Saturday, May 26, 2012

That's Not the Way It Was Supposed to Happen, Part Two

Most of you know that my second son, Bennett William, decided to join us 10 weeks early.  You may not know the details.

If you don't care, stop reading now.  If you are male or have a weak stomach, it's not too late to turn back.


Due to my uterine rupture with my first son (read all about it here), Bennett was to born via a planned C-section at 36 weeks.  My OB did NOT want me going into labor again.  At my 30-week check-up, I mentioned some pressure that I had been having that I didn't remember having with Evan.  My OB decided to do a cervical check and found that I was 2 cm dilated (not terribly concerning at this point) but also 70% effaced (bad).  She sent me straight to the hospital for 24 hours of magnesium (which I would not wish on my worst enemy) and steroid shots (to jump-start Ben's lung development just in case).  I would be checked on Friday and if I hadn't made any more cervical changes, I could go home on "couch rest."

Fast-forward to Friday.  I had had some contractions off and on, but they were able to stop them, first by turning up the magnesium drip (again: awful), and then with valium (not so bad!).  So my OB was all ready to discharge me, just needed to do one more check to make sure...and I was dilated to 4.  I was going to have to stay in the hospital until Bennett arrived, which we were hoping would be a long time.

Unfortunately, I went into full-blown labor (with no pain relief!) around 2 a.m. on Sunday, and by 7 a.m. I was fully dilated and feeling the urge to push.  Mike had just gotten there; the nurses monitoring me didn't seem to be aware that I was progressing so quickly, and I don't think they had notified my doctor, because her instructions were to not let me get that far for fear of another rupture.  They let me push a few times just in case he would come out quickly, but no such luck, so I had to hold still during a contraction (!) while they put in my spinal for the C-section.  My doctor arrived and Ben was delivered at 7:19 a.m.  I was so relieved to hear him cry, but I just caught a glimpse of him as they wheeled him by on the way to the NICU.  And then I had to wait for a very long repair -- my bladder had exploded (my doctor's words!), my vagina had torn away from my uterus, and my uterus was so thin that I may not have made it to 36 weeks.  Thank God I was in the hospital.  If I had ruptured at home, Ben and I may not have made it.

Ben did very well right away.  He was a good weight for his gestational age: 3 lbs, 9 1/2 oz.  When I got to see him a few hours later, he was already off the CPAP and just on a nasal cannula.  He made amazing progress and got to come home when he was 5 weeks and 1 day old.  I was in the hospital until the Friday following his birth; I had to be on lots of IV antibiotics due to the bladder surgery, and I had to come home with a catheter and a leg bag (eww!) but other than that, I felt like my C-section recovery was much easier and less painful this time around.  My guess is it's because I had the pain relief in my spinal beforehand and was able to move around earlier -- with Evan it was such an emergency that I had general anesthesia and pain meds after the fact -- plus I didn't lose nearly as much blood this time. 

But no more pregnancies allowed.  In fact, they had to call a urologist in to repair my bladder and I heard him say to my OB, "You did tell her she can't have any more children, right?"  Like I wasn't right there, awake, hearing everything that was said.  Why, no, she hadn't told me yet, since she was too busy stitching me up.  But thanks for the heads-up.

I just have a bladder ultrasound next month to make sure it has healed completely, and after my hormones are back to normal, my OB wants to do some bloodwork to check for a connective tissue disorder.  She said she had never seen anything like my insides and they were definitely not normal. She also told me that she wasn't sure how I got pregnant so easily, since one of my fallopian tubes was twisted and scarred (I had a ruptured ovarian cyst several years ago). Well, I know that God is in charge of my fertility and I am so thankful for my two boys!

As far as the breastfeeding goes (see more on my nursing woes with Evan here), I am in the same boat I was with Evan, except that sweet Ben can latch and is a very good nurser.  I tried nursing him at first when he came home, then supplementing with what I pumped, but he was losing weight because he had to work so hard to get very little.  The NICU LC is the first one to tell me that my problem is not low supply, it's (TMI warning) the fact that my nipples are so inverted that I have an exit problem.  The milk is not able to exit, which signals my body to stop making so much milk, which means that even though I have been pumping religiously I am now down to less than 2 ounces every time I pump and the amount keeps dropping.  I am not beating myself up about it this time around, but I am sad that my problem wasn't detected before; apparently I could have had surgery to correct it, but it's too late now.  I must admit I will not be sorry to bid the pump adieu, and I am glad that Ben was fed breast milk exclusively for the first 7 weeks of his life before my supply was unable to keep up with his demand.

If you've read this far, you are a true friend!  Thanks for listening.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, of course I think this little guy is worth all of the above:

Saturday, May 19, 2012