Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Celebrating One Year

Well, the Bug finally turned a year old!  The formula change went well and the spewing subsided.  Thank goodness.  We were even able to come off of the acid reflux medicine.  Now that she has turned a year old, we have been trying to introduce regular milk.  My older two had no problem with the switch, but she is proving to be difficult.  We tried mixing whole milk and soy per the direction of one doctor, but she would only take it somewhat once it reached room temp.  Now we are trying three parts formula to 1 part whole milk.  We will gradually increase to just whole milk within the next few weeks. 

Trying to transition to a sippy cup is proving to be a trick as well.  She has very little desire for one.  We are about to try our fourth different style.  I'm trying to be tough mom, you know, this is how it's going to be.  But when it's 3a.m. and you went to bed at 1a.m. after cramming for a final, you'll do what ever it takes to get some shut eye.

One week before her first birthday, she cut her first tooth.  Two weeks later, her second.  High fever with both.  The first time we took her to the doctor because it reached 103 but they couldn't find anything but the tooth to be causing it.  Or "viral".  A simple way of saying they have no clue.  This time around she got up to 102.  Last a day and was treatable with children's Advil.  Yesterday though, a week after that fever, I took her in to the doctor for a yellow nose.  Result?  Nasty ear infection.  This is that fun time of year!

I'm getting ready to close out this blog as I am working on a new one for the beginning of the year.  I'll post a link when I have it ready.  This blog was mainly intended as a place for me to reflect on the challenges of that first year of motherhood, and so I could remember everything I went through.  I'm sure there are others out there that may have had the same issue with delivery that I did, I just can't find any documentation out there anywhere.  Hopefully my story will help someone else cope with a difficult time.

I wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Monday, July 21, 2014

8 Months Old and 1 Month in to New Formula

C Bug has been on Gerber Soy now for just over a month and it has helped.  However, with her reflux, there really is no fantastic solution.  Between the soy and acid reflux medicine, it has improved slightly.  As in, no projectile spit up or drenching of anyone's clothes that hold her.  But she's still a spewing machine.  She can't hold the 21 ounces the pediatrician would like for her to have.  Anything over 18 ounces is not staying down.  Even with the baby food, she's still spewing.  Fun times.

Right now, we are just having to work through it with her.  Thankfully, she usually doesn't get upset when she spits up.  We've pretty much got the routine down to a science now.  A day trip looks like we are going on a week's vacation, but we do what we have to.  We always take more than one change of clothes for her, as well as ourselves.  Just a few more months and we can get rid of formula all together.  I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Honestly, upon talking to other parents, a lot have actually changed their babies over to whole milk before their first birthday, even when pediatrician says not to, due to reflux issues.  I haven't ruled that out, but I do want to give things another month to see how things go. 

Next week we go to pick up C Bug's DOC Band.  More on that in an upcoming post.

Have a great week!  Please feel free to share any experiences you have had with reflux in the comments.  I'm always open to advice and I hope that through this blog, provide some tips for others going through the same things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

7 Month Old Baby and The Formula Change

C Bug is now 7 months old and it is so hard to believe.  We are still dealing with the troubling acid reflux and now tummy troubles from teething.  At her visit last month, her pediatrician noticed two teeth are ready to come through on the bottom, but when they actual will is unpredictable.   At first, she wanted to start gradually pulling C off of her acid reflux medicine, until C projectile spit up 3 times while in the office and it had been over an hour since her feeding.  We were hoping that she would start calming down some once she started baby food, but no such luck.  I can't go anywhere without taking a change of clothes for her and myself.  Not to mention all the people that want to hold her and she spews all over.  I think I need to have her wear a warning shirt daily that lets people know what they are in for.  Then again, some of them deserve it when they won't let her rest. ;-)

This month the doctor told us to go ahead and try soy formula again.  If it constipates her (as it did the one other time we tried it), then we can increase some fruits or fruit juice and just see what happens.  She has not gained any weight over the last month, but she has not gained either.  She went from 40th percentile in weight at six months, to just 20th percentile.  She is also taking less and less formula, which is somewhat normal when a baby starts baby food, but she just doesn't like it.  Hopefully this soy will be the trick.  The recommendation is at least 21 ounces a day.  C is only getting around 17-19, counting what is used to make her cereal.  She's spitting up at least a fourth of that.  What can I do though?  I can't force it down her throat.  If you try to get her to take more, then it is definitely coming back up.

