Friday, September 23, 2016

The Aftermath

I had had my VBAC. I should have felt elated it. I had done "it"! The thing physicians don't "let" women do! I had a cesarean, and then a vaginal birth!

I had pre-eclampsia, and then a normal birth!

I should have felt such satisfaction over what I had accomplished, but I didn't. I felt like a failure.

For almost the entire laboring process, I felt like I couldn't do it. Then I did it, but I felt like I couldn't take ownership of that win because I hadn't charged in with my mind set and determined that I would be victorious. I basically just floundered my way through it while my inner dialogue was negative.

Because of that, I felt like I couldn't celebrate. My sister Kari, who rarely left my side throughout the entire process hugged me and said, "You did it! You got your VBAC!" and I said "Yeah, by the skin of my teeth." I could tell she was not happy that I wasn't celebrating. I felt unworthy.

We were transferred to another room in the middle of my meal. I was dying to see Shepherd but they wouldn't let him up because of flu season - ugh. But our nurses made a quick meeting in the hallway happen. I missed my boy.

We spent three nights in the hospital, fighting against jaundice (again!!!!!) but were finally released as long as we promised to go to the doctor the next morning. Her levels were still too high the next morning so we were readmitted less than 24 hours later into the hospital here in Hanford, so that she could do light therapy. I was alone, extremely emotional and was going on five days with little to no sleep. I took pictures and sent them to Bryan.

Still healing, bleeding and extremely sore, on my own in a hospital. Lauriana would just scream and scream in the light box, so we ended up moving the light over me. I was up basically all night. I kept the light over us, did lots of skin to skin. Lots of nursing. I was using the shield because I was having the same issues I had with Shepherd. We got her tongue tie checked in the hospital but the doctor didn't feel there was an issue.

We would struggle for four more months before going to have her tongue tie addressed, but our struggles didn't end there. Everything with this girl, from labor, to breastfeeding, to sleeping is hard fought. 

It's so hard to celebrate the wins when you feel like such a failure. Something that is so natural and part of every day life shouldn't be so difficult. So why is it for me? Why does the entire journey have to be hard? Can't a girl catch a break? 

Apparently not. This was just the beginning. 2016 held some of the highest of highs, and lowest of lows. I have felt like a failure as a mom, a woman and as a career woman. I have been knocked down countless times this year, but have soldiered on. 

Because, I mean, what other option is there? 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lauriana Jean

**The photos below are of a real life, total normal birth. This is womanhood and shouldn't require a disclaimer. Seeing birth should be as normal as watching a sunrise. However....if you needed a warning, this is it. 

I remember looking at the clock right before starting to push and thinking, okay, like ten minutes and I'll be done. Just have to get through this. 

Two hours later, the small amounts of energy I had gathered from resting was gone. I had been given oxygen in between pushes because I was starting to have mini panic attacks but Bryan and Chanah would talk me down after pushing.

My sister and Chanah kept telling me I was so close, SO CLOSE, There came a time where I just wanted to scream that I didn't feel close! I mean, goodness. I could feel that I was making progress but for heavens sakes - they made it seem like she was practically out already! But soon enough, they started saying that her head was crowning. 

I worked hard to get her head and shoulders out. It took everything I had to push her out, but once the shoulders were out, I was basically done. I could feel her just....fall out. 

The cord was wrapped around her neck and they were very concerned that it had been almost 24 hours since my water broke. They wouldn't let her cord pulse, unfortunately, and I wasn't able to do the breast crawl. They let me see her face for a moment and then took her to check vitals. 

Bryan didn't want to leave me, but we have a rule that he goes where the baby goes. No matter what. He had to reassure me first, but he did end up walking over to make sure Lauriana was safe.

I had to deliver the placenta and get stitched up, which was a cake walk, basically. except that the doctor pulled on the cord and I was not stoked on that. One of the main reasons I wanted to have a natural birth was because I wanted to feel what it was like after birth. You know, the high I've heard so much about. 

Welp, I did have an epidural for a while so I'm sure some was still in my system, but it was INCREDIBLE. I felt amazing once it was done. I just wanted my girl and some food. I also missed Shepherd intensely. 

Finally though, I was given my girl. 

I did it. She was finally here. And she's perfect.