So here is the birth story of our sweet little miss that joined us on May.15/15. On Tuesday (May.11), I was really itchy on the bottoms of my feet and palms of my hands. It was really really bad. I had the same itchiness with the boys. It was really bad with the boys and I remembered my doctor saying it was due to stress on the liver, but my doctor never did any tests or diagnosed anything. I'm not sure why. I definitely down played how bad my itchiness was because I didn't want to sound like a whiner, so maybe he just didn't think it was that bad.
Wednesday morning I was looking online to make sure I could take Benadryl for the itchiness. I then Googled, "itchy on palms of hands and soles of feet in pregnancy". It took me immediately to a liver dysfunction called Cholestasis. As I read about it I was SURE I did, indeed have Cholestasis. It's more common to have it during pregnancy with twins, it gets worse at night and first thing in the morning, and there is a 70% of getting it in recurring pregnancies etc I read all about it and then started looking at risks. It increases chances of having a still born a lot. It increases the chances of meconium getting in the fluid which could be extremely dangerous for the baby if inhaled. I started freaking out.
I called my doctor's office probably 5 times by noon trying to talk to my doctor. Unfortunately, I could only ever talk to his nurse who assured me she would talk to him. Sometimes the way health care works really bothers me. When I first explained the situation to the nurse she said, "Just take some benadryl" and I wanted to scream at her. I re explained everything and told her she needed to talk to Dr. Lammi about it, especially with my history. Around 4:00 I got word to get my blood drawn and we would wait for results, which would take a few days.......
Thursday was beyond stressful. I sat and just stared at nothing most of the day stressing about needing to talk to my doctor. Of course, when I called first thing Thursday morning I found out he's not at the clinic on Thursdays. I practically begged the nurse for some way to contact him, but she said she didn't have a number I could reach him at. (what a joke). I also tried the maternal fetal medicine doctor (where I had been going for monthly in depth ultrasounds). She of course was out of town till Tuesday. I talked to her nurse though, and she was the most helpful of anyone and gave me a lot of reassurances, however she did mention that if I did have Cholestasis they would probably do c-section right away.
I went in on Friday morning for my bi-weekly non stress test. I checked in but told them I was going over to talk to my Doctor and that I would be right back. For all my doctor knew, I had itchy hands and feet and that's it. I HAD to talk to him, get on the same page, let him know my history with having this problem before etc. When I got there and he heard I was there he told me to come right back.
He hadn't gotten the test results back yet, but he did have some preliminary liver function results that showed the bio enzymes or something. The look on his face got me worried, he was very concerned and didn't think it was necessary to get the full results. What results he had was enough. Honestly, I didn't know much of what he was saying, but just saw the numbers he pulled up...... numbers that should have been around 10-20 were well over 100. So they were extremely high. He told me he tried to call me twice the night before.... which is weird because I didn't have any missed calls. We verified he had the right number and he did. I don't know why his calls never came through. He was trying to get a hold of me so we could do c-section that Friday morning. He said it was bothering him all night that he couldn't reach me. He told me we should deliver Leah as soon as possible- so that night. It was all rather shocking. She's got a cool birthday though 5/15/15 :)
What's ironic is Friday morning the boys woke up, but then quietly read stories in their room until the "clock had an 8 at the beginning". Then we all snuggled and I said to Thomas, "What if this is our last morning as a family of 4. Lets enjoy the boys." So we snuggled and talked and enjoyed the morning for a little while. It's funny too because that morning Thomas and I both felt very at peace and both had the thought that I actually didn't have Cholestasis and were hopeful I could deliver via VBAC next week sometime.
We got home around 1. Packed the boys bags. Packed our stuff. Cleaned up the house. Got some things organized etc. I tried to lay down to take a little nap because I knew it was going to be a long night, ya that didn't happen. How could I sleep with knowing I was having a baby in just a few hours? We took the boys to my brother and sister in laws and were at the hospital by 6 with the c-section scheduled for 8.
On a side not it was kinda funny how many people kept telling me how skinny I was. The nurse hooked me up to the non stress test equipment and she kept saying how usually they can hardly get the wrap around people and she kept joking she could wrap it around me twice. Also, when they were transferring me from the OR table to the bed, they transfer you with like four people, and they did it rather easily and they joked that they could have thrown me across the room cause I was so light. Obviously at nine months pregnant I was NOT light, but they must get some pretty big people in there. Anyway it was at least kind of nice to hear even though I felt huge.
