Saturday, June 4, 2016

Josie's Birth Story

I am so happy I finally have a chance to sit down and write Josie's birth story!  I try to do these as soon as possible after my kids are born while it's still somewhat fresh in my mind, but that proved a little harder this time with a baby and a toddler!  Quiet time is rare around here these days :)  But Josie is napping (for now) and Stella is in bed so here we go...

Only a few days passed between my last post and Josie's birth.  On Saturday (the day after my last bump update post) Mark worked all day so Stella and I rode with Abby & Ryder to Peoria to get her bridesmaids dress, and then they treated us to Steak & Shake.  Saturday night I was having a lot of drainage (here I go again with the TMI), but Mark worked until 11:00pm and I figured it was normal and didn't want to go to the hospital, so I just did my at home spa routine and went to bed hoping it wasn't my water breaking again!  Well Sunday was Mother's Day, and when I woke up that morning the drainage was still pretty bad.  The c-section was scheduled for Wednesday with no doctor appointments in between, and I know you only have about 24 hours after your water breaks to have the baby to prevent infection, so I knew I had no choice but to go in.  So my mom, sister and Ryder graciously came over to sit with Stella and Kaiser while Mark and I went to the hospital.  They hooked me up to the monitor and tested for my water breaking or an infection, but both came back negative and we were sent home.  I was super disappointed, a Mother's Day baby would have been pretty neat, plus I was so miserable and READY to have her!  So we picked up Panera for everyone and headed home.  We spent the night watching a movie and resting, not an exciting Mother's Day but surly one to remember! 

Monday I finished up all my last-minute packing and chores, and Tuesday Mark started his paternity leave.  We started Tuesday by boarding Kaiser.  That day the cast came off, and after a couple of days they would remove the cone (after they made sure he wasn't biting at the site of the surgery).  I felt bad boarding him for the week, but given his condition it was the best choice, plus I knew he was in good hands.  I also dropped off cinnamon rolls, muffins, and fruit for the staff to say thank-you for all they did for us.  After that we headed to Dairy Queen.  I wanted to do something fun with Stella before her world got rocked, so we took her for ice cream, her favorite!  They we dropped her off at my mom's and Mark and I got some dinner and then headed home to finish up last minute chores and get some sleep.
Daddy and Stella time, last date to DQ as a family of 3!
Last bump picture, 39 weeks and 2 days prego!

Wednesday my c-section was scheduled for 11:00, but we had to be there by 9:00.  I couldn't have anything to eat or drink after 3:00am (even water and gum!) so I was super thirsty and very nervous!  After showering and getting ready we headed out at 8:00am.  When we arrived I was in a prep room for an hour.  Here I got my IV and took care of all the paperwork.  Dr Ma arrived and said he was going to try to push things through to get started early, which was fine with me!  It's one thing getting an epidural when you are in the height of labor, but to get one when you feel fine is a whole other story!  The anesthesiologist came in and explained it would be a spinal block (numbed first) and how it worked.  Safer and more effective than an epidural.  Sounded good to me!  So they wheeled me to the operation room while Mark put on scrubs.  He couldn't be with me for the spinal block and last minute prep, which really sucks.  That is the scariest part.  I was shaking like crazy from nerves.  They have a nurse hold your hands which is great.  It didn't hurt one bit, the anesthesiologist was great I really liked him.  His name was Bob, I am going to ask for him if we ever decide to have another baby.  He walked me through the whole surgery and was so competent.  I don't know if I had all the pains with Stella and just didn't feel them because I was so out of it after labor or what, but this c-section was very painful.  I almost threw up from the medication so many times, but thankfully never did.  However I had EXTREME chest and shoulder pain, they said it was gas from the surgery going up into my top half.  I had that for 3 days it felt like I was having a heart attack!  Not fun.  They asked if I wanted oxygen, but I hated that mask when I had Stella so I said no!  He ended up going in through the same incision (yay!  got that scar tissue outta there!) and at 10:50am Josie Mae Bomleny was here!  She was 9lbs 5oz and 20 inches long!  I remember Dr Ma saying "WOW she's a big one!" and then bowing to me and saying now he understood why I was in so much pain just walking at the end!  I was so afraid she would have to go under the oxygen hood like Stella, and she almost did, but OSF hospital handled it so much better.  They did oxygen blow-bys with the mask and she was able to breathe normally on her own after a bit.  I was so relieved!  Her Apgar score was an 8 too!  Hearing that first little cry made Mark and I tear up again, and I remember him holding my hand and telling me thank-you for another beautiful daughter.  I am sure that moment will stick in my mind for the rest of my life, as Stella's birth has to this day.  How beautiful is the birth of your children!
Traditional "still happy" last prego pic!


