Saturday, June 18, 2011

The First Few Weeks

Where do I begin? I spent the last nine months reading about the little guy's development that I didn't think too much about what it would be like when he arrived. I guess a piece of me held off on that idea as a barrier of blocking the pain if something terrible were to happen. I took the pregnancy one day at a time. Once appointment at a time and held off on thinking about life with this boy.

The first few weeks were rough. First off I could not believe what my body went through to carry and delivery this child. I am still amazed at what a woman's body is capable of doing. No one really talks about the after. Just the baby and how wonderful it is. Well I will do the same. I will spare the details of the after. But so thankful for my friend Kaile and her advice on what to have on hand at home. It made the healing process handy. The only thing I wished I could have had was a donut pillow. I sent Adam and my mom out to find one. No such luck. So if I ever do this again. I will have one in the house for that "just in case".

The next thing I didn't think would be such a trial was breastfeeding. I thought I might have problems, but never thought it would be like it was. I worked with a few lactation specialist and tried their suggestions. I feel like I put blood, sweat and tears into providing breast milk for Palmer.

My first experience was having about 4 hands on my chest and with a shield and syringe trying to feed my baby. The whole experience was overwhelming. We decided to rent a hospital grade breast pump as recommended to help bring in my milk. My husband went to Whole Foods looking for vitamins and tea that would help me as well. He came home with 4 different brands of the same tea and a extra box that was a special gift from Whole Foods. A woman who helped Adam find what he was looking for tagged the box of tea to be free.

The first few weeks were a whirlwind. I was not getting any sleep. I had to have my mom and Adam help me at every feeding. I was having to supplement in the very beginning. Palmer had a lazy suck and we had to syringe feed him and finger feed. He was not eating and losing weight quickly. We had to supplement his feedings.

For the few minuets I would have I spent time at the computer looking for answers that could help. I had no idea there was a whole world of woman who only pump. I figure if I could not feed my son at the breast I could try and give him the milk. I went to only pumping. I spent my time at the machine. Pumping every 2 hours and trying to keep up with having a meal waiting for Palmer every time he was ready to eat. For a while I felt as though I got aheadand felt good about what I was doing. My live was to eat, sleep and pump. I had to get in my tea and vitamins to keep the milk flowing. I even ate asparagus and oatmeal as suggested food items to increase milk production.

What I was missing was time with my son. I didn't change a diaper. I wasn't able to hold him for long periods of time. My mom and Adam took care of his every need. I just felt that my life was stuck to a machine. I did this for a month. Gradually watching the milk supply dwindle. I still tried to get Palmer to latch on and feed on me. But he just would not, even with the shield. He just munched on the tip of the shield. The day came when I realized I was drying up. I had pumped for an hour and half and barely got 90ml from both breast put together. When I had pumped and only produced 3oml from both breast I broke into tears. I knew I had done all I could. I was tired, worn out and just plain unhappy. Adam had been so determined that I keep it up that when I went to him in the end and told him that I was done. He listened and then told me he felt I was done as well.

I felt like a failure at this moment. I felt like something was wrong with me.

What I have learned from this experience. Every woman's body is different. Every child is different. I have learned from others about their experiences. The positive and negative about breast feeding. I still feel breast is best. If you are able to do it. Not everyone is able to do it. I gave Palmer a good 4 weeks of the best I could give him. Now I am giving him the best I can now. I am relieaved to come to terms with breast feeding.

I am so thankful for my mom for being here and with me during this experience. I turned to her for her counscel and advice. I feel like the many hours she sat with me while I tried to feed or pumped we were able to talk about everything I was feeling. I was able to glean information from her and her experiences. I learned so much from her.

The best part about this whole experience is I have witnessed my Patriarticle blessing come to pass. It is a beautiful thing to see your blessing come to life right before your eyes.

I would not change a thing, the first few weeks were the most amazing time and the weeks to follow just get better.

I thought I knew....but I didn't

It has been 7 weeks since I thought I knew but didn't have a clue. I am talking about the day Palmer arrived to our family.

The week before his arrival I made list of things I wanted to get done. In the end I was tired all the time and so it took me awhile to accomplish any task that I set. I knew I was really only good for a few hours and then I would need to take a nap. The day before I felt very confident that I was ready. My mom was to fly in that afternoon and I couldn't wait for her arrival.

As I drove to the airport to pick up my mom I was anxious to see her, I was emotional, the pregnancy hormones. When I finally spotted her after doing several drive by, I just had peace in my heart. I parked and got out of the car and greeted her. The first thing she did was take both of her hands and rubbed my belly. She looked at me with excitement and expressed how happy she was to be able to see my belly in person. I gave her a huge hug and we got her luggage in the car. On our way home we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items to tie us over for the next week. This was on my list of things to do, but didn't get it done before she arrived so we ended up doing it together.

I think I got about 6 hours of sleep that night. I was too excited for the next morning to arrive. I was also nervous about being late to the hospital so the three of us made up a plan to get there on time. I was scheduled to be induced on April 29th and needed to be at the hospital at 630am. As I am driving my heart is pounding out of my chest. Yes , I drove myself. We decided to take two cars to the hospital so that my mom could come home and Adam would still have a car if he needed to go somewhere.

