Sunday, March 8, 2020

2nd Birth Story - Part 2

The feeling after giving birth without an epidural was amazing. I was on a high and I couldn't believe I'd done it! It was a goal of mine that I wasn't sure I could accomplish, and I did it. I'm still super pumped about it.

We were able to do do immediate skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping, etc. I remember delivering the placenta, and David cutting the cord. About an hour or so after the doctor left, I started feeling pain down there. The nurses thought it may be from the stitches, but I knew it was something beyond that. Finally, they took a look and discovered I'd developed a large (and painful) hematoma. Most likely it was caused by how fast the baby came, and the fact that I was on aspirin. They were able to get me on some pain medication, which helped, and then they had to put in a folley catheter since I couldn't urinate.

It was so nice being able to stay in the same room and have the baby with us. I was able to try breastfeeding and work with the lactation consultants from the comfort of the room. The only concerns we had this time with the baby was getting him to gain weight. His jaundice levels seemed ok. The more pressing concern was the pain from my hematoma and my inability to urinate. The doctor wanted to remove the catheter after 24 hours so as to prevent infection, but even after removing it, I was unable to urinate on my own. The nurse (and a student) set up a sitz bath for me, which felt good. Finally, the nurses had to straight cath me since I really had to pee. The relief didn't last long though, and I was afraid they'd have to cath me again, but finally, I was able to urinate a little (the pain meds helped), which was a big relief. Since the baby was born after midnight, we were able to stay an extra night, and we opted to leave that Thursday. 

As far as the hematoma goes, the plan was to keep an eye on it and see if my body would absorb it, while also managing pain with medication. The OB wanted to follow up with me in a week. 

We checked out around 2 in the afternoon, stopped to get diapers, and then headed back to the house where we were planning to meet the birth photographer so she could take pictures of the toddler (and my mom) meeting the new baby. It was absolutely the sweetest thing to see my daughter meet and love on her baby brother; it brought me to tears.

The past (nearly) four weeks have been a whirlwind full of appointments with the pediatrician, blood draws (and a few jaundice scares that turned out to be ok), appointments with lactation consultants, the chiropractor, a cranio sacral therapist, etc. At my one week follow up with the OB, she said part of my hematoma had gone down, but another part may have swelled more, so she wanted to see me in another week and then possibly surgically evacuate it. The following week, I went back in and we went ahead with the procedure. Unfortunately, that meant that the wound had to be packed (by someone else) twice a day, which was a painful and tedious process. Luckily, after a week, I went back, and she said the wound had healed/closed, and I no longer had to pack it. Right now, I am (mainly) off pain medication, which is a big step for me, though I'm still in pain.

He is such a good baby. He sleeps really well, and really only cries when he's hungry. I often have to wake him just to feed him every few hours. The toddler has been adjusting well. She loves her baby brother and constantly comments about how "cute" he is or says he's "sad" when he cries. It's a big of an adjustment with her getting used to my mom being here and helping to care for her, and also shuttling her to and from daycare. I'm honestly a little worried about how I'll handle things when my mom leaves and I need to care for both of them by myself while David's at work, but I think we will slowly get into a routine. 

Right now, I'm just going to soak in the time left we have with my mom here, enjoy my naptime snuggles with the baby, and continue recovering.

I just love my little family.

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