Happy Two Week Birthday, Sweet Magdalena! Wow! Two Weeks ago, my hard work and patience was rewarded in the best way possible and I got to finally meet my precious daughter. I was so exhausted by that fourth day of labor-physically and mentally. I remember falling in and out of sleep on the operating table, and I hadn't had any drugs that would have made me sleepy. I was just done. I wasn't scared or nervous, heck, I didn't even care that a roomful of people were looking at my naked body spread out in front of them, and I didn't care that most of them were rustling through my guts. When the doctors took her out, Mark started crying and was so, so excited. He had the perfect reaction. When the nurses brought her over for me to see, all I could say and think was "Hi, baby." And then I told her I loved her and she was beautiful and perfect. And then I fell asleep. Mark got to carry her back to our room, and he held her and bonded with her..while I slept (in recovery). Knowing she was safely here was the biggest relief I have ever felt. And two weeks later, I am so crazy in love with that little girl. I feel like I have a new best friend. I still love to say "Hi, Baby" to her and that's the way I greet her whenever she's just woken up or Mark is handing her to me to be fed. I love her personality and her adorable face. I love the way she throws both arms above her head (and then Mark and I say "Whhhhheeee", like she was on a roller coaster"), I love her yawns and the way she sucks on her hand or her thumb when she's hungry. I love the way she looks in her little footie sleepers (so freakin' cute it should be illegal) and I love breastfeeding her. I even love her blowouts and her toots. I probably shouldn't think pooping is cute...but I do. I love that her nose is a carbon copy of mine and I love that her eyes and hair are really dark, like Mommy and Daddy both. I love that she has taken Mark and I from just a couple to a family. Basically, I love everything about her. She is amazing. And she's my daughter. I am so incredibly blessed.
Also- Don't hate me, fellow Mommies, but I have lost an insane amount of weight since giving birth. 31 pounds to be exact. Can you tell from the picture above (taken today?) I can't help it. I gained 20 pounds during my pregnancy, lost about 12 of that actually giving birth and the rest of it has just flown off. And I'm not even trying. I always heard breastfeeding was the best diet, but this is crazy. I'm actually a little worried because my nutritionist told me that if you lose too much weight too fast, your milk supply could dry up. I don't want that to happen! I feel conflicted, I love the way I look and feel (I still have a lot of weight to go, too) but I don't want to do anything unhealthy. And trust me, I am NOT dieting now!! Quite the opposite, actually. My first week out of the hospital was my "I don't have diabetes" diet and I ate anything and everything I wanted. Like ice cream every day, Chinese food, burgers, pizza...bad stuff. Now my eating is way more sensible but I am indulging pretty often still and not being strict. Just trying to eat my veggies and stuff so the baby gets good nutrition. I know, the insane weight loss will probably stop soon so I should just enjoy it. It is nice. When I went to the OB for a check-up today, when the nurse weighed me, she automatically set the scale at about 60 LESS than I am, and I told her she would have to move it up to the next level. She was shocked and I said "You don't look like you weigh even close to that" and then after we got my weight, she said "Wow, my guess was way off! You look great." That was very nice to hear. I have struggled with my weight my whole life, and this is the first time I feel really, really confident. Like I said, I still have a looooonnnggg way to go until I am at a truly healthy, optimum weight, but I weigh less than I have in a couple years. I actually like to look at my undressed self in the mirror and Mark can't believe how different I look from just a few weeks ago. Now it's up to me to keep the weight off and really change my lifestyle so I continue to get healthier. I have actually been wanting to exercise but have to wait another month. I am just so motivated now. It feels really good to feel better, look better and have people notice it! Whoops...I might have written more about my weight than about Maggie. I guess it's just another thing I love about her...feeding her has been the best weight loss tool EVER!!