Adam and I did a few test runs driving to the hospital ...just in case.....scenarios weeks before delivery, so it is funny how that didn't matter at 6am in the morning. The traffic was really not that bad. I parked and rushed to get check into the hospital as we were running late. They immediately took us to a room. Before I changed I got a last picture of me being pregnant in the room that our baby was delivered in. The nurses greeted us and seemed very calm and said they were here to help and not to worry. I must have look worried. I changed into a hospital gown. Not the most flattering thing, but who cares. Seriously I have stayed in hospitals way to many times to worry about the gown. It is like a second skin to me in the past.

As we waited we were trying to figure out how to work the TV. The royal wedding had already started and we wanted to see Kate's dress. We missed the wedding and saw the couple riding in the carriage. Oh well! We got to see her dress in the end. Days later we got to watch the whole thing as it was all on Hulu. The guy came in to draw blood and I have to say I don't mind needles that much, but I do mind when they can not find the vein and they dig around in there looking. I was a hack job when it was all done. Not only with him but later on with my stay and more blood was drawn later on. The IV was set and I was given Pitocin and ready to start this baby birth by 8am. They checked me and I was already 75% and so we would see how the pitocin would work. The most painful part was having the Dr. break my water. THAT WAS PAINFUL! The baby's head was so low that she had to push him up and get around him to break the water. I literally had tears in my eyes and was crying by the time that was done. I was not prepared for that, nor heard it was to be painful. I had a "I thought I knew but didn't" moment.

My body reacted wonderful to the pitocin. The contraction started to kick in not too long after. I honestly don't know how long I went before they were on top of each other. The breathing I tried to learn was not working. I then turned to my mom and said. I can't do this. I don't have it in me to do this. I guess I didn't know I could have a epidural at this time. I just felt it was too early. I tried to bear the pain. But when the thought came to me "cut him out of me or let me die" came to my mind and out of my mouth I knew I needed to ask for something.

It didn't take long for the lady with the drugs to arrive. I got out of bed and realized for that brief moment the contractions were not as bad standing as they were in bed. But the hospital rule is once you are connect to the IV and junk you are in bed. Whatever....give me something for the pain. I sat at the edge of the bed trying to curl my back, like I had seen on TV. Like I said I thought I had prepared for this. It was a crazy feeling to have them put the epidural in my back. She did a great job, it didn't take long for it to kick in and then I just sat back and relaxed. I didn't get much sleep and check on facebook and emails and made a few phone calls. It was about 3pm when I just got off the phone and finished of a message on facebook that the doctor came in and said. HMMM it is time to push. Wow, really? I couldn't feel anything and he was ready to arrive.

Adam and my mom were helping me hold my legs and encouraging me all along the way. We had the a fantastic nurse. She was a wonderful coach who encouraged me all the way. The monitors would tell us there was a contraction I would get into position and push, three pushes during each contraction. In the beginning because I could not feel if I was really pushing or not, my head felt like it was going to explode. Then I had a panic about blowing the blood vessels around my eyes. I had heard about this and the last thing I wanted was to look like I had been punched in the face. I tried not to, but it felt like they were going to. I watched the clock, it had been an hour since we started. Was this baby going to make it out? We kept at it. After about 2 hours I was feeling exhausted. I was feeling the contractions start at this point. I felt pressure, not pain. Adam, my mom and the nurse kept encouraging that I could do it. One more push I heard that for the solid time of pushing. Then they told me we could see hair on his head. I asked for the mirror to be wheeled over so I could see and that was the motivation I needed to keep going. Another 20mins and he was delivered. I pushed 2 hours and 20 mins to get that little boy out. There was just pressure and no pain. There was that moment that I waited for his cry and nothing. A pure moment of panic kicked in until I heard his first cry. They immediately put him on my chest and there was my little boy. Just perfect! I held him close to my chest and just cried. He was not clean and it didn't matter I just wanted to hold him and keep him close. I rubbed the vernix on his skin and held him until they had to take him away. I don't even remember delivering the placenta or being fixed up. I asked if I could see it and they had already discarded it. I was too focused on my son to know what else was going on in the room.

My adrenaline was soaring and for a moment I thought to myself. "This wasn't bad, I could do this again". It was not until the after effect, once the drugs wear off and the real pain kicks in. I had another "I thought I knew but didn't have a clue" moment. There are things about the experience that you just don't know about until you experience it yourself. Every woman is different, every one has their own experience and in the end as I look back. It has been seven weeks and the pain is gone and my body has healed. The whole experience is amazing. God created a woman's body and it can do what it needs to do to give life to a human being. Life is a precious gift and the woman's body is just as precious as to what it can do. Once again a "I thought I new but didn't" moment. I am so thankful for the experience of carrying Palmer and giving birth to him. From start to finish the whole experience took9 hours. 2 hours and 20 minuets of that was pushing.

I feel like a super hero for going through the whole experience!

I will be posting pictures once I can get them downloaded off my camera.