Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Thea's Birth Story

Thea's birth story is similar to Mira's, but different in that it was all planned. Since Mira was a c-section baby, my risks were a little different. I would have a VBAC if I were to go into labor early/on my own, but scheduled a c-section. The former never happened to c-section it was.

I knew what to expect this time around, thus I was able to be more clear headed and calm. We had to go to the hospital at 5 AM that morning. Checked in, they took a few blood tests, asked me all the standard hospital questions. Oh and they stuck an IV in my hand, which is honestly possibly the most terrible part of it all. Ugh. I squeezed Adam's hand pretty tight during that. There was a lot of waiting around. At around 8 they wheeled me down to the OR, or at least the floor of the OR. They made me drink the sour stomach acid-reducer drink to prevent vomiting. The anesthesiologist came in and asked me a bunch of questions. My blood pressure was taken several times. Some other stuff went on, I'm sure, there was just a lot going on.

At 8:40 I was finally wheeled into the OR. I saw my OB sitting at the computer and all the staff (attending RNs, Surg techs, CRNA, etc.) prepping. I tried not to look at the surg techs sorting all the surgery tools. A little intimidating. The nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist then had me sit up and hunch over. It was time for the epidural. It's not as bad as it looks, it's more of a nuisance than painful. You have to stay hunched over for like 8 minutes while the huge needle is in your back. You can't move. But you feel the cool juices getting shot into your back. After that it's finally time to get moved to the operating table, with assistance of course. Then it's time for the oxygen mask, the blue tarp, the "pinch test" to make sure I'm actually numb. Adam was actually asked to briefly leave the room because apparently spouses aren't allowed to be in there while the epidural is being done. He was able to come back in once I was on the operating table. I was all cool, calm, and collected until the surgery actually began. I could feel every tug, just like last time. I can feel my blood pressure drop (it's normal) and can also see it on the screen next to me when the numbers go down. They give me some sort of antidote for that. Then after a little while I tell the anesthesiologist I feel nauseous. She gives me a different antidote for that.

I think it was about 20 minutes and there was a few seconds of exciting commotion that hinted Thea's arrival was imminent. Sure enough I hear the cries. They lifted her up so I could see her and I got super emotional, of course. Didn't bawl, but let myself cry. Adam cut her cord and she got quickly looked over by the attending pediatrician. Everything was perfect and they brought her back to me. I got to bond with her. Since I was still getting stitched up she was just held next to my face/upper chest. I thought she was so beautiful and looked very similar to Mira. I kept stroking her head and face and talking to her. She was content with her mama.

After the stitching up was done, they put her back in the bassinet, moved me back to my bed, and wheeled me into the recovery room. Adam followed me in, as did Thea. The nurse gave her to me so she could nurse for the first time. She knew how to nurse, that's for sure. My vitals were taken quite frequently. The anesthesiologist asked some more questions, checked to make sure the epidural wasn't moving up my body. Everything was fine. Baby Thea was still perfect. Then we got the go-ahead to move back upstairs. I got to take Thea with me on the bed.

We got to our room and had our cuddles, Adam held her for a while. We snapped some pictures of her, texted family the news. Since my mom had Mira, we told her she can come by with her to see her new sister. They came by not too long after. Mira finally got to hold her sister, the little human she's been kissing through my stomach for the last 9 months. I think she was in shock and wasn't fully processing the fact that this was her sister. It wasn't until she came back to visit the second day that she really started giving her kisses and talking to her.

The nurses and staff were all great. I love those few days being in the hospital; being taken care of, getting to order room service, and not having to care about anything but our baby. We started off the first day in one of the smallest rooms, and after moms started filtering out and with some complaining by us, we got moved to the biggest room (with a lake view) the next day. Yay!

My recovery this time around was faster. I was up and walking around without any help on day 3. Adam has been great, again, with helping getting up in the night with Thea, with helping me/waiting on me. I didn't have the baby blues much, maybe just the first week I would cry easily. Glad that's over and the hormones are back to normal.

Thea nurses every 2 hours pretty consistently. I'm producing well and even have about 65-70 ounces of breastmilk already stored. Thea sleeps well in her little rock n play. She sleeps for 3 hour stretches typically. We started off using the pack and play but would have trouble getting her back to sleep after her first feeding because she needed to burp like 6 times. Having her at a slight incline in the rock n play has helped and doesn't need to burp so much. My milk letdown is also less strong now than it was the first couple weeks, so that's probably helping too (swallowing less air).

The second baby is much easier because we've learned from the first time typically what each of her cries mean. With Mira we were left so lost and confused about why she was crying, only to figure it out a month later; oh it was gas because we weren't burping her enough.

We feel so lucky to have Thea. I have spent the last almost four weeks holding her 90% of the time. I don't typically set her down in any of the gear we have unless I absolutely need to (like make food for myself).

As for Mira, she has been hot and cold. She loves to help and she loves her sister. But sometimes loves a little too much. I do have to remind her to be gentle. She will just wind up and yell "but shes just so cute!". We've been really trying to make sure the adjustment from only child to sibling is going smoothly. Adam has taken her to the park, alone, a few times. I try to make sure she gets in on all the cuddles. We will go out for ice cream and continue to do our "normal" stuff. Now that I'm almost fully recovered, I can take her on little mommy and me dates too. 

We simply love our girls :)

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