Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not quite happily ever after

I have been living with a pretty nasty case of postpartum depression/ anxiety. By anxiety I really mean terror and panic. I cry for hours every day, needless to say I am not enjoying my infant very much. I worry constantly . If he vomits, I freak out. If he poops too much. If he coughs, snorts, or grunts. My biggest fear is that he will slip away silently in his sleep, so I keep a vigil. Checking him often which cuts into my sleep. He is so precious an irreplaceable to me. If anything happened to him I wouldn't survive it.

 Today I saw the clinical social worker that works out of my OB's clinic. I had seen her about a dozen times a couple of years ago, right after the miscarriages. I like her very much but my feeling has always been that when it comes to real illness, she is slightly out of her depth. Back then I switched to a psychiatrist, insurance paid but shes out of network and to see her again would require paperwork and probably a wait. She is always booked solid. The clinical social worker asked my OB to prescribe zoloft which I had taken in the fall/ winter of 2009. I also asked for ativan to get me over the hump, but she said she would really rather not ask the doctor for that as its addictive. I almost laughed considering the amount and duration of narcotics they had me on  after my C section. A little ativan until the zoloft kicks in seems like small potatoes. I know I need to do the hard work of being positive, relaxation breathing and all of that. I just want a little help. I wrote the OB and asked her myself today. If she says no, then she will need to write me a new refferal to the prescriber.

I have not been able to nurse the baby. Long story short, I never got any milk in. Ive pumped 6-8 times per day for the past 3.5 weeks with very little to show for it each time. Titus wouldn't really properly latch and nurse until last week. now that he will there isnt any milk. I get anywhere from 10 to 30ml. per pump. Today I had to say enough is enough. Ive seen lactation consultants. While they have lots of great tips for getting the baby to latch and drink.. not so much for building a milk supply. Of course I had a rough start with the C section, the NICU time etc. Still gutted about the whole thing. I really dont want this baby to live on fortified cows milk. Formula even smells bad to me.  There are no opperational milk banks in my area.

I wanted to switch to my baby blog but to be honest I havnt had the energy to set it up yet, and until I dig my way out of this hole I dont feel like I am quite done here. I so much wanted to enjoy this early time with my baby. He is doing fantastic by the way. All the concern is all in my head. I know this. At the rate he has been going he should hit 7 lbs tomorrow.  I am healing up reasonably well from the C section. Brian returns to work tomorrow, after his 3 week paternity leave. My mom will be with me for the better part of a week.

If any of you have experience with post partum depression or anxiety please share.

Monday, November 14, 2011

and with a golden ticket its a golden day

Brian went with me to my fetal growth scan/ non stress test on the afternoon of Friday the 4th. Titus aced the non stress test, but the tech must have looked at the umbilical cord flow for a half hour. Finally she went and got the doctor who said that he didn't like the cord flow, and that growth had slowed down in general. My C section was set for Tuesday the 8th which would have put me at 39 weeks exactly. The peri said that there was no great reason to wait, just to get a number. Because 39 weeks sounds better than 38 weeks. He said the cord flow could have looked worse, but it certainly wasn't optimal. So He sent us home to gather our things including my Mom and had us check into the hospital at 4pm with a C section scheduled for 6:30. We arrived on time and were taken to a labor and delivery room. I was so very uncomfortable at that point. I couldnt lie on my back because of the pain and pressure. I had to for a short while for the fetal heart monitor. The time went fast as they prepped me, took blood, got an IV in, gave me a pubic hair shave. Anesthesia came in and informed me I would be having a spinal block. I wasnt sure if spinal blocks or epidurals were used for C sections. At about quarter to 6pm my on perinatologist surprised me by showing up in his scrubs accompanied by a couple of residents. He had decided that he wanted to do my surgery himself (not common with an HMO). Everything was delayed a bit by the anesthesia folks being in high demand for epidurals around that time. At around 7pm I was walked into the OR. Got a couple of shots of regional anesthetic in my spine before they did the block. that was the most painful part. Brian was waiting in his scrubs, outdoors and since he was the only family member allowed in for the procedure, my Mom took the opportunity to get herself some dinner.

