Sunday, October 16, 2011

Things they never tell you about c-sections and your recovery, but SHOULD!

Everyone's experiences with delivering babies are so varied, but I wanted to share mine with you in hopes to prepare some of my fellow cohorts that are expecting ...
(All the men and ladies not wanting to hear about personal girly stuff best be clicking exit on the screen now)

I am so thrilled I had a scheduled c-section, truly. My husband and I were there together - well rested and prepared, we were able to plan with our families and friends so people could be there right after he was born, Blake's head was perfect and round, mommy didn't have her girly parts ripped apart from birthing a huge head (yay!), and the list could go on!

A few things that were not so great about having a c-section was:
-Being on bedrest, not being able to eat real food, and having a foley catheter in for 12 hours (that was facility protocol where I delivered) after delivery
-Watching Blake gag on all the mucous in his throat for the first 24-ish hours (super common for c-section babies that didn't have the opportunity to squeeze all that junk out of their lungs on their way out)
-Gas pains! I woke up in tears around 3 am with excruciating right shoulder pain. Apparently, with abdominal surgeries, air can get trapped in your body and the most common place - due to the anatomy of your heart and how it pumps blood - is your right shoulder. I truly believe that was God's way to make sure I knew how to empathize with my post-surgical patients with gas pain. I've never had a worse pain in my LIFE!
-Pain pills. They made me feel so nauseated and loopy - I took 2 percocet 4 hours before they took out my epidural, then another 2 when they took it out and those were the last ones I had! I never took another pain pill besides tylenol or motrin during my entire recovery process. I had the doctor write a script for tramadol to take at home (comparable to an extra strength motrin/ibuprofen), but I never took it - still have the entire bottle in my medicine cabinet!
-Soreness. This was probably mostly since I refused to be doped up on the pain pills, but my lower abdomen (where your uterus is) was so much more sore than I thought it would be. Yes, I know I had major surgery - but even taking a light walk around my neighborhood was really painful at 3-4 weeks. It's starting to get better, but I just am impatient and want to be back to normal!


Some questions I got about having an elective planned c-section have been ...

Did you not wanna try for a vaginal delivery? Of course I would have preferred to have the ideal type of delivery for mom and baby (vaginal). However - I put all my trust in my doctor with 30+ years experience (and has been my doctor for a mere 12+ years). He strongly advised with the ultrasound estimated measurement of 9 lb. 11 oz. the week before his delivery that a scheduled c-section would be his first choice with the baby measuring so big because of my gestational diabetes (his head was 99% in the ultrasound measurement also, and he was convinced with induction that he wouldn't make it through safely - broken collar bone, etc.). Although he was only 9 lb. 4 oz. (less than 5% off of the estimated weight) the following week when he was born, his head was 15 inches around (the average baby is around 13 inches) and I would NOT want that coming out of there!

Do you regret not waiting and letting yourself go into labor naturally? Don't you sorta feel like you took that power away from God? When my husband and I were deciding on whether to do the scheduled section or not, I truly thought I was playing "God" by picking what day and time slot he was going to be born. I asked my mom and a few other close friends their opinions, and I came to the consensus that God gave doctors the knowledge to keep us safe and healthy, and we were making the right decision. So in other words, no I don't regret it at all. First time babies are up to a week late sometimes. He was born at 39 weeks and over 9 pounds, I could not have imagined how much he would have weighed or how much bigger his head would have been if I waiting another couple weeks!

Let's not forget that our mortgage depends on my paychecks. Therefore, taking leave before he was born was NOT an option unless my health depended on it - and I was SOO uncomfortable the last month of pregnancy that I could not have managed any longer at my sometimes highly physical job (medical-surgical nurse with up to 6 patients who can hardly do anything for themselves)!

I understand that women used to not be able to have the luxury to plan a c-section, but they also didn't have the luxury to have an estimated weight/size before they came. Don't they say ignorance is bliss? If a woman only knew she had a baby to deliver, and not that he was 98-99% bigger than most babies and estimated to be about 10 pounds - the process wouldn't be as scary for her!


All in all, I'm soo happy with our decision to get a c-section because it was clinically necessary for both Blake and me. However, I don't recommend it for everyone. If you have an average sized baby cooking in there, I say you totally need to NOT be induced (a very large percent of inductions cause undue stress to the baby end in c-sections, so WAIT!), and have a vaginal delivery if at all possible - because it's the best thing for you and the baby! But if somehow you have to get a c-section, don't sweat it. It's really a great option, too :) Best of luck either way!


Hope you all had a great weekend - here's an adorable picture from yesterday - Blake's first trip to a pumpkin patch :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Month

What an amazing month it has been at home with Blake :) I've recovered rather well from my c-section and mastitis (I'll save those for a future post).

I cannot imagine what my life was like before he was here and I would never go back! I feel so blessed when I get to look at Blake's sweet face every day. I absolutely LOVE being a mother to such a precious, adorable baby. He loves to sleep as much as I do and he already went almost 7 hours between feedings the other night! On average I'm getting 9-10 hours of sleep every night (yes, I know this is a lot - but I love my sleep!), which is no change from before I was pregnant. I'm actually getting more sleep than my last trimester because I'm not getting up every hour to go to the bathroom :)

Here are a few of my favorite things about him ...
*Blake holds his head up very well, but flops it back down when he gets tired
*He snorts and fake coughs when he's ready to eat - such a cute little noise, never heard anything like it
*He usually falls asleep in the bath, or just sits there contently while he becomes a human sprinkler, ha ha
*He's eating every 3-4 hours during the day and every 4+ hours at night
*He is the noisiest eater I've ever heard, but the sounds of enjoyment are so precious!
*Practically, the only time that he cries is when he's hungry
*It seems that every time we go somewhere, it takes him hours to wake up (which makes traveling a breeze!).

We are beyond blessed to have such a good, healthy baby. Honestly, I was petrified of how difficult this first month was going to be with limited sleep and a whiny baby, but Blake has made it so easy :) I know I'll be eating my words as he gets older and more awake, sitting, crawling, etc. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying this calm time!

We went to the doctor yesterday for his one month well-baby check up:
Weight: 11 lb. 14 oz. (he's gaining a pound a week on average since birth)
Length: 22 3/4 in.
Head: 15 1/2 in.

Here are his one month pictures!

Staring at the light, what he does best nowadays

I'm over sitting up, and I'm hungry!


Hope everyone has a great week :)