1. Two weeks ago, we found out our expected girl was really a boy.
He was born on Monday, ten days earlier than his planned arrival (which was itself a good week earlier than his due date). It wasn't strictly an emergency c-section, but it was about as urgent as it gets without being an actual 'someone is dying' emergency.
Raphael Cirilo – 7 pounds 9 ounces, 20.25″ long. Infuriated by his eviction.
2. So here's what happened…
On the previous Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights I was waking up in the witching hour because my hands and feet, specifically my palms and soles, were itching like mad. And what else am I going to do during bouts of weird, itchy insomnia but google “pregnant with itchy hands and feet”?
My googling turned up intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Cholestasis is when, for whatever reason, the flow of bile from the liver to the small intestine slows or stops. The bile salts build up in the blood and cause the intense itching. Uncomfortable for the mother, but very dangerous for the baby. Due to the immaturity of the fetal liver, the condition essentially poisons the baby with the bile salts and can lead to stillbirth.
So I spent the weekend waffling over whether I was just being hysterical after all the stress of this pregnancy. I really didn't think having this was at all probable, but after three consecutive nights, I decided to let my OB know the symptom and have her make the call. She ordered labs and set a late afternoon appointment.
At the appointment, she told me my liver enzymes were elevated and I was having the baby that evening. Women with this condition are apparently routinely delivered as soon as they reach 37 weeks, and I was already four days past that.
I had nothing packed. I had almost nothing washed. We hadn't even opened the carseat yet, much less have it installed. We still weren't exactly sure about a name. Oh, and my cell phone was dead because I forgot the charging cable at home that morning.
I did have a list, which I paired down on the fly to bare necessities I could help Himself find over the phone. Borrowed the office phone to make my necessary calls and luckily caught Himself five minutes from home. He packed bags for me, GeekBaby, NinjaBaby, and himself, stuffed the carseat in the car, dropped GeekBaby's bag off at my mom's and made it downtown to the hospital in what must be record time.
In the meantime, FlyCat came to sit with me in the ante partum unit. I have the best friends.
By 8, I was in surgery. By 9:30 I was in recovery, working diligently on wiggling my feet. And by 11, I had my baby.
3. It amazes me how completely better I felt as soon as NinjaBaby was delivered. My heartburn vanished. The itching was gone. My dry skin and hair are reversing themselves. I was hungry again for the first time in months, and pestered my night nurse relentlessly over whether I could have a real breakfast.
The cholestasis is also gone. We seem to have caught it early enough that my bile salts weren't even elevated yet. (Serum bile salts take awhile to come back.) My doctor will repeat the metabolic panel at my first postpartum appointment to make sure everything is back to normal, but the itching was gone by the time I got my hands on NinjaBaby.
On the other hand, cholestasis reoccurs in 45-70% of subsequent pregnancies. Just what I needed, one more possibly fatal medical facet to worry about.
4. I maintain, the worst part of all this is getting the anesthesia. I can lie there and take an injection in my eye with relative self control, but getting a spinal this time was even worse than the epidural I had with GeekBaby. I will admit to being semi hysterical. There are two main elements that I hate here.
First, I can't watch. Therefore I can't supervise. This makes me crazy.
Second, they always start with lidocaine. I hate lidocaine. It doesn't work well on me, and the effects of the lidocaine itself hurts. For days. My back only stopped aching today.
5. My OB was as good as her word, and let me go home after 48 hours. Thank goodness. The food at this hospital was especially bad, and they were unreliable about delivering the meals I actually selected. The last one was so bad that even Himself couldn't eat it, he went out and brought us back chicken tenders. Maybe they were no better nutritionally, but at least they weren't revolting.
I don't understand why they feed us so badly while simultaneously mouthing concern about our lower GI function returning to normal.
6. GeekBaby has never looked so shy as when my parents brought him into the hospital room to meet his new brother. My cyborg hand (of IV saline lock and wrapped up, taped up, disconnected O2 sensor) didn't help. He was charmed by his new brother and jept climbing up on my bed to kiss him or pat his head. but he got bored with visiting pretty fast. And now that we're home, he's having a little trouble adapting. Which I guess isnt surprismg since he's been our sole focus for so long. On one hand, he's super helpful – on the other, sulky when he's reminded not to be boisterousness near the baby, or doesn't get something he wants because we're busy with the baby. We'll see how it goes.
7. This whole business has been highly disorienting. Two weeks ago, I had just found out we were having a boy, not a girl. Today that boy is four days old and snoozing on my arm. We're having trouble remembering his name, and keep calling him by his brother's name. Or his cousin's. Poor NinjaBaby. That's what happens when you're this sneaky.
I've been trying to write this all day and I'm just rambling. So I'll just end it here. Visit Jen @ Conversion Diary for more, better focused Quick Takes.