Baby part 2

In case you missed it, you should start with part 1 on the birth story of my son here.  For everyone else, I’ll continue where I left off yesterday.

During that first night after having the baby I was confined to bed for most of it.  If I needed to put Adam in his bassinet or get him out I had to ask my husband to do it or a nurse (once again, the hubby slept fine after going home to feed the cats).  They took the baby away at one point to run some tests.  Shortly after that we found out there was a slight complication during the delivery.  My blood attacked Adam’s in the umbilical cord.  This was kind of surprising to me because I’m O+ and he’s B+.  I didn’t think my blood could attack his since I’m a universal donor, but I guess it could in this situation.  It wasn’t anything dangerous, but it would increase his chances of developing jaundice.  They contacted the on-call pediatrician for the doctor office I’d chosen and he said to just monitor the baby closely.

I also wasn’t allowed to have much more than juice, broth, and crackers until 6:30 a.m. when I could order a full meal.  That totally sucked after a whole day of labor in which I hadn’t eaten and probably burned a few thousand calories.  I’d never been more hungry in my life, so I ate as much of the broth and crackers as they’d give me.  I also tried talking my husband into getting me something more substantial, but he refused.  Once again, he’s lucky to be alive.

The first full day after birth was a whirlwind.  We had lots of visitors and the hospital photographer came to visit.  Adam did such an amazing job not crying at all and let us position him however we wanted.  I’d brought a special outfit and blanket just in preparation for this and was pleased with how the photos turned out.

It was such a busy day I hardly had time to eat lunch and only took a thirty-minute nap.  I was allowed to get up and walk around, which was nice, but I was swollen badly and it was hard to move.  It wouldn’t be until after I got home and weighed myself that I’d discover I’d gained five pounds rather than lost any after giving birth.  I had horrible water retention from the IV and surgery.  At the time I was in the hospital, though, most of my focus was on the baby.  They were keeping me medicated enough I didn’t even worry about the pain from my stomach being cut open.

The next morning they took Adam again for more blood tests.  This time his levels were rising enough they feared he’d develop jaundice.  We’d hoped to go home that day, but instead they ordered the baby be put under UV lights for the next twenty-four hours and then they’d retest.  That was pure Hell for all of us.  Adam was cold, alone, and miserable.  All he could wear was a diaper and an eye mask to protect his eyes, and we could only soothe him by putting our hands on him for a few minutes at a time.  I took him out to feed him every two hours just to give him a break.  Otherwise, he just cried non-stop.  Watching him flail around, begging to be picked up left me in tears.  I hated having to torture my baby that way even if it was for his own good.  Once again, I hardly slept because he was crying so much I felt I had to stay by his side giving what comfort I could.

Thankfully, the next morning his blood tests came back looking much better.  I was ready to go home and spend time with my husband and baby without all the medical staff around (though they were wonderful).  During my stay, I did see a couple different lactation nurses who helped me out with refining the latch with the baby.  My milk had come in and Adam was eating fairly well at that point, but I was cracked and very sore.  They gave me some cream and shells that have helped so much after that.  By a week or so after giving birth, the baby and I totally had a hang on breastfeeding.  I am really thankful that part went well.

We were able to pack up and leave by that afternoon. This was day four I’d been in the hospital since starting the induction and I was tired after getting almost no sleep.  That first drive with the baby was nerve wracking and yet so exciting.  We just couldn’t wait to get home.  Adam wasn’t a fan of his car seat, and still gets fussy when we put him in there these days, but he eventually calmed down once we started driving.

In the last photo you can see my stomach went down quickly, but I swelled up badly everywhere else.  Someone had given me the advice during my pregnancy to take a pair of slippers to the hospital that are one size up from normal.  Best advice ever!  It took three weeks before the swelling in my feet went down enough to wear any of my other shoes.  Most of my socks wouldn’t even fit.  My legs, ankles, and knees were all twice their normal size.  Those slippers were all I could wear at home and to doctor appointments.  It sleeted and snowed during that time, so I wore them out faster than what would have normally happened.

Also, once I stopped taking pain killers, I developed a migraine that lasted for weeks.  My blood pressure was very high as well.  The OBs office ran tests to be sure I wasn’t developing post-partum pre-eclampsia because I had so many of the symptoms.  It turns out it was just severe exhaustion.  My body was trying to heal from major surgery and produce milk for the baby, but I wasn’t sleeping more than an hour or two a day.  Just like when I was little and made my parents suffer, karma came back to haunt me.  Adam wouldn’t sleep for long and just wanted to be held all the time.  I wasn’t getting enough rest or food and my body couldn’t heal.

My husband had to go back to work the day I got home from the hospital, so he wasn’t helping much.  I was alone most of the time at our house with the baby.  It was taking a toll on me in every way.  Of course, I’d look at Adam, seeing the most precious baby in the world.  I loved him and taking care of him, but I was so tired and I was getting lonely being shut in the house all the time.  More often than I prefer to admit, I broke down in tears because on top of everything my hormones were a mess from delivering a baby.  My OB said if my health continued to decline I’d have to be hospitalized.

Once my husband heard that frightening news, he started taking care of the baby for four or five hours a day only bringing Adam to me so the baby could feed.  I still wasn’t getting eight hours sleep, but it was a heck of a lot more than before.  The swelling started to go down gradually and so did my blood pressure.  By three weeks after the baby was born, I could at least move around better and we went back to me taking care of the baby full time.  It took quite a bit longer for my c-section incision to heal, though, because Adam had an uncanny ability to kick it all the time no matter how I held him.  Not his fault, of course, but it left me sore and I’d get a lot of cramps.  Sometimes, I’d have to stop and take a breath they got so bad.

I should note during this time we took the baby for several follow-ups at the pediatrician’s office.  At Adam’s two-week visit, the doctor found a problem in the baby’s right eye.  He had a cataract partially blocking his vision.  It’s a rather rare occurrence, and I was told by other healthcare professionals that we were lucky it was caught so early.  They were impressed that the baby’s pediatrician noticed it because many don’t until it’s nearly too late or worse.  We had to visit a ophthalmologist soon after that who informed us Adam would need surgery to have his lens removed in that eye.  If it wasn’t done soon, he could suffer permanent blindness.  It has something to do with a baby’s developing brain seeing a weakness and deciding to shut vision off rather than keep it going if it’s not working well.

As you can imagine, I was a wreck finding that out.  I was still recovering from childbirth and now my precious little baby was going to face surgery so early in his life.  It made me want to cuddle him that much more.  Sure, far worse things can happen to a baby, but I still worried about putting him under anesthesia.  Also, he was going to face more obstacles once his natural lens was removed since that eye wouldn’t be able to focus on its own anymore.

We set up the surgery for the day he turned eight weeks old, which I’ll get into in my next post.  Once again, this one got a bit too long.  I promise I’ll fill you in on the rest of the story soon, so stay tuned!

I had a baby…update!

I realize this post is a long time in coming.  Those of you who followed me back in December on my Facebook fan group got regular updates, and sporadic ones after that, but I’ve completely neglected my blog.  I’m so sorry.

You like to think you know how things will go when having a baby, especially with all the advice and tips you’re given, but nothing can ever fully prepare you as a first time mom and there are always little twists.  Things didn’t go quite as I expected, though I’m thankful to say I do have a healthy baby boy. We’ve just had a couple of bumps along the way.  Hence, my delayed post.

First off, I never went into labor.  My doctor wanted to induce me at thirty-nine weeks because of my “advanced age” at thirty-seven years old and the risks that come with that.  I insisted on waiting until I was full term at forty weeks.  That landed on a Sunday, though, so we waited one more day to induce.  I hoped that whole weekend I’d go into labor on my own and was definitely ready because you do become rather uncomfortable at that stage and just want the baby out.  It didn’t happen, so I checked into the labor and delivery ward at 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning (December 18th).  At first I was by myself, but my husband came as soon as he got off work an hour later and my aunt joined us a couple of hours after that.  She helped be part of my support team since my mother (her sister) passed away when I was a child, so I didn’t have her to be there for me.  Thanks so much, Aunt Connie!

