Friday, February 26, 2010

3 Week Growth Spurt

I am not sure if there is such a thing, but it seems that is what is happening with Jack the last three days. On Wednesday, we went to visit Nana's coworkers and Jack did great! In the afternoon, things started to get ugly. With a capital U.

On Wednesday Jack started eating more than usual. What was really strange was that he would be done (he tells me he's done by spitting out my nipple) and then not even five minutes later, he would want to eat again. This cycle would repeat several times until he either gave up or got frustrated. Besides the random eating pattern, he also would not sleep. From Wednesday to yesterday, I don't believe this little guy slept for more than 90 minutes at a time. This went on alllll day Wednesday, Thursday and part of yesterday.

Jack seemed to be better yesterday until around 8:00pm when he became really fussy. I nursed him and then when he gave up after about 20 minutes, he still seemed hungry. I had some pumped milk heated up and I gave him a bottle. He ate 4 ounces of milk on top of what he got from me nursing him. That seems a little much doesn't it?

I know it's not my supply that is the problem. Every time Jack pulls off my nipple, there is a ton of milk in the shield and I am able to squeeze and get milk as well. What gives? I don't think it's nipple confusion because I have no problem getting him to go to the boob and nurse for a period of time.

Could this be reflux? He only spits up about once a day and it's not projectile. He gets pretty cranky and his eating pattern is erratic. To all the other moms out there, is this normal or should I call the pediatrician? He doesn't seem to be in pain, but maybe he isn't able to convey pain very well.

I am at a loss and very very tired. Both Jason and I are trying everything in the baby arsenal and nothing seems to be working.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First Pediatrician Appointment

Jack had an appointment yesterday with the pediatrician. We had just come from downtown to visit all my coworkers so it was indeed a busy day. However, he did great! He did awesome in the car, at the office and then at the appointment.

I had to strip him down naked, including taking off his diaper. He was right in the middle of pooping and I explained that to the nurse but she said it was okay. Apparently, they don't care. They want an accurate weight. Thankfully, he didn't poop or pee on the scale.

I need to give kudos to the nurse. She told me how great I looked, ha! I thought that was very nice of her even if she may have been lying. In my defense, I did my hair and makeup yesterday since I was visiting coworkers. I needed to look good!

Our little chunky monkey now weighs 9 pounds! Pretty soon he is going to need to start wearing 3 month clothing rather than his newborn outfits. His measurements for length and head circumference are in the 50th percentile while his weight is in the 45th. Our little guy is exactly average.

Dr. D, the pediatrician is so nice. She kept asking me if I had any questions, which I did. I wanted to know whether his periods of being awake (sometimes as much as 4 hours at a time) were normal. She said that it was unusual but she wasn't concerned since Jack is gaining like a champ and he appears to be getting tons of nutrition. I also asked about the color and stinkiness of his poo. Totally normal thankfully.

She pointed out that his breathing (it alternates between really fast and really slow sometimes) is a self-protectant against SIDS. Apparently, this allows them to self regulate their breathing which is a very good thing. I have to admit, I am very very scared of SIDS. What parent isn't? Dr. D tried to reassure me by telling me that Jack is at a low risk because of the following: No one in the house smokes, I had good prenatal care, I haven't had another child that passed from SIDS and I put Jack to sleep on his back. Regardless, I am still worried about it. From the age of 2 to 4 months, I am sure I will be a nervous wreck. That time frame is when the risk of SIDS is at the highest. Okay, moving on to more happy topics.

She was very impressed with how well I have been doing with breastfeeding and was also impressed with how strong Jack was. He kept holding his head up and kicking his little feet. She kept saying (in her cute Minnesotan accent), "Boy you have a strong one". Dr. D also commented just how precious he was. I am pretty sure she says that to all her patients, but in our case, it's true. He is precious.

Jack was an absolute angel at the pediatrician. Even during his PKU test. He didn't scream although he did cry. The poor nurse had a hard time getting blood from him because he kept moving all over the table and kicking his little feet. In the end, he did great and as soon as he was dressed, he stopped crying.

The next appointment is the 2 monther when Jack will get his shots. I am not looking forward to that one. I get teary-eyed thinking about it already. My poor baby is going to get his first shots!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bath Fail

I am a crazy blogger lately. I think this is my third or fourth post today.

Tonight was bath night. We do baths on Wednesday and Sunday (for consistency and so mommy remembers!) and tonight was the night. Previously, Jason did all the work while I stood by and felt helpless. I am not sure why he took charge. Probably because he could sense my hesitation. I didn't want to upset Jack or have me be the source of his crying. I made Jason promise me that I could do bath tonight. I was looking forward to it actually.

I undressed Jack, cleaned his bum and then wrapped him in a blankie to make the trek to the kitchen. Jason had the water all ready and I set Jack in the tub. Typically he cries so I was expecting this. Yes, he cried. He actually screamed when I put him in the tub. It wasn't the water temperature. I think he was just shocked that he was put naked in the water. Poor little guy.

I kept my cool the entire time. I washed his hair and his little squirmy body while talking in a soft voice to him. Jason stood by like I typically do. Just supervising I guess. I personally think I did a pretty good job even though the poor little thing was just not so happy. A couple of times he stopped crying and seemed to enjoy himself. Then he remembered where he was and started crying again. "Mommmyyyyyyy, please take me out of this tub!!!!!!! I just want to be snuggled and warm!". Breaks my heart.

Finally bath was over after about 4 minutes and I wrapped the squirmy bug in his towel. I was drying him off when I smelled the unmistakable smell of baby poo. Oh yes, my baby pooped on me. He must have been telling me just how dissatisfied he was at bath. And at mommy. It's official folks, my kid hates me.

I quickly brought him to his room and cleaned off his bum and moved the towel aside where he pooped. I was trying to get some diaper cream on him and diapered when Jason came in and got disgrunted at how slow I must have been when he said "MOVE!" and took over. I must not have been moving fast enough. Ouch. Nothing like having Daddy step in because Mommy sucks. Remember my feelings of inadequacy from earlier? Yup, those all came rushing back.

Jack is fine now. He's clean, smells good, has nicely trimmed nails, soft hair and freshly styled and a clean diapie. However, I still get a big fat fail for bath time. Screaming baby + Getting pooped on = Frazzled Mommy.

Someone hold me and pass me a drink please!

Feeling Inadequate

This is how I am feeling today in a nutshell. I feel like a bad mommy or an inept mommy. I haven't done anything in particular, it's just my self-esteem kicking in.

