Wow, so like I just had a baby about 4 hours ago. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would have a baby 5 weeks early by emergency C-section. I simply went to the hospital for some follow up tests when they discovered that my blood pressure - usually in the low to normal range - was a bit elevated. Not oh-my-God elevated, but elevated enough for them to want to do some non-stress tests on me & baby Bean.
So at around 10:00am I've got this belt around my belly and I'm supposed to click this clicker every time I feel the baby kick. They've taken blood and I'm laying in this hospital bed, sans all clothing save for a flimsy hospital gown. I remember thinking how tired I was at that point and how nice it would be if I could just take a nap while I'm waiting. Then a nurse comes in and says the doctor will be in around 11:00. I ask her what is going on and she says I will most likley not be going home today. What?! She says that my doc will not let me leave if my blood pressure is still high. Add to that my super-sized puffy feet and some blood tests that came back with less than favorable results and we've got something starting to spell trouble. Pre-eclampsia trouble.
I called John at work and he says he's coming to the hospital right now! He wants to hear what the doctor has to say. When he arrives we wait. At about 12 something, doc comes in and explains the results and our options. Apparently I have pre-eclampsia that is progressing into full on eclampsia. Not good. My body needs me to NOT be pregnant any more. Doc says we'll need to have a baby earlier than expected. I ask "So maybe in a week or two?" He says "No, today. The only question for you to answer is the method in which you want that baby born."
Oh God. I'm not ready for this. We aren't ready for this. Not that we aren't ready for a baby...duh....we just aren't ready for her to come TODAY! My mind starts flashing to all the things we wanted to get done or cleaned or whatever before we brought home a baby. I still had a baby shower at work to go to! (Isn't it funny the things that seem important at the time??? LOL)
As for delivery, here were our options:
1) Because my blood cell count was dangerously low, there would be no epidural. I would be induced and left to struggle it out for what could be up to 18 hours of hard labor before they would take Bean by C-section.
2) I could have a c-section and have it over and done with by dinner time.
Gee, let me think.........I'LL HAVE #2, DOC! (What dummy would even consider option 1?) I'd have 2 c-sections if it meant I didn't have to go through labor without drugs. Hey Rebecca, I thought you wanted to feel contractions to see what it was like? Without drugs....even I'm not that curious. Especially if my efforts ended up with a c-section anyway.
So yeah, at around 2:00 our parents started showing up. It was great to have everyone around for this. I confess I was SCARED out of my mind. Not about the surgery though. For some reason I didn't worry about that or even my own health. Mainly because I didn't realize exactly how much danger I was in. Sometimes it is good to be ignorant. I was scared about having Bean. I was forced to immediately come to terms with the reality of having a baby. I didn't have 5 more weeks to mull it over. I was going to be a mother TO-DAY.
I don't remember when they came to get me for surgery but around 4 something Brooklyn was born. I woke up in my hospital room, she in the nursery. She was doing wonderfully for a 5-week premature little baby. She weighed 4 lbs. & 7 ozs. and was 19" long. That's my little fighter. I, on the other hand, was not out of the woods. Delivery should have caused my blood pressure to come down but it did not. I was given an IV drip of magnesium or whatever it is that keeps you from having seizures. And a clicker to self administer pain killers as needed. I don't remember being in a ton of pain at first. Just when they came in to check the incision. Getting up to walk around was BA-RU-TAL. I do remember not being able to cough, laugh or sneeze. I prayed to God that He would hold back all sneezes with His mighty hand until I could sneeze without ripping open. I did not sneeze the entire time. Thank you Jesus.
John bounced back from room to room checking on us both, bringing me pictures of Brooklyn on his cell phone until I was able to hobble in to the nursery to see her for myself. I learned later that he and our folks were sooooo worried about me making it through the surgery. I hate that they worried but I'm so glad I didn't know that before hand. It was so great to see how excited John was about everything. I'm sure he was very relieved that a scary situation turned out for the absolute best for all of us.
Seeing Brooklyn for the first time was not what I expected. She was perfect. All her organs were fully developed. But she was attached to all kinds of hoses & tubes and it was just so sad to look at her tiny little body. And I mean tiny! I didn't even know how to touch her, she was sooooo tiny. John told me how to touch her, just hold my hand up against her body like the pressure she felt in the womb. Stroking or petting her was not a comforting feeling to her just yet. And I was so groggy & nauseous that I had to get back to my bed quickly, so our first visit was very brief. But I remember thinking how red her fuzzy hair looked. And how much she looked exactly like me! I don't know why it surprised me so much that my own child would look like me. Ha!
I couldn't eat food for several days. Wish I had known that when I showed up at the hospital this morning. I would have eaten a huge massive artery clogging breakfast before my appointment at Cape Canaveral Hospital.
Well, this post is getting long enough so I'll continue in another post.
I'm going to take a few minutes to unload some gripes. Feel free to skip this post if you want.
I've gained 34 lbs so far and I'm okay with that. But I strongly believe only 15 lbs is baby and 10 lbs sits in each foot. I'm totally wondering how much my poor foot skin can take before it explodes. And let me tell you, it doesn't tickle. Boo to feet puffs!
You know what else sucks? Acid reflux. And the consequential not being able to sleep in any other position than standing up. Well rested? Bah! What's that?
Also getting old is the lower back pain. I'm way too young to feel like a Golden Girl bobbling around the shuffle board courts of Boca Raton in my slippers and house coat. On the plus side, I've found an unbelievable chiropractor who also does prenatal massage...all for a $15 copay. Yes, you heard me correctly. It's amazing, isn't it?
The last item on my list is lack of motivation. I couldn't be LESS INTERESTED in my job right now. Every time I'm given an assignment I think "Sheesh...don't you guys know I'm busy growing a baby?! I can't focus on work right now!"
So I'm starting to think more seriously about maternity leave and the details that go into getting that ball rolling. I can't imagine the gloriousness that will be "3 months off of work." I've been saving as much as I can to be able to afford the 6 extra weeks of unpaid leave. It breaks my heart to think of going back sooner just because of money.
And my other thoughts more recently have been about breastfeeding. I really really really want to do this successfully for the better part of a year, regardless of going back to work. I'm sure it is challenging and painful in the beginning. And inconvenient. And awkward. But I feel so strongly about doing it that I just don't care about the issues that typically prevent people from keeping this up. I'm determined to make it work. Women before me have done it successfully, both working mothers and stay-at-home-moms. I know it is possible.
I was in Target the other day and found some cute clothes, I just couldn't help myself. I know I'm a bit partial but I think your gonna look adorable in these.
Your baby showers were amazing, all of our family and friends sure love you a bunch, and you should see all the gifts they gave....I was truly awestruck!
So here's whats going on in the outside:
You are kicking inside mommy's tummy a lot these days. You're just about 4 lbs and 16 inches long and in just 49 more days (give or take) and you'll be joining us. Mommy is a trooper being pregnant June, July and August in Florida. You should see her, she is so cute with her belly! We are continuing to get the house ready for you and things are progressing very well.
Well gotta run but we will chat more soon. We love you Brooklyn, Keep growing