Today is day one on the soy formula.  The first bottle she was taken aback by, obviously for the difference in taste.  I'm not sure how much she will take the next few days though, as her little tummy is all out of whack.  I'm talking diapers that don't get changed....she goes straight to the bath tub in the diaper...and the clothes.  Yucky bad.  I feel so bad for her too.  Sometimes, like last night, she just cries because her tummy hurts.  At least that's what I am assuming.  She cried while eating supper last night and I kept feeding her because she wanted to eat.  Trust me, when she's done, she's done.  And you know it.  Finally she got real quiet and oh, the sound and stench.  Then she was able to rest.  My poor little C Bug.

As for me, I'm as normal as I'm going to be I believe since having surgery.  All moms will agree, there is no real "normal" after you have a child, no matter how the delivery went.  My bladder still seems to be in pregnancy mode (peanut sized) and my IBS is about two notches higher on the aggravation scale.  But my incision has healed really good and I no longer feel any tender spots.  I've been having some issues with my kidneys, like I am constantly getting an infection, but I grew up with kidney infections so that's not too out of the ordinary.  The best part about having the big H surgery?  NO MORE PMS!!!  Since I have my ovaries, I was not thrown into immediate menopause, but from all the research I have done, that may happen in the next two years or so.  I'm already a lot more hot natured (usually very COLD natured) and my mood swings are unpredictable, but, C Bug has been waking up at night again so I'm not fully rested all the time.  What mom is though?

I'll post again in a week or two the updates on how she is doing on the soy formula.  Crossing our fingers and saying prayers that this will truly help.

Take Care,


Friday, April 25, 2014

Formula or Breast Feed? The pressure is on.

When my oldest daughter was born, I knew before hand that I would have to formula feed.  I found a breast lump at around 7 months that ended up being a benign cyst that would need to be removed.  Surgery was scheduled for a week after her delivery. I would have to pump and discard until all the blood was out of the milk, and with stitches the doctor highly advised against doing that.  By God's healing hand, the lump went away and I did not have to have the surgery after all.  As my milk depleted, the lump shrank.  I would have had plenty to nurse her with.  I was heartbroken that I didn't get to nurse, but thankful I was blessed at the same time.

Carson (yes, this can be a girl's name for those wondering) was my easy pregnancy and easy feeding baby.  We started and finished with the same formula, she rarely spit up, and even when she was sick she was always all smiles.

Jesse was 5 weeks early and the doctors and nurses were dead set that I was going to breast feed.  It was supposed to be the very best for him, especially being premature.  My body disagreed.  Possibly because I was being told again what I should/could do.  I had so many nurses, doctors and lactation's working with me and fondling me in ways I wish I could forget.  Unfortunately moments like those are burned into your memory forever.  I had a bottle attached to one side of me with a tube coming out that went around my neck and attached to my breast that was supposed to help him latch on.  Supposedly the milk in the tube with help him latch and get my milk to flow.  Didn't work.  I pumped non stop, even after I went home.  I would pump and pump, for up to an hour, and only have about an ounce of formula.  I tried for two months.  It was exhausting.  I even used one of those ridiculous plastic nipple covers over mine to help him latch.  I thought it was going to remove my nipple from my body.  White flag please.

Then, we had to switch his formula several times.  He had GERD, or in English, acid reflux.  We started with the preemie formula, then switched to regular Enfamil.  Then to Neutragamin and a couple others the doctors wanted us to try.  He was cranky, gassy, and projectile vomiting with all of them.  My sister came up with what ended up being our solution.  The simplest of solutions.  Here she was, 10 years younger than me and no kids of her own, and she found the solution.  I'm forever in her debt.  She called me one day and started reading out the descriptions of formulas.  She told me she really thought this was what we needed.  Similac Soy.  Wonderful, blessed, half the price of the other mess, SOY.  We still ended up having to add cereal to his bottles rather early on (at our pediatrician's advise) to help weight it down so the projectile would stop.  However, it worked.

