Monday, November 21, 2011

Carry On My Wayward Son....

Around 4am on Halloween morning I woke up feeling contractions. Nothing too crazy--I thought that they could be Braxton-Hicks. But by 6am I was feeling the same pain at the top of my belly in a rhythm--indicative of true blue labor. By 7am, I sent a text to 2 of my team members to implement the 'I am in labor' plan, because I was suppose to give a brief that morning, but luckily, we had a plan in place just in case. At 7:15 am, I got in the shower and told P that I was in labor, but I was going to get a shower before we went to the L&D.

We got to L&D at 8:30, and the nurse at the doc office already called them and told them that I was en route. This labor was already different from the previous 2. I was having contractions every 5 minutes, and my belly ached. They put me in triage, and put the Doppler on to measure the heart beat and contractions. The doctor on call for the group came in---and of course she was the one doc I had never met. She was older and kind of a no-nonsense kind of girl. Didn't seem too friendly, and I was already sad that this was going to be the person to deliver me. But, after 2 more interactions, she smiled a little at my smart ass comments, and I knew we would be a-ok.

By 10:30 I was being prepped for surgery. And the majority of the prep was the trying to find a vein for an IV. I have terrible veins (deep and hidden), and the anesthesiologist came in (another woman) and was so warm and friendly, that she made me love her right away. She tried only once to find a vein (after numbing me no less!) and then called for the Doppler and did it properly. It took about 30 minutes for that whole procedure to be completed. She explained everything in great detail and patted my arm, assuring me that everything was going to be ok. She asked how many children we had, and I told her we lost our first child to stillbirth from Trisomy 18. She said she was so sorry to hear that. It was nice that she was sympathetic. Everyone was that heard our story.

It happened so fast. The being wheeled to surgery, the spinal block, the sheet being lifted above me (which incidentally, was a lot LOWER than when we were in San Antonio. I could see the docs pushing and prodding. Craziness!), the feeling of panic that always sets in when they are pulling things.

"The fluid is clear" the resident said.
"Here he comes!" the anesthesiologist said.

And I heard the wondrous sound. The cries. And cries. And cries. He cried more than the girl did. I was actually awake for this, and could see them working on him and give him a kiss while my innards were being pushed back into me.

Around that time, I was feeling some searing pain in my chest. Burning in my breasts of all things. Hormones? It was so painful that Dr. Wonderful Lady gave me a shot of something and I was loopty-loop for the rest of the day. The very wonderful nice thing about this hospital was that Henry was with us from the second he was born. He was not whisked away to another area. He stayed with me in the OR and in recovery. It was a nice thing to always have my {now very much drugged} eye on him.

Recovery in the hospital was going well until the end of the 2nd day. My blood pressure really spikes after delivery, and since I didn't actually labor long (which is where it tends to get out of control high because of the pain aspect of it all), I really thought it wasn't going to spike this go round and I could go home early. Nope. By Wednesday morning Dr. P came in and said "you know the drill. We have to get you stable here before you can go home. We want to make sure that you are not going to have to come back to the ER, because then you are not in our hands anymore". Which made sense. My BP was reaching the 160/110 range (on meds!), which is high, but normal. The nurse (young thing as she was) was freaking out a little, which in turn made me freak out. Deep down I knew it was normal, but something about a medical professional freaking out unnerved me.

I was getting stir crazy, and a bit lonely. It was hard not having the family there to keep me company. P would run home and spend some time with the girl and bring her to visit, but by Wednesday night, I was pretty much done with that place. I had a lot of pain (more so than last time) and I just wanted to be home in my own bed. (BTW, who designed those damn beds? Insanity).

By Thursday I was given my fistful of meds, including the powerful BP drug (and my BP is slowly coming down from insane range to the mid-high range 140s/90s). I had to deal with an incision infection that was caught early (thanks be to Jesus for my background as a microbiologist), and two hematomas that are causing me grief at the ends of my incision. But it has really been only this week that I have felt some semblance of normalcy. I thank the NP at my doctor's office, Carol. She has been a blessing, letting me come in weekly to make sure this scar and hematoma are under control. She asked about my mood the last time I was there, and I said with all honesty, I was feeling better. Much better than week 2 when I was convinced I was going to die from a virulent infection or from a stroke.

Henry is a sweet child. He sleeps a lot, but when he is awake he just hangs with you and just is.... He is most comfortable in the arms of anyone. There is only one time that in my sleep-deprived state that I mumbled his name and accidentally called him Ronan. And then I cried when I nursed him. I don't know how the hell I did that. I purposefully did not name him an "R" name because I didn't want to chance that happening on a regular basis.

He and Radha look the same. And they both resembled Ronan. It's a nice thing that my children look like each other. I feel somehow that I can imagine what he would have been like at these different ages.

On the second day, a nice young lady photographer came in and offered a photo shoot of Henry. I let her do it. She took a sleepy Henry and posed him in his nice, new blankie and snapped his picture.

"Do you have any other children at home?" she asked in between snaps.

"He's the second child we are bringing home," I said.

She stopped snapping.

"That's what I say. I have two at home and two in heaven," she said.

We nodded in respect for each other's loss. It was like my words were equivalent to the secret handshake. She knew what that meant, the power of the phrasing of those words.

She did good work. This was my favorite pic out of all of them...

And there was that moment, when we were about to leave the hospital, P snapped this picture of me holding Henry. He looked at the camera, and he wept when he saw the picture. The last time I held a baby boy we were not able to take him home...

There is not the blanket of grief on us this time, but the dusting that remains. And it will always remain....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Baby Henry came into the world about 11:45 a.m. Halloween morning. Guess he was too excited and couldn't wait for his scheduled C-section on November 4th! :)

He weighed 7 lbs 5 oz and was 20.5 inches longs. He has a head full of dark hair and is really one of the sweetest babies I have ever met.

We are doing fine, and hoping to be home in a day or so.