Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My list of complaints...keeping it real!

So the first week postpartum was really tough to be honest with you. I kept telling myself to not complain because it wasn't a cesarean this time and that is so much worse! I would focus on the positive points of the amazing delivery I had. My head still spins with all the blessings and the wonderful outcome! I never dreamed my delivery would be so wonderful!

The whole time I was quite nervous about having to go in for another c-section. But my v-bac was successful, my epidural worked, our son came out beautiful and healthy, life is good!

Then the epidural wore off...ow! The first week was filled with extremely sore "undercarriage" (yes that is what I call my perineum, I like my word better!) because of my tear and stitches. It hurt to walk, it hurt to sit, it even hurt to stand too long. I felt like everything was just going to fall out of me! And then my abdomen hurt like I had been punched in the stomach over and over. Yes, I did forget what it is like. Of course it makes sense that all my organs will feel bruised after months of being squished out of the way and kicked repeatedly. They were very tender as everything was trying to migrate back into place (still is!) Then my chest...OH MY GOODNESS! Okay, first of all I have to point out that for some reason I have the ability to produce enough milk to feed a village of babies. But the problem is that I only have one baby. So for the first few weeks my breast feel like they have beaten with a meat tenderizer. They hurt so bad that I cannot even move my arms or hold my baby without pain. (I go from a B cup to a DD cup and once I get things under control after a couple weeks down to a D cup!)In just the past couple days they have been feeling better finally, but still sore (and still DD!). So that is my main complaints, and I haven't even talked about my terrible hemorrhoids and constipation issues, or the fact that all my muscles feel like jello from being on bed rest for so long and that I get tired from doing anything. I am kind of use to the no sleep thing because I have been awake at night with contractions for three months, now it is just being up for longer periods of time taking care of our son which is a nicer reason to be up!

Now there is one complaint that I have that is very confusing to me. I would like opinions and help to know what is wrong. My right hand is ALWAYS NUMB! I have a constant tingling in my hand! It always feels like it is asleep and NEVER goes away! At the best my fingertips are numb and tingly (like right now) and at it's worst my whole hand is numb, tingly and I cannot grip anything. It is actually getting worse with time! It is more annoying and frustrating than anything else. I am going to go to my chiropractor and ask if it is a pinched nerve somewhere. My OB said that it is from the swelling and should go away. But I have never had this before and I haven't been swollen for two weeks! So if anyone else has experienced this, I would love some advice!

I have been trying to get back into life again and do something with the children everyday. It is nice to be on the road to recovery and I count my blessings everyday. I just had to complain a little. This blog is suppose to be "real" and I didn't want anyone to think I was bouncing back without the normal problems. We all have them. I have appreciated my privacy. Friends and family (for the most part) have respected my feelings and given our family the privacy that we need to get things together and figure out our new normal. I do look forward to having my body back, but heh, it has only been a little over two weeks! I think I am doing pretty darned good!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Look at the diffference!!!

I went into the hospital at 26 weeks, this first picture is of a baby born at 26 weeks! This is what I cried and pleaded in prayer daily not to happen to our baby boy...So tiny and helpless. Not being able to be with his family for months, fighting for his life. My heart and prayers go out to every parent and family member of preemie babies. Our 2 1/2 year old son was preemie, I do know how scary it is even though he wasn't this tiny. He was born at 32 weeks. We were lucky, we know that.

Now look at our healthy, chubby, thriving 37 week baby boy! This photos was taken in when he was a day old. How blessed! All those weeks of bed rest and all the help we received from friends and family, it is all worth it. Just look at him! We are more blessed than we ever thought possible. We were afraid to hope at times. Sometimes we were afraid to pray too hard for this miracle so we just prayed to be given the strength to handle what was suppose to happen but always putting a "P.S." on our prayers that what was "suppose" to happen was our son to be healthy and term. Thank you!!!!!

He's here!

