Tuesday, April 15, 2014

B's Birth Story

Just now getting around to posting a Baby B update, although considering I'm writing his birth story on  his 2 week birthday while his sister is two years old and still doesn't have a birth story "on paper," I figure I'm doing okay. 

Failing to jot down the details of L's birth is definitely a regret -- I'm not entirely sure why I didn't make that somewhat of a priority, but I'm sure the baby blues and PPA played a big part in my omission, as well as my general feelings of extreme disappointment and failure for requiring a c-section in the first place {feelings that were further complicated by the fact that I knew surgery was 100% necessary for L's safe delivery; therefore, I felt quite guilty about that disappointment}.  

Essentially, I was a hot-damn mess of emotions, and, in an attempt to be less so this time around, I'm just going to get this sucker down!

{Fair Warning: This is like The Goldfinch of birth stories except with less Pulitzer prizes and more Ricki-Lake-&-Ina-May-induced guilt.  I hope you're sitting somewhere comfy. Or that you have the good sense to skip this one and come back later when I'm back to my usual drivel... I promise I won't hold it against you.}

I had my 40 week appointment scheduled with my OB right smack on my Tuesday, April 1st due date at noon. Back in January or February, we'd selected Friday, April 4th as an "end game" for my desired VBAC; ie: If I failed to go into labor naturally or failed to progress enough naturally for a Foley ball induction, we would be doing the repeat c-section {"RCS"} on that date.  But as I passed 37, 38, and 39 weeks with absolutely no natural progression, I really started to want at least the full 41 weeks, if not 42, to hopefully allow my body to do it's thing. At my 39 week appointment, my OB agreed to discuss pushing back the RCS if I still hadn't progressed at 40 weeks. In preparation for a potential "battle," I reread all the ACOG recommendations for VBACs and bookmarked compelling literature on my phone for backup. I was ready! 

Backing up just a tad, I'd been sick for nearly a full 2 weeks as I neared my due date and was 2 days off a round of antibiotics when it arrived. While I was much better, I was definitely still feeling rather "off"... I'd noticed a very strange tingling in my legs the previous weekend -- almost like hot spots in certain places, as well as both legs feeling bruised to the touch.  They weren't swollen at all, so I just chalked it up to being Super Effing Pregnant.  Then on Monday, while L was at school, I ran around town like a mad woman completing errands.  After pickup, we also braved the grocery store, and by the time we got home and I got everything unloaded, I was feeling lightheaded and my heart was starting to race a bit.  I took my blood pressure, and it was high. I don't remember the exact number, but it was definitely up there -- and not just for me {my BP is usually low -- around 110/60}, but legitimately high.  Since my OB's office was already closed at this point, and I wasn't keen on dragging a toddler to L&D by myself, I turned on Daniel Tiger for L, rested for a while, then retested.  The reading was still high for me, but not too incredibly terrible in general.  I continued to monitor it that night and got similar readings.  When E came home, I told him I felt "really weird," but really couldn't describe any real "symptoms" other than that. 

When I woke up on Tuesday, I still felt "really weird" {so eloquent, I know}.  I took my BP first thing and it was still high for me / borderline on the hypertension scale.  I started to get really nervous about the day's appointment and was afraid a crummy BP reading would equal RCS on Friday with no option to push it back.  I got L up, we woke Daddy up to play, and I made breakfast.  Feeling too exhausted to mess with my hair, I took a "rinser" shower and got dressed. E got ready and went to work as usual, and L and I played while we waited for my mother-in-law to come over so I could head to my appointment.  I noticed I was having some eye floaters which made me a little uneasy paired with the higher BP.  At some point, I realized I'd only had coffee for breakfast and, while I wasn't hungry, cracked open two hardboiled eggs.  L then proceeded to scarf one of my eggs... The rinser shower and the stolen egg would become a sore subjects many hours later. 

