Baby girl Magpie is two weeks old today, as of twenty minutes to midnight tonight. She is sleeping beside me right now, and will hopefully rest long enough for me to get a quick post in. I haven't decided whether I will post her name on this blog or not, so stay tuned as I figure it out. But rest assured, she is here, she is adorable.
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. I will post her birth story in a separate post, but just the bullet point version gives you an idea:
- 36 hour induced labor
- contractions two minutes apart, lasting 1.5 minutes peak to peak (omg)
- then vomiting with each contraction commences!!
- Mo waves white flag after 6 hours, asks for epidural
- maternal fever
- fetal tachycardia
- dilate to 6 cm, then cervix starts swelling shut, down to 4 cm
- c-section called
- anesthesia fails during surgery (OMG never heard of this. Don't recommend it)
Magpie was born at 11:39 PM on October 23rd. What I didn't realize until later is that those twenty minutes counted as her and my first full day in the hospital. We had feeding issues from the get go, with Ms. Magpie unable to latch properly, and me bleeding from both nipples. That plus our accelerated time table meant that Magpie was deemed to have weight loss issues almost from the start. We saw many lactation consultants in the hospital and finally cajoled an ENT to come to our bedside once she had lost 13% of her birth weight. He performed Magpie's first frenulectomy because it turned out she was tongue-tied.
We got discharged Saturday night and told we must supplement with a supplemental feeding system (basically a small tube) with formula, since my milk hadn't come in ... all this just in time for Hurricane Sandy. We fared well compared to so many others in our region. I grew up in an area beset by hurricanes and so underestimated how serious Sandy would be. Category 1 just didn't seem so spectacular, and yet, wow, so much devastation around here. It's mindblowing.
So we were unscathed, and so fortunate, during the hurricane. Our only issues were that we ran out of formula and couldn't find more during the height of the storm. One of my dear friends lost power and brought her frozen milk to our house rather than have it spoil, so for one day, Magpie drank that...and then blessedly, my milk came in enough that I could pump and supplement her with my milk through the tube. Will got called in all week post-hurricane because our hospital was swamped with patients due to all the other hospitals in NYC closing, and had a simultaneous staff shortage because of the storm, power outages, no public transportation, and the three-passenger rule for commuters trying to come in, which made it difficult for physicians to make it into the city to work unless they could find passengers.
So me and Magpie were on our own much quicker than expected. We've been trying to learn the ropes of breastfeeding, but she has a lot of trouble sucking, which has meant I feed her with the tube and the breast, which takes 1.5 hours or so, then I pump using a hospital grade pump, and then we do the whole thing again every 2 to 3 hours (from the beginning of one feed to the next). It's an almost continual process, and hasn't gelled well with recovering from the labor and major surgery.
Magpie was still having such problems we took her to a second ENT yesterday who performed an upper and additional lower frenulectomy. So we are hopeful she will be able to feed a little bit better. Poor little one. Because of the weight issues, we've been at the pediatrician's office every other day or so. But she's hanging in there and gaining some. And I'm hanging in there and healing and trying to rest when I can. And Will is back at work, his week of vacation gone due to the hurricane and not replaceable apparently (bah humbug!!)
The other fascinating thing is the wild hormonal ride I am on. I am drenched with night sweats several times a night. Soaking, soaking wet. My mood, is well, a bit labile - although better than it was.
This is all very interesting. Feels so primal much of it. And I feel often like I am just trying to surface for a breath of air when I can and then just hanging on for the breastfeeding, night sweating, exhaustion ride of it all.
So all normal stuff, but all new normal stuff for us.
And Ms. Magpie. Wow. She is lovely.She is delicious. I don't know that it has sunk in that she is here to stay with us. That she is ours.
Unimaginable. All of it.
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