Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Don't Worry, He's Here! :)

Well, hopefully those of you who follow my blog also follow me on Facebook or Instagram and I haven't kept you waiting for news! ;)

Joshua Michael Baden was born (via emergency C-section) on May 19, 2014, weighing 6 pounds and 11 ounces! He's now 6 weeks old and growing like a weed :) We took him to his "one month" check-up yesterday and found out he's over 10 pounds now!

Now that it's been 6 weeks, hopefully I can remember his "birth story". I've been meaning to sit down and do this for a long time now, but I'm still at the point where all I feel like doing when Joshua's asleep is sleep myself! Bobby wrote his account a few weeks ago so I might have to use his to help me remember the details and add them as a PS after I've read his again.

May 10th (Joshua's due date) came and went and I had no signs of labor... at all! Every doctor visit we heard "the baby's still up high...not yet!" But, something we were also hearing every doctor visit was that my  blood pressure was high and there was protein in my urine. Both of these are signs of pre-eclampsia which is very serious so they kept a close eye on me. My doctor decided that if by Friday, the 16th, there were no changes in my blood pressure and protein numbers, they would admit me and monitor my diet and try to get me more relaxed.

41 Weeks, hanging out at the hospital
Sure enough, we went in for my appointment that Friday and my numbers were still high so I got admitted. I have to say, I had it pretty good! The hospital we were at was so wonderful! The room we were in was a private room and more like a hotel room. I didn't feel like I was in a hospital at all! Bobby was even able to stay with me, and this was going to be the room we'd stay in until going home with our baby. Friday night we just relaxed, watched a movie on TV and were both able to sleep quite well. It felt like we were on vacation!! There was talk of being induced soon, and the doctors were going to meet on Saturday morning to decide what would be best for the baby and I.

Saturday morning we found out that the doctors decided they'd wait until Monday to induce so from there it was just a waiting game. In the mean time, my blood pressure was being monitored and they kept a close eye on the baby too, using the fetal monitor belt (or whatever that's called). Saturday night's sleep was a little less restful than the previous night as my blood pressure was checked several times, as well as fetal monitoring. (when you have the belt on you can't really move so I was "stuck" on my back and I wasn't really able to sleep) The last monitoring on Friday night caused the nurse a little bit of worry as after an hour she couldn't get the baby to really wake up and active for a clear reading. She told us she'd be back around 2 to come and check again so of course we didn't sleep well, first knowing she was coming back in just a few hours and second thinking about something being wrong with the baby.

She came back in at 2 on the dot and strapped the monitor on again. She came back after about an hour and told us that they wanted us to go down to the delivery room (instead of them having to keep coming up to our room to check) so they could keep a closer eye on the baby because they still couldn't get a very good reading. So, with our bleary eyes and foggy brains, we headed downstairs right then.

The next few hours are kind of a blur for me as it was very stressful and scary. My blood pressure kept rising (even though from the start even before I was admitted, I never felt any different than usual, and felt relaxed) and they were beginning to say the baby was showing signs of distress. At one point Bobby said my top number was over 200! (normal is usually 120-130 or so) The head doctor who we think was on call came in to look at me and said they'd keep a close eye on us and decide what to do in the morning when the other doctor came in. There was still no clear decision as to whether things were headed in the direction of induction or C-section which added to the stress. I really didn't like either choice, but I knew the doctors knew what they were doing and trusted their decision.

When the doctor came in Sunday morning he almost immediately decided that things were starting to look dangerous and that I needed to be transferred via ambulance to a nearby bigger hospital where they would be more equipped to handle an emergency C-section. And before we knew it, we heard a siren outside, the paramedics came in and were putting me on a stretcher and I was being loaded into an ambulance. Thankfully, Bobby was able to stay with me and ride along, but unfortunately he didn't really get a chance to pack our things and only had a minute to grab the essentials. (he got to go back later and packed us up and brought our stuff to our new hospital).

Just before I was transferred, they gave me some medication to lower my blood pressure and in the ambulance it really dropped (almost too much!) and by the time we arrived at the other hospital things had really settled down and after being assessed, it was decided that they would hold off on doing a C-section until Monday when there's more staff around. We had another relatively quiet afternoon/evening, but throughout the night I was again monitored and also had an IV in so I didn't get much sleep. In the wee hours of the morning I started getting sick (I think due to a medication they had given me to clear out my system before the surgery) and by 6am it was decided that they'd do a C-section right away instead of waiting until later that afternoon because it seemed that the baby was in distress.

Before we knew it, I was being prepped for surgery, and was getting an epidural. Unfortunately Bobby wasn't able to be in the room with me (not sure if that's because it was an emergency C-section or if that's how they do things in Japan) which was a big disappointment for both of us. I was pretty scared because I had no idea what to expect and it was happening so fast, but the whole time I felt God's presence and was at peace. I don't remember much of the details now, but I remember I was really surprised at how rough the Dr. was. Although I was numb and couldn't feel any pain, I felt pressure and pulling.

Again, before I knew it, I heard that sound that every expecting parent longs to hear... a healthy cry! I don't remember if they told me before or after I heard him cry, but one of the doctors told me it was a boy and several people in the operating room congratulated me. After a bit, they brought him by my head and I got to meet him and they let me touch him. They took two pictures which are now precious possessions! I don't have it scanned yet so I can't post it, but maybe someday I will. After that, they finished off the surgery and eventually I was taken back into my room to recover. The part of the surgery after he was born was really rough and felt like it was taking forever. I can't really explain how it felt, but I remember wishing it would just be over!