We went for a visit to my aunt and uncle's yesterday to meet my cousin's baby who is 5 months old. We actually went today to visit as well. Yesterday, I had to leave after only a couple of hours because I wasn't comfortable breastfeeding in public so I had to hole myself with Jack up in a bedroom. Plus, seeing my cousin with her baby made me feel like a bad mommy. I realize that babies that are 3 weeks old compared to 5 months old are completely different. She was kissing, talking, playing and doing all kinds of things with her baby. When Jack is awake, which isn't for very long, I do all those things too, but for some reason, it looks so much more natural when my cousin does it.

Today, I thought the visit would go better because I brought Jack's bottle so I wouldn't have to worry about breastfeeding. I will explain why I am uncomfortable. First, I have to nurse with a nipple shield. Jack won't latch on to bare nipple. So that poses a challenge to get the shield on discreetly. Second, Jack can have a tendency to move around a lot nursing and he often times pulls the shield off. Again, not very discreet. Third, it's hard to try to arrange clothing or blankets so bare boob doesn't show. Plus I don't want to make others uncomfortable by nursing. There you have it.

Back to my story. I thought the visit would go better but no. Today, as I was changing Jack, he peed and pooped all over the changing station my aunt and uncle had set up. They had to change out the towel that was laid down. Sigh. I am sure stuff like this happens to all new parents but I can't help but wonder if my family thought I was a total baffoon. "Oh my God, look at her. She can't even change her baby right". Sigh sigh sigh.

I want to be a good mommy, but sometimes it doesn't feel natural to me. I love my baby more than life itself but I feel awful. I just don't feel adequate or like I am doing things right. I second guess every little thing. Should I be singing to him more? Should I quickly go grab a shower before he wakes up? Is putting him to sleep in his swing a bad thing? Why won't he stop crying?

I hope that I am not the only mom out there that feels this way. I compare myself to other moms. And when I do that, I feel completely inadequate. Maybe I should just become a recluse and not leave the house.

Chunky Monkey

Well, our boy finally seems to be getting the hang of this breastfeeding thing. On Monday, he weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces before his feeding at the lactation clinic. After his feeding, he weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces. That means he ate 2 ounces off of me.

I brought him for a weigh in on Friday just to see how he was doing. Wait (weight?) for it. He weighed......

8 pounds 12 ounces!

Our boy is a chunky monkey. Almost a whole pound heavier than his birth weight and he's not even three weeks old yet!

I am very pleased that he is getting the hang of nursing. And extremely relieved. He has a pediatrician appointment on Tuesday. Don't be surprised if he's pushing 9 pounds or slightly over.

My baby is getting so big! Cue tears.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Cute Things He Does

Every day, Jack does something new and adorable. One can only take so many pictures and since I don't have an awesome camera, it's not all that fun to take pictures anyways.

This morning I put Jack on his activity gym. He's still a little young for it, but I wanted to see if it kept his interest. It's very brightly colored and is jungle themed. Random note: I bought it at the consignment store. It was brand new, never used and the original price was $69.99 and I got it for $20.00. Okay back to my story. I put Jack on the mat and he seemed to like it. He still doesn't focus very well but I could tell that the bright colors really captured his interest. He started "talking" to all the toys. It was the most adorable thing ever! He was chattering at the little wiggling giraffe. I swear if I had left him there, he would have been happy for hours. He spent about 15 minutes on the mat and that included some tummy time.

Another cute thing that Jack does is something that only a new mommy can appreciate. I swear to God people, I never thought I would be this way. Please believe me when I say that. Jack has the loudest most starting farts and poops ever. I have no clue how such a small baby can produce sounds like he does. That's not really the cute part. The cute part is that when he farts so loud that it startles or scares him. He seems really surprised and gets this look on his face like "Was that me?!?" It's very adorable. When he needs to fart he also smiles. Friggin hysterical!

Jack sneezes a lot. I think he takes after his mommy in the allergy department. He will sneeze and then cue up for another one. Most of the time, the second one never comes. Instead, he lets out this little sound like a very happy sigh. We think he's saying "Darn it, I really wanted to sneeze!". His sigh is very loud and super cute.

I love when he wrinkles his forehead. I call it his monkey boy look. This typically happens when he's being burped. He must REALLY be concentrating. My aunt says it's mean to call him Monkey Boy, but it's funny. You have to see it to understand.

He contorts himself when he sleeps. If we put him to nap in his swing, he will somehow end up on his side with his head completely off to the side. Don't worry folks, he can breathe. I make sure of that. I don't understand how he can possibly be comfortable. And with that, I leave you with a picture.

Contorted in the swing.

Things I Forgot

While watching a Baby Story today, I was reminded by some things I forgot about my labor/delivery.

* The nurse couldn't get my IV in. She kept trying for veins in my arm but none of them worked. Instead, I needed to get it in my hand which was absolutely no big deal. She kept apologizing.

* I had to wear these plastic weird compression stockings after my c-section to curb any blood clots in my legs. I remember that they were hot and I kept kicking my blanket off. The nurse finally figured it out and turned the fan in them on. Much better! They only stayed on for a few hours until I was able to get out of bed.

* I totally and completely forgot that Jack got a bath and diaper change in our recovery room until I was looking at the pictures the other day. There is a video too and he is screaming his little head off. How was I not hysterical over that?

* I ate a lot of my meals one handed. Do you realize how hard it is to eat cereal with one hand? I just couldn't put my baby down sometimes. I even cleaned my hospital room (yes, I cleaned) with one hand.

I am sure there are lots more things that I have forgotten. It's sad that so many details were forgotten so soon. I wanted to remember every detail of my birth story and I don't. I kick myself now that I wasn't blogging as I went, or that I didn't keep a notebook with some snippets.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Praise God!

That is exactly how I feel right now. We just got back from an appointment with the Lactation Consultant and it appears that Jack is finally catching on to sucking! We had a nursing session there and he ate 2.2 ounces! That is how much he takes from the bottle (or more) at a feeding! I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that he is learning.

The plan from here is to continue to nurse and Jason will primarily feed him from his special bottle at night. I asked him to bring Jack in to me for one nursing session in the middle of the night so I don't have completely engorged breasts by the morning. I will nurse him exclusively during the day but keep the Haberman handy just in case he gets frustrated or angry or doesn't get enough milk from me.

I was told to cut back on the pumping so that Jack gets most of my supply. I will still pump, but probably not every 2-3 hours like I have been doing. I will probably go every four and then nix the pumping at night. That way, I can get 6 or so hours of sleep.

I will also continue to use the nipple shield since that really has helped him latch on. If I feel comfortable, in the middle of a nursing session, I can remove the shield and see if he will take my nipple.

