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Lost at 7 weeks

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Hey all (and by *all*, I mean the three of you that still read this blog!), I’m sorry I haven’t written in such a long time. It hasn’t been intentional…in fact, truth be told, I haven’t thought about writing until this morning at 4AM when my bleary, sleep deprived shell had a moment and realized that it had been a couple of weeks since I had posted last.

Shira turned 7 weeks over the weekend.

Truthfully, it’s been tough. I’m incredibly exhausted…the likes of which I have never known. It’s a deep exhaustion that comes from basically 3 hour spurts of sleep twice a night, going on 8 weeks. Shira is a very. very demanding baby. I know that all babies are demanding, but seriously guys…this girl does not stop for a second unless she’s sleeping. Her legs are always kicking, her arms are always flitting around, she squirms (will not sit still in my lap, doesn’t like to be cradled for long, HATES carriers…I’ve tried and tried with the carriers, and she will scream and/or push her legs up like she wants to stand and get frustrated when she can’t), screams (and I mean, screams like I’m torturing her) at every. single. diaper change until the diaper comes off, in which case she laughs, smiles, and coos, and “talks” to me in the most adorable baby babble. And when she’s done smiling and babbling, she goes back to screaming. I don’t think it’s a digestive issue, as she eats fine, has minimal gas, rarely if ever spits up, and goes to sleep right after eating during her night feeds. It’s our days that are just…well….non stop. I can’t leave her in her chair for more than 10 minutes before she starts screaming to be moved on to the next thing (stroller, play mat, bouncing…) Life has been a cycle of moving around my living room to different activities, taking a walk around the neighborhood for a change of scenery, sleeping, changing, eating. Our Mommy and Me class on Wednesdays breaks up the day, and I’d like to do more stuff outside the house/neighborhood, but I’m so FUCKING TIRED that the effort it takes to pack up everything, make plans, get her in the car, and go somewhere seems daunting. This sounds horrible, but she sleeps in the car rides sometimes, and I get sad because I’m missing out on a time when I could be napping because I’m driving us somewhere.

I feel like I’m losing my mind.

The good news is, she sleeps very well at night (knocking on every piece of wood in my house right now…) She takes small cat naps during the day that last anywhere from 20 mins to an hour, and then has a nuclear meltdown every night around 6PM. We give her a bath (which she LOVES–shuts her right up!) and then swaddle and diaper her (cue: SCREAMS), get a bottle (likes), and then passes out around 7:30ish and sleeps for 6-7 hours. I know this sounds amazing, and like I should be getting more sleep, but there’s no way I can go to bed at 7:30 with her every night! Hubs and I have a precious few hours alone together, clean up the war zone we call “home” which has been filled with blankets, toys, and dishes from throughout the day, go to bed, and I’m up for a 12 or 1AM feed. Or I’m pumping. Always pumping…

Does it get better? Am I doing enough to keep her stimulated? Not too stimulated? Our days and weeks are seriously blending together…I had no clue what day it was today.

I’m told it gets easier…it’s hard to believe this, but I’m hoping it does. Thank God my mom can come in and help us a couple times this week…even 3 hours once a week takes the edge off sometimes.

Shira is up from her 20 minute nap now, and the screaming will cue up soon.

Arrrggghhhhhhhhhh.

 

If At First She Screams Bloody Murder in a Boba…

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Try again. And again. And again.

I waited to put her in this time until after she was fed, changed, and basically passed out in her stroller. She fussed for about 1 minute, and then I spent 10 minutes walking her up and down my front yard outside (as suggested!) It’s literally about 104 degrees here today, so I can’t be outside with her in the wrap for very long, but she fell asleep in it, and has remained in it for a good 20 minutes! A record!

Wait...so I can hold you AND type an email?? Happy tears.

Wait…so I can hold you AND type an email?? Happy tears.

I’m still not 100% confident that she will always be this good, but we’ll keep trying.

