I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Monday, June 25, 2012

C-Section After Vaginal Birth

So I know there's a such thing as a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), but I've never heard too much about a CAVB- I don't know if that's a real term, but I'm assuming that would be a cesarean after vaginal birth.  Well, having now been in that boat, I thought I'd write about my experience with it.  It goes along the lines of a blog post I read called "10 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me About C-Sections."  (I did not experience everything she mentioned.) You can google until your fingers fall off about what a c-section is like, but you're not likely to get the full picture.  And I got feedback about them from several friends before mine so that I could have reassurance it wasn't going to be the worst thing ever.

Well... it was the worst thing ever!  Let me preface by telling you again that this was a cesarean after having two children vaginally.  Now, I know that many women tear and I've heard the horror stories of vaginal birth where women have torn an unGodly amount and couldn't walk or sit for weeks.  I know many women have pushed for so long they ended up with a c-section in the end.  So yes, I know there are a lot of horror stories with vaginal birth.  I did not have that problem.  Although my labor with my first two was extremely long, I didn't tear with either and the healing process was extremely fast.  I was up an hour after birth.  With my first, I took a bath and was excited at being able to shave my thighs because I could actually see them!  With  my second, I opted for a shower.  Upon coming home, I was pretty much back to most normal activities right away.  In fact, with my second, I was pulling up carpeting a week after birth.

Okay, so that's my preface.  Vaginal birth doesn't scare me and I would never hesitate in my decision to have another child if it was solely based on the birth itself.  Unfortunately, now that has completely changed.

The only part of the c-section that wasn't horrible was the surgery itself.  I was told to arrive at the hospital at 5 am and they prep you, get your IV in, get you on fluids, fill out paperwork, have nurses talk to you about what's going to happen during the surgery and by the time 8am rolled around I was ready to go.  You are given a spinal (like an epidural, but it's a one time injection instead of having you hooked up to a tube in your back.)  Once the doctor establishes it has kicked in, he starts cutting.  The whole process is very quick and boom, there's your baby!  Of course my son was big and the doctor needed assistance getting him out by way of some guy pushing extremely hard on my ribs and stomach, but since I was numb it was just uncomfortable.

So boom, there's the surgery.  They cut you open, sew you up, show you the baby and then you go to recovery for 20 minutes, then on to your room.  That's when the hell begins.  You are pretty much bound to that bed for the next 8-12 hours.  You're hooked up to a pulse monitor, blood pressure monitor, catheter, pressure boots and IV.  You can't move, you can't feel a lot from the chest down.  So, every so often you have nurses come in and change your pad, press on your stomach to check your uterus and clean you down there- very humiliating if you don't like being completely helpless.

After about 8 hours I asked if I could try to get up.  I got to enjoy a whole standing up, turning around and sitting in a chair two inches from my bed.  At 2:15 am the catheter was removed (thank God.)  At 8:30 the next day the IV was removed after I insisted they had promised it was only in for 24 hours.  Next came the bp cuff, heart monitor and finally the boots- mainly because I kept kicking them off.

You can barely move, I couldn't stand up straight, the furniture and bed in the hospital room are so uncomfortable that there was nothing I could do to not be in pain.  In fact, the pain in my rear from sitting on the hard furniture was at times worse than the c-section pain!  The nurses are in and out all night, you can't sleep because of the discomfort... worse hospitalization ever.

Now fast forward to being home.  You're not allowed to drive until you can successfully press the brake and gas pedal and turn your body to see behind you.  You're not allowed to pick anything up over the weight of your baby.  So pretty much, I'm bound to my house and can't even do much there.  I'm a stomach sleeper, but I'm stuck sleeping on my back for at least 3 weeks.  I'm constantly worried about my incision splitting, so I avoid doing too much.  Although today is the sixth day after my surgery, I haven't had any pain medication since day 4 and that was only once.  It is really hard to stand or get off my bed, but as long as you don't do it quickly, it's tolerable.  Then there's the swelling!!  Because of the 4 bags of fluids they give you (pitocin and something else), you swell from the knees down.  And this isn't mild swelling, this is painful, I think I have elephantitis swelling.  My feet hurt worse than the c-section area!  It hurts to wiggle my toes and my legs feel like hard plastic that can't be budged.

Well, there you have it.  If something else awful comes up, I'll be sure to share, but I think I've highlighted the things that I have been most upset to find out.  Most doctors in smaller towns will not perform VBACs and I asked my doctor if it made a difference that I only had to have one because my son was breech.  He said no, once you have one, that's it.  So, if I ever decided I wanted another child, I'd have the option of going through another hellacious cesarean or driving 90 miles to have a doctor who will allow a VBAC.  Of course, I'm not even close to making that decision anytime soon, it's just unfortunate that I'd have to.

Hopefully I haven't completely terrified you, but I feel honesty is what women want in medical situations!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Childhood Memories: Cheese Thief Edition

This childhood memory will probably be highly disputed due to its controversial nature...

Okay, to preface the memory, I need to point out that we were very well fed as children and never starved.  Aside from breakfast, lunch and dinner, if we wanted a snack or dessert, we had to ask permission to eat something and it wasn't guaranteed approval.  I can only imagine what kind of costs went into feeding a family of 6!  So, it is understandable that occasionally the more "expensive" items would be missed if they disappeared.

