Monday, January 31, 2011

Seeds heating pad and Slings

The seeds heating pad got some (well deserved!!) interest in my last post and I realised it wasn't that clear what I was talking about to some of you so I'm dedicating part of this post to explain better and give some links.

I bought this pad in a nature shop, it's practically a cotton-made bag which is filled with some kind of seeds. It could be oat, or barley or wheat in my case, but I have seen them filled with cherry stones or corn (not the "pop" kind of corn!). They are very popular here but if you don't find one you can make it yourself. I found this great link (actually...Mike found it and put it among my bookmarks!) and I'm posting here some random pics to give you an idea of what mine looks like.
This one is actually sold here and it's really similar to the one I have.

These are made by Katie, check out her blog here she gives also awesome guidelines!

Katie's ones have vertical stitches which are great to keep the seeds more uniformly distributed but in that case you have to make sure not to overfill the sections or they can be a bit uncomfortable. Overfilling makes also the bag quite heavy and in my opinion not suitable if you use it with small children.

The one I have is not specific for babies at all but as it doesn't have vertical stitches I can shift the seeds inside to one side leaving the part which I put on Oliver's tummy a bit lighter.
If you make it yourself, have a look at the various seeds that you can use. My advice is not to go for corn or cherry stones as they are a bit too rough. Smaller seeds is the way to go! When I use it for Oliver I only warm mine in the microwave for a minute, then I shake the seeds to make sure the heat is uniformed and the right temperature. I'm going to add a couple of drops of lavender oil to the bag (after heating it) and see if it's even better! Do let me know how you get on!

Next on the list of things I want to get is a sling. There is such a variety it took me ages to learn pros and cons of them and make some sort of decision! I think I'm set on a stretchy wrap which apparently lasts a little less than a woven one weight-wise but it's easier to start with and a bit lighter. I have found a second hand one for a great price (Hoppediz brand) but I'm in love with a French one which apparently is the ultimate stretchy sling lasting as long as the woven ones (JPMBB do check this out the demo video is cool!) but way more expensive! Alternatively I like a microfleece one which I think suits Irish weather perfectly but probably not so much Italy (Calin Bleu brand). This one has the great advantage of being water repellent and very very light (and cheap!). Do you have a sling? Can you tell me how you are getting on with it?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

4 weeks update!

It's just the three of us as of yesterday. Mom went home and I miss her very much already. Being home with Oliver is nice but I miss adult conversation a lot (so warning, don't phone or I'll keep you on the line for hours!!). Mike has stepped up though and he's helping greatly. Last night we were all in the living-room, Mike and I on the couch, Patches on my lap and the Dude on an armchair...and Oliver sleeping in his rocking seat...was I dreaming? I still don't have many memories of the pregnancy (also I'm not really thinking about it much) but I am soaking up every second of motherhood. I remember everything vividly starting from when I saw Oliver for the first time. It was all so so worth it.

Milk production seems to be decreasing now (only 30mL total yesterday). Ah well. Honestly. Ah well. I don't know why it didn't increase like all the websites tell you. I don't know why nothing seemed to help. I'll give him all I get and hope it'll be better than nothing. Like some of you have told me, I now have this sickening feeling when I pump. Not worth it.
But on the other hand....I have found a nice solution for the colics! I don't know why this is not widely advertised as it's so so simple! We have one of those seeds-filled pad, the ones you heat up in the microwave...Oh my God, it works like a charm...the one we have is rod shaped, I heat it for a minute max (obviously making sure it's warm but not hot) and I wrap it around his's an instant relief!! Now we put it on his tummy after every feed and he's the happiest baby you can imagine! So let me know if you try it out and works for you too.

Yesterday we also went for Oliver's first shot. He was very good! Cried very little, and was happy again as soon as I gave him a cuddle, we got out of the doctor's office and you wouldn't have said he had been pricked! All the other babies seemed to need bottles or boobs once out of the office to calm down. Oh my little champion...a trouper like his mamma!

