Monday, February 24, 2014

24 February 2014

Well it has been quite a while since my last posted, just over a month I'd say. What an amazing, life changing month it has been! I'd better start at the beginning...
When I last posted I was 39 weeks pregnant and preparing to go into hospital to be induced due to the feared size of Bub, especially her head. Here is the 39 week Bump photo:
So on Monday 20 January 2014 I spent the day resting and completing the last bit of packing for the hospital, I also kept finding myself drifting into the nursery as the gravity of what was happening became more real.
Bio mum was at work, but didn't last too long and was home before mid afternoon. I was so glad to have her home as I was getting a little nervous. We relaxed together, before our friend Steph and her daughter Bella came over as they would be staying at our place to take care of Moo while we were in hospital. After dinner and some attempts at relaxing, we headed to the hospital at 7.40pm. We arrived and were shown to my room to get settled in.
We watched some Ink Master on Bio Mum's tablet while a lovely nurse/midwife named Karen set up a monitor around the bump to check on the baby. All was well and then it was time to insert the prostin gel to kick things off. Not long after the gel was in it started to burn and I started getting some pretty intense back pain. I ended up having to buzz Karen as the pain was pretty awful and I couldn't really tolerate being on my back. She gave me some panadine and sleeping tablets. Bio Mum stayed a little longer before heading home for the night, it was about 11pm I think by this stage. After that I spent the night trying to sleep, while having pretty bad back and period like pain (Karen kept calling them little niggles, which I didn't like as they were way more than 'little niggles').
The next morning Bio Mum arrived back at the hospital just before 7am. After I had a shower we headed over to delivery and got set up in the delivery suite and met our midwife, Anne. Turns out she actually knows Bio Mum's brother in law's mother. Not too long after 8am Dr B arrived and broke my waters, he also did and internal exam and found that I had dilated 3cm over night so that was pretty good! Here is a photo of me in the delivery suit enjoying some breakfast before things really got started:
After my waters were broken they set me up with a syntocinon drip to get my contractions going. It wasn't long before they were coming hard and fast. They were mostly in my back and the most intense pain I have ever felt. They just kept coming with a far too short break in between. Each time one hit I was squeezing Bio Mum's hand or the sheets and writhing about. It wasn't long before I was begging for an epidural. They offered me gas or other pain relief, but all I wanted was the epidural!
They contacted Dr B and then arranged an Anaesthetist to come and help me out. Our Anaesthetist was phenomenal! I could have kissed her once the epidural was in and working. Getting it in was a bit rough as the contractions were coming so fast and I had to force myself to stay still. She had to adjust the catheter in my back, but finally it was in and I was very happily pressing the button for pain relief.
That epidural was amazing. I could still feel and move my legs, but couldn't feel any pain from the contractions. I could still feel my stomach tightening, but that was it. It was actually really fascinating to watch the monitor hooked up to my belly to see when my contractions were coming. The monitor also kept track of Bub's heart rate so that gave us some comfort to see her doing well. Here is a photo of me post epidural going in and the fascinating monitor:

(The line on the right of the photo is tracking the contractions, you can see how regular they were!)
After the epidural both Bio Mum and I had naps and relaxed watching the Discovery channel. In case I needed surgery I wasn't allowed to eat so I got to enjoy my water and watch Bio Mum eat my lunch! I was pretty much starving and chugging water to try and ease that.

That was how the day went. Lots of sleeping and every 15 minutes a wondrous press of a button to top up my epidural.

Our lovely midwife's shift ended at lunch time and then Cheryl came on, who was equally as lovely. Just before 5pm Bio Mum and I noticed that Bub's heart rate kept dropping and quickly rang for Cheryl who came in and checked things out. Dr B came along not long after and did an internal exam which found that I was only 4-5cm dilated and that my cervix had curtained (not entirely sure what that means). It was also discussed that Bub was posterior (explaining the extreme contractions I had been having in my back.

Dr B had a look and then told us that we were going to have to have a C-section. He said he could let me labour longer, but the outcome would be the same. Bub was not engaging and most likely stuck.