Then comes little Chloe.  I really wanted to breast feed and had hoped this time would be it.  No pressure from doctor's or nurses either way.  Minutes after she was born, she latched right on.  Finally!  The joy did not last long though.  After being rushed to emergency surgery, I did not get to see her again for a little over 12 hours.  By this time, she was fed on demand by bottle and did not want to change.  I tried and tried what I was able to in the hospital, but due to my situation and recovery, I did not get to spend as much time with her that first week as I did my other two.  I was at least able to get her that wonderful "liquid gold" colostrum while in the hospital, and the first day or two at home.  I pumped when I could but nothing came out.  I tried to nurse her at every feeding before giving in to the bottle.  Take hot showers trying to get it to flow.

I went for a follow up with my OB at 2 weeks and she told me to stop worrying about it.  She told me my body had been through more than most women would see at one time and that stressing over nursing was not worth it.  She made me feel so much better discussing everything with me.  I wasn't a bad mom for giving up; I needed to give up.  My body needed to heal and the stress and pressure of conforming to what some doctors and nurses thought I should do was not what was best for me.  The best thing for me was to heal and bond with my newborn without becoming frustrated. 

What I have learned from three babies and feeding:

  1. Every baby is different, even your own.
  2. Start simple.
  3. Don't let anyone make you feel inadequate in your feeding decision.  Do what is best for you and your baby.  Refer to #1.
  4. Trust your own instincts.
  5. Make your decision and do not second guess yourself. 
If you want to breast feed, give it a try.  Work with a lactation specialist while you are at the hospital if you have any questions.  Realize that every mom that nurses may do different things than you do and that's okay.  Do not compare yourself to other mom's.  Not just for nursing, don't compare yourself period.  You will put yourself in the nut house.  My biggest advise is be prepared with a back up plan of formula.  I pray it works for you, but also pray you don't become discouraged if it doesn't.

If you have no desire to breast feed, DON'T.  DO NOT let anyone make you feel like you have to try it.  DO NOT let anyone make you feel like you are not doing right by your child or that you are a bad mom.  MAKE IT KNOWN as soon as you check in to deliver that you DO NOT want to breast feed.  Nip it in the bud.  Seriously.  It's your body, your decision.  While breast feeding can be very rewarding, it can be very frustrating.  I have friends with multiple children that never had formula a day in their life.  Nursing came natural to them.  For me it did not and I am okay with that. 

Embrace your decision.  Whether you are a first time mom or a 5th time mom, you ultimately know what is best.  Trust those gut instincts.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

5 Months Post Delivery and Surgery

Once home from the hospital, I had to find my groove to deal with the pain and discomfort, along with being a mother and wife.  I slept on the couch for another 3 months.  I found that trying to sit up or roll over to get out of the bed was very painful and pulled muscles I didn't know existed.  By sleeping on the couch, I could prop on one side, then grab the back couch cushions to hoist myself up.  Still much better than the hospital bed was.  It didn't matter how many buttons I pressed trying to maneuver that bed to get me out of it, nothing felt good at all.

For the graphic part: it was exactly one week from giving birth and having the surgery before I could use the bathroom.  I thought I was dying all over again.  Sharp, cutting gas pains would come and go as I tried to go.  This lasted for about 2 weeks.  But once the gas pain started releasing (and that would be quite comical), then I started feeling pain from the surgery.  It was bearable, but uncomfortable.  Like intense PMS pain.  Ibuprofen took care of it and I never had to take any of the hard pain medicine thankfully.  I remember discussing my surgery with a family member that had already been through the hysterectomy.  I told her it felt like my insides had been rearranged.  Apparently this was exactly the case, and my OB confirmed in a future visit.  A lot of other organs are in the way of your lady parts, and have to be pulled out to get to them, then stuffed back in.  Call me the Thanksgiving turkey!  I was also told that some women would feel better at around 8 weeks, it could be 12 weeks to 6 months.  Now I can say I believe them.

Gradually I started feeling more myself.  At 3 months Bug started sleeping through the night and that helped even more.  I couldn't believe how hard it was in the beginning, getting up and down for feedings, feeding the other 2 kiddos, and trying to take care of myself.  The OB prepared me for a longer than normal healing process due to the fact that I was starting all over with a baby again too.

Every day that I felt better, I pushed myself just a little farther.  An extra load of laundry.  Run the vacuum (not the best idea), sweep, clean up something.  At 4 months I helped my husband move some light furniture.  Something I would have done on my own before.  The next day, I FELT IT.  I could not believe that I could still feel so sore.  My incision healed nicely, but there was tenderness and feeling like I had pulled something.  I had to, and still have to, learn my limits.

