Saturday, August 31, 2013

1 Month Old!

Birth Story Part 2, July 31st...Truman's BirthDay!

So...after one trip to the hospital, 3 trips to my doctor, and another trip to the hospital, I was in active labor!!!  Thank goodness!  There is a good chance I would have hurt someone if I had been sent home that Tuesday night, ha ha.  No, that's not the case because I didn't have the energy to hurt anyone.  I don't think I was an angry preggo, more just a frustrated and tearful one.  But you'd have to ask Chris to get an objective opinion on that!  After the great news of being admitted to the labor and deliver floor, my next question guessed it!  When can I have an epidural??  She explained that they would have to hook my up to fluids first, draw blood and do labs and then if all was well, she would call the anesthesiologist.  

I think just knowing that I was really going to have our baby soon relaxed me so much that I could dilate more.  I know that everything you read says to relax through your contractions, breathe, and that will help you progress.  I thought I was so prepared for labor, I read everything I could get my hands on while I was pregnant.  And you could safely say that I was obsessed with reading other birth stories in hopes of preparing myself. time came and I could not relax through my contractions.  I had SOOOOO much back pain.  Everyone says back labor is the worst.  I have to agree!  Despite my best efforts, I would often hold my breath and Chris or Mom would be reminding me to breathe.  So, after my labs came back, I had been given a bag of fluid I was able to get my epidural.  And that shit is no joke!  I've never been so happy, ha ha.  I was a new woman after that.  And everyone is right...the pain of the epidural is NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to worry about.  After you've been in labor for 40 gazillion hours with contractions from Hades, the needle is truly the least of your worries.  The hardest part for me was trying to hold still during contractions while he was placing it in my back.  They had me sit on the edge of the bed, leaning forward and hugging the nurse while he put it in.  And it stinks, but they wouldn't allow anyone to stay in the room with me while it was done.  But honestly, I didn't even care.  I just wanted relief...and that is exactly what I got.  After the epidural kicked in, I started texting people that it was officially baby time!  Before that there was no chance I could even concentrate long enough to send out a text.  That was about 1:30am.
Post epidural...hence the smile on my face :)
 After I settled down a little, we all decided we should try to get some rest.  Chris went down to the car to try and sleep a bit, Mom stayed with me in the room and slept in the rocker.  I dozed in and out of sleep, but I did get a couple of hours of rest.  That was the most rest I had had in over 24 hours so I felt great when I woke up.  I woke up to the screams of a girl next door :/  Eek!  That is not comforting at all.  Apparently she had woken up in the middle of the night to her water breaking and INTENSE contractions.  She was able to have IV pain meds but there was no time for an epidural.  POOR THING.  I laid there in horror listening to her.  Poor Chris was coming back on the floor as she was screaming.  When he went downstairs I was the only one up there, so when he came back and heard that he was terrified it was me.  He bolted into the room and then realized it was coming from next door, ha ha.  Nearly gave him a heart attack.  They checked me again early in the morning, and while I was making progress it was slow go.  At about 7am Chris left to go get his Mom and bring her to be with us.  The morning wore on.  The epidural had worn off quite a bit and I was getting very uncomfortable.  My favorite midwife, Kelly came on shift that morning.  She was the one I had seen Monday.  I was so very happy that she would be the one delivering our baby.  She was so encouraging and supportive and assured me that everything would be fine.  With the help of some Pitocin, I progressed throughout the morning.  Around 9am, one of my best friends came, Noel, and then my sister Melinda came.  At that point I was getting pretty emotional, tired, and anxious.  They took turns rubbing my back, talking with me and being helpful distractions!  I was so ready to get this show on the road.  The nurses checked on me often, constantly having me change positions.  Laying on my left side seemed to work the best, I dilated faster when laying on that side.  Kelly decided that since that side seemed to work best for the baby, I would lay on my side when it came time to push.    The last time I was checked was around 11am.  She said that I was in fact complete, 10cm dilated but that she would like me to sit up in the bed and let gravity do the work for a little longer.  She said that that baby still needed to come down a bit and as long as I could stand it, to let him move down on his own.  This would hopefully help me to not have to push for so long.  So up I went, sitting like Buddha in the hospital bed.  I tolerated that for as long as I could, but at about 11:45 I couldn't stand it anymore and felt like I had to push.  My sister went and got the nurses and Kelly.  They all came in, I said my goodbyes to my Mom, Tina, my sister, and Noel as we wanted the birth to only be me and Chris.  It was an emotional time but so happy.  
The last pic of us as a twosome.  Moments before I started pushing.