Life has been kind of crazy the past week because our little son was born on Sunday, June 1st! Wow I can hardly believe it! Here is an e-mail I sent out to friends and family...

Yeah! Our precious little Andrew is here! We are so happy! This was the most difficult pregnancy I have ever had but it was the best delivery I have ever had! It could not have gone better! We got everything we asked for...it is truly a miracle! For example here is a short list of our answered prayers;
1. Andrew was born term and very healthy!
2. I was able to have a successful VBAC without any complications.
3. We made it to June, our June baby!

So for those of you who are interested I will tell you the whole story. If you are not interested then skip the rest and just look at pictures!

I was 37 weeks on Friday, May 30th. My doctor wanted me to make it to 37 weeks. I went to the doctor that afternoon and was told I had dilated to a three. My hopes were not up because I was dilated to a three for five weeks with Nick so no big deal. I felt really great! I was also told that my last injection should be worn off by Sunday. I also stopped taking my Rx at home on Thursday.

On Saturday we went to Salem to go to Walmart to get things we needed and get out of the house. It was a fun trip and I loved being out. However that afternoon I really started to hurt with my contractions coming every 20-30 minutes and being very intense. I did not sleep much Saturday night.

Sunday morning I was really tired and decided to stay home from church since as of 8:00AM my contractions were every 5-15 minutes and getting even harder. I sent the family to church though thinking it was no big deal. Remember, I had been contracting for 11 weeks now! Nathan called from church asking if he should come home and take me to the hospital. I told him not to come home yet and that I would be fine. They came home after church at about 12:30. We had lunch and took it easy clocking my contractions which were now every 3-8 minutes.

At 2:00 I finally decide to call a friend over to watch the children so Nathan and I could go to the hospital and I could "get checked". I really wasn't sure I was in labor because I had gone in this last Wednesday night and was sent home even though I was very sure. So I guess I was just trying not to get my hopes up again.

We arrived a little bit after 2:00. The doctor checked me said it was the real deal and I was staying! Wow! I could hardly believe it! After all this time he was actually coming!

So they gave me an epidural right away because I was a VBAC they had to be prepared with the spinal in me in case I had to be rushed to an emergency Cesarean. I was nervous the whole time! That slowed down my labor so he broke my bag of water. That kicked things up again but then I slowed again towards the end so they gave me a light drip of Pitocin. I was worried about this because my doctor had told me they wouldn't give me any Pit because I was a VBAC and it would make my uterus work too hard and increase my risk of a rupture. But this doctor assured me they were giving me a very small dose just to help me along.

Then at about 8:15PM I was fully dilated and ready to push. My contractions were still not consistent though! They were only coming every 2-5 minutes and I was pushing! I asked the doctor why my body was doing this and he very matter-of-fact explained, "your uterus has been contracting for months, it's tired." Oh, that makes sense.

But it did add to the wonderful delivery though. Not only did my epidural work (never had that before) so I could feel the contractions and know when and how to push but there wasn't too much pain. And I had a few five minute breaks in there where I could really recover and not get worn out. It was wonderful!

Andrew was born at 9:07PM weighing 7 pounds and 11 ounces and measuring 20 inches long! The doctor was surprised at how big he was, but I wasn't! I have big babies, it is a fact of life, and I knew he was big. But the important part is that he is healthy! And he is so beautiful and sweet! I am so in love!!!!

So there you go, the rest of the story! We came home a little after 5:00PM on Tuesday and have been doing well. Nathan's parents came out again and are here helping as long as we need them. The kids are all very much in love with their new baby brother and Nathan and I are so in awe with all of our blessings! Andrew is doing great and sleeping a lot (at least during the day while being held!). I am recovering pretty well. I did receive a 2nd degree tear and have to tend to some stitches now but no big deal. I have had to recover from a Cesarean before so I am not complaining!

Here are some photos of our beautiful boy!

