Birth Story ~ Meet Connor
~ September 10, 2003
September 5, 2003 at 1:12pm
6 lbs 14 oz; 19.5 inches long
Here it is . . . the BIG day! As I am writing this, 5 days later, it's hard to believe it's only been 5 days since Connor made his big entrance. Somehow it seems so much longer than that, possibly because I've been waiting for him forever . . . the perfect little baby boy I've always wanted. It still seems unreal, like I am walking on a cloud, can this be real? Somebody pinch me!
The day started routinely enough. I sent Nicky to school and he was so excited! His little brother was going to be here that afternoon and he had been counting down the days! Nicky has been so special thru this whole pregnancy and often told me how happy he was that he was going to be a big brother.
The appointment with the hospital was at 9:30am, and the c-section scheduled for 12:00 noon. We arrived in the lobby of the hospital 10 minutes early and waited for someone to take us to the 2nd floor waiting room. About 10-15 minutes later all the paperwork was ready and they took us to the 2nd floor. There we waited another 15-20 minutes before a nurse came to get me to take me to the pre-op area. In the pre-op I put that nice hospital gown on, they did a NST test to make sure the baby's heartbeat was good, stable and stress-free, they put an IV on me (yikes! On the wrist?) and started giving me antibiotics for the Group B strep. Nothing out of the ordinary here, everything basically routine. Once I was ready they let Greg in and he later put some scrubs on. The nurses were real nice and the doctor came in to let me know that the actual surgery might not start right at noon but a little after and then explained to me that he was going to go through my old scars of my previous c-section. He stated because of this, I would feel less pain altogether and the recovery would be much faster because the scars did not have nerve endings. He also told me that many women that have repeat c-sections experience less pain and faster recoveries in each subsequent delivery. I was happy about that!
Just a little after noon they came to wheel me to the surgery room. Greg and I waited outside the room for a little while and talked about things . . . looking at the schedule on the wall I was the first of 3 c-sections for that room that day! I was the only c-section that did not include a tubal though. I've always felt that is such a drastic step, and I have been successful in not getting pregnant by accident all of my life, I certainly do not intend to start now. Although if an oopsie was to happen, we would most likely keep it. It was at this point that I decided to tell Greg that, God forbid, the baby had EB, to make sure to let me know immediately because there needed to be precautions to take on how to handle the baby etcetera. I think I worried Greg for nothing! Through the whole pregnancy I had told Greg that the chances of this baby having EB were slim to none because of how the condition is inherited, and now all of a sudden I am worrying him! I guess I needed to be prepared for everything, just in case.
Shortly thereafter the anesthesiologist came by to tell me what he was going to do. Greg and I were so impressed with this man! He spent a great deal of time giving us all kinds of details about the procedure and he put my mind at ease. Later on, when he did the epidural, I was amazed on how gentle and descriptive he was. If putting the IV in was a 10 as far as pain, this epidural was a 2! It was mostly 'sensations' of pressure, little burning and so on, not 'real' pain. The nurse was so sweet too, she was holding my hand the whole time. This was not the case in my past two epidural experiences, but there were circumstances that surrounded them that made them worse. With Alex the poor anesthesiologist had to put the epidural in during a very strong contraction AND an awful leg cramp! I had two people trying to hold me still and trying to be still was a huge effort. With Nicky this other poor anesthesiologist was putting my epidural in when my water broke! LOL! Water everywhere (puddles and puddles on the floor) what a mess.
Shortly thereafter they let Greg in the room and the doctor came in. I became numb pretty darn fast, the doctor asked me if I was ready for this (as ready as I'll ever be!) and Connor came out at 1:12pm. Because Greg was not sure what to look for, when he saw that the baby was covered with white stuff in patches, he immediately assumed he had EB; his heart sank. It wasn't until he watched them cleaned him out that he realized that the baby was okay. The doctor told him that it was vernix, there was no blood anywhere and he looked fine. What a relief!
