Monday, November 18, 2013

Megan's Birth(day)

Yesterday was Megan's eighth birthday! So, I thought I'd document her birth story here as well. Unfortunately, even though in some ways it feels like yesterday, a lot has become fuzzy, and some details I can't remember if it was with Lucy or with Megan. But I remember the important stuff :)

I got pregnant at the end of February 2005, and I emailed Rob saying "You have 35 weeks to buy a new truck". LOL. By week 5 I was terribly nauseous and that lasted until week 14. I even gave up coffee! Then I was terribly sick for two weeks with a sinus infection (this also happened at the same time that I was pregnant with Lucy). Then my arthritis flared up. And stayed flared up until delivery. It was a very painful pregnancy. My family doctor said "Take an Advil". I said "That doesn't work". She said "Take two". I finally got Tylenol with codeine, but that didn't help either. I had the same OB as with Lucy, Dr. C. and he just kept saying "Take it easy". Then he started to add "Don't do so much". That got me concerned, but I don't have anyone here to take over what I couldn't do, and Rob wouldn't, so I trudged on.

By around 24 weeks, I looked quite big--even though I had started at my lowest pre-pregnancy weight ever. I started having extreme heartburn/reflux again, and around week 36 finally got a prescription which worked wonders. The baby wasn't a very active baby, and if I went to the hospital every time Dr. C said "If you don't feel anything in 4 hours..." I'd be there almost every day (I don't think I ever bothered to go). But every night at 10pm when I got into bed, baby would wake up and have hiccups!

By the end of my pregnancy I was actually a little on the small side and people would be surprised that I had only weeks to go. My blood pressure had been so low this time that it was surprising to be smaller--high blood pressure is linked to smaller babies. I had one late ultrasound though that said I was within one week of EDD for size and was supposed to have another one but never did. I was just in so much pain that I actually wanted to get it done with.
At around 38 weeks I told Dr. C. that although I disagree with 'inductions of convenience' or before the EDD, I just couldn't take much more. Luckily my blood pressure was starting to go up and I had actually lost weight so that was reason enough to schedule an induction.

Rob and I went to the hospital early (8am, LOL) on Thursday November 17. He drove through the downtown instead of the by-pass, and went so slowly I was getting mad--we were late! I got put in a room and Dr. C came to do the induction (Cervadil again). He said I was already 2cm. I wasn't surprised--I had been having pains that felt like they were in my cervix, but weren't 'being kicked' pains. I had to stay in bed with the monitors for a while. The nurse was getting frustrated because baby was not active. She made me drink lots of water and juice but baby stayed calm. Finally I got to get up and walked around knitting. The head nurse was also a knitter and she went and found me a gown that has a pocket on the front, to hold the yarn :) I do have a picture, but it's not digital. The weather was a lot like today...blizzard one minute, sunny the next, but it was very cold. I had never wanted to be stuck in the hospital for labours, but there I was.

Not much was happening again. Around 2:30 it started to pick up and I started to have to focus a little. But no pain. They checked me and said I was 4cm. They knew about the quickness of Lucy's birth and were hoping I'd deliver before shift ended at 4. At 3, I was feeling the same way, so they said I could use the Jacuzzi. I had wanted to use it before, but it never happened. Oh, it was so nice! I have a picture of me in it too, but not digital. Apparently I stayed in it for an hour :) The contractions pretty much went away. Occasionally I could feel some 'tightening' but no pain. My arthritis had made me very concerned about dealing with the traditional (well, traditional in the sense of 'modern' medicine) delivery positions, but I was actually feeling quite good that day, and the tub certainly helped.

At 4pm they said I had to get out because Dr. C wanted to check me.
He said I was still only 4-5cm, and they were concerned because baby's heartrate was not variating with the contractions. He said he was going to break my water and put a scalp monitor on. I didn't want my water broken at only 4-5cm--like they did with Huey's birth because I knew it would make it a lot more difficult to cope (I wouldn't say 'painful'. You create what you fear.). But we went ahead. He seemed to take forever, and was NOT very gentle!
Dr. C stood up and said he was going to the ER for an emergency and would be back soon. The nurses said 'absolutely not; you are not leaving this ward, she's going quick'. That was the last coherent thing I remembered.