My mother-in-law arrived about an hour and a half before my appointment.  I left early so they could play before L's nap and so I could have a phone date with Maggie.  L was not super happy about me leaving, but I promised her I'd be home when she woke up from her nap. While she was distracted, I slipped out without a good-bye kiss {Sore Subject #3}.  Maggie and I caught up for a good 45 minutes, and our conversation left me feeling rejuvenated  and ready to tackle the "we're not agreeing to that RCS on the 4th" conversation with my OB.  

In the waiting room, I passed a few minutes texting my friend Erin.  The nurse {who I've come to appreciate over the years but does not have the best bedside manner} called me back quickly.  I gave my urine sample, hopped on the scale, and sat down for my BP reading.  I immediately knew something was off when she did the initial reading.  Without saying a word, she repeated the process twice more on the same arm and then three more times on my other arm.  My heart pretty much sank right then and there.  The lowest reading she recorded was 160/96... 

"Oh yay, you get to have a baby today!"

Um, no. No, lady. No "yay."  

As she led me back to an exam room, the ugly crying commenced.  She made some lame attempt at an April Fool's Day joke which did not go over well, and she quickly left me alone.  I called Evan to tell him he might want to wrap up what he was doing at work.  Having been my biggest advocate in my quest for VBAC, he was calm and encouraging while I lost it.  We agreed he'd stay at work until I spoke with my OB but would head out immediately if need be.  I also called my mom who returned home to pack the car for a probable road trip to Dallas. I texted Erin that I was probably having a baby today and that I was FAH-REAKING OUT, and she worked some of her calming magic.  I love great friends. 

My OB came in shortly thereafter.  She said my BP readings alone were enough to set off major warning bells, but coupled with the eye floaters and the funky leg pain, she was confidently diagnosing me with preeclampsia and insisting B be born ASAP to avoid complications.  We both crossed all our appendages as she did one last cervical check in case I'd progressed enough for her to insert a Foley ball and/or break my water and give labor a chance to start naturally... no dice.  Absolutely no softening and not even a fingertip dilated.  She hugged me while I ugly cried and told me how legitimately sorry she was.  For about the thousandth time in our professional relationship, I was thankful she was my care provider. 

After much mascara drippage, she asked me when I'd last eaten and said she hoped it'd been a great last meal... Um, yeah, single sad hardboiled egg around 10am, Womp-Womp.  Since anesthesia prefers a full 8 hours between eating and surgery, she tentatively set the RCS for 6pm and instructed me to head down to L&D to check in.  I asked if we could possibly bump surgery back to the next morning... Absolutely not.  Well can I at least go home for an hour and come right back? To do some important things like, yaknow, install that infant car seat {what idiot doesn't have their car seat installed by their due date?!}.  Sorry, nope. 

At this point, the tears ramped up again as I realized I promised L I'd be the one who woke her up from her nap. Yes, she's two and I doubt she'd hold it against me {or even really recall I'd made that promise}, but oh man, talk about a stab to the heart as I thought about the moment I'd wanted alone with her as my only child for the last time. I called E and confirmed today was the day and blubbered about how I hadn't gotten to say a proper good-bye to L.  We decided he'd go home, fill his mom in, grab our bag, and meet me at L&D.  We'd decide once he was at the hospital if we wanted his mom to bring L up to see me.  I called my mom and she assured me she'd be on the highway shortly and, with a little traffic luck, arrive before I went in for surgery.  I texted Erin, told her I was FAH-REAKING OUT again, and she had more soothing words.  I pulled it together enough to get dressed and leave the exam room.  I passed the nurse on the way out, and she said "cheer up! you get to meet your baby today!"  I shot her a look of death.  The moderately pregnant lady checking out at the front desk appeared very confused at this interaction and likely thought I was a total baby-hating nutbag.

I managed to make it down to L&D without anymore awkward encounters and quickly checked in.  The lady who showed me to the pre-op observation room must have thought I was crying because I was terrified of labor or surgery, because she asked me if this was my first baby and told me it wouldn't be as bad as I was making it out to be in my head. I didn't have the energy to correct her, so I made some lame murmuring sounds so she'd leave me alone.  I got dressed in my gown, contemplated taking a mirror selfie for Belly Posterity, and quickly abandoned the idea as I looked like hell.  Started to feel quite silly and guilty for blubbering so much when I was going to have a healthy baby in a few hours.  Feelings of silliness and guilt led to more tears... I was pretty much a faucet of saline and snot at this point. 


