Saturday, July 4, 2015

I Should B sharing our nursing journey

I guess I'm feeling nostalgic or something. Blog posts are flying out of me. I know J will be waking up soon so this will be the last one for today. I don't know when the next one will be bit could be days, weeks or months. But, there will be more :-)

Okay so as I mentioned before an LC never showed me how to nurse J. I asked a NICU nurse and she helped me figure it out. I could only do what is referred to as the "football hold" with him due to the IV in his head. He latched for like a millisecond and then screamed. I cried. 
I always wanted to breast feed. We had to make the decision to give him formula because my milk didn't come in quick enough and J was having sugar level problems. Our goal has always been to do what is best for the baby. So, I pumped my colostrum and they would mix it with formula. J had to be able to eat a certain amount (I can't remember the amount) before he could leave the hospital. Anyways.. Back to our nursing story. 
When we went home J had only latched for tips maybe a total of 5 times. But he had latched so I had faith. I was still pumping as much as I could to get my milk in. It came in on day 5. I was pumping into these tiny cups for colostrum and next thing I knew I had filled it up. I was so happy. The hospital had sent us home with some formula. A package that was already open of Similac they had used with J and then another package of Enfamil. During the first few days of having J home he got this awful diaper rash. I mean it was purple and ugly. When it started to bleed I called the doctor. We had been using diaper cream and it was getting worse. Well turns out J is allergic to the Enfamil formula or that is what the doctor thought. She wanted me to feed him strictly breast milk for 48 hours to make sure. Um okay that would be a challenge as he has not fully latched yet but I had my pump and was ready to do it. Anything for my baby. Three hours after this was decided I was pumping and MY PUMP BROKE! Yep that happened. And it was a Friday. The doctors office was closed. I didn't know what to do. I panicked (I have a habit of doing that if associated with J). I immediately went to my mommy after infertility board. They told me my insurance should cover a pump. What?! I didn't know that. So I called my insurance. They do cover pumps (yay) but it is a two day process. So good news is I would have a new pump. Bad news is it is the weekend. I posted my update on my mommy group and how devastated and worried I was about what to do for J. I was blessed enough that one of the mommas in the group lived nearby. She was willing to donate some of her liquid gold to help out J and I. I will forever be grateful and in debt to her for this. I honestly don't know what we would have done. The doctor was right and J was allergic to the formula. Breast is best for him. We still had the latching problem to deal with. I again went to my mommy group and again my nearby friend came to the rescue. She recommended an LC she used that lived in the area. I still wasn't able to drive and Al was already back to work. The LC actually came to my house FOR FREE and showed me what to do ( I had it all wrong) and how to help J get a better latch. She found that J had a slight lip tie. She wasn't sure if this was the cause of our struggles or if was simply that I had no clue what I was doing. Turns out it was me and he didn't need any surgery to repair it. Now we are nursing fools. Lol. In the house, in the car(while parked) at restaurants or in a store. We got this!

I am so thankful we were able to figure it all out. My supply has dipped since returning to work but with the help of milk I froze during my leave I am able to keep it up. 

We are going 7 months strong right now and hope to make it to 9 months, then 12. I will let him decide when we stop. 

Within reason of course. I won't have a teenager latching for momma milk. Lol

Have a great day Bloggie World. Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans. J will be going to his first parade, bbq party and pool for the first time today. Today is going to be a wonderful day :-)

I Should B sharing the hospital stay

While in the hospital I wanted J to spend as little time as possible alone. Al was with him as much as possible. I will admit that I am sad that I don't have those first moments as a family pictures from the hospital. You know the ones I am talking about where the mom dad and baby squish their faces together just after birth as their first family photo. Yeah we have nothing. We don't have any family photos in the hospital. Our focus was not photos it was our baby's health and my recovery. 
Al would take pictures of J and send them to me so I could at least see what he looked like. I was not allowed out of my room until I was able to get up and in a wheelchair. I was determined to be walking ASAP. I wanted to see my baby. So 28 hours after delivery I got out of bed and walked (slowly and not too far) to the wheelchair. I got to hold my baby and that was all that mattered. 

