lunabee34baby: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34baby
Obviously, this post contains graphic commentary on childbirth, breastfeeding, and other bodily functions. :)



I woke up Monday morning (June 27) at 7:00 in the morning. I was forty weeks that day (although for some reason, my due date was pegged as the next day, or possibly I misheard or misunderstood the due date). I'd been having dreams that my stomach was hurting which turned out to be real life stomach hurting once I was awake. It felt like period cramps--aching in my back and way down low in my pelvis just like when I have a period. There was also a little blood when I peed, and I guess that was the bloody show you're supposed to have before you go into labor. After a while, I woke up Josh and told him I thought this was probably the real deal. We called our parents, did some last minute cleaning up of the house (I'd been keeping the house pretty clean and wanted to come home from the hospital to a clean house). We had to run a few errands like paying bills and buying litter, and then we took Emma over to a friend's house. She seemed a little apprehensive but mostly ready for Fiona to be born. Up until a couple weeks before Fiona was born, Emma would say that she wasn't ready for Fiona to be born yet; she'd always say Fiona should be born in a week or so. As the due date got closer, though, Emma finally started saying she was ready for her sister to get here and expressing impatience.

Once we got on the road, I called the doctor and they told me to stop by before going to the hospital (the practice is on the same street). The doctor checked my cervix (4 cm) and a non-stress test indicated contractions but nothing really strong or regular. I was afraid they were going to send us home, but he gave us the go-ahead to go to the hospital.

By the time I got checked into a delivery room, it was about 11:00. They gave me a hep-lock, hooked me up to the monitors, and then it was just a waiting game. My contractions weren't really progressing all that much. The doctor came by to break my water at one, and that was pretty uncomfortable. He couldn't get it to break for a bit, but after it did, the contractions got more intense and strong. I was 5 cm at that point.

A couple hours later, I got an epidural (that tingly shock down your leg when they insert the needle is weird!), and for a little bit, everything went really well. They put me on a pitocin drip and steadily upped it, and my contractions came much closer together. Around five, the pain became so intense that it was apparent that the epidural wasn't working properly. There's no way to know how much, if any, of the pain the epidural was masking; the anesthesiologist said I had a "hot spot" and gave me another bolus of the medicine that still didn't diminish the pain. The contractions were coming only about fifteen to thirty seconds apart, and I never had a chance to recover from one before another would start. Fiona was stretched out all the way inside me with her feet up in my ribs on my left side; I'm pretty sure she bruised me internally. The pain got so intense that I threw up multiple times; there was no basin in the room so Josh had to hold the big biohazard trash can off to the side of the bed and it hurt so badly just to lean over the side to throw up instead of curling up over my stomach to throw up into my lap.

I have never experienced pain like that, not even during Emma's birth. The epidural worked for me then, and the only true pain I experienced was the last ten minutes of pushing her out. The end of labor with Fiona was excruciating, though, and it was even worse because I didn't expect it. I never thought the epidural wouldn't take away my pain. The doctor gave me two injections of a different medicine, and I think they had some effect right there at the end, but not much.

Right before the intense pain, my mom and dad got there. Pretty sure I said "goddamn it" in front of my mom. LOL

Another thing that surprised me about the epidural is how uncomfortable it made my legs. Even when the contractions weren't hurting me badly yet, I couldn't get comfortable and I couldn't move my legs on my own. It sounds like a small thing, but that discomfort coupled with the pain in my abdomen was just about too much to take.

The part of childbirth that I dreaded the most was the pushing, and that ended up being the easiest part. Pushing against the pain was actually a relief. I pushed for fifteen minutes, and then Fiona was born. I can't describe the relief of that final push. The second she slid out of me, the pain stopped pretty much completely, and I felt pretty freaking awesome. LOL

I did have an episiotomy :( and one small tear that the doc had to stitch up.

They didn't do this when Emma was born, but immediately after Fiona was born, they put her on my chest for an hour; the child instantly started rooting around and latched on like a pro. She was really interested in breastfeeding right from the beginning, latched on perfectly (like a little velociraptor LOL), and nursed really well. She weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and was 20.75 inches long at birth.

Josh's parents arrived while she was being born, and once they moved us into a room (they wheeled me on a bed which surprised me; I thought they'd put me in a wheelchair), they got to come in and visit with us for a brief time before visiting hours were over. Josh's sister had gone directly to our town, picked up Emma, and was entertaining her at our house which was a huge help.

Just giving birth to Fiona deflated most of my preggo stomach. Within 72 hours of giving birth to her, I looked pretty much the same as I did before pregnancy (albeit a bit flabbier). Nobody weighed me, though, and I don't have a scale so I have no way of knowing how much weight I lost.

