Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

OUR Birth Story

Like we said in the last post, the c-section went very well, and we are now just spending the time falling in love with our little baby boy.

There is, of course, more to the story, and I finally have a little time to sit down and write it out (well, maybe bits and pieces here and there).

I was pretty nervous about the c-section, to be honest. Not the surgery itself but the spinal and the meds making me sick was worrying me. I hate getting shots - esp big huge ones in my back when I am only around strangers. But the nurses were awesome and did a great job distracting me, and the spinal wasn't all that bad - not compared to getting it in an emergency for my c-section with Camden. In fact, the whole procedure was so different this time b/c it wasn't rushed and I wasn't throwing up. It was calm and exciting, and I was able to be aware of everything going on. One time the anesthesiologist did have to remind me to breathe, though! I said, "I wasn't breathing?" Really thought I was, but I guess I was just so focused on listening to the doctors and nurses doing the procedure. So from then on, I paid close attention to every breath I took - while listening to the rest. I remember the doctor holding Aiden up so I could see his face over the blue sheet - right after she delivered him. I saw his wet dark hair, his red face, and his mouth open crying. It was really incredible.

Afterwards, I actually got to have Aiden with me. I even held him while I was pushed back into the recovery room and then got to nurse him immediately. With Camden, I didn't get to see him for a couple hours after the delivery, so this was a big deal to me.

There are many things we want to remember from that day and from the rest of our hospital stay - and honestly, some things we don't. There was a lot of good and also some bad. Nobody's story is perfect, right? Here are some pieces of our story...


Like I said, no sickness from the spinal this time around. They gave me Zofran through an IV (this happens to be the same medicine I had been taking for the morning sickness, but it's much stronger through an IV and worked wonders!). Afterwards, for pain, I was given Percocet. Apparently, I react to some narcotics with severe nausea... So on day 2 (since I already had Zofran in my system during day 1), it hit again. They still hadn't taken my IV out, which was good, b/c I had to have two doses of Zofran given to me again. Same thing the next day. Day 4, though, saw me still getting sick (threw up a couple times - no fun when you still have staples in your abdomen!) even with the Zofran. So, when I ask for more anti-emetic (anti-nausea) meds, they gave me Phenergan, which knocks me out! I had also requested more pain meds, and the dr was ordering me something different. Well, the nurses didn't give me that, even though it was due - and I slept for over an hour. By the time I woke up, I was three hours past due for pain meds - and was in severe pain!! They gave me Vicodin, which is apparently slow acting (thanks, right?! seeing how I'm already late for the meds) and also didn't do a single thing for me! Then they gave me something else (Dilaudid), but it also meant I had to stay longer in the hospital to see how I reacted before they let me go home. (We got out at 7pm instead of 11am.)

On Day 3, Mammaw Melly noticed a rough spot on Aiden's little tushie. We were told to take him to the nursery to see the Ped (which should get him seen faster than waiting for the Dr. to come to us). FIVE doctors looked at the spot and couldn't tell what it was, so the on-call dermatologist came by when making rounds. She thought - maybe a birth mark (but we hadn't noticed this until just that day!). The main derm dr looked at it, too, and they still weren't sure. They ended up coming by the next day to do a skin biopsy on him. Yes, that means they had to numb him with lidocaine and take some of his tushie skin off to get a better look at what was going on. We wouldn't get a call until Monday (this was with a rush put on the results) and would come in later for a follow-up. Needless to say, we were pretty worried. They thought it would just be some inflammation and said it might be fibrous tissue hamartoma, which would be benign. The biopsy was to be sure. Scary stuff to hear when it's your newborn baby.

Day 3 we also find out that Aiden was a little jaundiced and that he would need to have his billirubin checked a THIRD time. He has a different blood type than me, so they said that's why he was already checked twice. We weren't told his results from the second test was so high until the day after...). So we had to wait to be discharged on Day 4 due to this, too. The poor guy came home with a bruise on one of his heel from all the squeezing they had to do from all these tests to get enough blood out for them. :( His levels did turn out ok enough to come home, though, with orders to breastfeed as much as he wanted and would.

Day 4 - supposed to be doing all this breastfeeding, which had gone tremendously well thus far. But he was sleeping ALL day this day - apparently another sign of the jaundice. So I was really engorged and not feeling all that well in that area! I had to finally get a pump and express my milk that way while the little guy snoozed away.

Before being discharged, the dr wrote the prescriptions for the new meds I would need. She said I could take two Dilaudid at a time, though the nurse gave me only 1 - and I needed the two! The nurse later almost refused to give me the extra one before leaving b/c the doctors "orders" stated only one. She finally gave it up right when we were about to leave.

We had stated multiple times that Aiden NOT receive the Hep B vax while at the hospital - because we were asked multiple times. (We're not against vaxing but have a different schedule that is approved by his dr and will get the vax later on.) One nurse even asked us THREE times, as if she never heard it when we declined. When leaving, we are handed the paper to show all immunizations given, dates, dr signatures, etc. On it is written that he got the Hep B!!! Ryan did not take this lying down (I love him!) and demanded to find out why that was on there and that they make sure it was incorrect. The nurse wanted to smooth it over and say she was sure it wasn't - and it turns out he most likely wasn't (he was always with us except to be weighed each night, she says they write this on all of the papers before the child ever gets the vax - what a crappy procedure, huh? - we never saw any mark where the shot would have been, it was in the computer that we declined, etc, etc.). But there's no way to be 100% sure, is there? She had to admit there wasn't.

On Aiden's discharge paperwork, it is stated that his blood type is O+ in one place and A+ in another. We were told A+ (I am O+), but why would they have it written as two different types??? So what do we do? Well, we have to get him retested b/c who really knows which one is right?

