Ok, so I promised my 40 week bump pic would be up and running ON TIME this time. Well, that didn't work out so well. So this post has a lot of catching up to do. First things first, the (shortened, less gory, birth story).
I was told to call the hospital at 5 pm on Friday, June 11 to see if there was a bed ready for my induction. Well, the hospital called me back at 3 to say "get your butt in here now!" So I called Roland and told him to get his butt home immediately. We got to the hospital at 4:30 and got hooked up to monitors. Turns out, I was already contracting at around 5-7 minutes, though to me it felt like nothing more than the menstrual cramps I'd been getting for weeks. Dr. Gurland was doing some c-sections, so we had to wait. Just before 7 pm, he finally came to check on me. I was still 2 cm dilated and my blood pressure was still high. So, out came the crochet hook and POP, my water was broken. Immediately, the contractions ramped up. They were instantly 1 1/2 minutes apart and 50-60 seconds long and getting stronger by the minute. By 8 pm, I couldn't stand being in the bed much longer, so we went for a long, leaky walk. We got into the birthing suite just before 9 pm and I was definately in active labour. I was able to smile in between contractions (for all of 30 seconds), but once the contractions came, I was inconsolable. I tried to hold out until 9:30 for the nurse to check me, but after the vomitting started, I cried mercy and got checked at 9:15. I was 4 cm already. One more strong set of contractions sent my calling for the epi. The anesthesiologist was between c-sections, so it's a good thing I called him when I did. Before he got there though, I went through another bout of vomitting, one big long 5 minute contraction, shiverring and hyperventillation. The epi couldn't get here soon enough. At 10 pm, the epi was in, and by 10:15 it was working. R and my mom were able to sleep for a while, but by 11 I was uncomfortable again. The nurse turned up the epi, but the pain was getting worse. We kept topping up the epi, but the pain only increased. Finally, at 11:30, the nurse checked me and I was 8 cm. In another hour I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. But I couldn't feel a thing! We tried and low and behold, I was able to push effectively even though I was completely numb. The nurse got everything set up and by 12:40 we were pushing. By 1 am, the doc was called in the room and 20 minutes of pushing later, Baby K was born! It's a BOY! 9 lbs 1 oz, 21 1/2 inches long.
Here's my beautiful baby boy!
Baby K is doing much better. He's been perfect at every test he's had, but we had some breastfeeding issues initially. Well, not really, but we definately had a hard time due to some conflicting messages. First off, Baby K is a powerful sucker and I was very soon blistered and bleeding. The second night, I hadn't slept yet and Baby K was fussy. He wasn't feeding well, and I couldn't console him. The nurses took him off my hands and promised to return him at 1:30. Well, I woke up at 12:45 anxious for my 1:30 feed. 1:30 came and still no Baby K. 1:45 came, still no Baby K. 2:00, no Baby K. 2:15 I was freaking out and called the nurse to return my baby. I was told that they finger-fed him formula and he was sleeping nicely. Very shortly though, he was up and fussing. I tried to feed him, but it wasn't working. They came to weigh him at 3 and gave me a bottle to give him because "he's a big boy and very hungry". In the morning, we were taught how to supplement with formula while breastfeeding with a tube. It seemed tricky, but we didn't question it and went home on Sunday. Tube feeding at home was horrendous. Very quickly it wasn't working and Baby K wasn't sleeping and neither was I. We went to a lactaction consultant on Tuesday and it couldn't come soon enough. Tuesday came and we were told that I had "sabotaged" myself with the tube feeding. Great. Just lovely. Why would they send me home tube feeding if it was going to screw me in the end? The consultant sent us home with an electric pump with orders to pump after every feed to ensure a good supply for the long haul. Well, two days of that and Baby K was choking at every feed. He would only feed for 5 minutes and sometimes it would ALL come right back up. Talk about a fussy baby! I couldn't wait for my next appointment with a lactaction consultant. On Friday, we had our appointment with the lactation consultant who was NOT affiliated with the hospital. She told me that I had TOO much milk and he couldn't feed properly because it's hard to suck on a boulder! She taught me how to hand express before each feed so as not to choke him and only offer one breast, then hand express the other one to comfort. This worked much better and by our next lactation consultant appointment on Tuesday, I was feeling better. The consultant helped me with some tips to feed him more inclined to makes sure Baby K doesn't choke, and suggested I try sidelying position. Let me tell you what a savour sidelying has been. 2 am feeds are so lovely when I can just lay back in bed and feed him for as long as he needs. He doesn't choke, and my arms don't get tired, and he even self latches properly most of the time!
So the moral of this story? Hospital nurses are on crack! Why would baby need 30 ml of formula at a feed if naturally he'd only get a tablespoon of collostrum? Why should I fuss with tube feeding if it's going to mess up my supply? Let nature take its course. Yes, sore, cracked, bleeding, blistered nipples are par for the course, and you'll probably be crying through each feed for the first week. But if you get a good lactaction consultant and good support to learn how to properly latch baby, your body will normalise and things will work themselves out. Do I still have some issues with feeding now and again? Yes, but Baby K is sleeping well at night and most days isn't fussy until just before bedtime.
We are slowly getting into the swing of things, but next week, Daddy goes back to work. It's going to be a whole new kind of adventure to learn how to do everything by myself. Hopefully I can find time to update how we're doing in our first week alone.