Saturday, March 31, 2012

2 Weeks Postnatal

I have been a mother for just over 2 weeks now, and what an experience it has been thus far. I'm not sure anyone can ever prepare you for the aftermath of birth, maybe that's why so many people offer a lending hand, wish you good luck or tell you to get plenty of rest. I truly believe they make babies so darn irresistible to melt your heart and get you through the first few weeks. I gaze at Benjamin and I feel so complete. We have bonded in a way I can't explain. When we are "skin to skin" it feels like we are one. My chest gets tight when I go for a shower or take a nap and haven't seen him in mere minutes/hours. He has the most amazing faces already, gets the hiccups at least once a day and he is already showing how stubborn he is.

What the first 2 weeks were like physically and emotionally for mom?
We got home 5 hours after Benjamin was born and both showered and went to bed. I remember going up the stairs 1 step at a time and as slow as a snail. I couldn't stretch my legs very far due to the million stitches it took to put my "cha cha" back together. And I remember the tough time I had bending at the ankles because they were so swollen (swollen = tree trunks) due to the crazy medication interventions. It honestly felt that at any moment my legs would burst through my tight sausage packed skin. Our first night sleep was a pretty good one. Actually (knock on wood) our night sleeps are not half bad... considering.

On day 2 I knew a was brewing up a bowel movement all day from the pressure. I was anxious about it and was praying to the porcelain god's when I sat down it would just fall out. I had been taking the stool softeners the hospital sent me home with and really I hadn't eaten much because my diaphragm was so badly bruised during labour, I really didn't think it could be that bad. Well I was wrong! The medication intervention caused me to be solid as a ROCK! So bad so I found myself sitting is a bath performing a home anima, pulling and poking my stool out a bit at time while I sat in a bath full of floaters. Oh this is a VERY TRUE STORY! I had to do this again a couple hours later and then a third time in the morning. I remember thinking about the phrase that I have heard from new moms time and time again "You lose all dignity with birth". Here I thought they were talking about sitting in the hospital with their legs spread open for all to see, never did I think it could get worse then that. Boy was I WRONG! I was so fearful it would happen again that I started drinking a laxative tea over the next 2 days just to find that when I farted I accidentally shit myself. Oh my word, what more could possibly happen? Thank goodness for the ginormous pads we have to wear, and by the way if you send your husband out to pick up more you might want to tell him they are in the depends aisle not the feminine product aisle. FML

Right from the start of my pregnancy breast feeding was a big priority for me. I told myself if I was going to try really hard at anything it was going to be breast feeding. It is important to me for several reasons; cost, bonding, and all the nutritional benefits for baby. We latched right away from the hospital and while I know my milk had not come in, the colostrum was just as important for him to get, as well the feeding would bring on more milk. I thought we were doing really well, we feed every 3 hours or less and it lasted about an hour. On day 6 we found out Benjamin lost 12.8% of his body weight (apparently anything below 10% is cause for concern) and our mid wife told Tony to go out and get supplement (formula). My heart dropped at that moment, for one I had missed all the signs of dehydration (what kind of a mother misses something as serious as their baby being dehydrated) and two when a mid wife suggest supplement it feels so much more serious. I felt like deja-vue from our labour when she recommended an epidural. So now, not only am I struggling with breast feeding but now we have added a feeding tube for supplementing (which takes 4 hands) as well as pumping for 15 minutes after feeding. It was so much emotionally to deal with especially when Tony and I both aren't getting any sleep and there was no longer any pass off for napping. After a big breakdown of irrational tears we decided the supplement moving forward would be through a bottle. It's so hard to juggle what is best for baby and what is best for parents. Sometimes the decisions are so much harder then anyone on the outside could ever understand. It seems so simple to say just use a bottle, but in my mind I feel like it's just another aspect of motherhood I have failed at. In my mind there is winning and losing, and I feel like I am losing at everything.

We are now well on our way of gaining weight and have even started cutting our supplement intake. We started with over 300 mL a day last week to under 100mL this week. So hopefully in the near future we will be off supplement all together.