Have any of you been in a "baby and me" room? It is a big room with space to have baby with you. At our hospital it is a n entire wing full of these rooms. They are great if you have your baby actually with you. If you were like me and your baby was on the other side of the hospital it sucks. Hearing other babies with their mothers and me being without mine was HARD. I cried A LOT. Al did a good job of keeping me updated and my sister stayed as much as she could but she had her own family to tend to. At three days after delivery they were ready to discharge me. By then I was walking to the NICU by myself (I only used the wheelchair the first two trips) multiple times a day. I was only in my room when I was forced to be (more than I liked). I discovered I am allergic to Percocet too. That was just loads of fun, not really. They were not ready to discharge J yet. His oxygen was still not good and although his heart was better they wanted more tests run. He also had to be able to breathe room air for 24 hours. Leaving the hospital without my baby is something else I never prepared myself for and I was determined to not let it happen. I discussed with the nurse how I couldn't leave him. I was an emotional wreck. Those poor people. We weren't eligible for the Ronald McDonald House since we didn't live out of county. My doctor said since my insurance would cover 4 days in the hospital I could stay one more day. I was so thankful. I think J knew it was time to get stuff done. In that last day he progressed so well. The scans of his heart came back normal and his oxygen was the best yet. They discharged me from the hospital at 4pm that fourth day. J was still in the NICU. There was no way I was leaving him. He had his own private room in the NICU (this was a fancy NICU). They put one of those hospital recliner chairs in his room and I was ready to camp there as long as I had to. The hospital is ready for moms like me. You can have meals delivered for you to the baby's room and there are lounges to go to with refreshments and snacks. Also a place to shower if need be. Was it comfortable and ideal? No, but all that mattered is I was with my baby. J's doctors came in and saw me there. I let them know I wasn't leaving. I wanted to be there I needed to know how he was doing. Honestly, I needed to be there. Al was the first face J saw. Al was there for him when I couldn't be. He changed his first diaper, gave him his first bottle with my colostrum, and was the first person he smiled at and held his hand. J and Al had a bond (and still do) that I didn't have and could ever get in that way. It should be noted that J and I do have a bond now but I will always regret not being able to be there for those firsts. I am happy and proud that Al was able to be there and that it wasn't a stranger but, still. Okay back to the NICU. J's doctors saw my determination and either I scared then or they were caring, I like to think caring. That they decided to hopefully get J discharged on day 4 too. J was discharged at 11pm. He had passed all his tests and was breathing well. Looking back I wonder if they discharged him too soon but things are okay so it all worked out. 
Remember how I mentioned I was a hard IV stick? It should be noted that J inherited this trait. While in the NICU they had an IV in his hand, arm and foot. They eventually had to place it in his head. That was not a pretty sight. His veins just are stubborn like mommy's. My IV was moved around quite a bit while in the hospital too. 

All in all the hospital stay was okay. The NICU was absolutely fantastic and I am grateful to them for teaching us how and what to do with J. Such as diaper changes, bath time and administering medicines. My experience in the "baby and me" room left me slightly traumatized. Waking up without your baby while listening to others with theirs is the worst. I can't even put the feelings into words. I also had a craptastic LC. She never showed up. My sister had to get loud (yep she is one of those) to even get me a breast pump. I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to use it. Nobody ever showed me how to even nurse J ! 
But none of that matter when we were headed home as a family of three. 

Hugs to you Bloggie World

I Should B sharing a birthing story

I know, I know, I haven't blogged in months. Life with a baby is exhausting and to be honest if I am not at work or with J then I am asleep. I don't want to miss any more than I already do while working. Blogging just hasn't fit in yet. #sorrynotsorry

My handsome man is 7 months old. I was just reading a birth story on another blog and I realized I never wrote mine out. I am writing this not only to share but for a memory for myself. It is 0600 and I just finished nursing him.  It has been 7 months so I hope I remember it all correctly. 

Here goes...

I had a scheduled c-section for December 1, 2014 at 8 am. Check in was at 5 am. 

Throughout the pregnancy we did not plan on a section. In fact I wanted to have a natural labor with no meds ( I think it was the hormones that had me thinking like this). My doctor office provided a free doula service and this helped me make the labor decision even easier. At about 26 weeks I was assigned a doula. Each weeks we met and went over birthing plan and my exercises and what not. The plan was to labor in as many natural positions as possible but the main focus would be to keep the baby safe. At all costs make sure he is okay. So around 34 weeks the doctor let me know baby was breech. He said that babies have been known to turn this late in the game but due to baby's size it might be difficult. Doctor told me I should prepare myself for the possibility of a section. I immediately contacted my doula and she gave me exercises to help flip him. They didn't work. I did them for weeks and mostly I was just frustrated and had a headache (a lot of the exercises had me inverted with my head down). At 36w1d we went to Disney to see the Osborne Christmas lights. 

