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Monday, November 3

Where Were We?

Let’s see… what could be new around here. Oh yeah! Did I forget to mention that I had a baby? The early tests were right… a little boy… 6 lbs 6 oz and 19 ½ inches long. Please meet our little Kimono Munchkin!

So there was quite a story about the delivery. I told every one about that old wives tale… easy pregnancy, hard delivery… and - oh my! - was it right! In the interest of saving time on at least the delivery part of what we have been up to around here, I am going to use the email I sent to my girlfriends a few days after it all went down. So you heard! Kimono Munchkin has indeed arrived. And in a flurry of activity in my usual style. :) Things did NOT go smoothly! While on bed rest, they were trying to hold out of inducing me until at least week 37, but with preeclampsia, things go downhill mighty quickly as I have proven. We went to one of the regular tri weekly appts (Tues) and were almost admitted. My blood pressure finally came down from over 160/110 so the doctor decided to let me go home even though I was positive for the protein part of the problem. Extreme bedrest he said and he would see me in three days after I did an at home 24 hour urinalysis. I did it that night and KH took it to the hospital Thurs morning. He got a call at 10 am while at work with a nurse telling him to "her protein test came back. High is 300 and she is at 1400, so yeah, well, go ahead and pick her up and bring her in and we will start inducing her. Everything is already set up and ready to go." He said "what?????" Which was my reaction too in a more vocal way. But he came home, while I washed my hair (no way I was going into the hospital and sitting there for hours upon hours with greasy hair) and threw in my last minute items into the hospital bag. KH left work, got here and we drove in, all the while kind of laughing that we weren't more nervous at this obvious bad turn of events. I think we were getting pretty numb to it about this point. We get there, I am rushed into a room and gown and stuck right in bed. The first dose of Cytotec was given immediately and it did... abso-freaking-lutely nothing. It was about 11 am. They told me I had a long haul ahead of me... that it could be almost two days before the birth happened. And I wasn't allowed to eat. If someone had told me that before I drove in to the hospital, I would have gorged something in because I was damn hungry by that evening. I told KH it was no problem to eat lunch in front of me, because I wasn't dying then and thought that - at most - it would be 24 hours. Then around 4 pm, he whips out a Snickers bar and I almost bit his arm off trying to get at it. He reminded me that I had said it was ok. I told him that was five hours ago and it was no longer damn well okay. The doctor finally caved and gave me jello and chicken broth before I could bite anyone else that came near me. I deluded myself into believing it was a meal and calmed down a little.

Around 6 pm, a second dose of the Cytotec was given. For the longest time, nothing still happened. Then around 10 pm, the nurses kept coming in and waking me to ask if I was having contractions. Remember I am only at 36 weeks and 3 days so a contraction to me was only some tightening in the gut that could get uncomfortable, but I wouldn't have called it necessarily painful. I told the nurse " no... no contractions... but I have this awful cramping down low and it makes me want to cry." The nurse had to explain that that was indeed a contraction. I felt like an idiot. Oh well. Moving on because I had other things to worry about. At this point, the midwife and nurses offered me some pain killers because it was way too early for the epidural. I hadn't dilated AT ALL. And they had to make that happen before they could push labor much further. I really didn't want to take anything like that, but after encouragement from KH (who I think told me to go for it because he was suffering watching me be in so much pain) and the midwife, I agreed to morphine. Relief! For awhile.

