Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mommy Moment: Vincent is here!

My repeat c-section was scheduled for Thursday, December 19 (though I had requested the 20th for convenience). That put me at 40 weeks 2 days. But I woke up contracting fairly regularly the morning of the 18th. I tried to take it easy that day and the contractions came off and on. They got regular again around 8 that evening. I assumed they would stop. 

DH and I went to bed around 10 that night and while (TMI) I wanted to DTD one more time before 6 weeks of not being able to, we decided not to because of the contractions. I figured it would be hard to sleep in anticipation of meeting our new son the next day, but what really kept me up were the contractions. They were 5-7 minutes apart most of the night. I could sleep between but not during. I played games on my phone, looked up random things, added things to my Amazon wish lists, etc. As the contractions got more painful and closer together, I decided to take a hot bath and see if I could get them to ease up. 

In the tub they were bad and to 3-5 minutes apart, so I got out and told DH (who had no idea what was going on, as he slept through it all) that I was going to call my doctor. It was around 2 AM at this point. While in the tub I had texted my mom to give her a heads up, just in case. So I called L&D first, then my doctor's office and spoke to the answering service. They told me to go in, so I called my mom and she made the drive from Petaluma to Windsor to watch the girls. She arrived around 3:30 (I was annoyed that she stopped to drop her dog off with family) and DH and I left immediately. I was in so much pain. 

When we got up to L&D, I got in a gown and was giving my urine sample when I saw that I was having bloody show. Got on the monitors, had my IV placed, may have gotten bloodwork done, got a shot to stop contractions, and hung out for a bit. At one point Vincent wasn't doing well during the contractions and changing sides didn't help, so I had to get on my hands and knees. The terbutaline, used to stop labor, didn't completely stop the contractions and what it did help with didn't last very long. I was in an awkward position, with a nurse holding a monitor on my belly, and in pain. We tried laying me down again and Vincent was doing better so I was able to stay that way. 

The on-call OB from my office came in and we talked briefly. Basically, because I did NOT want a VBA2C, we were moving my c-section to 8 AM (from the originally scheduled 12:30). Letting me labor for an additional 4.5 hours defeated the purpose of a RCS. I had previously asked a nurse if my own OB would be able to do my CS early, should it be moved up, and it seems they thought that was a big concern for me. Yes, I wanted my OB, but I wasn't going to refuse doing it earlier if she couldn't do it. I don't think that I ha communicated that well when I asked, because they seemed to be talking to me carefully and trying to convince me that we needed to do it earlier. I wasn't arguing. 

A little while before going back for surgery, my SIL and niece showed up. Then a few minutes before, my MIL and GMIL arrived. My mom and the girls didn't get there until I was back getting my spinal, but DH was able to see them wrote he joined me in the OR. Part of me wishes I had seen them first, but I'm also glad I didn't because I know I would have cried like last time. 

Getting the spinal sucked. It always does. And feeling like I couldn't breathe just because I couldn't feel my chest rising and falling sucked, but I remembered it from before. And luckily this time I didn't get an itchy face until after surgery. I did, however, throw up. The anesthesiologist made me rink this stuff before surgery that reduces stomach acid (I think) and I had never had it before. A nurse later told me her patients who drink it throw up. I've never had it and never thrown up on the table. I warned the guy that I was getting sick but he didn't get a bucket fast enough and instead got a towel. That meant I threw up into my own face, really. Lame. But I was fine after. 

They told me I would feel pressure when he was pulled out, but I didn't. As soon as he was out the staff commented on how big he was. He also wasn't crying normally and it seemed something was wrong. Well, he really wasn't big. Very average at 7 lbs 9 oz and 19.5 inches. As far as what was wrong, Vincent had passed meconium in the womb at least several days before. He and his umbilical cord were stained due to it. They had to suction it from his belly a bit and take him to make sure it wasn't in his lungs. They told me he may have to be in the NICU and it could be hours before I saw him again. BUT he was fine. He hadn't aspirated it. 

After surgery all was well. The girls got to meet baby, and so did the rest of the family that was there. We stayed in the hospital 4 nights. By Saturday Vincent had dropped to 6 lbs 13 oz so they had me start supplementing. I knew it was fine and that once my milk came in, he would stop losing weight. We used the SNS while supplementing and I pumped to encourage my milk to come in. The only down side to this was that they wouldn't circumsize him because of the weight loss. They were concerned about how it would impact his feeding, as he was already a lazy eater. That bothered me a lot as I wanted it done by the end of Friday but it wasn't scheduled until the following Friday (so at 8 days old). Oh well. My milk was coming in on Sunday, and with supplementing, Vincent was back up to 7 lbs 1 oz Sunday night. We went home Monday. 

