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.

No comments: