Sunday, July 10, 2005

Birth Week (Part II)

...We arrive at Friday - Sweetie's birthday! My husband and I secretly hoped that sending our parents home would some how bring on the end of this birthing process so that Sweetie could finally make her first appearance into the world. What I had been experiencing for labor so far was, at first, incredible itchiness like I had never known before. This was from the Magnesium Sulfate they injected my with to stave off seizures. I've had one seizure in my life, about one month before my wedding, and therefore I now take seizure medication everyday. The Magnesium Sulfate acts as a seizure deterrent, so it was something I needed to be on for the stresses of labor and delivery. Boy howdy, it does make you itchy, though! And then sleepy - really sleepy. Not only sleepy, but loss-of-ability-to-move-your-body sleepy. For the several hours leading up to Sweetie's birth, I actually slept on and off during the labor. Labor pains never really felt like anything worse than severe menstrual cramps to me. At the very end, finally a full 10 centimeters dilated, I pushed literally only 3 times, for a duration of a half hour, before she was born at 12:50 am Friday morning, December 20th. Weighing in at 5 1/5 lbs, she was completely healthy and safe.

Because of the effects of the Magnesium on my body, by Friday morning I was not able to move my legs at all and my arms were getting weaker by the hour. I very laboriously (pun intended) fed myself my own breakfast that day, but by evening my dad had to feed me dinner because I absolutely could not move. The doctors said I had to be on the Magnesium a full 24 hours after the birth, but by Friday evening when the night shift nurse who helped me during the labor came in to check on me, she could see what a changed condition I was in. Thankfully, she saw to it that I was taken off the Magnesium as soon as possible. It only ended up being a couple hours sooner than what it should have been, but as soon as I was off of it I saw my mobility and awareness increase exponentially hour by hour. I kept waking up as I slept Friday night, and every time I did I was able to feel and move a part of my body that was higher up than the previous time. By Saturday morning I was able to get out of bed and walk myself to the bathroom, although very, very carefully.

Also because of the Magnesium, Friday, my first day with my brand new daughter, is totally a blur to me. I could only see her through hazy eyes, similar to the effect of major intoxication. I was so incredible sleepy that visiting with me was absolutely pointless. Pictures taken of me on that day show a pathetic, drugged-out shell of myself. It really wasn't until Saturday, December 21st that I got my first good look at my sweet, beautiful daughter.

We stayed the weekend at the hospital and were released on Monday, December 23rd - Christmas Eve eve. I was fine to go home before this, but, because Sweetie was so small to begin with, she needed to show signs that she was nursing successfully and gaining weight. Once that was achieved, we went home to start our lives together as a happy, healthy family. Our very eventful week had finally ended with the introduction of our new love, ready to face the big world outside to see what this life has in store for her.

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