My prep nurse Adrienne came in and introduced herself and seemed surprised to find such a pathetic patient.  I explained how much I'd wanted a VBAC and also that I was feeling like somewhat of an entitled asshole for my current state of being.  Adrienne the Saint said all the right things about how mourning your desired birth experience doesn't mean you don't love your baby, yada yada yada.  She was just the person I needed while I waited for E to arrive, and for that, I will be eternally grateful to her.  We chatted about our daughters as she completed the zillion intake questions, and I was able to relax a bit.  I also realized a big part of the reason I was so upset was the whole "not seeing L" aspect of the situation.  I knew I'd feel a lot better if I were able to see her pre-surgery, but I also didn't want to drag her up to the hospital for purely selfish purposes if the experience of seeing me stuck in bed with tubes in my arm was going to scare her.  E arrived and, after some discussion, we decided she'd probably do just fine, and we asked his mom if she'd mind bringing her up. 

While we waited, four different nurses attempted to insert my IV and collect 7 vials of blood for testing.  In the process, they collapsed 6 of my veins.  So that was super special.  Anesthesia also came to speak with me and seemed really surprised I wanted a spinal rather than an epidural.  They also seemed confused about post-op pain management even though E and I both tried to explain to them what meds I'd had during and after L's birth.  We were more than a little surprised to discover the hospital didn't have any record of my previous stay even though I'd delivered there a mere two years prior... Electronic Age Fail.  I started to feel anxious about surgery as I was not a fan of the anesthesiologist's and nurse anesthetist's vibes.  

My mother in law arrived with L soon after anesthesiology left, and my girl's presence immediately brightened the entire room.  She didn't seem concerned at all that I was wearing strange clothes and stuck in bed.   She sat in my lap for a few snuggles, but mostly charmed the nursing staff with her renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle and Itsty Bitsy Spider.  She was very intrigued by my red allergy bracelet, and Nurse Adrienne made one for her and for her Minnie Mouse.  She was also quite pleased to discover the hospital has delicious Sonic-style ice, and she happily munched on that for over an hour.  After a good, long visit, we told her goodnight and promised her she'd be able to come see her brother and give him his monkey lovey {that she'd become obsessed with} the next day {and eat a birthday cupcake... one guess as to what she was most excited about}. Being able to properly kiss my favorite girl goodbye brought me a good amount of peace; I'm so glad we made the decision to bring her up. 

My OB came in around 5pm and said we were a go for a 6pm surgery.  She'd spoken with the anesthesiologist and told him I definitely wanted a spinal.  Her phone rang to the tune of Mirrors, and we had a somewhat inappropriate conversation about Jay-Z, her kindergartener, and radio edits.  Recalled for the second time that day why I love her so much. 

My mom arrived a few minutes before 6pm, right around the time Adrienne told us we were pushing back surgery 30 minutes so my OB could finish delivering another patient.  I was extremely thankful for that extra time with my mom!  

The OR nurses came to wheel me away around 6:15, and I was super pleased to see there had been a shift change and a new anesthesiology team was in place.  These guys were way more personable and we joked about Big 12 sports {?} all the way down the hall.  Partners are not allowed in the OR for the administration of spinals or epidurals which I really, really hate.  With a spinal, things move really fast since the medication only lasts for an hour or so, and, after hours of waiting in that tiny observation room, it felt like warp speed as they prepped me for anesthesia. Earlier, I'd happily consented to having a resident present for surgery but started to regret that decision a bit as the anesthesiologist narrated the entire spinal procedure.  I did note that Footloose was playing on the OR radio which calmed my nerves, because who doesn't love Footloose and/or the irony of listening to Footloose as your legs literally become temporarily paralyzed? 

