Category Archives: Yeah baby

Finally, answers.

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Where to start, where to start? I suppose for you readers it starts when I first mentioned I haven’t been feeling so fantastic, back in December. And from there things quickly spiraled downward with hospitalizations, surgery, medications and horrid side effects, breakdowns and visits to seemingly every doctor in town. I received numerous tests and diagnosis that didn’t seem to fit and tried drug after drug that didn’t help my pain. I’ve been in agony, and was starting to think that I was going to have to learn to live with chronic pain. But I desperately wanted answers, answers that made sense and rang true and I fought for them. And finally, I know with certainly what is wrong, what is causing this awful pain.

Let’s go back to the beginning then, on that sunny Friday in September when a beautiful baby boy entered the world. What did I share about his birth? Not much, but I’ll tell you now. You guys know me, I’m not a big gal. On that Friday, I birthed an 8lb 7ounce baby after 3 hours of pushing. And when he finally came out, he did some damage. I remember holding Devan while being stitched up and after 45 minutes requesting to know what exactly was going on down there. You tore pretty bad, I was told, but don’t worry about it now. Well, I worried about it plenty when I got home. I moaned to my mom that she should have warned me how horrible childbirth was. How I lost my bladder control for weeks, how it hurt beyond belief to stand, to walk, to sit, to be awake. How I would spend weeks relying on a sitz bath and frozen veggies for a small measure of comfort. It was horrible, but I though that was what childbirth was all about. By six weeks I could move about without as much pain and eventually things returned back to normal except for the burning hip pain that I first experienced in the third trimester of pregnancy.

I went about life: moved, lost a job, found a new one, lost a pregnancy, and became pregnant with Leah. The first half of my pregnancy with Leah was characterized by vomiting and nausea, and so I barely thought of anything else. But as the second trimester drew to a close I started having intense pain through my hips and pelvic area. I was told it was normal and so I relied on my heat packs, thermacare wraps, and lidocaine patches to get through the days. At 40 weeks and 2 days, Leah Ellen arrived at 8 pounds 6 ounces. Childbirth was substantially easier this time around, but I still experienced a level 2 tear. I was thrilled to have an easier recovery than the first time though, no loss of bladder control and only a week of discomfort before I started to move around better. I even walked to the park less than a week after her birth, where it took me months to be able to walk any distance comfortably after Devan was born.

But here is the thing- I have never felt like myself again after Leah’s birth. For awhile, I thought it was still recovery from childbirth. Then I blamed hormones and sleepless nights. And then I saw an RN and was told it was an infection. And finally in December, with pelvic and hip pain so searing that I could think of nothing else during the day, I knew I needed to find some answers. That’s the part of the journey that I shared to lets skip ahead to what you all want to know- what is going on.

First of all, I don’t have Fibromyalgia. I have Endometriosis, but lots of women do and it is not the cause of the pain. I’m not crazy, I don’t have chronic fatigue, or pelvic congestion syndrome, or IBS, or internal cystitis. It has nothing to do with my hormones, or my thyroid, or my cycles, or my diet. I thought that doctors were taught to look for the most straight-forward answer and not the rare diseases and I think that certainly would have helped in my case. Because the answer was obvious, and easy to find when the specialist knew what to look for.

So pardon me for putting this so plainly, or embarrassing any guy who doesn’t want to read this, but simply put my two big babies pretty much just completely destroyed my vagina. Well technically, my pelvic floor. I have been walking around the past few years with bilaterally torn pelvic floor muscles, and was told I experienced a level 4 tear with one of the births that did not heal properly and I have residual scar tissue. My pelvic floor muscles have not healed at all, are in a constant state of spasm, and are causing me mind-blowing pain whenever I do anything. It makes sense, and I feel relief and validation for finally knowing what is going on.

The best news ever is that I’m not going to have to live with this pain much longer. And there are ways to fix this and it is going to solve my pelvic pain and my hip pain. And that my lower backaches and shoulder aches are referred pain and should go away when my muscles heal. I won’t need maintenance medications, or anything long term. I’m going to feel better in a matter of months. I am ecstatic!!

I thought for a fair number of days whether to share or not, but I did because so many of you have been pulling for me. And because I’ve learned this isn’t all that uncommon. And maybe someone else has been though this and will feel a little less alone. I’ve lost a lot of family time due to this and the truth is I have had a really hard time, and just hanging on has been a challenge. The process has been exhausting, demeaning, embarrassing, painful, and expensive. And I’m one of the lucky ones, who found my answers relatively quickly.

Now I am going to start the healing process, it’s time to move forward. I look forward to a life without chronic pain and worry. I’m ready to be present for my friends and family. I’m ready to talk about some other topic on this blog! And if the major life changes that I suspect are in store for me do in fact come to pass, I suppose I am ready for that as well. Just like I’ve been saying all along, Spring is almost here and life is again very, very sweet.