A Marathon that Never ends

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This entry is rushed.  Shira may be sleeping for 10 minutes now, so I figure now is a good time to update. I feel like I’m running a marathon that never ends. Every day is blending into the next, and it’s tough to keep up. Shira is a doll. Seriously, I love her to bits, but she is getting to be more and more demanding as she hits 5 weeks (tomorrow). Something about this week has made her cranky and clingy. The Wonder Weeks talks about this developmental milestone having these symptoms, and I’m hoping it’s a phase .Shira has never been a particularly calm child, but this past week she has had two modes: “Passed the Fuck Out” or “Screaming Bloody Murder”. She will tolerate her play mat or changing table for a good 5 minutes before screaming to be held again, and her poor little arms and legs are a bit spastic which agitates her to no end.

This is us at any given moment during the day when she decides to have a food coma and will not tolerate being put down to sleep:

Shira: drunk on milk. Me: exhausted.

Shira: drunk on milk. Me: exhausted.

 

I have been trying to find a carrier she will tolerate, but every single time I try one (the Ergo was the latest adventure) she screams like I’m torturing her. She ONLY wants to be held, or sleeps in her rocker, stroller, and/or the Co-sleeper, or splashes around in the tub (she LOVES bath time, and sometimes I wish I could just keep her in the tub for hours). By 7PM she has fritzed out, and gets seriously cranky. She then passes out for a good 6-7 hours (I know, I’m lucky) wakes, feeds, sleeps another two hours, wakes, feeds, sleeps another two hours, and then our day begins again at about 7AM. She sleeps maybe 2-3 hours total during the day in little nap spurts of 15 minutes. I don’t know what “normal” is, but it is certainly exhausting to do the daily routine of consolling her, feeding her, changing her, and listening to her scream. That being said, there is a calm during the storm each day where she looks at me intensely and breaks into HUGE smiles which make me flip out and love her even more.

I found that I was barely getting out of the house at all so I forced myself to join a mommy group once a week. My first class was on Wednesday and it was SO NICE to be around other moms going through similar things. I was terrified of driving with Shira by myself, but we made it, and Shira was on her best behavior (only had one melt down in class which was remedied by a ready bottle of breast milk and a nap on me).

This girl is intense. But so damn lovable.

Either her hairline's receding or her head is growing! Either way, that smile is melt worthy!

Either her hairline’s receding or her head is growing! Either way, that smile is melt worthy!

Updates!

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First up: Thanks to Belle for the adorable fashion inspiration! I gots Shira some pretty bows!

Pensive Shira is contemplating her new look:

Shira_bow1

Giddy Shira is happy her mommy dressed her in something other than a diaper.

Shira_Bow2

It’s been so hot around here, and our house is poorly cooled, so for the most part, Shira has been living nearly nude. This was all well and good until I went to dress her in some actual clothes and realized she had completely outgrown her newborn clothes in a matter of 3 weeks!! She’s in 3 month sizes now, and continues to amaze me at how long she is growing every day. The pediatrician had to re-measure her last week because they thought there was an error in their measurements. She grew 2 inches in 2 weeks, and is now 8 pounds 10 ounces and nearly 22 inches long. WOWEE!

I’ve been MIA this week and last because there are so many family members visiting. My MIL stayed with us for a week last week and is still in LA this week. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about having her stay at our place when Shira was only 2 weeks old. I had this idea in my head that Hubs and I were going to spend the first few weeks of Shira’s life quietly bonding, cooing, and magically waking every 3 hours to have “dream feeds” and the like. I was worried that having another family member in the house helping out would destroy this magic bond.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA.

Excuse me while I eat my words bite by painful bite.