Seriously, I am so happy right now. I realize that we still have work to do, but we are on the right track and the road to success. Jack is gaining beautifully and I am a lot less stressed than I was a week ago. Thank you God! My prayers have been answered!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Recovery

I am going to state in advance that I remember very little of my recovery. I don't know if that is because I was in shock, or if it was from my lack of sleep, but I am regretful that I don't remember. I have to constantly ask Jason or my mother-in-law what happened or if I was dreaming a certain detail.

After my c-section, I remember the nurses and Jason taking care of Jack while I was being stitched up. It took them a good 5 minutes to finish before I could even see him for the first time. That 5 minutes was an eternity! He was crying, I was crying, Jason was crying. Finally I got to see and hold him and I was wheeled to my recovery room holding my precious boy.

Mike and Lynn (My in-laws) were waiting in our room and as I was holding him, they were gazing at my beautiful baby. Being a selfish person, I didn't want to give him up. After a cruddy birth, I wanted to cuddle my bundle. It was a good couple of hours before Lynn got to hold him (I am so mean!).

One of the nurses got to work on me. I think they were making sure I was comfortable in bed and taking my vital signs. The other nurse, Molly, was taking care of Jack. After I was all checked out, he was brought over to me to try and nurse. He latched on okay with Molly's help and started sucking. Little did I know that he wasn't doing it right (see my Breastfeeding Failure post). Molly tried helping us along and let me tell you, all modesty goes out the window. She was grabbing my breast and grabbing Jack and my mother-in-law was in the room. I don't remember if my father-in-law was gone or had stepped out of the room at that point.

After nursing, Jack got his first bath and diaper change. I am really glad that Jason took a video because I honestly don't even remember this detail. The video shows him crying and screaming away, but again, where was I? I am sure my heart was wrenching to hear my baby crying, but I don't remember! The video is very sweet. It's amazing just how much he has changed already from when he was first born to 11 days later.

Because I had a c-section, I couldn't get out of bed right away. I still had my catheter, my IV and all kinds of monitors hooked up to me. FINALLY, I was able to have some water. I hadn't been able to for close to 12 hours. When you have an epidural, all you are allowed are ice chips. My mouth was so so so dry. I sucked down close to 16 ounces of water right away. That might have been a terrible idea because about an hour later, it all came back up again. The nurse was standing at the sink and I asked "If I need to throw up, what should I do it in?" She wasn't paying attention, but I felt the nausea coming on, so I covered my mouth and motioned to Jason that I was going to vomit. Jason literally had to shake the nurse's arm to give me something to yak in. And throw up I did. Amazingly, throwing up didn't hurt my incision. I was probably so drugged up at that point which might explain it. Because I had gotten sick, I was told that I wouldn't be allowed to eat until at least the next morning. Dude, that is mean! I was starving! Even if I could have had some fruit or crackers, that would have been fine. Nope, no food.

The rest of the night is a blur, but I remember Karen, my nurse, telling me that around 3:00am, they would be waking me up to get me out of bed. I didn't need to walk anywhere, they just wanted me to stand up. I probably didn't even sleep. Again, I can't remember. Jason took care of Jack and brought him over to my bed if he got hungry.

The witching hour of 3:00am came. Karen maneuvered me around in bed (that was hard enough since my legs were slightly numb) to try and get me to stand. You try standing on legs that feel like pins and needles that have been that way since the early afternoon. It was such a bizarre feeling. It didn't hurt when she stood me up, but boy, my body revolted against me. Even though I had thrown up all my water earlier, there must have still been something left in my stomach, because I threw up again. I no sooner stood up with the nurse's help, sat back down and said "I need to throw up again". Geez, could I catch a break? I am sure it had something to do with adrenaline and the anesthesia finally wearing off, but still. Icky.

The rest of the night passed and the next morning, I was feeling so much better. I was still not able to eat (meanies). I think my first meal came at 6:00 and that had been 36 hours since I had last eaten. Honestly, the roast beef and cheese sandwich tasted like the best thing ever. I figured roast beef because Jason and Lynn had oh-so-kindly eaten delicious looking sandwiches in front of me the day before.

On Wednesday morning, I finally got out of bed to use the bathroom and to get "freshened up". That is exactly what the nurse called it. Her words, not mine. I had a nurse on either side of me and they helped haul me up and out of bed. Thankfully, I did not get sick this time. I shuffled very slowly to the bathroom and was able to sit down on the toilet with the help of the grab bars. My catheter was removed as I was sitting on the toilet and boy did it feel weird! I remember the nurse explaining that it wouldn't hurt and that it would feel slightly strange. She also explained that since I had a catheter for so long, my bladder wouldn't be able to know it needed to be emptied. I was instructed to get up every two hours even if I didn't think I needed to pee. I sat on the toilet for a good five minutes trying to pee, and finally it came! I would pee a little and my bladder would get confused and then stop. This continued until I was done and by that time, the nurse was ready with all her "equipment" to clean me up. Again, all modesty goes out the window.

Being cleaned up felt amazing. Seriously, I felt like a new woman. She filled this nifty squeeze bottle with lukewarm water and "hosed" me off. I wasn't allowed to wipe and needed to use the squeeze bottle for a while. Fine with me! It felt good! Like a little bath every time I needed to go potty. Everyone talks about the huge mesh panties that the hospital has you wear. Confession: I stole some from the hospital. They felt soooooo good. I didn't want to soil my own underwear so I wore mesh panties for a few days after I came home from the hospital. They are stretchy and comfy and fit those giant elephants pads that they give you. My "freshening up" was over and I was put back into bed with my giant panties, pad and puppy pad under my butt.

Karen, my night nurse (didn't like her, that's another story) said that for the first day of recovery, all I was allowed to do was go back and forth to the bathroom. I shouldn't be getting out of bed for anything else. I shouldn't pick up my baby or walk the halls. The following day I could walk around the room and the day after that, I could walk the halls if I felt up to it. If I needed to use the bathroom for the first day, I should call my day nurse for the first couple of times for help getting out of bed. The funny thing is that when my day nurse, Larissa, got on shift, I asked her about this and she poo-pawed those instructions. She said if I felt fine and up to it, I could go by myself but to take it slow. That wouldn't be the first time that a different nurse poo-pawed Karen's instructions.

The day went by without any real events. I peed, watched tv, snuggled with my baby and chatted with my mother-in-law. Nursing was pretty hard. Jack had a slight issue with latching (he couldn't fish lip my breast like he was supposed to), so my nipples got very sore very fast. Nursing was not exactly fun, but I kept up. With the help of my Boppy, I kept nursing about every two hours.