I was suddenly so overwhelmed with contractions that I thought I was going crazy. They did hurt and I was mad I was stuck in the bed which was so uncomfortable, not conducive for good labour but yet, I couldn't move. I really wish I had had a doula, or a labour nurse who would have stuck their face in mine and kept me together. Rob kept asking if I was okay! Dude! Not! With Huey, he had been in such a bad position, that I never felt the contractions in the front, I only ever felt like someone was kicking me in the butt with steel toe boots. I don't recall transition at all with him. With Lucy, we were alone, and I thought I was just going into active labour. This time, I didn't know what the H*ll was going on.

At 4:15 they gave me a shot of Demerol. This relaxed me between contractions but then I was unprepared for the onset of the contraction. I wanted up, but couldn't even open my eyes. If they had gotten me up/out of bed right after my water had been broken, I would have been better able to deal with it and focus, but the nurses were too busy chatting, and really, it all happened so fast, I don't think anyone really knew it was going to go like that.

At 4:30 I felt the urge to push, but they had me hold off for a few more minutes. I was a little uncomfortable in the position but I knew there was no other option there. I remember thinking that no one was helping me with the pushing. I had said I didn't want a cheering squad counting down from 10 with each contraction, but I really felt like I wasn't doing it 'right'. In the past, I had thought that women who scream during pushing were just not 'focused', but here's what happened with me. The Demerol made me loopy and spaced out. Then SMACK a contraction. Took a few moments to clue in and focus. At the end of the contraction, that focused energy has to go somewhere. Hence, the end of contraction yell. There still wasn't "pain" but a whole heck of a lot of pressure, LOL. I remember putting my hand down there to apply some counterpressure, but was pushed out of the way.

Megan Anne popped out at 4:47pm. She was only 6lb 9oz. So tiny!!

Once again, immediate relief and recovery! But I was so shocked she was a girl! I kept saying it over and over again "It's a girl? I had a girl?" Sometimes now, I'm still surprised, LOL. Especially since in the early days, she looked exactly like Huey!
The doctor said I needed an IV and I said no, why now? But he insisted. The nurse couldn't get it in and he took over, putting it in my right hand. I couldn't bend my hand to eat dinner! The next day though I had a huge bruise on my left hand that took awhile to disappear.

When Rob phoned home, apparently Huey was not too thrilled to hear it was a girl. But when Grandma and Grandad brought him (and Lucy) to the hospital...the look of absolute adoration on his face was priceless. He was smitten! I think he was mostly happy to know that it wasn't another 'Lucy' to wreck his stuff, that this little bundle was not at all what he thought a 'new baby' was going to be :)
It was fairly quiet at the hospital, but I was surprised at the treatment I got (or, rather, didn't' get) by the nurses. With the other births, I had been told to ask for help before getting out of bed the first time. So, by the time the IV bag was empty, I needed to go to the bathroom. The nurse seemed ticked off--she asked if I was dizzy or lightheaded, and I said no. She asked "So why do you need help?" Ummm...because the IV is empty, and I was told previously to ask for help. The other times, the nurses were great helping with the post-baby ....maternal accessories, LOL. This time, she pretty much just turned on the light!
I don't remember with which baby it was (Lucy or Megan), but I was holding her in the rocking chair, in the dark, with the door open. Just relaxing. This one nurse comes in, flips on the lights, and says "What are you doing in the dark? She could choke and turn blue and you wouldn't notice!"., if I were asleep I would notice?

