Saturday, January 24, 2009

Postpartum Indulgence

It's a new experience to indulge in Percocet and Toblerone chocolate at 2am. One of the perks of a C-section?

We're all doing fairly well right now. My pain meds have been decreased in strength. Although I am much more aware of my incision pain now, it is such a relief to have the IV out of my arm and the epidural catheter out of my back (they leave it in for two days postpartum). I don't like being all doped up, so I am trying to get away with as little pain medication as I can without killing myself. I have gotten so much great advice from all my friends who have gone through this experience - thank you! I need it because I think one of the hardest parts for me about undergoing a C-section was that I had three amazing birth experiences (and as my OB put it, I have a "proven pelvis") and I fully expected Violet's birth to go along the same path. So this came as a huge shock to everyone, OB included. Since Christina is due a few weeks after me, we have been discussing birth plans and labor and delivery options. And C-section never came up because my biggest concern was not being able to handle the pain and have a drug-free birth like I did with Simon. Although labor was not a piece of cake with Simon, the recovery was. Within an hour of giving birth, I was up taking a shower, walking around, doing whatever I wanted. Maybe just a little slower. There is absolutely no "get up and go" now. I have to rely on someone else to even pull up my underwear! But enough about me!

Violet is doing great. I still cannot get over how tiny she is. Everything about her is so delicate. I think Clare has baby dolls bigger than Violet! It's hard to determine who she looks like, too. We catch glimpses of all our other babies in her. I think she is showing signs of a feisty personality, which is the way Jamie was as a baby. Clare slept so much as a newborn because of her heart, and Simon was a very mellow baby for the most part. Jamie, however, stopped acting like a newborn at one week old - very alert and aware and did not sleep, sleep, sleep like most newborns. Yesterday was a rough day for Violet because she was hungry and wanted to nurse all day long, but my milk had not come in yet. We had a day like this with newborn Jamie, too. (And I can remember my dad spending most of the day rocking Jamie.) I nursed Violet as often as she wanted (even if she's not getting much, it stimulates the milk production and can speed up the process), but eventually started to get very sore. Violet spent most of the day crying or trying to fall asleep, but I think the baby was just so hungry. By Baby #4, I have learned that sometimes you need to let go of how you think everything should be. I would have been appalled to let the nurse do this with Jamie, but I was more than willing to let our nurse cup-feed Violet half an ounce of formula just to settle her tummy a little bit. She did this once late morning and once late afternoon. Both times, it was enough to allow Violet to feel satisfied, and she would settle down to sleep. (And give us a break!) By the late evening, my milk had started to come in. So now, Violet has had a good night, waking only to nurse then she goes right back to sleep for a couple hours. I am alternating between having her in bed with me and putting her in the bassinet. I know she is happy because she does not mind sleeping in the bassinet.

The ENT did stop by this evening to take a peek in Violet's mouth. She does have a moderate tongue-tie, and he could fix it right away using just a local anesthetic. We talked about Clare and our concerns if we did not have Violet's tongue released. Dr. Z was Clare's former ENT, and he was the one who referred us to Clare's new ENT once we found out she had to have her surgery at a different hospital. Since Violet has no issues latching on and is nursing well, Dr. Z said there was no rush to having the tongue released. He was happy to do it before we left the hospital, but also said we could wait a few months. This would still be early enough to not interfere with eating solids or speech. Then Violet would undergo the same procedure Clare is having done. Although this involves general anesthesia, the recovery is the same, and Dr. Z said it is actually a safer procedure because it is more controlled since the child is not awake at all. Violet would be awake if we did it now, and her only pain relief would be sucrose water or breastfeeding after the procedure. So Shawn and I agreed on a wait-and-see approach for now.

We are planning on being discharged this morning. I am a little nervous about going home because I know I will feel even more helpless in my own home. But I am eager to get home because we have three other little ones who are missing us very much (and can't wait to have their new baby sister at home). Simon has decided that he does like me still, and both times he came to visit in the hospital, spent most of the time snuggled against my side in the hospital bed (and he was actually very good and listened about sitting still and not pushing on Mommy's tummy). Unless she was eating pudding after pudding, Clare was often snuggled on my other side. Jamie is the baby hog and just wanted to hold Violet the whole time. Both of our moms are with the kids right now (Shawn's mom has been with them since Violet's birth), and my mom is staying through the weekend, so we will have some help.

Okay, time to track down my nurse for another Percocet.


Aunt Joan said...

Teresa ~ You just indulge yourself, girl! You know it won't last too long, anyway. Rest, relax, and let those doting Grandmothers help out as much as possible. I was excited to hear the tongue procedures. Both of my boys were 'clipped' at the same time they were circumcized - with NO pain relief (for either!) Have a rested recovery, and keep us posted! Love, Joan

Dawn said...

Congrats to you and Shawn! Violet is beautiful. I had a C-section with Sawyer and take my advice: if your doctor offers you a refill on the Percosets, TAKE IT! I made the mistake of turning down a refill because I was afraid of getting hooked on them, and once the drug was out of my system I was calling the office to beg for more.

Try to take it easy as much as you can. You'll heal faster. Congrats again!

Gretchen and Steve said...

Congratulations guys! I've been a little behind checking out your blog. Knew your delivery date was approaching, but was very surprised to see beautiful Violet's picture already posted. She is a wonderful mix of all of you - what a blessing. Prayers for a swift recovery, Tree! You truly are a champ in my book! Gretchen

Kerry said...

:):) Take up on all the offers you get for help - and relax when you need to. I had two c-sections and while I was up and running pretty quickly after, you still need your times to chill. Let everyone else fend for the kids. Indulge yourself, because you know how quickly this will pass and you will be running around again very soon!

Can't wait to meet the new little one!!! :):):)

Kris said...

Congratulations! She is so cute and perfect [I guess non-squishy faces are also a perk of c-sections!] and I love her name. Enjoy!