Sunday, December 19, 2010

Continue if you dare....

I've been contemplating writing this for a while. It's not bad, it's probably just a bit of TMI.

It is mainly about bodily functions, so I would imagine if you are a person who is not in the same situation as me, you may not want to continue from here. IF you are a person who is not going to read past this point, here's a picture to make your trip worthwhile.

If you're still here, cool. Let's get into it. I'm all in to full disclosure, and I kind of wish that I had known about a couple of these things.

So, first. Immediately after Maggie was born, my nurse put a catheter in my bladder to drain it. I'm still not sure why she did this, except to put a cherry on top of the onslaught of vaginal trauma that is childbirth. I mean, I didn't have an epidural. I was capable of walking just 10 minutes later. After she drained my bladder, she was all braggy about the amount of urine I had in there. She even made a BIG DEAL about it to my OB. I got a bladder infection the next week and I blame that! That was a whole other story. Short and sweet: antibiotics gave me what I thought was a stomach virus and I spent 36 hours away from my baby.

The next thing is the episiotomy. The bane of childbirth. My Achilles heel. My doc "gave me the extra room" during the delivery. I was pushing out an eight pound baby with a head the size of a pumpkin, so at the time I didn't mind. After Doc stitched me up (which took an inordinate amount of time), a nurse came and gave me an icy-cold diaper to put on my hoohah. It was amazing. The next day, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. My whole body was sore. Now, usually, when my entire body is sore from my twice yearly attempt at "getting in shape" I don't have to even think about my private parts. This was different because my vaginal area was the sore-est part of my body. I was given prescription strength Ibuprofen every 12 hours, even though I needed after 8. I also was given these pad shaped ice packs to sit on intermittently. They were heaven. (Later, when we were in the hospital with Maggie, I continued to ask for these, even though the nurse told me that they were useless after 12 hours.) She was not smart. It was still heaven. When I was discharged, I was still very sore down there. I didn't know what to expect. I knew how to clean it (squirt bottle...lala) but I didn't know if it was first, second or third degree and I certainly didn't know it would take much longer to totally heal that I figured. (At this moment, 6 weeks later, I'm still not "normal.") Boy, did the whole episiotomy suck hard. TAKE THE SITZ BATHS AND USE WITCH HAZEL PADS. I didn't know about them until later, and I really could have used them.

To say something good about the episiotomy, or at least my doctor, is that I can't see it. I don't know where it is. I can feel it, but not see it. It's weird. But, I'm glad I'm not deformed. I never thought about the aesthetic aspect of my genitalia...but, I wouldn't want it to look different than it ever had, you know?

Another thing that I experienced with my private parts was something that I had NEVER heard of, but feel the need to tell you about is the clitoral bruising. What is that, you say?? When you deliver a baby, your entire vagina gets traumatized, even your clitoris, which you would think isn't even in the way. Well, it's still there, and it's still connected to the rest of it. For weeks, I would have this weird ache. It would hurt more if I stayed still, especially sitting still, for a while and then got up. I thought it was my abdominal muscle attachments on the pubic bone, but I was wrong. I am only sharing this so that the rest of you ladies delivering babies will also know what the hell is happening. I am very glad that that side-effect has faded away.

When we finally got to go home, I was a mess. I was a mess in the hospital, but it multiplied when we got home. I should explain, because I was personally a mess from lack of sleep and my vagina was constantly reminding me of its trauma, but I was also a mess because I worried about Maggie constantly.

I was so paranoid. I was convinced that if I put her down, she would choke on her spit up and die. I held her so much that her head is misshapen because of it. I'm serious. Last week I noticed that the right side of her head was flat just behind her ear. So, instead of getting a flat head from laying on her back alone too much, I loved her so much that I flattened her head. Now, I have to make a concentrated effort to hold her differently so that her head will go back to normal. Thankfully, it will. It's kind of funny after you get over the ridiculousness of it.

My paranoia is much better. I am no longer convinced that she will die if I put her down, so we're working on getting her to sleep in her bed, which is right next to my side of the bed, so I can look at her if I want to. Which I do, even if she makes the slightest movement. I have not slept more than 4 hours at a time in 6 weeks, and that 4 hour luxury just started last week!!

Despite all of my worrying, she's just doing what she should. Growing. She's soo much bigger than she was when she was born. My neck muscles are tight enough to prove it. I have tension headaches and referred pain into my shoulders and my thumbs (at the carpometacarpal articulation) still have this weird tendonitis type pain. I'm falling apart. LOL. Of course, I wouldn't change it for the world. I just have to look at her sweet, adorable, lovely face and I'm completely in love all over again. Even if she's crying, I still look at her and feel this draw to her. A pull that starts at my heart and doesn't end. She's my little baby. My lovebug. My perfect little sweetheart.

The very last thing that I want to laugh at and talk about is just being a mom taking care of a newborn. From the beginning, it's like my body started functioning different. And, by different, I mean it shuts down. If Maggie is sleeping on me, I can sit still for hours and never have to pee or eat. My days consist of deciphering the Navajo code that is figuring out what she wants every day. Which changes daily. So, after I've exhausted all of the things that have previously worked, I have to start trying new stuff. But, it has gotten easier and I find that I am getting better at just knowing what she wants. I did read about something that has proven to be a very very good helper at calming her down: The 5 S's. Swaddling, side or stomach, shhhing, sucking and swinging. Google it.

Well, I did say that the last thing was the last thing, but it's not...I also want to talk about acid reflux. Your baby has it. My baby has it. Most babies do. THEY DO NOT NEED MEDICINE. Well, some babies do. But, trust your gut and don't give them drugs just because your doc says so. It's still your baby and you have the final say so.

Anyway. That's it for now. I hope that maybe some thing or things that I have said may help you in some way, down the road or now, or you can throw it all out the window.

Happy babying!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Picture post and other stuff...

There's been a lot happening, with Maggie's development and growth. She's getting really big! Getting little rolls on her legs and arms. Her cheeks keep growing....hopefully that doesn't delay her head control. haha

Time is going by so quickly. Most days seem like blurs filled with diapers, bottles, cries (sometimes, me), laughs (me) and brief naps (me).

Maggie still has her days and nights confused, which is taking its toll on Mommy and Daddy, but...she'll grow out of that eventually. She's still so small...she doesn't care much about what time it is or whether it's daylight or night. Newborns really don't care about much at all, except eating and sleeping.

Recently, she's been smiling while awake. That's a big big big morale boost for me. I worry all the time if her brain is developing like it should. (Yes, that's true.) I worry if I'm stimulating her enough, getting those little neurons to fire. There's a large part of every day that Maggie spends crying. She's a little colicky. So, when she's sleeping, I feel relief. But, I also feel like she's sleeping too much and missing out on important developmental stimuli.

I know most of my worrying is for naught - hehe, I always wanted to say that - because right now her brain development is happening mostly on its own, while her physical development takes precedence. But, if I'm not worrying, then I guess I'm just not complete.

It's hard to tell just how much she's grown or changed unless you see pictures from early on until now....I am not going to post old pics of her, just new, to see the contrast, you will have to go to earlier posts. Or, check out the album Maggie Melissa on my Facebook page. If you don't have a Facebook - get with the times!

Ok, here they are....a bunch of pictures.