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Posts Tagged ‘c-section’

Three days post c-section

Dr. Brownlee didn’t lie. This C-section did suck less than the last one.

So, I’m feeling much better today, thanks. I can mostly get myself up and down onto chairs and beds. I took a shower. I dressed. Mostly my problem is my meds are a bit too strong. In the hospital, they gave me Lortabs for pain. They sent me home with the generic equivalent, hydrocodone, which makes me much more spacey and dizzy. I fear that it’s also crossing into the breast milk, too. Saralyn was really worrying me last night. Poor little thing was panting like she was chasing the dragon… I didn’t take the pain killer last night at bedtime, and hoped to just make it with the Ibuprofen. Mostly, that worked fine, but I got up this morning feeling really stiff and sore. I broke down and took half a pill this morning to get ahead of the pain and it has carried me (along with the Ibu) to tonight. Saralyn is less affected today, and has had here eyes open more, which makes me feel better in general.

Perhaps, like Uncle Duke says, I’ll save the hydrocodone for when I’m feeling better. (Most likely not, though.  I got 30 hydrocodone with the last C-section and ended up flushing about 25 of them. Not worth taking because of the side effects. Also, I was worried about having it in the house.)

While I’ve been a dopey blockhead most of the day, my husband has been a man of accomplishment; he’s washed dishes and clothes, swept floors, unpacked our bags, run errands, had the car fixed, changed diapers, served drinks, played with babies, and led a U.N. mission to create peace across three continents. It’s been a full day for him, too. (Really, get this man a trophy.)

I plan to spend the next few days doing more of the same, sitting around and watching the healing process. Several people have come by or announced they are coming by to visit and so on, so I will see some folks.

I’d love to hear what’s going on in the outside world. For now I seem only to have eyes for Saralyn and Elly. I’m seeing Saralyn’s personality emerge, and will blog about that very soon, and it’s been educational to watch Elly come to grips with being a sister, and not be the center of the household’s attention. But that’s another blog.

Between those blog ideas, and a few other hospital related ones, I’m feeling backloged. Or backbloged. Perhaps I need a syntaxitive to get me regular.

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HOME NOW!

Finally, we are home.

Thanks to all who helped us, sent good wishes, called and prayed.

I’m gonna rest a bit….

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I’M ALIVE!   That’s the tip of the iceberg, but a good place to start.  I may end up making no sense, but that’s just the Lortab / Motrin / mojito combo they give for pain around here.  Tasty and effective.

Let’s see.  I’ll start with some details if you all have the stomach for it.  Finish your breakfast, I’ll wait.

The start of the C-section really begins about two hours before the baby arrives.  Baby’s are SO the second act.  We got to the hospital and they put me in a Labor and Delivery Room where Kathryn, my nurse, got everything started: new gown, IV fluids, take these pills, drink this lemon shot, answer lots of questions and “sign here” stuff.  My blood pressure seemed to be the only thing that troubled the staff; it was too low for their liking.  It got as low as 95 over 49, so they pumped lots of fluid and meds to get it back up. (Hold on: here’s the nurse now.  She just came in and took my vitals: 119 over 69 – my going average.)  When they give you an epidural, your blood pressure tends to go down anyway, so if it’s low to begin with, there could be barf, or worse…

After they got me pumped up, the Anesthesiologist came is to get me numbed down.  We’ll call him Dr. Bin-here Donethat.  A serious, stoic sort.  It was all so clinical and matter of fact.  Oh and painful.  Strangely painful.  Nurse Kathryn proved herself to be a reassuring and comforting figure right then, soothing me and helping me relax.  (Before I forget, Tony wins the prize for best all around person to have with you in a hospital.  I will be getting his trophy engraved soon…) A few minutes and 43 rolls of tape later, I was set for some test medication, which gave me the sensation of going up in an elevator.  My ears felt like they needed to pop, and Dr. Donethat said this phenomenon expresses itself in only about 10% of patients.  Whoo Hoo.  Top 10 already!  That came and went very quickly, and then came the tingles and then finally the numb.  (and after the numb comes the unpleasantness of razors, Foley’s, more adhesives for the tubes that come and go as well as many of the other indignities that even I am too delicate to express on-line.)  Then the Anesthetist, Noli, took over.  Yes, the ANESTHETIST.  Recall the promises from an earlier post?  Nevertheless, Noli was a highlight of this whole experience, but more about him later.

About ten till 9, they had me all ready to go, and Tony was in his Devo Halloween Costume um, surgical coveralls.  They banged me and the hospital bed down the hall to the chilly O.R.   As we clattered in, someone said “57”, so I asked “Is that the temperature in here?”  And the voice behind me said, “No (stoopid).  It’s 8:57, but I bet it is about that cold in here…”

Since I can’t actually get myself on the O.R table, there’s a process for that, too.  It involves a little grocery store checkout type conveyor belt and a good bit of shoving.  Then there is much rocking from one side to the other to get me “just so”, they they strap you arms down so you won’t be tempted to “help” in any way.  I’m thinking this would work well with toddlers: “No Touch, or we strap your arms to the board!”

