Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part One

The morning of our 34 week appointment dawned with me having had less than a few hours different from any of the previous 30 mornings. But the last ten days or so had been because of that pesky pain in my side, rather than peeing every half an hour. In fact I'd been peeing less, because I'd been drinking less and eating less due to aforementioned pain. My pee, naturally, as a result progressively got darker over the 34th week.

Alaskaboy had been starting later and later each day as the week progressed into night shoots, and happily was able to come with me to my appointment; with enough time to drive us back home again before needing to go into work. (When Alaskaboy's boss found out he'd missed several ultrasounds, he insisted that he go to all of the later ones and they'd cover for him at work the necessary hour+ it took to do so.)

We arrived, then I was duly weighed (pleased I hadn't gained any weight since last weigh despite the cankles that wouldn't go away all of a sudden) and deposited my lovely cola-coloured smidgen of pee into the cup. The nurse took my blood pressure, and said something about me needing to drink more and that the cuff must be faulty or something. Eventually she got a reading and left.

Dr Awesome took longer to come in than usual, and I figured his last patient was running late or something, so Alaskaboy and I continued our conversation of how to get some more stuff tidied over the weekend. I felt confident to help with a little more than I'd been able to recently, considering I'd had a huge burst of energy and cleaned the kitchen and washed all the dishes the previous night. For weeks I'd been fretting over the need to get the house tidied and stuff for Kiddlywink ready. I was certain she'd come at least two weeks prior to her due date, since my family has a history of eager beavers born early. LOL (Myself included: 5 weeks early and 2 lb 12 oz at birth.)

Dr Awesome finally came in and asked how I was feeling. I assumed he was feeling tired and overworked because the usual happy vibe I got from him was missing. I explained about the “pulled muscle” in my side or possible popped rib. He asked a few more questions that I really don't remember, and then HE took my blood pressure. I frowned at Alaskaboy, because, hello! Doctors leave that sort of shit up to the nurses.

Then he broke the news to us. My urine sample had returned a +4 result for protein. (Apparently a rather bad result to receive.) To top it off, my blood pressure was currently 180/110.

Say what? The HIGHEST I'd ever been before was 130/80 and that was in the middle of all those anxiety attacks. (And once earlier in the pregnancy.) 180/110 is stroke territory!

Those results plus the pain in my side meant I was to be admitted to the hospital for more tests and would likely be having my baby that very day: I most probably had preeclampsia, or something worse. What had been a normal healthy pregnancy was now suddenly a possible life or death situation.

On the way to the hospital from Dr Awesome's office we each were busy on our mobile phones, notifying the various people we had to of our changed circumstances. I felt awful calling my parents during the wee hours of the morning their time, but I figured the situation warranted it. To this day, I believe my mother went into complete shock upon hearing what I had to say. Punctuating most of her conversation were several phrases along the lines of, “It's 4 o'clock in the morning!” She'd fixated on the mundane annoyance rather than taking in the horrible news I'd just given them...from half way around the world.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Ray Of Sunshine.

I distinctly remember asking Alaskaboy at some point during the first four days of Kiddlywink's life, "What's it like, being able to hold our daughter?" I of course was unable to go to her and she was unable to come to me, us being in our respective ICU beds.

The utterly besotted look that came over his face lit up my/our room like the sun breaking through cloud cover. "Even though I'm so exhausted, I'm nodding off while holding her, I always want to stay that little bit longer. When I can't sleep, I go to the NICU (because they let parents in any time they like) and spend an hour just holding her. She makes everything worthwhile."

This song came out a few years before I was born, but it's always been my and my dad's anthem. Today I watched Alaskaboy feeding our own little ray of sunshine, while listening to this song.

It added a whole new depth of meaning to this beautiful song.

We found out today at the lactation consultation, Kiddlywink has gained to almost 5 lbs. She was also able to successfully breastfeed for the first time since her birth. We've got a way to go before we can end the "expressing breast milk to feed by bottle plus supplementing by formula" stage we're currently in. But! She was big enough to actually latch and eat successfully today. Ate a whole 14 mls. (currently an actual feed is between 40-60mls)

Now we enter a whole new stage. Which is funny, we went to the lactation consult hoping it would get easier than what we're currently doing and enable Alaskaboy to go back to work. Instead, the feeding stuff is now more complicated but it will be worth it in the long run.

Currently I pump milk every three(or thereabouts) hours to go into the fridge for a later feed. We feed her approximately half milk and half made up formula every three hours. (The ratio can vary depending on how much breast milk is in that particular bottle and how much formula she requires after that to be full.) Not to mention diapering the baby, washing and sterilising bottle and pump parts etc

We trialled me doing everything myself for twenty four hours...hoping Alaskaboy'd be able to go back to work this week. (Next week and a half week after that is all the work left until a four week hiatus.) Trying to do it all myself, if each cycle went perfectly--which of course it rarely does--I'd get 40 mins bed time every three hours...all day long. As you'd guess, especially with me still recovering from nearly dying not too long ago, it ended in me strung out and sobbing in complete exhaustion.

Now after the lactation consultation, we'll be weighing* her before each day time feed then putting her to the breast. When she's done with that, we weigh again. (Each gram of extra weight means one ml of milk eaten) THEN we top off with expressed milk and formula as per now. And I still have to pump.