This one was right after he was born, less than an hour old. Yes, I have make-up on because it was Sunday and I had gotten ready for church even though I ended up not going and was in labor all day. We are so happy!!!!!!!

These two are after he came home. I cannot believe I was able to bring him right home with me! Yeah! One asleep and one awake, oh so precious!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What I am ready to trade...

I was going to bathroom AGAIN (I go so many times in a day that I lose count) and I thought to myself, "Well, when I am not pregnant anymore we'll save money on all this toilet paper I use!" Then I countered myself with, "But I will be trading buying extra toilet paper for buying diapers." Which we all know will cost way more!

Then I got thinking about it and there are many things that we as mother's "trade" when we graduate from pregnant mommy to mommy of a newborn. Here are a few I have thought of. Please let me know if there ones you think of that I haven't!

1. cost of extra rolls of TP for the cost of diapers and wipes
2. waking several times every night to pee or breath through contractions for waking several times a night to feed a hungry baby
3. using spray n" wash to get stains out of your clothes from spilling on your larger than life belly for using spray n" wash to get spit up stains off your shoulder and blow out stains off your baby's pants.
4. aching back from the weight of your belly for aching back from the weight of the baby, car seat, and diaper bag
5. my own crying and complaining for my baby's crying.
6. having no sex life because of being huge and miserable for having no sex life because I am too tired.
7. my big huge belly for big engorged nursing breasts.
8. friends and family rubbing my belly and giving me attention for being completly ignored as everyone just wants to see the new baby. (I actually love it when my children kiss my belly, or my husband rubs my belly, and when they talk to our baby in there!)
9. And the best trade of all...dreaming of my baby, how he will look, smell, and be like for actually holding our new son and smelling his sweet head and getting to know him as he grows!
10. Another best trade... our amazing, loving family of five for an even more amazing loving and COMPLETE family of six!!! (I am not saying that six is the right number for every family, don't get me wrong. But it feels complete to us!)

Now, of course, these are mostly meant to be funny and light hearted. But the best humor usually comes from the truth! Honestly I cannot wait to make my trade! I am so excited to meet our new little son and hold him in my arms! I am also very excited to get my body back, including control of my bladder!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

36 weeks!!!!

Yahoo!!! We made it! I am 36 weeks as of today! I cannot believe it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually make it this far. Really the only thing we have done differently as far as medical care goes is the weekly injections I have been getting since 16 weeks. Then when I went into the hospital at 26 weeks I was so devastated thinking that they weren't making a difference, but now I know they have!

I went into labor while on bed rest and taking my meds with my last two. So to have made it this far really feels like an impossible dream come true!

My husband and I celebrated our 36 week mark today. We went out for scones and smoothies and then to a baby resale shop where we found a baby bath for $2 and an adorable church outfit for our two year old for $9.50. Both in new condition! We also stopped at Bath and Body Works to take advantage of their sale! It has been so long since I have had some of their yummy scents!

What a high it is just to get out of the house. I did little walking and my contractions were staying under control. Now we are home and taking it easy. Being out was fun for me but also exhausting! I am not use to doing things!

At home it has been nice to be able to take care of my own son and do a few light chores around the house. This week my main goal was to get all the baby clothes and blankets washed and ready for our new little son. I can check that off my list!

I am enjoying my new found freedom, but I am also realizing how much my body has suffered from being on bed rest for so long. I get very tired and very sore very quickly and easily.

I really can't wait to meet our new son and get my body back! But the longer he stays in the better off he'll be! Take care!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Can't celebrate too much!

Okay so I was very excited this morning and sent out my e-mail. I was feeling, and still am feeling GREAT emotionally. A huge fear is gone, the fear of having to take that dreadful two hour ambulance ride to deliver a preemie baby.

But I am realizing quite quickly that I cannot do too much yet! First of all I have been pretty much laying down for nine weeks so all my muscle tone, strength and energy is simply gone! Plus if I do try to do too much I start contracting harder - OWWW!