After they cleaned the baby up they showed him to me and then they whisked him up to the newborn nursery with dad while they wheeled me to the recovery room. It was about 1:40pm. I would stay in the recovery room until approximately 4pm and I was absolutely amazed on how well I was feeling. I was in no pain whatsoever, no shivering, I wasn't hot or cold, I was fine. This was not the case when I was in the recovery room after I had Nicky, but then again, after 24 hours of labor, my body was exhausted, while now I was "fresh". I wasn't supposed to stay in the recovery room that long, but the hospital was having a 'baby boom' so to speak and was running out of beds. They had to start opening up rooms to two patients per room and they had twice as many babies in the nursery as normal. So, lucky me, was put in a very small room with another mom. I thought I could perhaps make a new friend, but it soon became apparent to me that it was not going to happen. This other mom constantly had company and what turned me off was the fact that she was getting phone calls from the baby's father and she was so mean to him, telling him that he could not see the baby, blah blah. Of course I do not know any of the circumstances, but for the few hours she was in the room with me she made no attempt at conversing with me or ever say hi. Oh well. She was moved to another wing of the hospital a few hours later. I was hoping I would be by myself in the room and was able to catch some news on the TV (the TV was actually on my roommate's side of the room so because of the curtains between the beds, if I had a roommate, that meant no TV for me. Yey.) At any rate, as soon as they put me in the room I tried to call both Greg and Nick, who was taking care of Nicky, but I got no answer on any of the phones I tried to call. Very soon though, all three came into the room! I was pleased. Greg told me that because of some amniotic fluid stuck in the respiratory area, they had to put Connor in NICU, but that he would only stay there for 6-12 hours. I guess this sort of thing is common in babies born via c-section, because on babies born vaginally they are able to squeeze this stuff out when they squeeze thru the birth canal. They would start bringing me Connor once he was out of NICU. I could not walk yet at this point so I was not too happy that I was not going to be able to see the baby for a while. Because of this, they could not even show Nicky his little brother, but Greg did show me some pictures he took with the digital camera.
That night at 3am, I once again had a roommate. Yey . . . no TV for me again. I was looking forward to perhaps making a new friend, but this time was a bust as well. Even though the mom could speak English, she was very, very young, and must have had at least 20-30 visitors (no lie!) in the 36 hours that she was my roommate. Curtain closed, she was either on the phone speaking Spanish, had a visitor she was speaking Spanish to, or was watching a Spanish TV channel. So, while she had the best side of the room, with the TV and a window, her only English speaking visitor griped that it was hot in there (yes, a little tiny room with 8-9 people in it does get hot) and why 'I' had a fan and she did not. What a joke. By the time she left the next day they moved me to a new room and I was so happy to hear people speak English! But... I am getting ahead of myself!
On Saturday morning I was desperately trying to find out where my baby was. He was not in NICU and the Newborn Nursery was not calling me back. Supposedly the pediatrician, who had seen Connor earlier that morning, said that they had moved the baby to the regular nursery and that he was in an isolette, but that he was out now and they were going to start bringing him to me. A nurse earlier that day had told me (after I pestered my regular nurse to please find out the status of my baby) that they had to put Connor in an isolette because he was throwing up and as soon as they could make him eat something (at this point they thought he was lactose intolerant) they would start bringing him to me. But nobody was bringing me the baby.
The nurse came in to start making me walk, at least to the bathroom, and it was pretty painful, but what was worse was the morphine that was making me want to throw up-what an awful feeling! After a few of these episodes, and after not being able to eat because of it, they finally took me off the morphine and after a few hours I felt 100% better. So much better as a matter of fact that I now took up the advice of the nurse to walk down the nursery, which earlier I felt would be too hard for me to do. I just marched in there and asked to see my son and that it had been 24 hours since I had seen him. A nurse was feeding him at this point and handed him to me to finish the feeding. He was sooo precious I could hardly believe my eyes! This is MY kid? I made this little boy? I wanted to cry. The nurse told me they were finally able to get him to eat and they were taking him out of the isolette and if I wanted her to bring him to my room. OF COURSE!!! LOL. So.. I walked back and shortly thereafter Connor came to stay with me on a semi-permanent basis until I left the hospital on Monday afternoon. Semi-permanent because once or twice a day the nurses took the baby to weigh him and check his vitals etcetera, and also came by every few hours to find out how much he ate (I was on strict military orders to feed him 1oz every 3 hours, and I even got yelled at by one particular nurse when he ate .9 oz instead of the full ounce! Give me a break!) and if he pooped etc.
