Nico’s birth… and the pregnancy

Nico was an emergency c-section… but let’s start at the beginning.

He’s the weirdest pregnancy I ever had! Ok, he’s my only one but from what I was expecting, he was totally different! First off I had gall stones and feeling nauseous and crappy was part of the deal, so I didn’t think I was pregnant even though I had those symptoms. My mom looked at me one day and said: “you are pregnant.” I brushed it off and said “yeah right” after 3 years of trying, now I’m pregnant, let’s wait and see what the fertility doc says. I still bought a test and took it Christmas morning at 7am. I waited the mandatory 3 min, why is it not instant? Really? With all the technology these days? Alex asked if I was ok, taking so long to pee and I told him to close his eyes and gave him a baby blanket and he got the message :) About an hour later we had my mother with us and his parents on Skype (in Germany) and told them all the news at the same time. All were happy. A bit later on my mother came back with a self knitted blue tuque (winter hat) and a little scarf. She said: “you’re having a boy.” I was like…”right, everyone in the family had girls first for generations but I’m having a boy? Ok…”

Ultrasound profile

Ultrasound profile

We went for an ultrasound to see how far I was and that everything was ok since there had been fallopian tubes issues/miscarriages in the family. All was good, I was 2 months along (still had periods in the first 2 months) and he looked like a peanut :) So we schedules an ultra sound for the 18 weeks check up for everything and to know the sex. 18 weeks finally showed up, can you tell I’m not patient? She checked him and measured and everything else she had to do she couldn’t do since he was face down, head down and refused to move no matter how many times she poked him with the ultrasound machine. She said the baby was huge and it would be a large 10 pounds baby! Then she asked if we wanted to know? Are you kidding me!!? OF COURSE! So she said it, it’s a boy… I was in shock, 1. What was I gonna do with a boy? I can’t help him, teach him all the boy things… 2. A boy after generations of girls first…. 3. My mother was right! So that concluded our visit, got cleaned up, that gel sticks!, and got dressed. Outside the office, I called my mother. I could have waited, we were 5 minutes from home, but no I called her. I told her my thoughts, she said I would find a way to teach/help him and she was happy to be right of course :P  From about 3 months on, I could feel him move in slow motion kinda like someone stretching from the inside. In 9 months, he kicked me once! Alex had his head on my belly to listen in and he kicked. That was it, the rest of the time it was stretching feelings like explained before and he was not regular either, he would do so several times a day but never on a schedule. I had 2 major cravings while pregnant, chocolate chicks for Easter and my mother’s spaghetti sauce, no not together! No complications at all, but I only gained 10 pounds. So I looked fat, not pregnant and further down the road I was told he would be an 8 pound baby. Yeah ok! Where did you learn your math? A normal placenta weight 1-2 pounds, amniotic fluids 2 pounds, that’s without counting the uterus expansion weight gain, the extra breast tissues, extra blood and the baby. I packed the baby bag with a regular new born 8-10 pounds pyjama…

2 days after my due date I didn’t feel Nico move in his slow motion way at all during the morning and most of the afternoon so I called Alex at work and we went to the hospital. My physician had told me to watch out for no movements and go in right away if he didn’t for several hours, so I did. Told the lady at the desk and after waiting about 30-45 min, I got to a heartbeat checking machine and they hooked it up on my belly, they still heard him, so I was happy about that, but they needed a continuous 20 min reading to determine if it was urgent to get him out or if he was just being lazy. Now they ran out of paper, the little things they stick on your belly wouldn’t pick up his heart beat well enough to create a reading, the machine stopped working, you name it, it happened. So in the end it took 2 hours to get a continuous 20 minutes reading. They said I was having contractions (news to me!) and that his heart rate would drop when I had one and go too high when I didn’t, so they had to get him out. This was my worst scenario possible and it happened… I asked if I could be given labor inducing drugs to progress faster to get him out safely and normally. They said no, I was only 2 cm (had been for 2 weeks) and those don’t work most of the time (good to know!). So I agreed to the emergency c-section and the epidural guy came along. I told him my fears of staying paralyzed and he addressed them as well as the nurse there who knew him well (he had been doing it for a long time), so we went ahead, I barely felt a thing, Alex almost passed out and it was done. They asked if I wanted my water broken, I said yes, they were surprised and did it. Why surprised, no clue, it’s not like I wanted to keep it and frame it. After talking with Alex, he did not come in and had my mother accompany me as she had less chances of passing out and taking a nurse away from Nico. I was told Nico had had a bowel movement in utero and it was dangerous for him to become blind if not being cleaned right away. We also didn’t know if his heart was ok, since he had issues keeping it steady. It made sense to us at the time, I don’t regret it but I do regret Alex wasn’t the first one to see him (they didn’t show him to me over the blanket they cleaned him and whatnot right away, I do regret not seeing him either but it was for his safety). They got me on the table and tilted it but didn’t tell me ahead so I thought I was falling. they also put those blood clot prevention boots, didn’t tell me, I thought my calves and feet were spasming out. During the cutting up time, I did have fever spikes which they took care of. They did warn me about the pressure push when they were gonna push/pull him out. At first he didn’t cry, I held my breath and a few seconds later he did a little cry, phew! I could breathe again. They had to close me up so I had to wait to see him. I told them to make sure not to forget anything in there cause they weren’t going back in! The nurse said to my mother, oh he’s not 5 pounds he won’t get to go out the hospital (my second worse case scenario!), but my mother disagreed and guess who was right? He was 5 pounds 6 ounces! Then I finally got to hold him, already all wrapped up. He looked so confused and I was in shock of how everything had happened so fast (ok it took from 3 pm to 10:30ish pm but it seemed fast, since there was no labor to mentally prepare myself).

