Sunday, October 31, 2010
My dad takes passport photos at the post office and he said they should just let me hold her and put a white sheet over my arm so you don't see me; however, everything in Korea is done differently. I don't think they get many people coming in asking for passport photos for a baby because the guy looked at us like we were crazy. To get this photo we laid her on a white background while I tried to hold her arms down from flailing in her face and keep her from crying. This was a zoomed in version of the photo and I'm surprised how well it turned out. They also took photos with me holding her that they would just photo shop my arm out but we didn't pick any of those.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I was admitted into the hospital around 10am Oct. 7th to be induced since my blood pressure was high and has been climbing; we have been watching it closely to make sure it didn't turn into pre-eclampsia (a condition where my kidneys would begin to fail and spill protein into my body). I was 37 weeks and 4 days. Induction took a long time to start, while waiting they monitored me and the baby to see if I was having any contractions on my own. I had an epidural placed and ready to go while we waited (the guy messed up 4 times!) They finally started me on a drip to start labor around 2pm; however, they only upped the dose every 2-3 hrs so I didn't start having contractions till around midnight or 1am. I figured it would be a long night, when the contractions finally started they came on quick and hard at about 2-3 min apart; they checked me and said I was only between 2 and 2 1/2 centimeters. I tried my Hypnobabies and focused on relaxing until I couldn't take the pressure in my back anymore, they started my epidural and I rested till about 3am. Once my contractions were regular they turned off the induction medicine. By 3cm I noticed a very strong pressure and it was starting to feel like I needed to push, they checked me again and said I was only 4cm. From this point on I realize how difficult it is to communicate with people who don't speak English regularly! I kept saying I felt like pushing and that I had a lot of pressure. Eventually Lillian's heart rate kept fluctuating greatly and I'm sure my blood pressure was high just based on the amount of times they took it. I tried to convince them I needed to push for maybe an hr, they even stopped my epidural thinking that is what was causing Lillian's distress. Based on the amount of people in the room I thought we were going to go in for an emergency c-section, they did everything trying to make her heart rate stabilize. One of the on call doctors finally decided to strip my membranes and break my water. Again, contraction after contraction I begged them to let me push... turns out my bag of water was causing me to not dilate because I went from 4cm to 10 in about an hr to an hr and a half. Unfortunately, since things progressed so quickly after that my doctor was not there; something I was a bit surprised at since they were practically prepping me for a c-section just a short time prior. Once they let me push I could have had her out in 4 pushes but that didn't happen.... Korea does not have malpractice insurance so no one is willing to be liable if you are not their patient. I pushed 3 times and her head was practically out! I was forced to breath through contractions for the next 20-30 min while they kept pushing her head back in trying to wait for my doctor!!!!! My body literally kept trying to push her out. Although I swore I wouldn't be one of those women who scream during labor, I unfortunately was. I don't think it would have been that way if they would have just delivered her when she was ready to come out instead of waiting for my doctor. They tried to say if I pushed I'd tear but after doing that for so long I now know they were just trying to stall. My doctor arrived and in one final push she was out....she arrived at 5:45am. She is small and weighed 5 lbs 7 oz. and 18 inches long!
