Saturday, July 22, 2006

My Week

Wow - time flies when you're.... learning so many new things!

Good news - life is grand. I love being a mamma! I'm not necessarily very good at it... still can't seem to stay awake through a night feeding so I wake up to Oliver rooting really loudly, like "Mom, don't you know I can't possible reach there?!" Ah, I've got me some learning to do.

Our 2 day follow up appointment with the pediatrician went pretty well too. We haven't lost too much weight, and if we can manage to stop losing and start gaining weight, we should be okay. (Sounds strangely familiar... like the first trimester of this pregnancy...) I did get the fairly rare and joyous experience of getting a clogged duct before my milk even came in.... so once it did come in - yowzah! Between the pain in the top half of my body and the pain in the bottom half of my body... I'm having a grand old time!

Okay, backing up. Monday morning came and I was still pregnant. I felt absolutely the same as I had for weeks (only slightly bigger) and fully intended to head for work. Mr. Renn wouldn't hear of it. He didn't care that I wasn't having contractions. I could go into labor at any moment as far as he was concerned. So he insisted that we head up to the hospital to be checked out. Once we got there I felt rather silly. Hi, I'm not due for another week and I'm having no signs of labor whatsoever, but could you check me out just for fun?

Well, due to some crazy miscommunication between the nurse that checked me and my doctor, I suddenly found myself on pitocin (which I had once sworn I would never allow to happen... funny how you really don't get to pick). My Dr. thought I'd been having false labor and that was why I came in and so decided to start me. I didn't find this out until it was way past the point of no return. And at that point I really couldn't care less. Now I was in labor and nothing else mattered.

I made it through about 45 minutes of "hard" labor. I was trying really hard to last until my mom got there. She had always joked that I would be asking for my epidural as soon as they admitted me into the hospital, and I wanted to prove her wrong. But after 45 minutes of that... all I could think was "why am I putting myself through this when I don't have to?" - and in went the epidural. Lovely stuff, made for a marvelously calm 6 hour labor. That's right - some crazy way I managed to have a 6 hour labor with my first child. Please don't hate me.

My labor and delivery nurse told me that there was a steep learning curve for figuring out how to push properly when one cannot feel 1/2 of one's body. I was certain I'd be a total klutz at it, but I surprised myself, and did great. We all joked that the last 5 months of being constipated were finally paying off. So sad that it was probably true. It was a wild bunch of sensations, my totally dead legs, feeling lots of pressure, but no pain.

We happened to "choose" the hottest day of the year to have a baby. Apparently that kind of heat can send women into labor, because the labor and delivery unit was full... to capacity and then some. On top of this, the power kept going out (presumably had to do with the Air Conditioning being pushed to its limit). So I got to have my baby in a room with the lights dimmed without even asking. Most of the day we were on emergency power only. I felt so bad for the poor nurses. Apparently it was insanely hot as well; Mr. Renn was fanning the Dr. and the nurses. I guess I should have been hot too, but something about the epidural made me shake a little and convinced my body I was chilly, so I ended up feeling perfectly comfortable. So unfair, I know.

Once my body made it to 6cm, everything went really fast. The first thing I remember my Dr. telling me was that she could see we had a head full of dark hair (when he was crowning). For some reason I didn't think our baby would have much hair, so being told that he did... that was my moment of facing reality. Not a bad awakening if you ask me. We got him out with only a little episiotomy (you'd have to know how paranoid of episiotomies I was) and for a slippery minute I got to hold him. My mom got it on video, so I'll have to watch it and see, I started hyperventilating and they took him away from me. They had to move me out of labor and delivery and into post-partum before we got a chance to try breastfeeding, and when they tried to let me quickly hold him before he was taken to the nursery I was too nauseous. Yeah for puking orange popsicles... the only thing I'd been allowed to eat all day.

They took me and my dead legs out on a gurney. There was something wildly entertaining about being so numb and causing so much work for the nurses. Don't worry, I gave them nice thank-you gifts for their remarkable work. Mr. Renn went with Oliver to the nursery to get cleaned up... where the nurse washing his hair couldn't resist trying a little mohawk.

It was so much fun having a baby with such a distinguishing characteristic. Granted it makes a lot of people assume he is a girl, but he doesn't seem to mind. Even the other new moms all seemed to want to gawk at my cute baby. Mr. Renn and I did a good job, didn't we?

Now we are adjusting to being home, and I am really missing that "Call Nurse" button. Oliver has finally become a pro at "latching on" and I am just starting to want to holler in pain every time he does. Once he's latched on though everything is fine... so we seem to be doing it right. I visited the lactation specialist while we were at the hospital for Oliver's checkup, just to be sure. I loved having my doctor and my pediatrician both in the offices adjoining my hospital. Gave me great peace of mind.

Mr. Renn is bound and determined to get this baby sleeping "through" the night. He already sleeps for 3 or 4 hours at a time, I'd say we're doing pretty well. And he's got the loveliest temperament (so far.. knock on wood). He only cries hard when he's naked, because he hates having his diaper off. Even then, he seems like he's trying not to be too unpleasant about it.

Yup, he's very easy to love so far. Aren't I lucky?!


Cam said...

>>Aren't I lucky?!<<
A loving and attentive husband.
A beautiful and healthy baby.
Your own health on the rebound.
NOT having to go back to that unpleasant job.
You are indeed very fortunate.
Congratulations, Mrs. Flinders.

--jeff * said...

thank you for writing, em. after all the confusion and pain and blurs we read about for the past few months, it's rewarding for all of your readers to get the big finale and segue into the next volume of your wonderful life. it's great having your perspective on the mysterious miracle of birth and the craziness around it. thanks.

and thanks to mr. renn for the mohawk. what a great father.

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