In the evening, I had a few visitors. I honestly felt fine after eating so my co-worker and good friend Kelly came by first. She cried when she first saw Jack. Who wouldn't? He is that darn gorgeous after all (I will post a picture at the end for proof). My sister came by as well and so did my aunt and uncle. Even though I hadn't showered and was still wearing my sexay hospital gown, it was nice to have visitors and show off my baby.

Karen ended up being my night nurse again, lucky me. Here's why she kind of bothered me. First off, she kept calling me Babe. Everything was "Okay Babe", "good job Babe", or "no problem Babe". Yes, she was an older woman, but seriously, babe? It was annoying. She also would come into the room and say "It's just Karen". Not sure why it bugged me, but it did. She also would try and baby me. I realize that I had major surgery but I didn't need to be told to eat vanilla pudding at 4:00 in the morning, or when she brought my pills, she would try and get me to eat some saltines. None of my other nurses did stuff like that.

Here are the main reasons that Karen was not my favorite nurse: She told me I couldn't get out of bed the first day. When I mentioned that to another of my nurses, she seemed shocked. She told me that the information was untrue and that I SHOULD be getting out of bed and walking around. I missed a whole day of picking up and snuggling with Jack! I can't tell you how disappointed I was about that. The second reason is because she would give me information and then not explain it very well so I was left upset or putting the pieces together myself. For an example, read my Breastfeeding Failure post. That tells it all.

On Thursday, I was feeling much better and getting up and out of bed on my own. I got a Tetanus shot that day and I was able to pick Jack up and feed him without help. My first lactation nurse came in to help me with feeding since Jack was already losing so much weight. I thought after working with her, the problem would be solved, but no. Those issues have continued. Don't get me wrong. I am not upset. I know it's a process. She did give me some good information and had me start using these cooling gel pads on my nipples since they looked like I had been bitten by a vampire.

The only cruddy thing about Thursday was my gas issues. I don't know if it's because of the surgery, but I swear, it felt like I had another baby in me trying to break out. I had gas bubbles all day and night. It didn't hurt, but once in a while I would get a stitch in my side. If I walked around the room it helped relieve my issues. Poor Jason probably got grossed out by all the farting I was doing.

Aunt Laurie, Mamo and Vicky came to visit Jack on Thursday and then later that evening, Lynn came and roomed in with me so Jason could go home and get a good night's sleep. I figure that since I wasn't sleeping (I literally had about 5 hours of sleep my entire hospital stay, no joke) that Jason should be getting some rest. You could tell that he didn't want to leave because of the tone of his voice. As he was leaving, he kissed Jack and had tears in his eyes. I made a comment to Lynn that he would call at least twice before the next morning, and of course, I was right. He called 20 minutes after leaving and asked how Jack was and to give him a big kiss. He sounded choked up. It was heartbreaking.

Lynn and I spent the night together and I was completly delirious. A few times, she told me to get some rest and I did shut my eyes. It's hard to sleep when you are worrying about your baby. My eyes would close and I would say the most random, gibberish. I am sure Lynn thought I was losing my mind. Jack slept right next to my bed in his isolette. That way he cried I could easily pick him up and feed or comfort him.

That night lasted forever. It was hard to be away from Jason after he had taken care of us for four days. The only saving grace was my night nurse. She was an absolute joy. Her name was Cathy and she had the cutest Texas accent. She was so incredibly nice. She made mention that I should get some rest and that Jack could come to the nursery to give me a break. From that point on he had roomed in with me the entire time. Finally, around 4:30, I took Cathy up on her offer and sent Jack to the nursery. That was about as hard as sending Jason home! I knew he was in good hands. Cathy asked my permission to give him a pacifier if he was inconsolable. I got a few minutes of rest and no sooner did Jack leave that he came back. He was only gone an hour. He got so upset and wouldn't stop crying so he was brought back into the room. Looking back, I know he was so upset because he was hungry. In the hospital, he was extremely cranky and grumpy and that was because he wasn't getting enough food. My poor baby. I am so glad that he has turned a corner and is gaining weight now and getting the hang of eating.

My doctors wanted me to stay in the hospital until Saturday but by Friday I was itching to go home. I was ready to beg Dr. P to let me go. I felt fine and was healing well. To prove it to them, I got up, took a shower and even did my hair. It felt so nice and I felt so human afterwards. I even wore some of my own clothes. Bye bye icky hospital gown! When Jason came back to the hospital, he would see me all showered and pretty.

The on-call doctor came around at 10:00 and I asked if I could go home that day. She said it would be perfectly fine! Yay, we were going home! I was given two prescriptions. One of Oxycodone and one for Ibuprofen 800. I couldn't wait until the afternoon when we would be discharged.

As we were getting ready to leave, a different lactation consultant came in and Jack was weighed. I was nearly hysterical when I found out that he had officially lost 10% of his body weight. All the pumping and supplementing (we were finger feeding along with breast feeding) along with breastfeeding were not working to stop his weight loss. Talk about a complete curve ball. We were on track to head home when Laurie (the LC) told us that Jack had a sucking problem. I couldn't stop crying and Jason kept trying to console me.

The LC was wonderful and told me that I was not a bad mom and that I was doing a good job and that Jack just needed some help. She evaluated his sucking and determined it was not very good. She gave us a plan and since then, we have been working with him. If you want to read about the plan, there is a whole separate Breastfeeding Failure post. I could rant and rant about my issue forever.

I was nervous about getting Jack in the carseat and taking him home because he hated to be unswaddled at that point (he is over that now). My stomach was in knots as Jason made his way to the car with all our things and to go get the carseat. I was alone with Jack in the empty hospital room for about 20 minutes which gave me a chance to unwind and let my emotions calm down. When Jason returned, surprisingly, Jack did really well being strapped into the carseat. We had him in a very cute blue bear outfit to make the journey home. He was so dang tiny!

We had to wait for a stupid wheelchair for me (hospital policy) and I was getting really upset. I just wanted to walk to the car and get the car ride over with. Honestly, waiting for 15 minutes for the dumb wheelchair was very stressful. I was unnecessarily snappy with the poor volunteers when they came to get us.

Jack did awesome on the ride home. He didn't fuss or cry once! He seems to enjoy the bouncing of the car. Every time we have taken him out, he has been so good. I hope I didn't just jinx us by saying that.

Being at home is amazing. It's been so much less stressful and we have found our groove. It's been awesome to wear my own clothes, feel comfortable nursing without flashing the world, going to the bathroom on my own toilet (I know, weird), etc. I have even found a few opportunities to cook and bake. It's been awesome and I know how blessed we are. I thank God every day for our miracle and the fact that he's such a good boy.

