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The Eight Week Fever

So, I had been planning on updating this thing again super soon, like Thursday-ish. No, really! I was going to write about how I'm feeling like a person again, and how Kaladin is doing awesome and sleeps fairly well and eats all the time and is growing like a weed. I was waiting until Thursday because that's when his 2 month appointment is, and then I could give exact statistics.

Kaladin weighs 11 lb, 2 oz. And yes, it's Sunday.

Let me tell you why I know this.Collapse )

I suddenly remember why we were shooting to have a summer baby in the first place. *sigh*

The Postpartum Kind of Life

So, today was my first full day at home after Kaladin was born. (Sorry if you missed that entry - IDK why it didn't show up in the feed! :( ) We've been mostly OK - no really big issues to worry about, despite his month-early debut. There've just been a bunch of little things. Right now I'm worried about some yellowish eye goop - besides sealing his eye shut, it seems to be irritating him enough that he gets too upset to nurse. I've been able to calm him enough to get him to eat, but it's meant a lot more crying than I was expecting to deal with this evening.

As it happens, my across-the-street neighbor died the same day Kaladin was born. His wife, Wendy, said that in Eastern Europe, they would consider Jim to be Kaladin's guardian angel and that maybe they passed each other while in transit. I like that thought. Jim was an amazing man, one I wish I'd known much better, and I can't think of a more perfect guardian angel for my little boy.

The timing makes me sad, though - I've been friends with Wendy, and the girls were friends with his son (from time to time, Michaya still says she wants to marry Alex even though they haven't played together in like a year, lol). I want to be helping with meals, housework, etc. but as it is, I'm not sure I'm even going to be able to sit up through the entire funeral tomorrow. I know no one expects me to be able to be doing anything, but I'm not worried about letting other people down - I'm feeling frustrated at my own set of limitations.

That extends to more than just helping the Hughes family, though - I feel frustrated that I can't be up doing homework with the girls and doing laundry and other housework. I feel frustrated that I want to sleep like ALL the time and that sitting up for more than 30 or so minutes at a time wipes me out. It's like I was sidelined by the pregnancy for SO LONG, now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I just want to hit the ground running. Orion's had to remind me more than once that um, a couple days ago, they CUT A HOLE IN ME. It's OK to be recovering.

I'm not really sure what to make of the kids right now. On the one hand, they have all been super excited for Kaladin to be here, even Rigel. They ask questions and want to see him all the time (to the point that I have to tell them to back off because they are smothering me). On the other hand, even though they have been acting excited, they're showing many of the signs of stress/anxiety in young children - acting out, regression, unusual whininess/irritability, etc. I know the last couple weeks have been hard, staying at different places and being cared for by different people while we have dealt with false alarms and then finally having the baby. I've tried to be understanding, but I tend to snap with stress, so what's happened is that I've been easy about the big things and then upset about the little things. Ugh. Not healthy. I wish I knew how to make it easier for them other than the obvious "Keep your temper, genius."

Anyway, there's my late-ish ramblings (though it wasn't late when I started - typing while nursing takes awhile, lol). I know it'll all get better on its own as I heal up and as we get used to having the baby here. It's just hard to remember that in the moment.

Birth Story

I've kept meaning to post this, but I've been trying to sleep any time the baby has been in the nursery. If you are only just now finding out about Kaladin's birth via LiveJournal - I'm sorry! Otherwise, here's a more detailed birth story in case you are interested.

So, I last posted on Monday, after we had been to the hospital 3 times on Sunday. During the week, I kept having contractions - they'd get to be about 5 minutes apart and then peter out. And he dropped even lower - well, not like, coming out, but instead of being pretty much straight up and down with his feet hanging out by my cervix, he had his head off to the left side and his butt was next to the cervix, kind of curled up in the bottom half of the uterus. He wasn't moving nearly as much either - I could listen to his heartbeat with the home fetal doppler, so I knew he was OK, but it concerned me that he was being so still.

We did a bunch of talking and praying after Sunday's shenanigans, and Orion and I felt pretty strongly that he was trying to get here; it just wasn't quite working for some reason, and that we would try to help him along a bit. We tried turning him at home, but he was pretty stuck in the position he was in - in order to spin, I'd have to have been able to get him out of my pelvis first. :( I tried doing a lot of walking, and while it certainly made me uncomfortable, it wasn't enough to keep things going.

Finally, I went to my friend Jolene's house and tried using a breast pump, alternating a few minutes on with a few minutes off. The contractions started pretty strongly - they were 2.5 minutes apart and lasting 40-55 seconds each. When I laid off the pump and went for a walk, they kept going at the same frequency & intensity. Finally, after 1.5ish hours, I asked Orion to come home. (It was only a half hour before he would have left anyway.) While waiting, I rocked on the exercise ball a bit in hopes of maybe getting his bum to press on my cervix a bit more.

