Friday, March 20, 2015

Joshua's Birth Day Story

My due date with Joshua was March 4th. I did several prenatal appointments in the States before we came back to East Asia last October. The doctor in the States told me that since I would be redoing a repeat c-section, I shouldn't go past 39 weeks. My local doctor here also confirmed this, so we scheduled the c-section for Tuesday, the 24th.

Here in EA, things are very different. I had to check into the hospital the night before so they could do a blood test. I had to fast for 6 hours before coming in-so at 10 am I stuffed myself with food and drank about a gallon of water. My mom and I went to the hospital at 4pm for the bloodwork. However, they lost my chart and my room wasn't ready, so things took much longer than I had planned.

Eventually they took my blood, I had an ultrasound, and they prepped me for surgery the next day. There are some more details to that, but it's tmi and more of a girls-only convo. But let's just say I deserved a pat on the back after some of my experiences.

I finally checked into my room, then we left to go meet my dad, Daniel, and Paige for dinner. I had a huge cheeseburger and a chocolate mint milkshake. After dinner, Daniel and I went back to the hospital to get ready for the next day. My doctor came by that night to talk about the surgery and let me having a sleeping pill too. I never really felt the pill take effect, so it wasn't too strong. But I did sleep pretty good, so I was thankful for that! They also came in about 8pm or so and did fetal monitoring for about 30 minutes. Then the nurse said she would come in at 1 and 5 am to check the baby again. You can imagine how thrilled I was at being woken up.

One thing that was funny/annoying, is as soon as we checked into my room I tried to figure out how to lower and raise the bed. I knew I wouldn't be able really move after surgery so I wanted to be prepared. However, my hospital bed had a crank at the end of it to raise or lower the bed manually. So EVERY time I needed to lay down or raise my bed, someone had to turn the crank at the end of the bed to move me.

Please notice the crank at the very end of the bed. is my last belly pic!

They told me my surgery would be at 8:10, and they would come get me at 7. After the nurse came in at 5 to check me, I got up and showered and got ready. My mom came to the hospital a little after 7. So I was dressed in my comfy clothes because I assumed they would have me change into a gown. But they came in and told me to get into the hospital issued pajamas. Ya'll-I totally made fun of them at first. But they were SO comfy and I brought home 2 pairs to wear, ha!

I changed, then I walked into the operating room and sat on the table. They started my IV of antibiotics-which I don't remember having with Paige. It instantly made me sick. I thought I was going to throw up and faint immediately. I asked them if it was supposed to do that (cos I was worried they were putting me out!), and they said no. But after about 7 minutes it settled down and I felt okay.

The hospital provided me a translator for all of my prenatal appointments and for my labor and delivery. (even though my doctor did speak english), However, I was in the operating room for about 30 minutes operating in my second language by myself. Language and miscommunication was a barrier during my hospital stay. More on that later. They also don't allow anyone in the operating room, so Daniel and my mom waited outside.

Anyways.....on with my long story getting even longer. They put my epidural in and I felt that bad boy kick in! My doctor came in and they started the surgery about 8. Just to compare birth experiences-with Paige they tied my arms down and I was shaking the whole time. They didn't tie me down this time and I didn't shake very much at all.

At 8:16, I heard Joshua's little cry!!! I started crying-it was the best sound to hear!!!! And my favorite part-the table where they cleaned him up was just to my right, so I was able to see him the whole time! After they cleaned him they swaddled him and left him on the table, so the whole time they were stitching me up, I was able to just stare at him. It was the biggest blessing that I'm SO thankful for!

Joshua weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces and was almost 19 inches long. Paige was 8 pounds when she was born, so I was shocked at how tiny Joshua was!!! He doesn't fit into any of his newborn clothes, they completely drown him. We all think Joshua looks exactly like Paige did when she was born. Sometimes I accidentally call him Paige because of how much he looks like her. I'm interested to see if he favors her as he gets bigger.

Anyways, right after we got back to our room they let me do skin to skin. Honestly I don't really remember much right after the surgery. I think they took him in for tests and stuff.

I was hooked up to several iv's. One huge cultural difference is that they wanted me to lay down and rest in bed for several days here. With Paige, I was pretty much forced to get out of bed that day and walk around and shower as soon as I was up for it. Here, I was hooked up to fluids for 3 days and was told not to shower for 2 weeks. But as soon as that last iv came out, I was in the shower and walking around (doctor approved of course!).

Tuesday afternoon my parents brought Paige to meet Joshua. It was SO sweet and funny! She sat next to me and held him for about 2 seconds, then said "All done!"

But Paige has been super sweet with Joshua. Every time she came to visit us she would come in and look for Baby Joshie and make sure he was okay. If he cried she would go to him, pat him, and say "he okay, he okay." 

I'm not sure if having a previous c-section helped or hurt me. I had certain expectations based on how my c-section went with Paige. But I was in America. Having a c-section in East Asia was just so different. I think if I didn't have anything to compare it to I would've just accepted the differences and not known any different.

Wednesday was a pretty emotional day. Some of the cultural differences got to me and there were tears. But Wednesday afternoon was better after we made some adjustments.

On Thursday, day 3, I finally was free of my iv's! It was so great to be able to get up and move around and to finally change clothes! I felt so much better after a shower and doing my hair and make up.

We tried taking a few family pictures, but Paige was not having it. This was the best one we could get, after we let her hold on to her babydoll.

I was a little concerned about the pain management, because I kept asking what was available, and was told that after 3 days I wouldn't need any pain medicine. Ha. Ha. Ha.

With Paige, I took hydrocodone and Motrin for 10 straight days afterward. After several hours of going back and forth between my translator and several doctors, I was able to have motrin. But here's the weird thing-I haven't really used it. I think the main reason is because with Paige I only wore the binder on my stomach for a few days. With Joshua, I wore it almost 2 weeks. I think wearing the binder longer gave me a lot of support and helped with the pain. Because I was shocked when I realized that I didn't really need it.

Now there have been a few days that I walked too far or too long and I can tell I overdid it. Those days I do need a little something to take the edge off. I am trying to be more careful though and take it easy when I can.

I can't believe Joshua is over 3 weeks old already!! I need to get ready to do his one month post. But life with 2 kiddos is much busier, so blogging has taken a back seat to naps :)

post signature