Ok. So, my MIL is a bit pushy at times…. And she tells me how to clean my house and fold my laundry…. And she annoys my husband by requesting that he take the trash out in his own home.,,BUT. I have to admit she was a lifesaver when it came to educating our clueless asses about the proper care and feeding of Shira. Turns out my Type A monitoring of how much formula she was getting was not meeting Shira’s hunger needs which is why she was so fussy some days early on. I had this app called Baby ESP that I was using, and although it’s helpful to figure out how many ounces you’re feeding and when, I have since abandoned it and have been MUCH happier. Once my MIL started teaching me how to feed on demand by treating the bottle like the breast, we have been a much happier home. Shira is a delight and SO CHILL (most of the time). She eats pretty constantly throughout the day, little bits here and there, or sometimes if she’s really hungry, she’ll guzzle down 2-2.5 ounces. All she needed was a bit more food on a steady drip, and she spends most of the day cooing and sleeps like a log (unless she has gas, in which case, she screams at me and burps loudly and farts and shits). She has a very fussy hour or two around 6-8, but last night she went down at 7:30PM, and didn’t get up until…2:30AM. Hubs and I actually had to wake her up because we started to get worried. I changed her, fed her, and she was down again until 5AM, ate, and went back to sleep until 8AM. CRAZY! Of course, now that she is sleeping longer stretches at night, she is up more during the day. I’m still trying to perfect her bottle feeding method as there are times when I will be feeding her and she will sort of choke on the milk and paw and scream at me like I’m torturing her. My MIL does not have this problem when feeding her, nor does Hubs, so it’s been taking a whack at my self esteem lately. I know, I know…she’s a baby…she can’t feel “hate”….but having her scream and claw her nails into my chest during a feeding feels awful!
Shira will be one month old on Saturday, and I’ve been thinking lately about the steep learning curve we’ve all gone through in this house in the span of a month:

  • Newborns cure you of insomnia. Seriously. I went from sporadic sleep at best to craving every little last bit of shut I I can get. There was a point a couple of days ago where I did the once “unthinkable” thing of letting Shira sleep for two hours on my chest just so I could fall asleep at 5AM. Before she was born I somehow thought that the fact that I already had insomnia would make the night feedings easy breezy. I was SO WRONG.
  • Doggy pee pads are amazing on the changing table. I change Shira on them all of the time and it has saved us multiple poo and pee stains on the changing pad!
  • I probably don’t sterilize my bottles or breast pump as much as I should (I pump about 10 times per day, and it’s simply impossible to do a deep clean every time and still have time to have a life), and I’ve certainly fed Shira formula that has sat out for more than an hour. I accidentally fed her 6 hour formula at 2AM because the bottle was sitting mext to the bottle of breast milk and I was so tired I didn’t look at which one I fed her. I panicked, but Shira appears to be OK.
  • If it means that she will be going to sleep soon if I keep her in the EXACT position she’s in, spit up, shit, and piss all over me is worth the sacrifice and will not bother me.
  • To that note, the couch that I had lovingly kept stain free for almost 10 years has now been spit up on 15 times.
  • Pumping is no joke. I feel at times like I am a human cow, good only for providing Shira with milk. I feel especially down when she has spent the greater part of an afternoon screaming bloody murder at me and the bottle of breast milk I lovingly pumped for her at 3:30AM. My supply barely keeps up with her, and we probably have to supplement 2-3 feeds per day with formula. But I’m doing my best, damnit…and that’s about all I can do.
  • Despite all of the above, Shira is still really yummy when she wakes up and looks at me with those adorable doe eyes.

What do I do with her?

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So…now what?

I am finding myself getting increasingly bored and restless with the wake/feed/shit/repeat schedule we’re on, and I feel guilty in a way…like I’m not providing enough stimulation for her.  Anyone know any cool newborn games? Or do they basically just sleep, shit, and scream?

I think part of the problem has been that I just today finally figured how to Boba wrap her. This baby oragami with the wrap had me quite intimidated, and I had been putting off learning how to do it. Today was my breaking point, as she has been throwing some fits after being fed, and hates being put in her rocker or her chair. She was also screaming while being held, so I had run out of options and was literally couch bound holding a screaming baby, unless I wanted to put her in her chair and have her scream there. Today I studied up on the Boba wrap, crossed my fingers, and put her in it when she was half asleep. No cries! She slept on my chest wrapped up for another hour at least, until it was time for another feed. Meanwhile, I could walk around with her and get stuff done.

