Saturday, October 5, 2013

Welcome to the world, Karina!

  • Karina Brielle was born August 27, 2013 at 2:47pm.
    I want to write out her birth story here so I don’t forget it:
    In the early morning hours (1-3am) of August 27th, I woke up feeling odd. I felt like I was leaking, so I got a towel to lay on, and tried to get back to sleep. I was having sporadic contractions, but they weren’t painful at all, but I really couldn’t get back to sleep either. Somewhere around 3-4am, I felt something “different”, ran to the bathroom, and then I knew for sure my water had broken. My sudden run to the bathroom woke up Dan, so we started timing my contractions using an app on my phone. They were 10-15 minutes apart and not painful for a while. Around 5am, they were 5-10 minutes apart, and I was definitely feeling them more than before. We started to think we should call our friends who were going to watch the other kids. So I got up to pack a few last minute things before we decided it was definitely time to call them. After I finished packing, I realized the contractions had basically stopped, and even when I had one, they weren’t painful at all. It was weird, but my water was still broken so we knew it would be sometime that day.
    When the girls came into our room that morning, we told them Karina would be coming sometime that day. Marissa said “It doesn’t seem like a special day, but it’s gonna be!” They were thrilled, and we decided then to call our friends to pick up the kids. Their kids and our kids had all been looking forward to it for a loooong time, so we knew they were in good hands and would enjoy the day/night with them. They came to pick them up around 8:30am, and Dan and I had breakfast then headed to my regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment that week. They did some test on the fluid and confirmed that my water had broken. The doctor also checked me and said I was at 5cm already! That was a shock because for every other baby, I was at a 2 for one check, then the next thing I knew I was at 10 and ready to push. So being at a 5 was odd. At this point I was having a contraction every once in a while and they were slightly painful, but not much. I went 45 minutes-1.5 hrs in between some of them. We decided to head on over to the birth center in case things picked up quickly (like in the past).
    We got there around 11 and got the same room that both Arianna and Roman were born in. They had the tub filled up already, per my request. The nurse started my IV (for GBS+) and I got my first (and only) dose of that. We ordered lunch and just sat around waiting for things to pick up! I was having sporadic contractions, but nothing I had to struggle through, and they weren’t very consistent.
    I called my mom around 1:20 and we chatted for a bit. During our phone call, I had a few contractions that were finally hurting enough to let me know I was actually in labor. I labored on my hands and knees on the bed and around the room for a little while, and the nurses listened to Karina a few times. I don’t remember what time it was, but I decided to get in the tub at some point – maybe around 2:20? As I was on my way in, the nurse wanted to check Karina one more time. While she was trying, I had a BAD contraction, more fluid leaked, and I could barely stand up.
    I got in the tub, and was still having hard contractions, but I got a few minutes of relaxation in the water before things really got bad. I had maybe 2-3 contractions in the water, and dang, they really hurt! At this point I was on my hands and knees, with my hands up on the edge of the tub and my legs behind me. Then suddenly I wanted to push! I pushed one, looooong, EPIC push (at one point the midwife yelled to stop pushing but I couldn’t, then told me to grunt through it – apparently Karina’s hand was up by her face and she was worried I’d tear really bad), and she was out at 2:47pm! The midwife caught her behind me and I didn’t tear at all! The midwife rested Karina on my back for a minute, and then they all helped me stand up so they could pass Karina through my legs so I could hold her. She was super slimy and got slime all over my IV site. She cried pretty much right away (which doesn’t always happen with water births), and was LOUD! I told Dan to run and grab the camera, and we got a few nasty pictures of her fresh out in the world :-)
    I held her on my chest for a little while in the tub, but the cord was pretty short so I was having trouble keeping her out of the water enough, plus she was screaming her guts out – we couldn’t even talk over her! Dan cut the cord, and then the nurse took her so I could get out of the tub. I felt so dirty (and actually pretty good) that I asked the nurse and midwife to help me clean up a little before I got out! So I stood up and they helped me shower. Haha. Then I climbed out of the tub and walked to the bed where the midwife delivered the placenta. Then I held Karina for a long time and she even nursed for a while. It didn’t take her long to get latched on. I think after that the nurse came and weighed her and checked her all out again. She weighed 7lbs 4oz and was 19 1/4 inches long (they measured her much later though).
    It was by far the weirdest of my deliveries, since it kinda took a while to get going. But it was still very fast once it actually started. Maybe 1 1/2 hours total? And of all my deliveries, I felt the best after this one. I wasn’t really sore at all, and I actually felt better afterwards. My muscles and back had been so sore for so long – it was just a relief! I immediately slept better too! Well, the first night she was up a lot obviously, but I still was much more comfortable sleeping than I had been in months!
    Because she was born so quickly, I never got the second dose of the GBS+ antibiotic (story of my life apparently). So they had to check her blood over and over (poor thing kept clotting, so they had to re-do it several times), and we had to stay an extra day to “observe” her. I was so ready to go home (it was BORING at the hospital! haha), but it was nice to have food brought to me and just do nothing for a while. The food was actually really good, and they serve a lot at each meal, which is awesome for me. Dan picked up the kids Wednesday night after the first night of AWANA (our friends took them there), and my parents and sister drove into town Wednesday night too. I was by myself at the hospital after that, and around 1am I had to move down the hall so someone else could have the birthing room. Thursday after lunch, we finally got discharged and my parents and sister came with Dan and the kids to take us home!
