my who-ha is broken

About 4 weeks ago I started feeling worse in my post-partum recovery.  That is to say that my neather region was hurting more than after I gave birth, and something just didnt feel right.  


I saw my midwife again, and she thought that perhaps I pulled a stitch.  I only had one external stitch so that seemed a plausable option.  She also recommended I take it easier than I was.  While my recovery still was up hill for a while it eventually started to get better and the pain subsided.

But my privates still didnt feel ‘right’.  It didnt look right down there either.

So, I made my 6 week follow up appointment with an idea of what my diagnosis was.  I, of course, had consulted Dr. Google for medical advice.  And was able to give myself a surprisingly accurate diagnosis.

The Gynecologist said that some of the pain I was having was caused by abrasions from the delivery.  She said it could be painful for a while.  But, sheesh, really?  7 weeks tomorrow is a long while to still feel so tender.  I can not fathom the idea of sex.  

The more pressing problem however, is that I have a stage 2 pelvic organ prolapse.  I am going to spare you the specifics.  It is embarrassing to admit and now that the diagnosis is confirmed I dont even want to talk about it.  I joked about it with everyone before it was real.  But, not that it is real–it isn’t so funny.

I feel bitter in some ways about having a broken vagina.  When Elliott made his way into the world it was via Cesarean.  On a side note–my midwife attended, vaginal delivery cost more than my C-Section.  Same hospital, different insurance, 2.5 years later.  The C-section and hospital stay was $14K, and this delivery was $22K.  WTF?  The recovery from the C-Section was long, but not permanent.   I knew that I would heal and gradually day by day I did.  With the prolapse–there isn’t any healing.  It can be managed, or it can get worse.  But, it doesnt go away without surgery.  The surgery is elective, and if I have any more kids vaginally–the surgery would be undone. Plus it is a 6 week recovery.    Yikes!

Most days it doesn’t hurt.  Most days it is just there–annoying me.  But, today, I decided to start running again.  I haven’t been losing the pregnancy weight as quickly or as easily as I did the first time around.  So, to jump start the weight loss–I thought running might help. It felt good to be moving around.  That is until after I was done.  That is when the pain and irritation began.  

My poor husband has been so patient about waiting the 6 weeks.  He wants to be sure I am recovered and pain free before we re-consummate our relationship.  But, from the feel of it…it might just be a while longer.  

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Hair Loss??

For those of you who know me well, you will know that I HATE stray hairs. I actually have somewhat of a neurotic aversion to hairs be it human or animal. And especially other peoples hairs.

A few weeks ago I noticed that I was shedding more than normal. When I would brush my hair clumps would fall out. I find it disgusting to have hairs on me, I cant brush my teeth in a sink with hair in it, and I gag if I have to clean the drain.

So, when I started losing my hair…I was dismayed and slightly creeped out. But, from my research it is perfectly normal for a woman to lose more hair after she is greater than 12 weeks postpartum.

But who is going to help me with my neurotic problem? More on my neurosis later.

Cleared for takeoff

I had my 6 week post-partum follow up appointment with my Midwife yesterday. All is well, my incision is healing nicely. I am clear for exercise and sex. My breasts and nipples look good, and (drum roll please….) they didnt ask me if I had help at home. Maybe by now they know that I dont.

I also decided to have an IUD placed, so that for a bit I am safe from worrying about getting pregnant again. Even though, if I am exclusively breastfeeding, I should be pretty safe…you can never be too sure. What a process the IUD placement was. Apparently my cervix is oddly placed, and it took the midwife and an assistant both working down under to get a clear sight path. All the while, I had Elliott on my chest trying to pacify him (he was a crank pot yesterday), trying not to move so they wouldn’t botch the procedure.

I also sent the email to my employer to request a part-time gig. My immediate boss wrote back and said that once he discusses it with the 2 owners, he will call me to discuss. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I have been milking (no pun) the whole 6 weeks no exercise thing, and havent really done too much in the way of physical activity. But, since I now have no more excuses as to why I havent lost all my pregnancy weight (30 pounds down, 15 more pounds to go)…I got off my rump and went for a 2 mile walk this AM with the kiddo and pooch in tow. We walked often when I was pregnant and recovering. But, now I have to get serious.

It was a good feeling to be out and about again, and it was still early enough that it wasnt too muggy. The humidity here is a killer lately, and we dont have AC. Part of my motivation is also the fact that in October, my work sponsors us in the Mud Run. We are competing against our times last year, and for every minute we finish faster than our time last year, they will pay us $100!!! Last year I completed it in 95 minutes, and made $550 (the prize last year was $50 per minute). This year I dont have any hopes of beating my time, but I am still going to walk the 6.2 miles and finish the race. Since I havent put my running shoes on in 9 plus months, I am going to keep my goals reasonable. Plus, they have already secured me a spot, and a T-shirt!

Elliott is doing great. He is adorable and of course I am falling more and more in love with him every day. Hubby is taking a day and half off of on site work each week to be with him. So, for the first time today, I left during this time. I only went to the grocery store, and was back just as he awoke from a nap and needed to nurse. But, it felt good and liberating to be able to leave and know that he was in good, safe hands and to still be able to nurse him.

I am still pumping every morning to control the over-active let down, and occasionally in the middle of the night (depending on how long he sleeps and if we get to nurse on both sides), but the breastfeeding this has taken a very positive turn. And I also am getting a nice supply built up in the freezer. I am still uncertain how much he eats for each meal, but I am going to guess its about 3-4 ounces. Every time we go to a breastfeeding support meeting, his has already eaten and is napping on and off so we cant get a true gage of actual ouncage consumed.

