Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Post Delivery

Note:  This post is mainly for my benefit, so that I can remember what happened in the hospital.  Feel free to read if you'd like, but it may be a little boring and long :).

As soon as a regular room opened up they moved me and I was much more comfortable.  I was hooked up to a pump with a "walking epidural" for the pain, but it honestly didn't do much at all.  I was still hurting a lot.  They said I had to stay in bed for 12 hours and then they would get me up so that I could move around a little.  This meant that I couldn't see Logan for 12 hours, which made me pretty upset :(.  Also, the doctor in the NICU wanted to keep Logan there for 24 hours for observation, so he couldn't come to me.  I wanted to try breastfeeding him within the first hour of his birth, but that obviously wasn't going to happen.  Jason kept going down to NICU and taking videos and pictures of Logan for me.  He made sure I knew exactly what was going on the entire time.  One of the nurses brought a breast pump to my room so that I could start saving up milk for Logan.  The first few times I pumped, I got pretty much nothing out besides a couple drops of colostrum which was very discouraging.  Then I heard that Logan was being fed formula in NICU and that made me even more upset.  We didn't plan on buying/feeding formula, so I was really worried that breastfeeding wouldn't work after he got used to formula.

While Logan was in the NICU, they performed many tests on him including a few echo ultrasounds on his heart.  All of the reports that Jason brought back to me were positive, which really helped me to feel better.  All of the doctors had great things to say about how he was doing.  At first they couldn't even find the hole (VSD) in his heart, so we were hoping that it was closed, but they later found it.  Right now that is one of our main prayers, that it will close on its own.

I was finally allowed to get out of bed at 1am on Friday morning.  The nurse came to my room and helped me get from my bed into a wheelchair and Jason brought me down to the NICU to see Logan.  He was asleep the whole time I held him, but it was so amazing to have him in my arms.  I finally felt like a real mom :).  I don't know how long we stayed there because I was so caught up in looking at my son... his little button nose, his fingers, etc.  He was perfect :).  We finally put him back to bed and went upstairs with plans to come back and feed him in the morning.  When we came back to see him, we both held him for a while and Jason asked the nurse if I could try breastfeeding.  She said she had to check his records and see if I was approved to breastfeed... [insert long very annoyed pause].  I was pretty angry at how they treated his feedings.  Of course I'm glad he was fed, but I was upset that I had to get permission to breastfeed my own baby.

Once we got back to my room, I asked to be weaned off of the epidural pump.  They removed the pump as well as the catheter, so I was only still attached to the IV.  They started giving me Percocet for the pain and it was amazing... much better than the walking epidural.  I was able to take a shower, which helped me to feel a little better and soon we got word from the NICU that as long as the cardiologist felt Logan was doing well enough, he would be released and could stay with us in our room that afternoon.  I was overjoyed at this news.  It took a few hours, because once he was released from the NICU he had to be checked out by the nurses in the regular nursery, but he was finally brought to our room, which made me so happy. 

I tried breastfeeding Logan but it didn't work very well at all.  Logan was confused and he got frustrated very easily.  Then I got frustrated and ended up giving him a bottle of formula.  The nurses kept encouraging me to try nursing him first each time he was hungry and then give him a bottle if it didn't work.  I also had a lactation consultant come to our room a couple of times to help.  I was determined to make breastfeeding work so I was hoping it would just take time and practice for both of us.

That night (Friday) Logan stayed in our room.  He only woke up twice (every 3 hours) which was fine because the nurse was in and out of the room all night so I didn't get much sleep anyway.  Sometime during the night, the IV in my hand came out of the vein so that the IV solution was dripping into my hand.  I woke up and my hand was huge... like if you blow up a latex glove, that's how big my hand was.  The swelling had also gone into my arm.  I told one nurse and she just told me to elevate it and she put a towel underneath my hand (I don't know what she was thinking).  I showed the next nurse that came in and she immediately took the IV out and called for a guy to come and re-insert it into my other hand.  My right hand took forever to drain... I think about 3 days or more of nearly constant leaking. 

On Saturday morning, a few more cardiologists came to check on Logan.  They did another ultrasound and once again came back with a good report.  They told us that Logan was free to leave the hospital.  I thought it was such a blessing that he was free to go and that they were just waiting on me (instead of the other way around).  I was eager to leave, so we made plans to leave the hospital that afternoon.  We just had to wait for Logan to get circumcised and another lactation consultant wanted to work with us one more time.  His circumcision was finished around lunchtime so the LC came by our room at about 2:15.  She was very helpful and was able to get him to latch on perfectly.  I was so grateful for her help because I was on the verge of tears during most of my previous feeding attempts.  Her help gave me a lot of confidence.

As soon as Logan was finished eating, we packed everything up and Jason got the nurse so that we could be discharged.  She came in and made sure we took everything out of the room, including diapers, formula, Medela pump accessories, blankets, socks, etc.  They loaded us up :).  At about 3:00, we were ready to go.  The nurse took me outside in a wheelchair and Jason followed with a cart full of all our stuff.  Logan fell asleep in his car seat and it was a pretty good trip home :).

That night, I had my first hormonal moment.  Logan was hungry and so I tried feeding him, but he got super frustrated and started screaming.  I got frustrated and started crying.  I think I was a little sleep deprived but I still felt a bit like a failure.  Thankfully, when he woke up in the middle of the night that night, he latched on immediately and nursed perfectly :).  I think that was the turning point in breastfeeding and he hasn't had any problems with it since!

When we were sent home, I was told to rest for 2 weeks.  No driving, no walking up and down the stairs, no baths, and no picking up anything bigger than Logan (6.5lbs).  A nurse from Kaiser came to our house on Sunday to remove my staples.  We didn't expect her to come so early on Sunday so we were a bit shocked, especially because we had planned on doing Logan's dedication at church that morning around 11:20.  She got to the house at 10, inspected my incision, took the staples out, and then checked Logan.  She said that we were both doing great except that Logan was a bit jaundiced.  He had a bilirubin level of 6.1 when we left the hospital and she measured him at 10.7.  She told us to put him in indirect sunlight and to feed him more than we already were because the more he pooped and peed, the faster it would get out of his system.

The nurse finished at 11 and we made a mad dash to church.  We showed up just as praise & worship was ending and were immediately called up to the stage.  Baby Logan was dedicated to the Lord and then we came home because I was exhausted (only 3 days after my c-section!) and we didn't want Logan to get mobbed by a bunch of people.  I'm so glad that my parents were able to be there because it made the dedication even more special.  A large part of Jason's family was also there, so we had a nice little crowd :).  I was super emotional during the dedication and was about to cry the entire time, so I'm glad that the only question Pastor Tim asked me was the time of birth, ha :).

That pretty much wraps up the days immediately following Logan's birth.  Not everything went as planned but Logan is safe and healthy and we're both doing well :).

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