My advice to those recovering after having a baby:

* Take the Colace! Keep taking it until you are "regular" again or are off your narcotics.

* Give yourself a break. Send the baby to the nursery. Don't feel guilty. I wished I had done this at least twice so I could get an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep.

* Let the nurses help you. Don't try to be a hero. Let them help you out of bed, bring you water, bring you food, etc. Seriously, you just gave birth. Let people pamper you.

* Eat! Take advantage of some down time and get some food. Surprisingly, the hospital food was pretty good. I was bad about having three meals a day. I was lucky if I had two.

* Take the drugs. Again, don't be a hero. The pain medication you are given has no harmful effects on your wee one. Take them and don't feel guilty about it.

* Expect that your body will not bounce back immediately. Yes, I have already lost over 15 pounds, but I don't expect my flabby belly or my incision are going to look great for several months. You will have flab and if you were lucky enough not to have gotten stretch marks, don't be shocked if they appear post-delivery. I have some on my belly now even though they are light and white.

* RELAX! Sleep when you can, snuggle with your baby and try and give yourself some "me" time. Even if that "me" time is a 5 minute trip to the bathroom. You need it.

If you made it through this post, congratulations! Your reward is a super cute picture of Jack. Seriously, how handsome is he? He looks slightly annoyed in this picture. Probably because he thinks someone is going to steal his paci.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Babies are Expensive

This is really a true statement, especially when you start seeing all the hospital and doctor bills coming in. Here is what has accrued so far:

Jack's nursery charges: $2665
My anethesia bills (includes my epidural and the c-section): $2630
My hospital bill: $16992
Misc doctor fees (for visiting me in the hospital): $350

Now, I shouldn't have to owe more than $3000 total for my bills because I have an out-of-pocket of $3000 with the insurance company.

Thank goodness for saving up beforehand and for a Flexible Spending Account! I will be curious to see what the final total costs are when all is said and done.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things I Never Expected

Becoming a mommy was a big transition to me. I never thought I would be sappy or talk baby talk or kiss my child all over his face. However, once he was born, that all changed. Here are some things that I never expected about having a baby and being a mommy.

I never expected:

* The instant love that I felt when I heard you cry for the first time after being born. I didn't even need to see you.

* That having a c-section wouldn't be so bad.

* That I never tire of looking at your sweet face and kissing you all over.

* That even though you make me incredibly happy, there are some days when I am so tired and frustrated that I just cry. How can I be so sad when I have something so beautiful?

* That breastfeeding wouldn't come naturally and would take a lot of work.

* That I would be anxious if I leave the house, even for a short period of time, without you. I constantly worry and wonder "Is Jack alright?".

* That people would pamper and spoil me and not let me drive or do heavy lifting.

* That if someone else is holding you and you cry, I jump right up to help or see what's wrong.

* That my mommy instincts and intuition would kick right in. I never thought I would be a good mommy but I am proving myself wrong so far.

* That sometimes common sense is not so common. For example, we put powder on Jack's heiney during some diaper changes. Jason had to tell me to put the powder in the folds of his little legs. DUH!

* That I would be very quick to want to give up on certain things. Such as pumping and breastfeeding. I am normally a strong person, but it's so discouraging not to be able to feed your baby. I just want to give up sometimes, even though I will keep persevering.

* That I would get lonely during the day and want to try and call all my friends and family. I want to talk to my mom but she doesn't have a phone. Instead, I chat online in between bottles and diaper changes.

Being a mom is hard, but so rewarding! I know it's all worth it. Let's hope I find more good things that I never expected.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My New Favorite Thing

In the hospital, the nurses kept telling me to get some rest, but because Jack was fussy and I didn't want to put him down, I didn't get a lot of rest. They would say "Take a nap with him. Just put him on your chest. You won't drop him". Folks, I am the clumsiest person on the planet. My nickname is Grace because I don't have an ounce of grace or gracefulness in me. Of COURSE I would drop him. I am clumsy. I would be the only mother on the planet who would drop her child. Or, I would roll over on him.

Well, yesterday, I was relaxing (sleeping) on the couch and Jack started to fuss. I asked Jason to hand him to me. In less than two minutes, I was asleep, and so was Jack. Here is what ensued:

I didn't roll over or drop him much to my surprise. Jason was right there supervising so I felt pretty good that nothing bad would happen.

This morning, instead of the couch, Jack and I snuggled in bed. It felt nice to cuddle and hold my baby while we both took a cat nap. It's my new favorite thing. Since I have been so down the last few days, it really helped to boost my spirits.

And for all your skeptics of sleeping with your baby, I ask you to butt out. He wasn't in harms way and I know many people co-sleep so pfflllllfffptttt.

And yes, I realize that I don't look all that great in this picture. What can I say? It was 4:00am and Mommy was tired. Of course, Jack looks incredibly adorable no matter the time of day.

Jack + Mommy = Best thing ever

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear Jason

This post is going to be directed towards my wonderful husband.

Dear Jason,

I know that when I married you, you were a wonderful man. Over the past three years, you have proved that to me. However, since Jack was born, you have amazed me. You took care of me while pregnant and without a complaint, ever. I never realized just how awesome you would be.

The second we went into the hospital, you took care of me. You didn't flinch when the doctors performed yucky procedures. You helped me to the bathroom. You helped me get comfortable in bed. You held my hand during procedures. And when I had a bad reaction to the epidural, you put a cold washcloth on my head and talked softly to me. I don't think I can tell you just how much I appreciate all these things.

During labor, you kept quiet when I was breathing. You stroked my foreheard and didn't make me feel bad when I asked for the epidural so soon. You kept asking me if you could get me anything. When I did ask, you jumped right up and took care of me. Never with a grumble or a complaint.

I thought my love for you was complete, until I saw you hold Jack for the first time. Seeing you with your newborn son and the love in your eyes still makes me cry. They say dads don't bond instantly like moms do, but I don't believe it. They just need to take one look at you to see that it isn't true. You like at your son with awe and joy and love. I think it's because he looks just like you and you are able to "see" him as your's.

In the hospital when I wasn't able to get out of bed or pick up our baby, you took over all diaper changes and brought the baby to me when he needed to eat. Just watching you change a diaper and talk to Jack in such a soothing voice is so sweet. You never get angry or frustrated when he kicks his little legs or pees on you. I look forward to the voice that you use to "talk" to him.