I’m typing this with her in the wrap again. She had just been fed and screamed bloody murder when I put her in it, but has since calmed down, and gone to sleep on my chest again. I am drinking a Newcastle to celebrate. I don’t think she’s wrapped up as well this time (she’s sort of slumped in a side sleeping position), but at this point, I don’t want to disturb her. Resisting the urge to google “permanent damage from wrapping baby the wrong way in Boba.”

Anyone else had a kid who initially screamed when put in the wrap, but then calmed down? I feel sort of bad that she seemed to initially hate the wrap. Anyone else have a newborn who, at two weeks started fussing unbelievably? She was a model one week old, and then now at two weeks, the kid either eats, shits, or cries when she’s awake. I initially thought it might be gas, and maybe it is, but the difference between week one and week two has been remarkable, and there has been no changes in my diet or her formula.

The last two weeks have also been a test on my relationship with Hubs. Any sort of physical intimacy has been off the table, and I find that our conversations revolve almost entirely on how much Shira has eaten, what her shit looks like, and handing her off to one another so the other can sleep or jerk off in the guest room (take a guess who does what?) Our lack of sexual intimacy has been frustrating for Hubs…he logically understands that it cannot happen right now, but it is still hard nonetheless (pun intended). I have the sex drive of a lobotomized asexual right now, and to make matters worse, my clitoris feels bruised (TMI?). It has felt this way since after the birth…anyone else experience this? I am trying not to freak out that this is a permanent side effect of birthing a 7.5 pounder out of my vag. I totally miss my old vagina and my old sex drive. The stitches are healing, but I took a look down there a few days ago and realized that whatever stitching was done has altered the look of my vagina somewhat. It’s nothing that looks bad, but I can tell the difference.

I’m sure all of this is temporary, but the first two weeks have been a big shock to the system…

 

EPING

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This entry will cover my thoughts on breast feeding. Put all judgmental nipples away, please!

Just when I thought my days of annoying baby-related abbreviations were done (TTC, EWCM, AF, blah blah blah…) I have been confronted with a new abbreviation in the Mommy world that has been annoying the shit out of me the last couple of weeks. The term is: EBF. Or, “Exclusively Breast Fed”. Said with the subtle undertone of,  “I’m better than you because I exclusively breast feed my baby.” Yes, I know that not everyone feels this smug satisfaction when they say that they EBF their babies, but there are quite a few people who do, and unfortunately I had some run ins with them when I was in a very vulnerable place.

To start from the beginning, Shira and I had a very VERY difficult time from the get go with breast feeding. It is my worst memory of being in the hospital. I was in pain, bleeding, swollen, completely sleep deprived, and unable to satiate my daughter or know what was wrong, or why I couldn’t feed her. I would not wish ANYONE to go through that fear of seeing your child shaking with frustration and hunger.  I belong to an LA Mommy group on Facebook, and when I posted there when I was in the thick of things for helpful advice on milk supply, and supplementing, all I got were a bunch of psychos telling me  that “breast is best” and I just had to “hang in there”. I was also told by one person that because I had to use fertility meds to conceive Shira, my low supply was evolution’s way of indicating that I wouldn’t be able to breast feed because I couldn’t conceive naturally.  Sorry. But fuck that. And fuck the term EBF if it’s used to be smug and judgmental of people who would “dare” give their children formula AKA “baby poison”.

