Friday, July 23, 2010

Birth Story - Part IV: Postpartum

Continued from Birth Story - Part III: The Delivery.

This post covers the 48 hour hospital stay following delivery.

Wednesday June 23, 2010 - Friday June 25, 2010

After a marathon birth, my body was flip flopping back and forth between adrenaline and extreme exhaustion. I was starving, though you would have never known it by looking at me, I looked like I had consumed the grand buffet. I was incredibly sore, ya know, from pushing a miniature human out my who-ha. I could barely get around due to the extreme swelling, it probably would have been easier getting to the bathroom had Kerry just rolled me there. At times I was so delirious I couldn't even focus or marry the thoughts in my head with the words coming out of my mouth. But at the same time, this was the best day of my life. I had finally crossed the finish line.

Tyler was quite the popular little man. He had so many visitors.


Big Brother Austin

Big Brother Austin and Sister-in-law Kadi

Kathy and Paul

Big Sister Sharon, Niece Alyssa and Nephew Mason
Yep, Tyler is already an Uncle!


Tarryn and Tyler's future wife Savannah

Savannah is 4 months old, look at the size difference!

Grammy and Grampy



Midwife Lauren

Midwife Linda 

and many more that we didn't get photos of due to our camera battery dying. Thanks to all that visited!

I was delusional in thinking that the 48 hrs following delivery would mean some much needed sleep and getting some food in us. These 48 hrs were nonstop visitors, nurses, techs, doctors, pediatricians and midwives. I had a nurse and a tech assigned to me and Tyler had a nurse and tech assigned to him. It seemed we had one of these in our room at all times, even through out the middle of the night. They would check my BP, take my temp, push on my uterus, look at my hemmies, measure my urine, etc. For Tyler, they would check his stats and take him to the nursery for weight checks, vitals and tests. We of course could not fathom the idea of him going to the nursery without us, so we gave up sleep opportunities to stay with him at all times. Everyone was soooo incredibly nice. Many times they stopped by just to see if there was anything we needed. But, because it was around the clock for 48 hrs, we were quite zombified.

A few of the midwives stopped by to visit. Apparently our delivery was well known and followed. The midwife that delivered Tyler said this was a delivery she would never forget. The advice of many of the midwives went into our delivery as they bounced ideas off one another, trying to get this baby out vaginally. I am so incredibly grateful to them. While I had c-section written all over me, they did everything they could to try and give me the delivery I wanted. I would have never gotten away with 33 hrs of labor with my water broken with a regular OB. They were the most sincere and nurturing women I've ever met.

To help with the delivery soreness, they provided stretchy underwear and gigantic pads. On top of the pad was an ice pack, then a layer of Tucks and then a layer of antibiotic foam. Kerry helped me apply this every time I went to the bathroom. We laughed so hard because I had to walk with my feet 3 ft apart because of the bulk it created!

I was curious as to what it looked like down there after delivering a baby. So I got a mirror out and took a look. Not so sure that was the best idea. I yelled; Kerry, you have GOT to come look at this! OMGosh, the bruising, the swelling, the stitches, the hemmies... it looked like a road side bomb had gone off down there. All I could think about was how in the world does this go back to normal? I told my midwife I took a look and she said with a chuckle, oh no, you're not supposed to look down there! As far as my belly, I still looked 6 months pg.

At some point, I got out of bed and all of a sudden I felt a stream of fluid. I went to the bathroom and sure enough, I was just peeing away and had no control over it. This happened a couple more times so I called the nurse. She measured my urine and said that it was a significant amount. She said what was happening was that my body was releasing all the fluid build up into my bladder and it was more than my bladder could contain. She described it as an overinflated balloon that just could not hold anymore and would start leaking due to the pressure. Thank God for the gigantic pads!

Tyler did great. He passed all his tests except he did develop some jaundice. The 1st 24 hrs, he pretty much slept the entire time and never once cried. The only time he did cry was when the nicu nurse came in to get some blood from his heel at 3am. She had to get an entire vial worth so she squeezed his heel for what seemed like an eternity while he screamed bloody murder. It about sent me over the edge, I finally broke into tears and begged her to please stop. I now understand a parent's extreme drive to protect their own. As far as breastfeeding, they had Tyler lick at the nipple right after birth and then I attempted to feed him every 3 hrs, though he could never latch on. The lactation consultants worked with him on his latch. His problem is that he keeps his tongue back instead of putting it over his bottom gums, so he ends up biting/gumming the nipple which is very painful and unproductive. We also tried suck training and nipple shields. They ruled out him being tongue tied. They weren't too concerned as a baby really doesn't have to eat the 1st 24 hrs.

The 2nd 24 hrs we worked more on breastfeeding. I still couldn't get Tyler to latch on properly so we called in the lactation consultants. They spent quite a bit of time helping us and after no success on getting him to latch properly, we resorted to pumping. I guess I was naive to think that breastfeeding would just work. I never expected to have to pump to feed him. I thought I would only pump to stock up on extra. My friends Eden and Kal were visiting during this time and got to witness my first go at pumping. Oh how we laughed hysterically as my nipples were sucked in and out of this machine. I got 1cc of colostrum. We sucked this up into a plastic syringe and fed it to Tyler and repeated every 3 hrs. He loved it!

Video Diary: Tyler's 1st feeding

We had one final nicu visit before being released. Tyler weighed 6 lbs 8 oz, down 7 oz from birth. They said it's totally normal for them to lose weight right after birth. All his photos make him look so big, but he's a tiny little thing with huge hands and feet and a long waist. I think he's going to take after daddy. Daddy has already decided he's going to be a basketball player.

