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January 2010

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Realities of Recovery After a C-Section

I haven’t read much about all of the pain that goes on after birth from a C-Section–and it’s not that I want to scare anyone and I know everyone’s experience is different–so I’m writing this because I need to document what I went through/am going through.
This post talks about poop. You’ve been warned.
***I started this a couple of days ago but haven’t had time to finish writing and posting***

For me, it’s not been so much the cut itself, but the pain from the gas.

That overrides everything else. If I take pain meds, like perco.cet, to deal with the radiating pain coming from under my shoulders and traveling down to my lower back, well that makes my back feel better but that drug makes you constipated plus it could be decreasing my milk supply. (I kicked the Per.cocet to the curb upon finding this out and am dealing with the deal through Motrin now.)
Add that to the extra iron they’ve thrown at me because I’m severely anemic from too much blood loss during surgery and you’ve got yourself a puffed up Puffer that hasn’t pooped since 2 hours before her C-Section.
That would be a week ago (Thursday).

Thursday was so bad I spent half the day and all evening/night on the toilet. We disinfected everything in the bathroom and I set up a station in there because I COULD NOT sit down without extreme pain. Since the pediatrician had me on my new strict, every 2 hours pumping schedule, I ended up pumping on the toilet and eating two meals on the toilet. I even put a small pillow behind my back and got real cozy with the toilet.
Chicken went out and got everything she could think of: prune juice, stool softeners, a huge salad, smooth move tea. Nothing moved. I could tell it wanted to, hence the extreme pain, but nothing would exit.

At one point, I ditched all efforts as nothing was ‘happening’ and got into a hot bath. I haven’t had a hot bath in EIGHT months and it was heavenly. It was the only thing that gave me any relief.
After this I was at least able to get into the bed for an hour and sleep on my side–a major accomplishment as this is the first time since birth that I haven’t had to sleep flat on my back.

At midnight, as the pain was only getting more intense, Chicken made me a double espresso latte and around finally around 2am…. what can only be described as something that crawled out of Mexican city prison sewer, was expelled from my body. Totally vile and disgusting. Nobody ever talks about this part of recovery.

Thank god I have no inhibitions because for days my mom and Chicken have had to see me in nothing but the lovely hospital mesh panties (complete with giant maxi pads) and my tits hanging out ALL the time and now THIS. Sometimes I wear a robe they gave me in the hospital, but I find it gets in the way, so mostly I just let it all hang out. It’s pretty, I assure you.

In spite of it all, I just keep starting at these two little perfect boys and I know that it’s worth all the pain in the world.




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First Pediatrician Appointment

Well, it decided to snow yesterday morning and while that’s all nice to look at….the thought of dealing with snow PLUS the twins PLUS getting out of the house PLUS hailing a cab PLUS getting their car seats in a taxi for the first time?! Whoa.

Not to mention I can’t carry anything, not even the diaper bag. Chicken is a rockstar Sherpa, once again.

Thank goodness the snow stopped, the sun came out, we managed to leave the house on time right after a feeding and a diaper change. We didn’t leave anything behind, had everything in the diaper bag we needed, got an awesome cab driver who didn’t curse under his breath that we were taking so long to load up AND we got there in time!!
Whew! Grunter and Whoop Whoop like their car seats and have not fussed in them the entire two times they’ve been in them, so this is a good start.

In fact, when we undressed them on the table at the peds, the nurse remarked how chilled out they were and that most babies were fussy at this point. We have nothing to compare it to, so we’ll take her word.
The have both gained back their birth weight in only 6 days PLUS Max put on an extra ounce! Yeah babies!

They look great, but have to go back in only 5 days to be checked again because they are right on that cusp on preemie/not preemie (born at 35 weeks and 5 days, where 36 weeks would’ve crossed that line).
So far, so good.

A big concern is that my milk hasn’t come in and it’s been a week. I have now been advised to pump on a very strict pumping schedule every 2 hours. Unfortunately I have been very absorbed with breast feeding them and perfecting this rather than concentrating on pumping. It should have been the other way around because they are still so small and while they are feeding, their suck is not strong enough to bring in my milk. Now, I should only try to breastfeed them every 3-4 feedings and just pump, pump, pump. Damn, I wish I’d know this DAYS ago.
F***ck!
I’m in a bit of a panic mode now because I am just at that crossroads of “it might be too late”.
She advised me to get some mother’s milk tea, which I did and I’m drinking that 3-4 times a day now, hydrating like crazy, putting heat on before and ice on afterwards, dropping the pain med Perco.cet and ‘trying’ to get some rest. This is quite difficult when you pump every 2 hours as it really only gives me 1.5 hours of sleep at a time.
It’s day 8 now and I know that many things could delay your milk coming in: a C-section (check) Perco.cet (check), thyroid problems (check), excessive blood loss at birth (check), so I really do feel that I’m in a race against time.