 Kelly and Chris helped me get into position.  Bless Chris, he saw what no man should ever have to.  Ha ha.  It's funny because throughout my pregnancy I said I wanted Chris to be by me head, no where near "down there" when I was pushing.  But, with him holding my leg, supporting me physically and emotionally, me half naked and the position I was in, there was no good way to be.  Oh well, at the time I didn't care and now I'm happy that he was able to watch the birth of our son.  He helped me more than anyone, there is no chance I could have done it without him.  Kelly explained to me how to push and we were off.  She had me hold my breath and push 3 times for 10 seconds at a time through each contraction.  We started pushing at about 11:55am.  I took a couple of breaks but for the most part powered though.  I had no idea if I was doing it right.  They were very encouraging but I had no clue if I would be pushing for 20 minutes or 3 hours!  I wanted to meet our baby and I wanted the pain to be over.  At the point that Chris told me he could see his head and that he had hair, that was all the motivation I needed.  I wanted to see him too!  When he was crowning, it was the worst burn I could ever imagine, but Kelly had me reach down and feel his head.  I started crying then and couldn't believe this was really happening!!  I looked up at Chris and loved him so's surreal thinking back on it now.  Truman Jay was born at 12:06pm.
8 pounds, 6 ounces, and 21 inches long.

Chris holding him for the first time :)
Our first family picture.
We fell in love pretty fast.  He was so completely perfect and beautiful.  I couldn't believe that we made this little person.  Hearing him cry was the best sound I'd ever heard!  Chris cut his cord, and after we spent time bonding with him and doing Kangaroo Care, we wanted our Moms to come back in and meet him!  I was ready to show this handsome little thing off :)  The rest of our time in the hospital honestly was a whirlwind.  We were overwhelmed with company and love.  Everyone was so excited to meet this little guy.  I have about a bazillion pictures to go through but here are a few of my favorites from my iphone.  There will be many more to come later!!!

My Mom holding Truman for the first time.

My baby brother holding my baby :)

Going home outfit!


Truman Jay's Birth Story, Part 1!

It's hard to believe my sweet boy is already one month old!  Time is flying just as everyone promised it would.  I am trying my best though to enjoy each and every moment I have with him and not worry about what the future holds (going back to work, sending him to daycare, growing too fast, ect.)  I figure I better write his birth story before any of the details fade.  It's a couple of days that I will never forget and the beginning of what has become the best time of my, here it goes.

On Sunday, July 28th I felt antsy.  Not just my everyday antsy, but overly antsy.  Antsy to the point that I just HAD to get the last few things we needed from the grocery into the house and put away.  I had cleaned our house to the point of no return just the day before so there was really nothing left to do there.  Laundry was finished.  Bags were completely packed.  So, I headed out after lunch to go to Kroger.  Just felt like I needed to get out and about for some reason.  I called my Mom and told her my plans, she laughed and said maybe he's coming soon!  She invited me to have a dessert with her at Applebee's.  We met there and enjoyed a Blondie (which if you've never had one please go get one right now!!  Thank me later!)  After polishing off that delicious dessert, I went on to Kroger, got some last minute groceries and headed home.  That evening I laced up my tennis shoes and decided I was going to try to "walk" this baby out!  Ha ha, little did I know he had other plans :)  So, off Chris and I went, leashes in hand.  It was our last evening out, as our little family of four...counting our furbabies of course :)  Looking back I'm so glad we did that.  It was nice to enjoy a little stroll around town just the two of us and we had no idea what was in store for us over the next few days. 