So it's 4 weeks since the section and I feel very well. I still have a bit of bleeding (but when does it end??) which in the last week or so was giving me the impression it was almost ending only to pick up again later in the day. Mmh. It's very little, a panty-liner is more than enough but it's seems I've been bleeding forever! Let me know your experience.

Oliver's passport is on the way also! Can you believe that the pic we took for it is going to last 3 years?? He's already changed so much I can't believe they'll recognise him through the photo in three years!
Passport pic!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I wish I could hug you all. Tanks so much again for the kind comments. I should have clarified that I'm taking also the domperidone (plus specific multivitamines, plus fenugreek, plus fennel tea etc) but it hasn't really made a difference. I am not breastfeeding (Oliver never latches on for more than 2 minutes without getting frustrated) so all I get (and he gets) is a couple of oz per day purely by pumping, and I pump till the last drop comes out. It doesn't make any difference how many time a day I pump...if I pump 5 times I still get the same total volume and I realised I can get it in one go in the evening. Despite such a miserable milk supply I have a leaky boob in the morning (the left one!) which would make you think it's full but let me assure you it isn't. I've pumped immediately after noticing a leak only to be greatly disappointed (it starts off promising and it simply runs out of milk after a few minutes...and the flow is something like a drop every 2-3 sucking motions...yes that disappointing). But like you all said, I'm doing the best I can, I won't loose sleep over it, when I'll have had enough of this I'll just give it up.

And little Oliver is growing steadily!! Today weight check was 3.28kg! He piled up 300g in a week and that's perfect. The nurse was very impressed with how alert he is and his head control and gave me some tips to help the trapped air coming out (mostly massaging techniques). On friday we have the first vaccine shot (BCG) so hopefully it'll go well. No update on my weight as I didn't manage to weigh myself since the last time...ehm ehem...

Finally we have done his birth certificate!! After some debate we did put Elvis as third name meant so much to us I thought we had to keep it...and actually we really love the meaning of the name which is "wise" but also is "the wise friend of the elves" in some Scandinavian fairy-tail (Circus Princess, if you read this, let me know if it's true!). So his full name is Oliver Daniel Elvis. Passport application is also ready to go, just waiting for his Personal Public Service number to arrive in the post.

That's it for now, I must post some updated photos soon!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Due date today and yet...

and yet we have the little one with us three weeks already!

He's doing very well, growing at the speed of light and he's still so so good. My milk is no where improving in quantity, I've been pumping 3 weeks solid almost and my daily collection doesn't go above 50-60mL (a couple of oz.). I'm taking anything that can help and still it doesn't help. So I'm about to call it a day. I have the pump till the middle of February when the month rental elapses and I'm sure I'm going to return it. We have to be happy. I have to be happy. While I'm constantly disappointed after pumping. Sure I put on a brave face saying "well at least is something" meaning half what he takes in a single feed...or "seems a bit better than yesterday..." while I know it isn't. I thank you all for your kind advices but I do need permission to stop sometime soon...

Dad is here since friday and totally in love with his grandson. Hopefully we'll get the passport quickly and I can go home in the near future (oh sorry, I do say I will go home, meaning my home-town in Italy, I was indeed at "home" in Dublin when I had Oliver)

If I can pick your brains a bit, I'm faced with a small new problem. I think Oliver is suffering a bit of gaseous colics. He's not text book for colics, meaning he's certainly not crying for hours (he hardly cries at all, only if he's very hungry or cold when you change him!) but he seems to be straining a lot a couple of hours after feeding. He has dirty nappies a couple of times a day and the paediatrician said when they are on formula that's more than enough, but he seems to have a lot of air in his tummy (read: he farts a lot!). What this means is that when he's still deeply asleep he makes lots of loud grunts and noises, goes all read in the face and definitely looks uncomfortable. I don't know what to do. He winds very well during feeds, but seems to be the next stage of digestion that is troublesome. I tend to pick him up and rock him and caress him, this seems to help him passing wind and seems to be better for maybe 10-15 minutes and then it starts again. Feeding seems to sort out the tummy issues for another couple of hours. He's now taking 120mL (4 oz) of formula and sleeping 4-5 hours between feeds which is a total dream of course but of those hours I'm up at least 1 or 2 massaging his tummy...

