Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Moment to Debrief (aka Birth Story Details Ahead)

As most of you probably already know, our long awaited miracle baby has arrived! We welcomed baby Zev into the world 1 month ago tonight, and I haven't had a minute to write about it since then. Today, I have approximately 5 minutes while the baby sleeps (uh oh, he's starting to wake..) and Judah watches movie #3, as he's home sick.

You may recall the baby was breech at our week 38 check up. We did everything we could think of to get him to flip back head down, and found out we were successful at the following check up. I was thrilled to be able to cancel the scheduled c-section, as I feared I would have to undergo general anesthesia, to which history has proven I do not respond well.

In order to get things moving as quickly as possible, I went in the next day for some aggressive acupuncture and an induction massage. I figured if they didn't work, at least I would be relaxed. But that night, I sprung a leak and it looked as though labor was beginning. Mild contractions kept me up most of the night and at 4:30 the next morning, I woke Dan and told him it was time to head over to the hospital. I had called my doctor several times with no call back. (That's a whole other story and a half.)

my husband brought tools to the hospital so he could assemble my birthing stool there. and I had to snap a photo.
I'll make a very long story short. The hours that followed involved an absurd number of interventions, and cords and wires being hooked up to me (IV, pitocin, oxygen, lead attached to the baby's head, intra-uterine catheter to increase fluids in the uterus during labor, 2 epidurals... did I miss something?), but baby Zev was finally born around 9:00 that night. I still can't believe it happened, and we have a small -and very cute- creature now living in our house.

a first glimpse

proud papa

happy mama

One major part of mothering that I had been looking forward to was nursing this baby. I was pretty determined, as Judah had refused to nurse and I was devastated. Well, don't you know it, baby Zev is such a good little nurser! He didn't have the same issues during delivery as Judah did (um, with getting stuck in the birth canal for 3 hours), so he had no problems turning his head. All was going great with breastfeeding until we discovered 2 weeks after birth that my supply is low. This is probably due to the radiation I had to my chest - the fact that my left side only has about 1/2 ounce of milk is the biggest clue - but his birth having been induced probably didn't help either. This low supply issue was even more distressing when I think about how much milk I had when Judah was born, and he wouldn't take any of it!

I was very upset when we first found out that we needed to supplement Zev's diet with formula, but am now in a place of acceptance, especially since he has been gaining weight nicely since we started. After a checkup at the oncologist's office, I was reminded to prioritize. Baby eating is most important. I am still nursing and then offering a bottle after each feed.

We're working on that whole sleeping at night thing. Some nights are better than others, and Dan is a huge help. We're both pretty good at dropping off to sleep at a moment's notice, but I would not put our level of functioning at an all time high.

not so bad

To answer questions about Zev's big brother, Judah is doing great. Except for today, when he woke up with a fever, he's been an amazing help. He is understanding about our need to give attention to the baby, and seems to be quite relieved that the crying and diapers aren't as bad as he feared.

little brother
Thank you to all of you who have sent delicious meals, gifts, advice, and warm wishes of joy and encouragement. We feel very very lucky (and did I mention still in shock?) to have been given this incredible gift, and most precious addition to our family.

our little love