You treat him like a little man, and on the days where I am a crying mess, you step right up. I love listening to you talk to him about video games or kiss his little face. I love when I find you snuggling with him or next to you on the couch playing Playstation. Like father, like son after all.

Not only do you take care of Jack like an old pro, but you take care of me. Last night, after I had made dinner and Jack was fussing, I tried to feed him and was okay with my dinner getting cold. Instead, you made me up a plate and brought me dinner before you ate anything yourself. It really truly is the small things in life that make my heart swell. You clean my breastpump supplies after I use them when in the middle of the night I am so groggy. Don't worry, I won't tell your friends.

How can you be any more supportive of me? When I get frustrated with breastfeeding, you are my rock and talk to me and tell me "Good job Mommy" even if the baby clearly isn't eating anything. You position him, bring me pillows, rub my shoulders and bring me water to remind me I need to be drinking more.

Jason, I love you so much. Words can't tell you just how much I love seeing you as a husband and a new father. You blow me away by just how much of a natural you are.

I love you more than words can ever relay. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being a great father to Jack and a husband to me.

Rachel aka Mommy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Breastfeeding Failure

Before I had Jack, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. There are so many advantages and let's face it, I am cheap. If I don't have to pay for something, I won't. I wanted to experience the bonding situation and all that jazz.

From the time Jack was born, immediately after he was handed to me, he had great latch and great sucking. Or so I thought. My nipples were hurting and starting to crack, but I knew it would take a while to get used to it. I also knew they would "toughen up" at some point.

I was informed the day after he was born that he had lost weight. Talk about a blow to the heart. I knew babies lose weight, but the amount of weight he had lost was slightly alarming. He was born weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces and by the next day, he was down to 7 pounds 5 ounces. I was told that if he went down more than 10% of his birthweight, other measures would have to be taken.

I continued to feed him not knowing that I could have a problem. Or that he could have a problem. By the second day after his birth, I had consulted a lactation consultant and she provided me with tricks and things I could to get him to latch. He is the type of baby who is a lazy eater. He will suck a couple of times and then get really sleepy. Or he will suck so gently that he isn't drawing milk. So much so that you have to tickle his face or ear to wake him up to remind him to suck. We noticed right after he was born that he had a fascination with his tongue. This could be that in utero, when other babies were sucking their thumbs or fist, that Jack was sucking on his tongue. This can lead to problems because then you have to "re-train" them to suck correctly.

The third day, I was informed by my night nurse (I didn't like her, but that's a different story) that he had lost too much weight and that I needed to consider alternatives. I asked what the alternatives were and was told: Supplementing. Keep in mind that I already felt like a failure. My baby was losing weight and I had absolutely no control over it. I suck as a mother. What kind of person am I that I can't feed my own child? I wish the nurse had explained the alternatives to me better. I heard supplementing and I immediately assumed this meant formula. I don't want to feed my baby formula, but if I need to do it to keep him healthy than so be it.

I had a very rough night after hearing that. My mother-in-law and husband were incredibly supportive of me. I was crying, worrying and hoping that Jack wouldn't have health issues from losing so much weight. By the next morning, I had talked to my day nurse (Larissa, who was an absolute angel) and she explained what supplementing meant. I could use my breast pump to pump additional colostrum to feed to him. I could try using a special bottle, called a Haberman, to teach him how to suck. We could do something called finger feeding which entails a tiny tube into his mouth and slowly plunging milk in, or we could do straight formula. Now there were some options! This made me feel 100% better. I didn't feel as guilty at this point.

We started finger feeding after many feedings. He would nurse for a while and then get a supplement of colostrum (I had started pumping at this point and my milk was starting to come in) in a small tube. I felt this was a step in the right direction.

On Friday, he was weighed again right before we went home. A different lactation consultant came in, weighed him and to check my progress and said to me, "He has now lost 10% of his birthweight". I immediately broke down. I was doing everything I was supposed to, including supplementing and he was STILL losing weight. I was essentially starving my baby. This was an hour before we went home.

I worked with the lactation consultant for close to an hour. She gave us a plan: Breastfeed as usual and then after each and every feeding, give him a supplement of breast milk in the Haberman bottle. The bottle is designed to help him suck. Depending on how much he takes out of the bottle, I would be able to determine if he was breastfeeding and getting any milk. For example, a baby typically eats 2 ounces every feeding. If I breastfeed for the alotted time and then he takes an ounce in the bottle, I know that he probably got an ounce off my breasts. The next step in the plan was to send us home and then back to the pediatrician the next day to see if the supplementing was working. They can tell if the baby has gained. The third step in the plan was for us to come to lactation clinic on Monday. I only had to make it through the weekend and then I would get some additional one on one help.

We arrived home on Friday and by the end of the night, Jack had stopped latching onto my breast completely. So much for the "plan" that the lactation consultant had set up for us. We determined that because my milk had come in, my nipples had gotten bigger and changed shape. He was no longer able to hold them in his mouth and then in turn, get really frustrated and cry. I had ANOTHER breakdown. We decided that Jack needed to eat and so we would feed him exclusively off the Haberman bottle. Of course, we still kept trying to get him to latch on, but after 20 minutes of screaming, heartbreak and Mommy getting upset, we ended up using the bottle at each feeding.

Saturday morning, Jack was weighed and he had gained! It looked like the bottle was working, yippee! Just overnight, he had gained almost 5 ounces.

Over the weekend, we continued to try and latch and use the bottle. I kept track of how much Jack was eating and how much I was pumping. I think my kid is part piglet because he ate almost 20 ounces both Saturday and Sunday.

Monday morning brought us to the lactation clinic. Jack and I worked with the consultant and with the help of a nipple shield and some tricks, we were able to get him to latch on again. Our new plan is now to breastfeed for 10 minutes each side and either use a feeding tube at the same time in his mouth (this trains him to suck harder and also get some additional milk if he's not able to off my breast) or use the bottle after each feed.

I am feeling hopeful now. Our first feeding yesterday with the plan worked. He didn't suck very much off me, but that's okay. We are trying. After each feeding, I pump. That way, he has some additional supplementation. Jason feeds him off the bottle while I am sleeping and when the two of us are awake, we work together to feed Jack. It's a two person job with a tube, syringe, breast, and positioning.

I don't feel like as much of a failure now. Yes, this is going to be a long road, but it's worth it. My insurance doesn't cover the lactation visits, but I don't care. My baby needs to eat and I am still wanting to breastfeed. We will both keep working and at some point, my "lazy eater" will catch on.

I am not crying as much, getting frustrated and now feel like I can enjoy my little boy. It was a very rough first week, but it is getting better.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jack Emmett is Here!

