While I know that natural births have a way better story, and can even be put into many blog posts, I want to write down Lucy's story to be sure that I don't forget; even the embarrassing moments. I wish I could say that I was calm throughout the whole ordeal, but I was not. Each thing seemed to add up.
On Friday, October 3rd, I got up nice and early. We were due at the hospital around 7AM, and I barely slept the night before. I am always nervous, but I seemed to be awake a lot more than the other births. It was about 5:15 when I got up, and I found some lights already on down the hallway, in my boys' room. Patrick was up and dressed! It seems that he wasn't the only child excited, as before we left (about 6:20) all three school kids were already up and dressed!
It's not a short drive to our hospital, as I have mentioned before, and I try really hard not to fuss at Tommy for the way he drives, but when I am nervous, it always seems like the cars are soo close and he's going soo fast. I didn't feel too bad for him, as he was enjoying a delicious breakfast of chicken in a port wine sauce and rice, made for our family by my sweet trainer and friend who owns a catering company. SUCH a treat to have her food in the house, but very hard to smell while you are the one who has to fast!
Tommy dropped me off, and I made my way upstairs, pushed the little intercom button, and told them I was there for my C-section. "You're early!" Um, it's only 6:45. "Have a seat in the waiting room. We'll come and get you." Okay. We have a couple friends who work at the hospital in labor and delivery and the lactation area, and they both came out to say hello. Both were just getting off the night shift so they wouldn't be there for the birth, but it was sweet of them to stop by. It seemed that the hospital was extra busy that morning, but they did find a bed for me in the pre-op room pretty quickly. It was the absolute tiniest corner of the room (they have up to 3 moms in there) and was nice for me because I could go through my nervous energy/mood swings pretty privately. I am always nervous about the spinal, and just all that leads up to the surgery and I was trying to pray and stay calm, but it was tough. Especially when the nurse says to me that there are over 200 pre-op questions! While going through all those, another nurse comes in to give me my IV. She says, "I don't want to do it in your hand" (though I didn't mind) and proceeds to try to do it in top of my wrist, near where I had an IV before (I think William's birth) and there is still a scar. Whatever she did was INCREDIBLY painful (mind you, I get TONS of IVs now, with all the dealings with the nephrostomy tube, and all my hospital stays and they aren't a big deal) and the pain radiated all the way down my knuckles and fingers. It was so bad and I was so freaked out (bad patient, I know) that she took it out. I HATE to be a bother, but it really threw me for a loop. So she found another spot (on my forearm? that was a first) and we waited. (Can you feel the stress today?)
My doctor comes in, we discuss a few things, ESPECIALLY the tube, and the urologist that we are hoping will order a test to check the tube, and remove it while we are in the hospital. He reassures me that he will talk to the doctor and we continue waiting, and continue with our 472 pre-op questions. Dr. B comes back and says the urologist decided not to take the tube out. Um, what? He won't even order the test to see if the ureter is clear, and will wait a little while. I immediately start crying and was really upset. I was so focused on that and I wasn't even really thinking about anything else. Dr. B even says he tried to talk to the IR department himself and order the test, but no go. (I think it came down to "we didn't put it in, we won't take it out.") I told him he should have waited to tell me that AFTER the baby came out. Mentally, I knew that I should not have gotten my hopes up, but I really had my heart set on it. (And it keeps rising)
More waiting. My anesthesiologist was a pregnant mommy as well, and made a comment like "I can tell you are sensitive." I am, I know, but I always hope that I can do some offering up to help someone who needs my prayers. But I was failing at it. My surgery was for 8:30, and I don't think we went back until after 9. We put on our little OR outfits and got ready to go. Always very stylish.
Tommy is always one for watching the surgery. He loves that stuff. This OR was really small, and it seemed like Tommy's head was really close to my belly. He made sure that it was okay that he watched, and I knew he would. They begin the list of what they are doing, and he cuts them off to correct the name. "Fuzzy, she is Fuzzy." LOL Dr. B starts working, and says things like "I'm cutting through such and such, or this." That was when I had to ask him to stop. "I know what you are doing, but I don't want to KNOW what you are doing."