Eventually, she'll get stronger and stay longer at the breast. Eventually, I hope to produce enough milk to feed her completely myself. Eventually, we hope it will get easier. We're still hoping Alaskaboy can get back to do Some work before hiatus.

But it doesn't matter what we have to do. Because even with the extra work and sleeplessness, the money we're not earning, as Alaskaboy and the song said, "She makes everything worthwhile."

*We've ordered a cool scale that once she's successfully feeding enough we don't need to weigh her anymore, we can swap out the baby tray for the mail/letter attachment. :D We'd been wanting to get one for ages with the amount of packages we send, now we have a twofer! LOL


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kiddlywink's Second* Favourite Restaurant.

Alaskaboy was sitting at the dining table, Kiddlywink's butt sidesaddle on his leg and her head/neck in one of his hands in their favourite feeding position.

I was mashing an avocado to have with crackers for my soon-to-be session with the pump.

In a terrible French accent mastered by B-film actors the world over, he says to her a-la waiter, "For tonaght's firrrst course, we have zee bottle of meeelk! Would you like to try? No?"

Since she was in the middle of a stretch I asked him, in an even worse French accent, "Madamoiselle wishes to know, ees eet from zee region of Tittee or from zee Can?"

"From zee Grrrrrand Tittee!"


(Second course was as you'd guess, from the can.)

*In the NICU the service was like clockwork; fast and efficient too. Here, we're not quite as prompt, but we're like one of those hole in the wall joints that ya just keep coming back to. :)


Friday, June 12, 2009

Mixed Bag.

- Kiddlywink has gained 10 ozs since friday. She's now 4lb 10ozs; a full pound over her birth weight. :)

- Her umbilical stump fell off this afternoon.

- I left my cell phone, the brand new one we got a few weeks ago to replace the one I lost during a pregnancy-hormones-induced lapse of memory, in my trouser pocket...and Alaskaboy was so tired he forgot to check all the pockets for about the first time since we've been married...

- Did I mention the tired? It's like no other kind of tired I've EVER experienced. And that's with Alaskaboy doing more than his fair share to help give me time to recover, and my mother-in-law doing all the dishes and most of cooking.

- And yet Alaskaboy, mom-in-law, and now my abdominals, are nagging me to do even less! "You had major surgery and you almost died! It hasn't even been two weeks yet! REST!" He "should" be going back to work next week and I "should" be able to cope with just Mom here. But he's not, and I can't. Is this the Mummy guilt they talk about, that I'm feeling?

- Kiddlywink' suck is too immature to latch on and feed from me without her tiring out before getting enough calories. (I also have flat nipples, need to see a lactation consultant about that!) So, I'm pumping breast milk and we're supplementing with formula.

- Successfully managed to juggle pumping (using a hands-free bustier) and bottle feeding at the same time. Felt proud for that.

- ESPECIALLY since pumping tends to knock me out cold!

- Am still eating completely intuitively which is a big relief. Was afraid I'd overeat with how tired/rundown I am.

- Walking is hard, not just because of the wounds (coughing is a BITCH AND A HALF!) but also my lung capacity is much lower than it was. Am told it's a side effect of being pregnant as well as the general anesthetic. Hope I improve quickly, I miss nice long walks.

- Am still having very satisfying naps while sitting on the toilet. Sometimes even for an hour long! LOL

- Even more in love than I was last week. :D

Catch yas later!


Monday, June 08, 2009

Birth Announcement.

Hi Everyone,

After coming down with HELLP syndrome, Kada was given an emergency
cesarean section under general anesthetic.

Baby girl Kiddlywink born 3lb 10 ozs. (4lbs at discharge.) (For her privacy, in public internet places we'll still be using her pseudonym of Kiddlywink.)

Both of us spent a week in icu and are now home. Eating, sleeping, using
the bathroom and snuggling are the main activities for all three of us,
as you would expect. LOL

Alaskaboy and Kada
Completely besotted parents of Kiddlywink.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Kiddlywink is Here!

Due to sudden onset of HELLP Syndrome, Kiddlywink McDonald was welcomed into the world the old fashioned way: Mummy under general anesthesia and Daddy sitting outside surgical theatre waiting for news.

Have had a rough week but both Mum and Kiddlywink are healthy. I came home this evening, Kiddlywink comes home tomorrow; we're off tonight to buy the bare necessities of the nursery.

Will update as I get a chance.

Mmm sleeep, how I miss you already!

(Alaskagirl's comment on Previous Post, now up here on main page to see}
BLOG UPDATE 6/2/09: Kada tried to have me sign in and update the blog properly, but it wouldn't let me for some reason, so hopefully dedicated readers will check these comments.

What Kada thought were the normal pains of late pregnancy was actually HELLP syndrome, and as a result, she had an emergency C-section. Kiddlywink has joined us in breathing air, and quite well, too, for such an early, tiny baby.

Both Kada and Kiddlywink are doing well (now). Kiddlywink is over 3.5 pounds, and apparently the spitting image of her daddy. She gets time to sleep on her daddy's chest (kangaroo care), and Kada is well enough to do some care too.