My friend, who works here suggested that I pump and donate my extra milk. I am going to get screened for it, and see if I qualify. No sense in letting the over-supply go to waste. Thoughts?

Food, Sleep and Closure

When I went into Labor on 6-30-07 at 8:30am, I got a pretty good night sleep the previous night. That is to say that I sleep on the couch, in the upright position for a few hours at a time. In between the 2-4 hour bouts of rest, I was up and around the house. Usually thirsty, or having to use the bathroom. But, occasionally just wandering around the house, or reading. The last months of pregnancy were like this.

I have said in previous ruminations that this was a prep for parenthood, or so I thought while I was pregnant. What I wasn’t prepared for were the hours and days immediately following the birth of my son. From the time I went into Labor on Saturday until I left the hospital on Wednesday July 4th, I slept about 15 hours in total.
Saturday night while I labored, I of course didn’t sleep. My husband and my Doula took turns taking cat naps (which I barely noticed). I delivered on Sunday evening, and was put on Percoset, and moved to L&D to recover. That night and subsequent day, I couldn’t sleep and barely noticed the difference between day and night. I was so afraid that if I closed my eyes my son would stop breathing or choke to death on his lung fluid (when you have a c-section, even when you labor first, the child doesn’t fully benefit from traveling down the birth canal and getting the fluid squeezed out of their lungs, in the same way). Every little noise he made had me up, checking on him. This was coupled with the nurses coming in every 2 hours for stats, and every 4 hours for meds, housekeeping, food service (see below), and my doctors and the pediatricians. My doc started rounds at 5am, and I was apparently first on the list. Oh, and since UCSD is a teaching hospital, you see a student and a doc–2 separate visits.

Since I had a C-section, I couldn’t co-sleep with Elliott as I had planned and he in turn slept in a little plexi-glass crib next to my bed. The inability to co-sleep was due to a variety of valid, although frustrating reasons. The first was that I was on pain meds, the second was the bed was sooooo small, and the third is that I could barely move without assistance (the surgery, the IV, the catheter…). Had I delivered him vaginally in the Birth Center, both baby and husband all can sleep together. They have normal beds (not mechanical hospital beds), that are Queen size. They encourage baby and Mom to sleep together. UCSD is also a baby friendly hospital, and as such they don’t have a nursery. If you need to take a break from your baby, you can ask the nurses to watch them. At this point they will wheel them into the nurses station and keep an eye on them in there. I never opted for this.

I ate lunch on Saturday, at the Bar Mitvah. But, the remainder of the day I just wasn’t that hungry. Maybe it was nerves due to wondering if this was “IT”, or not. The evening only brought nausea and lack of appeal for anything food related. I did manage to eat a few lolli-pops and a bite of fruit. But, mostly I was thirsty and drank a ton of water. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around and my labor had basically slowed to a snails pace, I was hungry! However, since I was going into surgery…there would be no food for me.

I wasn’t allowed to eat on Sunday night, nor Monday. All they gave me beginning with lunch was liquids. Broth, jello and juice. Plus, vicodin, gas pills and stool softeners. Yummy!

By the time I was allowed to eat, and I was begging the nurses for food by this point (sometime on Tuesday)-the meal that the food service people brought in was mostly wheat products (lasagna, a dinner roll, etc.), of which I am allergic. So, I was foiled again.

How are you supposed to function/parent/nurture on so little sleep, without food, and all doped up on meds? It seems counter intuitive to me. There are a lot of things about pregnancy and labor that are backwards in my opinion. Let me give a few examples.

When you get pregnant, usually you take a home pregnancy test to confirm. And if you are like me, I knew on day one of my missed period. Once you confirm, you are sooo excited (lets assume this is a planned pregnancy), that the first thing you do is schedule a doctors appointment. If you have an HMO, they wont schedule your first appointment until you are somewhere around 8-10 weeks along. Now, isn’t the first trimester the most critical as it relates to development of the baby? Why would you leave a newly pregnant person on their own, without advise or guidance during the most sensitive part of their pregnancy?

The second situation/example is during your post-partum period. Since I had a c-section, I spent 3 nights after the birth in the hospital (although they wanted to release me on the 2nd night, I declined). They removed my staples (13 of them), on the third day, and gave me instructions for caring for my incision. They also instruct you to schedule your follow up appointment for 6 weeks later. Now, I just had major abdominal surgery and a baby…wouldn’t you want to see me sooner than 6 weeks? Apparently not.

The sleep has improved since I have been home. And I suspect we are faring well compared to some. Elliott on most nights, sleeps from 9-12 or 1, eats, and then sleeps again from 1-4 or 5 am. Then he eats again, and occasionally will sleep again from 6 to 7:30am. Although, when we are struggling with the let down problem, he is less likely to sleep for such long periods, and is awake for longer time periods in between. So far I am OK with the sleep patterns, and feel good most days. I can see how the lack of sleep can be impossible to handle, especially if you have more than one child, or have to go back to work sooner rather than later, or don’t have a lot of help or support from your spouse.

Well, after all of that typing…I am not sure what the summation of my thoughts are. But, I wanted to share what was on my mind anyway. I am all for closure, but for this post, there is no closure… to my dismay.