Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A chubster in the making

Like every breastfeeding mom, I was worried that my baby wasn't getting enough to eat. In the hospital he lost 10 ounces in the first two days so I was ridiculously worried. Counting every messy diaper and every ounce of spit-up, I started to wonder if I was going crazy. I was especially worried about little Hyrum because there have been a number of times when he has seriously thrown up entire meals. I start worrying about what I'm there something that is upsetting his tummy? Does he have reflux? Is he getting enough to sustain him?

Then came the two-week check-up and evidently Hyrum's doing just fine. In fact, he gained almost an entire pound (15.5 ounces) in the last two weeks. As for the spitting up entire meals? The pediatrician thinks he's actually OVER eating and that I should be sure to keep him upright for at least 20-30 minutes after each feeding to make sure it moves through his little tummy before lying him down. So yeah, be on the watch for a rolly-polly baby here in the next few weeks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baby Snort-snort

From day one I knew our baby would be a little piglet. No joke! In the hospital they really encourage skin-to-skin contact. I swear every time I would put him to my chest he would start rooting around and snorting. This doesn't quite capture all of his little snorting sounds but here's a little sampling.

Baby Cartwright's entrance into the world

For those of you who read my personal blog, this is just a repeat post but I decided it was a worthy thing to have on our family blog.

Baby Cartwright managed to make a fashionably late appearance. Technically due on Jan 3rd, he arrived into the world on January 10th via emergency c-section. While things didn't quite go as planned, we are so blessed to have our little baby here safe and sound.

About 6 weeks before baby was born, I had an appointment with my obstetrician. He noted that I was already dilated to 1cm and 70% effaced. The doctor warned that first-time moms usually deliver on or after their due dates but that things seemed to be progressing a bit ahead of schedule so who knows, maybe he would make his entrance early?!?

But, that's where things stopped progressing. Week after week I went to my doctor's appointments with little if no signs of advancement. Main issue: baby wasn't dropping. We kind of just assumed he was being lazy and liked his warm home as opposed to the sub-zero temperatures outside. By about week 38, the diagnosis of gestational hypertension started looking like it might progress into pre-eclampsia. The doctor put me on bed rest and just encouraged me to take it easy until the little fellow entered the world. After weeks of being told that they'd like to induce me but that I just hadn't progressed far enough, at my 40 week appointment the doctor sent me over to be induced that same day.

I pick the hubby up from work, we come home and grab the hospital bag, said a prayer for comfort and headed to the hospital. The doctor on call at the hospital (I have a rotating OB practice) cleared the orders for the induction and ordered some blood work to be taken to assess whether or not I would need to be on magnesium and verify that I could still have an epidural since the epidural can sometimes cause problems with pre-ecclampsia (no WAY was I going to be on pitocin without an epidural if I was allowed one!).

Long story short, all the labs came back clear and the doctors rotated at 6pm. The next doctor saw that all the labs came back clear and sent me home. Darn it! I had an appointment a couple days later and was scheduled for an induction the following Monday and that appointment was changed to Sunday night after a non-stress test on Friday.

Sunday during the day Brennan and I just spent time together, realizing it was our last day as a couple. After a long cuddle session and a lovely dinner made by Brennan, we headed to the hospital.

That night they started me on a drug called Cytotec, a cervical ripening agent that also causes contractions. After being on that from 6pm-6am and getting approximately 15 minutes of sleep the entire night, they started me on Pitocin the following morning. However, the pitocin made my contractions go absolutely bonkers! There were no breaks between contractions and I was definitely in pain. They kept turning down the pitocin to help limit the contractions and the nurse gave me an IV drug to help with the pain since I wasn't quite ready to commit to the epidural.

Then came the task of breaking my water. For most people this sounds like a fairly easy procedure. However, since baby was huddled completely to one side, my cervix was opening sideways rather than straight. That plus the fact that apparently my bag of water was "made of steel", as the doctor put it, made for a painful and adventurous undertaking. After that, I begged for the epidural. Constant cramping and hardly any sleep for the last 27-28 hours and I was just exhausted. If it hadn't made me feel ridiculously nauseous and if I hadn't vomited while they were inserting the epidural, it may have been a fairly pleasant relief.

