Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lula's Birth Story

It's amazing how fast time goes. Lula is already 2 months old and I have yet to write her birth story. It's probably about time I get on that.

I was due April 15, 2015...not that it really had any bearring on when I would actually have Lula. We were just crossing our fingers that I could hold on until March. My mom flew out from Michigan on the first of March. We figured that since I had Porter at 31 weeks and Autumn at 33 weeks, most likely Lula would cook till at least 33 weeks. All my many doctors said it would be amazing if I made it to 34 weeks. My mom did not want to miss the birth, since she missed Autumns due to her surprise entrance. It was fabulous having her here. However, she had to leave by April 2. 

As the weeks went by, we were so excited that Lula was still developing, however as I approached 36 weeks, my mom was worried that I wouldn't have her until after she left. We joked that of course when she came out early I would go full term. On Sunday the 22nd of March my mom said that a storm was coming in that night through Monday and for sure my water would break because of the barometric pressure. I was almost 37 weeks, so I was okay with that even though I thought the whole barometric pressure thing was just a wives tale, like eating a greasy cheeseburger to induce labor. Well Lula proved me wrong. 

At 2:30 Monday morning my water broke in my sleep. I woke up instantly and ran to the bathroom. I yelled from the bathroom to Nate that my water broke and to go get my mom so she could watch Autumn while we went to the hospital. By the time I got cleaned up and grabbed all our hospital stuff it was 3:00 am. We drove the 20 minutes to the hospital and got all checked in at the ER. The nurse that wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery said I was the fourth lady in 2 hours that water had broken. He said it was probably from the storm coming. Well there you go, guess the weather really does effect water breakage.  We got to my room at 3:30 am.  The nurses hooked me up to the monitors and started watching my contractions and Lula's heart rate. They told me that both Operating Rooms were full with emergency c-sections from ladies water breaking early. They also told me my doctor would be in around 6:00 am. So for the next 2 hours Nate and I tried to get some rest. I started vomiting around 4:30 am.  I assume it was from being nervous about my surgery. My c-section with Autumn was pretty rough. As we waited I watched the monitor. I thought Lula's heart rate didn't look too good (I could tell because of my millions of non-stress tests). The nurses had shift change at 5:00am; it took about 30 minutes. At 5:30 a.m a new set of nurses came racing in and started going a million miles an hour preparing me for my c-section. They said Lula's heart rate wasn't good and we needed to get her out asap. Within 10 minutes I was sitting on the Operating Table leaning on a random nurse getting my Epidural placed and waiting for Nate to come in. 

Nate can not handle watching the epidural, so I was in there alone. Don't get me wrong, he is a tough guy. He is a extremely caring husband, but he does not do blood or needles. Like AT ALL! Bless his heart he said he would try to stay in while I had my c-section, but once they sat him down and were about to start, he started turning all white and clammy. I told him that I would be okay and he could go wait outside till Lula was born, then go with her to the nursery. He was reluctant, but decided it was better then passing out during the surgery. 

 When I had my c-section with Autumn, my dad and Nate where there, and I knew my doctor performing the surgery. Nate had to leave the operating room for the same reason as Lula, but I still had my dad for support with Autumn. Even having my dad by my side I still struggled to stay calm. I ended up getting sedated during Autumns delivery due to a panic attack. So I was really only awake for the 10 minutes it took for the doctors to get Autumn out, then I freaked out and was put out. With Lula I didn't have anyone I knew in the room with me. I didn't even know the doctor that was doing my surgery.  I had forgotten just how uncomfortable a c-section was. For those that haven't had one, it definitely isn't easy. You are strapped down on a hard table, in a cold room, staring at the ceiling. You don't know what is going on during the surgery. The doctors chat away about what they had for lunch or what movie they saw yesterday, while you are about to have a baby literally cut out of you. During the surgery don't feel pain per say, but you feel tugging and pulling and pushing and pressure. I threw up as they pulled Lula out of me. They took Lula to an adjacent room to get cleaned up.   Nate saw what had happened, and went into the room with Lula. She was 4lbs 11oz, and 17 inches long.  She also had dark brown hair which was a big surprise.All of that was the easy part. It took them 10 minutes or less to get her out. It was the sewing me back together that took forever. During that time I started getting really uncomfortable. I had to keep taking deep breaths and telling myself to calm down. I felt myself starting to pass out and asked the anesthesiologist how my blood pressure was. He looked at the monitor and then said, "Oh yeah it's pretty low, lets give you something to raise that up." It was 72/40!!! yeah that's a little low. He gave me the medicine and then started up his conversation with the nurse. I felt like I had to throw up again and asked for a bag. No one heard me and I ended up throwing up on myself. I mean how do you not, when you are laying flat on your back... Well after about 30 minutes I was finally stitched up and on my way to see miss Lula. 

