Monday, January 18, 2010

Austin's 2 Week Birthday

***This was post was started on Monday....finished on Tuesday! :)

It's hard to believe that two weeks have already gone by. They say that things get easier...I will say that they have, although I'm still finding struggles along the way. Let me back up for a minute and recap the last two weeks from when we left the hospital...

The day we left, I was having trouble nursing. Austin has a bad latch and it was becoming extremely frustrating for me and for him. I had a great lactation consultant that worked with me for a long time but I was still not feeling 100% confident about going home and doing things on my own. The nurse said that Austin's bilirubin (sp?) level was a little high and the doctor wanted to see him first thing the next morning. Since we were coming off of a bad night, full of screaming and fussiness and no sleep, we were not excited to get this news. We had had a long night and ended up sending Austin to the nursery around 3:30am because Justin and I knew that we had to get SOME sleep in order to function the next day. I wish I could say that things got better when we got home, but they didn't. We had another sleepless night and didn't know what in the world was wrong with him.

At the doctor's appointment the next morning, we found out that his bili level was too high and they were going to send a nurse out to our house to set up a jaundice bed/light for him to sleep on for the next few days until his level returned to normal. The doctor also suggested that we supplement formula until my milk came in. When we got home, the first thing we did was give Austin a bottle of formula. Hearing him gulp it down and hearing it hit his stomach was music to our ears. Justin and I were both in tears but it felt so good to hear our baby getting some nutrients. It was hard hearing that though because as a nursing mom, you begin to think, "Why can't I give that to him? Is there something wrong with me or my milk?" I know that is far from the truth, but the thoughts run through your head and you begin to feel so inadequate.

The nurses came out every day to check his weight and bili level, and finally on Saturday we got the news that his level was normal and he could come off the bed. We had to see the doctor again Sunday morning so we actually kept him on the bed during the night, just to be safe. The next day the doctor confirmed that his level was back to normal and everything was looking great. Yaaaay!! We could finally hold him and play with him! When they are confined to the bili bed, they can only be out of it for about an hour at a time for feedings, so our first few days at home with him, we couldn't even hold him or cuddle with him!

Since then, things have been going really well until last night - he is having some gas problems so he was very squirmy and fussy ALL night. Waking up during the night for feedings and pumping has not really gotten easier, but it's doable. The good thing is, I'm able to nap during the day to catch up on sleep.

Today I am attempting our first outing. I am very nervous about it but I know it needs to be done sooner than later. So we're going to Hobby Lobby and to visit Justin at work. ***It's now Tuesday afternoon and I'm finishing the post! Our outing went great - no mishaps or breakdowns! Enjoy a few pics below!

Leaving the hospital

Austin's first car ride, going home from the hospital!

One of my favorite pics - look at that sweet little face!

An up-close pic of Austin in the bili bed

In the bili bed!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Austin's Arrival

Well, we finally have a baby!!! I have not really had much of a chance to update the blog with the labor/delivery story but I'm finally getting an opportunity now. So here goes!!

