Thursday, June 2, 2011

Welcome Baby Truman & My 18 Day Goal

On April 15th, we welcomed Truman Joe into our lives at 6lb/12oz, 20 inches. It was the opposite experience in every way from our daughter Francesca and I am finding out the post baby recovery and this baby are very different in general. More on that in a few but first, here are some pictures of our little man (at about four weeks old). 

 My blog today will be A LOT about the delivery and the experience of Tru being in the NICU for 3 weeks so if you are here to read about my fitness and health goals post baby (which I am TOTALLY cool with :)), scroll to the bottom. Otherwise, the beginning is my effort to capture our experience and share it with those of you who are interested.

Before I share the delivery (and post delivery) experience of Truman, let me refresh your memory on how Frankie arrived. I was 41 weeks (8 or 9 days over my due date) and started having contractions the night before she was born but they never got closer together and never got stronger. I called the doc the next AM and they told me to come in for a check up that afternoon. Jody and I were out having lunch and they called and said we could come in even earlier than the already scheduled appointment. We had the dog in the car and no hospital bad. When they tried to find her heartbeat (we didn't know it was a her at the time btw - both our babies have been surprises), a normally uneventful process, they couldn't and became very concerned. Without saying a word to us, the doctor called the OR and said she needed to do an immediate c-section. Needless to say, we were pretty caught off guard for what we thought would be a very different delivery experience. I was rushed to a room in the hospital stripped down and had my water broken and a node put on Frankie's head to get her vitals. She was fine - the doctor hypothesized that she just grabbed a hold of her umbilical cord and therefore they couldn't find her heart beat. At that point, I went into labor and started having contractions consistently - lasting longer and getting stronger - I was literally like a metronome. My water was broken around 4pm and I had Frankie 12 hours later.

With this pregnancy, I had been having what I thought were Braxton Hicks for a few weeks. I had also dilated to a 2 and was 70% effaced at my doc appointment just a week before I had him so I was moving a long MUCH faster than with Frankie. My original due date based on my recording of my last period had me at 38 weeks however in both of the level 2 ultra sounds I had (level 2 is when you have a really long ultra sound because of an increased risk factor - in my case age :)), the ultra sound doc wanted to move my due date as he though I wasn't as far along. The doctor actually changed my due date to May 7th (from April 28th) based on those two ultra sound. I was stubborn - insisting that I had my date correctly and they were just off because of the size of the baby. Frankie was small (only 7lbs, 1 oz at 41 weeks) and I was measuring the same and had gained the same weight so I dismissed the changed due date.

On Thursday April 14th, I had an AMAZING lunch with the CEO of our company and she shared some great news with me basically letting me know how invaluable I am to the company. I joked with her that I could have the baby now that she had shared that with me. :) Later that night, what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions got closer together and stronger and I started timing them only to realize they were real contractions (I didn't have these with Frankie so I was unsure what "going into labor" meant). I was actually pretty darn excited to go into labor as I was pretty miserable (I hadn't been sleeping much and chasing after a two year old while 9 months preggers is no fun) so I didn't think anything about it being early. I told Jody I thought this was "it" and we went to bed knowing that if the contractions continued while I was laying down, it was the real deal. I woke him up at midnight with a bag packed and said: "this is it". We called a close friend who came to the house to take care of Frankie (that's a great friend at 2am :)) and we headed to hospital. When we got there I was at 3CM and 90% effaced. The on call doc was concerned about me going early and said he might send me home but the new doc that came on call at 7am said that if he sent me home I would be back there in 24 hours to have a baby. Here we are in the hospital.

By about 11am I was 5CM dialated and 100% effaced so they broke my water. I told the doc that if he broke my water, I would be good to go after what happened with Frankie - my contractions would get closer together and we would have a baby shortly! :) So, that DID NOT happen. My contractions stopped getting stronger and closer together. I was going backwards pretty much! :) Anyhoo, the doc decided to give me Pitocin after a couple hours of nothing. At this point I had been at the hospital for a long time. Since I was already at a 5, things started to happen fairly quickly and at 6:49PM on April 15th Truman was born.
The birth experience was awesome as the doctor turned Truman as he was coming out so Jody could be the first one to see the "parts" and Jody shouted "it's a boy!!!! it's a boy!!". And then Truman peed all over me.