After it was decided that we were having a C-section it was no more than 20 minutes later and I was being wheeled into surgery and Bio Mum was taken off to change into some scrubs. Luckily our fabulous anaesthetist was still at the hospital so she was able to come into surgery to do my C-section anaesthesia (I'll also add that she was so nice that she only charged us for the epidural and not the C-section anaesthesia, which would have been quite pricey as it was after hours). They got me all hooked up and ready for surgery and then brought Bio Mum into the room (She says it felt like ages before they came and got her). Bio Mum sat up by my head and was told if she felt like she was going to faint she had to sit on the floor!

Not long after they got started with the c-section and within a few minutes Bub was coming out. She was VERY stuck in my pelvis and I felt my entire body jerking as Dr B tried to get her out. Finally she was out and they dropped the sheet in front of us so we could see our beautiful baby girl. I promptly burst into tears. It was instant and complete love at first sight. She had a mop of dark hair and was just perfect!

My most vivid memory of the surgery was Dr B holding our girl and saying 'Come on sweetheart' as he waited for her to take a breath. Finally she did and my heart started again. After she was out they took her out of my sight to be checked over by the paediatrician. Bio Mum went with her and also cut the umbilical cord.

After she had been checked out (and while Dr B and his assistant stitched me up) they bought her over and placed her on my chest. I couldn't stop the tears of joy from falling. Here is the first time I got to hold our little girl:

Her name is Callie Elisabeth and she is perfect. She was born weighing 3.59kg, 49cm long and a head circumference of 36cm. Her Apgar score was 7 at 1 minute and a perfect 10 at 5 minutes.

After our cuddle they took me to recovery and took Bio Mum and Callie back to our room on the ward. I was in recovery for about 2 hours (longer than I should have been as they were very short staffed). I was set up with IV pain killers (by the time I finally got my pain killers I was really starting to feel the pain from the C-section) and checked over and then finally taken to the ward to be with my girls.

We did some skin to skin time and I gave Callie her first breast feed. It was amazing. I love this little girl so much. I also love Bio Mum more than ever.

We were in hospital for 5 days after Callie was born, which was incredible as the lessons and guidance we got from the midwives was invaluable. I have no idea how people manage going home hours after having a baby! I am so grateful for the time we spent in hospital.

The first 24 hours I spent in bed hooked up to my IV pain killers and oxygen. Bio Mum was brilliant looking after Callie, she is much more natural at this mothering thing than I am. She was born to be a Mum, I'm a work in progress!

The first time I got up after surgery was bloody awful! The pain was terrible and I couldn't stop my body (mainly my legs) from shaking. My first act once on my feet was a much needed shower and despite the constant trembling it will go down in history as one of the best showers I have ever had! Bio Mum came into the bathroom to help me as I was pretty unsteady and really couldn't bend down at all. Unfortunately a couple of nursing staff felt that was a great time to come in so people got to see me in all my glory...although after everything I so didn't care.

After my shower I hoped back into bed. The next few days passed way too quickly between visits from very excited friends and family (many of whom brought me the food I had been unable to eat while pregnant and way too many lovely gifts) and caring for Miss Callie. We had two very bad nights on days 2 and 4, where none of us got much sleep, but for the most part Callie is a very good baby and we are so lucky.

Here is Callie in hospital:

My Dad and my sister flew into town on the weekend after Callie was born, which was so amazing. I just wish my Mum could have been there too. We have skyped with Mum a few times so that she could see Callie, my sister has also shown her loads of photos. Mum seems really excited and happy about Callie. We are planning to head down to Melbourne on the March long weekend to introduce Callie to Mum. It means so much to me that Mum and Callie get to spend some time together. I want those memories so I can show Callie photos and tell her about her Nanna in case we lose Mum before Callie can build her own memories of her.

Callie has been great, feeding well, usually sleeping pretty well and pooping like a champ! She already has such a big personality and looks so much like Bio Mum. They share the same nose and Callie even has the same monkey toes! She is our little monkey!

