Sunday, May 27, 2012

An Infertile's Nursery

One of the biggest hang ups most infertiles have is that room in their house that stares back at them, mocking them every time they walk by.  The room that it doesn’t make sense to decorate as an office or a guest room because someday it will be used for its actual purpose, The Nursery.  When we bought our house we were over a year into TTC, and yet I still immediately zoned in on the room that would one day be our nursery. 
That dreaded room sat empty for 15 months, taunting me every time I walked by.  Finally, when I was 23 weeks pregnant I got brave enough to let it reach its destiny, Marek’s Nursery.
After we cleared out all the junk that normally accumulates in the room that no one dares to go in...
Blue and I had already mentally designed it, so one Saturday I set out to paint the top half of the walls lime green, no baby blue for our little guy!

I love the built in shelves, now they are filled with all his books and toys!
Painting proved too much for my irritable uterus to take and that night I went into the hospital for pre-mature labor…  So once I was home and on bed rest our incredible friends and family came to help with the next steps, one more coat of paint and installing wainscoting and chair rail.
My Best Friend and her Hubby came to help with thier baby boy

My mother and father in law came 4 days in a row to help!

Finished wainscotting/chair rail with pegs for his little stuff to hang on!
Then Blue and I got to set up the crib.  There were a few things I fantasized about through this long haul to baby and putting together the crib with Blue was near the top of that list.  It was a special moment and I feel really blessed to have had it.
Now I get to give Blue some serious credit…  I’ve never been a big fan of super baby-ish nurseries for a few reasons; bright colors are better to stimulate the baby, I don’t like cartoon characters and I really love lime green!  I had originally planned to just decorate the room with colors and not have a theme, but then Blue changed my mind, he suggested we use the book “The Giving Tree” as a theme.  It was a favorite of both of ours growing up and it isn’t cartooney so I was an easy sell!
A good friend of ours is a teacher and she borrowed the projector from her classroom and made a transparency of the tree in the book that we then painted on the wall.  I LOVE it!

"There once was a tree and she loved a little boy"

His crib with the quilt I made to match his room colors
Oh also, 2 long years ago I bought a teddy bear themed glider rocker at a garage sale with grand plans to make it over, it finally happened but it took a long time and a lot of complaints from Blue....  I made the cushions and Blue and his mom and aunt spray painted the chair.  I love how it turned out and its super comfortable.  Not too bad for a $50 garage sale find huh?

After, way better right?!

And my very favorite nursery pic, my boys together snugglin'

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Dream C-section

I better start this by being honest, I never really wanted a natural delivery…  I’ve wanted to write this post for the last 9 months but kept chickening out.  I know there are a lot of women out there who think natural birth is the cat’s meow, but I’m not one of them.  I respect those who feel that way but I just don’t.  Since I can remember I’ve had an all consuming fear of permanent damage to my lady bits from pushing out a baby, specifically loss of bowel control.  I need to be clear that I was never scared of the actual pain (if anything that would be the one reason I would want a natural delivery, to brag that I did it pain med free) just the long term damage.  I feel like infertility took away a lot of my dignity and I just wasn’t ready to lose control of my bodily functions to top it off. 

I wasn’t necessarily planning to do an elective C-section but I definitely rejoiced every time they found another reason why it was medically indicated.   So now that I’ve clued you in to my state of mind pre-C I can go on to tell you that I am SO glad I had one! 
I detailed the C section in my birthstory post, so I won’t go into detail on that except to say it was smooth and baby and I were both healthy.  The recovery part is where it gets good so I’ll start there.
I was a little surprised by how much pain I was in while in post OP, they had to give me a few doses of pain meds and one nice big one of Tor.odol, my favorite anti-inflammatory.  After a short while of warming up and time for the meds to kick in I was doing good.
The C-section was at 7:30 am on Wednesday, I rolled in to snuggle my little man just before 10 am feeling totally refreshed.  There is something to be said for getting a great night’s sleep before delivering!  We made our first attempt at breast feeding as soon as I got to hold him and he latched right on (I had been worried that 2 hours after delivery was too long to wait so it made me really happy to know it wasn’t.)
By 2 pm I was out of bed and walked to the bathroom on my own,  around 6 pm Blue and I went for a walk around the maternity ward.  I think it helped to push myself to be mobile right away.  We kept up with our walks several times a day until we went home and each time they got easier and longer.  We left the hospital at 4 pm Friday. 
Here are just a few post C-section milestones that I think are awesome!
·         3 days post – Last narcotic pain med (stayed on ibuprofen for 1 week)
·         4 days post – First walk around the neighborhood and post pregnancy sushi dinner out with Marek
·         6 days post – First hike
·         7 days post – down 25 lbs and could button my pre-pregnancy jeans over my scar
·         9 days post – Walked a 6k fundraiser walk for MS
·         2 weeks post – Barely remember I had a C-section

The whole family on our first hike, can you see the tiny white hat peaking out of Blue's wrap?
I realize my C-section isn’t exactly standard and I think a big part of why I recovered so fast was due to the fact that I didn’t labor at all before surgery but here are a few things that I think that helped…
·         Positivity!  I was totally OK with the C-section so I didn’t have any depression over not experiencing natural labor.  I know this can’t happen for everyone, but I would say try not to get too attached to your birth plan and focus more on the delivery of a happy healthy baby.
·         I slept the night before!  I took an am.bien that my doctor gave me so I could get a really good night’s sleep and be well rested to enjoy spending time with Marek.
·         I pushed to get mobile right away.  My OB told me the best way to avoid scar tissue build up is good blood flow to the incision site, so I got up and got moving ASAP.
So moral of the story, if you don’t relish the idea of pushing a human out of your lady parts you’re not alone and you don’t have to dread the horrible C-section recovery everyone tells you you’ll have. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1 Week Old and Marek's Birth Story

