I delivered (or should I say Dr. Singer delivered) a beautiful healthy 8.1 lb baby boy. 10 toes. 10 fingers. Healthy!! Now I stress this because when a woman is over the age of 35 and pregnant, all she hears for 9 months are the RISKS. If you are pregnant now and are of advanced maternal age (over 35) then you have heard the statistics. I don’t need to reiterate and freak anyone out. I’m not here to discourage anyone from trying to have a baby. That clock ticks loud enough for most everyone. But for me, delivering at 44, my risk for having a baby with any chromosomal abnormality was 1 in 26. Eek. So, having a healthy baby was a pretty big deal. I have to say, after the amniocentesis, I hardly thought about the negative possibilities.
The hospital we delivered in was brand new. I actually went through labor in the room I would be in for the duration of my stay. Had I not had the c-section, I would have delivered the baby right in my room. It was pretty nice. The new thing now is “rooming in” with your baby. There was no nursery. From the moment I had him, he was with me. Right from the start, all through the night, he was with us. I had thought that was a wonderful idea, until I had a c-section. There I was, unable to even sit up, completely drugged out of my head, and the baby has his first poop. Poor Ian, had never changed a diaper (that little morsel wasn’t covered in all the freakin classes we went to…Really?) We had to call a nurse (who was all annoyed that we did) to come help him. I have to say, hospitals should really let a woman rest at least one night after a major surgery or if they had a particularly tough labor. I truly have not had a full uninterrupted nights sleep since before the baby was born. That is not an exaggeration. And I have a husband who takes “Ollie duty” at least a couple nights a week or more!
Now this is something really important that no one told me before I went into the hospital. When you have a c-section, you are going to need pain medication. This is no joke! My amazing Dr. Singer told me, “Stay on top of your pain medication. Don’t let it wear off. It is most important that you don’t feel the pain so you can start to get up and around.” Sounds good. Except, the nurses don’t stay on top of the pain medication for you…you MUST ask for it. They CAN NOT offer it to you. ???????? Well, I didn’t know that. I’d fall asleep and wake up in such pain, cause I was two hours over the time I should have taken it. My husband kept up on it as best he could, but he was sleep deprived as well. It wasn’t until the last night I was there, I had a really nice night shift nurse who told me the score.
Another thing to watch out for in the hospital, is who comes in and out of your room to check on you or your baby. Because the hospital was brand new, the pediatrician we chose didn’t have privileges at that facility yet, so we used the pediatric neonatal group the hospital provided. The hospital was in our insurance network. But the pediatric group was not….?? What? It’s not like anyone asked us…or we had a choice. Well, we didn’t find this out until bills started coming to us in the range of $12,000….just for this group. There were exorbitant charges for the baby’s subsequent hospital care, but the only people in to see him that we remember were the nurses that took care of us both, who were employed by the hospital. Anyway, we wound up having to get hospital records, etc., blah blah blah. Point being: If I had it to do over, I would have had a visitors log for every single person that came into our room to sign. Name – Time- Purpose of visit. I’m so not kidding. It seems almost silly…but it would have saved so many headaches.
I remember looking down at my legs the day after I gave birth. I was numb still…but I was NOT prepared for what I saw. My legs were swollen beyond recognition. I told the nurse, “Excuse me, these aren’t my legs.” She just looked at me, and said ” Yes, they are.” I said, ” No, you don’t understand, these aren’t my legs!” I swear, they all thought I was crazy. But, again!, no one told me, I would swell up like an elephant after I had my baby!! The anesthesia makes it horrible! Why did no one tell me!? At least I would have been slightly prepared. Do they think you are going to turn around and decided to not have the baby? I mean, really. By month 9 you are begging for someone to get the baby out of you. Geez, it would have been nice to know. And I am not the only woman I know (NOW) that had this issue and was completely freaked out by it! For the love of God, women, we need to share this information! It took a couple weeks at least for the swelling to go down. My friend Joey said to me after the fact…”Holy $%!#….you looked 7 months pregnant when you came home!” It’s true. The swelling went down and I lost about 25 lbs in the first couple of weeks. My mind took a little longer to recover. 🙂
In my next post I will share the blur of my first couple weeks at home with the baby. It’s actually hard to remember, as I feel like someone else had taken over my body. Like an alien. A freaked out, terrified, exhausted alien. 🙂 xo Until then, chin up!