Thursday, December 12, 2013

Meet Harris {Birth Story and Updates}

Instead of showing you our minimal Christmas decor (I just haven't been up to it this year), I thought I'd share a few baby pics and give you expecting mamas a realistic look at what a c-section and recovery entails. Wow, what a wild ride. Amnios, ultrasounds, rescheduled surgery. It was all worth it when I met him though. Can I introduce you to our new arrival?

Meet Harris James.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

He was born via c-section here at our local hospital on Monday, December 2nd, weighed in at 8 pounds 8 ounces (not bad for a 38-weeker!), and was 19 inches long.

Because I try to be as honest as possible when I share here on the blog, I'll share some details about his birth and our recovery. Guy readers might just want to skim for cute baby pics and skip the text. {wink} Hopefully some expectant mama somewhere will read this and find a helpful hint or two!

After a quick trip with my sis, niece, and the girls to see Frozen on Sunday morning, I spent the rest of the day frantically doing laundry, trying to decorate the tree, clean, prep for Natalie's upcoming birthday party, and just generally freak out. It was not my finest moment. I chalk it up to some serious nesting hormones. Must. bake. Must. clean. windows. 

The girls spent the night with T's mom and dad, and we arrived at the hospital bright and early at 5:30 am. I had preregistered online (do this if your hospital allows it--save yourself some time!), so the nurses ushered us right into a triage room. 

The indignities of childbirth began when I had to strip and don one of those adorably fashionable hospital gowns that flashes your hind parts to the entire world. Luckily, I had some cute slipper socks to complete the look. The nurses hooked me up to a monitor to check the baby's heart rate and watch my contractions (I was actually having a few). They also took blood for pre-surgery labs and started an IV.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

When they were ready to take me back, T got to dress up in a very fancy scrub jumpsuit, which I will admit he brought home...not sure why.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

Lee, the nurse anesthetist who did my spinal, was absolutely wonderful! He was friendly without being creepy, he made me feel as comfortable as possible, and he didn't make me feel embarrassed when I started throwing up while lying down on the table. Yep, c-section rookies, that can happen. I usually have a pretty strong reaction to the meds and trauma of surgery and throw up for hours afterwards. But it's never happened on the actual table before. But Lee was great...he also distracted me while they were sewing me up later, telling me all about his wife and showing me pics of his dog. It was the perfect thing to do!
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

Harris himself greeted the world with loud shrieks as the doc pulled him out. T was so excited, he was positively giddy. While the baby howled and wailed, the nurses ran the Apgar tests and checked him out. They gave us more time for pictures and holding the baby than I remember with the girls.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

T and Harris headed off to the recovering room to rest and wait for me. I was awake for most of the time. The recovery nurse placed special compression things on my legs that squeezed every few minutes to keep the blood from clotting. I was able to eat an ice chip or two every few minutes and chat with T. The girls arrived later to meet their brother and they were so excited.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

The rest of my time in the hospital was a bit of a blur between pumping, trying to feed the baby, trying to sleep, and having irrational hormonal jags of crying. Our hospital has a newer policy of having the babies "room in" with the mom, save for the little ones who need time in the NICU. I personally didn't enjoy this experience, especially the first night. It was tough to get out of bed to change and feed the baby, as they don't typically remove a c-section patient's foley that first night. By the last night, my nurse saw I was in a good deal of pain and just completely exhausted. She took Harris to the nursery for me, and I had several hours break to sleep, pump, and get my hourly checks from the vitals people without having to worry about the baby.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

We were discharged on Thursday and headed home to recuperate. In between some pretty uncomfortable digestive side effects from my pain meds and the general pain that accompanies major surgery, we had to take Harris into the ER early Saturday morning when he choked after spitting up. We were afraid he may have aspirated it, so we loaded all three kids into the minivan and headed to the ER. We spent several hours waiting on an x-ray, got an "all clear," and arrived home in time for me to pump, feed the baby, and get ready for Natalie's birthday party, which started at 10 am. Yes, a long, long weekend.
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

T returns to work today, but has been a lifeline for me this past week. He ran errands, did dishes, took kids to school and dance, put them to bed, helped me feed the baby, cleaned out the laundry room (!), and made sure I had a chance to rest. Recovery hasn't been quite as easy this time...I chalk it up to the unexpected pain issues that popped up. Plus the fact that I have two other children to care for.

I'm wiped out by mid-afternoon lately. It's hard work to use a breast pump all day, feed the baby, keep bottles and pump parts clean...along with everything else. I've never been so grateful for the wonderful bloggers who have stepped up to share here over the next month or so. I know I can't do it all!

I'm so excited to be a mom of a boy! Harris is a blessing to us already. Thanks for letting me introduce you today!
C-section Birth Story, from Serenity Now

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

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