If anyone has a similar story or can give me advice, please please please tell me! I need reassurance that it’s not over before it’s only begun. It’s already breaking my heart that I can’t breast feed them every feeding and we have to supplement with formula but I know this is the for the best in the long run.

Chicken thought it would be really funny to suckle me and I kicked her. Not funny. Not funny at all!! I never imagined your nipples could hurt so bad. OUCH.

WooHoo for hands free pumping! I can blog again!
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So tired

The visit to the doctor’s was fine although everyone was talking about how wiped out I looked.
Now that I’m on blood pressure meds and iron pills I should be getting better. They were very concerned about me getting enough rest.
I have no idea how to do that yet until I can get them tandem all the time. Not easy as sebastian aka whoop whoop, fights getting on. But once he’s there he could stay for 30-40 minutes.
His brother, Grunter, does better getting on but doesn’t stay as long.
We’ll get there, we’ve only had 5 days practice.

At least they are both breast feeding and I’m getting more milk from pumping. Not enough to stop the formula, but soon I hope.
I am having a really hard time finding the time to fit pumping in every two hours as well. But I have the hands free breast pump and just ordered a bra so I can actually use that feature when it arrives on friday! That will free up my hands which is going to be great.

I have massive swelling and fluid retention in my legs, feet and ankles. I realize now I barely had any swelling during the pregnancy compared to this. The thing is, walking and moving is supposed to help that, but it also raised my blood pressure so what’s a girl to do?!

We are both starting to suffer from the effects of sleep deprivation.
It’s really hard, even with my mom here. Damn hard. But we are getting into a routine slowly. Keeping a log of every single thing really helps as it gets so confusing.

We are enjoying it and they are so cute we could just eat them up, but tired? Yes indeed.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Day 6 with the Twins

In bullets b/c there’s just too much:


  • My condition was declining toward HELLP but they were willing to induce me for a natural labor
  • The natural labor they described was the most unnatural thing I’ve ever heard of, could take +48 hrs and more than likely would end up in an emergency C-Section anyway. The only natural thing was that the babies “might” exit out my vagina. Might.
  • The C-Section was solely our decision
  • We prepped for OR at 5:15 and the boys were here at 5:53
  • Those drugs are intense. Whoa.
  • Sebastian was fine from the beginning and was taken to well baby nursery
  • Max had a little problem breathing and spent the night in NICU but was released the following day mid-morning
  • I lost a lot of blood during surgery and am now severely anemic
  • We didn’t name them for over 48 hours
  • Chicken is a natural, she is a rock star and the love of my life. The babies totally have Chicken noses.
  • If you didn’t suffer from gas pains from your C-Section consider yourself extremely lucky indeed
  • My gas pains were so severe I had intense labor like contractions every 2-3 minutes all day and night on Saturday. I thought I might die. I actually wanted to die just to not feel the pain anymore. I was completely convinced there was no way it would ever end.
  • Take the drugs they offer you. All of them. DO NOT let your pain get away from you.
  • It got a little better on Sunday…with a little help from my friend suppository.
  • We let the nursery take them the first full night (Friday) but kept them in our room on the second night (Saturday).
  • By the middle of the night we knew that recovering from a C-Section PLUS twins=we need extra help BIG TIME.
  • We called my mom Sunday morning.
  • Sunday was a lot better. There’s nothing like two babies needing you to get your recovering C-Section ass out of bed and get on with it.
  • My blood pressure started going up on Monday.
  • We were all released to go home this day and Chicken’s dad drove 4 hours in the pouring rain to help us get home and meet his grandsons.
  • Coming home was intense and chaotic and wonderful and with little sleep.
  • My mom flew in yesterday (Tuesday).
  • I now believe all the people who said “you WILL NEED EXTRA HELP.”
  • Yes, I am a believer. If you ever want to sleep again, you will need help.
  • My blood pressure continued to climb yesterday.
  • I was almost sent to the hospital again last night, but my OB called in some blood pressure medication for me at midnight.
  • Thank god we live where we do and there’s a 24 hour Pharmacy right across the street.
  • I have to go to the Doctor’s this morning for monitoring and blood work and pray to whatever gods are responsible that this doesn’t now turn into E-Clampsia.
  • I finally had a shower this morning after one week.
  • The babies are the most perfect thing ever. They both breast feed but b/c they are so little we have to supplement with formula until my milk fully comes in.
  • I can even tandem breastfeed!!!
  • They go to their first pediatrician appointment tomorrow and I can get a better idea of how much we can cut down on their formula until we go 100% breast.

