Monday, May 9, 2011

Joe's story

Here I am, I have not fallen off the blogosphere entirely. Just been a bit preoccupied making a baby is all. That's Joey up there at 5 weeks. I decided to share the story of how this little guy made his entry into the world, mostly because I know there are some crazy labor and delivery story junkies out there, and this is a good'un. Plus, I'd like to remember the details so I can torture him with it when he's a teenager and really pissing me off. So here we go.

Joey was late. Uncomfortably late. In the last month or so of my pregnancy, I developed PUPPS which was quickly spreading all over my body. Unfortunately the only cure for this annoying ailment is to have the baby, so each day I spent pregnant was agony. No amount of hydrocortisone cream or baking soda baths would relieve my misery. I wanted. the baby. out. When the itchysonofabitch pustules started showing up on the bottoms of my feet - yes, I was walking on the itchy-ass rash, I decided to ask about induction.

On the baby’s due date, I went in to my doctor’s office for a regular exam and found that I was still not dilated. I burst into tears, so they decided to check the placenta to make sure it was still healthy and supporting the baby...supposedly to make me feel better. So I was hooked up to a non-stress test so observe the goings on inside my lady bits. During strong contractions, the baby’s heartbeat was dipping. After some initial concern, I was sent home and told to come back the next day for a follow up test. The follow up was unexciting, but I still insisted on induction. At that point no one wanted to argue with me so it was scheduled for the following week.

As my husband and I were leaving the house for the hospital, we commented on how sad it was that we were having our first baby experience without any of the labor panic that most first time parents have. We totally jinxed ourselves.

That evening I was given the first induction drug and tried to go to sleep. The next morning they gave me the pitocin and hard labor began. Over the next several hours I got my epidural, my water broke, and we watched the contractions on the monitor for a while. The doctor pointed out that the baby’s heart rate was “flat”, meaning it didn’t have the deep accelerations that it should have. It seemed only moments later when they went into panic mode and insisted on an emergency cesarean section.

Having never had any kind of surgery before, I was freaking out just a tad. I knew going into it that a c-section was a possibility, but I was really hoping for a natural birth. They said that it was a matter of life or death for my baby, so there was really no choice. All visitors had to leave the room and my husband was given his scrubs to put on while the nurses prepped me for surgery.

Before being wheeled into the OR, they gave me an injection of an antibiotic. Almost immediately, my face was itching and my throat started closing up. They pumped me full of Benadryl to pull me out of anaphylactic shock. Unfortunately, everything is pretty hazy for me after that point.

I dimly recall being surrounded by nurses in a bright metal room, feeling very drowsy. I had my husband and an anesthesiologist at my head, with a screen separating my torso so we couldn’t watch the gore. Then suddenly I was vaguely aware that there was a baby in the room.

The baby was covered in merconum. They said he had pooped in the womb at least twice, because the stuff was yellow instead of black. He had swallowed some of it but fortunately had managed to block it from getting into his airways with his tongue. The flat heart rate was because he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his torso. He had been squeezing it during contractions, which was cutting off his oxygen.

About an hour later, I was back in my room with the baby and a few family members. They were taking pictures when suddenly my husband said the baby’s face was blue. I called the nurse and within moments we had a swarm of medical-type people on the baby, sucking mucus out of his airways. After that, he was taken down to the NICU for monitoring, where he was kept for the rest of the night. I was still feeling the effects of the drugs, so I was slipping in and out of consciousness. My husband got to run back and forth between the two of us all night, making sure we were both ok.

After the blue baby incident, little Joey was gun shy about swallowing anything, including milk. He had a helluva time eating and gaining weight. Over the next few days we spent at the hospital he went from a birth weight of 8 lbs 1 oz to 7 lbs 2 oz. That’s 11 percent of his body weight lost over the course of 3 days. He spent most of his time crying, since he was constantly hungry, but he refused to eat. Lactation specialists and various nurses tried to help, but nothing worked. We finally had to use a tube and syringe to get a bunch of formula in him, just to satisfy his belly for the night. After we were released we saw a lactation “guru” and she finally got him to nurse. He’s been a lot better since, but he’s still not a fan of having anything in his throat.

At six weeks old, he finally got back up to birth weight. I was given the green light to have him circumcised at an out-patient urologist. The initial procedure went well, but that evening his bandage fell off and he started bleeding. A lot. He filled a diaper with blood and we took him to the emergency room. The ER doctor turned out to be a poorly trained monkey. He called an equally incompetent on-call urologist, who told him to apply pressure with bandages. I asked about stitches or silver nitrate to close the wound, but I was told they don't do that on infants (ahem, bullshit, ahem). They put cotton gauze on Joey’s wang, which stuck to the wound and made a huge mess. It was impossible to get to the area with Neosporin without pulling off the gauze and starting the bleeding again. We went home feeling super pissed, with a very angry baby.

The next morning we went to our urologist’s office, who was stuck in surgery all day. His nurse took one look at the mess and sent us to a different emergency room, where we could wait for our urologist to come meet us once he got a break from surgery. He finally showed up and put in a mess of stitches. He said the skin had separated and exposed several blood vessels. That wang got sewn up tight, but it made me think twice about circumcision.

Despite all the drama, Joey is a healthy, happy, wiggly, crazy strong little baby. He has a kung fu grip and has been holding his head up since day one. Which is quite something, since his head is so frikkin huge.

He's also cute as a button.

Big yawn.