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July 26th, 2006


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January 15th, 2007, 10:00 AM
kiss-my-kitty's Avatar Member
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Condensed birth story
Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 dawned as a slightly overcast, humid morning. Daniel and I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am promptly. Before I could really take the time to blink, I was admitted, stripped down to a gown, impaled with an IV, hooked on the monitors and signing consent forms. A last minute ultrasound confirmed that Ryan was still breech. After a brief cry, I got myself together, went to the bathroom one last time, and off to the OR we went.

In the OR things were a bit of a blur. I sat up on the operating table while my back was numbed, and then received the spinal. Within moments I started getting numb from my feet up, and I was laid down onto the table with my arms strapped down on either side of me. I joked that I was being laid out like Jesus on the cross. Then the blue screen went up in front of me, and as the pressure on my chest increased (due to being numb) and lightheadedness set in, I closed my eyes and focused on breathing deeply and evenly.

The c-section and tubal ligation took about 45 minutes. During this time I drifted in and out of sleep; I even had dreams here and there. When I did come to, I still felt lightheaded and sick to my stomach, so I kept my eyes closed. I didnít talk much or respond to Daniel or the anesthesiologist who stayed by my head, because it took so much effort just to form slurred responses.

When it came time for Ryan to be pulled out and held up, I was offered the chance to have my head lifted so I could watch. But I felt too loopy - I declined. Instead, Daniel watched as he came out and took pictures. I heard Daniel cry as Ryan was born, and felt tears prick my own eyes. He told me later that they had trouble getting his head out from underneath my ribs, and apparently they lifted/pushed my stomach out of the way to do so. At this point I felt a severe need to vomit, but while my stomach was heaving and my mouth was opening, nothing in between ďconnectedĒ. The anesthesiologist put something in my IV to alleviate the sickness, and within a few moments I felt a teensy bit better.

Daniel came to my side a few moments later to show me Ryan, and to report that he was born at 9:00am. He weighed 8 lbs., 8 oz. and was 21.5 inches in length.




LONG BIRTH STORY - DAY BY DAY (in the hospital) RECAP

Wednesday
Daniel and I arrived at the hospital at 6:30am promptly. Before I could really take the time to blink, I was admitted, stripped down to a gown, impaled with an IV, hooked on the monitors and signing consent forms. A last minute ultrasound confirmed that Ryan was still breech. After a brief cry, I got myself together, went to the bathroom one last time, and off to the OR we went.

In the OR things were a bit of a blur. I sat up on the operating table while my back was numbed, and then received the spinal. Within moments I started getting numb from my feet up, and I was laid down onto the table with my arms strapped down on either side of me. I joked that I was being laid out like Jesus on the cross. Then the blue screen went up in front of me, and as the pressure on my chest increased (due to being numb) and lightheadedness set in, I closed my eyes and focused on breathing deeply and evenly.

The c-section and tubal ligation took about 45 minutes. During this time I drifted in and out of sleep; I even had mini dreams here and there. When I did come to, I still felt lightheaded and sick to my stomach, so I kept my eyes close. I didnít talk much or respond to Daniel or the anesthesiologist who stayed by my head, because it took so much effort to just to form slurred responses.

When it came time for Ryan to be pulled out and held up, I was offered the chance to have my head lifted so I could watch. But I felt too loopy - I declined. Instead, Daniel watched as he came out and took pictures. I heard Daniel cry as Ryan was born, and felt tears prick my own eyes. He told me later that they had trouble getting his head out from underneath my ribs, and apparently they lifted/pushed my stomach out of the way to do so. At this point I felt a severe need to vomit, but while my stomach was heaving and my mouth was opening, nothing in between ďconnectedĒ. The anesteiologist put something in my IV to alleviate the sickness, and within a few moments I felt a teensy bit better.
Daniel came to my side a few moments later to show me Ryan, and to report on his stats - 8 lbs., 8 oz., 21.5 inches in length. I barely managed to stroke Ryanís cheek before slipping out again.

The next thing I know, I was wheeled into a recovery area. (By now I think it was around 10:00am or so, but I canít be sure). I was so out of it that I was given oxygen, and soon nurses came around to give me more medicines via IV to alleviate the sickness as well as sudden itchiness. I drifted in and out of consciousness until Daniel arrived (he had gone with Ryan to the nursery), and even then it was hard for me to put together a coherent response that wasnít extremely mumbled and slurred.

By 11:00am it was time for me to be wheeled to my room. I got extremely sick on the way over, and wound up vomiting into a little blue bag in the hallway somewhere. In my room, I was slid from the gurney into the hospital bed, set up with pads, some more fluids for my IV, a blood pressure cuff, and then left alone.

Most of the afternoon passed in a blur of sleeping, waking for a few moments to throw up, then going back to sleep. My mother showed up with Alyssa around 3:00pm, and I roused myself for a bit. But it was hard to remain awake, and even when my brothers arrived a bit later I still dozed off and on. I also threw up several more times. Ryan was brought to us around 4:45pm, but I felt too shaky and dizzy to hold him, so I contented myself with touching him and talking to him while my mother or Daniel held him near me.