Everything has been pretty good since. Vincent got weighed on Friday (15 days) and he weighed 8 lbs 8 oz. His circumcision is totally healed and he handled it wonderfully. I still hate BFing just as much as I did before. I hate the soreness from clusterfeeding, being tied to my couch so much, etc. I love that Vincent is a mama's boy but I wish he would let others hold him. And I wish he would take a pacifier now that he has discovered comfort nursing. It would be nice if he would sleep alone, too. But I love him to pieces. He is a great little cuddle buddy and super cute. His sisters and daddy love him just as much as I do and Kaylyn specifically says she is "obsessed" with him. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Personal Post: A Death in the Family

Sort of.

Late last month, my ex husband's father passed away. He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in December of last year, and after a seven month battle with the disease, he was laid to rest earlier this week. Not only am I sad, but I'm also angry. The General's death means a lot of things to me. It hurts in many ways. And I'm not sure how else to get these feelings out but to write them down, because that's just how I process things, as my husband and my mother can attest.

The biggest and most obvious impact The General's death has made on my life is that my older daughter, Kaylyn, has lost her first grandparent. That hurts my heart. I was in high school when I lost my first grandparent (my father's mother), but Kaylyn is only 6 years old. I had and have lost great grandparents but my grandma's death was my first grandparent loss that I had to deal with. Because I was older, I understood what it all meant much more. I understood how it would change our family dynamics and how those around me were feeling. I understood that I would never see my grandma again and how that would feel as I got older.

Kaylyn knows what death means and she knows that people are sad, but she doesn't understand the magnitude of what has happened. When her brother, my son, died, Kaylyn had just turned 3 so she had no concept of death at all. I was honest with her as I always have been, but she doesn't have any true memories of her brother being alive; she only has "memories" based on the stories people tell her and the pictures she sees. Her grandfather's death will be different. She will always have memories of what it was like when he was still alive and I'm sad for her. I'm sad that she didn't have the time to make more memories before he died and I'm sad that someday she will realize the limited time she had with him. I'm sad that Kaylyn will go the rest of her life without her grandfather in it.

On the same level, I'm sad for my former mother-in-law and my ex husband. I won't pretend that I was close to The General or that I'm still friends with my ex, because neither would be true. I hadn't seen The General since last fall and while I appreciate some changes that my ex husband has made this year, I still hold onto a lot of resentment for a handful of things that have happened since I've known him. I do, however, consider myself to be pretty close to my ex mother-in-law. Closer than many might be in similar situations. We talk pretty regularly and she has always been incredibly kind and supportive. I don't really consider her to be my former mother-in-law, she is just family. I love her dearly and I'm so glad that she is still in my life. So for her especially, I am heartbroken. I know that she did have some time to prepare for her her husband's death and I'm very grateful that she did, but I know that doesn't make the loss any easier. The General was her partner in life and after more than 30 years of marriage, the pain and emptiness she must feel makes me cry for her. Knowing that her son lost his father must be so hard for her to bare as well, even more so than the way I feel about Kaylyn losing her grandfather. Further, no matter our relationship now, it does hurt to see the father of my child hurting over the loss of his own father. It is hard to see anyone feeling that pain.

It brings to mind that, although The General had advanced cancer, he was younger than my grandparents and that eventually it will be one of my grandparent's losing their spouse, and my mom and her sisters losing one of their parents, and me losing another grandparent. (I don't much have a relationship with my paternal grandfather anymore, nor with his wife, so when I refer to my grandparents here, I'm talking about those on my maternal side.) My grandma's health isn't perfect, but it is quite a bit better than my grandpa's, so I think we all know or assume that we will lose him first. The General's death kind of put that shock of reality on me. My grandpa is older than The General was and has his own health problems (also lung related) and while I wasn't oblivious to those things before, it just makes it all the more real for me now.

The thought of losing either of my grandparents is enough to bring me to tears, but adding in how the loss would hurt the rest of my family makes it all that much harder, especially now that I've witnessed it in my ex husband's family. And I've really been reminded that I need to make the most of the time I have with them now because I'm sure that even if I was there every day, I would still have regrets of not being there more or doing more. After losing my own child I can say, with a high degree of certainty, that you can never feel like "it" was enough. I want to limit my regrets as much as possible and, most importantly, I want to form as many memories with my loved ones as I can - and I want the same for my kids.

I think it's normal to feel anger when someone dies. I think it's one of the stages of grief. Maybe the anger I'm feeling isn't quite the same, but I feel it nonetheless. With my son, I was and am angry that someone did something to cause his demise, which you can read a bit about in my last post. With The General, I'm angry that he did this to himself. I may hurt some feelings with this and for that I'm sorry, but I'm so angry that he smoked for what I'm told is about 50 years. I know that back when he started it wasn't known to be as dangerous as we know it is now, but we have now known for a while how horrible smoking is for not only your health but the health of those around you. I'm so thankful to the people in my life who have quit smoking for doing so. Thank you! Thank you for giving yourselves and me the gift of your life! The gift of having you in mine longer!