The spinal took a bit longer to work, and I was momentarily terrified I would be completely put under... a feeling which was almost immediately replaced by the panic one feels when losing total range of motion in the lower half of one's body.  Typical control freak, I am not a fan at all of this sensation {or lack thereof}, and remember thinking "how high are the chances really that I end up like poor Sybil Branson if I just take away informed consent now and we all go home and eat cheap oven pizza and wait this baby out?" But, up went the blue sheet, and my OB began making the first incisions while reminding everyone in the room not to toss the placenta as we were planning on encapsulating it.  Cue self-deprecating joke from me and a horrified look from that resident baby-doctor. Poor girl didn't realize she'd be in the presence of a real, live voodoo weirdo. 


E arrived, resplendent in paper scrubs, just after surgery began and we watched the clock expectantly for those first screechy baby bird cries. 


At 6:40 pm, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Brady Terrence loudly made his entrance into the world -- 9lb 3oz and 21.5 inches of fat, cheesy baby perfection.  As my OB cut him out {ug}, the entire room made wagers as to his size; after measuring in the 50th percentile consistently on 5 Level II ultrasounds, we were a bit shocked he was so large! 


E went over to the table as they weighed him and performed his Apgars, and then came back over to me sans baby.  At this point, B had stopped crying and was silent, and my mind immediately went to about 524 terrible places, but E assured me all was well.  The nurse soon brought him to us and we were able to do skin-to-skin as surgery continued.  B was silent and alert the entire time, like he knew this was exactly where he was supposed to be -- it was an incredible contrast to our first encounter with L who furiously screamed on my chest throughout the entire completion of surgery. 

At least I fortuitously managed to accessorize appropriately.

Surgery seemed to take a lot longer than I recall with L {E thought so, too}.  Interestingly enough, my OB performed and "inside" cervical check during the process - basically poking at my cervix from inside my abdominal cavity - and reported there was absolutely zero internal dilation or softening.  She said by 40 weeks, one would definitely expect at least something to be happening internally, and she highly doubts I would have gone into labor spontaneously by 41 or even 42 weeks.  I am not sure if this information makes me feel better or worse, but I suppose it's interesting nonetheless. 

We were wheeled back to the same pre-op observation room and introduced B to his J {GranJan had a name change a while back as L prefers the more hood worthy moniker "J"} and PawPaw {Evan's dad arrived while we were in surgery}.  Cue insane flurry of texting and emailing. Apparently our family doesn't do major life events unplugged. A shift change brought the Keystone Kops of nursing staff and an entire series of unfortunate events {more blood draw trauma, a horrid reaction to morphine after specifically stating I didn't want morphine, more general confusion about post-op pain management}, but I was too blissed out with B to care much.


I won't elaborate on the rest of our hospital stay 'lest I send this post into an entirely new sphere of Lengthy Obnoxiousness, but I will say our time there was loads less stressful than when L was born. No NICU stay, no inconsolable baby, no frantic tears with the lactation consultants. B latched and nursed beautifully from the start and showed off his mellow personality right off the bat. Dare I say good chunks of our stay were actually enjoyable. And it's been much of the same since we've been home.  This little biscuit baby just fits right into our life and doesn't seem to mind one bit that we've drug him all over town in his first two weeks of life. This kid rarely cries -- only when he's starving or cold; most of the time, he just squeaks adorably.  The transition definitely hasn't been all sunshine and rainbow unicorn farts, but I really can't imagine it realistically going much smoother. 

Two Terrences
Second sibling meeting... the first was... not worthy of photography
headed home

And once again, all those stupid cliches are true... You cannot fathom loving another child as much as you love your first, but somehow you just do.  I also really had trouble envisioning myself with a son, but I have to say it's pretty damn cool having one of each. 

Life is truly good. 

If you've managed to make it this far, please have a drink on me.  And how's about you make it a double since I forced you to look at my child covered in vernix. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Oh, HEY!

Birthed a pretty cute nugget last Tuesday, whatcha think about that?

As is my {bad} habit of late, all efforts to update this little space in a timely fashion have fallen by the wayside while we've been enjoying the heck out of this biscuit baby. 

Be back soon with the full scoop! Until then...

...Unimpressed Baby recommends Instagram {@cheesefiend} for maximum squish overshare. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

39.Almost weeks

Kinda dialing it in here for posterity's sake, apologies!

