Sunday, October 25, 2015

birth story #2 - the ups and downs

welcome to the world baby Julius Grey Marzullo. at 5lbs 8oz you are the perfect tiny man.

a selfie right after they told us at 35 weeks i was about to be induced.. excited to meet our baby but also pretty nervous since he was so small still. 

if you've been following along, you maybe know about the obstacles in this pregnancy [26 weeks] [32 weeks]. i dealt with preeclampsia my last pregnancy and have had high blood pressure aka gestational hypertension through out this one... so high they had to deliver the baby at 35 weeks and preeclampsia wasn't present until postpartum which is more severe, unpredictable, and pretty rare. 
i went into the hospital about 5 times over the last month before this night. my blood pressure was spiking and i needed to be monitored for a few hours so that the doctors could put me on a blood pressure medication. each time i went back my numbers crept up. each time i was nervous about getting admitted and being induced. 

10/10/15- around midnight i felt terrible, i had such a bad headache and felt like my heart was pounding too hard. i took my blood pressure at home and sure enough it was the highest its ever been 182/112 (on medication). my dad was in town visiting / helping with lincoln, so nick and i left and headed to the hospital. when we got there i was getting more attention than i had been given in the past. i got some blood pressure meds through my IV. the doctors knew about me right away and were in and out of the room getting information and figuring out what the game plan was. i still did not develop preeclampsia at this point but it seemed just as serious. maybe an hour or two after i got there, they decided they were going to induce me, because of the risk that the placenta would detach/ explode. i was pretty nervous because my first son was a 36 week preemie who had to stay at the NICU for 2.5 weeks, and just wanted this guy to be healthy. but i was also so excited i would meet him sooner and be done with this awful pregnancy. 

unfortunately when you have risk of seizure, they put you on lovely magnesium. by lovely i mean the worst. worst. worst. 24 hours of basically feeling like you have the flu and it makes your body so hot. ice packs on your face kind of hot. and i needed to be on this magnesium from the time they induced me. i was highly encouraged to get an epidural. it would help with the pain which would help with the blood pressure staying down. i met a very unprofessional, arrogant epidural man, who i would later find out messed up my back pretty bad. but more about that later.

10/11/15 - after the epidural i was able to try and sleep for a while. around 5am i was 1-2cm dialated. they decided to put this balloon contraption inside to help open the cervix. i was 4cm from around 9am-4pm... every time they checked it was a huge disappointment that i hadn't gone farther than 4cm. then all of a sudden my body just went into full gear. i thought my epidural was wearing off but in fact it was the "pressure" of the baby's head. i told my nurse about the pressure and she called in the doctor. he told me i was 8cm. a few min later the pressure was really intense... i went from 8-10cm in a few min and he was sliding out. the NICU team and high risk doctors gathered around. all i could think was how much i wanted to hold him right away. (they took lincoln away so fast i didn't even see him). i pushed maybe 4 times and out came baby boy. nick nervously cut the umbilical cord. they brought the baby to the table, cleaned him off a tad and PUT HIM ON MY CHEST. i was in heaven. i could't believe he was mine. 

he did end up going to the NICU. which i expected, but did amazing, better than i would have thought a 35 week old could handle. he was only on a low amount of oxygen to help his lungs, and an iv for fluids. once he could breathe better on his own (half a day later) i was able to breastfeed. the NICU actually became so full that Julius was kicked out because he was the healthiest baby and was brought into my room. although its just a hospital room, i wanted to take a few photos to remember the little things. because the first part of my hospital time was very enjoyable considering. 

breast pump nunchucks

while in the NICU his big brother got to meet him. lincoln was a little nervous. i dont think he liked all the machines, but he was loving toward his brother.

the shitty part of this story is that i was discharged from the hospital a few days after Julius was born. I was home for maybe a day and a half, and ended up going back to the hospital at midnight again..
this time i had to go to ER (not mother and baby floor) and was put on a floor with a lot of sick people. because i was on this floor, i would soon learn that i could not see my kids, because anyone under 7 was not allowed on this "sick floor" especially my tiny preemie. 

my headache was the worst headache i've ever experienced. and my blood pressure was really high again. when i laid down my headache was way less severe than when i stood up. this was related to that lovely epidural.. called a spinal headache. and i think there was a blood pressure headache on top of the spinal headache. i wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. 

but they didn't give me any pain medication for hours. they wanted to make sure my brain wasn't bleeding !?! so i sat through a cat scan.. then an MRI... (which if you have a headache.. holy shit MRI's are super intense) the entire time.. for hours.. i had an ice pack over my eyes. i couldn't take it off. bright lights and any sound was making me crazy. they discovered pretty quickly that i had postpartum preeclampsia and this spinal headache. my kidneys and liver were being attacked and my blood pressure was spiking. i pretty much felt like i was in a headache coma. i didn't even have a chance to think about anything other than how much pain i was in. the ONLY thing that made my headache go way was an opiate through my IV that pretty much felt like i would imagine heroin to feel like. i felt warmth through my veins all over my body and then an instant release of pain. i laid there pretty numb and could finally relax. once i came out of my "headache coma" i was feeling super alone. i wasn't even able to eat for days and felt pretty empty. i just birthed a baby and wasn't able to see him or lincoln for over 3 days. my heart and body ached. all i could do was pump for my newborn and try to get myself healthy. my body was pretty weak, but making milk was never an issue and i'm very thankful for that. i kept reminding myself that its better that i'm in the hospital than Julius in the NICU. because i knew my boys were comfy at home with grandparents being loved unconditionally. 

because of the headache i had multiple doctors over looking me. when the neurologist okayed me and the anesthesiologist okayed me, then i was only a patient to the OBs/ high risk doctors and they wanted me back on the mommy and baby floor. (THANK YOU) it felt SO good to be back in the care of nurses who knew how to handle patients who just had a baby. the emotional out breaks and pumping, and all the other things that the ER nurses didn't really understand or relate to. I felt halfway home. and now my babies could visit me. i could hardly breathe when i saw lincolns face. he walked in like such a big boy with his backpack on. i cried sooooo hard, even though i tried not to.. and just wanted him to know how much i missed him. 

i spent two and a half days on that floor and i was told after my blood pressure was stable and my headache was gone, i could finally go home to my babies. which was another issue in itself. my BP had to be under 160/100 for 24 hours. every time they wheeled the BP machine in i became so nervous and could feel my bloop pressure rising. it was a catch 22. and being away from the boys was also adding to that BP being high i think. anyways.. after one or two additional blood pressure spikes.. i finally made it out. you never realize how good you have it until its taken from you. smelling fresh air was pretty amazing. and the drive home seemed like i had been out of town for so long. when i opened the door i heard "MOMMMMMMY!" and my whole body felt relaxed and happy again. 

my heart explodes when i see them together. even though i'm clearly not good at the pregnancy part..
i can't believe i made them. 
being home has been amazing. i'm tired and smelly and sometimes overwhelmed, but i appreciate every day with these guys. because i was so lost without them <3

thankful for my dad for taking a last minute trip and being in town when i was in labor, thankful for my mom for staying in the hospital with me and taking care of the boys. thankful for my mother in law and father in law for also being here to help with the boys. without them it would have been a more stressful situation. we are lucky to have so much support. 

a little less detailed, but i did make a video: [lincoln's "birth story" video]

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