Finally I'd like to share with you all that as of yesterday we have moved to reusable nappies during the day!! I'm using this brand which I have researched a lot and so far so good. They are certainly bulkier than disposable ones but Oliver doesn't seem to mind it at all! We have no leaks as such, but I'm still learning how to put them on properly and in the quickest way possible.

Tomorrow Mike is taking a day off so that we can do all the paperwork for the birth registration and passport. Let's hope it'll go smoothly!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weight check

We are 2 and half weeks into parenthood and I cannot remember life without Oliver.

It finally feels real. It only sunk in over the weekend. I happened to look at the clock on Saturday at 4.15pm and thinking we were in the middle of the drama only 2 weeks before...I made a conscious effort of reliving (willingly) all that happened repeating to myself all was well in the end. I think it helped a lot. I looked at Oliver staring back at me and realised he IS my son. Saying it (or writing it) still is a little strange, like when I started referring to Mike as my husband.

All is well with him, he's definitely very alert, feeds very well (on formula, I am still only able to use my expressed milk as a top up of the formula!) and his weight check today at 2w3d was 2.98kg! He put on 300gr in 5 days! That's my boy! My weight check, on the other hand, a week after birth was 66kg (6 gone, 9 to go!) and 2 weeks after birth it was 65 kg (7 gone 8 to go!), let's hope it'll be declining as steadily as I put it on!

Sleep is also quite good, he would feed around 1am or 2am and then again at 5am or 6am and we both go back to sleep afterwards. We also bathed him a few times already, he loves it!! What he doesn't like is coming out of the water in the cold (we wrap him immediately but still) or getting undressed to get into the water...ah well...hopefully that'll settle too.

Breastfeeding is still a total failure. Oliver doesn't latch on at all, he may make an effort if I wear those nipple shields but not sure if he takes much. Pumping is...going. I can't say it's going well, but it's going. I've started taking fenugreek which definitely helps and my yield has gone up a bit, I managed to get the amazing mount of 60mL (2oz) yesterday in the whole day! That's twice what I was getting a couple of days ago. At this pace, Oliver will be on solids by the time I'll be able to produce one full feed for him...But again, at least he's taking some.
I also wanted to share the advice that the paediatrician had give me which is much the opposite of what all lactation specialists/website would recommend. She said when milk supply never really came in, that it's a bit pointless to pump every couple of hours as I'm only ever going to get drops and may even hurt myself. She said to allow time at least at the beginning say do it twice a day and see how it goes. I have to say, the first time I did this I collected as much I had got in the whole day the previous day! What a satisfaction! Yesterday then I pumped twice with good yields both times. I'm planning to do the same and see how it goes. Then move up to three times. I feel better about this plan, I found it very very frustrating pumping so often for literally a few drops at the time...

I also got my appointment for post-natal check with my doctor and that will happen on the 9th of February. Nice. It feels like the first step back to normal life (I'll be able to drive after that wohooo!). My wound has healed perfectly, I do have a bit of a bump just above the scar, it may take a little while to get back to flat (will it go back to flat?).

On the list of things to do there is the registration of Oliver's birth next week and application for his passport so that we can fly home!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The days after: at home

Your comments are so so nice, I don't know what I would do without you all. Thanks so much.

