Friday, April 27, 2012

The Birth of Baby #2

Clearly I haven't HAD the baby yet. But, all of a sudden, it's become painfully real that he will be here in a week. Sweet baby is breech. Like, head up under my ribs, spine down by pelvis breech. And, that means that he's never turned head down. I know this based on sonograms and that I distinctly remember BOTH times Gage turned head down.

Yep, we've had this little problem before. Gage turned head down in the late 20 something weeks, then he decided it would be fun to flip back at about 37 weeks. My OB at the time offered to schedule a c-section at 38 weeks, but I had so much time before my due date, I wanted to wait it out. I went back at 38 weeks and Gage was still breech, so she referred me to a doctor who did inversions (manually and externally moving the baby - don't look for that on YouTube) for that afternoon. Gage turned at lunch time, while I was sitting in a lawn chair, having Thanksgiving lunch at Curtis's work. I went to the appointment and they confirmed he was head down. Moving along, we had Gage 3 days after my due date via induction and labor with an epidural.

This time around, he hasn't turned. Next Friday, may 4th is my due date. Most of you may not know that I've done a lot of educating myself and research and had decided that this time around, I wanted to have everything NATURAL. I even looked into a birth center birth, but didn't find one I liked that my insurance would cover. That's fine. I'm not trying to have a baby at home or anything so I skipped the midwife/doula option and found a doctor and made my desires clear. My OB is 100% supportive of letting everything happen naturally. Except for in the case of this breech baby. There are a lot of people who might get vocal about how midwives and birth centers and even home births (especially in other civilized countries) will deliver a breech baby. Maybe if he was feet first. MAYBE. But, his butt is where his head should be, and there's no way this boy is coming out folded in half like a taco, ass first.So, she scheduled the C-section for the day he was due, and I sort of resigned myself to it.

EDITED to add the Birth Story!

I actually ended up sobbing in our bed at 11:30pm the day before we were suppose to arrive at the hospital at 5am and basically panicking. I decided to participate in some last minute denial and just planned that maybe, perhaps, the baby would turn sometime before they cut into my abdomen the next day.

What happens next is an absolute miracle as far as I am concerned. We go to the hospital, get checked in, they're prepping me for surgery. But, just like my Doctor promised, she did one last sonogram just to humor me before they were going to roll me into surgery. Much to my delight, my sweet baby TURNED and was head down and ready to start the labor process.

My OB told me we should go ahead and induce and take advantage of him being head down. I was game. I knew the pitocin drip may not be ideal for my all natural birth plan, but hey THIS KID WAS HEAD DOWN AND IN PLACE. We started the pitocin at 8am. I labored til a little after 12 without any meds or an epidural.But, I was starving (they didn't let me eat after midnight or after they induced with the pitocin) and didn't enjoy laboring without any energy. So, I got an epidural and labored another few hours. Cade Corbin Avary was born at 6:18pm and weighed 7lbs 11oz.

All in all, Cade arrived perfectly and even though things didn't go exactly as I had planned, he was healthy and perfect and we'll keep him.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I Love Boobs

As you all know, I am pregnant with precious baby boy #2 - and SO close to the finish line, I can almost taste the breastmilk. Wait, what?! Ok, so, I don't drink breastmilk, but my baby will. Gage did. Curtis refuses to taste it. I am adamant about breastfeeding this baby because I had a disappointing experience with Gage, and mostly, it was due to my ignorance.

When I had Gage, I did a LOT of research. Mostly about having a baby, being pregnant, being prepared for labor and delivery, what to expect from a newborn, etc etc etc. I intended to breastfeed, and I did. Except it didn't go how I planned. Because I failed to plan for that portion of having a newborn. Stupid, I know, because it's like the most important thing you'll do for your baby - feed them. That's pretty much all there is to do with a newborn: feed them, change them, smell their heads, and watch them sleep when you should be sleeping.

So, when Gage was born, I didn't have a plan for nursing. I bought ONE nursing bra (that was way too small, like I didn't realize I would FINALLY have the boobs I always wanted) and did not attend any breastfeeding classes. Although, I could easily blame my doctor because she told me "breastfeeding is a two person sport, you don't really need a class to tell you how to do it", I did have ANOTHER opportunity the day after I had Gage to take a FREE class in the maternity ward at the hospital. To which I replied "no thanks". I wish I could go back and hit myself. I would definitely say "Really!? You turned down a chance to take your newborn to a breastfeeding class down the hall and you said no?! YOU'RE SO DUMB!"

I also did not buy a breast pump. I don't know WHY. I don't know what I was waiting for. But, I just didn't. So, when I had Gage on Tuesday and my milk didn't "come in" until the following Sunday, I wasn't sure what to do. And, to make it worse, when I took Gage to his first check up on that Friday, they totally freaked me out because he had lost 11% of his birth weight and anything over 10% is like "OMG your baby is starving to death and it's all your fault. You HAVE to supplement with formula until you can feed him with your boobs successfully like good moms do." - or that's what I heard. I can still remember how guilty I felt, how defeated and so much like a complete failure.

I also remember going in the nice little cozy nursing room with the lactation consultant who reminded me of the perfect grandma and how SHE made me feel horrible too because we discussed my "supply" and she suggested I start pumping and gave me Enfamil to supplement Gage's feeding after she gave him a little bottle and commented on how his fists relaxed when he ate, so he was clearly hungry. My overall impression "YOU SUCK AT BEING A MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I gave up after 5 weeks. I didn't understand that I should have tried nursing Gage within an hour of birth. Or that I should nurse on demand in the hospital and spend as much time with him skin to skin in the hours after birth. I also didn't know that babies can take 30 minutes in one "session" and that they eat like every 2 hours, so when I felt like all I was doing was nursing Gage, I was actually doing the right thing and it was normal baby activity. I didn't know there was a TON of free help available to me via The Leche League, and many other support groups, even on Facebook.

But, you know what? It's not always "the most natural thing". It's not just like magically your boobs make milk and your baby latches on and nurses away while you stare into each other's eyes. Sometimes you don't have a clue what you're doing. Sometimes you get bad advice. Sometimes there's a medical reason it's not successful. But, if you CAN and your baby CAN, then you should be sure to get support to remind you that you CAN when you think that you CAN'T. So, here's a little link list to help you out too.

The Leaky Boob on Facebook

La Leche League International

Find a Lactation Consultant Near You

Hope this helps you and your boobs!