Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Postpartum Advice

Baby C is two weeks old today, I absolutely cannot believe it! They grow up so fast. lol

In honor of this milestone, I thought I'd share a few of the things I've learned as I recover from her birth and as DH and I adjust to being new parents. I swear this isn't a smug-new-mom post, just things other new moms had told me (that I'm so glad I listened to), or things I had to learn myself the hard way.  I know at least a few of you readers are about to have babies yourself, so maybe this advice will be helpful to you too. :-) 

1) Stock up on pads, witch hazel pads (Tucks), and Dermoplast before going into labor. It was so nice having these available when we got home from the hospital and not having to worry about immediately running out to buy them!

2) Use the Dermoplast and witch hazel pads every time you go to the bathroom. The nurse at the hospital showed me how to use the Dermoplast, then line my sanitary pad with the witch hazel pads, and it was SO nice. Just a suggestion. ;-)

3) Take as many pairs of the mesh granny panties from the hospital as you can. I even asked the nurse to bring me another pack because I loved them so much. And its nice that when they get bloody you can just throw them away, instead of ruining your own undies. ;-) I also recommend stealing as many of the crotch ice packs as you can, they were wonderful as well!

4) Fill the prescription they give you for stool softeners and TAKE THEM! Even if you don't take the narcotic pain killers, you will need the stool softeners.  Trust me.

5) Breastfeeding is hard and it HURTS, but it gets better. I was lucky that C figured it out right away, but it was still excruciatingly painful in the beginning, even when doing everything correctly. I also found it very mentally difficult at times, due to the anticipation of how much it would hurt when C latches on but knowing that I have to just suck it up and do it. Thankfully at two weeks it is finally starting to hurt less and is really only painful in the initial 5-10 seconds after she latches. I've been told it gets easier so I am hoping that is the case!  Also, I would ask to see a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital, just to make sure you are both doing it right (or to get any problems ironed out if you aren't).

6) Buy lanolin and use it liberally (if breastfeeding).  This goes along with #5, but I cannot imagine attempting to breastfeed without using lanolin.  A friend suggested requesting it at the hospital and using it from the beginning, and I am so so thankful that I did.  My hospital actually gave me the Medela kind which I used while there, but I had purchased Lansinoh which I began using at home and found that I preferred it over the Medela.  The Lansinoh is a thicker texture than the Medela, which I have heard some women think makes it difficult to apply, but its not that bad and I found it to be more protective of my sore, sore nipples.

7)  Take LOTS of pictures of your sweet new baby!  They grow and change so much, so quickly, and you don't want to miss a thing!  :-)

I think that's it for my list of advice... if any other moms want to weigh in or add things that worked for you too, feel free!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Baby C has arrived!

You may have guessed from my absence that Baby C is finally here!  And we are obviously no longer Team Green... ITS A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Baby C arrived at 3:37 am on 11/15/11 (39 weeks, 3 days) after only 4.5 hours of labor -- Yes you read that correctly!  She weighed in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches long.  She is absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way.  :-)  DH and I are so beyond in love with her! 


And for those of you who are interested, the (med-free) birth story:

I had fallen asleep on the couch watching tv on the evening of the 14th. I woke up around 11:00 pm thinking maybe I was having contractions, but they weren't too painful.  DH and I started cleaning up the house a bit "just in case", although he wasn't convinced this wasn't a false alarm.  Soon I noticed the contractions were coming every 5-8 mins, and that I had started bleeding. The blood was more than I expected for (what I thought was) early labor, so around 12:30 am I called L&D to see if I should come in. The nurse assured me some bleeding was normal and to come in when my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart.

About 30 minutes after hanging up the phone, my contractions were consistently coming every 2-4 minutes and lasting a minute or more each. DH and I decided it was time to go. I had at least 3-4 contractions during the 10 minute drive to the hospital. By the time we arrived at the hospital, I was 7 cm with a bulging bag of waters. I don't think anyone (me and DH included) expected me to be that far along! The fact that I had already progressed that far without too much pain gave me a huge confidence boost that I could actually succeed with the med-free delivery I had hoped for.

The next bit of the story is kind of a blur. I met the on-call doctor (who was amazing by the way) and told him I wanted to do this naturally and asked if he was open to me trying different positions while pushing, instead of flat on my back. Thankfully he was super laid back and said I could do whatever I wanted. I remember having a LOT of pressure during this time and thinking the baby was about to fall out, but the rest is pretty much a blur. I remember joking with the doctors and nurses in between contractions and swearing under my breath (and then apologizing to everyone) during contractions. I also remember when my water broke because it was such a weird feeling. I was kind of squatting at the edge of the bed, trying not to push, and it just exploded like I'd been hit by a water balloon in the crotch. lol I know I finally told the nurse that the baby was coming and my body was pushing it out without me. She called for the doctor but I guess he was taking too long, because she decided to check me. She couldn't even find the other side of my cervix and called me complete around 2:45 am.