When I got to my room I immediately started having super intense pain. I felt like they stitched me down too tight because I couldn't sit up straight. With Autumn I didn't start feeling any real pain for about 12 hours.  Tears were welling up in my eyes, it hurt so bad. Then all of a sudden they handed me Lula and said lets try to nurse..... Wait what? I can't even sit up..I can't breath..I don't even remember how to nurse.  I asked why I was hurting so much already? Apparently they didn't put any pain medication into my epidural like they did with Autumn. The nurse gave me some Morphine, but it didn't do anything. About 10 minutes later, when they noticed I could hardly breath and my blood pressure was rising they gave me more morphine and started the pain medication in my epidural. About 30 minutes after returning to my room, I finally had some relief.  Lula and I tired nursing. It was awkward and hard. She seemed super sleepy and was taken to the TLC nursery since she was so small for her gestational age. 

The TLC nursery was a step above the regular nursery but not quite the NICU. While she was there visitors came, we chatted and I rested. Six hours after my surgery I noticed my button for supplying pain relief through my epidural wasn't working and I could already move my legs. I also started feeling something dripping down my back. I asked my dad to check. Apparently it was blood. My epidural had pulled out. We called the nurse in to look. She talked to the doctor and they decided they would just start me on oral medication, instead of putting it back in. Oral medication didn't work as well, but it allowed me to start walking 12 hours after having Lula. I was able to walk to the TLC nursery down the hall and see her a lot sooner, then if I still had my Epidural in. They couldn't bring her to my room, so it was so nice to hold her so soon after giving birth. I couldn't hold Autumn till she was 3 days old. 

The three days I stayed in the hospital I spent time holding Lula, practicing nursing, pumping every 2 hours and healing.  Lula was moved to the NICU after a day of being in the TLC nursery. Her body temperature was super low, making her sleepy. She was too sleepy to eat, so her blood sugar was super low. After a day of this, the doctors decided going to the NICU was the best option.  They placed her in a warming isolate and put an IV in to give her nutrients. With in a few hours she started to act more alter and was more interested in eating. It took her a few days to be able to keep her body temperature up on her own. Once her blood sugar started to increase they took her IV out and she moved on to breast milk.  She was able to latch on great, but unfortunately my milk wasn't coming in. She would suck and suck and suck and get so worn out and end up not getting any milk from me. She would even be too tired to drink from a bottle.  They had to put a feeding tube down her nose to get her calories so her blood sugar wouldn't keep dropping.  I was still pumping like a mad women but my milk would not come in. I tired just about everything you can do. 3 different Lacation specialists. Taking pills and teas. Drinking crazy amounts of water. Doing skin to skin. It was very discouraging because Lula was such a good nurser, I just couldn't supply her with any milk. We worked on bottle feeding more, since it didn't take as much energy for her to suck the milk out. Once she started on a bottle she was able to drink higher volumes of milk which helped keep her blood sugars up. She  got her feeding tube out after 10 days in the NICU and two days after that she was able to come home. 

I continued to try to nurse, but found after nursing her on both sides she would still need a full bottle. I pumped night and day every 2-3 hours for 4 weeks and only made a half an ounce on each side. Even though this is what happened with Autumn,.. I felt a deep sadness. I felt like I was less... Like I was defective. Nursing was supposed to be a natural, beautiful thing.. but all it was, was tears, frustration and depression. I decided that it would be best to accept it like I did with Autumn and start doing 100% formula. Lula is 2 months old now and I still feel like a failure at times. However I look at Autumn and see that she turned out great on formula so Lula will too. 

Even though Lula's birth story was pretty rough, and not the plan I would like...I am thankful that things went as smooth as they did. Autumn had alot more complications and I am thankful that the Lord was able to bless me with more patience and understanding with Lula's birth.  I will never be able to experience having a baby naturally, or at home or in a tub with a mid wive and listening to soothing music.... But I am able to conceive, carry, and have children... even if it's through having c-sections. What a miracle that is. What a little miracle Lula Jane is. I am so thankful that I get to be her Momma!