I got their weights wrong before:

Sebastian was 5 lbs, 4 oz.
Maximo was 4 lbs, 16 oz.

No, we did not expect two boys either!
And yes, I did remember what the psychic in Brooklyn said long, long ago when I asked her if I would have kids and she replied, “Yes, I see two boys, but they are not yours”.
I told the entire OR staff that story while they were stitching me up. It was the first thing I thought of.

Have to go to the Docs now…hate to leave these little guys even for a couple of hours!
Following you all on my iPhone (my Push gift!! WooHoo!) but can’t figure out how to blog from it. If anyone can tell me how, you’ll be hearing from me more often.

Mommy Pufferfish
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Our Twin Boys are Here!

It’s only Day 2, but everyday they grow more beautiful and we grow more in love.

Born at 35 weeks, 5 days

Se.basti.an Cr.uz 5.4 lbs. Born at 5:53 pm, Jan. 21, 2010

Max.im.o Hud.son 4.15 lbs. Born at 5:53 pm, Jan. 21, 2010


Seb.astian and Max.imo, one day old

Trying out the football hold. Ma.x is a natural, Seb.astian needs some help, but we’ll get there.

18 hours old, proud mommies and the twin boys!

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Birth Day?

Well, we kept telling the universe “Just Let Us Make It To Aquarius.” Damn, that universe listens and is timely.

My blood levels are deteriorating and going in the direction of HELLP.


Induction will start within….an hour or so? I’m scared to death of the induction because I’ve just not heard too many encouraging stories of being induced while still not dilated and having the vaginal birth outcome successful.

Nevertheless, these twins are vertex/vertex for a reason so I am going to give it my best shot.
I have the option to say STOP and go to a C-section anytime I want.

Someone’s coming to give me an IV now and move me to Labor and Delivery. It’s been quite the morning.

I’m in SHOCK. Chicken is on her way here. We are having babies….today? Soon!

I need to go find my ZEN place, it seems to have disappeared.

xoxo,
Almost Mama Pufferfish
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Remember That Everything Can Change Overnight

I’ve been taking my blood pressure 3 x day as directed and we noticed a trend that it was going up, but this morning at the OB it was high, high, high.

There was also protein in my urine.

And….I’m back in the hospital.
It has turned into mild preeclampsia, which we knew all along it could. Some of my blood levels are coming back elevated as well, so I’m being poked and prodded quite a bit.
At least I had a nice 3 week reprieve at home! And Chicken got better just in time.
So, now my due date has been moved from 38 weeks to 37 weeks which is January 30. That’s 10 days!!! I can do 10 days no problem. I hope my body cooperates as well and these babies stay in 10 more days.

In fact, Chicken and I are relieved that they wanted to admit me for the duration of the pregnancy because everything about a high risk pregnancy can change overnight and I feel much more comfortable here getting the best round the clock care.
That’s why we choose a high risk specialist for this twin pregnancy and it was the right choice–BY FAR.

We’re mentally prepared for them to come any day now, but it would be really nice for them to hold on to 37 weeks.
They still have me cleared for a vaginal birth unless things get crazy. I had my first (2) cervical checks today (OMG those F*cking hurt) and while I’m not dilated at all, my cervix is nice and soft. Also, when they did the non-stress test, it showed I was having mild contractions–but they are irregular and nothing I can feel.

Overall, things are fine and the babies are perfect which is the most important thing.
And in less than 3 hours we’ve made it to Aquarius! (No offense Capricorns but we really wanted Aquarius!) Little Aquarians who will be here in 10 days or less!
WOW.
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I Hope I Don’t Jinx Myself

I’m hesitant to write about this because it’s like the nosebleeds, as soon as I think I’ve found a cure–the neti pot! the cool mist humidifier!–I wake up thinking I’m either a crazy drooling pregnant woman or I’ve got a serious runny nose only to find that I’m laying in a pool of my own blood staining what used to be a rather nice white pillow case.