And so we came home. I was already feeling a little blue when I was in the hospital and coming home seemed to make it worse. All was perfect, Oliver was healthy and really good (read sleeping and feeding), mom was here and so was my sister, our dream came true. And yet. I had this sadness which was overwhelming, in the evening especially I just had to cry.
I cried thinking of the bleeding. I cried even more when I kept reliving all the events that brought to the early arrival of Oliver, how it felt to me so so coincidental that I did go to the hospital when I wasn't really concerned, how they kept me in just because they thought I had been through a lot in the past, how the dr had the portable scanner in the morning which prompted a more accurate scan that same day. And I knew rationally it didn't make any sense to say to myself "imagine if I hadn't gone to the hospital" "imagine if they didn't scan me" etc as I DID go to the hospital and everything was well in the end. I kept imagining what would have happened if I had stayed at home, if I had started bleeding at home...I felt like all this joy (which in a very strange mix was sadness too) was pure luck and it could have been a very different outcome.
At least I slept much better knowing we had the monitor checking his breathing. It was something.
Oliver was still on formula, I tried latching him on at every feed but I had nothing at all coming out and he got frustrated after a short time. Add this to the list of things that upset me in those early days. I bought an electric pump to express milk. I saw the first few drops of milk around day 5, it increased a bit only to diminish again. I don't think I ever collected more than a few mLs. I never felt the "engorgement" people talk about, the sense of fullness. My breasts have been very soft most of the time. The midwives and nurses that came along (it's a great home visiting scheme they have up and running here) were fantastic, very encouraging that what I was doing with Oliver was just perfect as he was thriving so to try not to get too upset about breastfeeding. Again, my physical recovery was a matter of conversation, they've never seen anything like it. At one point I also mentioned my emotions and how I felt I was loosing control. Again they were very reassuring, apparently it becomes worrying if it doesn't go away after two-three weeks but in the early days is totally normal to feel all over the place. I said how I felt I never was pregnant (I still feel the same way) and they said the shock of the birth is just taking over all the space in my memory and that eventually it will come back.

I started feeling much better almost a week after I came home. I think the thought that made me turn the corner was the realization I would have met Dr. Wonderful on the 31st in any case as it was my scheduled appointment. So suddenly it sunk in that I would have been scanned by the same amazing doctor and that there was going to be no real risk as he would have made the same call. Strange how I had forgotten about it.

When Oliver was 5 days old I got Mike to drive us into work and I proudly showed him off. They all loved him. One funny thing to mention was that I was chatting to my secretary and when I told her the birth story she....passed out!! Honestly, she dropped on the floor! The poor thing, I felt terrible of course, having been a paramedic for 6 years made me less susceptible to medical drama, but I have to remember it's not everybody's cup of tea!

Let's chat also about how the dad is doing. Mike is fantastic, I think he feels a little uncertain when he handles Oliver, but he is very helpful. He managed to take the full first week off work and went back last monday. I dreaded being at home with mom only (for whom I was putting on a brave face) but it went really well.

Oliver has changed so much already, I changed my banner too and you can see how much more alert he is! We brought him to the paediatrician today for a 2-weeks check up (12 days really) and he passed with flying colours! He's already regained his full birth weight and more (2.66 kg!) which is great. hearing and eyes tests went perfect. We are delighted.
He cries very little, only if he's hungry and we have no milk ready he gets very upset, but then you give him a finger to chew on and he quietens down immediately. We had a few issues with pee escaping from the nappy...tried it all.. in the end we changed brand and it made a major difference. We are still adamant to invest in the reusable nappy, I'll make the order in the next few days.

One final thing on breastfeeding. I haven't given up at all yet. I got a hospital-grade pump and will express as much as possible for the next week and see if it improves. The paed today said that I may really never have a proper milk supply (it's 12 days after c-section already) but to give it a go if I feel I can do it. So we'll see.

I'll post here another couple of pics of our little miracle! I just have to show you his feet (huge!) and how much he has grown already!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The days after: hospital stay

Thank you all for the kind comments and emails, really appreciated it!
I'll keep going with recording the events that followed Oliver's birth and of course I'll include some pictures this time too!