The next morning, Monday, July 29th I woke up after a weird dream.  If details of labor and delivery gross you out, you should just stop here!  Ha ha, it's only going to get worse!  Anyway, I dreamed that I got up that morning and I lost my mucus plug.  That still hadn't happened and I had anxiously been waiting.  I remember laying there in bed, thinking, gosh that would be so exciting if it were true!  After a moment of laying there, I stumbled into the bathroom and much to my surprise, there was a lot of blood!  Yay!  I had never been so excited...I knew this didn't mean anything specific other than baby was coming soon!  I called Chris first and then my Mom to let them know to be on stand by.  Maybe we would be having a baby soon!  I headed on into work hoping it would be my last day.  That morning, in my 8am meeting I started cramping.  I squirmed around in my chair and had to excuse myself several times to run to the restroom.  Not knowing what to expect I couldn't determine if I was having contractions or not.  After the meeting was over and I had talked to a few co-workers, I decided I should run to my doctor and get checked.  Lucky for me, that was right next door to my work!  After a short while of being hooked up to monitors, they let me know that yes I was in fact having contractions!  How exciting!  I was then checked and he said baby was very low and I was dilated 2-3, with lots of bloody show.  He announced that today is baby day!  I immediately started crying in the doctor's office.  I was so excited, scared, and in disbelief that I could meet my baby today!  I called Chris to let him know to head home.  He works an hour and a half away so it was my worst fear that he would be at work when I went into labor.  As always though, he was calm and collected and hit the road.  A little after that I met with my midwife.  She explained how the day would go, that I should head out, finish up what I needed to at work, get a bite to eat, and then head to the hospital.  She said that if she could break my water she would, and if not we would start pitocin.  Red flags went up for me!  Pitocin?  I didn't understand why we would do that if I had begun labor on its own.  She explained that essentially we would be doing an induction today if I wanted.  Not being clear on that before, I explained that I did not want that if it wasn't necessary, and I preferred for labor to progress naturally if at all possible.  She was understanding and in agreement with this.  She recommended that I leave, get something light to eat, and then come on to the hospital after Chris got back into town to be monitored.  So...that's exactly what I did.  I went back to work, finished what I had to and waited for him to get there.  When he arrived, on to the hospital we went.  I was still feeling contractions, they weren't unbearable at all but becoming more uncomfortable.  Long story short, the remainder of the afternoon was spent on the labor and delivery floor.  I was monitored intermittently and spent time bouncing on the birthing ball.  My Mom came to keep Chris and I company.  Sadly, the afternoon ended when they checked me and after several hours and I hadn't progressed at all from that morning.  Disappointed and frustrated we left and went to eat dinner...which is no easy task while having contractions!  They had explained that I was in "early labor" and that there was no way of knowing how long it would go on.

That night was dreadful.  My contractions had gotten so much stronger than they were that morning.  I definitely knew I was in labor at that point.  I tried to sleep but from about 2am on was up and walking the floors, curling up on the floor, bending over the chair...trying about anything to get relief.  I remember calling my Mom at about 4 that morning complaining, in tears, and not knowing what to do.  She suggested I call the hospital to see if they thought I should come in.  I did, and they said to stay put.  That it still sounded like I was in early labor.  Wow that made for a long night!!  That morning Chris and I headed back to my OB to get checked.  I saw a midwife that morning who was so nice but told me I had not progressed at all.  She said that because I was up all night with contractions and didn't get any rest, it was likely that my uterus was so tired it wasn't going to do the work it needed to do to dilate my cervix.  She recommended eating and trying to sleep.  She sent me with sleeping pills, told me to take 4 and lay down.  I was so frustrated at this point and wishing I had let them induce me the day before.  We went back home, I tried to rest which was next to impossible.  Even with sleeping pills I could only doze off for a minute or two before waking up to a contraction.  They day dwindled on and eventually my Mom came down to check on us.  She was wonderful through this.  Chris's Mom was at our house too and it was so nice to have all that support.  I needed it more than I ever thought I would.  At about 4 that afternoon, my contractions were intense!!  Back we went to the OB before they closed for the day.  And again, no progress.  That was about more than I could take at this point.  I must have been the perfect cliche for a woman having her first baby.  I felt so stupid for not knowing when it was "time."  They kept telling me that when I couldn't walk or talk through a contraction than that meant it was "real" labor. flash people.  That had been going on for over 12 hours.