Here comes the potentially offensive bit: I believe smoking is selfish. There. I said it. I believe that people who choose to smoke, knowing the risks, are selfish. My ex father-in-law smoked and it ultimately caused his lung cancer, which caused his death. My daughter could have had more time with her grandfather than she did had he chosen to quit smoking back when he learned the gravity of the effects of smoking on one's health. Now, I'm also angry that other people in my life choose to continue smoking. I always have been but even more so now that it has resulted in the death of someone I know. It makes me angry to know that people are okay with slowly killing themselves by smoking. It makes me angry that they are taking themselves away from the people who love them most. I don't want my kids to lose another loved one to cigarettes. As sad as I will be if it happens again, I will be also be mad. Mad that someone made the choice to cut their life short and take themselves away from me and my family sooner than they could have otherwise left us.

If reading that last paragraph or two makes you angry; I'm sorry, but I'm also glad. I hope that it will cause someone out there to at least consider quitting. I hope that you realize just how big of an impact your decision to smoke may make on the lives of the people who care about you. I hope that you can see that nobody is immune to the effects of cigarettes and that if it causes your death, that you won't be the only one suffering. Once you're gone, you're gone. But once you're gone, we, the people who love you, will be left with the heartache of losing you for the rest of our lives. Think about it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pregnancy update: Seventeen Weeks

Good doctor appointment today :)

Good heartbeat. Official due date is the 17th but my OB said she will let me schedule the c-section past my due date, probably the 20th. 

We are going to try delayed cord clamping. I wasn't sure it would be an option because I will be having a repeat c-section, but my doctor said it should be fine. 

The one bad part about my appointment is that I learned if I want my tubes tied during the c-section, I have to deliver at Sutter, which I refuse to do. My hospital of choice, Memorial, is a Catholic hospital so in addition to not performing abortions, they don't perform sterilization either. But Essure isn't covered by my insurance YET. She thinks with Obama Care that it should be by the time I need it. If it isn't then I will wait and get a tubal later. I am okay to do that at Sutter another time but I will not have my baby there as a patient. 

Backstory: I took my then 6 month old son to Sutter two days in a row due to worsening symptoms. Vomiting, lethargy, odd breathing pattern, etc. Sutter dismissed us both times saying that nothing was wrong. Not even a blood test. Memorial, another hospital, finally diagnosed my son with bacterial meningitis. But because it was undiagnosed the first two days, the brain damage was severe by the time it was diagnosed. My son was left incredibly disabled and ultimately died as a result when he was 4. 

Not nearly as important but still irritating is that the anesthesiologist who performed my epidural when I delivered my first child at Sutter accidentally gave me a wet tap. Not his fault necessarily - it happens - but he knew it happened and never told me. I didn't find out until I returned to the hospital a few days after delivery for the severe headache that I had had for days. THAT is web I was told about the wet tap. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flashback Friday: Final

I originally posted this, on an old blog, on April 12, 2009

As of Friday, my divorce was final. Someone asked me how I'm feeling now. This is how I feel...
Shocked. I'm in a little bit of shock about the fact that it's now officially over. That we're officially 100% over. I won't be going back. He won't be coming back. And I'm not completely used to that feeling yet. I've been getting used to it ever since it was decided, because I knew that if that was the end, it would truly be the end. But still, in the past, it's never been that way. Our longest time apart was 5 months. We're almost at 8 months now. Even though I know it's over, I'm just a little surprised by it.
Relieved. I'm relieved that the whole process is behind me. I don't have anything left to sign. I don't have any more appointments to be at. Nothing left to worry about.
Dreading. I'm dreading some of the things that will come for us eventually. While the marriage is over. The divorce process. Everything relating to Kaylyn is still something that's on the table. And will be for 16 more years. Everything is currently agreed upon. There aren't any issues. But that doesn't mean there won't be any in the future. When he's working. When his schedule changes. When Kaylyn can make decisions on her own. Things will have to change eventually. And I dread that.
Scared. I'm scared because I've just officially added another thing to my list. The list of things that most women my age haven't had to deal with. My life list. It makes me wonder what's next? Can it only get better from here? Or do I have some lower lows? I know life in general is a roller coaster. But I mean in the near future. The next several years. I wonder what's going to happen, and I'm scared of what could happen next. And what if I never feel the way I felt about him, about anyone else?
Sad. Because I really do miss what we had. The good stuff of course. The way I felt about him. I'm sad that I don't have that anymore.
Disappointed. Disappointed in myself. For letting myself be convinced that things were going to work. That I made a poor decision. That I wasn't strong enough to stay away from him when we were broken up. I'm also disappointed in him. He really let me down. He handled things so poorly.
Strong. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Everything that's happened with Lucas has made me a stronger mother. A better mother. Everythig with Brian has made me a stronger woman. It's made me realize that I don't need him, or any man. That doesn't mean I don't get lonely, but that's okay. It's not the end of the world. I'm fine on my own. So if I never meet anyone worth falling in love with, I'll be okay. And I know that now.
Proud. I've handled this all quite well, I think. I'm proud of myself for that. Things could have been a lot worse. A lot harder. I could have been a mess. I could have gone into a depression. I could have lacked that strength. But I'm proud of myself for having so much of it.
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