The unexpected arrival of Isla
Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:59 PM
I felt quite good up until I finished work just before Christmas at 35 1/2 weeks, aside from bub pushing up under a rib causing a lot of rib and back pain. After the chaos of Christmas and all the accompanying family visits, we enjoyed a really nice New Year's Eve, our 10th anniversary of the first time we met, then a great night out at Gold Class for our anniversary of our first date. We settled in after that thinking we'd have a good few weeks to ourselves ( I was 37 + 5), DH went back to work on the 6th, I spent a relaxed day watching a movie and putting off the housework I figured I'd do the next day - then headed into town for an Obs appt.
This is where it gets interesting During the ultrasound in my obs office when he measured bubs heart beat it was very low, he monitored it for a minute, then took me into the next room where he had a proper trace monitor and watched that for a while and the heart rate did come back up slowly, but he was still quite concerned. He sent me down to the hospital to be put on a trace again, and he would come down to see me shortly.
When the Ob came down I'd been on the trace for a while and bubs heart rate was back up but he felt that without knowing what caused it and therefore if it would happen again, the safest thing to do was to deliver bub as soon as possible (not an emergency, but in the next few hours) so we were told I'd be going into surgery at 9:30 - it was about 7 at this stage. I called my mum, told her I was having a baby today and filled her in on why. DH went home to grab the hospital bag and sort a couple of things at home and I lay with the trace on feeling my darling girl kick away and trying to soak in my last few hours of pregnancy which was coming to such an abrupt end.
I ended up being taken down for surgery after 10:30 and after all the prep etc baby Isla was delivered at 11:23pm - it was such a surreal experience, the surgery itself, the suddenness of it all (no hours of labour to emotionally prepare to meet my baby) and the sudden rush of feelings when I saw her for the first time - I just knew she was mine I was so in love and DH was the same.
The Ob said there had been some bleeding on the placenta and combined with the fact that bub had basically run out of room and didn't have a lot of fluid around her may have been enough to put pressure on the cord and lower bubs heart rate. He sent the placenta off for testing so it will be interesting to see if there's any clues as to what went wrong.
My little miss Isla Christine was born at 37 weeks + 5 days, at 11:23 on January 6th weighing 3.2kg (7lb4oz) and was 49cm long. Considering I was expecting to go over my due date (she hadn't engaged by almost 38wks) and to have an 8lb or bigger baby (our family grow big babies) she was a surprise in every sense!
That's the story of Islas birth, the next few paragraphs are about the saga of my boob related issues that followed on - not such a lovely story but I'd like to share, I think as much for my own benefit - so feel free to skip the next 4 paragraphs
Initial attempts at breastfeeding looked promising, she latched well in recovery while we did skin to skin, but things went downhill fairly quickly. Within 12 hours I was painfully engorged and inflamed and being hand expressed as Isla wouldn't feed, she'd latch but pull away in frustration when she got nothing.
The swelling and inflammation got worse over the next few days, I was pumping, applying heat, being massaged, applying ice - everything the LC could think of to no avail - one pumping session of 20 minutes gave me 3ml I was such a mess, I cried my heart out to DH, and to the midwife and LC, I just didn't know what to do. I started taking antibiotics and Nurofen and we slowly started to see the inflammation and swelling subside and small increases in the output when I expressed. No one seemed to know what had gone wrong, most of the midwives hadn't seen anything like it - it wasn't mastitis, it was the entirety of both breasts, up to my armpits - ridiculously swollen to the point where I didn't think the skin could stretch any further
We came home on Monday after enough of an improvement to mean I was able to manage at home. I'm still on antibiotics and Nurofen, pumping every few hours, not getting a huge return but slowly improving. The plan at the moment is to try and get me producing enough that it would be a full feed for Isla - if we can do that then I can attempt to get her to latch again. We're finding it hard coordinating pumping, feeding and everything else but I had a follow up visit with the LC today and she's given me more strategies.
We're going to see how it goes for a week and decide at the next appointment if it's manageable to continue (if we are close to getting her on the breast) or if we want to switch to fully formula fed. I just feel so much of these early weeks is being taken up by these issues with my boobs and all the negativity with that, that I'm missing out on getting to know my baby and that we're making things so much harder for ourselves. So, I'm doing my best to not be so hard on myself but to be honest it's a real struggle. I'm finding the transition from being the 'go to' person at work who everyone relied on to know the answers to being a clueless first time parent who is constantly guessing so hard.
So - there you have it - Dramatic right from the start of pregnancy little Isla has made her safe entrance into the world and as hard as this first week has been I feel so blessed both to have her and to have my amazing DH who has been doing so much... Our little family has a lot to learn along the way but I couldn't feel more grateful to have them
Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:04 PM
Sorry to hear about your boob dramas. I had a very tough time getting my son to latch on and it was horrendous - it sounds like your issue is way worse. I wish I had some advice. I'm glad you're under the care of an LC, I hope that whatever ends up happening, you can make peace with it.
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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:18 PM
Sorry also to hear about your breast feeding dramas. I'm glad you've got the support of the Lactation consultant and I hope it all sorts itself out for you soon.
And if it doesn't and she needs to be formula fed then that is completely fine. You will do whatever is right for your little girl!! You're a mummy now so follow your instincts!!
Good luck with it all and please let us know how you're going.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:46 PM
Have you tried nipple shields? They were a life saver with both my bugs who struggled to latch. I hope working with the LC will help matters and you'll both be happy with feeding soon x
Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:52 PM
I've had big BFing issues both times around. Different to you but I understand how upsetting it is and how time consuming the pumping and topping up etc is. It was easier to manage second time as I was prepared but first time around it did cloud my first few weeks of parenthood. I hope you don't beat yourself up about it and do whatever feels right for your family.
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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:31 PM
Hope the boob situation improves for you and you've got more time to spend just gazing at your amazing little bubba.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:34 PM
I hope BFing improves or resolves itself. How stressful as you don't know what is causing it Thankfully you have lots of resources and help available to you, and if you need to, a huge selection of formula choices should you formula feed.
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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:16 AM
Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:38 AM
Sorry to hear of the breastfeeding issues -
So, I'm doing my best to not be so hard on myself but to be honest it's a real struggle. I'm finding the transition from being the 'go to' person at work who everyone relied on to know the answers to being a clueless first time parent who is constantly guessing so hard.
This was me so I absolutely empathise. I struggled with breastfeeding and after leaving hospital, I had no clue. We ended up pumping and pumping to bring the supply in and it took months before DD1 was exclusively breastfed. It was an excruciatingly painful emotional rollercoaster - being 'in the know' and in control to feeling so helpless and clueless.
Reach out if you need an ear or a hand with anything x
Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:34 PM
Thanks for sharing your birth story Ali, I'm so pleased your little girl has arrived safely. Whatever happens, you'll make it through together.
Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:23 PM
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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:34 PM
Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:44 PM
I'm sorry you're having a tough time with the feeding. Don't hesitate to shout out of you need anything, there's a great LC who is at the Kingston Beach Health centre if you think fresh eyes might help. Also the LCs at the Lactation Network out of the HPH are awesome.
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