Now onto the memory.  From the best of my recollection (because I think I had to have been like 4 or 5 or something) the incident started because someone had opened a block of cheese and eaten it.  I don't remember if the whole block of cheese was eaten and the evidence was found in the trash can or if someone had opened the block of cheese and helped themselves.  Well, the fact that someone had eaten cheese without permission was a big no-no.  (If you are accustomed to buying blocks of cheese, you know they aren't cheap.)  So, an interrogation process was lead in order to find the culprit.  Apparently my three siblings all denied the allegations, as did I.  I was 100% sure I was innocent as I knew that I had not partaken in the disappearance of the cheese.

Well, here's where the travesty lies.   Apparently since everyone denied it, it was assumed that I was the guilty party.  I was the youngest, so maybe it was thought that the older children would have no reason to lie about something so trivial.  Despite my protests, I was sent to my room and told I would remain there until I confessed.  Imagine how much this crushed my faith in humanity.  I can understand how inmates feel that are incarcerated, but innocent.  Instead of mulling over a confession, I was sitting there wondering why I was being punished- because mind you, none of my three siblings were being punished because my parents assumed it was me.

Fast forward until I was allowed out of my room.  This is where the rest of the memory gets mildly fuzzy.  I BELIEVE that someone eventually confessed and that's why I was allowed out.  But, this doesn't seem too likely because I doubt any of them felt too guilty that I was getting punished.  So, maybe they let me out because they figured I'd been punished enough had I actually been the perpetrator.  Either way, that's all I remember happening from the event.  I learned that the world is not fair and that I can't expect people to apologize because no one did.  I'm sure to this day (if my parents thought this was a real memory) that they think I was the one who ate the cheese.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Current Obstetrical & Pregnancy Beef

Okay, so let me put this in order of why I think I'm at the "annoyed" point that I'm at.

My ob/gyn sometimes is super busy and will have the nurse practitioner see his patients if he's running behind, but he says he doesn't want it to be more than once EVERY OTHER time.  Okay, so I'm at the weekly visit point in my pregnancy.  Well, THREE appointments ago the nurse practitioner had to see me because the doctor was running so far behind.  At that appointment she did feel around my stomach and said she thought the baby's head was down.  Also at that appointment I was informed (by a regular nurse) that the doctor had scheduled me an ultrasound in two weeks because the baby was measuring so big that my due date might be closer than was estimated.  So a nurse explained it to me.

Then TWO appointments ago I once again saw the nurse practitioner and this was because my doctor was on vacation.  She did not check baby's positioning and it was a routine appointment.  So LAST appointment (Thursday) I had my ultrasound and then met with... the nurse practitioner.  This was because my doctor was still on vacation and was due to return Friday.  So, at the ultrasound we found out that the baby was in breech position, it was estimating my due date as NEXT WEEK (10 days earlier than before) and that the baby was measuring 9 lbs 3 oz (with a give or take of 1 lb 6 oz.)  After my ultrasound was my appointment where I ended up seeing the n.p. as I mentioned.  Well, she doesn't generally look at the ultrasound results, but I talked to her about the findings.  She mentioned that being this far along my only options for him being breech were if a version (manipulating the baby by pushing on my stomach) or a c-section.  The N.P. said that she would put my paperwork on the doctor's desk so he'd be sure to see it when he came into the office Friday.

So of course Thursday night I come home and google my fingers off.  From what I read, a version is most often not performed after 37 weeks.  So, if I'm "39 weeks" now, I don't think they will do it.  However, guess when I wasn't 39 weeks... 3 appointments ago, 2 appointments ago...  when my doctor was unavailable.  Which makes me think I'm going to have to have a c-section.  My research said that it used to be that babies were delivered breech all the time, but nowadays doctors aren't trained for it and just opt for c-sections.  So it would make sense to me that they wouldn't want me to go into labor on my own.

BUT, guess who didn't get a call from the doctor Friday- that's right, this lady.  So here I am paranoid that if I go into labor on my own I'm gonna end up with a foot dangling out of my birth canal.  Is my doctor going to wait until my next appointment (Thursday) to tell me anything?  If so, what's the news going to be?  I just feel like it's pretty $hitty that no one would think that I should be in on the loop of what will happen or what should happen.

I know I could call the doctor and harass him until I get answers, but why should that be my job?  I've never had a c-section and although friends are telling me it's not that bad, I'm still pretty scared about the thought.

Anyway, I just wanted to vent about this as I know that if I did at the doctor's office it would fall on deaf ears and just be the "hormones talking."  Ugh.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's Never Too Early to Plan Ahead for Holidays

I am cheap.  And by that, I mean frugal- at least I'd like to think so.  That's why instead of waiting until the last minute to buy things for holidays, I like to plan ahead throughout the year.  Whether it's buying Christmas lights on clearance, Halloween Costumes in June or stocking up on gifts all year long, it pays to buy things off season.

For instance, I mentioned costumes.  Most years I don't decide whether I'm going to go to a Halloween party until the last minute.  Then I end up going to a local department store and paying like 40 bucks for whatever they have available! 

Of course I'd like to wear an original costume, not something that 50 other people will have on.  Likewise I feel the same about the costumes my kids wear.  For kids Halloween costumes it's even worse!  Sure, there are a lot of options at the local stores, but even if there are 25 choices, there's a gazillion kids out trick-or-treating at the same time and I'd like to see my kids in something unique.  And I'm not crafty enough with a needle and thread to make my own.  So, my suggestion if you find yourself in this situation is to order something a couple months before Halloween (best time when you find yourself with some extra cash available) and then avoid having slim pickings and having to see your kids in something that 20 of their friends are wearing.

This blog post was brought to you by your friends at HalloweenMart!!!