After I was put back together (gross huh) they took me to a recovery room where I had to stay with a one-on-one nurse for an hour.  She monitored my bleeding, and I actually had to stay a half hour longer because I bled too much at my incision.  I also got my stomach binder here, and she cut it for me since I am so short.  This made it more comfortable to wear.  They didn't have this recovery period after my first c-section, but it made me feel a lot better!  During this time Mark was in the nursery with Josie as they monitored her and did her oxygen stuff.

When I was cleared to go to a postpartum room they wheeled me down and brought in Mark and Josie.  I finally got to do the skin-to-skin contact with Josie (they delayed her bath until later that night so that I could do it before she was washed...but she was wiped down, don't worry!)  That is what I hate most about c-sections, you are so numb from the spinal block and all you want to do is hold your baby but you just have to sit there in pain waiting.  At least this time it was only 2 hours instead of 24 before I could hold her!  I actually had a roommate in this room, they were over-full that day and had to double up!  Popular day to have a baby!  My roommate couldn't speak English and kept throwing up and was in so much pain I felt so bad for her.  Throwing up after a c-section would be the WORST, it hurts just to sneeze for about 4 weeks after a c-section!  Mom and Abby brought Stella to visit around 5:00.  It was too bad the room was small, but it is what it is.  I have a video of it but Stella was so excited!  She kept screaming "oh a baby, look at the baby!"  Mark took her downstairs to run around and get a snack while mom and Abby held Josie and visited with me.  It worked out pretty well!  We stayed in that room for the evening.  We had to call the nurse before we fed Josie every time.  They had to check her blood sugar first to make sure they didn't miss gestational diabetes in me since she was so big!

Finally around 10pm we got moved to a private room!  I still had my catheter, so I was relieved we got our own room before they took it out.  Sharing a bathroom would have SUCKED!  My nurse that night was SUPER nice (there were none I didn't like, but she was the best.  I always had a nurse and a tech plus Josie always had a nurse assigned to her.  lots of personal attention, it was great!)  After we got settled in they had me "dangle".  This basically means to just sit up in bed and put your feet over the edge.  Sounds simple, but this is where you truly realize how much a c-section really affects your body.  It HURTS and is almost impossible.  It leaves you in tears and feeling so pathetic.  I remember apologizing, I just felt embarrassed.  I mean who can't sit up in bed?  But they tell you it's normal and it's ok, that you did a good job.  But then you lay back down and feel a little sorry for yourself.  And then you get over it.  Time and time again.  I just wish people who think a c-section is "the easy way out"  could see me at that point.  Not to demean natural birth by any means, I am sure it is just as difficult, but so are c-sections!  Anyways.  After that they decided I wouldn't try to walk until morning, so Josie came back in and they left. 

Right before my mom and Abby arrived, Josie had puked up blood.  They tested it but determined it was mine and she must have swallowed my blood on the way out.  Well, after Mark fed her that night she puked up blood again.  LOTS of it.  I was so scared, I frantically called the call button but no one came!  Finally our nurse stopped in.  She called the on-call pediatrician who said it was still fine, just my blood.  The nurse said I could talk to the pediatrician if I wanted though.  Well of course I did, I was a frantic new mommy!  So she explained to me that there wasn't enough blood to test earlier, but the color indicated it was old blood from me and not new blood from her.  They would keep a close watch, but it was probably just gas.  I felt a little better, but we had her stay in the nursery that night just to be safe.  I felt better with awake eyes on her all night!  Not that I slept anyway.  That first night was full of medicine, incision checks, those dang leg puffers, and emptying my catheter (this time I got to drink right away, and I even ate some jello and shaved ice!).

