Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Michael's Birth Story

This pregnancy for me was the toughest one and the final one for me. I dealt with a few issues during the pregnancy including an irritable uterus and gestational diabetes. My previous two pregnancies I dealt with an irritable uterus which for myself lead to bed rest for each child because of preterm labor and early contractions. I expected that with this one but for some reason was heart broken when the contractions started and bed rest was prescribed at week 21. On top of being on bed rest, following a strict diet was the fun part of dealing with gestational diabetes...hear the sarcasm?

During all of these issues, my little guy was just as happy, healthy, and was active as he could be. I was so grateful for that piece of the pregnancy because I don't think I could have dealt with him having complications on top of my body completely rejecting the idea of being pregnant.

I had been on the 17P shot (read more about that in the irritable uterus blog above) until week 34 and was told by the doctor that if I went into labor at week 35, he would let me go into labor. Week 35 came and on day 4 I woke up with a headache and a back ache. I went downstairs to wash dishes and make breakfast for my family, and contractions kicked in around 10:30 AM. I went about my day as normal and it included going out to dinner with my in laws. By the end of dinner I was struggling to walk and talk through these contractions so my husband and I went to the ER. Contractions were definitely noted on the machines and a call was put into the on call doctor. He ordered a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions and send me on my way home. The contractions did stop, which meant it was not true labor. I was frustrated because I was in so much pain from the contractions and was told by the doctor they would deliver at 35 weeks if I went into labor.

This is where things got confusing for me. In my previous pregnancies, I never dialated beyond a 2 despite 38 hours of induced labor after my water broke in my first pregnancy. I was known as having a "cervix of steel" by the doctors where contractions do not make changes to the cervix either because the baby is too big, the pelvis is too small, or for other reasons that I do not know. With my second pregnancy, I again contracted throughout the whole pregnancy, was put on terbutaline and at 37 weeks taken off of it. After my 37 week checkup, I ended up having my daughter 4 hours later because the contractions created a pattern and my doctor didn't want me to contract much because I had gotten pregnant with her 5 months after having my son. With her I dilated to a 1.

At week 37, three days with this pregnancy, the contractions started to intensify again and they were uncomfortable. These guys woke me up at 12:30 AM I labored all through the night. My blood sugar dropped and I couldn't sleep they were so painful. Because of what happened at week 35, I had a feeling my doctor wasn't going to deliver this time either; hence why I waited to go to the hospital. My husband took the kids to school, came home, and took me to the hospital. This time, they gave me the terbutaline and the contractions didn't stop, BUT they were not making any changes to the cervix. My doctor came in to the room to talk to me and said he wanted to wait as long as he could to deliver our little guy so his lungs could mature because of one of the side effects of having gestational diabetes is infants having under developed respiratory systems. I found out also that the hospital doesn't like to deliver until 38 or 39 weeks which was new to me...the hospitals are now incorporating rules for the doctors to follow. That to me is completely ridiculous and another story for a different day. I was beyond frustrated with the whole thing but didn't have a lot of fight in me so I told him that was fine but he was going to  have to make me comfortable. I couldn't sleep; so he gave me Ambien and I gladly took it at night because the contractions were that bad.

Each week, closer to the date we were scheduled for a c-section , the contractions intensified and I would have more of them but could never get a pattern on them. On the day of the scheduled c-section, May 11th, I woke up so very excited. Each hour was moving SOOOO slowly. One of the aggravating parts of this was not being able to eat eight hours prior to the c-section. My last meal was at 8 AM and it was a very substantial breakfast; three eggs, a bowl of oatmeal, a cup of veggies, a cup of berries, a cup of coffee and a glass of milk. It was aggravating because I knew as I got closer to the the surgery time I was going to get crabby because my blood sugar would get low. I was scheduled to check in at 1:30 PM at the hospital and about 12:00 pm I started getting irritated and disoriented so I called the doctor's office. They told me to go in as soon as possible so they could take care of the sugar issue.

My husband at the time got a request from a friend of ours to make a pit stop prior to going to the hospital but yeah, that wasn't happening. He had asked me prior to the blood sugar getting low if it was cool to make a stop and I was completely OK with it. Anyone who has dealt with diabetes knows, once a person gets disoriented and irritated, it's not good. So, he was dealing with making arrangements for this person to get what they needed on the phone, I was texting the person after he got off the phone so the man wasn't driving and texting and trying to notify everyone else important to us that we were headed to the hospital.