It's hard to believe that it has been 5 months already.  I feel closer to normal than I have in a long time now, but I still have days that I know I have over done myself.  I was supposed to go back to work at 8 weeks post, but the company I work for did a layoff.  While things have been tight financially, God blessed me at the same time.  The extra time has done wonders for my recovery physically and emotionally.  I am enjoying every minute of being a new mom again, and being able to do more with my 9 and 6 year old.  I haven't missed the first school function, during or after school hours.  There have been times I thought I was going to go insane of course, what mom doesn't feel that way?  I've been spring cleaning for over a month, going room to room cleaning out and organizing.  Something I've never found the time to do.  I'm taking a nap with the Bug most days, even if it's just for a hour, while it's just she and I at home.  I'm going to Bible studies every other week and taking the kids back to church.  I've also made the time to visit with friends and family more.

Life is precious, we all know that.  But if you have ever had that life dangle, yours or a loved one's, then you know how true that statement is.  I feel like I have been through Hell in a canoe with a broken paddle, but I made it out to the other side.  Sometimes I believe we have to go through these hard and challenging times to become stronger people, and grow our relationship with God.  I know that has been the case with me.

Things are really getting fun with this silly little girl.  New experiences every day.  I hope to blog more about these experiences and bring you the nitty gritty, sometimes not pretty, truth to what I see.

So go fix a cup of coffee and come back and see me soon.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Recovering From The Unexpected Hysterectomy After Childbirth

I finally made it to my room at close to 10pm Monday night.  I still couldn't open my eyes, for some reason they were swollen shut.  But I knew my husband and my mom were still there.  I remember asking them, "Did I give you guys a scare?"  I got a very exasperated "YES" from both of them.  It was probably a good thing I couldn't see their faces.  I vaguely remember the doctor stopping by and confirming it was a hysterectomy.  I was in a complete fog and did not fully understand what had happened yet.  I know I called one of my co-workers and I think she was at a ball game and couldn't hear me good.  I ended up texting her about the hysterectomy.  I wasn't very subtle about it, and I blame it on the medicine.

Really all I remember about that night is itching all over and my throat was dry and sore.   I was given Benadryl and pain medicine and had an ice pack across my abdomen.  Oh, and I got another serving of red Jello.  I was still starving!!

The next morning, all the events began to come to light.  It felt like they were talking about someone else instead of what had happened to me.  None of it felt real.

My doctor had tried to do the DNC for over an hour.  The placenta was breaking into pieces and was stuck to the uterine wall.  I was loosing way to much blood.  Finally, she went to my husband in the waiting room and explained to him what was going on.  I needed a blood transfusion immediately, and a hysterectomy.  Otherwise, I was going to bleed to death right there on the table.  They actually almost lost me.  I had two transfusions during the surgery and had to be incubated (I think that's the right term for it!).  That was why my throat was sore.

I really don't know when they brought little C-Bug in to the room.  I honestly was still so out of it and felt like I was having an out of body experience.  This couldn't have happened to me.  I bounce back too quick and this wasn't going to hold me down.  Ha.  I do remember trying to nurse C every time she was ready to eat.  Unfortunately because she was bottle fed on demand the first 24 hours, she didn't have the patience to nurse.  But I tried and tried as much as she would.  At least she was able to get the colostrum, or as the doctors like to call it: liquid gold.

Later that day, they removed my catheter and got me up on the side of the bed to try and go to the bathroom.  No problem.  Just get me to my feet and I'll do the rest.

I was in for a very rude awakening.

For some, this may be an over share, but I'm documenting this for myself and I'm trying to be brutally honest here.  No sugar coating.  When I tried to stand up, I couldn't.  At least not without support from a nurse on each side.  As soon as I stood, my bladder failed me.  Yes, I peed all over the floor and had no control over it.  I. Was. Pissed.  Literally and figuratively speaking.  Why didn't I have control over my bladder and why couldn't I walk on my own?  I'm She-Ra, hear me roar!!  I don't need help.


As aggravating as it was, it was also humbling.  Turns out I wasn't the perfect, strong, bounce right back mama I thought I was.  And coughing?  Oh my goodness.  I had to brace myself against a wall, hold my belly, and gently work out the cough.  I was obviously going to pee on myself when I did, but it hurt like hell too.  But honestly, that wasn't the worst part of it all.  The gas pain was.