Despite it being rush hour, we got to the hospital fairly quickly. The contractions were still nice and strong. They checked me, and I was at a 6; they also checked his position. They said they weren't allowed to send me home anymore - I guess because he was breech and it'd be dangerous if he started coming out while driving. And just like that, I was being prepped for my c-section. It felt so surreal - after so many false starts, I couldn't believe they were keeping me!

They gave me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions - they didn't want me to end up delivering while in the midst of preparing for surgery. It was nice to have the contractions stop, but ugh, the side effects for that stuff are the worst. I began shaking like a massage chair made out of jello, and my slight nervousness about surgery got ratcheted up to serious panic. I'm so glad Orion was there with me the whole time.

The c-section went very well, and Kaladin was so amazingly healthy when he came out. Everyone was like, seriously, he's a month early? He was crying loudly, flailing, bright pink, everything. It was awesome. And where the girls and Orion had to be whisked away shortly after their birth, Orion & Kaladin got to hang out with me in the OR while they took out the placenta and got me all stitched up. SUCH a better experience!

In fact, Kaladin got to stay with us for four hours afterwards because he was doing so well. He was wide awake and looking around, and when we tried nursing for the first time he latched on like a total pro. I feel like they pulled out of me a baby who was already 2 weeks old! Seriously, he's the healthiest of any of our kids, including Rigel who was actually full term.

I am a bit bummed that I didn't get to try to VBAC again, but there are some things you just can't control, I guess. Overall, though, I'm thrilled that Kaladin is here and that he is so healthy!


So, after going home from the hospital, we went over to the house of the firends that were taking care of our kids. Jolene had me try sitting with my butt elevated and with hot and warm packs on my belly in hopes of encouraging him to turn. He didn't, though, the stinker.

I felt the strong urge to get up and walk around with O, and as we did, I thought I felt my water break again. We went back up to the hospital, and I was tested negative for amniotic fluid again, so even though they had been getting ready for my c-section, they called it all off, and sent me home again. I cried and cried and cried.

I was really sore on the way home, with big contractions 20 minutes apart. We had dinner and watched some Scrubs, during which time my contractions picked up to 5 minutes apart. They stayed steady like that even while lying down and even during a hot bath. After it went on for like an hour and a half, we decided to go back to the hospital.

At the hospital I was checked again, and the nurse though I was even less dilated and effaced than my doctor had said that morning, and so they weren't going to keep me. I asked the nurse for some pain medication - the contractions were not stopping and I was generally in enough pain that it was impossible to sleep. So, I got a morphine shot before they sent me away. I stopped feeling contractions right away.

Today I go back to the doctor, leaving in about an hour. Orion's stayed home today so he can take care of me and stuff, which is good, because the morphine's left me too groggy to even walk to the bathroom alone, let alone drive myself up to the doctor. While I'm there, I'll get the second steroid shot, and she said we can schedule a c-section. I'm afraid, though, that it's not going to be scheduled until like the end of this month, which seems totally pointless to me. I mean, if I keep going into labor on my own, will I really make it that far? And if the answer is no, then why even bother scheduling something you're never going to get to?

I know that it's best for the baby for him to stay in as long as he can. But my body's obviously ready for him to come out. The only reason my cervix isn't dilating better is because his butt or head isn't pressing on it. It's so not feasible for me to just keep going up to the hospital to get painkillers - Orion can't stay home every single day before the baby is even here.

And really, how the heck am I supposed to know when I can go to the hospital? I apparently can't tell when my water's actually broken, and 5 minute contractions apparently don't do it either. It's a LONG drive - like 30 minutes with no traffic, and 45ish when construction is bad during the day. Going is not a trivial decision. If he were in a good position, it'd be a little less worrying because I'd know he'd be safe if I started really progressing while at home or in the car, but with him dangling feet first, it could be super dangerous.So I guess we want to err on the side of caution, but I sure am sick of the drive.

So, I guess have some prayers for me that this can all get resolved soon. This is all such a mess and I feel so incredibly overwhelmed.
... or not.

So, we went up to the hospital for the version this morning, and they got me all prepped, and then the doctor checked me. And guess what? We didn't end up doing the version after all. I'm somewhere between 4-5 CM, completely effaced, and the baby is at like 0 or +1 station - seriously, he's like about to fall out of me!

What stations look likeCollapse )

She said that chances were really slim that she'd be able to turn him successfully, and that it would almost certainly start labor. So, no version. She did give me a steroid shot - apparently it's not nearly so useful after 34 weeks, but there's not really any negative side effects, so we figured, might as well. I go into the office tomorrow for another shot and she's going to check me again. Then we'll schedule a c-section, knowing full well I'll probably go into labor on my own by then, because, I mean, COME ON.

I'm getting together with a friend this afternoon to see if we can try some home remedy baby spinning, but I'm not sure we'll be super successful if he's already hanging out so low. Worth a shot, though, I guess.

The next time I go to that hospital, though, I sure as hell better be admitted. I'm so tired of this back and forth, "will he or won't he?" nonsense. :(

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November 2011