The hospital staff made Aiden's first ped appt but made it with the wrong dr. Not a huge deal, but he had to see the other guy for the first appt and we had to explain a million times to everyone why he should see this other person the next time around. Just kind of annoying, but small compared to some of the other stuff we had to deal with.

I have a lot of sores from where the tape was around my incision dressings. The dr said my skin had been "burned" by it. I still have the marks - you can see where it outlined the tape. Not much fun. I also had to have the IV left in for much longer than expected due to needing nausea meds. Each time they used it, they had to flush it out. They eventually had to remove it b/c it was getting to be too much and was really painful. My arm is STILL numb from where all the fluids were in my arm next to the IV.

When leaving, we were given three prescriptions for me to fill (for pain and nausea). Two were pain meds - the Dilaudid and Motrin (800 mg). Even if I only took one Dilaudid at a time, they would only last a couple days - and no refills! We weren't sure if I was supposed to take both that and the Motrin together, so when we called on Monday, we were told I was really supposed to take the Motrin and then only take the Dilaudid as needed. I was not a happy camper! ONLY Motrin? Ha. We tried it that night, and it was the most painful night I have had (including at the hospital!!!). I'm annoyed they didn't give us these directions to begin with, either. Hmmm.... And I keep hearing from people, "You're taking Dilaudid? That stuff is GREAT!" Ummmm - maybe for you. I feel like it doesn't do a whole lot, to be honest.

I got quite annoyed with some of the nurses there - telling me to "cover him up!!" when I would uncover him some to help him wake up to eat (I do know what I'm doing!!), acting like I was crazy about being nauseous (until they saw me sitting next to the toilet and had my mother explain how white I got before I jumped out of the bed to make it there - and you don't typically "jump" anywhere after abdominal surgery...), the constant reminders that they do have lactation consultants and encourage me to take advantage if I need one (why would they think that when the baby was nursing better than most newborns - which they would then notice once they saw him), and other things, some already mentioned. I don't know how many times I rolled my eyes and thought - I DO know what I'm doing, you know. I didn't really say much b/c they were, after all, the ones giving me my meds and other special treatment I or Aiden needed.

Hospital Food!! Ugh. Not just the taste of the food itself but how about the fact that they never got the orders correct? There were always two or three things missing. So I ate a lot of snacks and things others brought in on top of the meals there. Or Ryan would have to go to the cafeteria to get his meal and would get enough for me, too. Glad to be home eating what I choose now. :)

We chose to deliver at Duke b/c it is supposed to be the best place to be - we were somewhat disappointed with many things. Can you tell?


I wasn't nauseous at all during the day of the surgery. That was quite a relief!!

I had awesome nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists working with me during the surgery. They made it a great experience for me!

I got to nurse Aiden RIGHT AWAY after he was born, like 15 minutes after he actually was pulled from my uterus. I got to hold him while I was wheeled from the OR to the Recovery room and then nursed him immediately. He was READY to nurse as soon as he was born and we had no problems whatsoever! What a blessing!

Everyone took the tushie spot very seriously. That was nice to see.

I got the pump stuff from the hospital for free b/c I needed it, so insurance covered it. It is to go with a machine but can also be used as a hand pump (which is all I would need anyway). It's also the brand I was going to use, and now we can take back the one we were given as a gift and get something else since we don't need two. Nice plus, I would say. Those things aren't cheap!

My hubby is awesome! He showered me once I finally had the bandages removed from my incision. He dealt with all the yucky stuff that I couldn't help and showed me more love than I would have expected from anyone. He also stood up big time to the nurse when we were getting discharged. That poor lady wasn't personally responsible for any of the stuff happening, but she got the brunt of it and had to deal with us for quite a while before we left. He knew I was getting upset, reminded me that he would take care of it all, and he did. He is really awesome, and I am so thankful for him.

My hubby stayed at the hospital the entire time! And this was without me asking him at all. His idea! His "bed" was not at all uncomfortable, yet he never complained. He WANTED to be there and played a major role in everything! He is going to be (and already is) an incredible father.

Ryan is also really on board with using the gdiapers after the whole tushie thing, even though the disposables didn't cause it. He doesn't want those nasty things on his bottom now (with the exception of the occasional 7th Generation diaper when needed), and he's also not so crazy about using those regular wipes, either. I think officially becoming a father has helped him to think more about what we do to our child (instead of just accepting what is traditionally done in our society) and try to do what is better for him.

One of the doctors (the one working with finding meds that didn't make me nauseous) was pretty funny. She said "let's get you out of here so you can deal with people who have some common sense" after hearing some of the things the nurses had told us (such as a nurse told me I could NOT have an ice pack to put on my incision site b/c it was not part of the doctor's orders!). She also saw the gdiapers and said, "Oh, these are those new biodiapers!" She thought they were really cool. :)

We also settled on our circumcision decision... This was a tough one. Both Ryan and I kept going back and forth. He was slightly more for at times, while I was more against most times. But we were both wishy-washy and were having the hardest time making a final decision that we were completely comfortable with. One dr said, "If you're not 100% sure about a surgery, you shouldn't do it." Another agreed and even said how she regretted doing a circ on her son (you usually don't hear regrets about that, and it was nice to hear). Neither of them were biased (even if this sounds like it) and supported either decision but agreed that we needed to be sure before doing either. So - we defaulted to our original decision - if we can't find a very good reason TO DO something like this, we simply won't. So we left with him being fully intact. The great thing is we both felt by this time that it was really the right thing to do. Like I told Ryan at one point, I'm not ok with us just compromising on this decision - we both need to agree on it whole-heartedly. It's not a minor decision, and we ended up seeing it the same way. That's a good feeling, and we're satisfied.

And of course - the best PRO is that we got the most amazing little boy out of all of this, making everything worthwhile!!! I would do it all over again 100 times and more.

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