I begged for gas ex.  It felt like I had a helium balloon inside of me and I seriously begged the nurses to just pop me and let the gas out.  It was horrible.  When asked what my pain was on a scale of 1-10 I would say anywhere from 11 to 13.   So they kept me on pain meds, even though I told them the pain was strictly from the gas.  I couldn't even feel where they had cut me open.  No pain from the birth either (she was only 4 pounds, 13 1/2 ounces).  Pain meds, anti gas, iron, stool softener.  Around the clock.  Nothing was helping.

Apparently when you are cut open and closed up, it's kind of like trying to get all the air out of a zip lock bag when you seal it: virtually impossible.  My body needed to pass the gas out to get relief, and it wasn't happening  Thursday, just when I was sure they would let me go home, the doctor told me I couldn't because I hadn't passed gas.  Seriously?  To be quite blunt, I needed to shatter the windows and it just wasn't happening.  No bowel movement either.  It ended up being a good thing I didn't go home that day because it was my worst day. 

The pain got so bad that I had to have my husband hit the call button because I couldn't even reach for it.  I could hardly breathe I was crying, screaming, and stiff as a board when they tried to move me.  Everything hurt to the touch.  Two very patient, very understanding nurses came in with the doctor.  They gave me (what would be my second) enema in hopes of getting something moving.  Now, there was a funny in there.  Not so much at the time, but later my husband and I couldn't help but laugh.  So here I am, in all my glory having both nurses hoist me in to the bathroom.  They are going to do the enema there.  So the one nurse puts everything in one of those lovely puke buckets, and sets it on the shelf above the commode.  The blasted thing fell off the shelf and hit me in the head.  Really?  Insult to injury much??  They took me back to the bed, give me the stupid, non working, violating all things that could be violated, and proceed to give me some really, really potent pain killer through my iv.  Next thing I know they toss me in the shower with the hottest water possible trying to get me to relax and have dear hubby babysit me.  Poor thing, he didn't know what to do with me.  I didn't know what to do with me.  I just prayed.  I thanked God for giving me a second chance at life and begged for his help.   Help me through this.  Help me understand why it was happening to me.  At that moment I told God I was thankful to be alive, that I didn't want to die yet, that I wasn't ready.  I also told him the pain was so bad that even though I didn't want to die, I did want to.  It was an awful feeling, physically and emotionally.

I took several more really hot showers that day and night, trying to relax my body.  I walked the whole hospital, and that wasn't easy.  Walking was supposed to help get the gas moving, and in the end, it's exactly what worked.  Believe me, I tried every suggestion that came my way.  One nurse, my "Grey's Anatomy" nurse as I like to call her, (her uniform had it on the pocket tag) told me to get on all fours and put my butt up in the air.  Gas travels up so it should work.  Bless her, she was the only one of my nurses that actually wasn't a mama yet and had never been through what I was going through.  Did I try it?  Absolutely.  The only thing it released was some of my husband's tension.  He got out of the shower and walked in to the room seeing me on all fours on the bed and burst into laughter.  I'm sure I was a sight.

Finally by Friday I was fit to be tied.  I wanted to go home.  You know how they say if there is a set of twin babies and one is sick, put the other with her in the same bed and watch them start getting better?  That's the way I felt about going home.  My babies at home needed me and I needed them.  I needed to be able to bond with C-Bug too.  It was so hard in the hospital with all the iv's and cords hooked up to me.  I felt so restricted.  My doctor approved for me to go home, but she was more than willing to have me stay another night.  She also told me she was on call all weekend so if anything got as bad as the day before, to come right back to her.  That made me feel so much better.

Going over the discharge information, I gained some interesting knowledge.  Actually I already knew it but in all my distress it never crossed my mind.  Pain medicine will actually constipate you.  Why had I been taking it around the clock when it wasn't doing any good anyway?? 

The week had been full of doctors, nurses, and nursing students.  Those students learned a lot from my case I'm sure.  By that day though, my sarcasm was sneaking back in and I had fun giving them a hard time.  I knew how to work have that machinery better than they did as long as I had been there!!  I finally told my doctor that the smart ass in me was coming back and I was sick of crying, it's time to go!  I love that doctor, she just laughed with me.

Homeward bound to surprise the other two when they get out of school!