Now, this is where I need to mention something that was happening all morning, but increased during surgery. No, not the events that kept coming to increase my frustration and stress. It's actually better! Everyone has been complimenting me today. Well, not ME, but, apparently my "veins are beautiful." I have a "lovely spine." As Dr. B is working, he is saying, "Oh Fuzzy, this is beautiful. You brought your 'A' game today! What a perfect uterus! No scarring....." He went on and on. It brought me a little bit of relief to focus on something good, even though it was not exactly what I was hoping for. LOL
The all tell me it's almost time for her to come out, and I can hear her crying! It's a little gurgley cry, but she is crying, and of course, so am I. They put her head above the blue drape, and I am just thrown by how SMALL she looks!! She has a great cry, and I am so relieved, and it's amazing how light my belly feels already. They weigh her, and at 8 lb 7 oz she is my smallest baby! The nurses kind of laugh at me, but I am amazed at how little she is, and her head especially. Meanwhile, I still hear such praise of my insides, and the conversation turns to something about our parish (very odd how it did that), and I hear all these nurses talk about their parish in the area, their priests, and whatnot. It was a nice break from some of the things that I was feeling, and fretting over.
Lucy and Tommy leave as I am being stitched up, so there is about 15-20 minutes when I don't have them with me, and as I am wheeled into the recovery room (which coincidently is the pre-op room) I see Tommy has Lucy in his arms and is feeding her a bottle. Insert mental freak out, and before I can even get any words out, the nurse and Tommy tell me that her blood sugar numbers are low. Really low. In the 20's low. If she was anything below 20 she would have been sent off to the NICU. (insert MAJOR freak out, barometer keeps rising, and holding back tears) They will keep testing her, and she needs 3 numbers above 50 to tell us she is okay. As soon as they hand her to me to hold, I attempt to nurse her, as I am trying help my girl. She is my earliest one to latch on so well, and she was a champ. But, now I am feeling like I have hurt my sweet baby. She is barely hours old and she is already dealing with crap from me. I feel so terrible, and am so worried. The nurses tell me it's not me, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I hated those moments. The waiting for the blood work and knowing that they had to prick her heel again and again. Poor little thing. Thankfully, we had a good number, and I could go to a regular room.
I am not quite calmed down when we get to the room, and when the poor nurse tells me that I have to wait a whole day before I can have a regular meal, I admit that I kind of yelled at her, "What do you mean, A WHOLE DAY?!?! I know. So terrible. I had a whole flood of emotions come through me, all those issues just kept mounting higher and higher (dad-blasted hormones) and I just started bawling when Tommy told me I had forgotten to leave a key to my house for his parents who were helping with the kids, and the kids were going to arrive much sooner than I had hoped. That nurse was in the corner of the room, typing away ("this new momma needs a Xanax!"), as I went through my complete and total release of emotions and meltdown (about a key!). It was so stupid, embarrassing, and frustrating. Considering how much I have cried this whole pregnancy, it should not have come as a surprise that I was still a mess, even after the baby came.
I get to spend 3 days at the hospital with surgery, and it is great to have someone else take care of the food and cleaning, and I'm able to just nurse the baby and take care of me. To be honest, the nurses and THIS hospital stay was so different than my last hospital stay. The nurses helped me with my nephrostomy tube, helped me shower, flush it, and were so much more understanding of all the issues. I was not in too much pain, and kept getting out of bed without calling the nurses. I got in trouble for that a few times. LOL But really, this hospital is what I prefer! It was a quiet stay, and the kids were so sweet with the baby when they came to visit.
The hardest part about homecoming was that we had 2 with strep, so Tommy was running to and from the doctor's, pharmacy, drop off and pick up of the kids and keeping us fed, as well as all his meetings. Poor James had it twice in October, and it was terrible for the kids to be told they can't hold or kiss the baby!
I love this costume! We have used it with all 3 boys at one time, about this age. Aunt Pam gave it to Patrick all those years ago, and it is so well-loved! It doesn't even look bad in pictures, but it is peeling up close.
The boys all picked this one for my Lucy. We have a house of superheroes, why not one more?
William went through about 4 different costumes before picking this one.
Patrick has never been one for going out, he actually prefers to stay home and hand out the candy. And read all the jokes on the Laffy Taffy candy. LOL
Daddy came to the rescue for Emma! He is the best!
