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Ezra was born September 7th, 10:32 PM. He weighed 9 lbs 13 oz and was 21 1/2 inches long.
When I ended up delivering Ezra by cesarean (that is a long story in itself which I will post about later), it was immensely difficult. But if I had known then what my recovery would be like, I don’t think it would have been so traumatizing.
The 3-day recovery stay in the hospital seemed normal to me. Yes, I was tired, sore, weepy, and not sleeping or eating well. Ezra wasn’t really feeding with me (he wouldn’t nurse), so I knew we would have some breastfeeding difficulties, but I didn’t really realize what was happening in my body. I just wanted to go home and was released on Friday.
Over the weekend, things didn’t really get any better. I was feeling even worse, more weepy, short of breath, dizzy, and nauseated. I had Amy, the leader of La Leche League for our county, over on Sunday to help me work with Ezra on the breastfeeding. Now he is finger (syringe) feeding immensely well. I purchased a Medela electric breast pump to help me with the feedings. Ezra went through several days (from Friday-Sunday) with no poopy or wet diapers, which had me about to take him to the ER on Sunday, but Sunday night things started to regulate with him. I had never been so excited about poop in my life. I was still very concerned about his weight though.
On Monday,we took him in for his well-baby 1 week appointment. We were thrilled with the news that he had gained back weight from discharge (was now 8 lbs 15 oz) and was a perfectly normal healthy baby boy.
On the downside, I almost passed out in the waiting room and was sent straight to the ER, where I spent 7 hours on Monday. I have a UTI and am severely anemic. If I remember correctly, my hemoglobin level was 7.2 (when normal is about 12). They also did a CT scan for bloodclots in the lungs which came back negative. (This meant that I had to dump my breastmilk for 24 hours and put Ezra on formula.) The doctors and I opted not to do a blood transfusion as it would have meant a night’s stay in the hospital. They sent me home for the night and told me to follow up with the OB clinic at sick call in the morning, and let them decide whether or not to transfuse me.
I saw a certified nurse midwife and the doctor who delivered Ezra on Tuesday morning, and they both felt confident that with the iron supplements and folic acid, while it would be a long recovery, I would be better off not having a transfusion due to all the risks involved.
By Tuesday evening, I was back to feeding Ezra breast milk through the syringe. When trying to breastfeed, it seemed like he was beginning to latch on, so I was very hopeful.
However, I started feeling even worse. I had a migraine from the spinal anesthesia I had with the surgery. Then the shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat I was experiencing from the anemia were making it very difficult to sleep, as I felt like I was suffocating. I would wake up in a panic. I kept trying to sleep, but things didn’t get any better. By late in the evening, every time I tried to sleep, my extremities started going numb. I was very fearful that things weren’t normal. I called labor and delivery and they recommended I go back to the ER.
At the ER, they retested my blood and my hemoglobin had risen slightly. They told me that all of my symptoms, as scary and unpleasant as they were, didn’t have me in any danger and were simply a result of the anemia. But as I had only had about 30 hours of genuine sleep in the last week, they prescribed me a sleep aid and told me it was imperative above all else that I SLEEP! The medicine meant that I couldn’t give Ezra my breast milk (again), but it helped me to sleep. I got 6 hours during the day on Wednesday and slept for about 9 hours on Wednesday evening.
I rested fairly well on Thursday during the day, but didn’t really sleep. By that evening I was exhausted, but when I went to take the sleep medication, I couldn’t keep it down. It tasted so horrible that I ended up throwing up. It was at this point that I made the decision to go off of the sleep medication as it seemed my body was starting to regulate itself a bit on its own, and because I wanted to get back to breastfeeding. I took a tylenol PM instead and slept well last night (aside from getting up to feed the baby) and have napped a bit today.
I will be following up at the OB clinic on Tuesday morning. Afterwards, we have Ezra’s 2 week well-baby appointment and will be meeting with a lactation consultant at the pediatric clinic.
Ezra is doing amazingly well through all of this. He is a pure angel and only fusses when he is hungry. He’s spent hours just sleeping away in his carseat at the ER as though the world doesn’t exist. It seems he is following a eat-every-four-hours schedule which is nice for me because it gives me long periods of time to sleep. Russ has also helped a lot with the syringe feeding.
They are telling me it will take me a good month or possibly even several months to get my hemoglobin levels up and start feeling “normal.” Russ has to go back to work on Monday, so as of next week I will pretty much be on my own during the days trying to rest while dealing with all of this. Thankfully, I have some amazing friends in the area, and I already have meals lined up for 3-4 times each week through the first of October.
Anyway, I know that this was very lengthy and detailed, but I desperately need your prayers at this time.