Warning, nekid baby parts and a bit of fat lady side-boob behind the cut
So, last Friday (the 7th) was my 40 week OB appointment, I went in and got settled in for an NST like usual and Jasper ended up having some heart-rate decelerations which concerned my OB, my blood pressure was also up over my baseline (it was at 180/102 and my base is usually around 140/90).
My OB is VERY pro-natural child-birth, having had 2 of her own, as is my nurse and we had discussed letting me go as far as 42 weeks as long as things stayed good so instead of immediately springing induction plans on me she sent me across the street to the hospital to get a more in-depth NST and a bio-physical ultrasound done.
I got over there and they hooked me up for the NST for about an hour and Jasper had 9 decels, it was terrifying, at one point his heart rate dropped into the 50's.
At that point I was pretty re-signed to an induction, they took me back to a labor room and my OB came in and started the c-section spiel....I pretty much had a panic attack.
During this time my doula showed up and she was shocked too but she also saw the NST results and was very adamant that a c-section looked like the best option.
If his heart rate was already dipping for no reason (It was not happening in conjunction with contractions, which is expected) then active labor was more likely to put him under even more stress and result in an emergency c-section which would mean I would not be able to be awake for it and recovery would take longer for both of us.
I have been dead set on a natural birth since day one, in fact I was planning on a home birth but I risked out due to the blood pressure, so I thought I was doing OK for compromising on an induction...but I seriously lost my shit when I realized I was set for a c-section.
My OB is amazing...she sat with me and held my hand, wiped my face and kept re-assuring me that I was still going to be able to try for a VBAC with my next, that we were doing what Jasper needed and that everything was going to be OK.
I seriously owe that woman cookies...seriously.
They took me back and once I was in the OR I actually calmed down quite a bit, my normal instinct in unpleasant situations is usually to run...I seriously considered just getting up and leaving but I didn't.
The anesthesiologist came in to do my spinal and that was no where near as bad as I had prepared myself for.
It was surreal laying there, knowing my legs are right there and not being able to move them....I kept tripping myself out while I waited for them to get going.
Once I was totally numbed up Charlie came in, I love my husband, he can seriously make me laugh regardless of what is going on.
He whipped out the camera and goes "Ok, lets turn her inside out!!"....the nurses/doctors had no idea what to think of him lol!
So Charlie is standing there getting ready to take photos because I really wanted to get to see what all was going on but they would not take the screen down for me.
Im laying there and waiting and waiting and all of a sudden Charlie goes "Oh god...is there a chair for me?"
I had no idea they had already gotten started. So trippy....and it was so funny after all the sick shit he has looked at online (two girls one cup anyone?) and THIS makes me weak kneed??
He sits down and all of a sudden I hear Jasper...and we both lost it....I know EVERYONE cries when they first hear their baby but still...it surprised me just how powerfully I re-acted.
They pulled him out and did all the newborn crap and then brought him over, he had made his first bowel movement inside me so they were worried about that but they let my husband hold him and we got a few photos and then he and Charlie went down to nursery while they finished with me.
I got taken to recovery and got to wait...and wait...and waited...all I wanted to do was hold him!!
His blood sugars were really low at birth (19) and then dropped 15 minutes later (to 9) so they had to start an IV and it was delaying him being brought to me......So Im laying there, tripping balls because the spinal is making me itch like mad, balling my eyes out with my Doula (who joined me right after I got to recovery)....I just wanted to hold him so bad.
They took me back to my room about an hour after I left the OR and then FINALLY, 4 hours (FOUR FUCKING HOURS) after he was born, they brought him in....the nurse let me do some skin to skin time and we made a half-hearted attempt to breast feed with no success (I think we were both just too worn out) and then they told me he had to room in the nursery due to having an IV.
I already felt like he had been taken from me due to the c-section, then not seeing him for so long only to have him taken away again? I was so upset, I pretty much had another panic attack, my husband was freaking out that I was going to hurt the incision from the way I was crying and not being able to breath....it was just bad.
I got calmed down and the lactation consultant and my doula encouraged me to start pumping immediately, I really just wanted to go to sleep and say "fuck off" but I tried and I got about 3 cc's of colostrum which was encouraging.
They brought him in a few more times through-out the night for a few minutes each, we never had any success getting him to latch...Im so worried he will not be able to breast feed.
My breasts are so big,saggy and soft....I really think its because of that, I hate my breast.
I continued pumping through-out the night also with mixed results, some times I got a full 10 cc's and sometimes I barely got 1.
Let me take a moment here, as if this is not getting too long already, to say how freaking...no, how FUCKING awesome all of my nurses had been so far, my night nurse this night was soooooo amazing, she sat with me while I pumped and cried and I just wanted to hug her...she ended up hugging me several times...I loved her.
The next morning ( Saturday the 8th) I was still feeling really good pain wise, they un-hooked my IV and catheter and brought him in to attempt to feed again and while he still did not latch we did get a lot of skin to skin time in.
Then they told me he had pneumonia....
Turns out he had aspirated some of the meconium and was having some respiratory distress....they were transferring him to the local childrens hospital later that evening and starting antibiotics.
Cue another freak out.
Come on!!! It had been over 24 hours since I "gave birth" (more on that later) and I had held him for MAYBE 45 minutes all together...I just wanted to hold him, to cuddle and get to bond with him and now that was not going to happen for even longer....I was so frustrated and defeated feeling.
