I'm baaackkk...well kinda. I am not fully back into working mode, but am slowly but surely easing my way back into it. I wanted to tell you about my first month with new baby and fill you in on Parks's birth story while it was all still fresh on my mind! I honestly cannot believe that it has been a month since he was born. Time is flying by at a scary pace. This month has been the hardest, best month of my life and I just can't believe Canean and I have been blessed with such a sweet little boy that we get to call ours forever.
Let me begin by sharing his birth story, which was a total 180 degrees from my original birth plan. And I do mean it was completely opposite of what I had in my head. I had fully committed to natural child birth and I was excited about letting my body experience all that was to come with natural labor. I had ordered my essential oils, practiced my breathing, exercised my body, had pep talks with Canean about being my cheerleader through the whole thing, and everything in between to prepare mentally and physically for my body's greatest challenge yet.
The funny thing is our plans are not always God's plan and that is a great thing, especially in this case.
On September 30th, I went in for my 38 week check up. The whole time that I was pregnant with Parks the doctors kept telling me that he was going to be a ten pound baby and he was in the 99th percentile for growth. I didn't think this to be odd because I was a whopping ten pounds and four ounces when I was born and big babies run on my side of the family. Anyway, on this particular day my doctor wanted to perform a fetal stress test on me to make sure that Parks had enough room and oxygen since he was expected to be so large. They hooked me up to machines and monitored his heart beat for about 45 minutes. During that time, they noticed one dip in his heart rate, enough of one to send me over to the hospital for further monitoring. My doctor acted very calm about the whole thing and at this point I was not worried at all and still thought I would be having baby on or past my due date, still on track with the plan.
While at the hospital, they did further monitoring and saw a few more dips in his heart rate over the next couple of hours. They then told me that I would need to stay overnight to continue to monitor his heart just to be on the safe side. I immediately called Canean and told him to leave work and run home to let the dogs out, get my hospital bag, etc. and head straight to the hospital. For the next several hours, Parks's heart rate was great, no dips...
I figured it was silly for both me and Canean to be sitting in the hospital when clearly everything was fine, so I sent him home for a good night's sleep and to be with the dogs. Or so I thought that was what was going to happen.
Around 11 pm that night, I was flipping through the same ten channels on the hospital TV when I heard his heart rate drop drastically. I could hear it because the monitors projected in the room, so I was listening to his heart beat the whole time. Within seconds nurses rushed in, flipped me on my side, gave me an oxygen mask, and made me sniff a horrible ammonia pill that would relax my muscles since I was having a contraction at the same time his heart was dropping which could be making the situation worse.
I was terrified at this point. Canean wasn't there, I was alone in the room with my brain running wild. I prayed through the panic that everything would be okay and after about five minutes they got Parks's heart rate to go back up. But because it dropped so drastically and for a longer period of time than they liked, my doctor was called (thankfully she was on call that week) and she ordered an emergency c-section.
Hold the phone. Was this really happening?
Yes, it was in fact happening. I just remember feeling like it was a dream, that this was not my body or my baby. I called Canean in a panic and he got to the hospital as quickly as he could. Thank goodness we only live ten minutes away! Within the hour I was being prepped to go into surgery. We were having a baby that night, ready or not...two weeks early.
I was scared and nervous. Worry had set in for my sweet boy and my adrenaline began racing through my body. I was visibly shaking all over. I've never even had a stitch before, so the thought of surgery freaked me out a bit. I had amazing nurses who really helped calm me down and Canean was incredible at talking me through it and keeping his cool even though he was freaking out just as much as me!
The wait to go into the surgery room felt like forever and honestly, even though I couldn't feel the incision when the c-section began, the pressure that you still feel during the surgery hurts quite a bit and felt like it went on for hours even though it was probably only 20 minutes total. Once Parks was out, the doctors informed us that his cord was wrapped twice around his neck which was the cause for his heart rate dropping when he would wiggle a certain way in my belly. Thank goodness for the amazing nurses and doctors who made the call to do the surgery instead of sending me home! He ended up weighing 7 pounds and 5 ounces and was born October 1st at 2:01 am.
Luckily for us the doctors thought he was on the larger side, because had they not been wrong, we would have never gotten the fetal stress test and I can't even think what would have happened if I had not been at the doctor's office that morning. Again, God's plan.
Once he was out of my belly, we thought we were in the clear. Turns out Parks swallowed some amniotic fluid on the way out and was having a hard time breathing on his own. It was a little touch and go for about an hour and was super scary. They were about to take him to the NCIU when one of the nurses suggested putting him on my chest and letting him breastfeed. It was amazing, he immediately began to regain control of his breathing and after he came off my chest we put him on Canean's chest too. It was incredible to see him literally come to life just from being skin to skin with mom and dad. I can't tell you the relief we felt!
The night was traumatic and exhausting to say the least, but we would do it all over again in a heart beat. We were up for a total of probably 30+ hours, but could not be more blessed that our boy was healthy and in our arms! The team of doctors and nurses worked so hard to deliver him safely to us and we could not be more grateful!
That all said, I was definitely not prepared for a c-section recovery and what that would look like when we all got back home. My mom came that Sunday to stay with us at the house and she was a God send. Women who have a c-section basically are instructed to feed their baby and rest especially for the first two weeks.
I am a doer by nature and to have to ask for everything was really hard on me, still is. That plus the fact that breast feeding at first was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and then combined with my belly pain and exhaustion it was ALOT! No one prepared me for breast feeding being anything other than beautiful! Boy was I in for a shock. My nipples hurt so bad and newborns are so hungry all the time, so no rest (or healing) for the weary! I contemplated giving up several times!
Luckily, after week two, my boobs took a turn for the better and Parks and I were getting the hang of this feeding business. His sleeping began getting more regular, I was able to sneak in some naps, and my body was feeling better. Thank goodness for Canean telling me everyday that I was doing a great job at being a mom and he was proud of me. To this day, those first two weeks were the hardest weeks of my life. It was those little comments from Canean, my mom, and phone calls from my friends that kept me going! There were tears, moments of doubting my mommy abilities, and fear that slowly but surely have been replaced with confidence and knowing that I've got this whole mom thing!
Fast forward to a month postpartum and it all feels like that day was a dream. Parks is healthy, growing fast and furious, and I am loving being his mommy. I stare at him more than I should and take about a billion pictures a day of the same sleepy position I took the day before. I still can't get over the fact that Canean and I made him...he is just so perfect. I'm definitely still tired, but my body has adjusted and I'm in the last two weeks of my c-section recovery and feeling so much more like myself!
He is the most alert newborn and likes to stay awake during the day more than he should, and (knock on wood) only fusses when he is tired, hungry, or gassy. He has been sleeping 4 hr stretches and waking up once in the night to feed. Fingers crossed he keeps up his good habits! His cheeks and lips are just edible and we shower him with kisses all day every day.
I have two more weeks of healing time before the doctor clears me to go about my normal routine as usual and I can't wait. In the mean time though I am trying to listen to my body, rest when I can, and just soak in these moments with my baby boy. It's easy to wish away the days of sleep deprivation and sore boobs, but I really want to remember him in these moments when he is so tiny and needs me so much because I'll blink and he will be in kindergarten!
Thanks to all of you who prayed for us when you didn't really know what was going on the day of his birth. I have no doubt those prayers delivered him safely in our arms. We are totally and completely in love with our little peanut and could not be more grateful to have him in our lives!
P.S. I'm a mom! Still blowing my mind...