Saturday, April 16, 2011

Who's Up For Round Two?! ~Her Story

Within a few short weeks of N5 and I giving up on the nursing I was having to use the bathroom a lot and was having dizzy spells. I realized that I was pregnant. Michael, however, was in denial and it took me two weeks to convince him that I should take a pregnancy test just to confirm what I already knew. We bought a cheap test rather than a digital test. We thought it was positive, but the lines were so faint that we really could not tell for sure. I still knew, however. Vertigo set in the next day and it was really bad; I could only walk if I leaned against walls. Considering how much physical pain I was still in from N5's cesarean and how much I hated my body at that point, we consider J3's pregnancy and birth a complete miracle. I had this huge, ugly scar from the cesarean and had what I have now found out what most post-cesarean moms call cesarean depression (though, I would not figure this out until after J3 was born) and had so much physical pain at the site of the scar I was unable to wear panties and certain pants. In those eight months we had not come together romantically even eight times.

Throughout the pregnancy we debated between a repeat cesarean to repair the physical pain I had been enduring from the botched cesarean or just planning for a VBAC birth which we were given the option of. When it came down to it, we had decided a repeat cesarean would be best so I could [hopefully] be pain free again. 

On the morning of Friday, May 18, 2007, at 39 weeks and 3 days we went in for my scheduled cesarean. During the surgery I'd requested a mirror so I could at least witness the birth of our baby. Michael is quite squeamish so I was narrating to him what was going on. I told him they were about ready to reach in and pull out our baby. Well, they have to do a bit a prying and moving things around; they actually move something (not sure) out of the way, shoving it toward the lungs which makes it difficult to breath. Michael told me my face turned red. He asked me if I was okay and I told him I was fine. He passed out. When he came to, he squeezed my hand (the one with the IV...OUCH!). A nurse helped him up and led him out of the room. There I was at the mercy of the doctor and her surgical team...alone after a botched cesarean just 17 short months ago. While I was happy to see our baby be born, hear the announcement, "It's a boy!" "Wow! Such long eyelashes!" I was still terrified. I was alone. My husband missed the glorious moment of our second baby boy being born. I. WAS. ALONE. I hate to admit, I'd completely forgotten that I was not alone; I had God.

It seemed like the surgical team took forever to get me stitched and stapled back up. Eventually, I was wheeled into recovery and left with two different nurses than I'd previously met. Again, I was alone. My body temperature was not coming back up so I was kept in recovery for two and one-half hours. I requested my husband and my baby, but was denied over and over. I asked how my baby was and was told nothing. I asked how my husband was...nothing. I didn't even know if my husband was with our baby. Finally, after two and one-half hours, my body temperature came back to normal. Michael and J3 were allowed to come see me. J3 had been screaming the entire time; he was not a happy camper. As soon as he saw me he got quiet, opened his mouth and turned his head. He knew what to do and he was STARVING!

At just one day old, I'd realized that Joshua had "that cry." I'd heard it before; I knew what it was. Our pediatrician and the lactation consultant on staff at the hospital both argued with me as if I knew nothing, but I knew. They said it was too soon, that my baby had to have exposure to milk and soy proteins. I felt that me ingesting milk and soy while our baby was still in utero was good enough; not to mention, the colostrum was sure to have milk and soy proteins in it. I called Dietary to see if the hospital offered the MSPI diet. Thankfully, they had recently started working with local pediatrician offices to offer moms the MSPI diet. I began the MSPI diet with the following meal. By the next day, J3 was no longer screaming and was content.

The lactation consultant had come to inform me that our new baby had a "tight frenulum" meaning he was tongue tied and that it would be best if they could have permission to clip it so I would not have trouble nursing. We consented, of course. When they brought him back from clipping his frenulum, they reassured me that there would be no pain to the baby. Sure. Who are you kidding?! Imagine a paper cut under your tongue; I'm sure that's how he felt. I'm not a dummy; I know how sores in the mouth feel. It just needed to be done and I'm okay with that. J3 dropped more weight than the staff liked. Yes, when you cut a baby's mouth, he's not going to want to nurse as much nor as vigorously because it HURTS. I had to begin pumping or they would not allow my baby to go home with us. I would breastfeed J3, pump and finger feed, wash and repeat. We had to track his intake amount for finger feeding and "outgo" times. The four days in the hospital seemed like forever, but he was able to go home with us.

On our second day home a nurse came to conduct a home visit. We were settling in well. N5 was angry; he didn't understand why we'd suddenly left him with his grandparents for four days even though Michael went to tuck him in bed every night and brought him to visit each day. We had planned on him staying with us at the hospital, but I was so sick from the pain medications that I could not have him there even just at night. Once the anger had subsided, N5 seemed to adjust well. He climbed up onto the couch each time I'd nurse J3 (a vigorous nurser each hour and one-half) and I'd read him a book. Though I could not lift him, he still accommodated me well and we still got our bonding time. I felt so relaxed while nursing J3 and I was so in love with him that I realized then that I'd had depression after N5. Bonding happened so fast with J3 and was so much stronger. I'd cry happy tears and sad tears at the same time. I was happy to be able to bond with my Snuggly Bear, but was so disappointed that I was cheated out of that bonding with our N5.

One week after J3 was born we attended a family reunion on my mom's side of the family. J3 screamed the entire next day. Michael discovered that the buns for the sloppy joes contained whey which is a form of milk protein. It was confirmed: J3 was MSPI.

Though I was (and am even more now) against using any invasive/medication-type form of birth control, we'd chosen to have Mirena inserted because I felt I could not handle having another baby anytime soon. Little did I know, it wasn't a baby at all; it was that I could not bear going for another cesarean. Because I'd had two cesareans, I'd been told by several doctors I would have to birth any subsequent babies via cesarean. I was cheated, robbed...they'd broken my body.

1 comment:

  1. My heart breaks to hear your story (even though I have heard it before). But I have great joy knowing this time (no matter the outcome), your birth story will be much different! Praises to you momma for all the research you've done, decisions made, and prayers said! I love you friend,and I am certain this time will be better!