Dec 9, 2008

Unmet Expectations

(I know this post will have a weird feel to it - it's not really in chronological order, but it's the remainder of my birth story with Lily. It picks up after our "failed" labor attempt. Yes, I wrote about some things that happened after "Nov 23rd" but I wasn't sure where or how to put them in here.)

November 22nd, we went about our business, buying groceries for Thanksgiving the next week, putting the studded tires on the car, doing laundry. We went to bed. At 12:40 I woke up, thinking I'd wet my pants. MY WATER BROKE!!! I called the hospital so someone would validate my thinking, and I was right. I woke Mike up (it took a few tries, poor sleepy guy) and by 1:40 we were at the hospital. I was 8 cm and 90% effaced when I was admitted. My group B strep test had come back positive, so they tried to give me enough antibiotics for Lily before I delivered. (It didn't work because my labor progressed so quickly. Lily ended up having to have all sorts of blood tests done after the delivery and they wouldn't discharge us until all the tests came back with her negative for group B strep.)

I threw up a cheese & peach jam quesadilla and apple cider that I'd eaten voraciously at 10 pm. Mike was sick too - when he's woken up in the middle of the night, his body thinks "Emergency!" and gives him really bad stomach pains and the poo's. When my epidural was in, the nurse checked me and I was fully dilated and effaced and ready to push (around 4 am). Unfortunately our doctor wasn't on call, so a doctor we had never met before was there to deliver Lily. I was NOT happy with the way he handled the delivery or my pain management after. He ended up giving me an episiotomy and using a vacuum to get Lily to turn her head the right way. (After Lily was born, he stitched up my episiotomy too tight and it took far too long to be comfortable *having relations* again. He also didn't tell me that I'd lost a significant amount of blood which probably also caused the problems in the hospital and after.) At 5:23 am, on November 23rd, 2008, Elizabeth "Lily" Fern Morgan was born. At 6 lbs 9 oz and 19 3/4 inches, the nurse said Lily "passed" her development tests like a full-term 40 week baby.

My parents and sister drove up and were in Butte at 9 am. They could only stay one day. We were discharged Monday night at 6.Two days later I was admitted back into the hospital because I was having a hard time breathing and had postpartum depression and anxiety really bad. It was really stressful to host my in-laws the week after Lily was born. I think with the next baby, family can come visit but they get to stay in a hotel, unless they're cleaning my house and making my food :) And speaking of... the next Tuesday (Dec. 2nd) my mom came back up for a week. It was so great to have her help and company.

Dec 6th I called my doctor because I'd developed a high fever and pain. He diagnosed me with endometritis, most likely caused by the group B strep and excessive blood loss. The on call doctor during my delivery was a moron. Through all of this, I was really struggling emotionally. I ended up in the ER two days after we were discharged (Nov 27th) because I was having a panic attack. I was afraid of falling asleep because "what if Lily stops breathing"; I was waking up gasping for air several times a night; I was afraid Lily was regretting her decision to come to earth. There were nights she cried the saddest cry - it sounded different than "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired" - and I'm positive she was crying "This isn't what I expected!" I also had expectations: to struggle with depression, or with pain, but even those expectations didn't prepare me for the reality of it. (My anti-depressant (Lexapro) caused me to have horrible nightmares, so after 3 months of taking them, I weaned myself off.)

Mike suffered from PPD as well (yes, men can suffer from PPD) and his expectations of a new baby were totally blown. Babies don't start out smiling, sitting, interacting, or fun. They start out crying, sleeping, eating, and pooping (sometimes multi-tasking and doing two of those at once). It took reading The Happiest Baby On The Block by Dr. Karp before Mike understood what the first 6 months of Lily's life would realistically be like.

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