Thinking I should be 38 weeks pregnant is impossible. I know now it's normal not to remember much about the pregnancy and I'm trying to get to term with it. Like I said all along, I have not enjoyed the pregnancy, maybe the last 4-5 weeks I did, but I was constantly worrying about something going wrong, having the worst images in my mind like "there's no longer a heartbeat" or "I'm sorry to tell you the baby won't survive" etc. I was making a conscious effort to erase those thoughts and repeating to myself positive affirmations like "Elvis is perfectly healthy" "We have a healthy baby!" "Mom, dad you are grandparents!" etc. But still I feel I didn't give him any credit for being "the little embryo that could" that started his long journey with me completely detached, expecting as always a BFN out of a FET. And this brings lots of tears to my eyes any time during the day or night...

But let's start recording once again.

When Elvis/Oliver was born we actually had no name chosen yet! We had a short-list of some kind but no definite winner. When Dr. Wonderful showed it to us above the drape all purple and waxy, it felt to me like he pulled a rabbit out of a magic hat. Mike asked him "is it a boy or a girl?" and Dr. Wonderful said "I hadn't looked actually" but quickly the paediatrician said "it's a boy!" Mike and I looked at each other and said "We can't really call him Elvis though..."
We saw him again a couple of minutes afterwards as he was cleaned and getting weighed. He was perfect. And looking to us like an Elvis after all. Even more difficult. As the weight was above expectations, baby was breathing on his own and pinked up very quickly, after a few kisses to me, he was handed over to Mike (besotted) while I was wheeled to recovery.
My haemoglobin, which had dropped due to the bleed, was already climbing. My mom, who had made her way to the hospital earlier on, managed yet again to come and see me in the recovery room for a few minutes. It was all totally surreal. The feeling in my legs was as if they belonged to someone else! My belly was practically flat, I had no pain at all, and chit chatted with the nurse all the time.
As I went to my super-duper private en-suite room in the ward, I was told that the baby had been put in an incubator for a short while just to regulate his temperature (very common that smaller babies get cold quickly) and that they fed him formula as his blood sugar was quite low (I had been fasting for almost 48 hours at that point, my blood sugar must have been low too!) but all was well. This a picture Mike took through the incubator.
As I had a c-section the nurses minded the baby for the first night (but they brought it to me for a much needed skin-to-skin session). I had a morphine pump which I was strongly encouraged to use even if I felt well (which I did). I think I clicked the button twice just because I remembered, not because I was in any pain whatsoever.
The morning after I was woken up around 6.30 by a nurse who removed all my lines, catheter and drips, helped me out of the bed and into a shower. This was 14 hours after surgery! A part from feeling weak and starving (they insisted I didn't eat for fear of vomiting, thank God they didn't remove my chocolate from the bedside locker so I nibbled on it all night long!) I had no other issue.
They brought me the baby which had had a good night and fed well and they never took it again.