6:00am - We arrived at the hospital and were immediately taken into our room. I changed into the robe and they started the IV drip.
7:20am - Dr. Gregory came in and broke my water. I cannot begin to describe what a bizarre feeling this was!! I had no idea what to expect - a gush? a trickle? It was definitely a gush and I could not stop laughing at the sensation! It really feels like you're peeing all over yourself, and I kept asking the doctor and the nurse if I was peeing or if that was the fluid! It continued to come in gushes for a while and every time it happened, I just died laughing again! Dr. G also started the Pitocin so I was preparing myself for the start of contractions. I was at 3cm and 70% effaced which is good, but the doctor was worried that he was still really high. She was already talking about a c-section because she wanted to warn me that if he didn't drop during the day, we would probably have to do the section. I have been very clear throughout this pregnancy that a c-section was the LAST thing I wanted and I was determined to do whatever I could to keep that from happening.
8:20am - Here come the contractions!! Oh my were they strong! It felt like menstrual cramps, only 10 times worse! I never felt any pain in my stomach, just the lower abdomen. They went ahead and started some pain medicine through the IV, which really didn't do much but make me a little loopy. I guess you could say it took the edge off the pain, but not enough!
9:30am - Dr. G came back in to re-check my progress. I was dilated 3-4cm and was 80% effaced. I was told I could get the epidural at any time, but I really wanted to keep going as long as I could without it. The amniotic fluid was still gushing out periodically. By this time, Justin's Aunt Judy was there and his mom, dad, my mom and best friend Jenn were on their way.
10:26am - The contractions got MUCH worse! My mom and Justin's mom were there at this time so they helped to get me through each contraction. They were coming about every minute and were lasting 60-70 seconds. Needless to say, I wasn't getting a long time of relief between each one. I was really close to getting the epidural but was trying to hold out until Jenn got there. I thought that maybe she would give me an extra boost to keep going, and at the same time, I guess I wanted to see how long I could take them. The pain was awful though...pain like I've never experienced before in my life. I had no idea contractions hurt that badly. Everyone in the room was encouraging me to get the epidural, but I was being stubborn (guess that's where Austin get's it from!)
11:00am - I couldn't take it any longer....bring on that epi!! Jenn got there in time to go through about 15 minutes of contractions with me till finally I gave in. The epi didn't hurt one bit - a breeze compared to the contractions! It felt like a little prick...getting the IV was much worse! After the epi, the doc came in to check me again and I was at 5-6cm, 90% and she said he was beginning to drop some! I was starting to get really encouraged that it wouldn't be much longer if he would just continue to drop, and the chances of a c-section were getting slimmer. By this time, Beth Ann, Emily and Harb had gotten there to keep me company and we had a room full of folks! Luckily we had an awesome nurse who quickly became part of the family and didn't mind us having so many people in the room.
11:40am - Dr. G came in to check me again and although I hadn't progressed much more, she said I was "stretchy", which is apparently a good thing?!
1:45pm - Dr. G and the nurse checked me and I was at 9.5cm!! There wasn't much left but they were beginning to get concerned over Austin's heart rate. It was going up too high during the contractions so they stopped the Pitocin and put me on an oxygen mask to see if that would calm him down.
2:15pm - I was still at 9.5cm but his heart rate calmed down so they started up the Pitocin again - good thing I couldn't feel those contractions b/c they were apparently off the chart! During this time, I was beginning to get really tired. I closed my eyes and tried to relax and just listened to everyone else in the room chat away. They really helped me not get too overwhelmed with what was happening and offered a much needed distraction.
4:20pm - Dr. G said I was finally at 10cm and wanted me to start "practice" pushing to see if I could push Austin down some because he was still really high. I had no idea that these "practice" pushes would continue for two hours and that they weren't really practice pushes at all. Once I started, I didn't stop and pushed through every contraction with only a few breaks - and when I say break, I mean like 2 minutes because we didn't push during one contraction. I wanted my mom, Justin's mom and my best friend Jenn in the room with me and Justin. These people mean the world to me and I wanted them there with me and I wanted them to witness Austin's birth. Having my mom and Jenn on one side and Justin and his mom on the other side was great. They pushed with me through every single contraction and I know they were worn out after it was over. One of the reasons I pushed for so long was because his head was stuck under the pubic bone. It took probably an entire hour or more just to push him underneath it. The doctor came in periodically and was still thinking that a c-section could be in the cards, but she said as long as I was okay and he was okay, she would let me push as long as I wanted to. Since I was so determined not to have a c-section, I was prepared to push as long as I physically could. I had no idea how hard labor would be, but it was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life.
5:45pm - Dr. G came back in to get ready for the delivery. Everyone was telling me how close I was, but I didn't believe them until Dr. G told me to reach down and touch his head. When I felt that head full of hair, I realized that he was almost out!! It was enough to give me that extra boost to keep going because by this time, I was exhausted. I had to get a boost for my epidural because I was beginning to feel some awful burning pain once his head got so far down. Dr. G told me that she was going to have to do an episiotomy because Austin was so wide - we had no idea he was going to be that big! As Austin was coming out, his shoulders got stuck. Dr. G stood up and sprung right into action and immediately I felt the atmosphere in the room change and get very intense. I could see everyone's faces and knew that something was wrong, but all I could do was keep pushing with all my might. Dr. G had to reach in and twist and pull him out, which caused me to tear on the inside and outside.
6:08pm - Austin arrived!! It wasn't easy and he put up a fight till the very end. It took Dr. G 40 minutes to sew me up because he did some major damage getting out of there (4th degree lacerations!). He weighed 8lbs 12 oz and was 21 1/4 inches long. Because of the problem with him coming out, Dr. G had to cut the cord immediately. Luckily, once they got Austin on the table, Justin got to re-cut it again. It was a while before I got to hold him, but I don't think I took my eyes off of him while they were cleaning him up. His eyes were wide open as he came out but he didn't cry, which they were concerned about. They thought that maybe he wasn't getting enough oxygen. After a few tests, they determined that he was breathing fine and just wasn't going to cry at the time.
Finally, our friends and family got to come into the room and everyone watched as he was measured and given his first bath. I can't begin to tell you how great it felt to have so many people there with us during that special time. We have wonderful friends and family and it meant the world to us that they were there and got to experience that with us. Eventually everyone had to leave the room again so Austin and I could have our skin to skin time and I could try to breastfeed him. We got to our room a little while later and attempted to get some sleep. The first night wasn't so bad...the second night, a disaster. He cried and cried, was not nursing well (it didn't help that he has a bad latch) and Justin and I were thinking, "What the hell have we done?" It was awful and the first night at home was about the same. The next week and a half will have to be updated at a later back is killing me and I think this post is long enough :) Enjoy a few pics of our little dude!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Austin's Birthday!

Today is Austin's birthday!! We finally made it! I am 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant today and Austin decided he wasn't coming on his own. It is 5:25am and we're about to leave for the hospital to be induced. The doctor should come in around 7am to get everything started. We're not sure yet if they will break my water first before they start the Pitocin or what. I am going in 2.5cm dilated so we're 25% of the way there already. We're really hoping they break my water and give my body a chance to have contractions on it's own before they give me the Pitocin. Hopefully it won't be too long of a day and I'm hoping and praying that I don't have to have a c-section. We shall see!! The next time I update this blog, I will be a MOMMY!!!! :)