Yes, that has happened a number of times. Good times, I tell you, good times.
I should have bought a red pillow case months ago. But really? A red pillow case? It’s just so…whorish.

So here goes:

My hands and the ‘not-so-sure-this-is-carpal-tunnel’ problem I was having.
I went to my acupuncturist less than a week after this post and after telling her what my symptoms were, she declared it was coming from my shoulders and chest and no, I did not have carpal tunnel.
She did an hour treatment followed by a massage that she warned would bruise me (it did)….and….my hands have been fine ever since.
As in, no swelling, no pain, no stiffness. Nothing. Nada.
That was over a month ago and I only had one treatment.
Take it for what you will, but readers of this blog know I’m a BIG fan of acupuncture and I am now an even bigger believer.

My eyes. Two weeks ago I decided I would ‘try’ to wear my contacts for just an hour or so one evening. To my great surprise…I could see with them. My eyes felt fatigued easily, but every day I tried to wear them a bit more. Last week I showed up at my OB appointment wearing them and she agreed that it is a complete medical mystery why my eyes would have blurry vision (with contacts or glasses) for weeks and then for it to go away before birth. No one knows why it happened.
All I know is that I can function like a normal-sighted person again (and watch Dexter!) and I certainly don’t take my eyesight for granted anymore.

Acid Reflux. I can’t say I’ve found a ‘solution’ but I have found that if I take 1 Tum.s and 1 Gas X tablet sitting up in bed about 20 minutes before laying down, the worst of the reflux doesn’t rear its ugly head. Yes, there are still times in the middle of the night I have to haul myself in an upright position to burp or risk vomiting in my mouth, but that doesn’t happen very often and I’m back to sleeping for 8-9 hour stretches at night which is LOVELY. I do the same routine in the afternoon and manage to get in a good 3 hour nap, so this formula is working well for me.
Although I’ve got the tablets on the bedside table, I keep loose ones under my pillow so I don’t have to worry about turning over if I need one in the middle of the night.
I think every super pregnant woman understands how hard it is to turn over so why do it if you don’t have to!

So, there you have it. Pregnancy is such a time of mystery. I don’t think you can ever predict what is going to happen. You just have to go with it and hope for the best.

Thanks for all of your well wishes to Chicken. She woke up this morning still wracked with a cough BUT feeling much, much better. It’s been a week so it was about time. It’s so nice to have the Chicken Sherp ‘almost’ back to normal.
She felt good enough to do some laundry and we have our cleaning lady coming tomorrow. Honestly, we didn’t think it would do much good to have her come earlier if Chicken was sleeping all day. How much could she clean?
But tomorrow we will have a super clean house! Yay!

We are still sleeping in separate beds, but honestly between Chicken’s coughing and the farting, burping pregnant lady that I’ve become (it’s like the first trimester all over again) in the past couple weeks–we’re probably getting much better sleep this way!
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House of Sick N’ Sleep

This has not been the week we’d hoped for 3-4 weeks before birth. Chicken came down with a ‘cold’ exactly one week ago and that exploded into full-on sick, more than likely the flu. She has been sleeping in the living room and me in the bedroom, but of course I am around her germs because we are still sharing living quarters.

She has left the house twice in the past week–once to go to the doctor’s and get antibiotics and once to go to the drugstore for more cough meds.
I have left the house twice in the past week–once to go to the doctor’s and once to go to a friend’s anniversary brunch on Saturday (wore me out, but so nice to feel like a real person again! totally worth the pain).

All we do is sleep, order food deliveries, sleep, read, sleep and watch D.exter (just discovered it on Ne.tflix instant play and we are totally addicted).
Chicken is sleeping more than I am. Yesterday she slept 18 out of 24 hours. This is after being sick for 6 days!!

Our house is a complete wreck. I’m sure it has that ‘smell of the sick’. Our food supplies are dwindling. I have no idea what we would do without delivery. We make sure to open windows and get fresh air circulating, take out the trash daily, wipe everything down with antibac wipes and santize, but there’s still only so much you can do.
I feel so bad for the Sherpa because she feels like shit and I’m trying to take up some of the slack in the Sherpa duties so that together we get it all done.
I can’t imagine bringing home two babies to this house right now. We need to clean and do laundry and go grocery shopping and there’s the nagging ‘to do’ list.

