Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our Hospital Stay

**As I am playing catch up with this blog, I have found several posts I wrote months ago but never posted.  This one was 95% finished, but apparently I got distracted and never came back to it.
So almost 5 months later here's a little about our hospital stay! **

March 5th, 2014

It is mind blowing to me that at 10pm last night it was an entire week since my little Leo was born.

This is part 1 of my experience after delivering an 8lb baby boy, vaginally, without medication.
I can only speak from my personal experience and I'm pretty sure it's quite different from a lot of other women... just based on all the things I read on the internet when I was pregnant.
My labor was long, painful, and difficult... but my recovery has been amazing.  And my baby boy even more so.

Here's a little about our first couple days in the hospital.

The first night
I left off with my birth story right when they took me to our room after delivery.  Lee informed me that I failed to mention that when I came out of the bathroom and sat down in the wheelchair I looked around the room and said it looked like a murder scene.
I forgot to mention the blood.  I guess I had assumed that you all assumed there was a lot of blood.  But just in case.... there was a lot of blood.  And the blood continued the rest of that night.
Once I got into the room, my mom left and Lee passed out for a bit in the chair.
My nurse came and did the extremely painful massage on my belly to encourage my uterus to contract and stop bleeding.  I attempted to remember my breathing exercises from labor but seriously... it just hurt.  I remember saying "can I just do this myself?!" but she assured me it was very important to slow down the bleeding... and I was bleeding a lot.  She came back several times and did it and each time was just as painful as the last.
-sidenote- right away my belly got so much flatter and squishy.  I remember remarking to Lee in the delivery room - "look my belly button looks normal!"  haha as that had been a topic of discussion throughout my pregnancy... will my belly button ever return to it's previous size?

At some point shortly after all the belly rubbing I had to go to the bathroom and instantly when I stood up I felt a huge release of something hot.  I got to the bathroom and discovered the largest blood clot imaginable. Like it filled my entire underwear and looked kinda like the placenta
-another sidenote- I did ask to see the placenta after delivery.  I didn't keep it to eat or anything, but I wanted to know what it looked like.  It was gross, like I expected.
I yelled for Lee and asked him to call the nurse.  How was I to know if this was normal?  She came and agreed that it was quite large... but still probably normal.  But she did keep it (yuck!!) in case they needed to show my doctor.
I got changed again, as it had soaked through my gown, and the nurse changed my bed because it too was blood soaked.

After that she did a few more stomach massages, but my bleeding slowed down drastically and so she said that I could do it myself after that.  She said it was like kneading bread.  I hurt myself a whole lot less.

Throughout this Leo was in his little bassinet between Lee and I and every few hours he woke up squirming and I fed him.  It's amazing how quickly you just adapt and start doing those types of things.  I probably got about 3 hours of sleep that night... I was still running on adrenaline and couldn't stop staring at this perfect little human being that now belonged to me.

The Hospital Stay
Our stay in the hospital seemed so long!  Because he was born at 10 at night and we had to stay at least 24 hours they made us stay an entire day and discharged us the next morning, so in total, including the labor, we were there for like 52 hours, but after delivery we were there about 36.

I was extremely weak that first day after labor.  I had used so much muscle strength during the pushing that my arms and legs were almost useless.  I struggled to hold Leo up to nurse.  Thank goodness I had brought my boppy to the hospital.

That first day was kinda of a blur.  We had a lot of friends from Grenada/Medical School stopped by to visit, as they were doing their rotations in the hospital and a photographer came and did a little photo shoot with Leo, so that was fun.
Otherwise, I was trying to get in some naps and learning how to breastfeed this baby. The hospital has a lactation consultant on duty at all times, so I could call at any time if I need help.
Here's what I'll say about breastfeeding the first couple of days - everyone says it shouldn't hurt.  If it hurts then you're not doing it right.  WRONG. I was reassured by 3 different lactation consultants, the nurses, and the pediatrician that Leo had an amazing "beautiful latch" and guess what?  It hurt!  This little guy has a CLAMP!  I jokingly called him my little snapping turtle the first couple days because he was so good at latching on.
It took me a couple of days to toughen up a little.  The last day I was in the hospital one of the lactation girls came by and Leo was actually gone getting circumcised so we just chatted and I told her I thought it was going great and she said "can I look at your nipples?" and well.... they were a little bruised and she said oh no, that's not good.  So then she watched Leo latch on and she also remarked how good it looked... and we decided that it was just going to take me some time to get used to it.  My OB gave me a prescription for Newman's Nipple Cream and I think it worked great.  More about breastfeeding later though.

So our last morning in the hospital my poor Leo went through a lot.
My OB came back to circumcise him and he did such a good job.  Is that weird to say? haha It has healed so nicely and Lee said that Leo barely even cried during the procedure. (I can't believe I have to move away from this Dr!)
They came and did a blood screen which required another heel prick :/  and he received a Hepatitis B shot.

The first diaper after his circumcision was really sad.  It was bloody and you could tell it was kind of sore.  The nurse taught us how to care for his new little wound with the gauze and Vaseline.  For some reason I had in my mind that I'd put the Vaseline on his penis and then wrap it in gauze, but really you just coat a square piece of gauze in lots of Vaseline and then lay it on top of his penis to keep it from sticking the diaper. We continued to use the Vaseline/gauze combo for about 4 days, until we thought it looked totally healed.

And I forgot to mention his first diapers.  Thankfully Lee took charge of those.  They were so, so, so sticky! They didn't smell at all, but were just so hard to clean up. We used cloth rags rather than the wipes because they just did a better job... and the hospital was doing the laundry.
Also, our hospital didn't provide wipes.  They provided everything else, so just check and make sure!

Me physically 

The worst part for me was the muscle pain, which is a result of 2 hours of pushing.
After the first day the bleeding slowed down considerably and the 2nd morning after delivery I took a long shower and put on real clothes.

The second worst part was the pain in my nether region.  It was really hard to stand up and sit down for several days.  I had to go really slowly.  I can't imagine what it would have felt like if I had stitches....
Things were just swollen and sore.  The hospital gave me some numbing spray and that worked pretty good. They also gave me one of those peri bottles that squirt water to clean myself after using the bathroom but I found that I could never get the temperature right so it was more uncomfortable.  I just blotted with toilet paper...
For the first day peeing was uncomfortable and I had a burning sensation, but that went away pretty quickly.
Throughout my pregnancy I was very religious with my kegel exercises and I attempted to restart them after delivery.  I have yet to be that successful with the kegels, but I'm pretty sure I'll be thankful later that I've kept it up.

One week later and I am feeling a million times better than I expected I would be.  I am still sore, soreness you'd expect a couple days after running a marathon, but every day it is improving.  I still have to stand up a little slower than normal and sitting on a hard chair isn't that fun.
But despite any comfortableness I am still on cloud 9 with my sweet little Leo!
Life is good!

1 comment:

Amber said...

I still can't believe how strong you were to do it all with no drugs. You are my hero!


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