She must have successfully paged someone, because before I knew it the on-call doctor, a resident, and two other nurses appeared and started breaking down the bed. I used the squat bar for a little while and really liked it, but I was exhausted and my legs got too tired so I stopped. Then I got on all fours and that's where I stayed until Baby C was born. Pushing really wasn't that painful -- it was such a relief to be able to push against the pressure -- but it was really hard work. And it was very surreal, I could feel Baby C move down every time I pushed. After about 45 minutes of pushing she was finally out! DH is in medical school and the doctor let him "catch" and cut the cord, and he was the one to announce we had a baby girl. That was really really special for both of us that he got to do those things.  :-)

The only bit of drama is that Baby C apparently took a big gulp of fluid on her way out and was sounding a little gurgly when she was first born, so they took her to get checked out while I delivered the placenta and got cleaned up. I had a 2nd degree tear inside my vagina, but it was small and only took a few stitches to fix. By the time I was fixed up Baby C had checked out just fine (7/8 Apgars) and I finally got to meet my baby girl!


DH and I still can't believe she is here and are totally in love. I also still can't believe how lucky I was having such a fast and easy delivery. My recovery has been great and Baby C is breastfeeding like a champ.  I truly could not have asked for a better delivery or a more perfect baby.  :-)

I will do my best to keep posting on this blog, but it might be sporadic as Baby C eats (what feels like) constantly and I'm trying to get a little rest in between. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The waiting is the hardest part...

Apologies to Tom Petty for stealing his line, but I don't believe truer words have ever been spoken.  I am SO anxious and SO ready to meet Baby C!  I'm not even that physically uncomfortable now that s/he has dropped, I'm just mentally exhausted from playing the waiting game, and super excited to meet him or her!

I haven't blogged about this yet, but we've had quite a bit of excitement this past week.  DH and I made our first "baby could be here any time" trip to L&D on Friday morning.  I had woken up several times throughout the night Thursday night/Friday morning and was leaking quite a bit of fluid each time, so I called my doctor's office to see what I should do.  They wanted me to go get checked at L&D, so off we went.  Before hanging up the phone, the nurse said, "make sure you bring your hospital bag, we might be having a baby today!"

Cue holy-crap-reality-moment!

Of course, I understand that the logical outcome of pregnancy is usually a baby, but this entire time an actual baby seemed to be just an abstract idea for some time in the future.  DH and I hadn't even packed a hospital bag yet!  So I showered, we threw some stuff together, and off we went to the hospital.  After getting checked by the resident and being monitored for about an hour, we learned my water had not yet broken and we were sent home.  I also learned I was now 2 cms dilated, 80% effaced, and Baby C was at -2 station.  The resident said it could be any time, so of course DH and I have been even more excited and anxious -- especially since we just had an official dress rehearsal for the big day!  lol


Cut from Friday to this morning about 3:30 am.  I was jolted awake from a dead sleep with some quite painful contractions.  I literally couldn't even get up right away, I had to lay there for a minute to catch my breath.  Once I was finally able to get up, I used the restroom and walked around for 10-15 minutes... and then they stopped.  I was so bummed, of course I was hoping THIS time was the real deal!

Luckily, I had my 38 week appointment today so I didn't have to wait long to see if I was making any more progress.  Unfortunately, I hadn't really progressed much from last week.  :-(  I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.  My doctor again told me he thought I was 1-2 cms, but now 90% effaced and with Baby C's head lower than it was last week.  I know that any progress is good news, but I was hoping for more.  *sigh*

So, that's where I am at now.  Stuck waiting for Baby C to make his/her appearance any day (or possibly weeks) from now.  DH and I went to the mall after my appointment and walked until I couldn't take it any more, and we plan to go do it again tomorrow.  I haven't gotten desperate enough to try any of the other old wives' tales yet, but I might cave soon if this baby doesn't come on his/her own! 

Here's hoping Baby C decides to make his/her appearance soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Yesterday was my 37 week appointment. I mentioned in my 36 week post that as of last week, I hadn't made any progress yet. Well, I got checked again yesterday, and immediately my doctor said, "wow, definitely a change from last week!" Haha. I went from 0 cms and no effacement to 1-2 cms and 80% effaced in 5 days! I was super surprised and excited. I also was having contractions on and off all day yesterday, before and after my appointment. And (TMI alert!) according to Dr. Google and the ladies of PgAL, it sounds like I have also been losing pieces of my mucous plug. Eek!

I know that all of these things could mean that Baby C might arrive any day now, or that I could walk around dialated and dropping pieces of my mucous plug for weeks before s/he arrives. But I am encouraged that we are at least moving in the right direction! :-)

I am trying to focus on wrapping everything up at work, but my mind is torn between thoughts of finally meeting Baby C, and all of the stuff I still need to get done before s/he arrives (finish washing baby clothes, prep the cloth diapers, put away baby gifts, write thank you notes from our most recent shower...). AHHH! I feel like we have so much left to do! Things are definitely starting to feel VERY real!