We packed up and went home.  Chris ran to Dairy Queen and brought back dinner for everyone.  After eating, I decided I wanted to walk.  So Chris and I walked.  And walked.  And walked.  Up and down the sidewalk we went for a couple of hours.  I'm sure it was quite a show for our neighborhood.  Every few steps we would have to pause, I would hang on to him through a contraction and then we would be back at it again.  At the point that my contractions were over a minute long and coming every 3-4 minutes Mom said she thought we had to go to the hospital.  I was so scared of going and being sent home again.  I already felt like a failure for being to the hospital once and the doctor twice and still no baby!  Mom and Chris both promised they wouldn't let them send me home.  Our ride to the hospital is hard to describe.  It was nothing like I pictured it would be.  I thought I would have just had a shower, hair and makeup done, excited, emotional, calling people to let them know it was time.  Instead, I hadn't showered that day, no makeup, scared, frustrated, fearful that it wasn't the "real" thing, exhausted already and I felt like it hadn't even begun!

We got to the hospital, and I couldn't even make it in the doors without having a contraction.  We had to stop twice from the car to the doors.  Mom was with us thank goodness.  We went in, got registered and headed upstairs. 

The nurses were wonderful and I was so happy to see a friendly face.  It was about 7:30ish pm when we got there.  A girl I had some classes with at the community college with several years ago was my first nurse.  I got changed into my hospital gown and situated in bed.  She hooked me up to everything and checked me.  Thank goodness our walking had paid off and I had dilated a little more than from earlier in the day!  I was in so much pain at this point and really hoping for some progress, so that was very welcomed news.  Chris and Mom continued to be very supportive and promised they wouldn't let them send me home.  My nurse called my midwife to let her know that I was back and had progressed, she suggested I be as active as possible to help speed the process along.  So, back up I went.  I alternated between being on the birthing ball and walking the halls.  She didn't check me again until about 11, by then there was no change from earlier.  I was so disappointed and scared that we would be leaving soon.  She called my midwife, and talked with her and they decided to admit me!  HOORAY!!!!!  Best news ever :) To know that this was really happening and that I wouldn't be leaving without my baby was awesome.  To be continued...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our first days home...

Let me just begin saying that nothing could have prepared me for life with a newborn!  Looking back I can smile and laugh, but at the time I thought I was going insane.  Our first night home was TOUGH.  Chris and I were both exhausted, sleep deprived and had a very upset baby on our hands.  He cried from the time we got home at about 5pm Friday until about 10am the next morning with the exception of a few minutes here and there.  I was trying my best to breast feed but my milk hadn't come in yet and I was super emotional.  It seemed that being on my breast was the only thing that would console him so that's what I did.  I nursed him for nearly the entire night.   We never went to bed that night.  By morning I was in bad shape.  Chris called Mom and she came to the rescue yet again.  She took Truman from me, sent me to the shower, and had Chris lay down for a bit.