They started the pitocin on a very low dose around 7 a.m. and it really wasn’t bad at first.  Regularly after that, the nurse came to up the dose a bit more.  Still, as the contractions began soon after, they didn’t seem too awful.  I even dilated a bit more in the first couple of hours.  Here is a picture of me that actually turned out rather good despite my being in early labor (keep this one in mind for the after giving birth photo of me, which is quite different).

My OB arrived a little after 9 a.m. and broke my water.  I’d been fearing that part because I knew things were likely to become painful after that.  The water breaking itself wasn’t bad at all, to my relief, and the contractions still weren’t too unbearable at first.  After about thirty minutes, though, they definitely became rather painful.  By a little after 1 p.m. I was in complete agony.  My husband slept through the painful part where I tried all sorts of breathing tricks and positions to make myself more comfortable.  With the IV and monitors it was impossible to walk, which would have been nice.  Thankfully, my aunt was there to help and I appreciated her support.

Around 1:30 p.m. my contractions were coming less than a minute apart so that I couldn’t get any relief before the next one began and I’d dilated to 5cm.  Despite my hoping to make it further along without pain killers, I was done.  There is no pain like labor and nothing can prepare you for it, especially if you have pitocin making it worse.  I decided that I’d lost any fear I had of a needle near my spine.  They could do whatever they wanted as long as they made me feel better.

The nurses were prepping me for the anesthesiologist when my husband finally woke up (the man can seriously sleep through anything).  He asked why I was getting pain killers since I’d hoped to avoid them.  He was lucky I didn’t have a knife within easy reach.  My aunt informed him that if he’d seen how much I’d been suffering for the last few hours then he wouldn’t ask that question.  So at around 2 p.m. I got my epidural.  I thought it would be awful to get, but in reality the needle hardly hurt at all.  It didn’t even rate on the pain scale compared to my contractions.  I had to wait another thirty minutes for it to fully work, but my God did it make a world of difference.  It’s hard to believe anything can make that kind of pain just disappear.  I think I fell in love with my anesthesiologist right then, she did such a great job.

My father showed up about an hour later.  Apparently, once I told him I’d gotten an epidural he decided it was safe to come visit me.  I think he was worried I’d start using all my military training on anyone near me once the pain got bad.  My husband is lucky to be alive is all I have to say.  Anyway, whenever the doctor or nurses needed to examine me, they just pulled the curtain across the sitting area of the hospital room to provide privacy (it was a large room that I got all to myself).  It worked well so my family could stay close and I was rather cheery for the next few hours.

My labor progressed fairly fast after that.  For some women, the epidural will slow their labor down, but for women like me it actually speeds it up because we’re no longer fighting the pain.  By 6 p.m. I was fully dilated and effaced and they could see the baby’s head and hair.  The only trouble was he wasn’t dropping low enough.  They had me try a few different positions to help him along, but he wasn’t moving.

We spent two hours with me pushing and the doctor trying to manually turn him with her hand because while he was upside down like he needed to be, he was facing sideways, which caused him to get stuck.  I was willing to try anything to help him move.   I should note by this point the epidural began wearing off on my left side.  That sucked, but it enabled me to feel when my contractions were coming, so at least there was that advantage when trying to push.  It also gave me enough feeling that I could try some different positions in the hopes it would help.

I was so desperate to have a vaginal birth.  After more than two hours of pushing (it was around 9 p.m.), I was getting exhausted, but still I wanted to keep trying.  The OB shook her head, saying he wasn’t budging and there was nothing more she could do to move him along.  He would have to come out via cesarean.  I cried and asked if she was sure.  She gave me an apologetic look, knowing how much I’d wanted to avoid a c-section, but we had no choice.