Truman was taken to the nursery for the traditional evaluation and later that night (around 9pm) the doctor came into to tell us Truman had been admitted to the NICU as he was having trouble breathing. It was a very scary moment but the doc explained it happens to a lot of babies born at 36/37 weeks. Truman was lacking surfactant and had RDS (respiratory distress syndrome). Surfactant is the substance that helps remove the amniotic fluid from a babies lungs after birth and RDS is the #1 thing that premature babies suffer from. Truman was given a synthetic surfactant and had to get four doses before he recovered. He started out on a nasal canula (the tube that goes under the nose) and later had to go on a respirator. It's pretty scary when your child is in the NICU and hooked up to tubes/wires, etc. Here is a picture of our little man with the respirator. I was able to hold him with the nasal canula but not with the respirator.
Overall it was a very traumatic experience to say the least and the opposite of what we experienced with Frankie. After he got through the RDS and the lung issue and he had turned the corner (the term the docs and nurses use when a baby is starting to show big signs of improvement), we were on track to getting ready to bring him home that Sunday night. I went in for a late night feeding and as I was holding him getting ready to feed him, his heart rate shot up to over 200. His temperature also started to increase progressively every few minutes they took it up to 102. While I was holding him, his head arched back and he appeared very lethargic and a little like he was having a seizure. I was scared to death and I could sense the nurse was concerned as well. I then asked her the most difficult question a mom could ask: "Do I need to leave so you can attend to him?" Deidre - one of the most wonderful and caring nurses in the NICU - looked at me with pleading eyes and said "Yes, I will call you when we have him stabilized."

I walked out of the NICU not knowing if I would see Truman alive again. Jody was at home with Frankie and Nana and I called him as I walked down the hall to our courtesy room. When Jody answered I asked him to hold on until I got into the room....I couldn't tell him what had just happened without collapsing. I made it to our room and fell apart explaining how Truman had reacted. He got in his car and raced up to see me. The doctors came into our room about two hours later (felt like 20 years) and explained they had him stabilized but weren't sure what was wrong.

The next day we learned that Tru had a staph infection and would need to be hospitalized for the 14 days required to be on IV antibiotics. While we were very sad to know he would have to stay that long, we were thrilled he was alive and well and they were able to identify the problem. The next two weeks would be a trial in testing my strength as I split my time between my daughter and the hospital. In the end, I chose to spend the week days at the hospital (30 minutes from our house - so an hour round trip) and the early mornings/evenings with Frankie. She is at such a fun age right now and knew she would appreciate my time with her while Truman would have very little memory of the event. In the end, I am glad I made that choice as her joy and energy kept me sane with all of the trauma of Truman.

Our family and friends were AMAZING. We received a constant stream of positive notes and calls from everyone and the prayers and love sent our way was incredible. We are so fortunate to have such a fantastic support network and I want to thank everyone for everything they did for us during that time.

We brought him home on Monday the 9th of May and we are thrilled to say he is as healthy as a horse. Has been a regular baby since! He's eating a TON more than Frankie did (every 2 - 2.5 hours) and he isn't sleeping as well as she did yet. But I have to remind myself that he is three weeks behind so at 7 weeks old, he is really only 4 weeks from his due date. I am hoping that his sleeping settles down before I go back to work in 18 days (OMG!!!). But 18 days to a baby is probably like 6 months to us adults.

Frankie is SUCH a proud big sister and loves him so much. She never got to meet him while in the hospital because kids aren't allowed in the NICU however we took her up to see him through the glass into the nursery. It was a very funny moment because I had her outside the NICU holding her up and Jody and his mom were inside holding Tru. When she saw him she stuck BOTH her thumbs in her mouth and started sucking. :) Here is a picture of her holding him and another where she gave him some crayons.

