So Jasper did not make his entrance into this word as planned...not by a freaking long shot...
So, last Friday (the 7th) was my 40 week OB appointment, I went in and got settled in for an NST like usual and Jasper ended up having some heart-rate decelerations which concerned my OB, my blood pressure was also up over my baseline (it was at 180/102 and my base is usually around 140/90)
My OB is VERY pro-natural child-birth, having had 2 of her own, as is my nurse and we had discussed letting me go as far as 42 weeks as long as things stayed good so instead of immediately springing induction plans on me she sent me across the street to the hospital to get a more in-depth NST and a bio-physical ultrasound done.
I got over there and they hooked me up for the NST for about an hour and Jasper had 9 decels, it was terrifying, at one point his heart rate dropped into the 50s.
At that point I was pretty re-signed to an induction, they took me back to a labor room and my OB came in and started the c-section spiel....I pretty much had a panic attack
During this time my doula showed up and she was shocked too but she also saw the NST results and was very adamant that a c-section looked like the best option
If his heart rate was already dipping for no reason (It was not happening in conjunction with contractions, which is expected) then active labor was more likely to put him under even more stress and result in an emergency c-section which would mean I would not be able to be awake for it and recovery would take longer for both of us
I have been dead set on a natural birth since day one, in fact I was planning on a home birth but I risked out due to the blood pressure, so I thought I was doing OK for compromising on an induction...but I seriously lost my shit when I realized I was set for a c-section.
My OB is amazing...she sat with me and held my hand, wiped my face and kept re-assuring me that I was still going to be able to try for a VBAC with my next, that we were doing what Jasper needed and that everything was going to be OK
I seriously owe that woman cookies...seriously
They took me back and once I was in the OR I actually calmed down quite a bit, my normal instinct in unpleasant situations is usually to run...I seriously considered just getting up and leaving but I didnt.
The anesthesiologist came in to do my spinal and that was no where near as bad as I had prepared myself for.
It was surreal laying there, knowing my legs are right there and not being able to move them....I kept tripping myself out while I waited for them to get going.
Once I was totally numbed up Charlie came in, I love my husband, he can seriously make me laugh regardless of what is going on.
He whipped out the camera and goes 'Ok, lets turn her inside out!"....the nurses/doctors had no idea what to think of him lol!
So Charlie is standing there getting ready to take photos because I really wanted to get to see what all was going on but they would not take the screen down for me.
Im laying there and waiting and waiting and all of a sudden Charlie goes "Oh god...is there a chair for me?
I had no idea they had already gotten started.
So trippy....and it was so funny after all the sick shit he has looked at online (two girls one cup anyone?) and THIS makes me weak kneed??
He sits down and all of a sudden I hear Jasper...and we both lost it....I know EVERYONE cries when they first hear their baby but still...it surprised me just how powerfully I re-acted.
They pulled him out and did all the newborn crap and then brought him over, he had made his first bowel movement inside me so they were worried about that but they let my husband hold him and we got a few photos and then he and Charlie went down to nursery while they finished with me.
I got taken to recovery and got to wait...and wait...and waited...all I wanted to do was hold him!
His blood sugars were really low at birth (19) and then dropped 15 minutes later (to 9) so they had to start an IV and it was delaying him being brought to me......So Im laying there, tripping balls because the spinal is making me itch like mad, balling my eyes out with my Doula (who joined me right after I got to recovery)....I just wanted to hold him so bad
They took me back to my room about an hour after I left the OR and then FINALLY, 4 hours (FOUR FUCKING HOURS) after he was born, they brought him in....the nurse let me do some skin to skin time and we made a half-hearted attempt to breast feed with no success (I think we were both just too worn out) and then they told me he had to room in the nursery due to having an IV.
I already felt like he had been taken from me due to the c-section, then not seeing him for so long only to have him taken away again? I was so upset, I pretty much had another panic attack, my husband was freaking out that I was going to hurt the incision from the way I was crying and not being able to breath....it was just bad.