Comparison: 39 weeks with L

Marination Time: We are creeping up on 40 weeks {Tuesday} here. L was born at 39 weeks on the dot, so I am officially more pregnant than I've ever been. 


Discouraged... My appointment last Monday brought the news that I hadn't progressed at all.  I believe my OB's exact words were "100% closed and the opposite of softened."  Perfect. Honestly, I wasn't super shocked, but the Big Ugly Cry happened anyway.  I think my OB was pretty shocked as I've never cried in her office...not even a single tear all through the uncertainty of L's VCI diagnosis. {I always wait until I'm in the elevator as I prefer to completely freak out strangers involuntarily stuck in small spaces with me.} I asked her if we could possibly push back the "end game" c-section from the 4th to the 7th to give me the full 41 weeks. She said we could discuss it this week at my due date appointment.  I've been spending a whole lotta time on ACOG's website and have come to the conclusion that I will fight tooth and nail for that new 41 week deadline.  I think I will be much more at peace with that time frame if surgery becomes a reality. So... fingers crossed that conversation with my OB is an easy one! 

Icky...The Late Term Pregnancy Plague continued this week. Last Monday, I thought my cough was abating and I was in the clear... Nope. Woke up Tuesday to major sinus dramz.  By Wednesday, it was clear I had a full blown sinus infection and started antibiotics.  I finally started feeling somewhat human again on Saturday {thank goodness, as E and I had big plans to celebrate our 5th anniversary!}. 

Nostalgic... So excited to meet B and make him a part of our family, but also really emo about our little family of three dynamic changing.  Especially conflicted about adding another little buddy to L's and my weekdays.  She is seriously at THE BEST age right now - her little temperament is so sweet and silly - and I'm a little worried a sibling will throw her off her game or... yes, make her hate me.  I've been assured this worry will pretty much melt away immediately upon B's arrival, sooooo...another reason to look forward to his birthday! 

READY... Sickness appears to be on the outs, perfect anniversary dinner has been digested, check-list definitely still exists but nothing totally essential remains. I am huge and uncomfortable and continue to scare the general public with my massive presence.  It's time, son. COME OUT. 

Cravings / Aversions: I haven't been able to taste or smell much of anything for two weeks, but I continue to stick my schnoz in the general vicinity of anything rubbery or leather cleanery.  Crunching ice is also still awesome. 

Movement: In addition to getting the antibiotic hookup on Wednesday, I also spiked a fever... and B stopped moving in the afternoon.  After a few hours and trying all the "wake up baby" tricks, we were advised by the doc on call at my OB's office to head to L&D for monitoring. It took FOREVER to find B's heartbeat {at one point, the nurse was all "where does it usually show up?"...um, EXACTLY WHERE THE MONITOR IS RIGHT NOW}, but all was well.  Our little guy must have just been taking a good snooze.  Since then, he's been back to his mad man ways. 

Sleep: Not happening. 

#2 Compared to #1: I am still pregnant this time. 

Old Wives Tales Induction Methods: Same as last week although my efforts were sidelined a bit this week simply due to feeling so incredibly shitty.  We walked for miles today, and I'm hitting up my Chinese foot man again tomorrow. 

Highlight of the Week: E and I celebrated 5 years of wedded bliss {March 28} this week!  We always kind of thought we'd spend #5 with a return trip to Greece, but I suppose hanging out with loads of green snot at 39.5 weeks pregnant is a decent runner up!  Joking aside, we did have a great weekend -- a whole afternoon of family time on Friday, jazzed up with homemade pizza, gorgeous flowers, and gift exchange.  Satuday, we attended the birthday party of one of L's playgroup friends before she headed off to her grandparents'. We ran a few errands and then got all gussied up for a lovely dinner at Fearings. I ate entirely too much good food, enjoyed a glass of good wine, and had an absolute blast with my oh-so-handsome groom!  And then we slept until 8:30... wheeeeeeeeeeee! 

Gratuitous Big Sis Photos:

visiting our "friends" at Old Navy
Panera date
Sunday Funday!