Baby Griffin arrived on Monday, February 23rd at 1:20 pm Central Time via scheduled (repeat) c-section.
I was originally slated for a noon surgery, but the doctor's clinical schedule ran late, so I wasn't taken to the OR until about 12:30. Then we had several blood work issues... I had come in last Friday and had blood drawn for "type and screen", but the hospital lab apparently didn't put a blood band on my arm with a specific number to use to match up the blood products they would have on hand in the OR. So when I checked in I was told they had to do that test all over again... in addition to a syphillis screen. I put my foot down on the last one... I said "NO! I've had tons of bloodwork done, and if no one has checked for syphillis yet, too bad. Plus, I don't have syphillis. sheesh" I think they got the message. But I did have to have the "type and screen" bloodwork redone.
We got to the OR and the nurse anesthitist had prepped my back with three cleaning sponges and had taped the drape on my back, too, when all of a sudden a nurse burst in and said "WAIT! Don't start anything yet!" She then said the lab had called and couldn't use the blood they had just drawn from me because the label with my name on it was partially cut off.
The doctor was NOT happy, as this meant a 20-30 minute delay. Luckily they called in time so as to not start the spinal, since it's a one-shot deal... wouldn't want to have it get started to early before the actually c-section!
Finally they called to say the new set of labs were underway so we could proceed. The nurse anesth. tried a few times to get the spinal in, but couldn't, so another guy came in and did it. Even though I got numb right away and they had done some "nerve conduction tests" on me without me even realizing it, I could still wiggle my toes slightly, which seemed weird to me. I started to get a little panicky and weepy and nauseous, but the nurse said it was normal and the feeling subsided after about 5 minutes. My husband was brought in and he sat near my head, but was able to easily see around the drape and watch the whole surgery.
My doctor talked to me throughout the surgery, telling me what she was doing all along the way. She had some difficulty cutting through layers and getting to the baby because of the infection I had had in my previous c-section incision. Apparently there were alot of adhesions, but she took her time and did it right (this was a different doctor than I had last time). First cut was made at 1:04 pm and baby Griffin was out at 1:20 pm. I felt alot of tugging and pulling as she worked her way through the various layers towards the uterus, but she said the baby was really easy to pull out.
Immediately after she pulled him out and held him up he started crying, then peed all over -- LOL! He peed again when he was placed on the warmer... guess he had to go!!! His first cries sounded "gurgly" but the more he cried the stronger they sounded as the fluid in his lungs cleared out.
After about 5 minutes of cleaning him up they finally put him on the scale -- 8 lbs, 12.2 oz! I had guessed 9 lbs and my husband had guessed 8 lbs 2 oz (this was before we entered the OR). The nurse anesth. took one look at his head as he was being born and said "That's going to be a big kid!" LOL. He was 19.5 inches long and his head was 14.4 and his chest 14. He's not a chubby kid at all, with no fat rolls... I guess weight is all in his trunk.
I was in the recovery room by 1:45 pm and the lactation consultant was right there to help me nurse. This hospital encourages the baby to be in the recovery room with mom, which is totally different than my last birth experience. It was so nice to let him nurse right away -- he did great! 15 mins on one side and 25 on the other. Unfortunately, that first feed is usually good and future ones a little more difficult, and that's how it was for us. Griffin would try to nurse, latching on and sucking a few times then quitting and going to sleep. After about 30 hours of this we had to start giving a little (5-10 cc) of formula in a syringe, since he was losing weight. Finally, the lactation consultant got a really thin tube and connected it to a syringe of formula, then let him latch on to my breast. She then threaded the small tube into his mouth and "rewarded" him for sucking hard by giving him a small shot of formula. It worked! He was pleased that he was getting something, since my milk hadn't come in and my colostrum was sparse. After that, he nursed for 15-20 minutes on each side every 2-3 hours. Yay! Persistence pays off. I think my milk is coming in now (it's been 2.5 days).
My pain level has been up and down as we try to figure out the right medication combo. It was fine when I had an IV in, but the IV anti-inflammatory med couldn't be given once my IV was removed (doh!) and finding the right anti-inflammatory and dosage along with pain med and dosage has been a challenge. Right now we are trying Percoset (15 mg) every 4 hours and 800 mg of Motrin every 8 hours. We tried Naprosyn, but it was too far between doses at 12 hours.
Also different this time is this giant girdle-like elastic (they call it a "binder") that wraps tightly around my waist to hold in my uterus and the incision site. It's so fantastic! I think every woman with a c-section should have one! It means I don't have to hug a pillow every time I move around.
My incision site was draining a little blood (doc used staples instead of sutures so it could drain some) the first day, but has switched to a more brownish colored liquid (don't know what it is). Everyone seems to think that's a good thing. Vaginal bleeding comes and goes in gushes. Thank goodness for the hospital's disposable mesh panties!
I had no nausea after the surgery and was able to tolerate a clear liquid diet immediately and then a regular liquid diet by dinnertime. I had some graham crackers about 3 am and then had a regular breakfast that next morning. The catheter came out just before breakfast and I got up right away and used the toilet. After breakfast the doctor checked everything out and removed the compression bandage, so I showered that morning, too (Tuesday). I felt much better after that. LOL.
My 27 month old has been fascinated by her new little brother, and sat really nicely with him in her lap on the hospital bed with me. She gave him hugs and kisses without prompting and was so happy to be able to finally give him his present from her (an Elmo teething blanket). Today she came and saw me breastfeeding and I explained that while she can eat pizza and ice cream, Griffin can't -- that he has to eat milk from mommy. And she says "yeah, momma's boobs!" which made us all laugh and smile.
This has been such a pleasant experience compared to my last c-section (I got MRSA in the incision site and spent 10 additional days in the hospital). The hospital I'm in is about 5 years old and the birthing area is only 1 year old. It's like a hotel room here in my room, with wifi internet access and a multi-head shower and corian counters. The food is just wonderful and if I ever get upset about anything the staff just say "we'll take care of it... we don't want you to be upset while you're hear for such a wonderful event as your son's birth" -- I was shocked to encounter such positive attitudes like that. I hope everyone else can be in such a supportive environment as this when they give birth.
We will be heading home tomorrow... back to reality, I guess! I hope all ladies reading this who are due soon have great experiences with their deliveries.