I got calmed down and the lactation consultant and my doula encouraged me to start pumping immediately, I really just wanted to go to sleep and say fuck off but I tried and I got about 3 ccs of colostrum which was encouraging
They brought him in a few more times through-out the night for a few minutes each, we never had any success getting him to latch...Im so worried he will not be able to breast feed.
My breasts are so big,saggy and soft....I really think its because of that, I hate my breast.
I continued pumping through-out the night also with mixed results, some times I got a full 10 cc's and sometimes I barely got 1.
Let me take a moment here, as if this is not getting too long already, to say how freaking...no, how FUCKING awesome all of my nurses had been so far, my night nurse this night was soooooo amazing, she sat with me while I pumped and cried and I just wanted to hug her...she ended up hugging me several times...I loved her
The next morning ( Saturday the 8th) I was still feeling really good pain wise, they un-hooked my IV and catheter and brought him in to attempt to feed again and while he still did not latch we did get a lot of skin to skin time in.
Then they told me he had pneumonia....
Turns out he had aspirated some of the meconium and was having some respiratory distress....they were transferring him to the local childrens hospital later that evening and starting antibiotics.
Cue another freak out.
Come on!!! It had been over 24 hours since I "gave birth" (more on that later) and I had held him for MAYBE 45 minutes all together...I just wanted to hold him, to cuddle and get to bond with him and now that was not going to happen for even longer....I was so frustrated and defeated feeling.
I calmed down and we got all the papers signed for the transfer and I got to go to the nursery and see him one more time before he left, It was all I could do to not grab him and run, I just wanted my baby (Im going to be saying this a lot I think) then the transfer team came and packed him up....and I thought I was going to die when I had to walk away from him again...Charlie had to pretty much carry me.
That night was really hard, I tried to pump and I even managed to get two full 10 cc syringes full of really nice, gold colostrum but it was really hard to stay motivated because when Im depressed all I want is to sleep.
I had a hard time doing that too, I was not in pain from the incision but my back was killing me from being in bed and un-moving for so long.
Then this morning (Sunday the 9th) I got up and DAMN was I feeling it, Im pretty sure it was mostly because the previous night I had gotten myself up to go pee about 4 times without help because I knew Charlie needed sleep as much as I did and I did not want to buzz for the nurse.
My back was (and still is) throbbing so bad from the stupid bed and its hard to stand fully upright.
I got checked out by my OB who was thrilled I was up and walking around and said everything with me looked great, she had heard about baby but told me to be positive...yeah.
She ended up letting me get discharged because she say how stir-crazy I was going and wanted me to be able to go see Jasper ASAP
So I got discharged, rented a pump and headed over to the NICU at the childrens hospital to see Jasper.
He was all bundled when we got there and so small looking, I started balling my eyes out when his nurse asked if I wanted to hold him...that all I wanted to do, of course I want to hold him!!!
We sat with him for an hour or so, I kept asking Charlie if he wanted to hold him and he kept telling me to have my time with him...I was so grateful, I really dont think I would have handed him over if he had said yes
His doctor came in (way young, way cute and way nice!!) and told us what was going on, he was still on dextrose for his sugars but they were weaning him off of that and onto tube feedings.
He was also on oxygen but NOT on a ventilator so that was a good thing, function wise his lungs were a- OK when it came to that.
His respiratory rate was not OK though due to the fluid in there causing him to have to work harder, they had started antibiotics the night before and expected to continue them for AT LEAST 3 more days, possibly up to 5 depending on what his labs look like tomorrow.
They were really up beat and positive though, I felt so bad for crying so much, there were babies there that are soooo much worse off then him and I felt so selfish for crying.
They said I can come in 24/7 to sit with him and as long as his stats stay good we can do skin-to-skin but until his resp rate becomes more normal they wont allow any oral feedings as its too much work to expect him to be able to suck,swallow and breath at this point.
However they have a lactation consultant and a nursing suite and they set me up with pumping storage and all that good stuff so that as he gets better that can supplement his tube feedings with breast milk first and eventually get him off it all together in the next few days
They let me hold him for a bit longer but then his oxygen levels had to be increased due to some destress so they swaddled him back up and put him back under the heater, they did say that he had been holding his own temp really well and would be moving him to an open crib in the next day or so.
