Well ladies…I’m no longer pregnant (though I still have a belly haha)!
Our little boy was delivered via unplanned c-section on Jan 9th; I was 36w+5d when he was born and he weighed 9lbs1oz! He’s doing well though and we had a great team to support us at the hospital. I wasn’t able to get my milk supply started obviously but the hospital has a donor milk program where healthy mom’s donate their extra milk to the hospital for the NICU and newborns; we were able to give him the donor milk after he was born free of charge but there wasn’t enough supply available at the moment for us to purchase additional bottles to take home so we have had to switch to formula for the time being.
I was dx with pre-e last Tuesday after bloodwork that morning confirmed I was suddenly spilling 360+ of protein in my urine. I had been admitted to the hospital for 4 nights the week before for BP monitoring after going to L&D for what we thought was early labour contractions. I had started having my BP monitored due to it being high-normal and low protein spilling in my urine two weeks before that. After being discharged I was put on the home care program where a nurse would come to my home twice a week to check on me, take my BP and do an NST; daily I had to track baby movement, BP throughout the day, etc and they would call each day to check on me. I was also on moderately limited bed rest for that week after being discharged so no driving, twice a day I was to lay down/recline for 3 hours, no walking for more than 10mins, limited stairs, etc.
After meeting with my endo and OB on Tuesday I was scheduled for induction at the hospital on Wednesday. On Tuesday I was already 1cm dilated and my cervix was softening which my OB was pleasantly surprised by. We were admitted in the late afternoon and I was given a dose of cervidil then sent to the ward to relax; I started to feel cramps and was given a shot of morphine+gravol to allow me to sleep as by 4am I hadn’t been able to due the cramps. On Thursday we waited to be taken back to L&D for my second dose of cervidil but by 2pm when I was being organized to go down, my water broke! The OB at L&D had guessed I would need at least a few doses of cervidil and a membrane sweep, so much for that!
At L&D I was taken into a delivery suite, where I was given my own nurse who stayed in the room to monitor me and the baby. They started me on an Oxytocin drip to trigger my contractions; sadly it worked too well. Before they got to 20u, my body had already begun to start it’s own contractions naturally so within an hour of being in the delivery suite I was having strong contractions 2minutes apart; I was given laughing gas for the pain and my guy would squeeze my hips together to help but it quickly became ineffective. The Oxytocin dose was slowly dropped until they were in the single digits but I was still having the contractions. I had already discussed an epidural with my OB given my chronic back injury from a car accident 7 years ago that was aggravated at 30w when I was in another car accident so they filed the order when the gas wasn’t helping.
There was only one anesthesiologist at the time and lots of women in labour so I ended up waiting 2 hours for them to show up, followed by 2 hours for the epidural to kick in. Due to my back pain, they had to keep giving me stronger doses in that 2 hours before it started to work. By this time it was around 11pm or so. I was only 3-4cm dilated by that point but my cervix had softened more at least. I continued to get more drugs on the epidural until I was fully dilated around 1am. They had me rest until 2am and then I started to push; as soon as I started pushing though, I began to have upper back pain but the epidural was placed lower as my back injury was in the lower half so we weren’t expecting upper back pain. It was so painful but I continued to push for an hour. The OB and resident were unable to determine if the baby was sunnyside up or not and he hadn’t come down anymore so they told me the baby might be too big for a vaginal birth. I was allowed to continue pushing until we made a decision on whether to keep trying or have a c-section; after another 30minutes of pushing and horrible upper back pain I opted for the c-section. The Oxytocin was shut off so I could rest but I still had contractions, though not as strong, and was given more drugs to try and help me relax.
There were 6 of us all fully dilated and labouring at the same time in L&D; since neither me or the baby were in distress I was not a priority for the OR and I ended up waiting 5 hours before I was taken in the OR. Friday morning, around 7am, I woke up screaming because of the upper back pain. They tried to give me more drugs but they were ineffective still and I had to suffer through it. One of the anesthesiologist came to talk to me about the c-section and how to numb the upper back pain; there were three options they were going to try. They could try to make my current epidural work which wasn’t currently numbing me enough for the c-section, try a new one, give me a spinal block or put me under for the c-section. Until I was moved into the OR they attempted to make my current epidural work but it didn’t so when I was taken into the room they inserted a new epidural which also failed to numb any further up than the original so they tried the spinal block which also failed to work so they had to put me under. My guy had changed into scrubs as directed but then had to be told by the anesthesiologist he wouldn’t be allowed in the OR; they don’t allow it when the mother is put under as she doesn’t move and they feel that is something emotionally scary for the partner to witness.
