Friday, September 2, 2011

New Guy Is Here At Last

Charles Abraham Cordano Leonard was born August 31st and 10:05am weighing 7lbs 2 oz at 20" long. He'll go by Charlie. We are in love with him. As much as I cringe in writing this (it's the kind of turn of phrase that usually makes me want to gag) his birth was a deeply healing experience.

There are these kind of birthmarks called "stork bites" or "angel kisses" that tend to fade within the year. T had some on his nose and eyelid. C has them all over his face, but the best one is the lightening bolt on his forehead. He's my little Harry Potter.

I can't wait to write about trips number 3 and 4 to the hospital, and his delivery. Especially his delivery. That is going to be one happy post. But I'm going to skip ahead to about 6 hours postpartum first. Get the kind of gross story out of the way so I can really focus on the happy stuff. First, let me assure you guys that I, and most importantly C, are 100% fine. Second, I know, I know, if it's not one thing it's the other with me, but certainly nothing is every easy...

Bare bones: I hemorrhaged kind of a lot. The amazing staff at this hospital handled it with compassion and efficiency. Everything is totally cool now.

Details: Postpartum it appeared that my uterus was shrinking nicely. The bleeding made me nervous, but it was more the memory of what happened postpartum with T than a super excessive amount of blood. Z was monitoring things for me and when I suddenly passed a large clot he sort of freaked and grabbed the nurse. The nurse and I thought he was being nuts. But then more came out, and then more. And then the nurse got her supervisor. The supervisor thought it wasn't a big deal. But then more came out while she was there. And then more. And the supervisor got a resident. During this process my parents and T arrived and got to see C for about 15 seconds before they were hustled out to the waiting room. 

The resident started pulling really large clots out. It was painful, I was starting to have contractions again, and I was really starting to panic. Z went to the waiting room and sent my folks and T away. I'm pretty grateful about that part because they didn't hear the screaming that came a few minutes later. A call was placed to my doc. The chief resident came in. So did a third resident who had experience with "boggy" uteruses. They were trying to be gentle because I had a 3rd degree tear along with several other tears (will explain about that in the birth post to come). But they were reaching into my uterus to get at the clotting. It hurt more than the contractions before I got the epidural. That's when I started screaming. I'm deeply ashamed that I also started begging the poor woman who was helping me by taking away the clots to stop hurting me. Z was by my side the whole time, usually he is incredibly stoic during crisises, but he was terrified.

Meds were being administered to try and contract the uterus, lots of pitocin in an IV, a shot of something in my thigh, tablets wedged between my cheeks and jaw that slowly disolved, pink pills. And the amount of clots combined with the blood flow was completely overwhelming. And the pain, the pain felt never ending. Finally the docs seemed sure all the clots were out. The bleeding began to slow. They cleaned me up and the bleeding stayed under control. Everyone became much less worried.

So what the hell happened? There was no retained placenta. A clot blocked the flow of blood, so a bunch of blood got caught behind it. And more clots formed. And more blood got caught behind them. And so on and so on and so on. My uterus seemed to be shrinking and firming up, the bogginess was sporadic. And when they pressed on my belly and it would seem soft, some blood would squirt out (sounds gross, totally normal postpartum) and it would feel firm again. My medical care was excellent. It's my uterus that is the problem.

The upshot is I lost more than a liter of blood, so I've been pretty damn weak. But I don't need a transfusion. They are giving me iron pills and vitamin C tabs to help with absorption. As painful as the vaginal and rectal areas are, it isn't as bad as it was with T. I've been rockin' the percocet and they are going to send me home with a prescription for more. My recovery is going to be a bit longer, but my folks are here to help. Z has been amazing. And best of all, Charlie is total perfection.

I'm leaving a bunch of stuff out, but it's the middle of the night. The only reason I'm up is because the percocet has worn off and I'm waiting for more. The climb out of the haze of pain relief and into my ladybits throbbing and burning sucks and I couldn't sleep.

Again I want to emphasize that everything is now cool. I'm still going home tomorrow afternoon. C is doing a great job nursing. T thinks C is the most awesome thing going. My care at the hospital has been fantastic, both by the nursing staff and the doctors. Doc B showed up briefly after the hemorrhage to check on me. She checked on me again early this morning and my wonderful Doc A was here later in the morning. It's easy feel relaxed about this whole thing when the care I've received has been so wonderful.

OK, now that we have the unpleasantness out of the way the next post will be full of the warm fuzzies and details about C, all the really blissed out good stuff.

I think we're gonna keep him. 

Yup, definitely. 

Doesn't Z look particularly handsome here? 

T dropped to the floor and begged to hold him when he first arrived. He cried when anyone else tried to take a turn. He says C is his baby.


  1. Congratulations! C is precious! Reading blogs like this terrify my for having babies on the one hand, but it's also good for me to know what's potentially down the road. It's both incredible and comforting that women and doctors do this all the time! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pain part sucks, blood part sucks, but Charlie is so totally sound so happy! You rock!

  3. I'm so so happy for you all. You look beautiful.

  4. Tap tap tap. Waiting for the post that spins childbirth as blissful......

    Cool baby! More pics please!

  5. J-I know, I know. Forgot how overwhelming the first few weeks postpartum are. I'll try to write tomorrow. The birth really was awesome. It's just the stuff that happened a few hours later that's made recovery a bit of a bitch. And I just posted a new album on FB.