Noli (hero of the first act, see we got there), hooked up all these drapes around me and stuck sensors all over, including the middle of my forehead.  All I could see was Tony at my head and a papery blue drape.  Noli was my eyes and ears for this whole procedure.  He managed my drugs and told me what what happening, what was about to happen and how things were going to feel to me when they did.  He was also very comforting and sympathetic.   

When the surgery started, I felt some nausea, but very little else.  Numb from the ribs down.  The doc didn’t tell me much through the operation, just “We’re starting,” and “Won’t be much longer now.”  When we got to “here comes a head,” all the people in the O.R. (at least the ones I could see from Drapeville) all kind of stopped there rushing around to crane their necks for a peek.  What a funny moment.  With the exception of me and Tony, everybody in the room’s done this at least 100 times, but the draw of the first glimpse of brand spankin’ new baby is an irresistible pull, I guess.

Once the head is delivered, the rest is quick to follow of course, and I was all about the tears.  Tony says he looked.  He said he wouldn’t look over the drape, but I caught him peeking more than once.  When Saralyn cried… Ahhh…. what an emotional release.  She was out.  She was crying. There were lots of Ooohs adn Ahhhhs.  I wept like a toddler with a skinned knee.  I’m such a girl.  I eventually let go of Tony’s hand and sent him to check out the new kid in town.  Noli sopped up my tears and gave me more meds and info.  After the APGARS (8 and 9 – which I heard, but thought were the pounds and ounces – stoopid me), they brought Saralyn over for me to see.  She was all swaddled into a ball and I thought she looked SO round and SO short.  She was my perfect little Halloween Pumpkin!  All I could do was blubber “I love you,” again and a gain and kiss her fat, fat cheeks.  They took her away, and daddy, too, and everything calmed down.

The doc said that everything was fine inside, there was some scaring from the last pregnancy, which she removed, and that nothing needed to be sent for pathology.  However, she said she’d NEVER seen an umbilical cord so long before.  She said that there is a link between long cords and High IQ.  Really?  You’re not just blowing sunshine?  Huh.  I guess I will have to google that later…

When I got back to the L&D room, Tony was there with Saralyn on his lap making phone-calls as fast as he could.  I was happy to see them, but was feeling cold and jumbled.  I wanted to nurse Saralyn and rest.  She was making the “feed me” face, but I kept on having to wait for some detail or another before they would hand her off to me.  Eventually, it was just me, Tony and Saralyn. 

Ahhh…. 

More on recovery soon.  I have to feed a baby and myself and see if I can get sprung from this joint today.

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Even more…

Well – That’s an hour of my life I will never get back.  At least I can say the hospital paperwork is done for now.  I bet if you took all of the paperwork that goes with having a kid at this hospital and started making paper origami cranes, you’d be up to your neck in duck sauce in short order.  How ever did women manage to have babies before the insurance age?

That was the bulk of our visit today.  The truly important stuff came in the last 10 minutes when meeting with the anesthesiologist.  He did make a big point of promising that there would be an anesthesiologist, and not an anesthetist, performing my epidural tomorrow.  Big difference, or so I am led to believe by the doctors reassuring head nod.  Perhaps I’ll look that up some day.  I assume that one is an MD, and the other is less credentialed.  It doesn’t matter much to me, just so long as SOMEONE with a big needle full of painkiller shows up. 

Nevertheless, he went over my medical history and gave me my marching orders:

  • No food or water after midnight.
  • Be at the Women’s center at 7am.
  • They’ll spend some time put a line in my arm, where they will pump me full of fluids.
  • I’ll be given several pills and potions  that will keep me fat, dumb and happy from barfing and passing out when it’s time for the epidural (when you are all numb and stuff, your blood pressure drops and you get some nausea and so on).

He also warned me that I would not be able to cough effectively.  As you may know, an epidural numbs one from the chest down.  But what I learned today was that the only reason you can still breath is because the nerves that run your diaphragm come off your neck, not out of your chest.  The doc said that about 85% of breathing is diaphragm driven.  Coughing, however, requires more help from the other muscles of the ribs and abdomen,  which won’t work so good for me tomorrow.  Good to know.  Perhaps I should have asked him what to do if I can’t breath due to gloppage…

After that, there was the drawing of much blood and a see you tomorrow.

I guess we are ready.  I hope we are.  I’m a bit nervous still.  A friend said to me today, “The second time is scarier, ’cause you didn’t know what to expect the first time.”  He’s right, in a way.  But this really seems like a first time, as it is all soooooo different from last time.  It’s the second first time again.  How do I score that?

BTW, I’m feeling a bit better with the cold today, thanks for asking.  I think a few more days of easy rest and soup will set me right as rain.  Oh, wait.