There was no lactation consultant on call at the hospital on the weekends, and Shira was born on a Saturday. So aside from 5 or 10 minutes here and there from different nurses who each taught me a completely different way to feed her, I basically was left to my own completely non sensical devices on how to feed her from my boobs all while operating on about 2 hours of sleep in 48 hours.  To make matters even more difficult, I have very small, flat nipples, and she wasn’t able to latch properly. No one thought to recommend a nipple shield, and every attempt for her to suck at my breast was met with screams and crying so frustrated that she would be shaking and inconsolable for 5 to 10 minutes after every attempt. She would maybe nurse for 5 minutes before getting completely inconsolable. It got to a point where she would start screaming and crying as soon as I started to position her to feed, based on her memory of the previous feeding traumas. By the end of the day on Sunday, she had lost almost 10% of her body weight, was not calming down, and was seriously dehydrated to a point where her mouth was dry. I broke down sobbing, and got extremely pissed at some of the nursing staff who were each telling me a different way to breast feed. Shira’s head was flopping everywhere, and I didn’t even know how to hold her. Some of the nursing staff took pity on me and milked my breasts for colostrum for 30 minutes and produced maybe a teaspoon full which they finger fed to Shira, but that didn’t help calm her down. I eventually succumbed to (collective judgemental EBF Mom gasp) a one ounce formula feed which instantly quieted my little girl, and helped her sleep. Seeing her go from frantic and beet faced to calm and relaxed  when she got food broke my heart. I felt like I had been torturing her for two days.

Look, I know that there are plenty of moms out there who exclusively breast feed, and maybe all breast feeding is met initially with resistance from the baby, but I could not shake the memories of those two or three days when I couldn’t feed my baby. On Monday, the lactation consultant showed up at the hospital, but the damage had already been done. Shira preferred the formula nipple that would satiate her hunger instantly, over my boob that was  barely producing a slow drip of colostrum for her. When I got home, I immediately rented a Medela Symphony pump to try and at least make sure I was getting Shira some colostrum even if it was fed to her with a bottle. A lactation consultant came to the house that night and tried to help me, and my doula kindly spent some time with me the following morning showing me how to use a nipple sheild. Although the shield helped, my milk flow was still very very slow, and Shira had a hard time sucking. So I would inevitably have to supplement after every feed or Shira would start wailing again.

I attempted to breast feed her at every feed for a week, but her screams became too much, and she would get worked up at every feeding. I found I was dreading feeding her, and becoming more and more anxious. This is absolutely NOT healthy. I hit a point where I decided that I would rather lovingly and calmly feed Shira a bottle than be stressed out all of the time.

After much Googling, I stumbled across another term on the internet called “EPING” or, “Exclusively Pumping”. Although I’m not quite pumping enough milk yet for Shira to be exclusively bottle fed breast milk, I’m getting close! I pump every 2-3 hours, and get about 2-3ounces a pump which has been enough for about 70% of her feeds.

Here’s what I LOVE about bottle feeding:

  • Our feedings are relaxed now!
  • I get to look into my baby’s eyes while I feed her, and I don’t cry because my nipples hurt so bad
  • Hubs has taken over one to two night shift feedings, and I get 4-6 hours of straight sleep per night!
  • Shira is gaining weight and is satiated–a feeling I never got when trying to breast feed her
  • I have an easier time tracking how much she’s eating, and it makes me feel more comfortable (yes, I’m a control freak)

The point is…I guess we all try and do our best as moms. I wanted to experience the joys of breast feeding Shira, but it wasn’t meant to be, and I’m actually surprised at how little I mourn the loss…maybe if I’d had a more positive experience from the get go, I would have been more sad to say goodbye to breast feeding. For now, I’m aiming to have a 100% EPING day as soon as my milk supply catches up with Shira’s appetite.

Birth Story–Part 2

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So, last we left this, I was spread eagle iin my bed in shit loads of pain after experiencing pretty consistent contractions 4-5 minutes apart, and then 2 minutes apart for about 4 hours. Doula had agreed to come and check my cervix, even though she was pretty certain I was in early labor and I was probably underestimating how long it takes first time moms to be dilated enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

I should also preface that most doulas are not technically allowed to do cervical checks, but some will do them “off the record”. My doula is pretty much the most kick ass person in the world (seriously–I don’t think Hubs and I would have been able to go through what we went through without her), and she is also taking her tests to become a Nurse Midwife, so I was very comfortable with her checking me.