The night went pretty much the same way... contractions... more morphine. Around 7 am, the doctor and surgeon came in and told me that there was a possibility that a C section was going to be the course. I still wasn't dilating at all and my blood pressure was sky rocketing again. So far, no one told us that this was affecting the baby in any way. It all seemed okay. Then came 8 am on Friday morning. The next thing we know, the doctor is running in and the nurse is throwing scrubs at KH telling him to get dressed and fast. In that last hour, the baby had started to have complications from the contractions pushing him into an unwilling lower body. His heart rate was dipping and fast. Now I freaked the hell out. Even on morphine, there was panic in my voice and eyes... and it looked even worse on KH's face. KH had been on the phone with his mom while all of this was happening and she kept going with the questions, obviously concerned about the present course. I told him to hang the hell up now, which he did with an abrupt "gotta go" and click. Within minutes, I am being wheeled down the hall into the operating room. I keep telling KH I love him and he can barely respond, but I'm telling you... I have never seen his face look like that. He had to stay behind at the doors and I remember looking back at him sitting there and being scared to death. They gave me some type of epidural, but not the one that stays in your back. After that was done, they brought KH into the room... making it about 20 people in this room. I was apparently one of the great training cases at Yokosuka Naval Hospital that they have had in some time. There were always more people in my room during my appointments than necessary. Lucky damn me. KH stood at my head during surgery. I was in and out of consciousness because of the epidural and morphine so what seemed like 5 minutes was really about an hour. Twice I had some heart dips of my own and got two shots of epinephrine. At the point where they were getting ready to pull KM out, the anesthesiologist told KH to stand up. He did... just in time to see them pull the tiny munchkin out. I was awake at this point and told KH to go with the baby... I could see that he was torn as to where to go. It took a few moments before I heard the first cry... the longest moments of my life. Then KH was there next to him, but where I could see him too, filling me in with commentary like "10 fingers and 10 toes!" KH went with him for his first bath. I got more drugs and passed out.

The next time I was awake, I was in the room with my husband and baby. It had been about 2 1/2 hours since the birth. Even though I had been in and out and kept telling people that I wanted to breastfeed, that would be my first opportunity. I finally got to hold him. To all of you moms... you were so very right. On everything.

The hospital visit was great and things were going really well, so I was released a day early. Looking back now I know that we should have stayed the correct length of time. The first three nights were impossible. I only discovered on the 5th day of his life that I wasn't 'supplying' like I should be. Born at 6 lbs 3 oz, down to 5 lbs 12 oz at discharge (still normal), but first doctor's appt on Tuesday put him at 5 lbs 6 oz. The percent of the drop was the concern and forced me to supplement with some formula. I had to. It broke my heart. I had spent days in pain trying to breastfeed (I won't go into the details, but it wasn't going well and it wasn't because of my size), doing it for about an hour every hour and a half. If you calculate that, I didn't sleep at all basically, but was willing to do it because it is supposed to be the best thing for him. I cried constantly because of how much he cried. And then that first drink of formula and he quieted. Only then did KH and I realize what the problem was. I was starving him. Unintentionally, but definitely it was my problem. I had either talked to the lactation consultants two times a day or been in to see them. Nothing helped. Nothing still is helping. I had quit at one point earlier this week, only to calm down and decide one a new course of action... not what the lactation people are telling me, but it seems to be working for me, the baby and everyone involved.

Now the best part... instead of crying and fighting with gimp boobs, I get to sit around a lot and just hold and stare at him. I get to listen to his little coos. I get to be in awe of the entire experience. Seriously moms... so right. I am so in love.

We had another appt yesterday because of his lowering weight and he is back up 2 oz. So I am winning this battle. I probably won't be breastfeeding very long because it just isn't working out. I'm not hating myself anymore because of that decision. Too much wasted energy. I just have way better things to do.

That was about a week ago. Since then, some things have gotten better (surgical healing) and some things have gotten worse (breastfeeding… damn it all to hell… and more possibly bad news). I was persistent with the breastfeeding even though I knew it wasn’t going well. I just supplemented with formula so the kid wasn’t starving. I even called the lactation consultants again after I swore them off, but that still didn’t help. Then KM finally called the game on me. He went on a nursing strike because he just wasn’t getting enough and the hours I put into it a day for what little my gimps would give me just wasn’t worth torturing either of us any longer. He got two weeks of breastfeeding. A long, hard two weeks. I will never think poorly of someone who doesn’t want to do this course. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. There is absolutely no joke in there as I say that.

And then there was the news that KH re-delivered to me at the end of last week. I was talking about a possible number two. It seems in my drug induced haze at the hospital I had completely whipped one conversation out of my head. I don’t want to discuss details here, but there is a good possibility that this will be my one and only… at least that birthed myself. KH says there is always adoption if we want a second. The news shook me pretty hard, but I have had time to recover. And most importantly, I have one beautiful, perfect little boy. Whop could ask for anything more?