Every little thing I try to do I have to lay down and rest for at least a half hour afterwards. It is exhausting to just do the dishes, get my son and me lunch, etc!

A good friend called this morning and asked if she could take our two year old to the park with her boys. It is going to be in the mid 90s today! I told her that he would love that and asked if I could come too. It was so wonderful to get out of the house and be where other people are! I was able to see three wonderful friends there. I just sat on the park bench with my legs up talking while my friend took care of my son. But it was wonderful to be out!

Then when we got home (we were only gone for about an hour) I was wiped out! I laid on the couch with our son for a while, then got up and put away all the tupperware that he had pulled out earlier this morning, then laid down for a while, then got up and made us sandwiches and cut up apples for lunch, put him down for a nap and now I am typing this while I lay here with my feet up. Whew! What a day for me!

Although I really didn't do much, I feel like I have done too much. So I am going to go lay down for the rest of the afternoon with a book. I may not be on "strict" bed rest anymore, but I do have to listen to my body. I would love to go just two more weeks!

35 weeks!

Here is an e-mail I sent out to some family and friends this morning...

Dear Friends and Family,

We made it!!!!!! I am now 35 weeks and can stay here in Albany if I deliver! You all have no idea how excited we! I truly cannot believe we made it NINE weeks on bed rest!

Yes, I know the medications have helped, but I promise you it is because I have been able to stay down that Andrew is still growing strong. I know this because when I have tried to get up too much I start contracting harder. I have so many to thank for the fact that our baby boy hasn't been born super preemie and isn't fighting for his life in the NICU two hours from home! Friends and neighbors have been a huge help, my in-laws and Brenda came to help (three weeks all together) sacrificing so much to be here for our family. We know they had to do some fancy footwork to rearrange busy schedules and leave important things at home to come and help our family for the sake of Andrew. We are so extremely grateful. We know how much we are loved, it has been shown to us over and over!

Local friends have made sacrifices to help and long distance friends have sent care packages. How did we ever get so lucky!?!?

The outstanding medical care we have received has been a great comfort and the many priesthood blessings Nathan has given me, the prayers that have been said in our behalf, the meals brought in, the help with Ben and household duties, the phone calls, childcare for weekly doctors appointments, everything has worked together to get us through the past nine weeks! THANK YOU!!!!

What now??? Well, I do not need daily help with Ben. I can get up off of "strict bed rest" and take care of my own son and his basic needs. I can do simple things like make our lunch sandwiches. I can do "light" housework. I will still be on my medications and taking it easy for two more weeks. After that Andrew will have developed to a safe point for sure.

I am so excited to be at this point that you have no idea! I am almost ready to burst (in more than one way!). The weather outside is gorgeous, Andrew is still growing inside of me, the kids and Nathan have survived and thrived! I am just so happy!!!

Again, I thank everyone who has helped. We are so overwhelmed with gratitude!!! The old African proverb that "it takes a village to raise a child" well, it also has taken a village to keep me pregnant!

Oh this brings up another point. I was talking to a friend and was asked if I had a hard time with the fact that my body just cannot carry babies well. Even with my doctor pulling out all the stops so to speak and doing everything possible to help me I still have had so much trouble, plus the past miscarriages. I want to tell you what I told her in case others are wondering the same thing. At first, nine weeks ago, I did break down and cry over this. Why does my body try to reject something that I want so badly? But I quickly got over it when I remembered that so many women in this world cannot ever even get pregnant or carry a child to viability. How heartbroken they must have felt. I have had the joy of feeling my child move and grow inside of me. That is a blessing that no amount of bed rest can ever take away. The bright side of being a mother far out ways any hard times. I am grateful for this awesome calling and opportunity and believe that I am very lucky. Every mother I have gotten to know has had their own personal struggles they have had to overcome. And they are all strong, faithfull dedicated mothers. So to answer the question, "No" I do not feel cheated. I know I am blessed!