We stayed for a bit longer but at this point (330pm) I had not had anything but some OJ since 9pm the previous night so we headed out for some lunch and ultimately decided to head home for some rest
Now, we live an hour away in good traffic...this is were my decisions get hard...there is NO WAY we can afford a hotel room for a week and the hospital does not allow rooming in until they are off all IVs :
Gas is going to be hard but I think we are going to end up going in at least every other day if we can swing that, we are heading back tomorrow afternoon at some point depending on how I sleep tonight and how late I sleep tomorrow...Charlie needs sleep too just as much as me and he will have to drive.
I feel so guilty over this, I just want nothing more than to be with him, to hold him....and I plan on being there a lot but going home at night seems so cruel, like Im abandoning him....and NICU moms here? Am I being a horrible mom!!!???
I dont know what to do at this point.
I feel A LOT more positive than I did yesterday, I know he is not going to be in there forever and I know he is no where near as bad off as the majority of those babies....Im not scared that he is not going to recover...I just want him with me.
I dont know how to explain how I feel in regards to the c-section, I dont feel traumatized really...I know it was medically needed for him and it scares me to think what would have happened to him if I had been more stubborn about trying to induce first.
But I dont feel like I gave birth, I feel like he was taken from me...stolen...I dont feel like a mom yet and when Im not holding him I feel like I should still be pregnant.
Im not sure Im truly depressed at this point but I am frustrated and sad and feeling defeated and helpless
I just want him here..I know thats going to happen relatively soon but....its not soon enough.
I just called the hospital to get an update and they said he is sleeping and doing great, they had turned his oxygen down from 70% to 30% and turned off his heater, they expect him to be in an open crib by tomorrow morning which means I can start skin to skin time with him.
My percocet is kicking in and while my back is still killing me and maneuvering is really hard (Im currently rolling on my birth ball) I feel WAY better physically then I expected to
I thought surgery would like...incapacitate me but nope, its just hard to get out of bed and on and off the toilet...if I had a walker I would be A-OK
Im having difficulty pumping with my breasts, Im a saggy 44f and the pump keeps breaking suction and my nipples are already bleeding and Im over it...but Im not giving up
So yeah...there is my overly long, super repetitive (I just want to hold him!!!) birth story...
Pictures are not working on here for some reason...here is a link to my photobucket:
Congrats on Jasper's arrival! He is absolutely adorable.
I'm so sorry things didn't go the way you had hoped. I'm hoping Jasper's stay in the NICU is short and he's home snuggling with you soon. Is there a Ronald McDonald House near the hospital?
Oh, mama..... my thoughts will be with you and your family. He's a beautiful little boy and I hope to hear of his continuing improvement. I have no experience with having a baby in the NICU but I imagine there's a whole spectrum of normal. What a huge thing to take in all at once like that. ((hugs)) and CONGRATS! You're a mom!
Found this on new posts...
Hugs to you Mama! How difficult to be so far away from your new little one. I'm glad he is doing well and skin to skin can start soon. Keep up the good work on the pumping, that is tough! :)
And to make things worse, I was finally getting some back pain relief from my birth ball and my cat just decided he was through with me ignoring him, attempting to jump onto the ball and popped it...with me on it...and now my back hurts ten times worse and I scared the shit out of my husband when I screamed.
Seriously life...stop fucking with me.
Not a bad mom- not even close . Everything you have done so far has been for him and pretty soon he will be in your arms 24/7 :)
Oh honey, I feel so bad for you... Jasper is absolutely gorgeous, and he sounds like he is kicking @ss at overcoming issues! I so hope you will have him home with you full time soon. I will keep you and your little dude in my prayers. Hang in there!!
Congratulations! Hoping Jaspers stay is short!
oh Dragonfly! I hope that his recovery is swift and you can be together as a family. How scary. He is beautiful. Love that you got pictures of your husband in the scrubs!