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Leah’s Birth, Part 2

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So, I left off this story at about 5am certain I was going to have a c-section. And I as I started to mentally prepare myself for what was going to happen things got a little crazy. Somehow, after nearly 7 hours of ridiculous contractions and no progress things turned on a dime. My water broke and I was miraculously dilated to a 7! And just like that it looked like I was going to be having a baby soon. No one was concerned about her heart rate now, they were talking about paging my doctor and getting ready to deliver a baby! My head was spinning as we called our families with the good news that baby “L” was on her way sooner than anyone predicted.

By 6 am I was at 9 1/2 and it looked like my doctor would not be delivering me. The doctor on call? Dr. Leah R.

We held off on pushing as we waited for the doctor on call to arrive and once she did I overheard her tell the nurse to have the pediatric specialists in the room because of how fast the baby was coming down through the birth canal. At 6:30, she told me I could start pushing and at 6:35am our beautiful Leah was born. I was hardly prepared for how fast she came, after working at getting her brother out for 3 whole hours!!

They placed her on my chest and the very first thing I noticed was that she was purple. Very purple. And her mouth was open, but no noises were coming out. And she wasn’t moving. And as I was starting to process all of this, she was whisked off my chest..and her lungs were suctioned and she was given oxygen as I watched, terrified…
until we heard the most beautiful sound ever- the outraged first cry!

I will never be able to adequately describe the terror I felt in those minutes, or moments that lasted an eternity. Leah’s first Apgar score was a ‘3’ but within 10 minutes she was a ‘9’ and I wanted to cry with relief.

At first I was furious at Craig when I found out he had been taking pictures, but the more I thought about it the more I realized how helpless I felt and how if I were in his shoes I would have felt safer somehow watching the scene unfold from behind the camera.

After the nurses finished messing with my baby (why do they take so looooong?) I was able to hold her in my arms again and cherish her and I haven’t stopped cherishing her since that moment. Perhaps this is why I have felt so much more positive about these first few weeks, because those scary few moments following a tense night really crystalized for me what an absolute miracle a healthy baby is. They are amazing, and beautiful, and worth absolutely everything it takes to help them arrive.

So, that is the story of her birth. In the end, I was proud that my body labored without Pitocin and thankful that we had such great care to ensure our little girls safe arrival!

How about a few more pictures from the day?

8 pounds and 6 ounces, seriously? What am I eating to grow these chunky babies? Just think if she had been 11 days late, oy.

Cute Feet!

Getting prettied up..

Yep, she’s a chunk!

And finally, a really proud Daddy.

Leah’s Birth, Part 1

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I can’t find enough time to sit down and write this whole thing out so here is Part 1. I remember reading other women’s birth stories a month after they gave birth and thinking- who cares now? That is kind of how I feel about writing it so it is a little dry and factual, but a promise is a promise so here we go…

Last Tuesday evening we headed to the hospital to start the induction process. I was definitely in pre-labor at the very least as I had been having contractions since Friday that were growing increasingly painful and more regular. And had I been a first time Mom, I’m fairly certain we would have been to the hospital a few times already and sent home. But thanks to my experience with Pitocin, I knew I should be in a good deal more pain first!

We arrived at the hospital and at 8:30pm I received the medicine that would prepare my body for the induction process in the morning. We were advised to get some sleep as the Pitocin drip would start at 4:30 am so it would be an early morning. (I can’t figure out the 4:30 thing, maybe my doctor was hoping to deliver me before regular office hours?) Over the next two hours my contractions grew stronger and the nurse let me know there was a chance I could go into active labor on my own in the night. Yeah right, I thought, they said that last time and come the next morning not only was I not in labor, the medicine hadn’t done a darn thing. I couldn’t sleep through the contractions so at 10:30pm I was given 10mg of Ambien to help me sleep as we waited. Craig turned on a movie and I dozed.

Less than an hour later I awoke and was startled to notice that there were tons of people in our room. And not just any people- fairies. And not just any fairies- big purple flying fairies. At least a dozen of them. And I had no idea where I was. “Craig?” I asked, “Are there people in here?” I can’t even remember what he said but I do remember thinking I shouldn’t let on to what I was seeing. “I think that Ambien is making me feel a little weird” I admitted. He told the nurse and she assured me people can have weird side effects from Ambien. I made the decision not to confess my hallucinations and dozed again.

By 12:30 the contractions were getting very painful and I could feel them through my back and legs, making it impossible to sleep any longer. I started thinking ‘epidural’ and they checked me for progress, or in my case a total lack thereof as I was dilated to a full “1”. A “1” after 4 days of pre-labor and contractions. I knew then it was going to be a loooooooong night.

An hour later I was still wide awake and my contractions were 2 minutes apart and totally killer and I tried to convince the nurse that progress or not, it was epidural time. However, Leah was not responding well to the contractions and I was given IV fluid and oxygen to help her heart rate. I started to feel like vomiting from the contractions and at 2am I was given an epidural. Sweet relief! Words can not describe the magic of the epidural, I think it is one of the best things to come from modern medicine. I admire women who don’t use it, but man oh man am I glad it is an option for myself and other wimps like me!

