Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After birth


When I started to come to, the first thing I was aware of was overwhelming PAIN. It hurt so badly- I started moaning…and then I became aware that my mom and Todd were in the room with me- I think we were in some kind of small recovery cubicle. All I remember really is the pain- I don’t think I really had any conscious thought. I think I remember someone telling me to open my eyes- but I just could not.

After that, I remember waking up a little more fully and we were back in the room where it all started, but I don’t remember getting there. I think from there, they showed me Annie. I could not hold her, but I did finally get a glimpse of her- and I remember thinking that she looked nothing like Riley! A lot of this time is very cloudy- I have no idea what time it was- I do know she was born at 10:24am- really only about ½ hour from the time that the OB came in the room until she was born. I was told later that they had her out in 3 minutes! From the time that they knocked me out to when she was out of my womb- 3 minutes!!!! WILD!

A little while later, I think, a nurse came in and said that they needed to transfer me to another room, which was fine, and Todd and my mom moved all of our stuff, and then they wheeled me in to another room down the hall. Then they told me that I had to move to the other bed…and let me tell you- that was torture. I am really not sure how I did it- I was shaking and still in a lot of pain- and hooked up to the IV with a catheter- it took a long time to do. I do remember shaking so badly and feeling very nauseous.

Most of that day is really a blur. My mom tells me now that Riley and Brian visited that night- that I said it was ok- and I have a pic of me holding Annie with Riley- but I do not remember it. I have no idea where Annie was most of this first day- maybe with us, maybe in the nursery, I do not know. I know my mom and Todd fed her first- I think they changed her first diaper. I know that I did not, and that still breaks my heart a little when I think about it. I know I held her that first evening- I have a picture of it- but I don’t remember it. That hurts, too. I do not remember any of that first night- her first night alive was spent in the nursery. It makes me cry to think about.

My next conscious thoughts are from the next morning. The nurses came in early and told me that they were going to remove my IV and my catheter and that they were going to get me up and moving that day. They said I would have to take a shower and they would change the dressing on my wound and talk to me about how to care for it….but mostly what I remember from that morning is meeting the nurse who helped me in the operating room- who helped me calm down and tell me that Annie was ok…and I just lost it. I started crying so hard, and Todd wasn’t sure what was wrong. I could barely get anything out, but I did manage to tell her “thank you” and I hope she knew how appreciative I was. It really meant the world to me- just that very kind action and the thought for her to do that for me. I will never forget it.

So, eventually, I did all of those things- I went to the bathroom, I showered, I even sat upright in the chair that day. I was finally, really, able to hold my new daughter. I was even able to nurse her a little, and she was a champ. Annie was seriously born to breastfeed, thank GOD, because it was more than 24 hours before I could even try (they would not have let me even if I could have, I learned later. They were more concerned for my health than for her to get a bottle- the birth was much more traumatic for ME and my body than for HER). I am so thankful that she latched right on and knew just what to do, because had that happened with Riley, who was NOT a good nurser, we would have had huge issues.

We had a visit from her pediatrician who announced her very healthy- and at 9 lbs, she was indeed very healthy!! My OB came in (a different one that morning) and checked me out. I learned then that I might suffer from some Post Traumatic issues, and looking back now, I think I did have some of that….it is funny, I teach that stuff every quarter in my class, I know the warning signs and the diagnosis criteria, but until he said it, I really didn’t think about it…they were concerned about me developing some postpartum depression, but I did not. I did (and still do) have a strong emotional response whenever I think about everything. I know that NO birth goes exactly according to the way you envision in your mind…but this was really the last thing I expected and was certainly not prepared for it…I have a lot of sadness and a lot of sorrow about it, but I know that there is nothing I can do to change it now. And really, I am so incredibly grateful for what DID happen- they saved me and they saved my baby that day, and that, in the end, is really the only thing that matters.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Birth story, Part II

Ok- before you start this, go back and read Part One of her birth story…..go now….I will wait. 

So, the next morning I woke early- I think around 6am because the nurse came in, again, to check my BP and introduce herself, since there was a shift change at some point overnight, I think. We watched a little TV until the nurse came back and tried to hook me back up to the monitor, which was still not successful- little Annie really was a mover in there!

They did an internal exam, and found I was still measuring about the same, but, once again, the nurse could not feel the head engaged. She decided to wait for my OB to come in to check me. Unfortunately, the OB had an emergency C-section over at the other hospital, so we had to wait a while. I wasn’t contracting really anymore, so that was fine. We just hung out and talked!

Around 9:45, I think, my OB finally showed up, and I was pleased that she was my regular doctor. I was so worried that I would have the same OB that I had with Riley’s delivery, who I did not like, or the OB who was rude to me earlier in my pregnancy. So, she checked me and said pretty much the same thing- and then out comes the US machine again, just like the day before! By now there are 3-4 nurses around- it must have been a slow morning- looking and feeling and watching the scan.

WARNING: The rest of this post may be graphic. Please use caution!
Of course, I start freaking out again because, again, the term c-section was tossed around…but they did the scan and saw that she was head down and everything looked good….and then this is when it got dicey….the OB asked if she could break my water and get things moving again, so she did. The next thing I knew, while her hand was still in me, she said “I can feel the cord”, and the nurses started scrambling. I think someone told me that the cord was coming out my cervix, and I knew that was NOT supposed to happen, and the OB was now on top of me, straddling my huge, pregnant belly, with her hand STILL inside of me, apparently to push the cord back up and keep it there.