More tomorrow.  I guess we are taking the laptop to the hospital with us.  I may even blog tomorrow night!  Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers. 

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Fingertip dilated

WE-are about to get real personal.  If you’re not ready to know me that well, turn back now.

You’re sure?  

OK.

We went to the doc today, and they did another ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid levels.  They are less than they were last week (12.3), but are at a fine level nonetheless (9.5-ish).  I wish I could say the same for Lake Lanier.  So, I am not suffering from my own personal drought, just my own personal heatwave.  It’s nice to finally feel that nip in the air.  But I digress… 

I told the doc that I’ve been having these shooting pains low in my abdomen and down my legs, but they don’t really feel like contractions.  They are getting more frequent by the day, however.  She says that they are just the baby pinching a nerve.  It’s a put up with it till delivery kind of thing.  Ugg.  Then she did a cervix check.  I love the look that docs get on their faces when they go to check a cervix.  It’s like the look you get when trying to find the hood latch on a Chevy.  Sure you pop the hood from the inside, but then there’s always that fishing around that happens to actually release the lid and get to the dipstick.  Docs always make that face.  But I digress…

Doc says that I am FINGERTIP DILATED!

YEA ME!!!

We are in uncharted territory!  Last time, I was clamped down tighter than Cheyenne Mountain at DEFCON 4.  It just so happened that fissile material couldn’t even break through that gate for Elly’s birth, and now I am at fingertip dilation!

Before I got too excited, I asked the doc if she thought I would go into labor before the scheduled C-section next week, and she said she really doubted it, but that stranger things have happened (and there is a full moon tonight…).  

Although Saralyn is head down, the doc says my cervix is way high and the head is higher still.  She says that every once in a while a baby that high does get delivered vaginally, but she is pretty sure she’s gonna beat the baby to the punch.  Oh, well.  As my best friend occasionally reminds me, there is no actual trophy for pushing the kid out myself.  Doc B. also promised that this scheduled C-section will be much more pleasant an experience than the last one.  I’m thinking that the only way it could be any less pleasant is if a shark attacks me in the recovery room.   But I digress…

It’s down to this: today’s meeting with the doctor was the last visit I will have before the C-section this Wednesday.  (I will go to the hospital on Tuesday for a pre-op meeting with the anesthesiologist and to have some blood drawn.)   IF I go into labor, I will try for a normal delivery, but most think that is not likely, so I resign myself to the c-section.  My parents are coming on Tuesday to stay the night and take Elly for the next few days.  The doc seemed to think I could go home on Friday if all goes well.

There will be updates here and pictures at the baby status.com site.  I will send an update to remind folks what the password is for babystatus.  I’m just so excited that I began to dilate on my own.  No matter what happens now, I know that it’s a whole new ballgame!

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I’m the kind of person who, given enough time, can find a silver lining in any situation. Few situations don’t have an upshot somewhere. For example, a tree crushed our house a few years ago, which caused us a great deal of heartache and stress. In the end, however, we got to remodel a good portion of our house and it made our home more valuable. Call it stress equity.

So, when EVERYONE got a nap yesterday but me, I said to my self “at least I will sleep well tonight.” I have an unfortunate condition known as waxing and waining nap failure. Symptoms include tossing-turning, bed discomfort, household chores and blogging, resulting in an inability to nap or nap at the proper time (you know, when the toddler is napping.) The importance of napping while pregnant is well proved (most recently by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew of Muppet Labs). I want the very best for my baby, so I follow all the top guide lines for pregnant women: no skydiving, cut back on the heroine, avoid mechanical bulls and take naps. Pretty simple really.

I’ve been having a higher than normal occurrence of nap failure lately, and it’s spreading. I now am having nap failure during SLEEP hours. Like last night. Unfair to MOMMIES!!!

With just 7 days till my C-section and the arrival of my little Saralyn, I just can’t seem to sleep properly – day or night. Last night I was up 4 times to potty, and a dozen more times to try to get comfortable. Tony left me to relish the King sized bed and all 7 pillows all by my self, but no joy. Nest as I might, I couldn’t sleep well. And I am all hot again. It’s one thing to funch your one standard pillow looking for the cool side, but when you’ve got one pillow under your tummy, two along your back two under your head and one or two down along you legs and feet, well, it’s a half hour project to just rearrange. It looks like I’m being packed up for trans Atlantic shipping! Tossing, sweating, groaning; that’s me.

In short, I wake up more tired than I was the night before. Sigh…

In my head, I know that there is only one more week of THIS particular discomfort, then it’s a whole new world of aches and ouches. So, I at least have SOME kind of change to look forward to. But I want a sweet, relaxing, refreshing, calming nap now.  (I’d settle for my feet not swelling…)

I keep saying “The silver lining is Saralyn. The silver lining is Saralyn. The silver lining is Saralyn…”

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