Wednesday, August 27, 2008
More pictures here and here. I still only have up till Aug 14 pictures uploaded, but am working on getting more up.
Jacqueline was 4 weeks old on the 26th. She's been gaining weight at an average of just over an ounce a day. As of yesterday, she weighed 8 lbs, 13 oz. for comparison, Christian weighed 8 lbs, 14 oz at one month of age (although he gained from a lower birth weight than Jacqueline). She's having some gas issues, so I've been trialling off dairy to see if that helps. With Christian, I needed to be off dairy for the first 6 months because it affected him so badly. So far the jury's out. I tested it this past weekend, and she didn't have an immediate reaction, but she was pretty gassy on Tuesday, so I'm back off it for another week or two and will test it again.
She's starting to have some more alert periods. It's a change from the eat, sleep, eat, sleep, eat again routine of the past few weeks, and I catch myself wondering "Why won't she go to sleep??!!" before I realize that, oh yeah, she is going to become more alert and sleep less as she gets older.
She's sleeping fairly well at night, giving me some 4 and 5 hour stretches. Certainly makes the sometimes hourly feedings during the evening worth it!
Christian has been gradually warming up to her. Still haven't been able to convince him to hold her ("I'll hold her when I'm 4") but he now gives her kisses goodnight and goodbye when he leaves for preschool, and has recently started doling out hugs as well. He's generally very gentle with her, but needs the occasional reminder. He calls her "my baby sister," "my baby" or "Dacqueline" (he can't pronounce the "J" yet).
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Baby Jacqueline is finally here. Here's her birth story...
and birth pictures: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v516/mdthomson/jacqueline/birth/
background: with Christian, I was booked to have a c-section around 39 weeks, due to breech. However, at 37 weeks and 2 days, my water broke, and when I called in to triage to let them know and that I was coming in, they told me they were closed/full and were redirecting patients to other hospitals. I ended up at Toronto East General Hospital, and luckily my experience there was good. But, I was disappointed not to have had my c/s at the hospital I had planned, with my own OB (Dr. Bernstein). Dr. B felt really badly, and at my 6 week postpartum appt, told me that when he found out he felt "sick" and that he told them that they should have called him, as he would have come in to do my c/s.
This time round, I was having a repeat c-section. When I was about 34 weeks or so, I found out my booked C/S date - July 30, when I was 39 weeks and 3 days!! Naturally, I expressed concern about going into labor early (not that it mattered in terms of mine or the baby's well-being, I just really wanted to have my booked c/s with Dr. B etc) and asked if I could have my c/s booked a bit earlier, so he agreed that I could go as early as the 23rd (at 38 wks, 3 days) but when the secretary checked, the ORs were all booked up, so to make him feel guilty for booking me so late, I said (jokingly) "So if I go into labor, then I go to East General, right?" And he said that as long as he's here (i.e. not at the cottage) he'd do my c/s. So I looked him in the eye, and said "So if I go into labor, then I can call you, right?" and he said 'Yes" Weeks passed and all was well. no signs of labor at all. I was planning to work right up to the day before my c/s, and on Monday, 2 days before my c/s, I finally accepted that maybe I actually would make it to Wednesday after all. Shouldn't have said it out loud...I think I jinxed myself...
I was up late Monday night, puttering around, organizing the baby's stuff, doing a bit of laundry etc (nesting?!) and finally went to bed around 1:30 am or so (which is not unusual for me). It was maybe 1:45 by the time I got into bed, and I lay there a few minutes, when all of a sudden, I felt 3 big gushes...my water had broken...again! (it was exactly the same with Christian, my water broke a few minutes after laying down in bed) I just lay there for a second and then went "OH CRAP!" Hugo woke up immediately, and I told him we had to get ready to go to the hospital. We phoned our neighbors, Paul & Lisa (Thanks guys!) to come over and stay in the house with Christian, got my stuff together (luckily this time round I had my bags packed!) and off we went. We arrived at about 3am. There must have been something in the air that night, because one of the residents who saw me said that I was the 4th person to come in that night with ruptured membranes, and the other 3 had all had theirs rupture at the exact same time (11:45 pm). I found out later from a coworker, that her friend had hers rupture at 2am that night, exactly the same time that mine did! Anyway, I asked them if I am not progressing too far in labor, if I could wait till the morning when Dr. B came in to do rounds, as he would do my c/s. I got some doubtful looks, I think they thought I was crazy, since nowadays you only get your own OB if he happens to be on call that day.
