Labor and delivery this time around was amazing. Amazing. At the time I'm not sure I would have described it that way but pain is never easy to deal with at the time. First things first, an epidural was a part of my birth story - again. I labored from 8pm until 2:30am without medication at which point I was practically begging! I had made it to 4cm on my own in that time frame and I honestly felt like I was at the point with pain where I would clench up and not allow my body to keep progressing.
From that point on, my body definitely sped up! The procedure was finished around 3am and I had no idea that I would be giving birth in a mere 3 hours!!!
After giving birth I felt that immediate relief and we finally got to see and hold Molly! Another amazing feeling. I birthed the placenta, I got a stitch for my "scrape" and that was it. At this point I noticed my neck was so sore and wrote it off as a byproduct of pushing... Maybe I had my neck in a weird position or maybe I pulled something? Over the next few hours it intensified and was to the point where I couldn't use my neck to look around - just had to keep it completely stiff. Again, the pain was unbearable. I decided to have a blood patch a few hours after having Molly and it was unsuccessful at taking the pain away.
We had the option of being discharged from the hospital the next day (July 1st) and we decided we would be more comfortable at home. We could have stayed due to my pain and Presley's bilirubin level being high-ish. Once we got home the pain got worse each day. By July 3 all I could do was lay flat 100% of the time to keep the pain at bay and even then I was still in pain at times. If you've never had a spinal headache - the pain is literally a constant 10 when you're upright. It was awful.
Nursing a newborn takes some work... You are in charge of teaching this new baby how to eat. I was unable to do this because I couldn't even look down at her. For almost all her feedings we have been in the side lying position and thankfully this has been good enough. I notice my breasts never fully empty - probably due to Molly passing out every single feeding! (I kinda feel like this wouldn't happen as often if I were able to feed her sitting up.) Thankfully with the help of my husband (and mother-in-law and sisters) I've had the help I need to get her latched and she is a good eater! Molly weighed 7#12oz at birth and lost about 8% of her weight by the time we went home the next day. At her appointment this Monday she was up to 8 pounds! Woo! At that appointment we found out her bilirubin was at a 10 (it was at a 14 a few days prior) so that was even more great news for Molly.
I decided to have another blood patch done on July 7. The drive to the hospital was excruciating as was sitting slumped over in the wheelchair until they could get us a room with a bed. Thank goodness they got us a room quickly and as soon as I was flat my pain went from a ten to a zero! Phew. I headed from the outpatient room to this triage area to get prepped for the blood patch and I have to admit I was super intimidated by it all. I met my anesthesiologist, Dr Jones, and he tried to find a vein for an IV. The first attempt was a hit and a miss and the vein tore - OUCH - so he had to get out an ultrasound machine to find a good vein (apparently I had small, rolling veins). After getting the IV in we headed to the procedure room and holy moly it was terrifying in there! Thank goodness Dr Jones understood how much pain I was in if I wasn't laying supine and he didn't have me sit up until he was 100% ready to go. This man was incredible. I was going to have some sedation for the procedure because of the pain I would be in once upright, but I opted out as it would affect my Breastmilk.
Much like the last blood patch, we hit a little hiccup halfway through the procedure. Both times the nurse tried to take the 20ccs of blood needed for the patch from the port of my IV. And both times it didn't work... They would try flushing it with saline and then trying to draw blood again and it wouldn't work. So they called in another doctor who came in to draw blood a different way and it worked thank God. Oh and did I mention this whole time I have to sit completely still because the Dr has the epidural equipment in my back?! TERRIFYING. He then injected 20ccs of my blood into my back which caused a huge amount of pressure in my lower back. It was all done and I ended up laying flat for about two hours in that bed afterwards. It was so comforting to get back to my outpatient room to see Tony, Presley, & Molly again.
After two hours it was time to get out of bed and that was pretty awful as I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to stand or walk. Not to mention the pain in my lower back. BUT the headache was pretty much gone! The ride home from the hospital couldn't have been more different from the ride there... I was singing and sitting up and smiling and laughing! It was a great feeling.
Over the next 24 hours the pain in my back got worse and made it extremely hard to move around, walk, get in/out of bed, etc. I started to lose hope that things would get better because it just kept seeming like something was going to go wrong.
I woke up today and was still in pain (neck, head, and back) but I could tell it was already getting better. I made the mistake of not eating breakfast (it's hard to eat when you're in pain) and on the way to the bathroom this morning I passed out on the floor. It was absolutely terrifying not being able to control your body. I'm not sure what caused me to pass out, but I didn't feel great the rest of the day despite my pain lessening in my back. (See? Like I said, seems like it is always something!)
By late in the afternoon I was feeling a little stronger and was able to sit out in the living room for the first time in so many days and visit with friends/family and even eat a family dinner! And? I was able to change two of Molly's diapers - first time in a week! Silly as it sounds it felt nice to do something normal again.
So, that's where we are currently at with postpartum life! It's been a seriously crazy turn of events but it has made me appreciate my health. I have another 2-3 weeks of taking it easy and in that time period I won't be able to lift more than 15 lbs among other restrictions just to insure the clot in my back stays put. Tony will be home with me for another few days and then I'm on my own! And now I will leave you with a few photos from the last few days...