Everyday I think I’m going to get more done on this list and everyday I tell myself “Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow when I have more energy”. This is proving to be a really bad strategy because I am losing energy, not gaining it!

However, I’ve not gotten sick myself. Somewhere, the gods of immunity are looking down and smiling on me. I think if I were going to get sick, I would have by now.

I realized my worst fear last night was if I went into labor, it would be quite doubtful they would let Chicken be there for the births because she is so sick. That really scares me.
Thankfully, I am not having any contractions or showing signs of pre-term labor. Fire.crotch? Yes, but that’s about it.

On to the to-do list…it’s all stuff that can be done sitting down, so I’m going to get cracking.
35 weeks and 2 days today…everyday feels like a milestone at this point.
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Did You Really Just Call Me FAT?

The other day I called my mom to give her an update as I do every Wednesday after my OB appointment. For some reason her husband answered her mobile.


My mom has been married to this man for almost 25 years, but I’ve never lived under his roof (my mom moved out when I was in HS, leaving me rent/food money to fend for myself while I finished HS and worked full time. Nice, huh? We’ve come a long way since then…).

It’s not that I ‘dislike’ my stepfather, I just can’t find anything to like about him. I have never invited him to NYC and when I extend an invitation to my mom, she knows she’s flying solo.
My stepdad is a good ole boy from Texas, as homophobic and racist of a born-again Christian as they come. He has learned to ‘accept’ me and I’ve learned to ignore and stay away from him.

He’s given me good reason to be wary of him. About twenty years ago I was living in Dallas, TX and over Memorial Day weekend I brought home my first real girlfriend. I had come out to my mom the year prior, (after I’d returned from Tokyo where I supposed to marry my fiance, this Japanese guy. But I got drunk on the flight over, told him I was lesbian and called the whole thing off).

So….they were a bit shocked as it really came completely out of the blue for them.
I only told my mom because I disappeared over New Year’s Eve for a week and by the time I came back she wanted to know what the hell was going on as she’d been worried sick (understandable).
I had met this hot lesbian in a club and ditched my friends to go home with her…but she lived over 3 hours away. Didn’t know that…anyway, she wouldn’t bring me back home and so I had sort of been kidnapped by this lady which was fine with me for a few days as we spent it in bed anyway, but unfortunately she ended up being a bit of a…crack addict with a fascination for guns and then I couldn’t get away fast enough. Except that….she wouldn’t drive me home!

God I cannot make this shit up. Let’s just say I’ve lived a full life.
Where is this post GOING???!!!

Oh right, so I brought home my very first real girlfriend who I was totally obsessed with. We went on a canoe trip with the whole family and after we docked at a campground in the early evening, I went off to play with my niece and gf stayed behind drinking at a picnic table. Everything about that day had been quite cordial, so I was not concerned until my brother came running telling me I needed to get back quickly as all hell had broken loose with my gf and stepfather.
Who knows what really happened and who started into who first, but it ended with my stepfather yelling at the top of his lungs, at a public campground, on a holiday weekend, “You made my stepdaughter a lesbian! Why don’t you go find someone else’s pus.sy to lick!”
Classic White Trash, huh?

There’s so, so, so much more. But we’ve already gotten wildly off-track here.

When my stepfather answered the phone, he politely chatted a bit and said, “Yer mom showed me the photos you sent. You sure are getting fat!”
It was all I could do not to start yelling.
“I’m not fat, I’m pregnant with twins.”
“Well, your belly looks pretty fat.” (Are you fucking serious? Are you still going to keep using that word??)
“My ass isn’t fat and you can’t even tell from the back I’m pregnant, so I’m pretty sure I’m not getting fat.”
“Well, you know what I meant. Here’s yer mom.”

And that is just one more reason we never have to worry about getting on a plane to visit my side of the family for holidays or any other time. My mom can come up here and see me, but I have removed myself from family, my former life and any reminders of who I used to be.
Other than my mother and my little brother, there has not been a single close family member who has called to say congratulations on your pregnancy, sent a card, a baby shower gift.
Nada, nothing.

Whew. I guess I needed to clear my head.

Happy Friday!