Due to swine-flu alert, no visitors were allowed apart from the husbands. And my staying at the hospital became way too boring very quickly. Being in a private ward has the great advantage of having plenty of room for yourself, but if you are alone all day long is not that fun. Every other person in the ward was in her own room with the door closed. And after a c-section, the most uncomfortable thing is getting up from a lying down position and being suddenly 100% responsible for a newborn means you do have to get up more often than you wish!
But Mike was there as much as he could. After I had some time with the baby we decided to call him Oliver. I really liked the name, it did contained most of the letters of Elvis! it was very difficult though not to call him Elvis all the time...
One thing we noticed as we started taking loads of pictures of the yet unnamed baby was that he didn't look at all they same in reality!
By the evening of that day, I was only given paracetamol as painkiller as I felt well. Nurses and doctors could hardly believe it, but really for me the recovery was super-speedy.
That night was hard. Oliver was extremely good, woke up for a feed, but never cried. it was hard for me. I know it's normal but I was constantly checking his breathing and didn't get much sleep at all.
The second day of my recovery was much easier physically. As it became so much easier getting out of bed, it became psychologically much more difficult. I really wanted to go home, at least my mom was there and my sister was arriving that evening. I felt very lonely. Mike was doing a lot of chores, we had nothing ready for the baby, he went shopping with my mom, then came to the hospital, back home, back to the hospital. He must have felt exhausted too. And I was missing all the shopping and felt sad about it too.
Paediatrician came to see Oliver in the afternoon (any diversion at this point was like a God sent) he was very happy with everything so when I asked if I could go home early he had no objections! Dr. Wonderful came to see me too that day, asked about pain relief, I said I had taken a couple of paracetamols the previous evening and once again he couldn't believe it. He said most women after a c-section are very sore and hardly think of going home early, but if I felt well he had no objection. My OB was back the following morning, he said, he'll come to see me and if he was also happy I could go home then! A ray of sunshine!! I was probably going home!!
That day I also started to express some milk. When I say this, I mean I started using the pump, but nothing was coming, not even colostrum that I could see. Oliver wasn't really latching on either and we kept him on formula. But I was trying anyway.
Night came and it was much the same as the previous night, Oliver was the perfect baby (I had to set an alarm to wake him up for a feed) and I was a wrecked nervous mom. And hated me for being so. Nights are bad. Mornings are good.
The morning of the third day came, my OB came in to see me at 6.30 am (he likes early mornings!!) and we had a great chat, after all his great care he missed the grand finale! He said he would see me in 6 weeks, wished me all the best and signed my forms to go home. I was up and about and by 8.30 I had all my stuff packed and ready. Day shift nurse came along, did her final checks, all was well, Oliver was a bit yellow but in the normal range, he had lost only 100gr with respect to his birth weight. Mike arrived and we were ready to go. Oliver security tag was removed (doors are alarmed so I could never leave the ward for a walk with Oliver, restricting even further what I could do) and we were waved goodbye. As I was walking towards the lift, I passed by the ante-natal ward were I was only a few days before. I saw many pregnant women obviously close to giving birth with huge bellies and I couldn't remember having had a belly of my own. I was saying to Mike "it's really us, we are leaving this very hospital with a baby this time" and expecting an alarm to go off any minute either to wake me up from the dream or to take the baby away as it wasn't really ours. It didn't happen. We are finally parents and a new adventure has now begun.

This was Oliver in his going home outfit.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Last pregnancy pic and Birth Story

Oliver is a week old tomorrow. So much has happened and so much I've forgotten already. I'll be as detailed as possible as I feel these memories are fading fast and I want to have a record of them all, but you feel free to scan through the post, I know how I feel when I face a long post to read!

First this is my last photo at 36 weeks pregnant. I hadn't put up more weight at that point in fact it looked like I had lost a kg and so my total gain was in the end +15kg.

By that weekend we were in and out our place trying to move back in, we had to finish a few things, clean, wash etc, and I felt a bit more tired but nothing really to be worrying about. I had my Braxton Hicks, plenty of movements and no other problem to speak of.
Some minor delay with the painters meant we were not going to be able to move in until the following tuesday but no big deal, we had the apartment till the end of December anyway.

Tuesday (28/12 36w2d) came and we had practically moved back in a part from the cats and the last few boxes. We decided to sleep in the apartment another night.

Wednesday (29/12, 36w3d) I woke up feeling a bit wetter than usual, again nothing major at all, but I called the hospital to see if it was better to be checked out in case it was the water that had started leaking. They said to go in. We finished packing everything, we moved out of the apartment and back into our place, fed the cats, I threw something into a bag for the hospital just in case (I had nothing ready!) and we headed off.
I was very relaxed, sure they would check me and send me back home, oh bless the ignorance! They did a NST which showed Elvis was absolutely fine and healthy, then they asked me to give them a sample. Not knowing any better I peed in the cup while they wanted a sample of the wetness!! Oh dear! I tried again and produced a few drops (it could have been pee though, I didn't know for sure). The midwives looked at it and said "oh yeah, I'd say it's fluid!". Right. Then a doctor came to see me, she said that due to my history and all I've been through they would have acted on the side of caution and checked me in so that I could be started on antibiotics. As I was settling into the ward, we chatted with the midwife to see when would I be going home and she said "Oh no, you are not going anywhere, we suspect your waters have gone so given that you'll be 37 weeks on Sunday we'll induce you then as the baby is considered full term at that point". Holy crap, so this is it! I'm not going back home! I phoned my parents and immediate action was taken by mum so that she could be here. No matter how much I told her there was no need, she just had to be here. My OB was on holiday that week and I was supposed to meet a different doctor which happened to be on duty at the hospital that evening. He was Dr. M but given his role in the last few days of my pregnancy I'll call him Dr. Wonderful. He came checking on me the same evening and said he would be back the day after to plan with me what to do.

