Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mercedes' Birth Story, part two

To read part one of Mercedes' birth story, click here

After Mercedes' birth I felt like I was on cloud nine. I was unbelievably exhausted but just in awe of this tiny person I had just given life.

In my oblivion, I had to be told by the doctor that I had actually torn during the delivery. He said the tear wasn't terrible but it was shaped like a "y" so it took him a while to stitch me back up.

Poor little cone head after birth. And Mercedes after her bath. 

It took a long while for my epidural to wear off once I was in recovery. On one hand it was nice because I couldn't feel the extent of my swelling, but it was also frustrating. During labor I had minimal control over my left leg but my right leg was absolute dead weight. It didn't take my epidural long to wear off on my left leg, but my right leg was another story — I don't think that leg felt completely normal until early the next morning.

The nurses had told me I could have my IV out once I had used the restroom, assisted, several times. I was sick and tired of the IV and wanted it out ASAP, so I kept attempting to use the bathroom. The first time the nurses helped me get to the bathroom I still couldn't completely feel my right leg. We slowly shuffled off to the bathroom, and upon getting there I discovered my pelvis was still so numb I couldn't tell whether or not I was urinating. It was awful because I still felt all the pressure of a full bladder and I couldn't get relief. They got me back to the bed and tried to get me to use a bed pan but I couldn't make that happen either.

The next time I tried to use the bathroom I nearly blacked out, even with the nurses' assistance. My third attempt wasn't as bad, but I was still severely dizzy. Both times we had to use smelling salts. And both times I still couldn't feel my pelvis, but the nurses assured me I had still gone to the bathroom.

Embarrassingly, the next time I needed to use the restroom I didn't make it. Everything was so numb and there was constant pressure so I didn't realize I needed to go until it was too late. I had to call the nurse and admit I had just peed myself. Thankfully, I was wearing so many pads it was like wearing a diaper so there was no mess. Eventually, I was able to get the IV out and was so relieved to not be tethered to a pole anymore.

Tiny Mercedes hanging out with dad in our room.

Once I got the okay to eat after labor I thought I'd be ravenous but I had little to no appetite. Not eating for about 18 hours played its toll on me and I felt dizzy and weak for quite some time after birth.

Because I felt so weak we decided to spend two nights in the hospital. The first night a nurse gave me norco (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) to help with the pain and swelling. I had recently had a snack and didn't have any issues with the medication. The next night a different nurse gave me the same medication, sans snack, and it got me high as a kite. It was ridiculous. I kept feeling like my limbs were numb and I couldn't feel anything — anything — at all, not even touching my own face. At one point I even called the nurses in a delusional panic and asked what was wrong with me. They quickly checked my blood pressure, but it wasn't long before everyone figured out I was just high. At one point I thought I was choking on my tongue, and I randomly told Nathaniel about the "tall plums and fat plums." Don't ask me what that means. I don't know myself. To say the least, I didn't get much sleep that night because I was so paranoid and on edge. In fact, it was the one time I cried at the hospital — out of pure frustration.

Despite all the frustrations of recovery we had a very pleasant experience at the hospital. Our medical staff was stellar — very personable and attentive — and we enjoyed the newly renovated room we were admitted in. We cracked up every time a new staff member came in to our room because they would "oh" and "ah" over the new renovations. The nice part about the hospital we used, too, is they allowed rooming in with baby and provided a queen-size bed for recovery. That meant all three of us got to be together almost constantly. It was wonderful to always have Mercedes so close to us, and we all felt relaxed and well taken care of.

Snuggin' with my sweet girl in our hospital room.

Panorama of our room.

Mercedes did well post-birth, too, while we were in the hospital. She had a few issues with gagging up mucus for the few days after birth, but otherwise she was an absolute angel. She even took to breastfeeding without any issues.

Headed home!

By the time we were home, I was surprised at how swollen my entire body was, and that it wasn't just my vaginal area. I didn't have any issues with swollen ankles during pregnancy but post-birth I basically didn't have any ankles! Sitting was incredibly uncomfortable for a long while. And to be frank, having a bowel movement a few days after we were home was a horrendous experience! It was still traumatizing for probably a week after the first time. And though I didn't get a hemorrhoid while I was in the hospital, one appeared about two weeks after birth. That was just miserable because I couldn't sit or stand without being in a lot of pain.

Once we were home Mercedes continued to be an easy, mild-mannered baby. For a few days she wouldn't even cry when she had soiled her diaper. A few days after we were home Mercedes got a small case of jaundice. Besides the normal stress of getting very little sleep with a newborn around, Mercedes has been an absolute joy! We have loved getting to know this tiny little person. 


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