusion would help the baby tolerate the contractions better. At this point I began to worry that choosing to be induced was not a good decision for this baby. So the nurse said I was dilated to 5 centimeters, and then things get a bit hazy, because this is when life got crazy. I don't know if an amnio-infusion was ever even attempted. I'm not sure of the timeline of all the things that did happen, but it seemed like right after checking me, I noticed that Baby's heart tones had almost stopped...they were way slower than mine. So I worriedly asked,"Um, did the monitor come off the baby?" And all I got were some very distracted no's from the 2 nurses. That's when I heard the word "prolapsed", an oxygen mask was stuffed over my face, the head of my bed was (literally) dropped below my feet and a nurse started what felt like a very painful internal exam that lasted for the next five or ten minutes (At least), and about six extra people rushed into the room. I heard someone tell D to go out in the hall and start signing C-section papers. And then IV bags were thrown on my chest or belly, and with two nurses hitching a ride on the bed, we raced out into the hall (gratefully pausing to throw a sheet over the nether portions of my body!)and on to the OR. Poor D literally almost got taken out by the bed as we raced past the Nurses Station.

Meanwhile I'm still having contractions, while standing on my head and having an internal exam all at the same time (I later was told that the nurse was holding the baby's head off of the umbilical cord, which had slipped into the birth canal.)So maybe during all this I said OW! once or twice (OK it was more than that), but I wasn't telling them to get their hands off of me or anything...I knew that they were trying to save the baby. But every time I said OW! they said we're just trying to help your baby, we're doing this for the baby, etc. Yeah, I think I figured that out! Thanks!

Buddy and baby

We made it to the OR and let me tell you I said OW! a few more times as I was transferred to the slab of ice they use as an operating table. Then of course I had to be prepped for the surgery, which included a catheter (ow), being rolled on my side (ow), having icy liquid (I assume iodine or something similar)dumped on my belly and swished around (brr), another mask slapped on my face and then being told to take deep slow breaths...of course I was freezing to death, starting to shiver and just a little bit worried about Baby. As I tried to do that a nurse took a hold of my jaw and very firmly squeezed my face, jaw and the mask into a little ball. I really don't know what she was doing, but I assume it was to get ready to intubate me. As I took my third slow deep breath, I thankfully heard that Baby's heart rate was back in the 150s. Next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room, still freezing and unable to talk.

At first I was really sad and worried, but they reassured me that Baby was fine, D had been with her in the Nursery for a while and that she had Apgar scores of 7 (at 1 minute)and 9 (at 5 minutes).

D was not able to be in the OR with me, but was able to accompany Baby to the nursery from the door of the OR. So I'm a bit sad that neither of us got to see Baby as she was born, but more grateful that everything turned out ok.

Here is my first sight of baby, almost 4 hours after delivery

The next day as I spoke with my doctor about what had happened he explained that when the nurse checked me, she had actually found that Baby had extended her hand and wrist out through the cervix into the birth canal. The nurse squeezed the hand to get baby to pull it back in, and not much later is when the umbilical cord prolasped. Apparently, after you have a few babies, the uterus doesn't clamp down as well around the baby and rarely, can let "things slip through". He also let us know that the doc that just happened to be standing in the hall, able to scrub up fast for the "stat c-section", was one of the best around. Dr N actually made it to the hospital in time to finish up...i.e. close me up. The nurses told me later that it was a real miracle that all the personnel necessary for an emergency c-section "just happened" to be at the nurse's station or nearby when the call went out to get everything ready, fast. Dr N also told us that from discovery of the prolapsed cord, to birth it was under 15 minutes. Our good outcome was due in large part because we were already at the hospital. I know that God was watching over us in all this, working things for our good. And I think that has made it easier for me to accept the unexpected circumstances of baby's birth AND to be more patient with the restrictions placed on me during recovery. Of course having a wonderful husband to help shoulder the work ( and kids) and a wonderful mother to be here every day to help out makes a huge difference too!

our three girls

I can't believe how much we love our Baby already! The kids adore her and want to hold her all the time. She's sleeping and eating well which mom and dad really appreciate. We're already seeing some of her personality come out...if she's upset enough to cry there are no little whimpers from this lady, nope she goes to immediate full-on evacuation siren volume to let us know she's upset. Maybe she already understands that to be heard above the other three she'll need to be able to drown them out!

Last but not least I have to say the these pics of baby don't really look like her...she was apparently swollen because her face is not that round. So hopefully I'll be getting some more accurate pics up soon!