Monday, September 16, 2013

The First Six Weeks

It's about time I start a blog! At least that’s what I hear from family, now that Tanner and I have had a baby and moved further out of reach from all of our families than we’ve been since marriage. I’ve tried starting one before, but I am SUCH a perfectionist when it comes to writing, so I have always been too self-conscious about what I’ve written and ended up deleting everything. Bear with me as I try to let go a little and just write. There’s a lot to catch up on, like Ezra’s birth, me getting sick, our big move to Miami, and Ezra going to the hospital. Well, here goes, starting with labor.

Labor wasn’t fun. Not fun at all. Okay, maybe it was a little bit fun. I was definitely excited about having my body to myself again, meeting my new little friend, and having the nurses bring flavored ice chips to me at my bidding. But mostly, it wasn’t fun.

My water broke at 3 in the morning. I was sleeping, so it woke me up, and, thinking maybe I had just peed my pants a little, I ran from the bed to the bathroom. When a gush of liquid spilled out from between my legs, I knew that what had happened was so much more.

I hurried to tell Tanner. I was excited. I had almost given up hope of ever having the kid. I had expected an early delivery, so the night before my due date, when the deal was sealed that he wouldn’t come early, some part of me decided that he probably wasn’t going to come at all. I was doomed. Doomed to be pregnant forever. When the water-breaking bed-wetting incident occurred on the morning of my due date, August 1st, hope again came into my life—maybe he would come! Maybe today really was the day.

We called the on-call nurse at the clinic I went to, and she said we could stay at home for a while before heading to the hospital, as long as we didn’t wait more than 5 or 6 hours. I figured it was going to be a long day, so I left Tanner sleeping while I danced around the house, did laundry, and took a bath, trying to ignore the contractions. (It was hard.)

Finally, at 6:30, we headed off to Kneader’s for a big, celebratory breakfast. I kept wondering what the other people in the restaurant would think if they knew that the pregnant lady chowing down on the all-you-can-eat French toast was in active labor. I never asked though, so I’ll never know.

When we got to the hospital, they told us that all of the labor and delivery rooms were full. I ended up in the old nursery, a bare, out of the way room that none of the nurses were used to. They all kept apologizing and promising that my postpartum room would be so much nicer.

They told me it would be best to induce me since my water had already broken several hours before and I hadn’t progressed at all since my doctor’s appointment the previous week. At 11, I got an IV with Pitocin, and at 3, I was fully dilated and ready to go. They had me start pushing at 4, and although most first-time moms push for about an hour and a half to two hours, I didn’t get the little guy out until 8:30; I pushed for four and a half hours. I won’t go into all of the gory details, but a few of the main points are that his head was turned sideways, he was over nine pounds, and by the time it was all over, I was shaking so bad that I couldn’t even hold him. When the baby came out, he was completely gray, he wasn’t breathing, and the delivery team had to cut him off immediately and rush him over to the baby table to try to get his systems working. It was exhausting and traumatic and I hope that my labors to come are nothing like it. Everyone says that like it’s easy to say, “Oh well, now that you’ve had such a bad experience, every other delivery will be easy in comparison!” I guess they’re right, especially if I end up getting induced a week early or having C-sections from here on out because I am so scared to go through that same thing again.

We stayed in the hospital for the full 48 hours after delivery. (I liked all of the free meals and smoothies the nurses brought, and it was good to ignore the world and focus on recovering and taking care of the new little needy person in my life.) Our first night home though, I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible fever. We called the on-call midwife—she said that I should take 1000 mg of Tylenol, and if the fever didn’t break, I should go to the hospital. So, I took 1000 mg of Tylenol, and the fever did break, and I didn’t go to the hospital. When it came back a few hours later and stayed all day and broke again that night with another 1000 mg of Tylenol, I still didn’t go in. When it came back 8 days later, only a few days before our scheduled move across the country, and didn’t go away, Tanner and I left the baby with our friends and finally made it over to urgent care.

It turned out I had endomitritis, a uterine infection that comes from a long labor, the same thing they were trying to avoid by inducing me. And since it had been left untreated so long, it was developed and scary. Normally with these kind of infections so far along, women are admitted to the hospital for several days to be administered strong antibiotics intravenously. The nurse didn’t want me to have to be away from Ezra that long though, so they put me on an at-home regime of heavy antibiotics, having me come in every day that week for check-ups and a couple of shots in the bum.

