Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh, crazy. There you are.

In the past week or so, the crazy showed up. Of course, I didn't realize it was the crazy - I just thought everyone was judging me, that people were purposely pissing me off, and that I just wasn't good enough for anyone. 

Then, yesterday, while I was steaming about something Bundy had done several days ago to piss me off, I suddenly asked myself, "Yumi, why aren't you able to let this GO?" And it dawned on me that perhaps, just maybe, the crazy was here. 

Well, considering that on December 24, I was royally pissed off at Mark and Janine for having the temerity to go out of town for Christmas to visit their families, it is in fact possible that the crazy had showed up. 

I was *so* angry all the time. If I wasn't angry, I was filled with anxiety. Christmas Day was, I'm sorry to say, not fantastic for me. It was great to see Moe enjoying his first Christmas, but I spent a lot of time feeling judged and just not good enough. 

Shortly after asking myself what the hell my damage was, it occurred to me that maybe I was dealing with some hormonal changes related to weaning. So I asked Google. 

And Google answered

Let me be clear - I didn't enter into weaning without doing my research. I read about the best ways to wean, the physical risks associated with weaning, signs and symptoms of mastitis, etc. NOWHERE did it mention that weaning could bring the crazy, and especially the crazy in someone with a history of depression. Some of the reading I did mentioned that I might feel kind of sad about losing this connection. Nobody said anything about turning into a freaking nutcase. 

But it makes sense. I often feel best in the morning, when my breasts are fullest. I still nurse him first thing in the morning, and once during the day. I am happiest after these feedings. This morning, around 11am, I felt the crazy spiraling. What on earth was wrong with me? I'm lackin' prolactin. 

If I had known the risks, I'd have gone about the process much, much more slowly. And right now, I'm not taking any further steps to eliminate those last two feedings. I just have to make sure I have a back-up bottle for the one during the day - I often don't have enough.

I have been so unhappy about weaning that it crossed my mind several times in the past week or so to just stop, to go back to pumping to increase my milk supply again, and to just keep nursing for a while longer. Sure, maybe I could even pump at work and keep this up once my leave is over. But you know what? I have to wean him sometime. And I've begun. And it isn't fair to change the rules on him now. Besides, it won't be any easier the next time. 

In the meantime, it's nice to know a) the crazy is here and the world isn't out to get me, b) *why* the crazy is suddenly here, and c) that my husband and family support me in my quest to beat the crazy down. 

I was telling Bundy and my mom that I figured out that the crazy was here, and they were both staring at me as if to say, as politely as possible, "DUH." Yeah, THEY knew something was wrong. I didn't - I just thought everyone was suddenly being an asshole. 

It hasn't been this bad since I was on Clomid. I didn't have the crazy when I was pregnant. I was a bit more emotional, but I know how to deal with that. I did have it in those first three days postpartum, but I knew it was coming and was able to accept that yep, this was what I'd been warned about. 

So, yeah. The crazy is here. But I know it will get better.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interesting

At six o'clock this morning, my son did something he has never done before. He was hungry and he refused a bottle. He sobbed, pushing the bottle away angrily. He was demanding to be breast fed. 

I nursed him. He was lucky - it was first thing in the morning, so I was pretty engorged. He wrapped his soft little hands around my breast and stroked it gently as he nursed. His eyebrows furrowed, as though he was putting every ounce of concentration into enjoying this moment and the connection between us. It broke my heart and warmed it at the same time.

Once I was empty (after hardly any time at all), I offered him the bottle again. He refused it, and cried as I put him back in his crib. His little sobs and sniffles gradually abated as he fell asleep again. 

I don't want to stop breastfeeding. I absolutely love it. I have enjoyed the convenience, the connection, the knowledge that although there were so many things my body wasn't able to do to create my son, it was at least able to nourish him. And I know how incredibly lucky I am to have been able to do it. I thanked my stars every day. But my milk supply was starting to decrease, and I thought it made more sense to do it now while we had a lot of time, rather than do it with the "back to work" deadline looming over us. 

The weaning has been going really well. But I guess it was too much to ask that he wouldn't notice the change, that my (albeit incredibly adaptable) baby would be able to completely give up something he loves so much without any protest at all. And in a way, I find it reassuring. He's showing me that he has enjoyed nursing as much as I have over the past 10 months.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moe's Birth Story

On Wednesday, I had an appointment with Dr. S., and he determined that my blood pressure was higher than normal. Since I'd just nicked the side mirror on the way to the appointment, it was possible that was the cause. He asked me to come back the next day to recheck. So on Thursday at about 11:00, I was checked again, and the blood pressure was still too high. He said I would need to be induced within the next 48 hours. Staggered, I asked for a second opinion. Dr. H. was able to see me about 45 minutes later, and he explained everything to me really well and said that in medical terms, this was pretty much a no-brainer. Induction, and soon. 

Bundy was pretty floored, as he prides himself on being prepared for everything, and we were feeling distinctly unprepared for this. He left work and we met back at home at about 3:00 pm. At about 4:00 pm, the phone rang - it was the Civic, offering us a spot that evening. We asked for 15 minutes to think about it, and decided that whether this happened now or later, it was going to happen, so we'd better just do it. We called back, and they told us to come in for about 6:00 pm. We both showered and ate, and showed up at the Civic with our bags. 