You also need lots of support right now *for you*. Does the hospital have a social worker who can pull some strings and find you somewhere to stay close by? Do they know how far you have to travel and what kind of financial burden this will be? Or can you get them to bend the rules? Some hospitals have trailers for NICU moms... I had a friend who stayed in one for quite a while. Can you ask a family member (or members) to chip in for a hotel? Now is the time to just ask if there is anyone who could do that.
I have big boobs too and yeah, its hard for the little ones to nurse- I had to watch that mine weren't getting smothered (at first) plus also it was just hard for them to get their mouths on there right. As my midwife said, you have to imagine taking a bite out of a really HUUUUGE sandwich, and try to hold your breast tissue kind of flat and horizontal to keep it away from baby's face and make it easier for them to get on there (I hope that makes sense- and that the LCs on site can help you too).
You can make a homemade pumping bra by just cutting holes in an old bra that can hold the flanges. Much easier when the girls are supported by a decent bra. Also, there are different size flanges- make sure they gave you the big ones!
What a precious bundle he is! I have not had a similar experience, but I can imagine feeling everything you're feeling were I in your shoes. Hang in there, mama! Sending healing vibes to both of you and crossing all my fingers that he comes home soon and you can snuggle 24-7.
Congratulations on Jasper's arrival!! I'm so sorry everything has gone so pear-shaped with his birth and then with the NICU stay.
My first DS was an emergency c/s followed by a NICU stay and it was so hard. I know what you mean about just wanting to hold him. I can tell you, though, that as much as this is huge right now, eventually, these days will end up being just be a tiny blip in your life with him. You will get to hold him and hold him and hold him.
Take care of yourself. You won't gain anything by hanging out in the NICU all night. You are NOT a bad mom for going home at night. Heal well, and rest up for when he comes home.
Wow, mama, what a story. What a rough time you've had. I'm so glad that it sounds like you've had some amazing support from your DH and your medical staff. Jasper is absolutely lovely and I know you're savoring every minute with him.
Your cat sounds just like mine--sure hope he was scared enough to learn his lesson! Hope you're feeling better soon.
Rough start, but very glad he is here safely. Hopefully he'll be home in your arms in no time! Shame on your cat for popping the ball.
Oh my goodness, Dragonfly, your situation is pretty much exactly my worst nightmare. The thought of all the separation - not necessarily the worry - but definitely the pain of being torn from your newborn - it's heartwrenching for me to even think about it. I wish you didn't have to live through it right now. I'm so sorry, mama!! I hope Jasper is out of NICU quickly, and you guys can get some serious make-up bonding time in. I pray that this whole time for you both will be as peaceful as possible, and pass quickly.
All that said, he's precious, and your DH sounds absolutely hilarious. Congratulations on your newest little family member!
I had a little guy in NICU, and it was HARD. I can totally relate to the feelings you have of separation and guilt/abandonment. It really bothers me that hospitals won't let you stay as long as your baby. I second the ronald mcdonald house suggestion-and yes, speak to a social worker to see if there's anything else they can do.
My sister and her husband (with twins in nicu) have been able to have a few strings pulled here and there. I've heard rumor that they even can get hotel vouchers for out of town mamas.
As soon as they start letting him nurse again, they'll probably let you room in.
Big hugs-I know it's so hard. He is one very handsome little boy!! Before long, you'll have him in your arms to keep:)
I'm so sorry!! I can't imagine what you're going through - so much of your story is all of our worst nightmares. I hope that as the days go on you will be able to focus on the fact that you two have the rest of your lives together to hold and hold and hold each other.
Ditto to the Ronald McDonald house, and I totally understand your feelings of guilt for leaving him there, but you are doing exactly as you should. Just remember that he needs you to be well rested and ready for him when he gets home, so by taking care of yourself right now you are just preparing for taking care of him - every minute of rest you get is making you a better mama.
We'll be thinking of you.
This is totally my dh's sense of humor - made me laugh!