This is going to be a long post folks. I have a lot to say about my birth story. I find it ironic that my last post was about my 38 week appointment. Considering I was talking about my giant baby and the fact that I would go overdue. Well, surprise! This post is mostly for me since I want to remember what labor is like in case I ever decide to have a baby again.

On Sunday the 31st, my husband and I went to my in-laws for dinner. Right as we were about to leave at 8:30pm, I felt a gush of fluid. I went to the bathroom and my underwear was soaked but it was not enough fluid (or so I thought) to make me think it was my water.

On Monday the 1st I got up to get ready for work at 7:00am and felt another gush of fluid. I thought I would at least call my boss to see if I could work from home in case I had more fluid gush or the doctor wanted to see me. The on call doctor I spoke with was very nice. She explained that since it wasn't a huge amount of loss and I wasn't having contractions that it probably wasn't my water. She told me to come on in to Labor and Delivery just to be sure though.

Being that I am super organized, I called both of my bosses and then logged into work JUST IN CASE. I wanted to get all my open assignments reassigned and set my email out of office message so that people would know that I was on maternity leave if they happened to contact me. What can I say? I am a planner.

I ate a super quick breakfast, got some clothes set out and then popped my head into the bedroom and told my husband that I had another gush of fluid and that the doctor wanted me to go to L&D. I told him that he should stay at home since it was probably a false alarm and why bother coming and wasting sleep since he had to be at work at 3:00. Well, that was the wrong thing to do. My husband is a worrier. He said "There is no way you are driving yourself to the hospital if you are in labor". I told him that again, it was probably nothing and that if I was indeed in labor, I would call him from the hospital and he could either drive in or call his mom to take him.

I took a shower and of course, Jason got up and started getting all our bags ready. We had all the hospital bags packed but needed to throw in last minute items. I shaved my legs, got all pretty, put on makeup and did everything because again, I wasn't in labor! We even had time to drink a cup of coffee and headed to L&D around 8:45am. Jason was awesome and got all our bags into the car, the carseat snapped in and then made sure to ask me if I had everything and what he could do to help. He didn't want me carrying anything heavy.

Once we got there, the L&D nurses don't mess around. They didn't even ask me WHY I was there. They took us straight back to a room and had me change into a gown. The front desk nurse said "Your nurse will be right in". Okay, who needs a nurse when all they were going to do was probably check me.

The nicest nurse, Jeanette came in and explained that she would do an internal exam and check the fluid around my cervix, but probably since I didn't have that huge gush of water that is typical, it was probably nothing. I told Jason not to even bother calling his mom and worrying her because we would likely be home around 11:00. My cervix was checked, I peed in a cup, and then we waited. Jeanette had explained that when viewed under a microscope that amniotic fluid looked like a fern when dry.

About 20 minutes later, she poked her head back into the room and said "Well, you surprised me, I saw the plant". OH MY GOD. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BABY. Once your water breaks, you have to deliver within a certain amount of time in order for the risk of infection to remain low. Apparently, my bag of waters had sprung a slow leak. That is why I didn't have the huge gush of fluid that is normal.

The nurse said she would be back and get us some admit forms and at that point is when we decided to make all our phone calls. I called work, Jason called work, he called his mom (who was going to be in the delivery room with us), I called my mom, etc. It was pretty much excited chaos.

Funny thing: My coworker Melissa was currently at the hospital having her baby and I didn't know it yet! I guess since both her and I share a birthday, our babies probably should too.

Jeanette came back and explained that the next part of the process was to insert Cervadil into my lady bits to get my cervix to soften so that I would go into labor on my own. Once the Cervadil remains in for 12 hours, they would then start the Pitocin if I hadn't progressed or started having contractions. It would be at least the next day before our baby would be here, but we were required to stay at the hospital.

The Cervadil was put in around 12:00pm (lunch time) and my cervix was checked to see if I was dilated at all (I was at about 1cm at that point) and the next few hours were pretty much boring and uneventful. I had my gown on, hung out in bed, cat napped when I could, chatted with my mother-in-law and called and texted all my friends. I had brought my laptop so I was able to keep myself busy. My cervix wasn't checked again because the risk of infection is high when your water has broken.

I didn't bother wearing underwear the rest of the day because I kept having gushes of fluid (gross, sorry). They had these pads on the bed (I called them puppy pads) to catch any fluid. I can tell you that it had to be changed a couple of times throughout the day. Throughout the day, I felt crampy, but that was probably due to the fact that my cervix was effacing and dilating. The Cervadil was supposed to be taken out at around midnight, but I went to the bathroom and thought I saw the string in the toilet. So, instead of having it removed by one of the nurses, it came out on its own.

My mother-in-law went home because she knew I wouldn't be having Jack until the next day at least. Jason stayed with me. I slept a few hours and he played on the computer or watched tv.

The next morning around 7:00, I was hooked up to a Pitocin drip. Now, keep in mind, I am pretty scared of hearing stories about Pitocin. I have these horrible thoughts of your labor going from zero to sixty in just a couple of hours. I hate to say it because I don't remember, but I believe my cervix was checked at one point (I don't remember what time) and I was dilated to 3. The contractions were getting more and more painful. One would come on and I would breathe through it which worked for quite a while. My mother-in-law and husband would rub my arm or my leg and remind me to breathe. I could still talk through them, so I knew that they weren't that terrible yet.

They became pretty terrible at some point when I couldn't breathe through them anymore. My pain threshold is pretty low so I knew it was time for the epidural. The nurse had warned me that when I knew I wanted one, not to wait too long and to allow 30 minutes for the anesthesiologist to get there. You don't want to be at your breaking point and still have to wait another 30 minutes.
I called uncle and the anesthesiologist came to administer my epi around 12:00. Once you receive an epidural, you can't get out of bed. So, I was there in bed to stay (which meant a catheter, ew) until I delivered. Adam, the very nice anesthesiologist came in and questioned my body's ability to have anesthesia. Basically he asked me questions about what surgeries I had in the past and how I reacted to the anesthesia.

I got into position and bent over. Adam walked me through everything. My husband held my hand while the numbing medicine into my back. Then, the needle for the epidural went in. I do not know how big the thing was, but I felt a lot of pressure and it overall just felt strange. I kept saying "ow" even though it didn't really hurt. Poor Adam and poor Rachel. He tried several times to get the needle in with no luck. I guess I have small spaces between my bones in my spine. I started feeling really sick because he was trying so hard to get the needle in with no success. My mother-in-law told me that he had a big frown on his face and concentrating about getting the needle in. Finally, he did and he started administering the medication. That is when things got ugly.

