Oh my what a crazy month it has been.
I took sometime away to spend with my new little man and get use to being a family of 4. I have about 4 weeks till I return to work and I am loving my time with my family.
Rowan was born on April 2nd and, just like his birth, this have been fast paced ever since. Rowan's birth story have very normal parts and a few twists.
I went into labor on April 1st, and the day started out really normal with me not thinking much was going to happen. I did a little shopping at Target, watched a little Game of Thrones to get ready for the premier in a few weeks (priorities people), and went to get a pedicure. I even spoke with my sister in law and assured her that the family would be at her house for a belated Easter dinner the following afternoon. After I got home from my pedicure something was off and a discovered that I was bleeding. I knew that this was likely not a good thing, and text my Doula. I had a bit more bleeding and my OB advised me to come to the hospital. I had been hoping to spend most of my labor at home, but I knew that my OB would not have me come down unless she wanted to check a few things out. On a side note, I have the most amazing OB (Dr. Swift) in the Green Bay area with Bellin Generations. To my Green Bay or NE WI readers, she is wonderful if you are looking for an OB. Anyways, I was not expecting everything to happen so fast and quickly had Ron pop in the shower before packing up Kellen to go to my parents house.
My doula met Ron and I at the hospital and Dr. Swift was waiting for us. Another side bar, my doula is one of my best friends, Emily, and owner of Green Bay Doulas. If you are looking for Doula services in my area check them out- amazing. I got checked-in and they were a little concerned about the bleeding, and I was starting to contract and it was decided that we were going to be admitted. At this point I was still in denial that I was going to have a baby so I sent Ron home to eat dinner and relax a little after work. Emily stayed with me and started setting up my pool to labor in. One of my biggest labor comforts with Kellen was water and I was looking forward to using a pool this time. As the night went on I continued to have stronger contractions and labored in the hospital room. I tend to like to be alone when in labor and hung out in the shower for awhile to help with contractions till it was time to labor in the tub. However, my bleeding continued and the baby's heart rate was not have the increases they like to see during contractions. His heart rate was not low, but it was not having increases as a result of the contractions. There came a point that they wanted to monitor him closer and that meant having to lay in bed. This is one of my triggers for labor because I feel trapped. I am a mover, and like to be alone so laying still in bed was a scary thing for me at the time. However, I knew it was necessary so they could get good readings of the information they needed. I opted to get some pain medication at this point because I was worried that we would not get the information needed and it may result in a c-section (another one of my labor fears). I had really been hoping not to use medication, but it was important to me that they could get accurate readings. This also meant that I was not able to use the pool as I had planned. I was disappointed, but I wanted to do what I could to avoid a c-section. The baby was really low and the medication worked but didn't do much for cervical pain relief so I was still breathing though contractions. Ron was sleeping at this point, which normally would have made me crazy, but it has been such a crazy day at least one of us needed sleep. Thankfully, Emily and I were able to get a little rest, but that was a bit short lived. My OB wasn't on call but was monitoring us and watching baby and I (all the reason to find an OB you really like- it makes a big difference). Around 2:30 AM Dr. Swift came in and told me that she was thinking we may need a c-section because of the heart rate. I was so surprised and sad at the same time, but started to process the news. I woke Ron up and we discussed it, but, as if he knew Dr Swift was watching him, his heart rate started to have more variation. I knew that I picked the right OB when she said "I'll watch this". I was so thankful in that moment because things began to pick up and we were back on track.
I continued to labor in bed and the baby was even lower and felt like he was barreling down my pelvis- ouch! I found that my best remedy was to grip the side of the bed and breath through each contraction. The nurses checked me a few times and soon Dr. Swift was there telling to let me know we were complete and ready to have the baby. The pressure was so intense I felt like I was going to hyperventilate, but fought to keep my breathing as controlled as I could. After about 30 minutes of pushing, Rowan was born- all 11 lbs 8 oz of him! We delayed the cord clamping and he laid on my chest for a bit before he was cleaned and weighed. The nurses asked how I was doing and all I could say was "I feel great now!". I high fived Dr. Swift after because I was so happy she gave us the chance to have a a vaginal birth. I respect her so much as a professional and she affirmed all the reasons that I knew she was the best doctor for us. After delivery, we packaged up the placenta so it could be made into pills (more about that choice after both my pregnancies in a different post) and relaxed. It was such a crazy evening and I was so happy that our little man was finally here. Ron called everyone to let them know that we had a new family member join the crew!
My doctor, the nurses, my doula and m husband were wonderful to me. My birth was not at all how I planned (actually neither was Kellen's!), but this time I was much more accepting of that and so thankful to have a great team of people rooting for Rowan and I. I felt so respected and happy that I was able to make decisions for myself and keep in the moment of such an important life event.
Rowan did well during the day and was doing well latching and starting to nurse. However, last the day/night went on our littlest family member would head off to the NICU due to breathing issues- similar to what his brother experienced. I can honestly say that there is nothing worse that hearing your child is ill and that they can't be with you.
Rowan was in the NICU for 11 days. 11 horrible days. The best that they can think is that he had a sarfactant deficiency that could be generic or it could be just chance that both of my children presented with treatable breathing issues. The nurses and doctors were so kind to us and I spent most of the 11 days with him and when I was not at the NICU I was with Kellen till it was time for him to go to bed. I had a lot of time to process everything in the NICU and took it day by day. I was very fortunate to have family and friends/doulas come to visit us and make sure I was doing alright. My sweet friend Kayla came to have lunch with me almost every day. Thankfully, Rowan does not have any lasting impact from his rough start, but it is certainly a difficult way to start with a new baby! While in the NICU, breastfeeding was big challenge because he had a feeding tube for the first 7 days. I was pumping around the clock and since he has come home we have been able to get back to breastfeeding. I will save that for another post because that was a whole different challenge, but thankfully headed on the track I was hoping for and we are breast and bottle feeding expressed milk.
So, this is a nutshell of the first two week of Rowan's life. The great part is that we are all doing really well. I am feeling really good. I am recovering from this pregnancy fast than the first and mentally feel great. I was lucky to feel good after Kellen, but I feel pretty energized this time besides the little sleep part.....
Meals in our house are returning to normal and I am thankful to have Emily here once a week for postpartum support around the house and with the baby. I wrote about doulas when I had Kellen, but will do another post to talk a little more about my experience this time and why I think it is such am amazing thing. Plus, like I said before, Emily is one of my best friends so hanging out with her is just icing on the cake!
This week I tried Pure Barre for the first time and absolutely loved it. It was an event my friend Emily organized for her company to Meet the Doulas and I loved the class...I am thinking it is a perfect Mother's Day gift! However, I could certainly feel my weak abs after a pregnancy!
Here is out menu for the week and there are a few things I need to add, but slowly getting back into the swing of life in our house!
Monday: Subs and Fruit Salad
Wednesday: Grilled BBQ Chicken, Mac and Cheese and Grilled Asparagus
Thursday: Baked Beef, Cheese, and Bean Burritos, Guacamole and Blood Orange Margaritas
Friday: Grilled Brats, Grilled Potatoes and Fruit
Saturday: Out with Leckers
Sunday: Mother's Day Brunch with my Family. I am planning the following:
- Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Basil Dressing
- Grilled Shrimp
- Deviled Eggs
- Asparagus and Bacon Egg Casserole
- Lavender Lemonade
I am not sure on dinner menu at this point, but we will likely order out or have grilled steaks