By 8:00pm things settled down. All of our visitors had left, and I was given another dose of meds via IV to head off the sickness, and I felt well enough to sit up and keep my eyes open and stay awake. I finally felt well enough to hold my son, and to really take the time to look at him. I attempted to nurse Ryan, but he didnít seem to understand that latching on wasnít enough - he needed to suck, too. I expressed a bit of milk for him (I canít believe itís coming in so quickly!), and then Daniel fed him via syringe. Tomorrow a lactation consultant will come by to work with us and assist in getting Ryan to suck.

Around 11:00pm my evening nurse came in and helped me get up and out of bed. I dreaded this, and rightfully so: it hurt. I ache like my stomach area is one big bruise, and the burning sensation that tore through the incision area every time I twisted/pulled on it was rather exquisite. But I made it up and out of bed and then the fifteen or so feet to the front of the room and into the bathroom. There I brushed my hair, brushed my teeth and washed my face. Then came the fun part: coming back. Walking was painful, but I knew the bending/twisting required to get back onto the bed and settled in would be painful. And it was. It brought tears to my eyes.

Now itís nearing midnight, and Daniel and I are settling down. He has his hide-a-way bed made up, and weíre watching television until weíre both tired enough to fall asleep. And hopefully tonight Iíll get a good nightís sleep, as last night I slept no more than two hours, and even then it was restless and broken.



Thursday
2:00am: The pain medications that were administered with the spinal must have worn off, because out of nowhere I was in a lot of pain. So much pain that I cried, except I couldnít really cry, because the heavier and more rapid breathing made the pain worse. Danieled helped to calm me down, and I called my nurse. I was given a dose of percocet, along with instructions to request percocet every four hours, and in between the four hours to take a double dose of ibuprofen.

5:30am: The night-shift nurse woke me up to do my vitals. Unfortunately, her blood pressure machine wasnít working properly, so she said sheíd be back soon with another one.

6:00am: A phebotomist came in to get blood from me (what is it about 6:00am blood taking? This happened after I had Alyssa!), but couldnít find a decent vein.

6:30am: Another nurse came in with a working blood pressure machine.

6:40am: In comes a nurse with Ryan (they kept him in the nursery overnight) and my morning dose of percocet.

8:00am: My morning nurse introduces herself, then practically throws me out of bed. Sheís insistent on me having my catheter out right this moment. She also wants to push solid foods, until I fill her in on how sick I was from the medicine on Wednesday and thus was behind in my post-surgery ďprogressĒ. She backs off and orders some plain chicken broth, then helps me get out of bed to walk to the bathroom and back again, and then removes the catheter (ouch!). Iím torn: on one hand, itís nice to have the tube out, but on the other hand it means dealing with a lot of pain every time I have to pee, since it means getting out of bed (the worst part - all of the twisting!) and getting to the bathroom and back again.

A lactation consultant came in around 11:30am to work with Ryan and I. We went over some sucking-teaching techniques, and she left us with extra pillows, booklets, a Medela Symphony breastpump and some small-sized nipple shields. If I can get Ryan to latch and actually suck, great. If not, keep trying for about fifteen minutes, then switch to syringe feeding.
The nurses and nursery employees are wonderful: there are specific instructions on Ryanís crib card and in his charts to use syringes only, and so far the instructions have been honored time and again. A feeding syringe is kept in his bassinet, two spares in a drawer below the bassinet, and I have two in my room.

Daniel leaves us to head to work around 2:30pm, but surprises me by dropping back in around 5:00pm: the store manager decided to give him the evening off to spend with Ryan and I. Instead, he collected the keys to the house from my mom (the development manager gave them to my mothe to pass onto us) and heads to the store to pick up painting supplies so he can get our bedroom and Alyssaís bedroom painted.

I take a few cat naps throughout the afternoon and later in the evening, but Iím wide awake when Daniel comes back from working on the house. We watch some TV, he feeds Ryan while I pump, and we then take a painful stroll around the nursery unit. While weíre ďout and aboutĒ we head over to the Welcome Newborn unit to activate our welcomenewborn.com website. By now itís after 2:00am, so itís off to bed for all of us.



Friday
Success! Ryan is brought in at 6:30am, and after ten or so minutes of him snorting and squealing in hunger and frustration, something in his little head clicks: he begins sucking! He happily nurses away for about fifteen minutes, and is then ďtopped offĒ with a bit of previously expressed milk via syringe.

We laze about in bed until about 9:30am, when itís then time to get up (oh, the pain!) and get Ryan situated into a baby gown for his newborn pictures. The photographer arrives, takes the photos, leaves, and then Ryan settles down in his bassinet while I enjoy breakfast, and Daniel enjoys a bit more interrupted sleep.

