Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aidan's Birth

Aidan Elessar Clawson was born June 11 at 3:15. He weighed 8lbs 1oz and was 20 inches long.

That's the short version. I thought I'd write the full birth story here for the random few who are interested. This may be way too much information for some, but I'm writing it anyway. So get ready for a really long and most likely incoherent (I'm still drugged up and sleep deprived) post!

After weeks of feeling miserable, having contractions, and thinking the baby could arrive at any moment - it finally happened. Last Wednesday morning my plan was to get up and call some friends about going out to get Indian food for lunch (hoping the whole spicy foods bring on labor thing was true), instead as I went to get out of bed, my water broke. It wasn't a huge gush, but it was obvious it was my water breaking. I was a bit freaked out because I had been told that with high amniotic fluid my water breaking could cause the cord to prolapse which would be really bad. So we had a friend rush over to stay with Emma and we went to the hospital. I wasn't contracting yet, but was scared about the complications. At the hospital they confirmed that my water had broke and that I was 3cm dilated. At that point they told me that this time it was for real; I wasn't leaving the hospital again without having the baby.

They started monitoring me and I had to have an EKG to determine if my heart issues were going to be an issue during labor. They decided to let me proceed in labor and gave me a low dose of pitocin to get my contractions going. I had very mild contractions for a couple of hours, then they ramped up super fast. Within half an hour I went from feeling nothing to the intense scream inducing every other minute kind. They tried to give me an epidural, but because of my previous back surgery it didn't take (with Emma, it worked partially). At some point they gave me an oxygen mask to help me breathe.

I quickly started feeling the need to push which took the nurses by surprise at how fast it happened. So the nurse checked to see if I was fully dilated (which I was) and that's when the problems began. She said she didn't think that what she was feeling was the baby's head and wondered if he was breech. So the doctor rushed in to check me out. She said she thought he was head down, but something didn't seem right. They rushed an ultrasound machine in and discovered that Aidan was face up and his head was tilted backwards. Basically he was positioned to come out nose first. (Remember all this time I am trying not to push) This freaks the doctor out, apparently if I try to push I could cause severe trauma to Aidan's neck. So that's when things went into emergency c-section mode. Basically they told me I was having to go completely under with general anesthesia and Mike couldn't be in the room and rushed me to an operating room. I saw them doing prep on me and that's the last thing I recall before I woke up about an hour later and was told I had a 8lb son.

The rest of that day really was a blur (I think the drugs I was getting had a lot to do with that). I got to see Aidan briefly shortly after I woke up, but didn't get to hold him for a few hours. Mike's parents drove straight in from Michigan to see him which was great. Emma came in that evening as well. At first she was speechless when she saw him. I think she was expecting a bigger "baby" that would be able to play with her. But then she started saying "he's so cute" over and over. I don't remember much of that first night expect that I could barely keep my eyes open. The next day it really hit me that I had just had surgery and it really hurt. I had prepped myself for the pain (and recovery) of a vaginal delivery, so this whole c-section thing was a shock. The inability to move much at all (like to get up to get the baby) wasn't expected. So my time in the hospital was spent beginning to get over the pain and having to have people do everything for me.

I am so grateful that Aidan is healthy. He was still three and a half weeks early, but was over 8lbs. He never had to go to the NICU or have IVs of any kind. They did an ultrasound of his kidney's and couldn't find anything amiss, so that image on my ultrasounds must have just been false echo. They were concerned at his blood sugar and bilirubin levels (and kept poking his feet to test him), but those have leveled out. In all he is a healthy boy. It was weird having him in the room with me. With Emma, she was taken away to the NICU immediately and I had to go to her. She also stayed in the hospital for nine days. So having Aidan there, not hooked up to a bazillion monitors, and be able to hold and feed him whenever was amazing.

We came home on Saturday night which was a bit overwhelming. Of course the pharmacies were closed by the time we got home so I had no good pain medicine that whole night (not fun). But each day since I have gained some strength and can move around a bit more (despite the lack of sleep). Aidan feeds about every two hours which makes sleep and any activity near impossible, but hanging out catatonic on the easy chair is about all I feel like doing anyway right now. It is weird for the wait and misery of the pregnancy to be over. And we are just trying to take it easy and enjoy this time. My parents are here and are taking care of Emma (spoiling her rotten) this week. She is obviously still adjusting to this new member of our family and it will take some time for that to work itself out.

I'm trying to work on getting back into being myself. Being on heavy duty painkillers and the immediate postpartum hormone dump doesn't help much with that though. I still look 6 months pregnant, my ankles are swollen to grapefruit size, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what clothes actually fit at this point. Like I realized that all of my underwear are bikini cut which lay right on my scar, so we had to make an emergency run for granny panties. I can't fit into any pre-pregnancy clothes and the maternity clothes fit awkwardly. Luckily I have a closet full of elastic waist broom skirts, so that's something. It's silly, but one of those random things I didn't think about beforehand.

I'm sure the next few weeks will be an adventure. I don't know what my life will look like day to day. But we are enjoying finally having Aidan here and look forward to getting to know him.


Miz Melly said...

Dear Julie, I had a bit of trauma with the birth of my little girl - although nothing like yours - but I do know that feeling of being in a blur. I will be praying for you over the coming weeks - esp that you will be able to rest. I pray for good friends to care for you long after the initial fuss has died down. And for Emma to be patient for her mummy to get back to normal. Thinking of you and praying for you,
much love
Miz Melly

Helen said...

I'd forgotten about the C-section granny panties. Definitely an essential clothing item after a bikini cut C section.

I'm glad everything went well for Aidan. I hope your C-section recovery continues to go smoothly. And you have the help you need so you don't have to push yourself too hard while you recover.

sonja said...

Hey Julie ... one of the things I most wish I'd done when my son was born (and my daughter was 3) was take time off and just be with both of them. Not worry so much about all the other people or doing all the stuff, but just hang out with them and be. So ... I know how frustrated you are being laid up, but once you recuperated from the pain part ... stay with them and hang out. Be in the bubble for a while. Bring the bubble back from time to time. Getting to know those little people is the most fascinating and wonderful part of being a mom.

I hope the pain subsides quickly though and that Emma understands as much as she can.

What a wonderful time these next couple of weeks are. They're magical in some way ... or maybe it's just sleep deprivation ;-)

Elaina said...

Granny panties . . . you're hilarious! Have fun with those! Although, I heard some random wives' tale that if you wear super-tight panties around your belly that your belly shrinks faster after giving birth. Maybe you could test that theory out!