More on the recovery in posts to follow.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

37 Weeks: The Delivery and The Surgery

This is going to be a long post, but it's something I'm doing for myself as well.  I want to keep all the details of what took place during our delivery.  It was life changing.  I have a lot to be thankful for and I do not ever want to forget what happened.  I am hoping this may help someone else in the future as well.

It was 12:45am on Monday morning, November 18th.  I got up to use the bathroom, laid back down, and felt the urge to go again.  By the time I got down the hall, the pad I was wearing (as I had been wearing them for a few days anticipating a water leak) was soaked.  C-Bug (my nickname for her), had been playing havoc on my bladder for a few days.  A week earlier I was concerned my water was leaking and she was just dancing on the bladder making me pee myself.  Fun times.

I went back to my resting spot on the couch and continued to feel the wetness over the course of the following hour.  I went up and down the hall to use the bathroom.  I walked back and forth through the kitchen trying to figure out if I was truly leaking amniotic fluid or not.  Eventually I walked outside and started walking on the porch. 

Let me back up a minute here.  Earlier in the evening I was so stressed from the stomach flu (see my earlier post), the tests I would go through the upcoming week, and the cheer competition my 8 year old daughter would be in that next weekend.  I am also a coach for her cheer squad and have been teaching the competition dance (yes, at 9 months pregnant; I'm an over achiever.)  I had been so worried about teaching the girls the remaining part of the dance, making sure they have everything they need, etc, that I was making myself sick.  I just really wanted to make it through the competition.  I finally realized how silly I was being.  I prayed.  I asked God to forgive me and finally let it go into his hands.  I said, God, if it's your will I know I'll go tonight.  I can't worry about cheer leading any longer, it will all work out.  May your will be done in my life Lord, take these worries away.  I immediately felt better.

Back to walking the porch.  I stopped and looked up at the night sky.  FULL MOON.  All I could do was burst into laughter.  Now the question was, do I wake up my husband?  How long should I wait.  No contractions yet, no bloody show.  Was I entering labor?

I laid back down about 2 am, and my husband was waking up.  I told him what was going on but I wasn't sure if I was in labor or not.  Then, contractions started. Over the next hour I had 5 contractions.  The rule was if you have 6 in an hour, call the doctor.  So I told my husband to call his dad to come sit with our other two children and we should just go and be checked out.  On the way to the hospital, I had two more contractions fairly close.  We were fairly sure this was it.

After being checked in and let them examine me, it was confirmed my water had broken.  It was 3:35 am.  However, the contractions stopped.  So we waited, with the option of starting Pitocin whenever I was ready to.  I really did not want to be induced with Pitocin, it makes the contractions so painful.  Not to mention, I was finally getting my appetite back from having the stomach flu and I was starving.  Food was not an option.  At some point I did talk them in to letting me have some jello, which was honestly just enough to piss me off. :-)  If I would have known how long it was going to be I would have stayed home and had a good meal!!

Phone calls were made but we told everyone not to rush.  It looked like this one was not going to be any quicker than the other two deliveries were.  (13 hours with my first born, 11 with my second.)  It was between 8-9am that my contractions started back.  I was approaching 9 hours since my water broke so they really wanted to start the Pitocin.  Grudgingly I let them, and requested my epidural within a half hour after that.  Thank the Lord the doctor was in the hospital already and I didn't have to wait.  I had been forewarned that if he wasn't there, it could be an hour or more.

The nurses complimented me on how I breathed through the contractions, encouraged me that I was doing a good job.  The Pitocin was on the slowest drip possible so it was mainly all me with the contractions.  By the time the doctor was in there, I was about to break the bed frame.  They told me to sit up and lean over the rolling hospital table so they could get the epidural started.  It took a few minutes but I finally managed and with the support of my husband, I stayed as still as a statue, even during contractions.  My husband, nor the doctor, could believe I could manage to be so still while injecting me with numbing medicine and then the (apparently huge-although I've never seen it) epidural needle.  Mind over matter.

Within just a few minutes I was pain free and watching the monitor to see when I was having contractions.  They checked my cervix and I was at a 4.  A short time later I was checked again and jumped from a 4 to a 6 while they were checking me.  In no time I was at an 8.  But, just like my other two babies, stayed that way for a while. 

Her heart rate would drop some when I had a contraction so they decided to pump me full of fluid by iv and through my cervix.  My husband and I talked about how she was doing the exact same thing as our first born.  Not enough fluid, umbilical cord getting pinched somehow during contractions.  It was identical.  We were watched carefully for several hours.