After about 20 minutes the nurses came out to tell him our son, Gabe, had been born and took his phone into the OR to take photos for him. They brought him out right after and took some photos of my guy holding his son for the first time before escorting him into the recovery room to wait for me. I was taken into recovery about 30minutes after our son was born, though they had woken me up inside the OR to tell me the good news. I was able to lay skin-to-skin with Gabe right away and was instructed/helped to have him latch for colostrum. His blood sugar at birth was 1.6 but after latching it raised to 2.6, which is above the 2.3 they like to see so they did not have to intervene.
I was given a morphine drip and we stayed in recovery for 3 hours (normally it’s 1 hour but they wanted to ensure his blood sugar did not drop again first) before we went to the postpartum ward. I was on bed rest for the day but did not need to use the morphine drip after recovery; instead I only relied on the tylenol and advil pills they gave me. They had an additional painkiller for me to take as needed every 4 hours for pain which I used at night to help with sleep since I was still having some back pain. I was in discomfort, a 2 on their scale of 1-10 for pain, though for the incision area so they were very happy about that. I was able to have the drip removed Saturday morning and allowed to get up to walk around, etc as much as I could. We were discharged on Monday afternoon after we had been given clean bills of health and my staples were removed.
During labour I was not given any long-acting insulin and as I was not eating, I was only given regular insulin to correct my blood sugar as I was put on a saline drip with glucose; my endo wanted my blood sugar to stay in the 7 range during labour. Post-labour I was put back on Lantus (had been switched to Levemir when I found out I was pregnant) for 18u in the AM and PM, was on 1-4u of Novorapid for meals only (no insulin for snacks) at my discretion and a sliding scale for correction doses using regular R insulin. Other than a few hiccups, my blood sugars stayed in the single digits. The nurses in the ward were really good for the most part and I was able to do my own shots but they were drawing up the doses for me; I did have one horrible night nurse who actually called my endo at 230am to ask if I could take a correction dose for a blood sugar of 14! She had started her shift by telling me the instructions for my diabetic care had changed and basically telling me she knew more than I did! I complained to the charge nurse the next morning who was in disbelief because a) I’m a diabetic of 21 years so I shouldn’t have been questioned like that about the correction dose and b) that the nurse had called my endo at 230am to ask such a question.
Now that I am home I am taking 18u and 20u of Lantus and 1-4u of Novorapid for meals but not snacks. So far things have gone pretty well and my levels have been steady but I have had a few lows (I also had a few lows in the hospital though); last night while sleeping between our night-time feedings I dropped to 1.7 but thankfully woke up!
Since Gabe was born at 36w+5d, even though he was 9lbs1oz at birth and healthy he is still considered a preemie because he was born under 37w. It seems silly but my main issue is that until my milk supply comes in I am limited to two types of formula that we can give him: ready-to-feed and concentrated liquid. They are considered sterile where as powdered is not, so the health authority does not recommend/approve of powdered formula. Luckily I had signed up for every baby freebie package I could find and have a cupboard full of formula; I have three tins of powdered formula, two large packs of single serve formula packets and until now had two boxes of ready-to-feed formula.
Since he is drinking about 50-80ml of formula PER 3 hour feeding, the ready-to-feed formula is $20/day as an 8-pack only lasts us 24hours but we were able to pick up some concentrate liquid formula today which will bring the cost down to $6/day and I am also picking up coupons, etc from some ladies in my local birth club who don’t need them to purchase more formula. Once my breast milk supply comes in, we can reduce/eliminate the formula feedings; thankfully my milk supply started to come in today though I was only able to give him 1/4 teaspoon of it so far.
While in the hospital we were able to feed him donor milk; the hospital I delivered at is a strictly maternity hospital which is attached to the children’s hospital. They have had a program for the past 30 years where healthy moms (screening takes place) donate their excess breast milk which is given to babies in the NICU and newborns free of charge to the parents; during our time at recovery they offered us the option of the donor milk or formula. Seeing as it was available and I didn’t have milk yet, we opted for donor milk. Along with my colostrum from latching prior to getting a bottle, he was able to receive donor milk for the 4 days he was in the hospital after being born. They do offer it for sale to parents if there is extra but they did not have excess milk when we were discharged so we were unable to purchase bottles of it to take home.
Anywho, we are so happy to have him home and healthy. He is doing very well and we have friends/co-workers lining up waiting to come meet him; many came to the hospital but we tried to keep it to family and really close friends given that I was recovery from the c-section and needed as much rest as I could get.