…have been a blur! And have gone by so fast. I can’t believe I’ve been a mom for three weeks and three days. So here’s an update on what we’ve been up to!
I wrote my birth story elsewhere but here’s a slightly watered-down version…
On Sunday, 10/13 I had some cramping but nothing trackable. I woke up on my due date, 10/14, with more clear contractions. I started tracking them at anywhere from 20-50 minutes apart. By They got closer and closer together as the day went on. I still sent B off to work (he leaves at 12:30pm) but told him he’d probably be coming home early. The contractions got to be more like 5 minutes apart. I texted with B a bit and around 4:30 he left to head home. I was able to finish up my workday- I was glad to have the time to tie up loose ends.
My last “bump” pic ever!
We got to the hospital around 6:30 and went to triage to get me monitored. My nurse, Gina, was awesome. I loved her confidence and dry sense of humor. She checked me and I was only at 3cm- disappointing. However baby girl did not feel as low as she had previously- and since I was sitting down working all day I figured I would just have to do some walking, bouncing, etc to help. Gina agreed- they needed me to dilate more, since labor and delivery was for some reason HOPPING that day and rooms were pretty much full. At 7:30 I was sent out to walk for two hours on hospital grounds. While I was in triage, my contractions had gotten a lot worse. So I figured with walking I would probably progress quickly. Pressure was on since I had to really show progress to get a room!
We went to the parking garage to walk up and down. Each contraction got worse and worse- I would have to lean on something to make it through. By the time we were almost done walking, B said he could tell that baby was lower by the way my shirt was hanging compared to earlier. I told him that I would be SHOCKED if I wasn’t like an 8 by the time we got back in triage.
My contractions got so bad that we went back to triage around 9:20, about 10 minutes early. I was VERY much struggling through each contraction. Gina got me back hooked up to the monitor in triage and checked me. Guess where I was? STILL A 3. Cue the first tears of the day. So I had to stay in triage for a while- thus, it was time to start an IV and give me some morphine. At first, the morphine really did help. After getting the morphine I was able to calm down- and I didn’t have any ill effects at all. At some point after getting it, my water broke a little. It wasn’t a full rupture but I felt leaking. I also began to feel a TON of pain again. When I was checked, Gina said I was at a 6. It was time to head up to L&D! By this point it was just after 1am, so it was Tuesday, 10/15.
On the way up to L&D they asked me if I wanted an epidural and I gave a resounding YES. About 45 minutes after I got to L&D I was getting an epidural. Having contractions during the administration of my epidural was a horrible experience. I was so afraid something would happen to make me move and that she would miss. Honestly, the fear was the worst part. I don’t remember any pain from getting the epidural- just nervousness.
Post epidural smiles
The epidural was not as debilitating as I thought. I could still move everything- just had not much feeling. I could feel the pressure of the contractions but they were manageable. It was a million times better than before, so I couldn’t complain.
My OB requested they check me again especially since my water had “broken” (what they said to get me to L&D, apparently.) It became obvious that it had just leaked and not fully broken, so he went ahead and broke it. Holy huge gush of water! That really got things moving.
Around 3:30am I was at a solid 9. I was progressing super well. I got to watch B watch them insert my catheter- his face said it all ((shudder)). They had me start pushing at 3:30 until 5am. Yes, I pushed for about an hour and a half- only to have them say she wasn’t far enough down or moving down enough. They then from about 5:30-6:30 had me in a weird position- sitting straight up- to “rest” (ha) and help her to move down. DH laid on the floor and tried to sleep- he got about 10 minutes. I couldn’t sleep either since I felt every contraction.
At 6:30 or so it was time to get started again. There was a nurse shift change and a new (different) nurse Gina started. She was our saving grace. The original L&D nurse Melissa was nice, but she was clearly overwhelmed by the number of babies being born that day, and wasn’t a great labor coach. Gina #2 was the bomb.
I was checked and at a 10- DEFINITELY ready to go. I was given a quick catheter again to clear out my bladder. Melissa was transitioning off her shift, and we OK’d a nursing student to observe/help. New nurse Gina was amazing. She really helped instruct me to make my pushes productive. I could tell my pushing this time was doing something.
Big Daddy later told me at a certain point before my 2nd pushing session he heard them say if I didn’t progress and she didn’t move down I’d be going for a c-section. I’m SO glad Gina was there to help and I was able to deliver vaginally.
My OB eventually came in and it was game time for the final few pushes. Did I mention it was the OB I previously said I didn’t like? (Who made the comment about how much weight I was gaining.) I ended up being really happy with him, and glad to have an OB who I knew there. B had met him at an appointment too so we both felt really comfortable.