Megan was very sleepy, probably because of the Demerol so close to her birth. I didn't know what to do, LOL. I tried waking her up after two hours to feed, but she wouldn't. One nurse came in and said, just let her sleep. Going up to 4 hours once, would be fine. But I couldn't sleep because I figured she'd be up soon, LOL. Other nurses came in and were mad I hadn't filled out the 'eaten/pee/poop' sheet in enough detail. I had written 'about 5 minutes' for the nursing. She wanted to know exactly how long Megan had nursed. Exactly how wet was the diaper. The other nurses were've done it before, just do what you need to.

 After the nurse left to go sign in and hang up her coat, someone from finance/billing, came and pulled Rob to the door to discuss something about the insurance not covering the room. I was freaking, being left alone, and Rob was like "Do you not hear what's going on in here? My wife's about to give birth. Go away". LOL.
My family doctor came in the morning and checked her out. Dr. C. came around lunch and said I could go home at 5pm--it had to be 24 hours after birth. It was so cold!
Because she was so calm/placid/sleepy I woke her every two hours to nurse. I never got too engorged (no pain this time) but man, did I leak :) The day after I got home though, all my pelvic joints were hurting. We went to IKEA and Megan had her first outing in her pouch. It was so nice, except for all the pain I was suddenly in. It's likely that the endorphins released during labour masked my arthritis pain and allowed my joints to be more flexible and moved too much. The pain I was having was different than the pregnancy arthritis pain, but I hadn't had it after Lucy's birth. It took awhile to feel 'back together'.
On the Monday after her birth we went to the family doctor's for a weigh in and she was actually up in weight. On Tuesday we went to the breastfeeding clinic and the nurses there noted she was quite jaundiced--which the doctor had said she wasn't. But there is a difference between 'breastmilk jaundice' and 'regular' jaundice. It took awhile for her yellowness to disappear.

Megan stayed very calm and non-responsive for a while. That's not to say she didn't cry! She just didn't respond to things like the stove buzzer, the dog barking, or dropped pot lids. We were concerned about her hearing, even though she had passed the tests. She loved her pouch, spending a lot of each day in it. Around 3 weeks she started with the reflux. Around 8 weeks, she 'woke up' and by 12 weeks was the typical newborn. She put on weight really well at the beginning, but by 5 months had slowed down. I never really did a 'naked baby' photo shoot because I kept waiting for her to get all chubby and round.

She weighed in just before her first birthday at 18lb 14 oz. Around 6 months the LC predicted 18lb at a year! The reflux had not totally gone away yet; it got really bad after starting solids, and gradually had become 'silent reflux' (or what adults call GERD--there's not much spit up, but it still happens). She had a really hard time adjusting to the new house, having a very early case of separation anxiety. She got two teeth around then, and about 2 months later, got 6 teeth in two weeks. On Tuesday I noticed the very start of her upper molars poking through. She's still breastfeeding, and thank god because she did not tolerate the milk trial! But with the reflux also comes frequent feedings and night wakings.
By 6 months we also noticed that her 'speech' was not hitting milestones, so by eight months she already had a visit with the Wee Talk program!

At 8 months she learned to crawl, and was up the stairs a week later. She started walking at 11 1/2 months.  She was quietly persistent, more likely to give up than get frustrated but that all changed over the years. She wasn't a giggly baby, but she loved Huey. At a year she still didn't blow raspberries or wave bye bye, but could sign for least, I think she was signing for milk. Maybe she was waving bye-bye, LOL.

At thirteen months, she finally made her first self-initiated, sign.  She went into the kitchen at my aunt's house, and there were about six dogs.  She looked in amazement, and signed "more" LOL!

She loved to be worn, could climb up onto things, and was attached to her 'hair' (a fake hair ponytail/extensions piece that I got her at 6 months when she started getting a little too attached to my hair).

(this entry was originally written for her first birthday, so I've left it in, it's interesting to see what I was hoping for the next year!)
What does the next year hold? Hopefully more speech development. It'd be nice if one out of the three doesn't need speech therapy! We've never had a trip to the ER, so I expect that at some point, LOL. And hopefully she will start sleeping through the night as her reflux diminishes more :)

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