After they did a couple of pain tests on me, they let Brian in. He sat right next to me behind the sterile drape. I couldn't see or feel much of anything. Felt much more relaxed when they gave me some oxygen and I started feeling the small amount of morphine they added to my spinal. Before long there were tugging sensations. I didn't mind them at all, I was so interested in what was going on and so eager to see my baby. Titus was born at 7:43 pm pink and screaming.  He scored 8 and 9 on his APGARS. In light of that, they decided he could room in with me and they let Brian carry him back to the labor room where the nurse cleaned him up a bit more while i got stitched up. Sewing everything up takes quite a bit longer than cutting it open. Apparently my Peri is quite the perfectionist. I have every confidence that he did a magnificent job. I asked for some mild sedation at this point and they were kind enough to give me something that they said worked like alchohol on the brain. I felt great but dont remember much of the next hour or two. When they took me back to the labor room I was allowed  to put Titus to breast right away.

Next we were taken to a recovery room where I would spend 4 days. At about 3 am I noticed through my drug fog that something wasn't quite right with Titus. I couldn't put my finger on it. I called for the nurse who had an NICU nurse come and check him out. She said she could tell that his blood sugar was low by the way he was shivering. She took him to the nursery and I didn't get him back that night, or any of the nights I stayed in the hospital. He needed formula right away for his blood sugar. The next day they put in a glucose drip. Sad to see an IV in a little tiny hand.  I was sore but got out of bed and had them wheel me to the NICU on Saturday morning. Brian went very early and was given some lessons in how to hold and feed him.  He was so confident and I was very impressed, considering that he had never been around any infants.

By Sunday Titus was looking rather orange. Sure enough, he had a pretty bad case of jaundice. They put him under lights in nothing but a diaper. He even had to be fed on the table. This pretty much demolished my chances of being able to nurse him with any regularity. One time they wrapped him in the portable light blanket which they then stuffed down my button up pajama top. I guess that was kangaroo care. The skin to skin contact felt wonderful to me. Probably felt good to Titus too. They brought a really nice Medela pump to my room and I was encouraged to pump 8 times per day. I got most of my colostrum out that way and they fed it to Titus or let me do it.

The pediatrician on staff said that Titus has a small deformity of his penis. I forget now what its called, she made a referral to pediatric urology. His platelet count is also pretty low. This means I have to take him for a blood draw twice a week until it goes up to acceptable levels. I despise hearing him cry. His poor little hamburger feet. It breaks a Mother's heart. All of these things combined with his heart defect and short limbs made them worry more about a possible genetic disorder. They took a lot of blood right before he was discharged to be sent to my genetics doctor. She is already busy researching what it might possibly be. The blood work should be helpful.

He LOOKS perfect though. Really. He is exactly what we wanted. You can get lost in his almond shaped eyes. Very alert for such a new baby. He hardly ever fusses. When hes awake, he likes to be held and to stare at me. He roots around for the breast but since I still don't have much milk in, he is usually disappointed when he latches on.  I saw a lactation consultant yesterday at our mother baby appointment and shes given me many fine tips. I'm not going to give up. I pump and pump with the pump that as given to me by my fertility friend buddy. I got another pump yesterday that I hope will be easier on my nipples. Its a rental but insurance paid for it.

Brian has another 2 full weeks off and I suppose we are "babymooning". Its a love fest at our house. We walk around looking happy and stupid and shocked. This baby seems special, having survived my hostile uterus. Having been conceived at all. And here he is so lovely and bright eyed. I'm Charlie Bucket with his Golden ticket.

My time spent trying to build a family and eventually getting lucky was the most profound and life altering thing hat has ever happened to me. I take nothing for granted. My heart is full.

I reckon that this is it for Don't Count your Chickens. Brian and I have been talking about a blog for Titus, to talk about his health and share how hes growing. Might or might not turn into a parenting blog but it should be fun with both of us contributing. Brian can write much better than I can. We will link when its up and running.

Before I go I would like to ask -- who are you? How did you come across my blog? Are you dealing with infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss? I would love to know your story and read your blog if you have one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We are home

I plan to add what there is of Titus' birth story and my stay in the hospital / his stay in the NICU within the next couple of days.