Final pushes… ring of fire is definitely a REAL thing. No epidural was hiding that. At the end- with the “only one more push” command- I felt I had the LONGEST gap between contractions ever. Finally I was able to do my final push and at 7:28 am, Effie was born!
She immediately got put onto me and was being wiped off and I guess checked out by everyone. I know she was on me and it felt like everyone was around us. My OB had to remind DH to take some pictures! B was able to cut the cord. We were both crying (me ugly crying which is in ALL the pictures… ugh) and couldn’t believe she was here.
Recovery was tough- there were so many random things I did not expect or realize would be a part of this. The first being the limited bladder control. Back in the hospital I couldn’t stand up without peeing if I had to pee. The pain of the stitches (2nd degree tears) and just general discomfort were also a lot worse than I anticipated. Also surprising? My temperature extremes. I have hot flashes, then am freezing. Still waiting for that to go away. Oh, and my mouth got SO dry during labor, I got an ulcer on my tongue that took a week to go away.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding hasn’t worked out the way I had hoped. Due to both issues with E and with my supply, we had to quit breastfeeding. Having your pediatrician immediately have you supplement due to weight lost- and wanting to see you again the next day- is hard. Nursing for a half hour and doing a weight check to find she hadn’t taken even half an ounce is devastating. Having to lose that bonding experience destroyed me for a few days. But I am able to pump (and am building my supply!) so she is getting about 15-20% breast milk- which I hope to increase.
I really wish breastfeeding was working out for us, but otherwise it was an ideal birth experience. B was the absolute best birth partner in the hospital, and has been an awesome dad. Having B home with me for nearly two weeks was invaluable and so much fun! And of course, Effie is such an amazing, perfect gift. I couldn’t ask for a better little girl! She does a pretty good job of sleeping at night, too. (Fingers crossed I didn’t just jinx us by saying that.) She’s been pretty fussy for the last week but generally she’s been just so easy and perfect.
We had a great visit with my mom and my sister Min. My mom basically forced us out of the house which was really helpful. We even went to visit B at work before the restaurant opened for the night! (And don’t worry- when we take her out, it’s warm in FL and we don’t let others touch or hold her.) It was so hard to have my mom and sister leave. Transitioning to being at home with E without anyone here to help has stunk- it’s a little lonely- but I’m slowly getting adjusted. I have less than three weeks left of maternity leave so by the time I get used to it, I’ll probably be back to work!
Visiting daddy at work!
E and Aunt Min
E with grandma aka “Nene” and Cinderella!
Many of you have asked how the pugs are adjusting to Effie. The answer is- awesomely! There’s really been no adjustment! The crying doesn’t seem to phase them, and they are very gentle with her. The only issue is they seem to be a little sad to get less lap time. Dixie is the most interested in E. Harley on the other hand, I think just noticed her for the first time last night, haha! They’re doing so great with the transition.
Dixie and Effie- best buds
Some suggestions for moms to be or other very new moms that I feel I HAVE to share, based on my very limited experience….
- Definitely get some newborn sized clothes- even just a few and be prepared to buy more. Little bit is still wearing them at nearly 4 weeks. Color me shocked!
- Gripe water. Get it in advance. I had B pick it up on the way home from work a few nights ago and finally at 1:30am after he got home and we gave it to her, E stopped fussing enough to sleep. Miracle!
- The Baby Connect iPhone app has saved our sanity. Hours sometimes feel like minutes and sometimes stretch out forever. I can barely keep track of time. So being able to track when the last time E ate, or pooped, etc, is awesome. I love that B’s app is synced so we can both track her diapers, feedings, etc. I also track my pumping that way. It’s awesome to see the increase in my supply in their graph feature! It’s also awesome to see how much E is eating and if she’s on track, or will beat yesterday, etc. B loves giving us the daily Effie status report in the AM. That app was worth every cent we spent on it- no surprise as it was recommended to me by like, two billion moms.
Thanks everyone for all your love – I’m horrible at being able to sit down and blog but I love being able to post pics of her to instagram! (With the hashtag #effiegram… which is pointless since my account is private. If you don’t follow me and check out #effiegram on instagram, you’ll see another cute baby girl, and a cat. So yeah. No idea why I use the hashtag other than it’s adorable!) Effie is the best thing to ever happen to me and I can’t wait to share more about our lives together.
Oh and I’ll leave you with this… little bitty bit’s best Halloween costume!
Our little bottle of sriracha hot sauce!
Come back soon for her newborn pictures!