For me, I struggled for those three weeks with the incredible guilt I felt for having him early.....did I wish myself into labor? Did I workout too much? Did I not eat right? Did I skip too many days of prenatal vitamins? Did I do something wrong during pregnancy to cause this lung problem?

After a lot of introspection and long talks with my rock (Jody) and others, I know I didn't WISH myself into labor - Frankie was 41 weeks and trust me, if I could WISH my body into labor, I would have with her. :) I worked out LESS with Truman and less vigorously. With Frankie I often did weights in the AM and cardio in afternoon. With Tru, I usually just did one a day - not both. And I only missed a few days of vitamins. I ate the same with Tru - pretty much did everything the same so it really makes no sense why only that I did and there is a lesson in this experience somewhere.

I did feel really good about my pregnancy this go's a couple pic of me at about 36 weeks:
I did a combination of spinning, HIIT workouts and weights this pregnancy and gained about 23-24 pounds total. I gained 23 with Frankie (I think ;)) and was 125 when I got preggers with Truman (less than I weighed when I got pregnant with Frankie). Truman is 7 weeks old and I am 132lbs with VERY LITTLE exercise since I had little man and no modifications to my diet. In fact, I ate pretty crappy during the three weeks he was in the hospital. There were very little options for me in the hospital and to be honest, I probably comforted myself a bit through food.

The post delivery recovery was 10x better than it was with Frankie. I think my body going through it once was the main reason it was easier. He weighed close to the same weight as Frankie and the doc said had he gone to term he would have been over EIGHT lbs. Whoa. That's all I will say about that! :) I was able to walk right within a few hours so that was awesome (I couldn't walk for about 12 hours with Frankie).

I tried on some regular work clothes the other day and while all my clothes "fit" they don't fit the way I would like them to and some of my more fitted clothes don't really fit. :) So, I have 18 days until I return to work and have to dress NOT in sweats or stretchy type clothing. You moms out there know what I am talking about but when you are a  staying at home on mat leave and are breastfeeding all the time, you pretty much wear the most comfy clothes possible. Elastic or drawstring is your friend. And that's pretty much what I am wearing every day so the reality of regular dressing hasn't kicked in yet. Anyhoo, I am SO ready to get back to work but also want to feel "ok" about my post baby bod. The hubby tells me I look great ("you just had a baby babe") but that doesn't make ME feel like I look better.

So, I have an 18 day goal to lose about 3-4 pounds. Now, my husband (who is reading over my shoulder as I type this) won't think that's a lot of weight but for a 5'3" female, that is a big goal. Also, the weight may not be the best indicator - how my clothes fit will probably be better if I gain back any muscle.

How do I plan to do this?
1. Improve my diet. As I mentioned earlier, I haven't really been doing anything with my diet - eating as I like as often as I like.
2. Do some type of workout each day.

That said, I have to be very careful about not hosing my milk supply like I did after pregnancy. Essentially, when I tried to add back in my more intense workouts (and heavy lifting) my milk supply totally dropped. I started working out much later after Frankie and so I think my milk supply had already regulated. I am hoping by starting earlier I can trick my boobs into accepting workouts. ;) I have done a few supreme 90 workouts (25 minutes tops) and so far, it seems to be fine. Wednesday I did a supreme 90 shoulders and arms workout and did hill repeats pushing the stroller. About 25 minutes of lifting and another 25 minutes of cardio. Today I did a spin HIIT workout for 20 minutes.

I will check in with you guys every couple days and also do a before after abdominal pic. Wish me luck! Aw shucks, you all know luck has nothing to do with it - it's all preparation and dedication. :)

Love you guys!! XXOO


Anonymous said...

Got get 'em baby! I know it's been tough but hang in there.

You loving husband....

Ms. Anne said...

Im so glad you documented the experience in such detail.You look so strong as a pregnant woman in those pictures...DAMN! I seriously am dying to see you and your kids. I am so glad I can feel closer to you through this blog. I love you like crazy and am glad you have so much support and courage through all of this.