The next three hours were a blur of more oxygen, and medicine to help my blood pressure, and turning this way and that to try and help Leah’s heart rate. I was so worried for the baby and our nurse put on a cheerful front, but was in and out of our room every 20 minutes or so and I could tell things were not going well. No matter what her heart rate didn’t improve and it was starting to look like we were headed for a c-section. I was even given some medicine to stop the contractions completely but all it did was slow them from one minute apart to two minutes apart while Leah’s heart rate continued to dip. The nurse told us I would not be given Pitocin at this point and we were going to continue to try and slow things down until the doctor arrived. I asked the nurse point blank if I were going to need a c-section and she dodged my question and said the doctor would come in and see where we were at and talk with me then. I can read between the lines, and thought it was time to wake up Craig and maybe call our parents to let them know what was going on. I was feeling exhausted, and dejected, and scared out of my mind for baby Leah. As much as I didn’t like the idea of a c-section (completely terrified of it, to be honest), I wanted to hold that little girl in my arms I knew I could deal with whatever method of arrival was the safest.

40 Weeks

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Well, here we are. Am I surprised? Not really. Disappointed? Of course. I should know that my due date is not a “no later than” date but rather a “certainly no earlier than” date. I did tell Craig very early on in the pregnancy that I knew I would go overdue, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a small part of me that hoped for something different. Though as the days have crept by I have accepted that this is just the way things are for me and my body would very much like to grow a gigantic baby, given the chance. In fact, I think if I could ask my body it would be feeling rather smug right now- “Don’t say I can’t do pregnancy, I am awesome at this. I can keep this up forever…”

I know there is very little one can control about this whole baby growing process and I guess the one thing that is up to me right now is when to induce. And so I can tell you all that baby “L” will be here by this time next week. And I will not be backing out, because I do not want her to be gigantic. I do not want to spend 3 hours pushing. I do not want to sit on a donut pillow for a month. If there is one thing I am asking of God, besides for this girl to arrive safely, is for her to arrive with less damage to her momma.

Just like when we were waiting (and waiting) on Devan, we are more than ready to meet our little girl. We have been ready for weeks. I am tired of shaving my legs for the last time, and painting my toes for the last time, and stocking up on groceries for the last time, and vacuuming the house for the last time… you get the picture.

One thing I am not tired of is soaking up all of this time with Devan. I am SO GLAD that I took an extra few weeks off from work, it has been the absolute best decision I could have made. Not just for the lazy afternoon naps, but for the moments of cuddling and trains and play-doh and snow cones and water gun fights…it’s been pretty awesome. We’ve also spent a lot of time talking about the baby and though I know it is going to rock his world no matter what, I think we have prepared him as much as we possibly can. He is crazy excited about being a brother and when I broke the news to him that his sister will be coming this next week he got the most gigantic smile on his face and just glowed with happiness. “My baby is coming! Are you ready, Mom?” he asked me. “Yes, Devan” I told him, “I am more than ready. It’s time to meet your sister and I am SO excited.”

So stay tuned, the next time I post it will be as a mom to TWO precious kiddos. I can hardly believe it, and I am so glad the wait is almost over!!

(Yes, picture to come. Maybe.)

It’s a good thing I love him..

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..or I might have divorced him on the spot.

I could also title this post “5 words that a husband should NEVER say to your 39 weeks +5 days pregnant wife at 6:30am after she has been up for the past 3 hours with nausea and vomiting and the second straight day of painful irregular false labor contractions not to mention the general insomnia, shooting pelvic and back pain, and all around discomfort.”

Those five words that he uttered as he followed a chipper Devan down the stairs this morning and plopped on the chair next to me as I looked on from the couch?

I feel like you do.

There is a slight chance that I will be speaking to him again by the time the baby comes. Very slight, and it will have to involve some major groveling and perhaps a bit of chocolate.

Trying

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but not always succeeding to..

..enjoy each day to the fullest and cherish my one on one time with my only child.
..accomplish one thing each day that requires getting off the couch and leaving the house.
..ignore the aches and pains (oh, the pains).
..stay away from birth club message boards on the internet where women who are due two weeks after me are complaining about night feedings, sore boobs, lack of sleep. (I should get to complain first).
..give others some slack. No one can be as perfect as I would like them to be.
..keep my “horror”mones in check.
..enjoy cooking fancy meals and our sit down dinners together, knowing that they will be a distant memory soon.
.. stop reading induction horror stories on the internet (darn Google). I’ve done it before, I can do it again.
..eat less chocolate.
..take my vitamins.
..let stupid comments from strangers go without rude response, I’m sure they mean well.
..stop shopping for “skinny clothes” on the internet until I can actually wear them.
..accept that I can’t always control everything.
..not feel like a gigantic failure every day that I wake up in the morning still here. Knowing that this would likely happen again does not make it any easier.