I had him in my arms when Greg called asking about the baby and I proudly told him he was in my arms!!! He was so happy :-) and so . . . on his way to see us, ha ha. The visit went well, Greg took lots of pictures, and later on Nicky came by too and he was sooo taken by Connor, he could not stop staring at him!! He kept whispering in his ear that he loved him, gave him lots of kisses and was just basically in awe. He then sat on the bed and said 'I love mamma, I love daddy and I love the little baby.. I have a new baby to love!' How precious is that? This was possibly one of my most proud moments in my life.. sitting in bed with my two little angels. I could not ask for more.
Because I was not sure if I could keep my food down I stayed on a liquid diet for another day, but promised the nurse that if I could keep my breakfast down on Sunday morning, that I would go to a normal diet for the rest of my hospital stay, which I did. At this point the Doctors, seeing that I was doing well, told me that it was up to me how long I wanted to stay in the hospital. I could stay 2, 3 or 4 days, meaning I could leave Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Since I felt that Sunday was too soon, and Tuesday was a bit much (plus, I had to give my Nicky a bath on Tuesday) I felt Monday afternoon was my best bet.
One strange thing is that, as of Sunday afternoon, 48 hours after the surgery, I was still not bleeding, nor had I had a BM, but as soon as they moved me to my new room (a much, much larger and modern room, still a two-patient room, but I was alone for the time being, and the TV was in the MIDDLE!!!! A TV for someone that is basically bed ridden becomes so important!), all the medicines they had given me to pass gas and the stool softener must have started working all at once because, as Nick and Nicky were visiting, I had to go to the bathroom really, really bad, and all of a sudden I had a gush of heavy flow and a huge BM! Good grief! I felt so much better afterwards it was actually quite comical.
In the meantime I was becoming a pro taking care of Connor. How easy is this? I can wipe his little butt without fear of ripping off skin, I can take off or put on clothes without fear of hurting him, I can put the bottle in his mouth without fear of making a blister in his mouth, as I told my mom on the phone when I got back home, this is my doll baby!! I can take care of him with my eyes closed! But there is an area of concern. Breastfeeding. I want to breastfeed. I was going to start breastfeeding him right away, then I couldn't, and then when they finally brought him to me my supply of colostrum was basically none. I put him on the nipple anyway, he would latch on, suck for a short while, then cry of hunger and I had to give him the bottle. RATS! It would really hurt too when he latched on, and I remember vividly the nurse telling me that breastfeeding should NOT hurt. I requested a lactation consultant to come by and when she did I felt she was possibly a bit harsh with me, and mostly, with the baby. I can't really put my finger on it, but I think she totally came on way too strong. She basically told me that I should go 'cold turkey' with the baby (which I don't feel is a good idea because they found the baby to be a little jaundiced and to get rid of that he needs nutrition), plus I am so engorged now he could not put the entire areola in his mouth even if he tried. So, for the time being, I still have him latch on for what he can, even if it hurts, pump a while, and as soon as I can tell that he CAN latch on and I have a good supply, I can make him go 'cold turkey' at that point if I feel good about it. We'll see.
I did get a new roommate again on Monday morning, since I left on Monday afternoon I did not get a chance to talk to her, but I talked to her relatives, and they were very nice. I finally got all the discharge papers for me and I was just waiting for those for Connor at this point-they took blood from him and said he looked fine, just to follow up with his pediatrician about the jaundice and we will also have a circumcision done next week.
Overall? Aside from the roommates deal, this has been a dream. The baby is doing well, working on the breastfeeding, every nurse was so nice and kind, I am recovering very quickly compared to last time, and I resorted in NOT weighing myself until November when I will start working out again. Right now it would be just too depressing, ha ha. I am just thrilled that I feel good and I can take care of the boys without feeling too run down.