Breastfeeding was initially pretty uncomfortable. I kept being afraid that she was latched on wrong (which is supposed to cause pain in the nipple), but every lactation specialist and nurse that watched me breastfeeding said she was latched on properly. I finally decided to use a nipple shield (which is this plastic thing that goes over your nipple and decreases the sensation of nursing). I used it for a few days, and then I stopped using it because my nipples had toughened up enough that it didn't hurt anymore to nurse. We've had one nursing problem so far; on Wednesday night, Fiona started acting weird and nursing poorly, pushing away from the breast and almost acting like something was hurting her. Of course, this starts happening at like three in the morning and continues through the next day, so I'm just in tears. We take her to her pediatrician's visit, and they have a lactation consultant there who deserves some kind of medal for being the kindest and most helpful person I think I've ever encountered in a medical setting. Turns out, my milk had finally fully come in, and it was freaking Fiona out to basically be squirted in the back of the throat with a fountain of milk. LOL By that night, she'd gotten used to it, and we haven't had any nursing issues since. I did get a crack in one of my nipples, but I just went back to using the shield for a day until it quit hurting. Honestly, I cannot believe how easy this has been. So much of it is Fiona--her being interested in breastfeeding and intuitively knowing how to nurse well--but I'm so surprised and relieved at how well the experience has gone, especially since it was such a disaster with Emma. Adequate support and good information make a difference; who knew? Right now my plan is to nurse her until I go back to work in October and save up enough breast milk to feed her by bottle until December. I like how free breastfeeding is and how good it is for Fiona and for me, but I don't want to do this for a really long time. It's going to get annoying not being able to take Ems to a movie, for example. I also haven't figured out how I want to handle the whole nursing in public thing. I don't think there's anything wrong with nursing in public at all, but I don't know how comfortable I am personally doing it. IDK I haven't practiced using the nursing cover-up yet. I should do that and see just exactly what it's going to look like/reveal.

Fiona had a smidge of jaundice, but they never put her under the bili lights, and she was fine at her first peds appointment.

My mom has been here with us for a little over a week, and she's been a godsend: cooking all these wonderful meals, doing all the housework, playing with Emma. She and I can rub each other the wrong way, but I don't think we've annoyed each other at all. I've been deeply and sincerely grateful to have her here.

Emma has been just amazing. She wants to hold her sister and help pick out her clothes and give her a bath and help me record my breastfeeding sessions. It has been incredibly sweet. Emma's bored (and who blames her? babies are pretty freaking boring), but overall this has been a positive experience. She had one moment a couple days after we brought Fiona home where she got a little upset and cried and told us she was worried that we'd always have to pay this much attention to Fiona and we wouldn't have time for her anymore. I think she feels better about that now, though, bless her.

I just can't believe how amazingly everything has gone. At this point, I feel almost back to myself physically. The post-birth period has all but stopped, almost all of the episiotomy stitching has dissolved, and the pain in that region is close to negligible as long as I'm careful wiping and etc. I don't feel crazy or overwhelmed or upset or full of despair or any of the things I felt after Emma was born. For a couple three days after Fiona was born, I did a lot of crying, not because I was sad or upset, but almost like this release valve thing. I couldn't help the crying, I felt better after I did it, and I haven't done it in days. I think my hormones are regulating themselves a lot more quickly than with Emma.

I am happy, I have at least a modicum of patience LOL, and I'm enjoying having a little baby. I can't believe what a good experience this has been, and I'm looking forward to whatever is to come.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-03 07:09 pm (UTC)
likeadeuce: (Default)
From: [personal profile] likeadeuce
This is all great news!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-03 11:39 pm (UTC)
ariadne83: danny is ridic (Default)
From: [personal profile] ariadne83
Yaaay this is fantastic! I'm so happy for you :D

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-05 03:23 am (UTC)
karmageddon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] karmageddon
YAY I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU

and jealous I have 7 more weeks blech

I think the hormones going better than with Emma is probably at least partly the breast-feeding. It's definitely a way your body pulls everything back together. One piece of advice I got with my second that really helped is: when you're breast-feeding the younger one, look the older one in the eye and talk to them.

It sounds like you're having so much fun! That is such a special, intimate time. And your husband must be so amazed at the three of you!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-08 12:06 am (UTC)
agentcthulhu: knitted yellow-green cthulhu in black suit and sunglasses (Default)
From: [personal profile] agentcthulhu
As I told a friend two days ago, "[Lunabee] has a smart kid. Only three days old and she's already aware of her surroundings and voicing complaints!"

I'm so pleased everyone's doing well. Hopefully things will keep on being in shipshape!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-07-08 06:46 pm (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
Thank you so much!

It really is going well.

Everyone left today; my daddy came and picked up my mom and Emma left with them to go spend two weeks (eep!) away with her other grandparents. I'm a bit sad about Emma being gone so long; I'll miss her. But it'll be good to have some quiet down time as well.

(I owe you a PM from like seven million years ago. It is on the agenda!)

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