I was VERY pregnant and hurting but I love Christmas and knew this might be my last time I could go for a long time. I refused a wheelchair and waddled my way through the park and to be honest lots and lots of discomfort. I should also mention I had just worked a full eight hour shift before going to the park. We went to watch the fireworks (another of my favorite things) at Epcot (lights were at Hollywood Studios). While standing there watching the fireworks I felt this God awful pain and seriously felt like I was dying for a second. Then it mostly went away. I was hurting and finally accepted a wheelchair from a cast member. DH wheeled me to the car I was feeling pretty awful but was in good spirits. I know what you are thinking, you think I went into labor with all that walking and then the fireworks and the pain. But nope, turns out the pain was just baby boy turning around. So now he was no longer breech. Doctors canceled the section and said I could do normal labor. The next week at the routine ultrasound, the tech left towards the end and told me she would be back(this scared me as she has never done this before). She came back acting like everything was fine and next I saw the doctor which is routine. The doctor let me know why the tech left. She had brought the results of the ultrasound to him. Turns out that while baby was no longer breech he was measuring over ten pounds. Doctor explained that since I had GD this can lead to a larger baby in some women and I was one of the lucky ones. He explained that with a large baby there are complications that can happen to both mother and baby. Baby could potentially get his shoulders stuck or even break a collarbone. The plan had always been to keep baby safe. So doctor offered a section as is standard for anyone with a baby measuring over ten pounds. We accepted. So now the section was back on. The day after Thanksgiving was to be my last ultrasound (I had to have them weekly). Being that this is a holiday (Black Friday) at my doctors office, I had to go to the hospital to have it done. We spent A LOT of time in there. I think like thirty minutes. I mean I appreciated the extra time but I had a feeling something was up. I even asked the tech multiple times what was going on. Her reply was "just watching the baby". She finally stopped and sai I should wait there as she printed the results and they print in a different room so she had to go grab them. As soon as she left I told DH something was wrong. He being Mr. Calm all the time said everything was fine and that it is jprobably just how they do things at the hospital. Well she came back with some papers in her hands and said "I need you to follow me over to L&D". Ummm WHAT?!? I kept asking what was happening and she kept saying "just stay calm and follow me. I can't discuss it in the hallway due to HIPPA". Okay I accepted this but was terrified. It should be noted that my anxiety during the pregnancy got so bad I was put on a very low dose of Buspar. This situation was not helping my anxiety. So I got to L&D they checked me in have me a room then handed me these special wipes and told me I had to use them and to read the instructions before use and get in gowns. Mind you I still had no idea what was happening and had just been told to prep my body for surgery. I was terrified but did as they told me. They also brought in a white paper outfit for DH. Shit just got real people !! I kept asking what was happening and I was told to wait for the doctor. They had me and baby on monitors asap. The doctor finally came in at what felt like hours (probably more like 15 minutes) later. She let me know there was a concern with the baby's heart rhythm. We knew he had a slight murmur (we found that at around 30 weeks) but they always said it wasn't too bad (also another reason we chose a section).  Well they didn't like what they saw. They wanted to take the baby today if it didn't balance out soon. So, they started prepping me for surgery and asked me when I had last eaten. I had eaten right before the ultrasound and this gave them some pause. For a section you need to have not eaten for at least eight hours and it had only been like one at this point. So, they said we needed to wait it out. So we sat there on monitors and waited for three more hours. The whole time baby and I were being monitored. The doctor came in and said " I have good news for you. There will be no baby today". Umm wait what?!? She said while we were waiting the baby's heart rate had evened out enough that they didn't want to take him. She said that since I already had a section scheduled for Monday that they were comfortable letting us go home. Yeah I was confused and super worried but they assured me all was fine. So, home we went. I was scheduled to work on Sunday and I did. I worked a full shift the day before baby was to arrive. I have no clue how I managed to work full-time throughout the entire pregnancy but I did. 