My mom arrived, his mom came over on her lunch break, and his dad was there.  Although his dad bolted for the waiting room when my contractions really started and I was in pain (prior to the epidural).  About 3pm my mom called his mom to come back over, we were getting close.  As I'm laying there listening to the moms and my husband talk, I'm watching her heart rate and contractions on the monitor.  For her heart rate, it needed to stay in the blue area of the monitor.  There was a pink line above and below showing if it got too high or too low.  Finally, the entire heart monitor turned pink.  I told the parents to get ready, the nurses and doctors were on their way.  (The nurses watched the monitor from their station outside).  Sure enough, here comes the whole team.

The bed was dropped and I was checked.  The moms were encouraged to head for the door, as my husband and I had always agreed it was just to be the two of us during delivery.  His mom begged to stay.  At that point I didn't care if the Pope and President was there, it was time for her to come out.  But by our wishes it was just my husband and I.  It's bad enough for him to see me go through what I did, and I really didn't want anyone else to witness it.  I also didn't know how aggressive I would get and the last thing I would want is to hurt some one's feelings. 

I was just at a 9, and like my first born, I pushed to get to a 10.  I managed to only say one cuss word during the whole ordeal.  50 minutes of pushing later, my teeny tiny, 4 pounds 13.6 ounce baby girl finally made her appearance.  She was so stubborn!  The nurses said she was in need of a spanking when she got here.  She kept going back further with every push.  But she made it and she was beautiful.  Born at 4:29pm.

My doctor let me hold her while she worked on removing the afterbirth.  I asked her if everything was okay and she smiled and assured me it was okay.  She said she would just give it a little time.  A half hour later though, she told me we would need to do a DNC to remove it as the placenta was just breaking apart.

The family was let in, along with my other two babies (who we sent on to school that day and were anxiously awaiting her arrival).  I was shaking so badly everyone asked if I was cold.  Strangely, I didn't feel cold but I shook like it.  My nurse, (who was freaking awesome by the way) told us it was called Labor Shakes.  As soon as the placenta was out it should stop.  I finally had to ask one nurse to take my baby because I was terrified I was going to hurt her as bad as I was shaking.  She took her and had my oldest daughter participate in bathing her for the first time.  She was so patient with my oldest, explaining everything to her and answering all her questions.

During this time, the doctor had me sign my second form for a possible blood transfusion.  They had me sign one with my original paperwork when I first got there, but now I had to sign one again, along with the forms for the DNC.  It was also explained to me that in worse case scenario, I would have to have a hysterectomy.   I had to sign forms for that as well.  I'd love to see those papers now and compare my signature to my first forms.  I was shaking so bad I could hardly hold the ink pen.

I asked my doctor, if it is a DNC, how long will it take.  About a half hour.
If you have to do a hysterectomy, how?  Will I be cut?  How long will the surgery last?
My doctor, (a female thankfully and the best one), smiled and assured me if it was surgery, it would be a bikini cut and would take about an hour.  But she really didn't think she would have to do a hysterectomy and was going to see if the surgeon would let me stay awake with the epidural.

Something just didn't set right with me.  Call it my subconscious.  I told everyone I loved them and wanted out of the room away from my kids fast.  I didn't want them to see me as I started to fall apart.  I cried the entire ride to the OR and kept my eyes closed.  I didn't want to watch the ceiling lights go by above me.  I was beginning to feel like I was in one of the episodes of the dramas on tv.  Once in the OR, the surgeon told me that he felt more comfortable if he put me under.  That way if things went the wrong direction, they wouldn't have to start over. 

In the OR, they transferred me to the operating table.  I have to say that was one of the strangest and scariest feelings I have ever experienced.  I was crying so hard I could hardly breathe.  They put the mask on me to put me under and started fighting it off.  I felt like I was being smothered.  Then I was out.

I woke up in the recovery room some time later.  I tried opening my eyes but they didn't want to cooperate.  I remember even using my hands to hold my eyes open.  I asked the nurse if I had a hysterectomy but she seemed hesitant to answer, so I asked her what time it was.  It had been over three hours so I knew what the answer was. 

Hysterectomy, at 36.  What I would later find to be called Peripartum Hysterectomy.

The information I received over the next 24 hours would be shocking and overwhelming.  I'll explain more in my next post.