As soon as the epidural medication was pumped into my back, I started getting lightheaded and nauseous. I was still bent over and said to the nurse "I don't feel good, something is wrong". The got me back into bed and apparently I turned white as a sheet. I don't remember much, but I could hear the monitors next to me going off and I believe a wet washcloth was put on my head. I couldn't even hear people talking in the room.

It took a good 20 minutes to start feeling better, but what happened was that once the medication went into my epidural space, my blood pressure plummeted. Jason said he saw the monitor and it said 70/64. Yikes! Again, because I couldn't remember what happened, Adam or the nurse put a medicine in my IV to raise my blood pressure as well as an anti nausea medication so I wouldn't vomit. After that, I started to feel better. As a matter of fact, I started feeling great after about 30 minutes. I was not feeling any pain at all. It was explained to me that I might still feel the contractions, but they wouldn't be painful. Sure enough, I could feel pressure, but absolutely not one ounce of pain. I would jokingly say to my husband "Oh, there's a contraction" and sure enough, on the monitor, there would be one.

I feel awful saying this, but the details of my labor are all starting to disappear. There are things that I am going to get out of order. I probably should have blogged about it sooner but golly gee, with a new baby, it's sort of hard.

I know that I wasn't able to eat or drink anything after a certain time, but honestly, I can't remember why. I was allowed ice chips only after the epi was put in, but I can't remember if the Pitocin was the cause of me not being allowed to eat. Jason and my mother-in-law ate a roast beef sandwich in front of me though. Seriously, how cruel is that?!?

At one point, Dr. P came in to check my progression. I THINK it was after my epidural. He checked me internally, which is kind of funny because my mother-in-law was in the room the entire time. She has now seen every body part of mine that there is. Teee hee. Okay, so Dr. P checked me and there was a visible bag of water. He asked the nurse for a hook to break it. Talk about bizarre feeling! It was like peeing my pants but just not with pee. It was very warm and I soaked the puppy pad. After that, I would have a lot of gushes throughout the day.

I had an internal contraction monitor put in me at one point. It was pretty cool watching the contractions on the monitor. Even though I couldn't feel them (due to the epidural), I could see them on the monitor. I was having them every 2 to 3 minutes and they were very strong. I also had some contractions that were doubled up. Of course I can't remember the names of them now. But I would have one, immediately have another and then have a break for 5 minutes. So odd.

I started getting super excited around 2:00 when a nurse came in and checked my cervix progress and told me I was dilated to 7! Yippee! That lasted all of about an hour when Dr. P came back, checked me again and said "well the nurse was being generous. I think you are only about 4 or 5". Well hell. So much for progress. And I had texted several of my friends too to let them know that the baby was getting closer. How embarrassing.

Again, the details get sketchy but at around 6:00 Dr. P came back in and checked me again. Or maybe it was the nurse. I was dilated to about a 5 by that point. One centimeter in four stinkin' hours! Dr. P sighed really loud and said "Well kiddo, let's talk about what's happening". Normally, once your water is broken, they want you to progress about a centimeter per hour. I was only progressing about a centimeter every two to four hours. Due to that fact, and the fact that they thought Jack was a big baby, he told me that I would probably need a c-section.

Does it make me terrible that I wasn't even sad about this? When I first became pregnant, I had a theory that I could plan for the worst but hope for the best. So, if I needed a c-section, so be it. I was told that they would check the schedule, but likely, I would have my baby within a couple of hours. My father-in-law had gotten to the hospital at this point and I am glad he was there because I know my mother-in-law was super disappointed that she couldn't see our faces when we saw our son and I know she wanted to be there to see him born. He was a good support person for my mother in law.

Jason changed into scrubs and our items were moved from the labor room to our recovery room where we would spend the next few days.

I ended up going in for a c-section around 7:00. A few minutes beforehand, a wonderful anesthesiologist came in and explained the process of anesthesia for a c-section. They use the same epidural line but just up the dosage of medication. A couple of nurses and the anesthesiologist worked on me for a while. Again, when they upped the medication, I got sick. Immediately after the drip was turned up, my blood pressure crashed, I got nauseous and had to shut my eyes. It was very hard for me because I wanted to be present and aware for when our son was born. I had anti-nausea meds and blood pressure medication pumped into my IV and I was quickly wheeled off to the OR.

All I remember is keeping my eyes shut as I was being wheeled into the OR. I had no idea where Jason was at this point, but I believe he came in about 5 minutes later. I was moved from the gurney onto the surgery table. I heard a nurse say her name was Jennifer and I was aware of my other nurse from the night shift Molly there (Molly was absolutely wonderful by the way). I had to keep my eyes closed because I was shaking so hard from the anxiety and adrenaline. I couldn't stop my arms from shaking. Jason came in at that point and stayed with me behind the sterile drape. I can't even remember if he held my hand or not.

I was not aware that the surgery had even started until I smelled the cauterization of whatever the doctor was doing. I asked Jason, "Have they started yet?" and he replied "Honey, they are almost done". All the tugging and pulling I was feeling was the incision and all the cutting. I had no idea, that is how completely out of it I was. The whole time, the anesthesiologist was talking to me, although he didn't really say what was happening. He was just a soothing nice voice that helped keep me calm.

The second I found out the surgery was almost done, I was instantly better. The shaking stopped, I stopped being nauseous and I was ready for Jack to be born. I finally heard Dr. P say "The head's out!". I think someone else said "Happy Birthday little guy!". Jack instantly started crying. And of course, to hear that beautiful sound, I started crying too. It really truly was the best thing I had ever heard in my life. He had such a strong cry.

Jason got to get up and go see him get washed and cleaned up. It took about five minutes for him to bring Jack around but when he did, it was honestly the best moment of my life. Here is a picture that one of the nurses took of us as a new family:

Just looking at this picture breaks my heart because I am so happy. They had to take Jack again to do a few more things but very shortly, I got to hold him. They moved me back to my hospital bed and handed my sweet baby to me. I just remember staring at his beautiful face. I haven't seen too many newborns as alert and cute as Jack.

Even though the pain and grossness of childbirth is over, I can say it was all worth it. Would I do it again? I don't know. Maybe in a few years. For Jack though, I would go back and do it again a hundred times over. He's worth it.

I am sure I have forgotten a ton of details. Little sleep, excitement of meeting your baby and conveniently forgetting the pain will do that to you. I will post later about my recovery. In many ways, the recovery after my c-section was worse than the actual process. More to come.

Jack Emmett Lastname
Born: February 2, 2010 7:38pm
7 pounds 13 ounces
19.75 inches long
Absolutely perfect in every way