Monday morning we woke up at 5 to get to check in by 7. My check in time was pushed back and I can't remember why. We got to the hospital on time and checked in and prepped. I called my doula to let her know we were there. She was still going to be there to be the go between of us and staff. To make sure skin to skin happened and a delayed cord cutting. Also to make sure no students touched me or the baby. We were delivering at a learning hospital. I was okay with observation just not touching us. Go learn on someone else's baby but not my first born that I waited what seemed like a lifetime for. So again I use the wipes and DH gets the paper outfit. I was surprisingly calm. DH on the other hand was a hot freaking mess. Poor thing was so nervous. He had to keep running to bathroom as his stomach wasn't doing too well. He has a problem with hospitals and the idea of having to see me get cut open and be in the room was a bit much for him but he was determined to do it. Plus, I was adamant that he be there. So time arrived for me to be wheeled in to the OR. DH had to wait outside the OR till they got me all prepped and laid out on the table. I had no idea what to expect. I had never been in an OR before. It was a really bright room with a lot of people in it and this tiny table. It probably wasn't too tiny but compared to the hospital bed it looked like a doll bed. I even asked were they sure it could hold me as I was huge. They assured me it could hold like 500lbs and I was no where near that. I was nervous about being naked in front of all these people. I mean I don't go around showing my nakedness to strangers and especially not my pregnant nakedness. I softly mentioned this to the nurse and she calmed me down and explained it is normal and that they aren't even paying attention to my nakedness and are focused on the medical stand point. It calmed me down but now looking back I'm sure it was just a bunch of bs to get me to calm down. I am sure someone thought in their head that I had too many stretch marks. Lol. So the anesthesiologist intern came in and asked me some questions and wanted to explain the procedure. She asked if I have ever had any trauma to my back. I actually had a ceiling collapse on me in 2003. She got this worried look on her face and said she would be right back. The official anesthesiologist came in to ask more about this. I explained how I always have back pain and the history of the pain shots and what not from that time. He was quite concerned about this and wanted to know if they had a copy of my scans. Ummm no they didn't since nobody had ever asked me this stuff before. Apparently someone was supposed to ask me this when the section was scheduled. They didn't. The anesthesiologist said he wanted to put his finger where the needle would be going and to let him know what I felt. I could feel it all the way to my toes. It was super sensitive and hurt enough that I flinched. He immediately told me that he would not risk damaging my back anymore than it already is and that my reaction was extremely concerning. I would have to be put completely under for the section. To say I had a nervous breakdown would be putting it lightly. I am embarrassed to say I began sobbing so hard I almost fell off the table. My blood pressure spiked and I was shaking all over. Basically I was terrified. I was terrified of being put under but also being alone. They don't allow anyone in the room if you are all the way under. This meant no DH and no doula. I couldn't even talk to them to say goodbye or anything. What if something went wrong? What if I died?!? Yep total freak out and panic attack happened. The anesthesiologist intern was so nice and talked and calmed me done. She reminded me that this was best for baby and for me to be a good mother. Better to be safe than sorry. She continued to talk and keep me as calm as I could be while they put in the catheter and IV. The IV wasn't easy as I am a difficult stick and my veins blow quick. They put in a gauge that the anesthesiologist didn't like so they had to change it. I had an oxygen mask on and they told me to start counting backwards. Just as I was getting to 8 they tied my arms to the table and I was terrified all over again. Why am I being restrained?!? That is my last memory before waking up. 

I woke up in post-op to a cool cloth on my face. It was my sister (I was quite surprised to see her) with my doula standing next to her. We told family to stay away and that we (DH and I) wanted the first hours as a family of three to be a bonding time for us. We would let them know when we were ready. My sister didn't listen and I will forever be grateful to her. DH was no where in site and where was my baby!?! My sister explained that the baby was in the NICU and Al was with him. What do you mean my baby is in the NICU??!? I was to have a big boy. This means a big strong boy. I did not prepare myself in the slightest to have any NICU time. I still don't know how my sister ended up by my bed. I should ask her one day. I am assuming some coordinating happened after they told Al he had to wait outside the OR. Well once I was to be moved to a "baby and me" room they wheeled me by the NICU (I don't remember this but this is what my sister tells me) and I got to see my baby through tubes and a window. I was heavily medicated. My sister stayed with me. Thank God for her! I had no clue still what was happening with J. I asked her to go check. She went to the NICU and Al came back to let me know what was going on. J was born at 10:04 am measuring 10 lbs 12 oz and 21.5 inches. J had very low oxygen levels, heart murmur, and inconsistent temperature. Apparently they rushed him straight to the NICU as soon as he was out. I am still foggy on the details and Al can't recall them the best either as it was a rush and then there were tubes, oxygen and monitoring happening with J.  I finally got to hold J 28 hours after he was born (there is a picture but it is such an intimate and special moment that I don't want to share it on the inter webs). He was covered in wires and I am in a wheelchair with IVs in both hands and my hair is a hot mess. It will always be a cherished photo. 

I realize this post is so long I should have spilt it up but too late now. I will end it here and write about the rest of the hospital time in another post. 

For anyone reading (do I still have any followers?), thank you Bloggie World.