Overall, I would say I have good days and bad moments. Although I have yet to be on my own thus far and this coming week will be my big test. I can only believe that I am ready because without my own belief I will certainly fail. I know I am strong and that is what scares me the most. It takes so much to break me and when it happens (and it has happened most recent more times then I'd like to admit) I feel so lost.

Here's to making it more the halfway down my street on my own this week. "I am strong, I am beautiful and I am a mother".

Lots of love

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Baby Story

The Short and Sweet Version
It all started on Friday, March 9th with very early labour signs for 8 hrs of intense back labour pain and only 1-2 cm dilation. On Tuesday, March 13th at 4:00 am in the morning I woke up with contractions, and the process continued until Wednesday, March 14th at 7:05pm where we brought baby Benjamin Lee Nguyen into the world weighing in at 7lb 14oz.

The Long Hard Truth Version (no holding back)
On Friday, March 9th I woke up around 9:00 am and was feeling extremely uncomfortable, I couldn't sit still and was feeling really sore. My sister was on her way to spend the day with me, and what a day she got. The pain I was feeling was back labour and I spent over 8 hrs in the bath. Every time I tried to get out I puked because the pain was so intense. So back into the tub I went. We quickly ran out of hot water which meant Tony had to keep 4 pots boiling at all times on the stove. To bad it melted the keypad on our over the range microwave and all the food we prepared in advance is now neither her nor there at this point. can you say oooops.

Tuesday, March 13th came around and this time I woke up at 4:00 am with contraction 7 min apart and lasting approx. 30 sec's. I woke Tony up 15 min later and we continued to time them throughout the morning. 7:00 am rolled around and I was starting to feel tightness in my back so I decided to do a downward dog position to ease some of the pressure and then it all stopped.
Nothing! No more tension and no more contractions! Shit! I totally thought this was it! Back to bed I go. Boo!!!!

I woke up at 9:00 am and Tony and I thought maybe if we went for a walk it would help bring on the contractions again, so off we went to Tim Horton's for some breakfast. And... Hurray it worked! Contractions are back and we were timing them at around 6 min apart, still only lasting 30-45 sec's. We started to call family around the noon hour and I also paged our Mid-wife (Sabina) to give her a heads up that the process had started. Sabina made a home visit around 4:00 pm when the contractions were 5 min apart lasting 60-90 sec's. We still had some time, and she wanted me to get the contractions down to 3 min apart and lasting 60-90 sec's. With a check in scheduled for 6:00 pm Sabina left and we carried on.

6:00 pm and Sabina called to check in! We were 3 min apart and the contraction started to feel like they were doubling up. So much so I was starting to feel tightness in my back and Tony and I retreated to our bedroom. She got there fairly quick and examined baby and me. We were only 2cm dilated, in my head all I could think was STILL!

8:00 pm my water broke and the back labour had taken over. Tony was on constant counter pressure duty and I was hopping back and forth from a hot bath to the bed to standing in the tub. We tried hot compressed and heating pads for the back labour and it all only slightly made a difference. Upon examination again we were only 4cm. FML I definitely though Baby Nguyen would be born by now.

2:00 am and the contraction were so strong and doubling up. I was starting to slowly lose control of the doubled up contractions and there were 2 bowel movements in front of my husband while he was already kneeling in my expelled fluids. You know you are truly loved when none of that effected the support or love he continued to show. He never wavered and was my strength throughout this whole experience. Sabina examined me again and we were only about 4-5cm dilated, along with my cervix starting to swell. Holy F, what is taking so long.

4:00 am came and went with only 6cm dilation and my cervix swelling every time I lost control of the contraction. I remember screaming out "I AM TRYING" at one point. There were times when the counter pressure seemed to help control the contraction and it seemed like there were times when it caused complete lose of control. Sabina at one point really wanted me on my hands and knees, all I wanted to do was lye in the fetal position and prey for 10 cm. She said to me at one point that at 6:00 am she will check me again and then we will have to have a talk.