Greg was in the room for most of the labor and for initial pushing until I was told to stop. He was able to see her little head beginning to crown. Unfortunately he was kicked out of the room after they the bed ready to deliver; I didn't know this until after. He said he was told to wait in the hall and they'd call him in when he could cut the umbilical cord. I was quite exhausted after and tried to just sleep as much as I could. The lab work they began prepping me for the c-section revealed my kidneys and liver were not functioning properly.... so turns out I probably did have pre-eclampsia; however, it was never caught by the random urine samples they were doing. Since delivery my kidneys and liver are improving daily, my blood pressure is also slowly normalizing again; however, they prescribed me medication to ensure it stays low. Lillian has been on formula although we are trying breastfeeding. The Pediatrician felt she was smaller than other babies born at the same gestation. So far we have tried breastfeeding one day but she lost too much weight and I'm not producing enough of anything yet to help her gain the extra weight the pediatrician would like to see on her. We only had to stay in the hospital for 2 days after delivery and she was able to room in with Greg and I during the day. She is quite a calm and quiet baby, my difficulty so far has been trying to keep her awake during her feedings but I know with practice she will get better and start growing more.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I've had another period of contractions this past week; however, these were stronger and intensified more than previous times. They lasted about six hours and kept me awake; however, I had a lot of back labor and that seemed to keep me up more than the actual tightening of the contraction. It made it very difficult to time them and I realize I need to find out what to do in that situation; I didn't go in but rather just tried to keep laying down and they finally eased up about 4am. At my doctor's appointment this week she will be checking my cervix to see if I'm thinning or dilating. I'll provide an update on this post after the appointment.
UPDATE: Well I spent another 6 hrs in L&D for high blood pressure. My doctor has me taking my blood pressure at home and I'm supposed to go in if I have two abnormal readings of 140/90 in one day. After going in daily she upped it to 140/100. They took it three different times while I was there and it didn't really seem to go down until the last reading (still at 130/90; prior it was 147/107) When I go in for this they usually hook me up to the monitors for 20-30 min to check on the baby, continue to monitor my blood pressure and if it is still high run a urine sample to check for protein as it would mean I have pre-eclampsia (basically my kidneys begin to go into failure and spill protein in my body; so far the test always comes back negative but they only do random urine samples here. In the states they'd also do blood work and a 24hr urine collection) Anyway, I had had some pretty strong contractions earlier in the day but they seemed to have tapered off by the time I got to the hospital. I was surprised to see I was still contracting every 5 min while in L&D. They checked and I'm only 1cm dilated, I'm not thinned out so I'm assuming that means 0% effaced and she says baby's head is engaged. Engagement is measured in stations based on how far of the baby's head is in the pelvic bone as shown in the picture to the right; however, she didn't say what station I'm at. They said since they checked on the baby and did a pelvic exam now I don't need to go see my doctor on Wed.... I emailed her anyway confirming this. All in all, my experiences in L&D are not making me very confident in the staff that will be there while I labor....
UPDATE #2: I received an email from my doctor confirming she still wants me to go to my appointment on Wed. We will discuss the option of inducing since my blood pressure has consistently been high. It has been something I've had to push and I think it's because most Koreans don't have high blood pressure so I can't imagine my doctor sees too many cases in her international patients. I've been quite annoyed and haven't really felt listened to.... I feel like rather than dealing with the high blood pressure and seeing it as an issue she has just been concerned about it possibly turning into pre-eclampsia. Chronic hypertension is defined as a blood pressure of 140/90... my bottom number has consistently been around 90 since hitting the 3rd trimester. However, rather than dealing with that number she simply upped it to 100 before I need to go in. So I'm very relieved to hear we will discuss the possibility of inducing as I know having high blood pressure cannot be good for me or miss Lillian.
My pelvic bone has continued to separate, something I didn't realize is so painful! Hormones that are released during pregnancy help joins and ligaments become more flexible to allow the baby to pass through the pelvic bone. Turns out the ligament that joins the front of my pubic bone (the symphysis pubis in the picture) becomes overstretched and causes a misalignment of my bones. It has lead to painful popping while rolling over in bed and pain getting up from a sitting position. It usually flares up if I walk too long earlier in the day. Unfortunately there is nothing that can really be done, I just have to hope that it goes away after pregnancy. My belly has also started to disappear the last few days, it's been quite odd. I'm assuming it is just her changing positions and dropping further down; however, it's hard to tell if I'm feeling pain from her dropping or if it is from my bones separating. Although I think she's dropped I still feel feet in my ribs at night; I think now that she is lower it just gives her more room to stretch out!
According to babycenter.com, here is what is going on with Lillian this week:
Your baby is now considered "full term," even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you're planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there's a medical reason to intervene earlier.)