    At this point I still felt great. My only complaint was sore and bleeding from breastfeeding, but I expected that after living a nightmare with Marissa and Arianna as babies (not with Roman since I was still nursing Arianna at the time, plus he was in the NICU so I was pumping like crazy). Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were fun days spent with family. We even all went to see Monsters University at the cheap movie theater.
    Sunday morning I felt great, so we all went to church together, 5 days after Karina was born. Towards the end of small group, I started to feel really really cold. I thought I was fine, since I’m always cold in church. After small group ended, I took Karina downstairs to nurse her in the nursing room. At this point, I was visibly shivering and realized I might have a fever. I was also in TONS of pain every time I nursed her, so I thought maybe I was getting mastitis (again, not something I wanted to repeat). After I cried/nursed her, I went upstairs and met Dan on his way down to check on us. I handed Karina to him and went outside to stand in the hot sun. I was still sooooo cold, that he gave Karina to my sister in church, and we went outside to sit in the hot car to try to warm me up. I knew I wasn’t “just cold” from being in church, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Dan sat with me in the car for a while, but he was positively dying of heat, so I sent him inside and told him I was doing better, which I was starting to warm up a little. After about 45 minutes in the hot car, I suddenly was so hot I couldn’t stand it. I was sweating buckets and desperately needed some water to drink, but my water bottle was empty. I texted Dan, and my sister brought me out some water to drink. Church was over at this point, so we all went home and I landed on the couch. Dan took my temperature and it was 104 so he called the nurse/midwife after hours number and they said I needed to be seen in triage at the Women’s Center. So Dan, Karina, and I went back to the hospital. Boooo. They checked me out and did an ultrasound, where they thought some lining was still too thick for 5 days post-partum. They decided I needed a D&C to get rid of the infection I obviously had, but someone was having a C-section so we had to wait for the OR and my doctor. We timed it so that I nursed Karina really well just before I went in for the procedure. As long as Dan was with me, I could also keep her with me. I would only have to pump/dump once after the surgery and then she could nurse. My parents came down to the hospital too, while my sister kept the rest of the kids. So while I was under (breathing tube and everything – yuck), Dan and my parents consoled poor starving Karina. I was adamant that she not get any formula/bottle, and she made it through just fine - it was probably about 4-5 hours. Once I came out, I immediately pumped (a ton!) and then tried to wait for some milk to come back so she could finally nurse again! It was a rough few hours for Dan and my parents, rocking her and doing everything they could think of to keep her asleep and calm. And then once I was out, it was a rough few hours while I tried to let my milk build up again, but she just wanted to nurse and nurse and nurse. But I was still in so much pain from breastfeeding that I couldn’t let her, but she just wanted to nurse! I tried to make her wait at least 30 minutes in between feedings, but there still wasn’t much milk for her. Finally around midnight she got a good long filling feeding in, and we were able to sleep. This entire time I had an IV and was getting antibiotics every 6 hours. They were watching my temperature to make sure it didn’t spike again, but I already felt 100% better and totally fine. All day on Monday (Labor Day, her due date!), Dan and I sat around waiting for the word on when we could go home. It seemed like the longest day ever – we just watched tv all day! But finally before dinner they let me go! After having an IV for 24 hours, my arm was actually the most painful part of my body, with breastfeeding pain a close second. I also had a very sore throat from the breathing tube, and very sore neck and jaw (possibly also from the breathing tube, or possibly from tensing up from the pain every time I had to nurse her). I had to laugh about all my pains though, since NONE of them had anything to do with pushing a baby out!
    Since we’ve been home, we’ve had wonderful friends bringing us meals, and after my parents and sister left on Tuesday, Dan’s parents came that Friday for the weekend. As of today, 15 days post-partum, my only complaint is slight sharpness when she first latches on. This is HUGE compared to past nursing experiences, and I’m already loving snuggling with her and actually sleeping in normal positions without crying.
    I’m trying my hardest to enjoy every moment of this sweet newborn girl, since most likely this will be our last baby. I think I’m finally ok with that, since this pregnancy was so much more uncomfortable than the others, and I will never forget that giant EPIC push. But I will always miss these newborn days, especially when I’m not in pain anymore (especially nursing pain). I love love LOVE newborns, kissing newborn cheeks, snuggling a newborn in a froggy curl on my chest, even nursing in the middle of the night. So I’m soaking her in and letting other things fall behind. Because right now SHE is much more important than laundry or a picked up living room.
    The kids love her too. The girls are sweet and sing her songs, but Roman has surprised me the most. Every waking moment, he has to know where she is, what she’s doing, if she needs to eat “mommy’s milk”, he wants to see her arms if they’re hiding, he wants to kiss her forehead, and hold her all the time. He is the sweetest proudest big brother ever. I can’t believe I’m a mom to 4 kids, and they’re the sweetest most wonderful kids in the world.