And a good thing, too. Because when you're induced for pre-eclampsia, they want you to stay there the whole time. Our birth room was fantastic - so nice and large, and with a lovely and inviting tub. They hooked up the fetal heart rate monitor to me almost right away, and at about 8:00 pm, they administered prostaglandin gel to start the induction. I was able to sleep until about 2:00 am, when they gave me a second dose. Not a whole lot had happened in the meantime - my cervix had started to prepare itself, I'd had some cramping, but nothing major. Bundy remembers waking up around 2:00 am and seeing three people around me that he'd never seen before, and they were performing a rather painful and traumatic exam. He jumped up and got by my side pretty darn quick. They broke my water, which meant the clock was now ticking - if I didn't give birth within a certain amount of time, they'd do a c-section. No one said that, but we knew. 

After that second dose of prostaglandin, actual contractions began, but quite slowly. We could see them on the contraction monitor. At 8:00 am, they started oxytocin by IV at 7 ml an hour. They got me on the wireless fetal heart rate and contraction monitor, and around 11:00 am, I got into the bathtub to labour there. I stayed there for two hours, and the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. Bundy and the nurse, Julie, put pressure on my back - I was having back labour. Julie was concerned that this might mean the baby was facing the wrong way (he was head down, but facing the wrong way). At about 1:30 pm, the contractions were strong and steady enough that Bundy called his mom to come in to be with us. 

We were trying a variety of poses. I was using the yoga ball, I leaned on the bed, I threw myself into Bundy's arms in something called "slow dance pose". But by 3:00 pm, it was time for an epidural. I was getting worn out, and the contractions weren't progressing. I was 4 cm. 

The epidural was no picnic. Bundy stayed in the room, and faced me, while the anesthesiologist prepped my back. I was sitting upright on the bed. He injected a freezing, and then began administering the epidural right away. Well, I wasn't frozen, so I screamed. He told me I shouldn't be feeling anything, but I begged to differ. Bundy just about jumped over the bed, and only barely resisted saying, "She screams again and I jam that needle into your spine." The second attempt went a bit better, and as the epidural took effect, I was able to sleep. I slept until about 5:00 pm, and that couple of hours of rest made quite a difference.

At 5:00 pm, they checked me again and I was 4.5 cm. 

We watched Firefly on the laptop, we listened to mellow music. Bundy joked that as he was wearing his Yoda t-shirt, and I was drinking raspberry leaf tea out of my Star Trek Experience mug, and we were watching Firefly, Moe was likely resisting coming out because his parents were just so darn geeky. 

Throughout that afternoon, from about 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, we tried different positions to get the baby moving and facing the right way. I spent a great deal of time in Child's Pose, which I knew from yoga, but with my bum right in the air. At 7:00 pm, our awesome nurse Julie left, and Beth replaced her. Beth was more aloof, but knew her stuff. 

At 8:00 pm, Dr. A. came in and checked me again. She checked me in a slightly different position, and declared that I was now actually 9 cm. "SHUT UP!" I exclaimed. (Why is it that I seem to say that at all these important moments, like when I was told I was pregnant?) 

I rested up until about 11:00 pm; there was little progress and the contractions, while strong, weren't terribly steady. As the clock was ticking down from when they broke my water, they said it was time to start pushing. 

It took me a few tries to get the hang of it - three years of yoga training has taught me never to hold my breath when exerting myself, which is what you have to do to push. But I figured it out, and was able to use the squat bar. (I marveled at how the epidural removed the pain, but left the pressure, and I was still able to move my legs.) I pushed until 12:45 am, when Dr. A. came back in and reached inside me and managed to turn him around. She told me I could push for another 15 minutes, but then we'd have to change tactics. I knew what that meant - an emergency c-section. My contractions were still really sporadic, but I kept pushing with each one, as hard as I could. 

She came back in at 1:00 am, ready to tell me that it was time for the c-section, but saw the progress I was making. She said we'd use the vacuum, and I had three contractions to show her I could do this before we'd move ahead with the section. They attached the vacuum (which wasn't at all what I thought it was) at 1:03 am, and at 1:08 am (three contractions later), our son was born. We had escaped the c-section by minutes. 

He didn't cry, so they took him to give him some oxygen, but he was fine, he just wasn't crying. That was ok, I was crying enough for everyone. My whole body was wracked with sobs - six years of emotion rushed through me and I sobbed my heart out. The doctor kept telling me he was fine, and I said, "You don't understand! It's been six years!" Bundy cried a little, too, and held me and told me what an amazing job I had done. As soon as I got to hold Moe, I fell madly in love with him. He was perfect, he was beautiful, and he was ours. I barely noticed them sewing me up as I just stared at him and held him close to me. 

They weighed him and he was 6lbs, 3oz. 

It was only afterwards that Bundy told me that at the very moment he was born, the song "Thank You" by Natalie Merchant was playing. That's our song, and the fact that it played as our son came into the world was just magical.