Good news, his VSD shrank like magic. He wont need to see a pediatric cardiologist for several months. He had two echocardiograms and it looks really good.

Bad news, he has many small health problems. The genetics doctor wants to see him soon and they already took blood for some genetic testing. Shes expecting that the testing may come up with nothing but strongly suspects that he has some sort of genetic issue.

I will elaborate soon. Just enjoying my little man and recovering from my C section whilst attempting to get a milk supply. We were not able to breast feed at the hospital and are getting off to a late start. Titus is very willing though and we have lots of support.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

i went to the peri appointment on friday, doc mentioned groth restriction and didnt like his cord flow. He decided to to the section tgat evening. Brian and i got our bags from home and checked into the hospital by4 pm. Titus was born at 7:43 pm weighing 5lb 15 oz and was 17.5 inches long. Ha has some soft dark brown hair and is gorgeous!!

Im having a painful recovery. Titus got taken to NICU at 3:30 this morning for low blood sugar they are giving him formula in a bottle and glucosw in an IV to raise it. Funny that he should be there but not because of his heart . Im pumping colostrum.. There is a lot more to say and pictures to share. Im on my ipod at hospital and that will have to wait a day or two.

I love the peanut and cant wait to show him off here soon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

parents and the hospital

My Mom and Dad divorced when I was 11. My dad was married again a year later and my stepmother wanted nothing to do with my Mom. Fair enough,  she managed to avoid being in the same room with my Mom until I got married at 28. They ignored each other and it worked out OK. It is just occurred to me that they will both be at the hospital on Tuesday. ugh. The last thing I want to worry about is whether or not they are getting along or if they are  awkward or uncomfortable. I suppose they are all adults but it does not feel like that. I am just hoping that I am so stoned on pain meds that I don't care.

I had asked my Dad if maybe they could wait a few days to let me recover a bit and to see if Titus will be in the NICU. He said they want to be there at the time of the birth. I need to remind myself that they have waited for this a long time too.

5 days! This is still surreal. I can not wrap my mind around a live infant in 5 days time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I am not really cool with having this C section. Feeling more and more robbed of a "normal" pregnancy. I suppose I should have given up on that after the bleeding episodes, or the discovery of the defects. Bah. Just grumpy today.

The trip to Eugene for baby shower # 2  was actually pleasant. My stepmother made a real effort. She and I have had a strained relationship for over 23 years.  Better since I got married 7 years ago. Speaking of that, Brian and I extended our anniversary celebration to the weekend, got a decent hotel room. Dinner out and a leisurely breakfast the next morning.

I have probably mentioned that my step mom almost certainly meets the clinical definition of a hoarder. She hoards clothing mostly, and household items in general.  Since my youngest brother was born nearly 20 years ago, shes been collecting baby stuff of both genders. When my niece came along 8 years ago it got worse. She kicked down lots of clothing for the foster girls. Too much. I felt like I was drowning in clothes while I got it all sorted. Our house is only 1000 square feet.  I finally got it all packed away with them or taken to the goodwill, and now I have a load of infant stuff. When we arrived at their place on Saturday her entire (large) living room was packed with boxes. It took me 5 hours to go through it all. I ended up with 3 small bins and a box or two. I could have just said no, but she is so focused on these things and its so important to her I didn't want to upset her. I did refuse the toys. I just said Im not OK with old plastic toys and BPA. I certainly feel like less is more when it comes to toys and I want high quality wooden ones for the most part.

My other mom came over yesterday to help launder, sort, and put everything away including the hoarded clothes and all the shower gifts. We cleaned as well. I was pretty wiped out by the time the 3 girls came over for a special Halloween treat and to show of their costumes. We had not seen them for a couple of weeks. They looked fantastic and seemed well. The eldest is slipping back into her old speech patterns. Baby talk. That was a little hard to hear after I spent so much time working with her over the summer. Nothing I can do about it now though.

There I am a couple of days ago at just under 38 weeks. I now have 7 days until delivery. Not sure what to do with this week,, I guess I can do my best to relax and be calm about the surgery.