Friday, February 18, 2011

Busy but I will be back

We have been spending the week enjoying our newborn. She's six days old now and has already surpassed her birth weight - she gained 11 oz in just the last two days! So you can imagine how much nursing I have been doing. Pretty much every hour on the hour for twenty minutes. And that means I'm not getting much sleep.

Thank goodness for my husband, who has been taking her out to nap with him on the couch for a few hours in the middle of the night so that I can get some much-needed rest. I just wake with every sound she makes (all those sleepy little chirps and sighs), so having her out of the bedroom and safe for a few hours makes all the difference.

By the way, breastfeeding? Ouch! The first couple latches we got weren't great because she was having trouble opening her tiny mouth wide enough. So I got a little damage within the first few hours and have not had a chance to heal. Then engorgement hit - oh. My. Goodness. Unbelievable agony. Thank goodness that is fading now. I can't wait for the day that feeding her is pain-free. It's not the latch now, by the way - we're good with that. It's just the engorgement and the damage from before.

A few people have asked her name - it's Mia, after my husband's grandmother.

I've got some more really great baby and mama products to review soon here on my blog. I've started using some of them already and am looking forward to sharing them with you.

One thing I wanted to mention is that one of the products I've reviewed in the past, the Tropical Traditions Powdered Laundry Detergent - and their Oxygen Bleach, too (links are to my reviews) - is AMAZING at getting blood out. I am so impressed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

We are so proud, overjoyed, and overwhelmed to introduce our perfect daughter.Born on February 12th at 7:16 pm with a full head of hair (!). 7 lbs, 14 oz. and 21 3/4" long.

I had a long and difficult labour, as she was occiput posterior (facing forward). Back labour is possibly the worst thing ever. Early labour started on Thursday, and after 18 hours of that, my water broke late Friday night. We laboured at home overnight with the midwives here, went into hospital at 7am on Saturday at 7cm dilated, where labour stalled for many hours because of her position.

My birth plan went out the window due to the extreme pain of back labour, a cord wrapped around her neck causing her heart rate to drop during contractions, and my exhaustion after being up three days and two nights labouring. I ended up with an epidural, which then caused the contractions to slow down, and led to oxytocin to induce contractions (there goes the natural, unmedicated birth I was hoping for). It did allow me to catch a brief nap before heading into pushing.

An OB tried to turn her, but she proved stubborn and wouldn't budge. Unfortunately, that manipulation set us back some and probably prolonged labour some more. I stalled again at 9cm, and the threat of a vacuum delivery or, worse, a c-section, loomed. I developed a low fever due to exhaustion, low blood sugar, and dehydration. My blood pressure dropped dramatically. I was pumped up with 3L of fluids.

My midwife checked the effacement and thought if I started pushing, it just might work out. I pushed for two and a half hours, coached the whole time by my amazing husband and midwife. It was incredibly hard work, especially after all I'd already been through. My epidural catheter fell out at some point and soaked the sheets below me - I started feeling the contractions in my back again and was in tears, just about ready to give up because I couldn't handle more of those. Luckily, they managed to get the dose going again.

At the two hour point, my midwife told me that if we didn't get her coming out soon, I'd be heading to the OR. The work of delivery had caused baby to pass meconium in the fluid as well. That gave me the motivation I needed to use my last ounce of strength to get her out.

My husband caught her as she came, cut the cord, and she was rushed off to the warming table and a respiratory therapist and NICU nurses to suction the meconium before she breathed it in (so much for delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin contact). A few minutes later she was returned to me, all cleaned up and so, so beautiful. While the three of us bonded, I was sutured up from a 2nd degree tear - luckily, a very straight and apparently "easy" tear that will heal well.

We had to stay the night in hospital because of the meconium and my blood pressure scare.

We are finally home and getting used to a whole new life. More to come later.