Daniel left for work around 1:30pm, and no visitors came by, so Ryan and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on our own: nursing, cuddling, sleeping, etc. Iíve been taking the percocet every four hours since that first dose around 2:00am Thursday morning, and I have to say, itís certainly working. Iím still in pain, but itís not as bad as it would be otherwise. Also, the percocet makes me drowsyÖ drowsy to the point of being able to drop off into naps in as little as five minutes. Iíll sleep for as little as twenty minutes or as long as an hour or so. It depends on Ryan being awake or sleeping (or in the nursery), the nurses coming in and out, etc.
Itís like clockwork: I take the percocet, and in about fifteen minutes I start feeling better. Roughly forty minutes later my eyes are drooping shut.
Tonight I watched three CSI episodes in a row, and I fell asleep during the last ten minutes of each one. And for those of you who watch CSI, you know that itís during the last ten minutes that all of the pieces fall together and the case is solved! So yesÖ talk about frustrating.

After talking with two doctors and a nurse earlier today, my tentative discharge date has been changed from Saturday to Sunday. Iím not feeling confident enough to leave just yet. Besides, Daniel and his brothers will be completing the painting of the bedrooms on Saturday, and then spending all day Sunday moving everything in and unpacking things. Ryan and I staying here will be easier on him (so he wonít have to worry about us) and my mother (since she can just concentrate on Alyssa, rather than deal with all three of us), and on me, as Iíll have nurses to help out as needed.

Itís now nearing 2:00am (so itís Saturday), and Daniel should be back from work soon. Ryan is sleeping next to me, but Iím going to wake him to nurse him, as my milk is starting to come in and my breasts are rock hard, uncomfortable and leaking.



Saturday
Daniel came in around 2:30am and surprised me with fudge cookies. Iím not sure if those are included in my approved ďlight solidsĒ diet, so I ate one and hid the rest.

Ryan nursed with gusto, took some expressed milk via syringe from his father, and then headed off to the nursery around 3:45am so that we could get some sleep.

6:00am. In comes the morning nurse with Ryan and my beloved dose of percocet. More nursing, cuddling, a quick visit from the pediatrician, and then itís time to get a few more hours of sleep.

Ryan woke once around 10:00am to eat, so I was able to sleep before then and after then. I dragged myself up and out of bed around 1:00pm to take a shower. What would normally take me ten minutes took about 45, because it took time to get out of bed, make my way to the bathroom, sit during a long and relaxing shower, and then slowly make my way back to the bed and get dressed.
1:30pm. Lunch arrives, but Iím pooped out from getting cleaned up and dressed. I eat a little bit, and then doze.

Things are quiet for the rest of the afternoon and evening, as itís just Ryan and I: Daniel left in the morning to go to work and then head over to the house to continue painting, and my mother, grandfather and brothers wonít be visiting until after 9:00pm.

So Ryan and I spend the afternoon together in bed. At one point he spent four hours nursing, only dropping off every little bit to nap. I napped here and there as well. Not only does having just given birth and being up around the clock with a baby make me sleepy, but the percocet works like clockwork: within twenty minutes of taking it Iím feeling better, and exactly one hour after taking it Iím ready to snooze.

My family came around 9:30pm and stayed until a little after midnight. We watched television, oohíed and aahíed over Ryan and compared baby footprints between my mother, my brothers, myself and Ryan (my youngest brother and Ryan are tied with having the biggest feet).

Once my family left, I nursed Ryan one last time, and then he and six ounces of expressed breastmilk were taken to the nursery and I went to sleep.



Sunday
Ryan seems to enjoy sleeping. I donít recall Alyssa sleeping as much as he does. Anyway, because he enjoys sleeping so much, the six ounces of breastmilk I sent to the nursery held him over until a little after 9am. I took advantage of the nine hours or so to sleep, and even with waking up a few times (twice out of pain, once from Daniel coming in, another time from the nurse coming in) I still managed to get about six hours of sleep altogether.

This time around I was really worried about being able to handle the sleep deprivation, but itís just hit me that Iíve been going on a few hours of sleep here and there and various naps since Wednesday, and so far Iím doing okay. Iím tired, but not quite as bad off as I thought I would be.

Right now Ryan is sleeping on my chest, after having spent nearly an hour stuffing himself. Iím watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and thanking God for the wonder drug that is percocet. I took my dose about 45 minutes ago, so now the pain is back down to a 2 on a scale of 1-10, and pretty soon Iíll be getting sleepy enough to take another nap.

Since Wednesday night Iíve been taking two tablets every four hours, and three tablets of ibuprofen in between those four hours, and itís keeping the pain in check. Iíve had a taste of what the pain is like without any painkillers, and I donít care to again.
Yesterday an afternoon nursed talked me into trying just one tablet of percocet, to see how things went. Well, they didnít go too well. I was definitely in more pain, and to top things off because I was napping I was over two hours late for my next dose of percocet. Let me tell you, I was ready to cry.

Today Ryan and I will be going home. Well, thatís not quite true. We are being discharged, but weíll be going back to my motherís house, as Daniel and his brothers will be moving all of our things into our new house and unpacking everything.
But then tomorrow Ryan and I will be going home - I canít wait!

Iím excited about leaving the hospital, yet at the same time apprehensive. I hope I can handle the pain okay. I know Iíll be sent home with prescriptions for percocet, but I worry that Iíll run out too soon and wonít be able to get a refill, and/or the strength wonít be quite as high. I also hope that Daniel wonít be too overwhelmed with the new house, regular housework/duties, taking care of Alyssa and then helping me.
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