Monday, October 29, 2012

The Rumors are True: The Aftermath...

So here's the 6th and final part of my "The Rumors are True" series. If you'd like to check out the other five parts you can use the search blog toolbar on the right hand side and search "The Rumors are True". So, when you become pregnant you automatically have 10,000 questions about pregnancy and labor & delivery. No one really thinks about or brings up the aftermath! I really didn't think much of it.  I assumed you'd have the baby and you'd just be sore for a couple of days considering you delivered a watermelon out of your va-jay-jay, then you'd go home after a couple days and live happily ever after. If you read my post before this then you know I had a vaginal delivery and opted for the epidural. Speaking to other moms and reading up on moms who got the epidural, it sounded like you were completely numb from the waist down. I guess I expected it to be the type of numbness that you have when you go to the dentist. You know, the one where you get the numbing shot in your mouth and you sit there drooling and poking at your cheek and biting at your lip (even though they tell you not to) because you're amazed by how numb your mouth is? Yea, that one haha.
I was exhausted!
Although I was numb, meaning I didn't feel any of the pain throughout delivery or any contractions from that point on, it wasn't the numb feeling I assumed. I still had complete control of the movement of my legs and feet, and if I poked or pinched my legs I definitely felt it. However silly me, when they told me they were going to transport me to the post partum floor via wheelchair after I delivered, the nurse said to take it slow moving to the wheelchair and she was going to support me in the process. I reassured her that I'll be ok and slowly propped myself to the edge of the bed swinging and moving my legs around to show her I was ok. She warned me that the epidural was still in affect though and still supported me while I giggled. WHOOPS! I stood up and basically fell like a noodle! What the heck?! Luckily my nurse was supporting me and got a hold of me like she said she would so I didn't fall like a complete dork. That was the craziest thing to not have a sense of pressure in my legs. I guess thank god for the epidural not letting out too early so I didn't feel it when they inserted a catheter and when I had to get minor stitches "below". T.M.I (too much information) but the doctor and I joked about my stitches because she said it looked like JAM wasn't ready to leave. I didn't have to get an episiotomy, but I had to get a couple interior stitches because I had a little tearing to where it looked like JAM was scratching my insides like NOOOOOO I don't want to leave! haha.
Attempting my first parenting duty...
 Anyways, since I delivered vaginally they told me I'd stay in the hospital for 3 days and head home. Once I got to the post partum floor I KNOCKED OUT. I was told that they were going to give me the German measles vaccine after I delivered since I wasn't allowed to get it while I was pregnant and that they would also take some blood to verify I was no longer a diabetic since it was just supposed to be just gestational diabetes, but it can turn to regular diabetes if I didn't maintain my diet. My little brother stayed with me while Mahal worked the graveyard shift. I woke up and saw I had a band aid on my arm and gauze with a band aid in my elbow fold. My brother laughed and said it was the craziest thing. They woke me up to give me my vaccine and to take my blood, I said ok and fell back asleep! I guess I was THAT exhausted because I naturally wince when I get shots. Eh, I guess it was a good thing then that I slept through it. They came in every 4 hours to check my vitals and doctors were coming in and out every so often to to tell me random things. FYI not once have I seen MY actual doctor the whole time I was at the hospital. Grr. Anyways, in addition to checking my vitals, they would "massage" my uterus to make sure I was clotting and not bleeding out after L&D. Psh! Massages are supposed to be relaxing! It felt like they were kneading and trying to massage my bed by pressing through my stomach!! No one ever told me about this process until after the fact! By the second or third time I dreaded the process. My stomach felt so bruised and sore that it started to hurt when they did it, but it had to get done. They apologized along the way, but words weren't helping the pain.
My little man made all the pain worth it though
They warned me about the difficulty about using the rest room and to take my time because I'll be real sore. They even gave me some meds to help with it all. No one told me that you'd fear using the bathroom after having a baby though! That crap sucked! Going pee was ok but it was the wiping part that sucked. Then since your holes are close together I found I had a little tear back there in hole #2 when I went pee because it started to burn. I told my nurse AND doctor about it but they said it was such a small tear that it didn't require stitches and it'll heal on its own. NOPE! Every time I pooped that tear opened right back up, which makes sense, but they said it's ok. Oh my god, EVERY time I knew I had to go #2 I cried. Mahal swore I was going into labor in the bathroom with the agony sounds I'd make especially the months to follow at home. Don't get me started on trying to have sex! The doctor said I could try after two weeks but six weeks was the safe zone where everything was all healed up. However, we had to make sure we had a form of birth control in place if we didn't want more kids right away since this time frame is when I'm the most fertile. Eek! Sign me up for the pill please! Haha. She even gave Mahal an obnoxious amount of condoms.

We chose JAM's name directly after birth and then signed all the formal paperwork for his birth certificate and SS card the next day. Since JAM was a preemie, they kept a close eye on him. He ended up having jaundice, which caused him to have a yellow coloring of his skin. They said it was pretty common for preemies and for Asian babies. They said he was fine, but he'd have to stay under UV light to help with the jaundice. They put a UV light paddle under his back that made him look like a little glowworm. His body wasn't cooperating enough so they ended up putting another light paddle on his belly. It was interesting to see him like that, but we knew it was for the best. We were still allowed to hold him and everything but he had to keep the paddles on.

I decided that I wanted to breastfeed, but since he was so tiny they initially supplemented with formula. He wasn't able to do the sucking motion so we had to feed him with a syringe and massage his gums with our finger to give him a sucking motion. When it was time to breastfeed I got really lucky that my milk came in with no issues and I was filling bottles like no tomorrow. I saw other moms (including nurses) who were struggling to get even a drip. I had a lactation consultant come in to show me how to breastfeed and I felt so awkward. She seemed like she was in a hurry and she basically just reached in my sports bra and whipped out my boob and latched JAM on! She had me try it on my own and I struggled a bit so she grabbed my boob and showed me herself again! I'd have to say I felt so awkward being manhandled like that, but I eventually had to opt for pumping anyways. JAM just wouldn't latch plus my boobs got huge and preemie JAM's head was so tiny I couldn't even see his head when I tried to breastfeed. It was a little disappointing I'd have to say since I wanted that experience, plus it was a pain to keep running downstairs to the fridge to get milk especially since he was feeding every 2 hours.

Three days quickly approached and the doctor gave us the news that JAM wouldn't be able to go home with us because due to the UV paddles he had on for his jaundice he lost a pound making him 4 lb.s 5 oz. and he needed to be at least 5 lbs. to leave. That was DEVASTATING. How do you leave your baby behind? I surprisingly had a hard time not having him in my room let along leaving him in the hospital while we're at home over an hour away. We came home to a plethora of baby stuff since my baby shower was the week before I was admitted and we didn't get a chance to prepare the room. JAM ended up staying in the hospital for about a week so there wasn't much sleeping for us. The nurses were soooooo amazing through the whole process. I'm sure I was annoying checking up on him through phone calls continuously through the middle of the night. We were at the hospital every day from early in the morning to late at night during visiting hours to spend time with him and feed him. He was strictly on breast milk to help him gain weight faster. We were so excited when we were able to take him home! I guess it was a good thing that he initially didn't go home with us though because we had sooooo much stuff from staying at the hospital for a month! You'd think we were moving out of the hospital with all the stuff we had. Anyways, the nurses were so awesome with sending us home with baby swag every day we visited. Formula, preemie diapers, nipples, the works. Especially the diapers since we couldn't find them anywhere. It felt so good to have him home with us though. Here's to sleepless nights and chaotic bliss.

How was your recovery period after labor and delivery?