We were lucky in hospital to have some amazing midwives looking after us, especially Vera, Janet and Sarah. They taught us so much and I will forever be grateful to them for the knowledge they gave us. I really would have liked to have brought Vera home with us, but she wasn't so keen. Vera was also a lactation consultant so was really helpful when it came to feeding.

On Sunday 26 January 2014 after both Callie and I were checked over and my stitches removed we were discharged and allowed to bring Callie home with us. I was both nervous and excited. I was scared how we would cope without the midwives there to help us out, but excited to bring our little girl home.

The drive home from the hospital was nerve-wracking. Bio Mum drove so carefully, it was really sweet. Here is Callie and Moo they day we brought her home, Moo seems to really love Callie:

We settled in at home and started figuring things out. We had a visit from the Maternal Child Health Nurse on 31 January 2014 and found out Callie is thriving and had gained 330g since leaving hospital. The nurse was lovely and really gave me some validation that we are doing well.

We've ventured out a few times, the first couple of times was just a walk in the pram and then we walked up to the supermarket. After that we ventured out further to register her birth and to do some shopping a few times. Callie has been brilliant on our outings. She loves the pram and the car and it so mellow when out and about. Actually she is normally a very laid back and mellow little girl.

On Valentines Day Bio Mum and I left Callie for the first time and headed out for a lunch date. We left her with Bio Mum's parents and went to this amazing place that has food from New Orleans. It was a little stressful, I really hated leaving Callie even though I knew she would be fine. It was such a relief to come home to have some Callie cuddles.

Since we brought our girl home there have been ups and downs and big life changes, but every single second has been worth it. I can't imagine not having Callie in our lives. She is meant to be a part of our family and just brings so much joy to our lives.

We have had poo explosions that have both shocked and impressed us. I have never been impressed by poo before having a baby, now its become one of my key topics of conversation. I have been peed on, pooped on and spit up on and I don't care in the slightest. I am sleep deprived and constantly hungry, but as long as Callie is happy and thriving then I can cope.

I have had moments where the exhaustion or doubt has gotten to me, but they are few and far between. A big part of how well I'm coping is Bio Mum. She has been pretty damn amazing. She has taken such good care of both Callie and me it has made everything so much easier. She has made sure I eat and drink and get sleep as often as I can. She tells me I'm doing well and supports me when I am doubting myself. She did the lions share of the nappies in the early days (I've picked up my game now) and helped me as I got the hang of breast feeding. She has done the middle of the night feeds to give me a break and let me get some sleep and has committed to doing these feeds every Friday and Saturday night. Bio Mum is incredible and I could not imagine doing this without her. I love our little family.

Callie is now almost 5 weeks old and she is growing so fast. She is already a funny and sweet little girl and so loved by everyone. She is beautiful and I can spend hours just watching her and going through the thousands of photos we have taken of her. I get lost in her and time just flies by before I'm ready for it to.

Its amazing how time is speeding by and yet it feels like she has always been in our lives.

Today was Bio Mum's first day back at work, which was hard for all of us but Bio Mum especially. I know she missed Callie (and me too) so much. I missed having her here, not even just to help out with Callie, I have loved spending all this time with her over the last 5 weeks. I feel like having Callie has just brought us closer and closer together.

I am also proud of myself for managing by myself today. I was sick as a dog yesterday with gastro (Bio Mum was sick from Wed night to Saturday) and was really scared I would still be sick and would really struggle. Thankfully as the day went on I felt better and I managed well. I have some more confidence now that I can care for Callie, maybe I'm a good Mum after all!

Here are some photos of Callie:

First bath, 3 days old.

Sleeping in her cradle.
Enjoying her snuggle pod.
All dressed up for her first birthday party on 15 February 2014.

She is such a happy little girl and I am loving every day with her!

I can't promise to post regularly or even often, that will depend on how tired I am and what free time I can scramble. I do promise to update from time to time. We are off to have our 6 week checks next week (me with Dr B and Callie with the paediatrician) and also Miss Callie will be having her 6 week immunisations, so I'll aim to post again about these appointments. We're also hoping to do a day trip to the coast this weekend and then off to Melbourne the weekend after so I'll have much to update.

Until next time, take care.


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