Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Post Labor with Harper

I was literally unable to sit on the floor with Harper for the first 8 months of her life. I totally don't mean for this to be a sob story about the post-labor of my first child. It just was not a good time, and unfortunately, we didn't have any help from anyone. I will not get into the REAL details of my post labor with Harper as I'm SURE most of you don't want to hear it (and I'd like to keep some of my privacy intact! ha!). Let's just say that I didn't fully heal from having Harper for a very VERY long time. And I did not have a c-section. I was in a lot of pain - probably more pain than I even lead anyone on to believe I was in. It hurt to pee. It hurt to take showers. It hurt to wear jeans. If you think about how bad those things hurt, you can imagine that NOTHING else was going on down there (if you get what I'm saying). I was going to the doctor more often post-labor than I had to go pre-labor. THAT was how I spent my maternity leave with my first child. It got to the point that it hurt for so long that I totally forgot how it felt to feel normal down there. And, if you think about it, THAT is enough to make anyone depressed - even the happiest of people.

I took off work for 5 months after having Harper. When I finally went back to work after the 5 months, I had to go to my (amazing) boss and tell him that I needed to take off again for short term disability because, well, it had to do with childbirth. Yes, I had to have surgery. And yes, it was like I had another baby but without another baby. And if you must know, everything is perfect now - but it was a long long road to get there.

There are three doctors in the practice we go to. They each alternate who is on-call for labor and deliveries, so a patient is encouraged to build a relationship with each of the doctors during their pregnancy. I have my regular doctor who I see for my annual exams, and who I saw the most after I had Harper. One of the other doctors was the one who delivered Harper. And the third doctor was the one who performed my who-who repair six months after I had Harper. So yes, I REALLY truly have a solid relationship with each of the doctors in the practice. When everyone was telling me how I needed to change my obgyn when he didn't realize I was pregnant at 13 weeks - THIS is the reason why I didn't switch.

The doctor who performed my repair is no longer with the practice, and a new doctor (whom we like very much) has taken her place. We met her for the first time a couple of days ago when I had my routine pre-labor check up. Even though she wasn't around two years ago, she knew of the situation I went through with Harper. Either she read it in my chart, or the other doctors had briefed her on the situation, but we discussed (AGAIN) about what this birth plan is going to be. I'm scared. The entire practice knows I'm scared. The entire practice knows what I went through before and they KNOW the fear I have that what happened before may or may not happen again. So we are taking precautions. I've been asked if I want to do an elective c-section (which I'm a good candidate for) but I've decided that I will try to have this baby just the way I had Harper.

So since we really have NO IDEA when this baby was conceived, my obgyn has been guesstimating when the due date will be by seeing how much the baby measures through sonograms and ultrasounds. Different parts of him have been measuring smaller or bigger and, up until a few days ago, we thought I was about 32 weeks. At my 28-week appointment, his head was measuring 28 weeks, but his legs were measuring at 30. This time, at my 32 week appointment, his entire body was measuring at about 34 weeks and some days. They estimate he is about 5 pounds now which sent me into a bit of panic thinking how big he could possibly get in the next month. Inducing me is a good possibility, which I don't want to do, but I also don't want a 10 pound baby. The doctor even briefly mentioned that she doesn't think my body can handle a baby much bigger than what Harper was (7 pounds and 13 ounces). I am confident in my doctors that they are going to do the right thing for me to make sure what happened before doesn't happen again.

My husband and I were talking this morning about the baby just as we do every single day. And I told him that I wasn't afraid of the labor as much as I'm afraid of the healing afterwards. But as I said in my previous post: everything about this pregnancy is much easier than it was with my first pregnancy... so that, alone, has me thinking positively. (Please pray for me!)


AKK said...

Okay, so I have never had a vaginal delivery, so I can only wonder what in the world went wrong with your woo-ha. :( Glad it's good now though ;)

My 2 cents on the c-section: I'd rather have a planned one than an emergency. Everyone I know who has had a planned c-section (including myself) said it wasn't bad at all and recovered very quickly. Every c-section horror story I've heard as been an emergency c. As you get closer, and that baby gets bigger...don't be afraid to go c if you need to for your woo-ha's health. Just make sure to get the dura-morph (which will help with pain control) and make sure to get up and start walking the halls as soon as your legs are no longer numb (to prevent stiffness, making it harder to get up later).

But, that being said, if you really feel you can do vaginal with no long term problems (like last time), I do always think that is better. I know they say there isn't a correlation between difficulties breast feeding and c-sections, but it is odd to me how many of my c-section friends (myself included) had difficulties nursing. :(

Susan said...

Hi lady - I've been reading for a few weeks and am so excited for you, Charlie and Harper to add to your family with a little guy!

While I was pregnant with Aubrey, I was most scared of tearing - do I get the episiotomy or just let nature do it's thing?? In the end, I didn't have to make the choice with an emergency c-section. Aubrey was sitting pretty in there, while I'd been in labor for 17 hours before we had no other choice - my body was shutting down and she wasn't moving! It was scary. We cried and I was most worried about the recovery, the pain, the major surgery of it all. In the end, it was a piece of cake... The surgery took 30 mins with no pain whatsoever... My body was already in a tailspin, so a fever during recovery delayed seeing her for an hour (which was horrible!) but moving and getting around in the hospital and once home was not even close to what I thought it was going to be! I didn't even take my pain meds, that how much pain I wasn't in!

My advice would be to take the elective c-section if that will calm your nerves and lower your stresses.