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
So, today was Maggie's first appointment with the peditrician. I was dreading it because we hadn't left the house with her yet, and I didn't know how it was going to go. I wanted to her to be happy and comfortable, so I tried to feed her right befre we left and have everything ready. It started out well, but then halfway to the doctor's, I realized something with a sinking feeling in my stomach. We left the diaper bag at home. And we had two minutes to get to our appointment on time. I immediately freaked out, and mark just kept saying "It will be all right, don't worry." I wanted to turn around and get it, but Mark said we didn't have enough time. But, I just knew. This was not good. We got there fine, with Maggie happily suckingg on her pacifer and snuggling in her car seat. Mark stayed up front to fill out paperwork, while I went to a special waiting room for newborns. I was watching her, wanting time to pass more quickly and then I heard it...the unmistakable sound of a humongous poop. Oh no. I couldn't do anything. Mark finished up quickly, and joined us. His face turned white when he picked her up and poop immediately ran out her diaper, down her legs, all over her clothes, her blanket and Mark's shirt. A nurse appeared and asked if we needed something (Maggie had been screaming for about 5 minutes at this point). We looked at each other sheepishly and I finally said "We forgot the diaper bag and she needs to be changed." She found us a diaper, but no wipes and of course no change of clothes. Mark changed her, using wet paper towels. He came back and told me it was the biggest poop she had ever had. Of course it was! He did a really good job, but Maggie was annoyed and cold, and didn't stop crying for ten more minutes. No at all what I wanted to happen. The rest of the appointment went smoothly, and I ended explaining to the peditrician that this was our first time out and we forgot the diaper bag, and she had a major blowout. She just laughed and said "figures". I don't think we will ever make that mistake again.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
This is the story of how my daughter, Magdalena, was born. From being admitted to giving birth, it took a very long five days.
Day 1-Thursday August 23, 2007
We had been scheduled to arrive at the hospital around 8:00 am to begin an induction. When we called to make sure they had room for us, we were told they didn't and to call back at noon. This happened several times during the day, and at 8:00 pm we were finally called and asked to get there as soon as possible.
We arrived at the hospital around 8:45 pm and checked in. We were shown to our room, right across from the nurse's station and the "nutrition" room, basically a pantry and refrigerator stocked with lots of complimentary snacks for mommies and daddies. Mark came to know this room very, very well over the next week.
I was immediately hooked up to a fetal heart rate monitor, a monitor for my contractions and had a blood pressure cuff put on that would take my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. Although I was originally scheduled for induction because they thought Magdalena was going to be "overly large" (whatever that means), my blood pressure had sky rocketed in the last two weeks and they considered this their biggest concern. That blood pressure cuff became my prison. I hated it so much! It itched and was bulky. My blood pressure would be good when I laid on my left side, otherwise it was so not good. But, Maggie always looked great so they didn't make me have an emergency c-section.
So, after we get there, they told me I had to have a hep lock put into place in case they had to administer any blood pressure meds by IV in a hurry. I was so scared of this, and unfortunately it was a really bad experience. It took two nurses four tries to insert the IV and by the fourth attempt I was starting to panic and cry. I was begging them to stop because it hurt so much and I didn't want to go through it again. Finally, they got it in and I was so relieved.
Then, around 11:30 at night, they inserted round #1 of the cervadil and gave me something to help me sleep. All through the night, I felt crampy and had minor contractions, but nothing major. I had to wear the monitors non-stop for two hours, and I couldn't get out of bed during this time, even to pee. Several times during the night, nurses would come in to put the monitors back on for an hour or so. Ugh.
Day 2-Friday August 24
Basically, I had two more doses of Cervadil throughout the day, with a lot more monitoring and blood pressure checking. I was constantly crampy and had fairly strong contractions when walking. I had to wear monitors all the time, which meant I was basically strapped down in bed. I hated it, and broke down a few times, crying from the discomfort of lying in that horrible, very uncomfortable bed.
I believe I had dilated to 2 centimeters by the end of this day, with my baby moving down a lot further. Not very much progress at all, but I was still optimistic. I went to sleep again with the help of a sleep aid, and once again, I was woken up several times by nurses checking on me and baby.