Unfortunately Joshua had some breathing trouble (I think maybe fluid in his lungs or something) so he was put in the NICU for a while. Bobby was able to meet him shortly after he was born and was on the way to the NICU. The next few hours were really tough. I was in quite a bit of pain, and the after contractions (where the uterus starts to shrink) were the most painful thing I've ever experienced! I thought that I hadn't had any Braxton Hicks, but now I think I did have some, without realizing they were contractions! There were a few times when I was pregnant that I felt pains, but they were different from what everyone describes them as so I didn't think they were. Anyway, that day I slept most of the day, and poor Bobby went back and forth between my room and the NICU (which unfortunately had limited visiting hours, even for parents). He was able to hold Joshua and give him a bottle which thrilled both of us. I was really sad that I didn't get to see any of that. It was SO hard to be away from him, having no idea what was going on. I didn't get to see him again until later the next day when they brought him in my room to see me.
Holding Joshua for the first time... my smile says it all!
I don't remember very clearly if it was on the second or third day after he was born, but I was able to try nursing which I was really thankful for. I didn't have a birth plan or anything like that, but one of my strongest desires was to be able to try nursing as soon as possible. It was pretty disappointing that didn't happen, but having him receive formula in the nursery was not the end of the world. Thankfully, he did (and still does) really well taking both a bottle and nursing.

By about the fourth day of our hospital stay, he was staying in the room with us all day and night which was so great. I was able to bring him to the nursery whenever I needed to rest. I didn't start walking until day 3 (I think) and was still in quite a bit of pain, but Bobby said he noticed a considerable difference in me after Joshua was brought to our room. Recovery was pretty tough and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!! I have to say, even at this point, it feels like Joshua will be an only child! ;) (half kidding, half serious... not wanting to think about going through all of that again and also having to worry about Joshua's care during that time)

I don't feel disappointed or "ripped off" that I ended up with a C-section like a lot of women talk about. I think it's because I didn't have a birth plan, and I'm thankful for that. The only things I was disappointed about was not being able to give birth at the hospital I originally planned on (we had gotten used to the nurses and loved my doctor, and we really liked how they did things like being pro-nursing, and rooming in), Bobby not being able to be in the operating room with me, and not being able to see Joshua for the first 24 hours. Overall, I was well taken care of, and was so thankful for all the nurses and doctors who helped us through our first week as a family. God was (and still is!) so good to us and although it was one of the most stressful and scary times in our lives, we are thankful to have this story to tell Joshua (and others) of God's hand of protection over us.

I was in the hospital for a week which some people might think is crazy, but I was really thankful for that time and glad that I was able to rest when I needed to, and recover from my surgery. There were plenty of ups and downs, but we survived! God is good!!

These days we're kind of in a routine... Joshua's on about a 3 hour schedule. The first month was quite good, and Joshua was a very easy baby. These days though, he's been a lot more fussy and we're having more "off days" and plenty of times where we just don't know what to do to make him stop crying...but we're doing ok. We're both pretty exhausted, but making it. I'm SO blessed to have Bobby in my life. He's been so helpful and he's an incredible dad. I appreciate how hands on he is and know that I have it really good!

Nursing has been a bit of an issue for Joshua and I. I've had some extreme pain that we can't seem to get to the root of. Any time a nurse watches him feed they say he has a really good latch, but I'm in pain the whole time he's feeding which I know is not normal. Something's wrong, I don't know what. We've heard lots of people mention tongue tie as a possible cause of pain, but it's not obvious and we don't really know how to explain it to the doctor. We will be seeing an English speaking pediatrician for his first immunizations from then on so maybe he'll be able to help us. These days I'm pumping and feeding him breastmilk exclusively which I'm very thankful I'm able to do, but really wishing we could just get this nursing thing down! Last week I was nursing once a day... some days were better than others and I think I'm tolerating the pain a little better, and today was the first day of trying twice a day.

I hate knowing that something is wrong and not being able to fix it. I've done a ton of reading, seen several different nurses/midwives here and watched plenty of YouTube videos, but nothing seems to help. I'm praying through it, and trusting God will help us. It's definitely been a trial that I wish would just go away! Anyway, perhaps I'll write more about it another day, but that's all I'll say for now.

We're in love with our little boy and feel so blessed to be parents! We're on a journey that requires constant dependence on the Lord, but so thankful He's entrusted this precious gift to us!

My battery is running out so I guess I'll do a picture post another day! Thanks for sticking with me!!


Sarah said...

Oh Hillary, our stories are so similar! Our scary birth stories will continually remind us how blessed we are by our boys! I encourage you to continue to try to nurse, Griffin didn't start nursing until he was six weeks old, so I was a pumper until then, it was such a pain but so worth it! You might want to ask about thrush, but it does sound like a latch issue. Keep seeking out help. I saw a lactation consultant, who I credit with saving G's nursing career (which lasted over two years). Not sure if they are available in Japan though. This time is this hardest, he has probably hit a growth spurt. It does get easier in many ways! Blessings!

Lindsey Dueck said...

I hear you on the breastfeeding pain! I dealt with it for 5 months! Seriously ridiculous, but I was so stubborn. I am going to send you a message on FB with what worked for me! I seriously tried EVERYTHING, but I was so glad something finally worked.