I can’t believe Marek is already a week old!  He is incredible in every way.  He eats like a champ, sleeps like a champ and poops like a champ, just like everyone hopes their baby will.  So now that he’s sleeping and I have a minute I figured I would share his birth story.  Warning: its long!
It was clear around 34 weeks that my blood pressure was increasing and I was starting to show early signs of preeclampsia.  I started wearing compression socks which helped with the feet/ankle swelling and started weekly biophysical profiles to check up on the little guy.
A biophysical profile is an ultrasound that checks for 4 things to make sure the baby isn’t in distress, amniotic fluid level, gross movements (whole body), limb movement and practice breathing. 
At our 36 week BP my fluid level had dropped from 15 the week before to 7, which is below the cut off for healthy fluid levels.  They put me on bed rest that day and had me strictly watching my blood pressure. 
At my 37 week appointment my fluid levels were still low, I started spilling protein and had elevated liver enzymes.  Also by that point my hands were so swollen I felt like I had arthritis and my face had started swelling too (which are both bad signs of preE.) 
My OB, who is also a good family friend (and I really REALLY wanted her to deliver me) was out of town until Monday so we agreed I would wait out the weekend, get another BP on Monday and then go it for the final call on Tuesday.  The BP showed that Marek had barely grown in 2 weeks, which was the first time he wasn’t on the high end of the growth scale.
At our appointment the first thing she did was check my knee reflexes (which were insane, I almost kicked her).  Hyper-reflexivia is another bad sign of preE.  She agreed he needed to come out STAT and checked to see if he had dropped, he hadn’t at all so she advised us that C-section was the safest way to go.  This was 11 am, we were scheduled for the next morning at 7:30 and sent home on strict bedrest and told to closely watch my blood pressure and call her at home if I got a bad head ache.
The most interesting thing to me was that at around 36 weeks I started getting a really strong sense that things weren’t right and he needed to be delivered, that feeling got stronger and stronger until it was almost unbearable the weekend before he was born.  I felt physically awful but more importantly I had this impending sense of doom.  My OB said that is actually a really important sign of preE and that it’s really important to listen to your body.
We showed up at the hospital at 5 am to get hooked up to the monitors.  From there everything went like clockwork.  We rested there until the anesthesiologist got there and briefed us.  Just as my OB got there we got to see my parents and Blue’s mom (who flew home from a work trip on last minute notice).  Also my OB’s nurse practitioner whom I’ve also seen since I was 14 got to be there for the delivery which was special since she was leaving town the next day.  We all walked together to the operating room and got a few last pictures and then I went in to get prepped while everyone waited outside.
The epidural wasn’t bad at all and it was an interesting feeling to go numb while awake.  It reminded me of going to the dentist, except it was ½ of my body and not just ½ of my mouth…  Once they put the curtain up Blue got to join me and hold my hand.  The procedure itself was a little surreal since you can hear them talking about what’s going on but you can’t feel anything. 
I got a little nauseous but the anesthesiologist was on it and put in some more meds to fix it.
Hearing his first cries was one of the most incredible moments of my life, it was so instantly relieving to know he was safe and everything was going to be OK. 
Blue got to stand with him and hold his little hand while the neonatologist checked up on him and he got to cut his cord. 
Once he’d been cleared by his team of doctors Blue got to bring him to me to kiss and it was so incredible to see his perfect little face.
I stayed in the operating room for quite a while while Blue left with Marek and the nurses.  My OB cleaned up some of the endo that had spread since my last surgery and then stapled me up.  I spent a little extra time in post-op because my temperature had dropped a little low.
The most important things I remember hearing during the procedure were “he’s so high up there we’re going to have to use the vacuum” clearly he wasn't going to drop on his own!  “The cord is wrapped around his foot” which turned out to not be a problem once they got it off.  "There is a white spot on the placenta, we need to send that to pathology" the preE had aged my placenta which was probably why my fluid levels dropped and he stopped growing.  And “I’m going to clean some of this endometriosis off your ovary.”  Well, at least those were the things that made me the most nervous. 
After we got my temp up and pumped some pain meds they rolled me in to my room and I got to hold my little man for the first time.  I bawled.  It was so incredible to hold him and kiss him and know that the last 3 years of hell were totally worth it.
And now to finish, here is our little man, peacefully sleeping today at the 1 week mark!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Our precious, long awaited, bundle of joy arrived May 2nd at 8:08 am!  He was a perfect 7 pounds 10 oz and 20.5 inches long and aced his apgar with a 9/9!

The C-section was uneventful and I'll do a full birth story when things have calmed down!  For now I'm back to staring at this beautiful face!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm having a baby tomorrow!

Sorry I've been MIA.  I was put on bedrest 2 weeks ago for low amniotic fluid and early pre-eclampsia.  The pre-e has been getting worse as time goes on and for some reason I just haven't felt up to blogging.  I think maybe you run out of things to say when you feel like everything you have to say is another nugget of bad news!...

Anyway, for the last week I've had a really strong sense that it was just time for Marek to be born for his safety and mine.  I now have all the pre-e symptoms and my doctor agrees that its time to get him out.

We're having  a C section tomorrow morning at 7:30 am!  Wish us luck!!