Eventually the pitocin was completely turned off and my body stayed in labor on its own. However, my contractions developed a "diastolic" pattern where there would be one good contraction and then a "piggy back" contraction immediately following it. The second contraction wasn't doing anything to progress labor but was keeping the baby's heart rate too low for too long.

The next endeavor was to pump amniotic fluid back into the uterus and to put me on oxygen to help the baby's heart rate stabilize. Unfortunately his heart rate wouldn't recover quickly enough after the contractions. At one point doctor, nurse, Brennan and I were all watching the monitor after the doctor checked my cervix. Poor baby's little heart rate continually dropped and dropped without recovering. It got dangerously low for a while (from my recollection, around 70 bpm) and the doctor warned me that a c-section would likely be necessary but they would keep a close eye on things for a little while longer. Just in case it became an emergency situation, they had me sign the c-section consent papers, prepped my body (aka shaved my nether regions), prepared the c-section delivery room, called in back-up for surgery, and the nurse got sterile clothing ready for Brennan.

The doctors and nurses monitored the heart rate and contractions closely for another hour but when things weren't looking better and with only being dilated to about 4-4.5 cm, the doctor said we wouldn't make it to the end of delivery this way. With a mixture of emotions--sadness over not being able to have a vaginal delivery, worry over the health of baby, and sheer relief of knowing that the exhaustion of labor was about to be over--they wheeled me into the c-section delivery room. After a few moments of feeling some tugging (but no pain, thankfully!) the doctor saw the baby, commented that he was face up (and THAT'S probably why the little fellow wasn't dropping and why he was stuck on my right side!) and then stated that the baby had a "Chiquita Banana" head (his head had molded into a cone in attempts to get through mommy's pelvis face-up), little Baby Boy Cartwright was held up over the drape to be seen by mommy and daddy for the first time. Tears filled my eyes as I realized I was now a mommy!

The nurse took the baby to be weighed and measured and reported that he weighed 8lbs, 7oz and was 21 inches long (that was including the cone head so he's probably a tinsy bit shorter).

Accompanied by Daddy, Baby was taken away to be washed and cared for. The doctor remarked as he was sewing me up that he had cut me in such a way that I was an eligible candidate for a vaginal delivery next time but warned me that one of the issues in delivering this baby was that he was just too big for my body and that likely, he will be the smallest of my babies. So in short, "best of luck with that!"

I was wheeled back to my original delivery room groggy, drugged up, and beyond exhausted. The anesthesiologist and nurses kept urging me to sleep but my mind was consumed by the fact that I was now a mommy. I couldn't wait to hold my baby and be with him and my husband again.

About an hour after delivery, I was wheeled to a room in the Mother/Baby floor of the hospital where again, I was encouraged to rest up. A short while later Brennan came into the room and reported that our little boy was doing very well. Apparently he hated his bath more than just about anything. After a little bit of waiting, baby was brought to my chest. Oh how I loved holding him already! After the lactation consultant came a few moments later, I was able to breastfeed my little boy for the first time. As Brennan and I discussed names (Isaac, Patrick, and Hyrum were all contenders) I turned to our sweet baby and said, "How do you feel about Hyrum Patrick little guy?" With a sudden calming of his body, we knew that Hyrum was the right name for our little boy.

The rest of the day I just held him to my chest, watched with absolute bliss as Brennan held him close, and I couldn't imagine being happier. My happiness increased even more the next night as I received the sweetest of all voice messages from Brennan thanking me for carrying, birthing, and taking care of our little Hyrum.

Though things didn't quite go as planned, I am so grateful for our little boy and that he made it into this world safe and sound. I shuddered to think that 100 years ago both baby and I likely would not have survived his birth. How grateful I am for modern medicine and for the opportunity to be a mother.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Family blog!

Brennan and I have been keeping personal blogs since before we were married but now that we have a third member of the family, I thought it might be a nice idea to keep a separate, private family blog. So, here it is!