From the very beginning I had a lot of trouble getting him to latch on.  All the breastfeeding experts say that if you have a good latch than breastfeeding won't hurt, I'm calling bullshit!  I was soooo sore by morning.  I had help in the hospital on breastfeeding but after learning I had "flat nipples" we tried the breast shield, sugar water, and all kinds of positioning, it just seemed like we would never get it right.  After being home, I had help from my midwife with breastfeeding, and a lactation consultant came to the house twice.  My sisters who ALL breastfed tried to help.  It seemed like he was on right but why was it so painful?  Everyone was so supportive.  Chris was amazing.  He stayed up with me, tried to help feed and hold him, tried to help me make sure Truman was latched on right, researched tips and suggestions for breastfeeding online.  After a lot of tears and talking, my sister who is a pediatrician went and got him some formula Saturday afternoon.  My milk still wasn't in and I was so afraid he was hungry.  We decided that we would feed it to him with a syringe, because I was so afraid of giving him a bottle.  I wanted to breastfeed and didn't want to confuse him with another nipple.  We had already been told by pretty much every medical person we knew to not give him a pacifier until he is at least a month old.  That's what I heard in our breastfeeding class, and I had read it so I didn't even consider giving him one.  Well that was out the window!  My Mom suggested giving him one when she came down that morning and what a life saver that has turned out to be!!!  If I have learned anything in the last several weeks is that it's your baby, and you have to do what is best for your baby.  My breastfeeding journey went on for several more weeks but not as long as I wanted it to.

I have since come to terms with it but that was the hardest part of having Truman for me.  When I was pregnant I never even considered giving him formula.  I knew that breast is best for baby and me, I wanted the health benefits for both of us, I wanted the extra bond, I wanted to save money, the list went on and on.  I thought I would breastfeed for a year and that was that.  I was so wrong. 

I went on to use the shield to feed for as long as I could but felt he wasn't getting enough.  By Monday he was down to 7 pounds and 10 ounces.  We continued to supplement with formula via a syringe and then I began pumping to try and boost my supply as well as give myself a break.  Despite all the help I had from everyone, I couldn't get a good latch.  What looked like a good latch was still extremely painful.  I became engorged, had cracked and bloody nipples and then got mastitis in my left side.  This was all before he was 2 weeks old. wonder I was a hot mess then!  Looking back, I feel so much better now.  Physically and emotionally.  No one prepares you for the problems you may encounter or the "crazy" thoughts you may have after you have a baby.  Here you are with this perfect, beautiful little baby that you wished for for so long, and all you can do is cry.  Then you feel guilty because you think it's going to be picture perfect with your brand new baby but it's not!  It wasn't until I was in this state that I learned, Hey, this is normal!  My Mom and sisters all felt this way, especially with their first baby!  I'm not alone or crazy!  It's like a secret club you aren't invited to until you have a baby.  I really struggled for about the first 3 weeks.  I continued to pump and then began to feed him with a bottle.  The day I decided I wasn't going to attempt to feed him directly from my breast anymore was a difficult one.  But I was to the point that I did not enjoy it, I was in pain and crying every time I fed him.  I still have mixed feeling about it, but all I can say is that what matters most is that you feed your baby with love.  That is more important than if its breast milk or formula.  I admire anyone that breastfeeds!  Hats off to you, I wish I could have done it but it just wasn't meant for us this time.  I hope that with my next baby it's a different experience.  Anyway, that's the good the bad and the ugly of our first few days home.  I promise the rest of my stories are much more positive!!  Ha ha :)  We are both doing great now and I love him more each and every day.  Support from family and friends is what helped us though!  Don't turn any support away.  Every visit, text, call, and meal someone brought by meant the world to us!!             

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meet Truman Jay!

Our sweet love was born on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 12:06 in the afternoon.  
Meet Truman Jay Elie.
8 pounds and 6 ounces. 
21 inches long. 
Perfect in every way.

Our first family picture. 

I will work on his birth story soon!  Sorry I'm so behind but it has been a whirlwind and I've been very busy loving on this sweet boy!  The days are already going too fast!