All the way to the OR I continued to cry and everyone consoled me the best they could.  Once we got to the doors, my husband couldn’t join me at first until they finished prepping me.  I pulled myself together, knowing I was doing what was best for my baby.  With my water broken that morning, we could only wait so long to get him out.  I gazed around at the surgery team and realized every one of them was a woman.  It was kind of surprising, but I loved how supportive and kind they were.  By this point, I’d vomited a few times because despite the fact I couldn’t feel much pain, my body still felt it on some level.  A nurse had to hold a bag next to my head so I could puke sideways one more time before they opened me up (by then the anesthesiologist had fixed my epidural so I couldn’t move from the waist down anymore).  She also poked a needle on my tummy to be sure I couldn’t feel anything.  I was totally numb.

They finished prepping me and let my husband join me at my side.  He was back in my good graces by then.  It’s sort of a blur from that point on until the OB pulled the baby out.  Her first words were “This is one big boy.  Where was she hiding him?”  The last ultrasound at 34 weeks had estimated he’d be between 8 1/2 to 9 pounds, but when my OB checked my fundal height each week after that I’d been measuring small.  No one guessed he’d be that big.

She lowered the curtain a little so my husband and I could get a peek at our son, Adam.  It was like love at first sight.  He did look big, not that I had a lot of experience in the matter of sizing babies, but the best part was seeing him for the first time and hearing him cry.  The poor little guy had a huge bump on one side of his head from me trying so hard to push him out (took a month for that bump to go away).  I felt awful I’d waited as long as I did to do a cecarean, so at that point I had no regrets about not having a vaginal birth anymore.  One can only imagine what it must feel like for a baby going through all that and then they’re born and poked and prodded from the moment they take their first breath.

They put him on the scale and he came in at 9 pounds 6 ounces (or 4.25 kg).  It’s no wonder I couldn’t breathe or get comfortable in those final weeks of pregnancy.  The poor guy was crammed in there tightly, which is why he hadn’t been able to move for delivery.  My husband was allowed to take pictures as they wiped him off and got a diaper on him.  He also got to re-cut the umbilical cord.

The hardest part about a cesarean has got to be that you’re stuck on the operating table through all that, hearing your baby cry but unable to reach him or do anything.  It was the longest wait, though they really do try to hurry.  I was so happy when they finally brought him to me and I was able to hold him while the OB stitched me back up.  Never in my life had I seen anything more beautiful or felt such strong emotions as I did when they tucked my son onto my chest.  It was amazing…and only took ten years of trying to get pregnant.  Even now, I look at him and can’t believe he’s really here.  I’d lost all hope of becoming a mother, so I definitely cherish having him that much more.

I was able to hold him for about ten minutes or so before they took him back and put him in the bassinet.  Once the OB was done with me, they moved us all to a post delivery room.  For an hour we had “family time” so it wasn’t until after that my aunt and father were able to come see the baby.  I was holding him and not letting go, but by then it was after 11 p.m. so they needed to head home soon anyway.  They returned the next day to see him again.

I didn’t sleep that night.  Partly because the nurses were coming and going so often that it was nearly impossible and partly because I was so excited to have my baby that I couldn’t sleep.  I worked on trying to breastfeed him (that first twenty-four hours is the toughest!) and I just soaked him in.  He was my little miracle and I didn’t want to miss a moment.  There was a lot more to the four days I stayed in the hospital, but I’ll get into that in my next post since this one is already super long.  For now, I’ll just share one more picture taken the next morning by a professional photographer.  We were lucky the baby cooperated so well and I did fix up my hair and make-up after getting a shower.

December 2017 update

My apologies that I haven’t updated sooner.  Third trimester pregnancy has been crazy and tougher than I imagined.  They say the older you are the more difficult it is (I’m 37), but I have no comparison to base that on myself so I have to take other people’s word for it.  I’ve also had old back injuries that grew exponentially worse as the baby got bigger and heavier, which meant I had to go to physical therapy for the last few months.  It didn’t cure the problem, but at least the therapist could help make the pain more bearable for me.

Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten nearly as much work done on my next book as I’d hoped.  On my better days I’ve mostly used that time to get ready for the baby.  I set up the nursery which was a lot of work because it was filled with boxes I hadn’t unpacked from my big move this summer, had my baby shower, got my vehicle detailed (it needed the kind of cleaning I couldn’t do at this point) and the husband and I also installed the car seat.  I’ve also been obsessed with keeping the house as clean as possible, and there’s been Christmas shopping to do.

I don’t want to bore you all with the minute details of my life, but if you’re interested in how my pregnancy is progressing you can see my regular updates in my Facebook Fan group.  On there, I posted a video tour of the baby’s nursery, shared pregnant pics of me, and I’ve gotten into more of the nitty-gritty stuff that some people may or may not want to hear.  As a treat, though, here’s a pic of me from  two days ago when I was just shy of 39 weeks along.

The Facebook fan group is also the place where I’ll update first after the baby is born because it’s easier and faster to post there and do all other social media when I have more time.  I will try to provide more updates on this blog later this month on how things are going and when my next books will be out.  Just please bear with me as this is going to be a hectic month.

Wishing everyone happy holidays!

 

 

 

Facebook Halloween Party

Just to let you all know, the third annual Haunted Halloween Reader Party kicks off today on Facebook.  This is a great chance to win prizes such as free books, Kindles, Amazon gift cards, and other goodies.  It’s all reader themed with most authors being from the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genres.

I know some of you have participated in it before and won some great stuff, so hope to see you there again.  Be sure to join the party and comment on posts to enter the many contests!  For me, I’ll be doing giveaways this Sunday (October 29th).  You should definitely check it out sooner than that, though, because I’m sure some of your other favorite writers will be there, as well as new ones to discover.  Below is the list of featured authors and which day they will be participating with giveaways:


October 27 – Anthea Sharp, Donna Augustine, Jennifer Blackstream
October 28 – Annie Bellet, Devon Monk, Shayne Silvers
October 29 – Amy Patrick, Jaye Wells, Susan Illene, Sarra Cannon
October 30 – Helen Harper, Phaedra Weldon, Debra Dunbar
October 31 – Shawntelle Madison, C. Gockel, Christine Pope

Hope to see you there!

 

Destined for Dreams release day!

Release day is finally here.  Join Cori and Bartol in this second installment as they face new challenges and discover new aspects about themselves.  You’ll also get to see many of your favorite characters from the Sensor Series, including Melena, Lucas, Emily, Kerbasi, Derrick, Kariann, and Tormod.  Plus updates on how things are going with the nerou.

I truly enjoyed writing this novel and hope you all enjoy reading it!

SUMMARY

Not all relationships are fun and games—especially in the supernatural world.

Cori and Bartol might be bonded mates, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to accept an eternity with each other. They are both wounded souls with tragic pasts that haunt them and not quite ready to trust anyone. But all that may have to be set aside with new problems threatening their future. A demon is on the rise, intent on conquering the world. Bartol may be the only one who can stop him. And Cori discovers she’s developed a mystical ability that could put her at odds with the supernatural community. They’ve got their work cut out for them if they want to survive the coming storm, but supporting each other just might be the answer if they’re willing to take a chance.

Destined for Dreams is the second installment in the Dark Destiny Trilogy. Join Cori and Bartol on their journey to finding love and redemption even under the most difficult circumstances.

*****

Word count– 103,000 (approximate)

Add to your Goodreads TBR list- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34831207-destined-for-dreams


RETAILER LINKS

AMAZON US     AMAZON UK

AMAZON DE     AMAZON AU

AMAZON CA    AMAZON FR

NOOK   KOBO   ITUNES

 

*Destined for Dreams will only be available for a limited time on Nook, Kobo, and iTunes before it will become exclusive to Amazon for the Kindle Unlimited program.  Grab your copy while you can!