On the Thursday (30/12 36w4d) a different doctor was doing the morning rounds and she suggested to check for sure if my waters had gone by looking at the cervix and check for fluids leaking. The test was negative. I just had another NST test which was perfect, not much concern, maybe I was going home after all! It so happened that she was carrying around a portable scanner and did a quick ultrasound. Remember all the abundance of fluids I had at 34 weeks? It was gone. I started saying I had a scan done 3 weeks earlier and I had the deepest pocket measuring 6.3cm, how could it have disappeared? She agreed and sent me down in Foetal Assessment for a proper scan.
It took a while but eventually I was called in. Yes, the liquid was very low, the tech said on the low side if normal, there was still some of course but not much. Elvis looked perfect, moving around, breathing and with very good blood flow in the umbilical artery. But then she started taking measures and there had been minimal growth since the scan at 34 weeks. Elvis weight was estimated at 2.2kg practically the same if you rounded up the numbers of both scans. My blood froze instantly. There was something wrong. It must have been the placenta that stopped working properly, this would explain the diminished fluids and lack of growth. A Dr. came in and she double checked the measurements, confirmed the findings. Together we looked at the placenta which to me looked very inhomogeneous, she thought there may be some calcification. She said the baby was fine, no need to be worried, I was in the right place and they would take no chances, she would go talking to Dr. Wonderful and let me know. Dr. Wonderful himself came in and rescanned me for the third time. Confirmed all the measurements.
He is a fantastic person, very calm and with excellent bedside manners. Considering I was on the verge of tears (could it have been the tiling and the running around that put Elvis at risk?) he was a God to me at that point. He said that given that the baby was well but not growing much, that they suspected the waters had gone or even if not there wasn't much there, the baby was better out than in and that by the weekend I would be a mom. They would try to induce me the day after and if induction didn't work (just shy of 37 weeks it may very well not work) they wouldn't dwell on it and section me. He said he was on duty all weekend and not to worry.
I went back to my bed, relieved we had a plan I was happy with and sobbing my eyes out thinking what if I had not come to the was such a coincidence I decided to be checked out, I wasn't really worried for once in this pregnancy, I could have easily decided to stay at home after all...

Friday came (31/12 36w5d) and you wouldn't believe the amount of women being whisked to the L&D ward that day. By 8pm I started worrying they would not induce me after all, it was New Year's Eve, who would do this? Midwives started saying to me and Mike it may not happen tonight, it'll be the first thing tomorrow morning. But I couldn't bear the thought of not doing anything, it's not like it was my choice to have the baby born early, it had to happen for his safety! I asked the midwife to call Dr. Wonderful and tell him there was this change of plan, I thought he had been very clear we really had no time to waste. I went for a shower to calm myself down a bit and when I got back to the bed there was a midwife there ready to take me to L&D for induction! Dr. Wonderful had intervened and he said he'll look after me so to induce me.
Mike and I went to L&D, lovely midwives were with us, they did an internal and my cervix was very unfavourable (meaning long and closed...and there I was months ago worried about IC!) so oxytocine was very unlikely to work. Dr. Wonderful also came in and redid the internal. Yep, long and closed. He suggested we try the prostaglandin gel instead and see if things moved along during the night. We would reassess the situation in the morning and again if nothing had changed I'd be prepped for a section.
I was induced at 10.50 pm. We celebrated the New Year in the room waiting for something to happen. I was constantly monitored so Mike and I wished happy new year to little Elvis's heartbeat happily beating away.
Incredibly mom, who landed in Dublin around 10.30 pm that night managed to come in the L&D for a quick hello before going home waiting for news.
At 1am I went back to the ward and Mike went home.
The night was spent a bit up and down the bed, everyone else around be was in full blown labour, I ended up wearing earplugs to try and get some sleep! I had some contractions, nothing much really no more than AF cramps associated with back pain and tightening of the belly. Then it passed and I slept till morning.