The couple of hours of prepping before surgery were kind of a blur. They had to poke me four times to get an IV going. Eventually the anesthesiologist came and got it right in. I was having all sorts of contractions (I wonder how much longer it would have been before I went into labor on my own). Around 7:30 I got pretty emotional with thinking about baby Thomas and was filled anxiety.
They took me into the OR and the spinal tap was AWFUL. Seriously awful. SO PAINFUL. I never want to feel that pain again. In that moment I thought I would never have kids again because the spinal tap is the worst. It felt like he was working on it forever and I was literally almost screaming and i'm sure crushing poor Thomas' hand and the nurses too. I thought it was bad with the boys (and it really was) but this seemed much worse. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. I always feel stupid complaining about it because everyone who is in full out labor make getting the epidural sound like a breeze and the best thing ever. I guess the after effects are great, but doesn't the epidural and/or spinal tap kill anyone else?
That's when I got really emotional and was really having a hard time with everything. The sounds, and smells and sights were all just too familiar and it brought back all the memories from delivering our sweet baby Thomas. For a little while I felt guilty that I wasn't more excited to meet our little girl, but in that moment I just wanted the boy we lost. I felt that way for a while, but then probably about 7 or 8 minutes before Leah was born I felt an extreme peace. I didn't feel excited or overly sad or much of anything but a peaceful calm feeling. I was just waiting for her to be born. Then I heard her cry and I didn't think my heart could feel so much in that moment. They took her to be cleaned off, but I couldn't see anything. Thomas kept saying "Honey, she is SO cute!!. Honey, she has so much hair!!" She had a really cute cry. (and still does) :)
Leah Mae Nelson
8 lbs 9 oz
20 inches long
Born at 8:21 pm
One of the worst things about doing a csection is that they tie your arms down so you feel kind of like you are in an insane assylum and you can't hold your baby until they bring her into the recovery room. Thomas held her though and I was at least able to see her. She was so beautiful, and had TONS of dark hair. So precious. I felt so much gratitude that we were blessed with such a perfect little girl and that everything was ok. Throughout the pregnancy I felt confident that everything would work out and she would get here safe and healthy, but having gone through what we have, you know there is always that chance that it might not be ok.
Due to my mom's flight being an hour delayed, my parents and sister made it to the hospital right as they brought me to the recovery room. Then I got to my hold my darling little girl and snuggle her. It was so surreal. It was hard to believe that she was actually here..... safe....healthy... and happy.
The few days in the hospital were pretty good. It was definitely the best hospital recovery I have had. I don't know why but I think the last two times I would downplay the pain level- again not wanting to sound like a wimp. Every time they would ask me if I wanted 1 or 2 of the pain pills I would always say 1 and try to be a tough girl. This time I was like "bring it on". I had the attitude that I would much rather stay on top of the pain medication and feel good then "get through" the day. I was up and walking about and the nurses were so sweet and complimentary towards me. They made me feel like a champ.
Breastfeeding was hard at the hospital. I would nurse for 1-2 hours. She would latch, suck a couple times then fall off. I was very determined however and tried not to let anything bother me, but just kept on keeping on, but even after I would nurse for over an hour I would lay her down and she would act like she was starving. It was quite the struggle and by Sunday night I felt like she really wasn't eating as much as I thought she was. I felt bad. I didn't care how long it took I just wanted her little tummy to be full! Monday morning I found out she had a 12% body weight loss....(they start to worry if it gets higher then 8%). Finally, Monday morning before we were discharged the lactation consultant came in again and we tried using a nipple shield. Leah took it like a champ. By Tuesday she was only at a 6% body weigh loss and i'm confident she's gained a ton since then. As I was holding her today I feel like she's gained 3 pounds and grown 3 inches.
Mom stayed for a week. She is the best. She we was so helpful and happy to help. She cooked meals, cleaned the house, did the laundry, snuggled the baby, took care of the boys, and got me anything I needed. I am so grateful for my mom and everything she does for me. She is so selfless and helpful and will do anything for anyone.
Leah is 11 days old today, and I already feel like she's growing and time is going to fast. She is just too sweet though and I want her to stay little because I just can't get enough cuddles in.
I LOVE having boys-don't get me wrong- but I have also wanted a little girl for what seems like forever. Now that she is finally here, and perfect, and so cute, and everything I have ever imagined it feels like a dream. I don't think I have ever been more grateful for anything in my whole life then to have our sweet Leah girl here with us- safe, healthy and strong. We love you little girl.