I calmed down and we got all the papers signed for the transfer and I got to go to the nursery and see him one more time before he left, It was all I could do to not grab him and run, I just wanted my baby (Im going to be saying this a lot I think) then the transfer team came and packed him up....and I thought I was going to die when I had to walk away from him again...Charlie had to pretty much carry me.
That night was really hard, I tried to pump and I even managed to get two full 10 cc syringes full of really nice, gold colostrum but it was really hard to stay motivated because when Im depressed all I want is to sleep.
I had a hard time doing that too, I was not in pain from the incision but my back was killing me from being in bed and un-moving for so long.
Then this morning (Sunday the 9th) I got up and DAMN was I feeling it, Im pretty sure it was mostly because the previous night I had gotten myself up to go pee about 4 times without help because I knew Charlie needed sleep as much as I did and I did not want to buzz for the nurse.
My back was (and still is) throbbing so bad from the stupid bed and its hard to stand fully upright.
I got checked out by my OB who was thrilled I was up and walking around and said everything with me looked great, she had heard about baby but told me to be positive...yeah.
She ended up letting me get discharged because she say how stir-crazy I was going and wanted me to be able to go see Jasper ASAP.
So I got discharged, rented a pump and headed over to the NICU at the childrens hospital to see Jasper..
He was all bundled when we got there and so small looking, I started balling my eyes out when his nurse asked if I wanted to hold him...that all I wanted to do, of course I want to hold him!!!
We sat with him for an hour or so, I kept asking Charlie if he wanted to hold him and he kept telling me to have my time with him...I was so grateful, I really dont think I would have handed him over if he had said yes.
His doctor came in (way young, way cute and way nice!!) and told us what was going on, he was still on dextrose for his sugars but they were weaning him off of that and onto tube feedings.
He was also on oxygen but NOT on a ventilator so that was a good thing, function wise his lungs were a- OK when it came to that.
His respiratory rate was not OK though due to the fluid in there causing him to have to work harder, they had started antibiotics the night before and expected to continue them for AT LEAST 3 more days, possibly up to 5 depending on what his labs look like tomorrow.
They were really up beat and positive though, I felt so bad for crying so much, there were babies there that are soooo much worse off then him and I felt so selfish for crying.
They said I can come in 24/7 to sit with him and as long as his stats stay good we can do skin-to-skin but until his resp rate becomes more normal they wont allow any oral feedings as its too much work to expect him to be able to suck,swallow and breath at this point.
However they have a lactation consultant and a nursing suite and they set me up with pumping storage and all that good stuff so that as he gets better that can supplement his tube feedings with breast milk first and eventually get him off it all together in the next few days.
They let me hold him for a bit longer but then his oxygen levels had to be increased due to some destress so they swaddled him back up and put him back under the heater, they did say that he had been holding his own temp really well and would be moving him to an open crib in the next day or so.
We stayed for a bit longer but at this point (330pm) I had not had anything but some OJ since 9pm the previous night so we headed out for some lunch and ultimately decided to head home for some rest.
Now, we live an hour away in good traffic...this is were my decisions get hard...there is NO WAY we can afford a hotel room for a week and the hospital does not allow rooming in until they are off all IV's :(
Gas is going to be hard but I think we are going to end up going in at least every other day if we can swing that, we are heading back tomorrow afternoon at some point depending on how I sleep tonight and how late I sleep tomorrow...Charlie needs sleep too just as much as me and he will have to drive.
I feel so guilty over this, I just want nothing more than to be with him, to hold him....and I plan on being there a lot but going home at night seems so cruel, like Im abandoning him....and NICU moms here? Am I being a horrible mom!!!???
I dont know what to do at this point.
I feel A LOT more positive than I did yesterday, I know he is not going to be in there forever and I know he is no where near as bad off as the majority of those babies....Im not scared that he is not going to recover...I just want him with me.
I dont know how to explain how I feel in regards to the c-section, I dont feel traumatized really...I know it was medically needed for him and it scares me to think what would have happened to him if I had been more stubborn about trying to induce first.
But I dont feel like I gave birth, I feel like he was taken from me...stolen...I dont feel like a mom yet and when Im not holding him I feel like I should still be pregnant.
Im not sure Im truly depressed at this point but I am frustrated and sad and feeling defeated and helpless.
I just want him here..I know thats going to happen relatively soon but....its not soon enough.
I just called the hospital to get an update and they said he is sleeping and doing great, they had turned his oxygen down from 70% to 30% and turned off his heater, they expect him to be in an open crib by tomorrow morning which means I can start skin to skin time with him.
My percocet is kicking in and while my back is still killing me and maneuvering is really hard (Im currently rolling on my birth ball) I feel WAY better physically then I expected to.
I thought surgery would like...incapacitate me but nope, its just hard to get out of bed and on and off the toilet...if I had a walker I would be A-OK.
Im having difficulty pumping with my breasts, Im a saggy 44f and the pump keeps breaking suction and my nipples are already bleeding and Im over it...but Im not giving up!
So yeah...there is my overly long, super repetitive (I just want to hold him!!!) birth story...and now for some pictures!!
Charlie trying to get me to laugh after my c-section talk panic attack
I look like shit...I dont care...
Waving to me :) Charlie took these while I was still getting stitched up
Finally getting to hold him
In the nursery the next day
Daddy and Jasper...this photo makes me cry