Released and going home!

Video Diary: Getting ready to go home

Video Diary: Tyler's homecoming


  1. So happy for you. Thank you for sharing your story. So glad you got to have a vaginal birth after all of that...and so glad you had a GOOD DOULA!

  2. Did they let him sleep for the first 24 hours? My hospital had her latched on within 20 minutes aftter birth and I had to try to wake her every 3 hours for the next 24 hours to feed. If she was able to be woken up, I fed her, if not, she slept. I think she got a few feedings that I had very different breastfeeding advice. Did things get better after that first feeding? is BFing going okay? I know it is incredibly painful for the first several weeks (they always say if it hurts after 2 weeks, you are diong it wrong, which is a LIE!!! I spoke with every available resource and the best advice was my annoying SIL, who said, "it hurts bad for a really long time but one day you will wake up and wonder when it stopped don't even notice it".). For me, it got better somewhere between week 5 and 6.

    I hope all is well. I'm so impressed you were able to hold out for a vaginal birth!!!!!

  3. BTW, I forgot to say, he is such a handsome little guy. I am sure you are so in love.

  4. Hey Sue, I asked Kerry to help me remember in more detail how breastfeeding went as I had forgotten quite a bit. I just updated my post to include more detail. Thanks!

  5. The video of Tyler's first feeding was soooo adorable!!! The video with Homey meeting Tyler was too funny!!! Watching you guys bring him home brought tears to my eyes. This has been a long journey with such an incredible ending. I love you guys (all three of you)! :0)

  6. The vidoe of Homie was the best. We laughed till our side hurt. I'm glad you had the experience you had wanted. Was cheering for you all the way.
    Can't wait to meet my nephew. Hopefully we can work out something soon while I'm off with my knee.Give him a kiss for me.
    Love you

  7. LOVE all the pics and videos!!! You certainly lots the swollen appearance quickly-- I cracked up at the peeing episodes. ;0) Happens to the best of 'em!

    You are doing really good getting us all caught up on Tyler's arrival! I totally LOL'd at your cat and its reaction to Tyler!!! Now THAT was funny. Even scared Kerry!

    Let's see some nursery pics in the next one! I know you have NOTHING else going on but to sit at the computer all day... ;0) Only kidding!

    Love all the details-- you are doing awesome, Momma!

    Kisses and Hugs,
    The Other Jill

  8. I LOVE ALL THE DETAILS of this exciting event! Congrats on this precious miracle!

  9. Gosh I could have written a lot of your post...especially the part about checking out the "lady bits" after delivery....LOL.....aren't those butt ice packs the best? They felt soooo good and helped a lot!

    Don't stress about the breastfeeding part if you're still having difficulty. I think you are in the "minority" if everything is all perfect and "natural" as far as all that goes. I have tons & tons of friends both in real life and on FF that had horrible problems with breastfeeding (ME included). It was such a pain in the butt...I'd get frustrated and the boys would get frustrated. Pumping was a royal pain but you just do the best that you can do and if it doesn't work out, oh well. Formula fed babies are just as healthy with all the advances they have made with putting everything in the formula to try & mimic mom's milk and whatever is going to get weight on that baby is all that matters.

    The cat video cracked me up too:)

    Hope you are starting to feel better and get into a routine by now.

    love ya!


  10. Awwwww!!!!!! He is so cute and sweet! I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures and videos-good job mommy, daddy and Tyler! What a wonderful miracle-what a happy ending-what a happy beginning! It's all good! Oh happy days! Love Aunt Kook xoxoxo

  11. Forgot to ask you....were those all newborn size outfits that Tyler was wearing? I couldn't believe how GREAT they fit him. Cameron was a pound smaller than Tyler and his clothes all swam on him...especially when he got down to 5 1/2 lb. range or so when we left the hospital.

  12. Cathy, yes, those are all newborn sizes he's wearing. You can't tell by the photos, but he pretty much swam in them as well.

  13. He's absolutely beautiful! Can't believe I somehow missed part 3 earlier in the week, but read it now. You did way better with pushing than I did. Wish I'd had a mirror, but things were a little too rushed for that. I did use a little one to check out the swollen lady bits after delivery. Things were barely recognizable - yuck! Took the better part of a week to be less swollen. Took a couple weeks to get the feeling back around my anus. And a good month or more before #2 felt remotely like before. And my bladder just isn't as strong as it once was... Ah well, the babies are totally worth all the hassle!
    Please post more on how the BF is going for you these days, or are you still exclusively pumping?

  14. You are awesome for taking all these things in stride and just laughing about it! I'm looking forward to the update on BF-ing and on your swelling, which really seems to have gone down quickly, at least in those first 48 hours! I think I would take a little temporary incontinence at this point if it meant getting rid of some excess fluid!

  15. I just happened upon your blog while researching some information for my next client. I instantly and completely engulfed by your story. Your fertility struggles and your wonderful pregnancy. Particularly your birth story. I am a Doula and I just LOVE how it all ended with as close to natural birth as was possible. Kudos to you and your team (husband, midwives, doula...) for sticking with it. Thank goodness you were strong enough to push for the vaginal birth (emotion and physically)!! I hope I have a story like yours in the future with a client, it's so uplifting and encouraging. Thank you for sharing!


Thank you for your comment! Hugs, Kerry and Jill