Peyton’s Labor Story: The Aftermath

     Last week I wrote about my labor and delivery of my son, Peyton. Well, as most mothers know, labor and delivery is only the beginning when it comes to welcoming a new baby into the world. Our situation is no different. I got to enjoy a remarkably smooth labor and delivery, our story of the days after were a little more difficult for me.

     Directly after they laid my beautiful boy on my chest, I knew how lucky I was. I got to escape the dreaded c-section, my son was out and I had minimal tearing, I only had to push for nine minutes, and after he was out all pain was gone. Over all a huge success! Then the nurses took him over to the baby area in the corner of the room. I had Ben follow Peyton where ever he went since I was unable to do so. They were working of getting him to move around and cry. All the sudden I heard the most beautiful sound ever… a light squeal. I could hear him. He was here. No more talking to my belly, he was actually here. I could see him, touch him, talk to him. It was the most amazing sound. The squeal later turned into a cry while the nurses weighted, measured, and examined him. They gave him his shots (and Ben had to almost be restrained from punching the nurses). After that was done they gave him back to me and I was able to breast feed him for the very first time.

     For those mothers on the fence about breast feeding, I do have to tell you… it is the most amazing thing ever. One of the major reasons why I decided that I wanted to breast feed was due to the health benefits for both Peyton and myself. Peyton gets exactly the nutrients that he needs, nothing more, nothing less. He has a lesser risk of childhood obesity, diabetes, etc. I get to have a lesser risk of breast cancer and I can lose my baby weight faster. The other huge thing that I really enjoy about breast feeding is the level of bonding. I love being able to look into my sons eyes and feel his little body near me. I feel almost connected with him when I breastfeed. 

     While I was breast feeding the doctor was stitching me up. Since I had not really pressed the epidural button before pushing I was feeling a lot more sensation from my hips down, so I could feel her stitch me. It was sharp intermittent pain as she continued to tighten the stitches. It got to the point where it was so bad that she had to administer a local anesthetic so I didn’t keep moving. Once I was all squared away, the doctor showed us the placenta and sack. It was very educational to say the least, but I was so focused on the new life in my arms that I didn’t really pay attention. When the doctors left I invited my family into our room to visit and see him. We were joined by my parents, brother Matt, my mother and father in-law. They all got the opportunity to see him, hold him, and enjoy the new member of our family.

     When it was time to move us into our room, the nurse said that I needed to empty my bladder before getting there. To her disbelief I was able to get up, walk, and use the restroom. I had no issue walking, no severe pain or leg locking, and I was able to use the restroom. I was so pleased with myself that I didn’t continue with the epidural because if I did, there was no way I would have been able to walk to move around on my own. Once we got it all going, we were move to our room. As we were wheeled to our room you could hear the song “Twinkle, Twinkle” play in the hallway celebrating the birth of our boy.

     As soon as they got us in the room they started me on some medication because I was diagnosed with preeclampsia hours into my labor. In order to minimize the chances of complications for myself they wanted to follow procedure and continue providing me fluids and magnesium through the IV. That first night was amazing. No, I didn’t sleep. Yes, I spent my waking hours just staring lovingly at Peyton. I didn’t realize that I was going to need energy for the next few days. I breastfed when I could, but my milk still hadn’t come in yet, I was just feeding him colostrum. The next morning was when I had some difficulty.

     The doctors came in promptly the next morning. They told me that Peyton and I had conflicting blood types, which causes severe jaundice. With this issue, the treatment is phototherapy. This required us to have Peyton in the nursery 24/7 except for feedings, which we were only allowed to have him for 30 minute spans every 3 hours. This was the hardest thing for me to do. I cried and cried and cried. It was awful for me to have to give my son to the nursing staff and only see him for brief parts of the day.

     These were dark days for me. I sat in the room with Ben after just having taken Peyton back to the nursery and sob uncontrollably. It wasn’t just because I didn’t get to be with my son, but it was because I didn’t want him to have to go through this. As if it wasn’t hard enough for him to go through the labor process, but then he had to be poked and prodded and tested for the next few days. Then what was the slap in the face was nursing. My breast milk didn’t come in and Peyton was getting dehydrated from the phototherapy so the nurses said I had to supplement with formula. I was devastated  As if it wasn’t bad enough that I couldn’t be around my own baby, but then I couldn’t even provide for him what he needed. I felt hopeless, broken, and inadequate. I hit my rock bottom.

     After several days of blood tests (for both him and me), three hour feedings, pumping what ever colostrum I had available, and just waiting. It was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. I was waiting for the moment that they would tell me that I could take my son home. That day didn’t come until the Tuesday after I delivered him. I was so scared that they would keep him beyond the length of time I was going to be kept in the hospital. It was a constant count down. I was stepping on egg shells around his nurses and the nurse practitioner that was monitoring him until the very last day. I was ready for some answers. I was tired of crying and tired of waiting. I didn’t want to take my baby home if he was not well, but if he wasn’t ready I wanted to know what they hell we were waiting for.

     Peyton’s nurse that day was amazing. She got me all the answers I needed. She said that we were still waiting for his bilirubin levels to go down, but that they were going to be reviewed by the nurse practitioner to see if they would be able to release him. At first they said that it was looking promising that he would be released. Then all the sudden half way through the day his nurse said that the nurse practitioner was not going to be able to release him. I broke down again. I was being discharged and they didn’t know if they would be able to host us until his discharge. I was a wreck all over again. Being in limbo was by far the worst thing for me that day. Then right after the nurse discharged me and was preparing my discharge paperwork I went into the nursery to give the nurse some of the pumped breast milk that was slowly coming in and she said that at last minute his RN reviewed his chart and labs and we would be able to take him home today. I immediately started to cry and I hugged her and hugged Ben. I couldn’t believe it. It was what we were waiting for.

Last day at the hospital! Getting released! 11/13/12

     We gathered all of our things. My parents even showed up to help us get everything together and brought us food since we hadn’t eaten all day. Ben had to make almost 3 trips to the car to take all of our stuff there. The nursery was getting Peyton ready for us. Peyton’s nurse was an angel. She was fantastic. She packed us a Kaiser diaper bag full of supplies (formula, blanket, storage bottles with nipples, diapers, petroleum jelly, and soothies) to take home. It was amazing, I still have extra stuff. Then we got Peyton. He was diagnosed with being tongue tied when he was born, so when he was discharged we had an appointment with the ears, nose, and throat doctor to fix it. They clipped his tongue and we were on our way home.

Headed home and on our very first car ride.

     After five days in the hospital we were ready to head out on our own. To say the very least I was relieved. I wanted to finally have skin-to-skin time with my son. I wanted to feel like I could spend time with him with out rushing to return him to the nursery. It was the answers to my prayers. The days following his release we had to take him to the lab and get his blood drawn every day to check his bilirubin levels. Finally by that Friday everything was normal and his coloring had significantly improved. He even had his first appointment with his doctor and he almost gained all of his birth weight back. It was just amazing how quickly he got better. I love my resilient boy.

After one of his first baths. My clean boy!

     In the first few days of Peyton’s life were a bit of a pain, but after it all… I would do it all over again for my boy. He is worth every tear, every stitch, every needle. After having him, it makes me look forward to having more children. I know that every day is a blessing and my biggest blessing of all is the little man that holds my heart, Peyton.

Love of my life. My beautiful boy.

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