The worst part though was that they didn’t want me leaving for Miami as scheduled, just in case I needed to be checked into the hospital. So Tanner left as scheduled, and I stayed behind for two weeks. I missed my brother-in-law’s mission farewell we’d planned to go to on the way in Houston, and Tanner’s family didn’t get to see the new baby. And I missed Tanner so much! My mom is an angel; she let me stay with her, and she did so much to help me take care of myself and of the new baby, but I still somehow felt like a single parent, missing my husband and dying to leave.

I spent a lot of time those next two weeks at doctor’s appointments (Did I mention that I’d had an episiotomy during labor and that it was also infected? I had to get it re-stitched, which was hard in that in a lot of ways I had to start the healing process all over again.), watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix, and wrapping up all and any loose ends that Tanner and I had left behind, including consigning my wedding dress, going through a few boxes of memorabilia and storing some things we wanted to keep but couldn’t take in my mom’s garage, and taking care of hospital bills and insurance.

At last, it was time to go! Coming to Miami was the best. As with labor, I couldn’t believe the day had finally come. When I got off the plane in Miami and walked out of the gate and saw Tanner there waiting and smiling, I could hardly help my smile from being outrageous. Besides the two security guards, we were the only people around (I had pumped Ezra full of milk on the takeoff and landing of both flights because I didn’t want his ears to hurt, and it caught up with him at the end of the second flight—his pee leaked out of his diaper and soaked his clothes, the Baby Bjorn, and my clothes, so when we landed I ducked into the bathroom to change his wardrobe before he saw his daddy for the first time after two weeks. We were the last out of the bathroom and out of the gate), and as the security guards were looking right at us, I felt that I had to walk, not run, and to confine my smile to mostly normal proportions. But it was soo good to see my Tanner. He is the best husband and dad and I missed him a lot.

My mom came out a couple days later to help me move and to help with the baby. She is amazing. She did so much for me, and I am so grateful to her and feel my inadequacy in thanking her. She cared for Ezra every night so that we could sleep, fed him and changed him countless times, made meals, and accompanied me on all my move-in errands so that when she left I could relax. The fact that I’m writing this blog entry is testimony that she accomplished her goals. There are of course a few things we still need to do, like get bedside tables and a rug, clean up the front closet, and put up pictures, but man, after the long list of things to do that I started with, my little list now looks like nothing. It’s wonderful!

And lastly in summation, on the morning my mom was supposed to leave, Ezra was admitted to the hospital. When I picked him up first thing that morning, I could feel the heat just emanating out of his little body. His temperature was 101.1. My mom also noticed that he was having some trouble breathing. We immediately got ready to go to the emergency room. Then, as I was looking for directions online and my mom was holding him, his legs and feet turned blue. My mom started rubbing them and they turned pink again, but it was still really scary. And he threw up on our way out. I was so scared for my little guy. I was just hoping we could get to the hospital in time for them to help him and trying to drive safely.

They transferred us from the first emergency room we went to to the emergency room of a children’s hospital in Hollywood. Once a patient is admitted, they are not allowed to leave the hospital’s care, so Ezra and I were taken by ambulance. They strapped me to a stretcher (I still don’t know why), and I held the baby in my arms. He was so hot and lethargic. It was horrible, just hoping he would be okay but now knowing what was wrong.

When we got to the children’s hospital, they did all sorts of things to Ezra. They took his blood, his urine, and his spinal fluid for testing. The purpose of the tests was to see if his infection was viral or bacterial. If they could find any bacteria in the samples growing in the next 48 hours, they would know that he had a bacterial infection, to be treated with antibiotics. A viral infection would just go away on its own.

After the testing, they checked us into the room where we spent the next three days and two nights. They put Ezra on two kinds of antibiotics, just in case. The first night was scary because his fever just kept going back up, no matter how much baby Tylenol they gave him. But Tanner gave him a blessing that he would fully recover, and when we woke up the next morning, his fever was down. We had to stay in the hospital for observation still for two days, but Ezra was better, so it wasn’t bad.

And that pretty much brings us up to speed! I still need to tell so much about little Ezra, so the next post will focus on that, and after that I’ll tell a little bit about our apartment and Miami and all the fun things that are going on here. This post was long—I’m sorry, but it catches us up on all the important events.

1 comment:

  1. Yaaaay! I'm so excited you started writing. And you started off with a nice dramatic first post, haha. :) I'll put your blog link in my sidebar list now, so people can see it from there.