We go to the hospital, got checked in and oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the contractions had intensified again, to the point, that it was finally safe to say I was in labor. The nurse almost gave me meds to stop contractions, that's how frequently they were coming, every three minutes. Talk about perfect timing. I go through the rounds of blood work and wait for another hour before we go into the OR to have our little guy.  My husband and I were joking around, taking pictures of us in our funny looking hats and lovely hospital attire. I get into the OR and they routinely ask Jeff to hang out while they do the spinal tap. I couldn't wait for the spinal tap because it finally meant I didn't have to feel these horrible contractions anymore! The spinal tap goes in beautifully and I have a few issues that come up that need to be taken care of before my husband could come in. My husband comes in and we get started. The doctors are chatting away while they are doing what they need to do with me. I feel some tugging, some pulling, and finally that beautiful sound we had worked so hard for during the last nine months, a nice big healthy cry. As soon as I hear that cry, I start crying, Jeff tears up and he rushes away to help cut the cord and make sure our littlest man is ok. I'm yelling across the OR asking questions and having a conversation with my husband and the doctor's chatter I no longer hear. I had toned it out and could only hear my little guy's cry and my husband. My husband brings that little bundle of joy over and I get my first look; I've thought all babies were beautiful when I see them but this little man was absolutely gorgeous. We cuddled, talked, and kissed him as much as we could and then Jeff whisked him off into the nursery so he could be taken care of. Thankfully he was healthy with no issues. One  of the things I was concerned about being diabetic was his blood sugar levels and he was absolutely golden.

Surgery continued for me and I was so very anxious; time was moving so slowly. I was having my tubes tied and also had to spend some time in recovery before I could see my son. Thankfully, while in recovery, I had a nurse that ended up moving me prior till I was ready to be moved to a room. I couldn't move my legs yet but she didn't want me to spend three hours in recovery while the nurses did shift change. Normal recovery time is two hours. At an hour and a half I still could not lift my legs which is what needed to happen to move to a  normal room. When I get up to the room, I still have to wait the hour for shift change to see my little man because of the shift change in the nursery. I gave birth to him at 4:13 PM and didn't see him until 8 PM. That was a long time for me. I didn't rest much that night with all the guests, having to walk, go to the bath room and on top of it my little guy decided to feed every hour. He really wanted to get this feeding thing started. I was ok with it; I just kept up on the pain medication.

Prior to his birth, I wasn't really looking forward to breastfeeding. I had breastfed with my other two and had always wanted to "do the right thing" with my kids. This, being the third was a little different.  I had done the "mom" thing and had moved on to looking at my career and getting that on track so I was hoping to get back to what I considered normal, exercising, working, and getting back in the swing of things. Yeah, as soon as I held our little guy, some of those old feelings came back and knew I'd breastfeed him for as long as I could.

I left the hospital on Sunday, two days after birth because I wasn't getting much rest at the hospital. I wasn't feeling all that great. I had done all the necessary things to get discharged, walked a few laps around the hospital, I was getting up on my on and going to the rest room, gotten my staples removed from my incision and our little guy was doing fantastic. The only thing that remained was deciding what our little guy's middle name was going to be. We struggled so much with this. We both liked the two names we came up with and had a hard time deciding which middle name to use. I liked one more than the other but my husband loved them both. I left the decision up to him because I felt I had gotten my wish. I had always wanted a son named Michael and we were set on his first name being Michael. I put the pressure on my husband when I told him I was getting discharged that day and he had to make a decision. So, we chose both names.

Recovery at home has been slow. I expected to be back on my feet and doing normal activities around two weeks because that's what happened with the last two c-sections. This recovery has taken longer. I'm in week four and I'm still cramping, bleeding, have bouts of pain in my stomach to the point that I need to rest. I'll put myself at about 60% recovered. I've developed mastitis and a yeast infection in my breasts while breast feeding, both conditions painful and a nuisance to deal with. The mastitis is an infection of the breasts where clogged ducts become infected. The symptoms included flu like symptoms, fever, and your breasts are painful. They have lumps that feel like rocks and can be very sore and warm to the touch. I had it on both sides and was treated with antibiotics. I pumped and nursed like a mad woman to clear the ducts and after four days felt better. After that incident, I started experiencing burning within my breasts and a very painful let down. My nipples also itched, and felt like glass was sticking into them when my son latched on for feeding. We tried a few topical treatments and ultimately resorted to using Diflucan for treatment. This medication depleted my milk supply for a day so my son was attached to me every hour that day trying to feed. You'd think with all this, I'd give up the breastfeeding and my husband has even said "Babe, switch to formula." He didn't like I was having such a hard time with this and all these infections were delaying my recovery. I'm not ready to give up yet; I feel strongly about breastfeeding and am one of those that is determined to go through every single avenue before giving up SO, I'm still going strong with the breastfeeding.

Gone is the expectations I had of going back to my normal life and being able to work, exercise and do what I wanted to do in the time frame I want to get it done. That has been replaced with the acceptance that it's going to take time to heal, to get back to the swing of things and most of all enjoy our littlest man. He has been a complete joy to have in our family and we're all super excited to love him and watch him grow.

Michael Ryan Keith Longie 
Daddy and son 
Sissy and little Mike as she says
Our oldest son and our youngest son :)
Tired but very happy 

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