Monday, December 26, 2011

the 'unexpecting' world of parenthood

When I was pregnant, my husband and I borrowed and read many books, articles, blogs, etc. I signed up for to network and read other new mom's experiences. We attended childbirth preparation classes, caring for newborns, and lactation classes. But, nothing can truly prepare you in becoming new parents.

Our baby was born 10-days late and he was a big baby at 8lbs and 10 oz. I tried to go for natural labor but after two hours in transition without any improvement with the dilation (I was stuck at 7), I had to ask for epidural because it became unbearable with every minute of strong contraction. I think the epidural may have slowed down the labor and it made me stay in bed instead of being able to walk around. My water did not break so they had to break it and my contractions were not strong enough to get the labor going so I was given Pitocin. I had an emergency C-section after 14 hours of labor and about half hour of pushing. The baby's heart started going up and his head started to swell so there is no option other than C-section. If I had to do it again, I would have asked for them to give me less of the epidural so I can still feel some pain. When I was pushing, everyone can already see his head crowning but I can not feel anything and that might be one of the reason why I wasn't able to do a better job pushing.

I also had complications during recovery, they can't get my heart rate down and my blood pressure up. I also lost blood from bleeding and it took them a while to get my uterus down to the right position, by the navel. We were stressed out the last day of stay at the hospital. They had me on iron drip on iv to bring my blood count up. They can't discharge me and I might have to get blood transfusion if my blood count continues to drop. Fortunately, it stabilized a bit the following morning so we were able to go home.

The first week was a big adjustment for my husband and I, even with my mom's help. The baby was awake every 2-3 hours to feed or get his diaper changed and stays up to play. With the pain from surgery, lack of sleep, frustration (when he's being fuzzy), being stuck at home, and just not being able to get things done - I can understand how some moms end up having baby blues or feeling depressed. I started feeling teary and cry for no reason. Thank God for a supportive, understanding husband, a dotting mom, and for having my family close by to help us with running errands. My advice for husbands is to not be as demanding and paranoid, offer as much help, and treat your wife kindly. Hire a help because you'll need one, unless you can handle just being next to the baby all the time and not getting as much sleep and things done. You can enjoy spending time with the baby more if you have some rest so ask and get help, when you can. For couples, snuggle when you can and be loving to each other. Make time to be together, even if you have to bring the baby in the dinner table with you. And celebrate special moments - anniversary, baby's first, etc with each other.

Newborns have a stomach the size of a pebble when they're born but if they want to feed, let them eat. Don't always stick with what the book says. When they cry, just go through the three things they need - milk, diaper change, or sleep. Of course it's different if they're sick. Our baby is actually a good baby. He easily falls asleep when I take him for a walk in a bjorn or when we take him for a car ride. After having a full meal and a good burp, he can sleep for up to 4 hours. But, it's better to wake them up to eat instead of waiting until they're too hungry so they'll be not as fuzzy. We still have to figure out how to relieve his snorting.

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