So. I’m lying on the bed, moaning through a contraction, open my eyes for a split second as doula’s hand is up my vajay jay and see her quietly mouth to my husband that we have to go NOW. I was 6 cm dilated.

Keep that number in your head as you read on.

Only 6cm? I’ve got pleeeeeenty of time to get to the hospital. Yay! Knowing that, I ask for one more soak in the tub. Doula laughs nervously and says, sure. At this point I’m not really lucid, and I’m kind of shuffling aimlessly. Who knows exactly what Hubs was up to…turns out he was frantically throwing things in the car. I soaked for 5 more minutes in the tub, and then wandered around looking for clothes and shoes. I was also still dealing with a ton of incredibly painful contractions which slowed me down considerably.

After about 15-20 minutes, I think I was ready to get in the car. Before we left, however, I had a really odd lucid moment where I realized we hadn’t turned off the air conditioner in the bedroom, and made HUbs do it before we left. Wouldn’t want our energy bill to go through the roof! He shook his head, and said, “Only you would be thinking about our energy bill right now.” It was about 4:45PM. Doula drove separately to the hospital, but warned us to pull over if I felt the urge to push in the car and call her immediately.

The car ride to the hospital sucked. I screamed through some contractions while we made the 15 minute drive to labor and delivery. I remember sweating profusely, feeling so incredibly hot and uncomfortable. To make matters worse, there were 4 or 5 HUGE speed bumps right before we pulled into the parking lot of L&D. Who the fuck designed those to be THERE?  Speed bumps are not labor friendly.

When we arrived, we had to go through this waiting room area and I groaned through another contraction. There were a bunch of people waiting there who I’m sure were amused. Doula was there ahead of us, and got us ushered right through the check in because I was in “active labor”.  I remember thinking it was odd that I was in active labor. Only a about 5 hours before I was baking a bundt cake! I cant quite remember the events that got me into the room where I would eventually give birth, but I remember it was a very big room with a bed, and there was no door, which meant that everyone on the L&D floor could hear my screams and groans. They had me change into a hospital gown and pee. Then I had to get strapped to the monitor so they could get a good “strip” on me and the baby. After being able to walk around and labor freely at home, the 15 minute strips were THE WORST. I had to remain relatively still and lay down. Laying down in active labor felt awful. During the “strip”, a very sweet British nurse came in to check my dilation.  She was a nurse midwife from England, and was AMAZING. Unfortuantely, she left us during a shift change, but I credit having her there to the fact that I wasn’t made to get hooked up to an IV, or even a hep lock during my labor. She was much more opoen and schooled in the more natural ways of labor than some of the other nurses there. The baby and I were checking out fine, and she respected my wishes not to be hooked to an IV. I was evidently very lucky, as they usually make birthing moms get an IV as a precautionary measure.

So where was I?

Oh yeah. The cervical check.

British Nurse Midwife: “You’re 9cm, congrats!”

Me: “Excuse me? 9CM???? I was 6 cm about 20 minutes ago.”

Doula: “Wow! Well, that car ride must have helped!”

I was shocked. I couldn’t believe things went this fast! At this point, it was about 5:30PM I think?

My Ob came in to check me about a half hour later, and let me know I was fully dilated. Ready to push whenever I felt like it.

I know this sounds easy breezy, but keep in mind I was battling some of the worst contractions I’d ever experienced, coming about 2 minutes apart. I hung on to Hubs’ neck while doula pushed my hips together for Every. Last. One. Once I hit 10cm, I still didn’t have the urge to push. This went on for an hour. An agonizing hour. This was the only point in the birth where I contemplated asking for an epidural. I think I said something like, “I don’t know how much more I can take.” Doula assured me I had the strength to go on.  I had specified in my birth plan that I didn’t want my water artificially broken, but doula talked some sense into me and said that if I did, I may speed things up a bit. The risk for infection at this point was basically nil.

I agreed WHOLEHEARTEDLY. I was on a mission now to birth the hell out of this little girl.

