Paisley Sofia Dean
April 2, 2013
6 lbs 8 ozs
We have been blessed with a beautiful baby girl, four weeks to the day, early. This experience was drastically different than the last but no less difficult. It all began with a very rough night with Sebastian on April 1st. He was up all night long crying with a tummy ache. He refused to let his Daddy hold him and he wouldn't lay down to go to sleep, he wanted to be rocked, by Mama. So, I rocked and rocked and rocked while we watched Rescuers Down Under and tried to figure out why he was so miserable! He finally fell asleep around 5:30am and slept til about 8am. I got him up and took him in the shower with me, he enjoyed sitting in the warm water for awhile.
This is when I started to feel like something might be going on with the little one inside. I began having Braxton Hicks that lasted quite awhile and she seemed almost frozen hard in my stomach during the entire shower. I started to have real contractions around 9am, I have had a TON of Braxton Hicks during both of my pregnancies but I can always tell the difference between those and real contractions due to the pain. It started off subtle and it took me a bit to figure out that I was consistently having cramps and contractions. I started timing them and they were all about 1:50 seconds apart for an hour. They slowed down to every 5 mins when we headed into work.
Sebastian seemed to be feeling better, whatever was bothering him the night before must have passed. I texted Jonathan and told him to stay by his phone cause I knew I was having some type of contractions. Of course, he immediately began freaking out but I told him I wanted to wait it out and see if it continued before making any drastic decisions or letting anyone else know.
I continued to time them and decided to call the doctor at lunchtime since they had not lightened up at all and seemed to be gradually getting more and more prominent. I kept Jonathan updated and he stayed at class until I could figure out what was going on. The on-call nurse said to drink tons of water and rest and see if they calmed down in a few hours. My mom knew something was up, since we work right beside each other and I was in obvious discomfort. I continued to time them and they continued to be 5-7 mins apart the entire afternoon.
I made another call to the nurse around 4:40pm since I knew they would be closing soon and wanted to see what they suggested. Now, it just so happens that this was the ONE WEEK that my doctor was on vacation (for the record, she was out of town when Sebastian was born). The nurse consulted another doctor in the practice and they wanted me to go to the Maternity Center at the hospital to be evaluated since they had continued throughout the day. Since I still was unsure of whether or not I was in labor, we decided to continue to keep it to ourselves. Jonathan rushed down from UNCC to meet me at my parent's house. We dropped Sebastian off with my Dad and Samuel and Jonathan, my mom and I headed off to the Maternity Center.
By the time we reached my parent's house, the contractions had gotten progressively worse. All day they were subtle and consistent but now they were EVERY two minutes and made me want to crawl out of the chair. The hospital was waiting for us and I got checked in relatively quickly. They confirmed that I was indeed having very regular, strong contractions every 2 minutes. The on-call doctor, who is the same doctor that delivered Sebastian, wanted to see if a bag of fluids would stop the contractions. She also checked to see if my cervix was progressing at all, I was at 1.5 cm and was 80% thinned. After doing the cervical check, the doctor seemed to realize I was in active labor. We tried the IV fluids but it did the opposite of slow down the contractions. They were intensifying and quickly. She checked me again an hour later and I was already at 3 cm. Everyone was worried because I was only 36 weeks along and they really wanted me to hold her in there until at least 37 weeks but with my cervix progressing to 3 cm, there was no way to stop the labor.
The decision was made pretty quickly that it was time to go ahead and deliver her. At 9pm, I was wheeled back for the c-section. Still experiencing some pretty extreme contractions, I was grateful for the spinal block. I had the same anesthesiologist and OBGYN for both Sebastian and baby girl. They both remembered the trauma surrounding my last delivery and everyone was doing double checks with everything to prevent a repeat!
After I was all prepped, Jonathan was able to come in and sit with me (much nicer than last time) and they got underway. Let me just say, it was quite a different experience being awake while they dig around in your stomach. The pressure and constriction on your lungs and sights and sounds are indescribable. I was not in pain but I was extremely uncomfortable through the whole thing. About 10 minutes in to the delivery, I started to vomit from the pressure and medications, a very difficult task when half your body is numb and unmovable.
Paisley Sofia Dean was born at 10:41pm and I was so very excited to be able to see her right away! It was a very brief glance and she was the color of a smurf but I at least got to see her. I heard her crying a few seconds later and breathed a very heavy sigh of relief! Jonathan went to see her and be by her side ( I was still throwing up and couldn't really see her). Would you believe that our little baby girl, despite being 4 weeks early, needed no NICU assistance after birth! I am so very proud and was so very relieved because the doctors were really worried she would need help.
It took them a bit longer to finish me so Jonathan and Paisley left the OR and went back to our room where Mamie was waiting to meet our baby girl! Jonathan proudly rolled her through the hallways and into OUR room....it is so wonderful to have been able to have her right away! I was in a lot of pain right after surgery and it took me about 20 minutes to settle down and get comfortable before getting to really enjoy seeing her and holding her but it was a fabulous feeling!
She clocked in at 6 lbs 8 ozs and was 19.5 ins long. She is the most petite little thing ever, her head is just so tiny. It doesn't look like it in pictures but her little head in no bigger than an apple. It was well after midnight by the time we all got settled in...she did very well the first night. I just tried to rest and keep the pain under control while nursing her ever 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Because of her gestational age, she had to have her blood sugar tested before each feeding to see if she was able to regulate it on her own. This made it very difficult to feed her cause I had to wait on the nurse to come in and test her blood sugar each and every time. Jonathan was great and helped continuously throughout the wee hours of the morning. She did very well for the first few tests, but her sugars dropped very low around her noon feeding. It felt like the nurse went into panic mode...she was running all over the place trying to figure out what steps she had to take next. We started with feeding her every hour to hour and a half and then supplemented her with a little bit of formula to see if it would push the sugar higher. It took until well into the night and many heel sticks later to get it back up where it needed to be.
Sebastian stayed with Mamie and Pops while we were in the hospital and did very well for NEVER having spent a night away from Mommy. He came to visit his new sister the day after she was born and it was so cute to see! He was so tender and sweet and wanted to see her and touch her but also wanted to keep his distance. He was also very excited to see mommy and wanted to sit with me for awhile, which was exactly what I needed.
Paisley and I got some good rest in before our release on April 5th. Mamie came home with us and Sebastian to help out with our first week home! She was amazing...we wouldn't have made it without her. I can't lift more than 10 lbs so doing anything with Sebastian was off limits and it felt like recovery this time has been a lot worse. My medicine was not doing what it was intended to...I was counting down the minutes til I could take it again only to get a few mins of relief. They also only gave me enough to last two days out of the hospital, which is ridiculous for a major surgery like that...I had to call and see if they would give me a refill and possibly even something a tad stronger. My doctor was great and did both.
We spent the the week at home, with lots of helping hands. Sebastian got to play in his pool for the first time since the weather was beautiful!
Sebastian loves his baby sister...he is all over her with kisses as often as he can!
It has been a drastically different experience than last time, although no easier! We are now happily enjoying our baby girl! Our family of four feels wonderfully complete!