Thursday morning was a busy one!  First thing they took out my catheter and put me on a wheelchair-type thing to take me to the bathroom.  I practiced going to the bathroom (again with the post-c section humility!) and they took me back to bed.  Mark slept through the whole thing!  I did walk to the bathroom later on in the morning.  The first two times a nurse had to help me but after that I could go on my own (well with Mark's help, I didn't go on my own totally until the next day).  They told us Josie had a good night and passed all her newborn screenings, but her tummy was super bloated so they were going to do an x-ray.  That showed she was FULL of air.  We saw the x-ray, it made me so sad.  Air pockets in every nook and cranny of her belly!  They would just keep watching her and follow up with another x-ray later if needs be.  I felt decent, but the itching from the pain meds was unreal!  It was like being covered with chicken pox on every inch of your body!  They actually had to give me another medicine to help with that.  The chest and shoulder pain was still there, it hurt to breathe, but other than that I felt OK.  I even ate real food on Thursday!  The cafeteria had lots of decent choices, so I ate good healthy meals.  They didn't let Mark eat unless he paid, so I just ordered extra food and shared or he'd go to the cafeteria and grab something.  Thursday Mark's parents visited in the afternoon and my dad in the evening.  It helped pass the time!  The hospital also brought us a "birthday" cake for Josie so we shared with our visitors.  It was really good!  That night I actually walked with Mark down to the nursery (I wanted to see the set-up, it was a temporary one because the labor and deliver was under construction-AGAIN!  We couldn't believe it, the hospital we had Stella at was under construction when we were there too!  Geez!).  I moved super slow and it hurt, but it was 2 whole hallways and I was DAMN proud of myself!  Josie had a good day, and even opened her eyes a bit!  She slept in the nursery again.  I'm not one to feel guilty doing that when I have babies, I know it's important for me to heal and get my rest so I can take the best care of my babies when I get home.  I know they are in good hands, and there's plenty of time for cuddles during the day.  (remember I bottle-fed this time) 

Friday morning they took my IV out, and we took my dressing off and I actually showered (with Mark's help).  It felt amazing!  Josie's follow-up x-ray this morning showed only one air pocket left, which was good but they were concerned why this one wouldn't leave.  It could have meant a piece of intestine was twisted, so they wanted the surgery team to weigh in on if they should perform another GI test.  They didn't want to do anything invasive if they didn't have to.  I appreciated this approach, but was super worried.  Later on in the day the pediatrician said Josie was doing well, and they weren't going to do any more testing today, but they would repeat the x-ray the next morning to see if it went away.  She was eating well and pooping and burping lots, so we were very hopeful it would all clear up by the next day.

Mark was getting a little stir-crazy by the afternoon, but Jeff & Jenny came to visit Friday evening so that helped a ton.  After they left I was thinking about how much I loved Josie.  She loves to be held and kick her feet out, but liked being swaddled.  Everyone in the nursery fought over holding her because she was a little butterball!  And there's nothing better than that new baby smell!  They only did the initial bath here, for Stella they bathed her every night.  Josie wasn't given a pacifier, which was interesting to me.  Oh well, I'm not a big fan of them anyway!  We took her to the nursery for bed around 11:00 pm, and since I didn't need checked as often I actually slept from 12-6!  It was much needed.

Saturday morning went very well.  I was up early for meds and a shower.  Josie had her x-ray in the morning, so they were bringing her back when it was done.  I used this time to have some coffee and catch up on my journaling (I wrote notes down in the hospital to remember everything when I finally sat down to blog!).  The results came back from the x-ray...free and clear, she looked great!  Plus no jaundice, so we were cleared to go home!  Mark took some things to the car while I worked on the discharge stuff.  He came back with a Willow Tree from the gift shop.  It was a dad with two girls.  He told me even though he kept saying he wants a boy someday don't ever think he doesn't love his girls to death.  It was so sweet, I will cherish that gift forever.  Even though the discharge went smoothly at first, it took them forever to get a wheelchair when we were all packed up and ready to go.  Josie started crying and we got very frustrated.  You know how it is when you are just ready to go!  Finally we were able to leave.  It was really cold outside that day, I was glad I packed my winter car seat cover.  I rode in the back with Josie.  She was fine on the car ride home, we stopped at Walgreens to pick up my meds and then grabbed some McDonalds.  By this time she was crying and hungry, so it was a long 10 minutes home from Kewanee!  We were home by 2:00pm, but decided to leave Kaiser at the vet and Stella at my mom's until the next day so we could rest, unpack, and get settled in.  We watched Idiocracy, which was a bad idea because I laughed too hard at that movie and that's not fun to do after a c-section!  Josie did really good that day and night (we slept on the couch).
My perfect gift.
Headed home!

And that completes Josie Mae's birth story.  I jotted down some personal notes in my journal, most of which will remain personal, but I did want to end with a few things on here.  Overall this birth experience was much better than Stella's, which I owe to my doctor and the hospital staff.  I was moving sooner and felt more confident and competent this time around.  As I left the hospital I felt so happy and proud.  Not that I didn't with Stella, but the confidence the second time around just allows you to relax and enjoy your baby.  I held her so much more and just soaked up the greatness of that little newborn face.  Of course I had no idea what was in store for the weeks to come, but I felt very equipped to handle whatever came my way.  I was determined not to let this recovery get the best of me!  So stay tuned for my next post about our first few weeks at home, which I will (somehow!) get done this week because next Saturday Josie will already be 1 month old!  YIKES, slow down time!

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