OB came back in, and broke my water. I hobbled over to the toilet where Doula said I may try going to the bathroom and seeing if I felt the urge to push.

Holy shit. On my next contraction on the toilet, I felt an urge like I never understood until you get… “the urge”. It’s primal. That’s all I can say. There is no controlling it.

I believe I hobbled out of the bathroom at that point and said, “Oh God… I think I’m shitting on myself.”

They all said, “yaaay! That’s a great feeling!” It was the first time since being potty trained that I had been cheered for shitting!

And oh, did I poop. Not gonna lie. They always say that you won’t notice when you’re shitting during birth. I’m here to tell you that you do. At least, I did. I apologized profusely every time. Hubs said my turds looked cute, and it wasn’t messy at all.  He’s such a dear 🙂

By this time, I was ready to push and thought that I would try the birthing bar to squat during the birth. That turned out to be a huge mistake. The bar was not positioned well, and Hubs and doula spent what felt like an eternity trying to adjust it. I had a bitch-out moment where I just said, “Ok. STOP. This clearly isn’t working.” I decided to try pushing in the more traditional legs in stirrups position that I thought I would hate, and it turned out to be a great way to get things done.

The pushing was certainly painful, but there was something satisfying about feeling another contraction surge and feeling the urge to push (and yes, shit all over the table). Eventually, there came a point where I could feel her head putting pressure in my lower vaginal canal. They put a mirror there so I could see the progress I was making, and holy hell, that was odd seeing my vagina start to bulge like that. After about an hour of pushing, they told me she was starting to crown, and the OB came in to assist in the final part of the delivery. He said that there was meconium coming out as I was birthing, but that it had already been filtered by the amniotic fluid and was not going to be dangerous for the baby at all. That was a relief!

The final part of pushing was the most painful, not gonna lie. This was the point where I had to be “stretched” and go slow or risk tearing. And oh boy… tear I did. I have two second degree tears, and hemorrhoids that are scary as hell. I felt the moment her head came out as an intense burning sensation, and I think I screamed. The doctor told me to try to control my push on the next contraction and I felt her shoulder rotate and bust out of me. It was an amazing, painful, feeling…and then she slid out into the world, pissed as hell.

That’s my girl!  She has a set of lungs on her. Oh, and there’s my unpedicured toe in the foreground.

ShiraBirth

And that’s my wonderful OB holding her. He was absolutely amazing through the whole birth. I don’t think he gets to do many completely unmedicated births, and he was so respectful of my wishes. He let the cord stop pulsing before he clamped it, and I could see how just that little bit of extra pulsing helped turn Shira’s skin bright pink with oxygen. It was awesome.

What wasn’t so awesome? The fact that my uterus didn’t contract and stop bleeding after he massaged it. I knew this was going on, but was so blissed out with Shira on my belly that I didn’t think anything of the bleeding. Oh, my blood is just spilling onto the floor right now…no biggie.  They gave me a shot of pitocin in the leg to try and stop the bleeding, and when that didn’t work, the doc had to physically reach up my vag, through my cervix, and start pulling out massive clots. THAT was painful. But I honestly think I blocked out most of it. I remember screaming in pain, but I don’t remember being physically in pain…if that makes any sense? They gave me one more shot of something called Hemabate, which stopped the bleeding, fortunately. I had lost a liter of blood when all was said and done, but fortunately didn’t need a transfusion or anything.

1 hour and God knows how many stitches later, I was being wheeled to recovery with Shira.

Doula let me in on a little secret after all was said and done.

I was 9cm dilated at home…not 6cm. When she discovered that I had gone that far, she lied to us to spare us a complete and utter freak out that we wouldn’t make it to the hospital on time.  And for that, I’m very grateful. She had never seen a first time mom go that fast. Given the amount of pain I was in during each contraction, I am eternally grateful that I went this quick. If I had been feeling those contractions for 20 hours, there is no doubt I would have been begging for an epidural, and most likely would have got one.

And for this little bunny, I am more than grateful. No words can express.

Shira3