Day 3-Saturday August 25
The doctors and midwives decided to try Cytotec this day, and I had two doses of that. While Cervadil is a string that is soaked in hormones and then placed in the cervix (what fun!), Cytotec is a pill that is placed in the cervix. Like the cervadil, I had mild, uncomfortable contractions all day. I walked quite a bit, but labor would just never start. And by quite a bit, I mean hours around the hospital grounds. I dilated another 1/2 cm and my cervix continued to thin. Magdalena was very low at this point, which created quite a bit of pressure, and I was peeing constantly.
I had a discussion with my midwife, and it was decided we would start Pitocin early the next morning. I was taken off any inducing drugs and told I was going to have a night off from the monitoring "to get a good night's sleep for the big day tomorrow". I was still fully committed to my dream of a birth free from of pain reducing drugs or an epidural drugs, and I was fighting for it as much as I could. But, I was exhausted after months and months of Insomnia, the Cholestasis of Pregnancy, the Gestational Diabetes and the constant nausea . I was just emotionally and physically DONE. I agreed to the Pitocin because I honestly couldn't imagine another day and night of what I was going through.
I ended up being monitored for a couple of hours in my sleep and then in the middle of the night, a nurse came to check me and realized my IV Hep lock had "gone bad." AHHHHHH! Apparently, I was lucky that it sealed itself somehow, otherwise I would have bled everywhere. I was happy not to be bleeding, but I was also so upset, because this meant they would have to take it out and do it all over again. I cried myself back to sleep that night, knowing I would have to get another IV put in the next morning. This was a definite low point in the whole experience. I told Mark I wanted to go home and I just didn't care any more.
Day 4- Sunday August 26th
I woke up early and anxious, thinking, "today's the day!" But, when Ellie, the midwife, came in around 8:00 AM, she said she had consulted with the OB and he thought we should give my body one more chance to go into labor without Pitocin because it can be such a harsh labor and once you start, there's no going back. He had suggested one more round of 12 hour Cervadil and I agreed, because I still wanted to avoid the Pitocin at all costs. I was getting really upset about the thought of a new IV and wanted to get it over with.
My nurse that day ended up being one of my favorites and she was AMAZING!! She was so nice, and was also really, really skilled. She said she was really good at IV's, but if she couldn't get it in one try, she would call her husband, who is an RN in another section of the hospital and is considered a "sharpshooter", someone who is really, really good at inserting IV's. She ordered a numbing cream for me to put on my veins so I wouldn't feel it as bad,and also got moist towels to put on the veins to soften them and make it easier. She was so positive and reassuring about it that I lost all anxiety about it. When she actually inserted the IV, it was practically painless and only took one try. I told her I was in love with her afterwards, I was so relieved.
A few hours later, I was on the toilet, peeing, and I felt a sudden low but intense pain, like someone had punched me from the inside and then I heard a gush into the toilet. I had always heard that it was painless when your water broke, but this hurt a lot. Like, enough to make me cry out. I guess Maggie was ready to make her arrival. I told Mark, "Either my water just broke or I had to pee a lot more than I thought I did." They checked it, and indeed, my water had broken.
I went through the rest of the 12 hour dose of Cervadil with little change, dilating only to 3 cm. It was decided I would start Pitocin that night. I had another discussion with Ellie, where it was pointed out to me that without an epidural I would not sleep at all that night. After being in early labor and having bad sleep for days (well, months, really) at that point, we decided to get an epidural before the pain became unmanageable.
We started the Pitocin around 11:00 pm, and I got an epidural around 11:30 pm. It wasn't really bad at all, just weird and painful at times. My contractions were so mild at that point, it was hard to tell how well the epidural was working, but I knew I wasn't feeling any pain at that point.
I then had a catheter, an internal fetal heart rate monitor, and a internal contraction monitor inserted. So I had three wires and/or tubes hanging out of me...woo-hoo! At least I didn't have to wear those darn straps any more. I went to sleep after that, knowing that I would finally have my baby by the end of the next day.