On Saturday (1/1 36w6d) Dr. Wonderful came checking on me in the morning (do they ever go home and sleep?), cervix was a little softer, a little shorter and a little wider. The plan was to do another dose of gel, wait till after lunch and then section me in the afternoon if labour didn't start. Mike came around lunch time, I was still fasting just in case and absolutely starving at that point. I asked for an IV to keep me going a bit fearing the worst headache ever will come along quickly if I wasn't somewhat hydrated.
Around 3pm I was experiencing a very contracted belly. But not contractions, in fact the belly was never relaxing at all really. It felt odd. I thought I couldn't feel much movements, which would be normal if you are contracted, and I knew the HB was fine as it was regularly monitored, but still it didn't feel right. After a while I asked Mike to listen to the belly for movements and as he put his ear to the belly I felt a gush. I thought my waters had now definitely gone but when I checked it was blood. A lot of it. Clotted. It looked like liver. I was sure it was the placenta detaching and that the baby was about to die. Midwives were around me in seconds, checked immediately the HB which was good and normal, completely unaffected by what was going on. I couldn't believe this was happening to me, I couldn't possibly believe this nightmare was happening. I could hear the HB but I feared any minute it was going to drop.
Drs were called, OR was called, I was brought up to theatre with blood gushing out of me whether I was moving or staying still. It was the most frightening thing ever and I was sobbing all the way and started praying in my head to please save this baby. The staff was just amazing they were reassuring me trying to stay focussed on the "now" that things were good, baby was happy and they'll have him out in a very short time. Dr. Wonderful was waiting for me in theatre very calmly said he was about to come down for me, that everything was fine and to stay calm. I had a spinal, I have to say I was feeling nothing at all, no needles just voices around me. Mike came in and sat beside me. They started surgery and took the baby out. He cried immediately. We cried too. He was well, a boy like I always thought. Then the most relaxing thing happened next, the doctors started chit chatting while suturing me. They said I only had a small tear in the placenta which looked awful to me but it wasn't really that bad. Between the onset of the bleed (3.53 pm) and the birth of Oliver (4.37pm) it passed 45 minutes. Amazing. I'll have another post on my recovery and feelings after the birth, I think I'm suffering a bit of baby blues at the moment, very oddly I cannot remember being pregnant at all. I look at the picture above and think it was someone else.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our miracle is here

My friends, you wouldn't believe what happened in the last couple of weeks. I will update as soon as I go back home but I wanted to let you know that on the 1st of January 2011 our little miracle came into the World by emergency c-section. There was major drama and I'll tell you all the details asap but all was well in the end by a pure act of God, I've no doubt. It's a boy like I always thought and I'm in love all over again.
Like Mike said, "Elvis has left the building" and although we still have to make an effort, we named him Oliver. He weighed 2.57 kg (a little over 5lb) but he's feeding well on formula, I hope my milk will come in and will try bf.
Hoping to go home on Wednesday at the latest, hopefully Tuesday night but they'd like to keep me in till Thursday. Visitors are not allowed due to swine flu alert and so it's really boring and difficult as I have Oliver in my room all the time but I'm still sore from surgery and I'm not too efficient yet. Thankfully the baby is an angel! I'll post pics soon!

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