I was contracting regularly (about every 7 or 8 minutes), but it only felt like moderate menstrual cramps. When they checked me, I was only 1cm dilated. The resident said that I could wait, but the only risk I run is that the OR's become so busy that I get delayed throughout the day and end up in a situation where I get into active labor. Also, the OB who was on call thought that Dr. B wasn't going to be in that day (even though I was pretty sure he was) so in the end, since I knew the OB on call too, I agreed to have her do my CS. Anesthesia resident then saw me and I found out it was going to be a 2nd year resident doing my spinal, which made me a bit nervous. I know they need their training, but I really don't want them practicing putting needles into my spine. He confidently said he'd done 100 spinals and 60 epidurals, but in my mind, that didn't sound like all that many. As it turns out, my c/s got bumped by an emergency c/s, delaying it an hour, and then I found out that it had been delayed yet another hour by another emergency c/s, which would bring us into the next shift, and also meant that Dr. B should be in the hospital (he does rounds on all his patients every morning at 7am, even on weekends one of the nurses told me!). I asked the Anesthetist if he could get the staff to find out if Dr. B was in and to tell him I'm there.
At about 7:30 am, the night on-call OB came by to see me, and said "I've got good news...he's here!, and he'll be coming to see you soon" I was so relieved!! Dr. B came and saw me at 8am, and told me he'd see me in the OR shortly. Soon, the OR nurse came to get us and we walked to the OR. All of the staff were so nice and friendly - each one of them, including the residents, introduced themselves and how they were going to be involved. The staff anesthetist ended up dong my spinal (as she was giving me the instructions etc, I asked her if she was going to be the one doing it, and she said "yes, that's one of the benefits of being staff here". Thank goodness, because she had a second year resident with her) - and once the freezing took, the OR started. I was so surprised how fast it took to get the baby out. it seemed like only a few minutes before they were pulling her out and showing her to us. While he was operating, Dr. B joked "I tried to send her to East General..."
The whole experience was so different from my c/s at TEGH. With Christian, they got him out, did all the stuff they needed to do on him and brough him over for me to see briefly, and then I really didn't get to see him much till I was able to do skin to skin in recovery. This time, at the point of taking her out, they held her up for a photo, then once she was stabilized, and before they swaddled her, they brought her over to me and put her against my chest/cheek. It was so amazing, and once she was next to me, she just seemed to become so calm and serene. The Respiratory therapist was hilarious - she must moonlight as a photographer or art director. She was telling Hugo, "take a picture of this, now this..." and then she took the camera and got the shots of Hugo and the baby and of all 3 of us, telling us what to do (you kiss her forehead, both of you looking at the baby, etc) I was really pleased with how it ended up being more of an "experience" than just an operation.
Postpartum I did really well. I made sure they got me out of bed within 12 hours of the OR and got my catheter out, then had my IV out by 6am the next morning. I think I freaked out the OB resident the next morning, when he came to do rounds, I got out of bed, put the baby in the bassinet and sat back down on the bed. He goes "Did you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section?" He looked a little taken aback when I told him it was a c/s. Dr. B. then came to see me and told me I could go home the next day if my incision is ok, and on Thursday when he took off my bandage, he gave me the all clear to go. All was good with the baby except for some slight jaundice, so we got discharged Thursday afternoon. A 2 day C-section stay - not bad.