6:00 am I was a 8cm dilation. Are you kidding me, what is going on. Why don't they seem this long on TV when your watching birthing stories. It seems so unfair! Well, Sabina laid out our cards for us. She told Tony and I that she thinks we are good candidates for an epidural, unfortunately my cervix was so swollen it was impeding our ability to finish dilating. And because the baby is in an anterior/transverse position it was a big cause for our slow dilation and of course the back labour.

6:30 am the ambulance came, I walked to the truck and lied down and then we sat in in front of the house while the EMS driver and Sabina argued over which hospital to take us to. (Nikki and Becca were already at St Mike's waiting for us) I remember having contractions in the truck and screaming, I didn't have time for this I was in so much pain I just wanted them to start driving. Finally Sabina gave up and we were off to Toronto East General.

7:30 am and in order to get the epidural I needed to contain my contractions and stay completely still, honestly I thought for sure I was a dead dog. I barely remember them putting the IV in my hand, and thankfully they gave me something to try and help control the contractions. A couple hours later and the epidural ran out and was to never work again. FML. Emotionally I was spent, there was nothing worse then feeling the back pain fast approaching. I had a melt down every 30 minutes when the "intervention" medication wore off and my poor husband was so devastated seeing me so upset.

6:00 pm came and Dr. Badmos came in to check me. Are you kidding me! I was still only 8 cm, my cervix was impeding my dilation. So basically we had 2 options at this point; have the Doctor try to manually push my cervix out of the way and if that failed we move into a c-section scenario. Thank you to the angels above, the attempt to push the my cervix out of the way was a SUCCESS! We are now fully dilated and have been given the go ahead to set up and start pushing.

The nurse started to set up and completed one more examination, where we found out Baby Nguyen was coming out ear first. Why can nothing be easy, not only is my baby stubborn but now he is coming out at the widest angle possible. Of course this is going to rip me another asshole to say the least!

7:05 pm After 45 minutes of ROCKSTAR pushing with a head twist of 180 degrees upon entering the world, and my amazingly outstanding love of my life announcing we share a baby boy as I pulled baby Benjamin to my chest. I cried and cried and cried and snuggled and felt an instant love that only a mother can understand. I held Benjamin so tight and cherished our connection from skin on skin.

8:00 pm I was fully able to walk to the bathroom, which meant I was able have my IV removed.

1:00 am We walked into our home for the first time as a complete family.

As I look back at our story I am speechless how amazing my husband is, he endured far more then I believe most husbands/partners would. He was there at every contraction, kneeled in my fluids, and dealt with my bowel movements while he stood behind me adding counter pressure through my back labour. I have always been very proud of the kind of love I share with my husband, the kind of love that only comes around once in a life time. I would normally describe it as more then the universe, but if you can believe in anything bigger then that, like say a whole new Relm that is and so much more how I feel about my husband and love of my life. To my Husband, thank you for being there every step of the way! I love you with everything I have.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Officially on Maternity Leave

Holy Cow Batman! "Maternity Leave" it creeped up so fast and it is met with mixed emotions. I can't believe I am so close to meeting our baby and finally knowing if we have a Lucy Anna-Lynn or a Benjamin Lee. How exciting is this moment going to be! At this point I can only imagine.

Tony and I have used the last 4 weeks to prepare ourselves with us much knowledge as humanly possible. We completed a 4 week prenatal course, watched Ricki Lake's documentary called "The Business of Being Born" and I am now about to devour a breastfeeding resource book.

I would like to call out the fact that I had no idea I had to "deliver my placenta" after the baby is born. Why has no one ever mentioned this before and better yet being in 2 births how did I not notice this. As if!

As I count down my final days of "Bun in the Oven" I have been trying to find things "To Do". You know keeping myself from thinking about the fast approaching baby as well as complete and utter boredom – I spent the latter half of last week getting paperwork in order, and by paperwork I mean my Employment Insurance and our banking finances. I feel such a relief that both are complete and checked off. This week I'm just gonna putter around, nap and rest as much as possible, here's to hoping anyway lol.