It was FREEZING when the kids went out, so I was happy to stay in the warm house with Lucy. She was a little fussy, so she just wanted to be held. It would have been too cold for her.
Our only completed carved pumpkin was done by William. Super proud of that boy!
And our little peanut, I mean punkin from a shower given by my sweet friends.
James had a bag of candy that he was eating, and says, "this one is a 'E'"
"Sleep when the baby sleeps."
"Just stay upstairs in your room and feed/change the baby."
"Let someone else do the laundry/dishes/homework/clean up."
"Everything can wait."
I have heard every.single.one of these each time I have had a baby. Sure, the first couple times (especially with a non-C-section delivery) it's easy to do. There is less to do. It seems like a lot, at the time, especially with the first and second, but it's easier to take it slow. It's more exciting for others - friends and family, as it's the first kids, and there are more visitors, offers to babysit, or come over and help. (Not trying to point fingers or blame, but it's true.) But life continues, and more kids come, more laundry, more dishes, more diapers, and the kids get bigger and have bigger problems, and people still say the same things.
But I just had my 5th. My kids are older, more involved, and are bigger with bigger problems. (Apparently, October is the wrong month to have a baby when you have kids in school, but especially middle school. The projects!!!) Not only the kids, but I have had some bigger problems. I have been struggling with health issues for the last few months and I am done. Done feeling bad, done sitting around in a messy house, done getting tired so fast, just done. And to be honest, I am pretty sure the family is done too. They don't want to deal with it anymore. (One of my children asked me if this was my last baby, since I am always so sick while I am pregnant. It made me cry, but I know I need to teach a lesson about sacrifice, suffering, being unselfish, etc. I need to do that with this child, especially!) I get it. My husband, my kids, my in-laws, my family, the super generous friends in our community, it's an old story. "Fuzzy needs prayers. Needs help." They all have given so much and sometimes it is hard to keep giving.
Yes, I did have MAJOR surgery (as my mother tells me). I know. I am only 3.5 weeks out, and my incision is only 85% healed. Tommy took almost 2 1/2 weeks off. But it didn't feel like time to be spent doing nothing. We had more stresses this time around, more doctors visits AFTER the baby was born. (We had 2 kids with strep diagnosis the day that I came home from the hospital, or the day after, I don't remember) The baby needed to get to the doctor, and I wanted to have the tube taken out, etc. etc. I tried to take it easy when I could. I don't feel bad, and my body is so happy to NOT be pregnant or have diabetes, my kidneys are happier and life just goes on. It just didn't feel like I COULD be sitting and doing nothing - well, nothing including nursing, changing and holding the baby. But I still hear it. You need to slow down. You are doing too much.
But this week, I had to take 2 kids to the doctor. James and William have strep (again for James). I had to go to the doctor's office 2 days in a row, to the pharmacy 2 days in a row, and continue with pick up, homework, etc. It makes me so upset that my James has strep for the second time this month, so I feel that I am not doing enough! I ran around the house with bleach, crying as I was cleaning, changing sheets and just feeling like I can't win. How can I slow down when life isn't? I have 5 (!) kids. They all need me. All need help, my husband needs help. He could use a clone on some of his days when he has 4 meetings in one night, but they all are activities that are for my kids. The kids need clean uniforms (oh, and those dark socks! How many mornings have I heard them ask where they are?!) and to do homework. We all need to eat (unfortunately, all.the.time.). It's just not possible. I don't know how I am going to do less.
Now, to be honest, my house is a mess. It's dirty, I saw some huge cobwebs up in a corner that I can't even get close to reaching but you can only see when the sun hits it juuust right. I will say my bathrooms are clean, and we need to have some clean dishes when I forget to buy paper plates, so on that front I am slowing down, and we had 4 baskets of clean laundry to fold. So it all depends on how you look at it. But not driving? Not possible.
Everyone has been amazing. Uh-MAZING! The meals, the love, the gifts, just keep coming. We have had meals come even after the meal train was all done. God has been so good to keep sending us His love through others! It's been so great to feel all the love from our friends and community. We are so blessed, and I feel that we may be wearing out our love and help. We do have to get back. I know we do! I am trying not to "do too much" but I am just 1 mom.