In all seriousness though, I'm so sorry things had to go the way they are. You'll have tons to process over the coming months, and I hope you're able to come to a place of closure. Our first son was in the NICU after birth, and it's certainly a roller coaster. You are SO not a horrible mom; you're an awesome mom making the best of a really frustrating situation.
I agree totally with what a few others have said about accepting offers of help from others. Most people who offer are really sincere, they just don't know what would be most helpful. Give them a specific - "Actually, I could use a ride into the hospital tomorrow." Or "We've been home so little, would you mind stopping in and cleaning up/doing laundry/playing with the cat, etc." Or even just tell people to make a meal for your freezer so you can focus 100% on the babe when he's home.
Best of luck, and I hope you're settling in at home in no time.
Congrats on your baby, mama. He looks completely adorable.
So sorry you had to go through an emergency birth situation, and so sorry Jasper's still in the hospital. It sounds like you're doing a lot of really difficult things to make sure Jasper gets healthy, from giving up your own birth preferences, to letting him go to a different hospital, to pumping, etc. This makes you a GREAT mama imho. I hope it gets easier for you very soon.
I'm sorry your birth was so far from what you hoped it would be. I really hope you get to be with your little guy as much as possible and get to bring him home healthy and perfect soon!
Popping in because if I dont share this with you guys Im going to wake my husband with my screaming:
I just had the best pumping session yet!!
I found a position that works a lot better, now that my pain is like...non-exsistant....I am able to lean way forward and rest the pumps on my knees.
In 10 minutes I had 7 ML (my most yet!!!) and had barely any milk backed up against my nipples and the flange!!
Im so excited and releaved and Im feeling really really positive now!
I hope this keeps up.
Im going to look into getting some Fenugreek to help my milk production...IM JUST SO EXCITED I WANT TO JUMP UP AND DOWN!!!
i'm so happy for you!! pumping will be a really helpful thing for you to do even for yourself until you get your wee one back home in your arms.
Also try goats rue, borage, and blessed thistle!
Dragonfly, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers-- including thanksgiving for a strong-willed little man and good pumping! Congratulations and I hope the rest is over soon, soon, soon.
Congratulations on your adorable boy! I'm so sorry that he's in the hospital and you aren't able to be with him all the time - that must be so hard - but it sounds like he is making good progress and getting stronger by the hour. Sending healing thoughts to your family!
to you mama, I am so sorry for everything you are going through right now.
Congrats mama! Sorry things aren't working out the way you want them to, but just know that very soon you will be taking your little guy home!! Yay!!!!!! for a good pumping session
Thank you to everyone, I really appreciate all the well wishes and encouragements!
Its so nice to be able to come here and vent and be understood!!
My last two pumping sessions I have gotten 5ML out of each breast and Im pretty sure its moving on to milk....its not sticky and like the colostrum, is more watery and moves more freely into the containers and its more a creamy color.
My Earth Momma, Angel Baby nipple butter is working MIRACLES on my boobs and I found a position that, while I still think I need a smaller flange, I can pump without pain or the milk backing up in the flange and spilling out.
I just feel so much more positive about everything today!!
I did have a horrific nighmare last night, I woke up at 4 am screaming for Charlie and yelling "No!! Fix him!!"
Yeah...you get what I was dreaming right? Because I dont want to type it.
Charlie was lying next to me and I scared the shit out of him, he thought I was hurt.
I ended up having a mini-panic attack for a few minutes until I realized it was just a dream.
Charlie got up and called the NICU for an update just to ease me some more....Jasper is doing just fine, he is still on 30% oxygen but they have him in an open crib and he is maintaining his temp on his own.
Im going to go take a short nap,I felt great last night, pumping every 2 hours but now its caught up with me and Im a bit tired, then we are going to go spend the afternoon with Jasper.
I cant wait to see him :)
Hugs, mama. And congratulations, though it sounds almost unbearably hard right now.
So sorry for all the hurdles right now- it sounds like it must be so difficult. But I'm glad to hear things are starting to feel better for you. And it sounds like your little guy is doing a lot better. Congrats on your new little fighter! Can't wait to hear when you get to bring him home for constant snuggles Enjoy your afternoon with him!