Day 5-Monday, August 27th
I woke up in the middle of the night and felt more pain than I thought I should. I called the nurse, and she had Ellie come in to give me a little extra shot of the epidural through the IV. It worked for a while. I was getting increasingly uncomfortable, but I fell asleep for a few more hours. I woke up around 8:00 am and my cervix was checked. I had dilated to only 4 cm throughout the night, so they turned up the Pitocin.
The anesthesiologist came in to turn up the epidural and I was fine for a little while. The contractions started getting really intense and painful and I was doing everything I could to manage them. I was wondering why I could feel them through the epidural and I was really frustrated on top of everything.
By 11:30 am, I was crying hysterically. They checked me and I was still only 4 cm. Another definite low point. How was that possible? Mark looked so scared and I could tell he wanted to break down. I was so scared because I knew I already had an epidural...so what do you do then? I was begging for someone to help me, and asking for the epidural to be turned up. I was praying and thinking about Jesus on the cross, but I was so distracted by the pain. It was all-consuming.
Ellie came in around 12:00 or 12:15 and sat down next to me. She basically told me enough was enough. She said my blood pressure was still okay, but not great. The Baby still looked good, but might not continue to do so good with the intense labor. She also said I had tried so very hard and they haven't really seen anyone give it a better try than I had. She then said that I wasn't progressing and she was really concerned that my epidural hadn't worked and the pain would be too much. She just thought there was no point in trying in a vaginal birth, because I would end up with a c-section anyways.
Mark started to cry and I continued to cry. She told me we could be in the OR in a hour and probably have the baby out fifteen minutes after that. I agreed to the C-section and all the nurses told me they were so proud of me and I did such a good job. They turned off the Pitocin, gave me an extra "shot" of the epidural and the contractions immediately stopped. I had such relief that I fell asleep for the hour before the C-section. Then, they woke me up, Mark, Ellie and my nurse that day walked me to the OR and Mark kissed me goodbye for a few minutes.
I entered the OR, they took out the bad epidural, gave me a spinal block and I was numb from the chest down. Mark entered the OR, looking so cute in his scrubs. He sat down and I told him "just talk to me" and he started babbling about anything and everything. The C-section was textbook and went quickly. I was so incredibly exhausted at this point, I was almost falling asleep.
Magdalena Ruth was born at 1:21 pm and came out screaming. She ended up being "sunny side up" which apparently had added to the pain and complication of the attempted delivery. Her APGARS were 8 and 9 and Mark immediately went to her side while they checked her and cleaned her up. A nurse brought her over to me for about a minute and then Mark and the nurse went back to our room with her while I was put back together.
I was in recovery for about an hour, where I slept and felt so comforted by the warm blankets they put over me. The nurse there told me I had a smile on my face while I slept. I was wheeled back to our room, where I finally really met my daughter. I nursed her immediately and I was so in love. Mark had heled her on his bare chest the whole time I was recovering, and they still have an incredible bond from that time.
Days 6, 7 & 8 Tuesday, August 28-Thursday, August 30th
I stayed in the hospital with Mark and Maggie for three days, recovering from the C-section. It was a long time to be in the hospital, but it felt good to be taken care of. Maggie is a great latcher, but it has still been interesting to get the hang of breastfeeding.
My milk came in the last night in the hospital and boy, did it come in! We were released Thursday morning, both free of diabetes and with a clean bill of health. I have to be careful for the next week or so because my blood pressure is still high. Also, I can't lift anything for 5 weeks, nor can I drive or exercise because of the c-section.
All in all, I am so in love with my little girl and have such a deeper level of love for Mark. He has been amazing and has been Mr. Mom. He does everything but breastfeed, and is such a good father!!! We are blown away by the love we feel and feel so blessed. I can't even put it into words. I would do it all again, and again, just to have my daughter. She is so perfect. I'll post more pictures tonight, gotta go feed the little girl!
Read about her brother, Liam, and his birth two years later here.