I started freaking out- they put me all of the way down in the bed, and I started yelling at Todd to call my mom. I knew that if I was having a c-section- he did not want to be in there with me, so I knew I needed her there. Then, in a moment of clarity, I realized that this was happening NOW…I asked someone- one of the nurses, I think, if they were going to knock me out, and she said yes.

Todd got on the phone, but by this time, they were starting to wheel me out of the room. I know he had no idea what was happening and that made me feel horrible. I started screaming, crying…then another nurse jumped on the bed, as they were wheeling me, and the OB and the nurse had to switch places. Which basically meant that I now had two people trying to stop the cord from coming out…if you know what I mean. I was in A LOT of pain- I was screaming as the wheeled me down the hall…I think Todd was following me, I am not really sure. I know it all happened so incredibly fast.

Luckily for me, my room was right next door to the OR, so they wheeled me in there, of course, I was still screaming from the pain, but also because at this point, I was terrified. I didn’t really know what was happening- no one was talking to me because they were running around trying to get everything ready, and I was so scared that Annie was in distress. My OB was in the room washing her hands- I think I could see that- and they were strapping down my legs and setting up all of the sheets and getting all of the tools ready because of course, none of this was planned.

The anesthesiologist then appeared at my head, and starting doing something- then he put a mask over my face with oxygen, I think. Finally, a nurse came over and started talking to me. I was still screaming and sobbing, and I remember her talking to me and trying to calm me down. She told me that Annie was ok- that they just needed to get her out immediately. I tried my best to calm down, but it was so hard. I was so grateful to that nurse- I needed someone to tell me that it was going to be ok, even though everything was happening so quickly, I still needed that. And it is one of the parts of that morning that I still remember so clearly- more on that later.

I saw the OB come and stand over me with her scalpel- and I remember this quite clearly as well- she said “Now?” and they said “No- she is still awake”(OMG- I was still awake and she was ready to CUT ME!!!!!), and that is all I remember….

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Birth Story, part two coming soon

So….Annie is almost one. And I have yet to complete her birthstory. I think about it at least once a week. I have talked about writing it at length with Todd, and commented about it here, too. I even created a Word document a few weeks ago called Birth Story and saved it on my desktop. But, I still have, not even once, started to write it. Until today. I don’t know how far I will get, but I know that I NEED to finish it.

I really do not know why it has taken me this long, although I suspect the reason could be the fact that I really do not remember too much of what happened where I left off last. I also have some unresolved issues surrounding her birth (without getting too psychoanalytic here, although those of you who know me IRL and the fact that I did have 3 years of masters level classes on this stuff should not be surprised) that I have not dealt with, and, after a year, are still painful and still cause me to become kind of emotional when I think about them. So I guess all of that together has contributed to the fact that this is still unwritten…and, oh yeah, I am a bit of a procrastinator and if it wasn’t for the fact that I NEED to write this before her birthday, I would probably still be just thinking about it… am going to write it....soon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

11 Months

Annie turned 11 months old yesterday. In one short one, she will be a year old...someone please explain to me how that happened!

Yesterday was a crazy busy day for me at work- I had meetings all day long, and then Todd picked up the girls and brought them to work because one of the student groups was having a cookout. We had a great time, and both girls played with the other kids and had fun!

So, here is an Annie update:
  • Still no walking, although she pulls-up like a pro and can cruise ok around a table. She doesn't seem all that interested- right now she would just prefer to crawl, I think. So, maybe my prediction of her walking before her first birthday will not be right.
  • She still loves food and eats pretty much anything I put in front of her. She loves bananas and all fruit, really, and bread! She has a very healthy appetite!
  • Sleeping is going well...she sleeps through the night every night now, and has even had a few days when she has slept late (late is this I mean 7am!! LOL!)
  • She is doing really well at school- now she is actually one of the oldest in her room! When she turns 1 she can start eating "real" food, but not until then. Most days she comes home starving!
  • She loves chasing the dog and cat, playing with her sister (and pulling her hair!) and splashing in the bathtub!
  • Party plans are underway- it will be August 2 and we are all very excited!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We have been busy trying to get back to our normal schedule since we have been back- although in between vacation and now we had some more time off for the 4th, which we spent with Grams and Gramps and Mimi and Papa. I have a few pictures from our fun and will try to post them soon.

Todd spent most of the day today running errands so Riley, Annie and I did some grocery shopping and then played around the house. They are really playing well lately, which is so nice (and good for me, too, since they can entertain themselves for a while and give me a little break!), although, inevitably, Annie gets a little too excited and starts to bite or hit or scratch, and then Riley cries and gets bad and refuses to play with her anymore! Oh, well...I supposed we are in for many many more years of that to come!

Annie continues to have some major tantrums. This evening in the bathtub I tried to take away her washcloth because she was sucking on it and it was full of soap and I was afraid it would make her ill. She had a FIT- screaming, face turned red, the whole nine was not pretty. Two seconds later she was fine, but WOW! She really is a handful- she never stops moving, she is constantly into something....tonight when Todd brought them upstairs before bathtime and he said she pulled all of my papers off the bureau, started tearing he cleaned that up, she moved to the laptop and almost pulled it on top of her...he picked her up, she scratched him. He put her down- she screamed...he got down on the floor with her...she crawled over him and knee-ed him in the crotch....about this time, he handed her off to me- I stripped her down and started to get their bath ready- she tried to climb in and had a fit when I didn't let her- then she peed all over me.....please don't laugh!!!! That is how our life has been say that we are exhausted at the end of the day is an understatment! But she is beautiful and full of life and so smart and when she smiles at you- you forget it all....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Nine Years!!

Remember this day? I do!!!!!!!!!!!!