Nico's first photo ever!

Nico’s first photo ever!

I was wheeled out to the recovery room with Nico on me. Alex held him once we got there since he was waiting there. After a bit we were wheeled up to our room. They took Nico to give him a bath and feed him, since it was late they didn’t want to try breastfeeding cause it can be hard at first. Alex went with and took pics for me since I couldn’t go. The nurse told me I had to take pain killers because I had to walk in 6 hours. I told her I didn’t really feel any pain just was a little uncomfortable. They insisted and I finally agreed an hour before walking, big mistake, they hooked me up to 3 painkillers and it didn’t help anything, I had one spot that hurt and the painkillers didn’t do squat for it! And the stupid IV just made me all woozy too, so I was kinda off. Before his first bottle, they took a blood sugar test on his heel, the nurse actually had to open the bottle as he wasn’t sucking strong enough to get anything. After that he was brought to our room until his next feeding with a bottle, which I did. It worked a bit, they took him back to feed him with open bottle again, which they also did the following time. Eventually he got the gist of it and got drinking.

Enjoying the heat lamp

Enjoying the heat lamp

He spent most of the night under the heat lamps and loved it, all stretched out like he was getting a tan (Alex took pics to show me). The next day they tried to get him nursing but he just could fit his tiny little mouth onto me no matter what the nurse tried.

Mmmm, a bottle!

Mmmm, a bottle!

So they gave him a bottle and me a machine to extract milk. That thing killed my back in 5 min so we stopped it. Not better if I couldn’t take care of him, so bottle it was. In the end the nurse told me it would have been a few months before his mouth would’ve been able to fit me, so bottle was the best for him.

Massaging his feet after a blood test

Massaging his feet after a blood test

Poor little guy was poked to check his blood sugar every hour for about 6 hours, after that they switched to every 3 hours. He was so sensitive about his heels for the longest time after that, took weeks before we could touch his heels without him retracting his feet.

Shhht, sleeping...

Shhht, sleeping…

2 days after his birth in the later afternoon the nurses performed yet another glucose test on him and they said that if he is above the minimum they consider ok, they’ll switch him from every three hours to every twelve hours and the first test came out just a tad little bit too low. Alex’ heart, who’s with him in the nursery, sinks, but the nurse says that she will try one more, just to see, and it comes out within the limits, so she ok’s the twelve-hour period, which is a huge relief.

One of our favourite photos of him...so peaceful...

One of our favourite photos of him…so peaceful…

A new day and it was supposed to be discharge day. This definitely lifted the spirits and to see Nico progress also was a big plus, because of the rocky start he has had. We got tons of paperwork to fill out to prep for the discharge and I got another exam in preparation as well and I was told that it would happen soon, so we started picking things up, packing stuff and having things ready for when it would finally happen.

Who's that Mr Magoo guy they keep talking about?

Who’s that Mr Magoo guy they keep talking about?

My mother and Alex’ dad (from Germany, he came down for the event) came by again as we were supposed to be able to leave, but we waited and waited and waited some more. So they kept saying for hours that a doc had to sign off on it and that she was in L&D and busy and then I snapped. I asked the nurse, which papers I had to sign in order to be able to discharge myself and that seemed to trigger something, because it took less than 5 minutes until the doctor was there and gave me the final blessing to be discharged, so we were outta there as fast as we can.

Those mittens only stayed on for 2 minutes

Those mittens only stayed on for 2 minutes

It was my first direct exposure to sunlight in two days and obviously Nico’s first ever, the fresh air was incredibly refreshing, though. I gotta say though that you have to imagine a heat wave during those days and a breakdown for the whole hospital air conditioner and our room/window was on the sunny side all day. Did I mention I can’t stand the heat?

Ready to go home!

Ready to go home!

The drive home was very careful due to the precious cargo and once we got there, it was “getting set up” time. As we did not have the time or energy to do more, we had Nico’s bed/playpen next to our bed on my side with next to no room for me to get up, but for the first night that was what it would be.

The first feeding, though, created a dramatic problem, as Nico was getting colder and was turning blue in the face and we were not sure why. We thought that it might be his bottle (Playtex Drop-Ins) and that it might be too straining trying to suck the milk out, since he had so much trouble at the hospital. We called 9-1-1, because we were very afraid for Nico. While Alex was on the phone with them I took off my shirt and undressed Nico right away to put him skin to skin to warm him up with a furry blanket over top. Once the EMS came and checked him out, all vitals came back normal. One of the medics had four kids himself, so he was able to assure us of a few things, which made us breathe easier and he even helped us bring out the dresser from our bedroom, so we had more space for Nico’s bed, now that’s what I call service!

Alex headed out to Superstore (we lived in Alberta then) to get other bottles, because it was obvious that the one we had didn’t work and we just as obviously did not want to risk anything like that again, and Philips Avent was the choice. Still, despite having been exhausted like hell, we still were up at every little peep that Nico made, because we didn’t know yet what was a regular sound he made while sleeping or if something was wrong.

The next day a nurse came to take out the c-section staples. She put little stitches tapes instead. Turns out, as I told her it may be the case, I was allergic to those and ended up with a rash and a skin bug that required a prescription. Although the skin bug probably was due to the fact that for the first 36 hours no one cleaned my wound or told me I could take a shower. When the evening nurse saw that, she raised hell and got me in the shower, lol. I also got a few other issues like water retention in my feet. But over all I couldn’t complain of much pain although I’ve been told I’m very tolerant when it comes to pain.

It was a lot less bad than I expected despite everything and he’s doing well so I’m happy :)

Shared on: Critters And Crayons.

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