Saturday, August 25, 2012

The First Days with Peter...

...have been rough. I want to chronicle things here for reference later on, but mostly because I think it is therapeutic to write out the emotional toughies.

I have to say the biggest emotional hurdle for me is my guilt.

Guilt that they talked me into an induction. Because I was fearful of a terrible labor on pitocin, I opted for an epidural for the first time in 20 years. As I reached the transitional phase of labor, Peter began to be distressed. His heart rate plummeted and there was a great commotion to try and help him. Luckily, we got him here quickly and safely, but I immediately felt guilty for having chosen this path.

When we came home two days later, Peter had lost half a pound. Not unusual for a breast-fed baby, but as my milk became more abundant, Peter was not plumping up like I expected. It took him forever to feed and was still hungry. At a weight check on Saturday morning, he had not gained any weight. He had not lost any more, but neither had he gained. I decided to call the lactation consultant the hospital had available for us to ask her advice. I got no response for two days. Finally on Tuesday, she returned my call and we planned to meet the next day.

However, right before she called, I was laying Peter down after a feeding. I am pretty sure I witnessed him have a 7-10 second seizure. This was around 5 in the afternoon. I knew we had an appointment for another weight check in the morning and I could wait until then or I could take him into the ER. After discussing it over with Tony, the lactation consultant and my sister who is a pediatric nurse, we decided it would be best to take him on in that evening to be safe. Cue the guilt.

Guilt because they put him through so much only to send us home to wait for our morning appointment. They kept trying to draw blood and they kept failing. Peter cried and cried. I cried and cried. Tears of fear, tears of frustration, so many tears. It was horrible for both of us and I was exhausted by this point.

The next morning, the lactation consultant worked with me for two hours. She determined that Peter was tongue-tied and put in a referral to the ENT to have his tongue and his upper phrenulum clipped. We did that on Friday. Tony was with me this time for emotional support. I decided to let the nurses hold him for the procedure so he would not associate what was happening to him with me in any way. Of course he cried again. But I was not prepared to see how much they actually clipped his tongue. It frightened me to look at it. And then, we got home. And he could not nurse at all. He couldn't figure it out. He just rooted and rooted and could not latch on. My heart broke all over again and the tears flowed for my sweet, sweet boy who was enduring so much. Finally, Friday evening he figured out how to use his tongue and drank his fill. He even got so much in a mouthful that he choked. Sweet relief for the mama, I tell you. Some of my guilt subsided. Some.

All I want is to batten down the hatches and stay at home with my new baby and enjoy every single second of this precious newborn age. We are far from done with the doctor visits though. Monday we go back to see if his weight is improving. Thursday, we head to the neurologist for an EEG. I am so thankful that Tony has this time off and can help me. Olivia went back to school this past Monday and Sophie leaves for Franciscan this weekend.

The kids all love Peter whole-heartedly, even Therese, who I was slightly worried about. She leans over the basket he sleeps in and kisses him (maybe that's why he doesn't sleep for very long), saying "My Peter". As soon as he awakens, they beg to hold him. They are going slightly stir-crazy though and I am thinking of trying to do some partial school days next week to help us ease into the school year.

That is about all for now. I expect he will awake very soon, and I want to lay down for a few minutes before he does.








12 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry this time with your baby has been stressful. I know that logically you know guiilty feelings are not productive. But I also know the post-partum period is not necessarily logical for anyone. Please try not to feel guilty. Millions of women have had epidurals with no ill effects. I had four epidurals, one induction, pitocin three times and all four babies started out differently.
    My Joshua was a struggling nurser. It took him a whole month to get it and I suffered through blood clots and mastitis and boy did I cry. Every single day. But he learned and he was a champion once he got it (and he is still like that today -- it takes him a while to get something but once he masters it he's gold!) he could empty a breast in less than five minutes.
    I will offer up prayers for you, and remember you and baby Peter in Mass tomorrow. Keep resting -- that will get you through like nothing else. God bless.

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    1. The post-partum time is definitely not a logical time! I am so groggy right now that I am on autopilot most of the time. Can you believe I got lost on my way to Mass last night? I got there 10 minutes late by the time I got my bearings! Thank you for the prayers.

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  2. Oh, Jenny, we are so close together in hearts.I cried through your whole post. Your sweet Peter is only a newborn, it brings me back to when Simeon was born and all we went through, and how now, going through similiar things, it is easier and just as hard at the same time. (right now, we are waiting for his day long day of tests to check the obstruction in his ureter and then if it's still there, plan for surgery, which, now, after having a surgery already, is not as scary as it was back in January right after he was born)

    That being said, sweet little Peter is just so beautiful. So beautiful, Jenny, you have the most beautiful-est babies!!!!!!

    You and your whole family are in my prayers...and tears.

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    1. Little Simeon has had some extra prayers these last couple of weeks. I think of you and him often as we are sitting in the waiting rooms and I offer up a little prayer for you guys.

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  3. Oh, Jenny - he's just so beautiful! With that lovely, dark hair that all your babies have. So sorry about the first week - I know so many people who have had to have the tongue-clipping. But I assure you it really helps. I'll bet he's plumping up in no time. My prayers for good results from the EEG. And some sleep for you!

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    1. Thanks Kris for all the supportive words and prayers! His lip already looks almost completely healed, but his tongue will take longer. He is nursing better and I decided that all that charting of feedings was just adding to the stress. I just let him nurse whenever he wants and we are both more relaxed.

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    2. Isn't it funny how after all these babies, you still worry like it's the first one??!! Our lot in life as mothers. Glad he's looking and feeling better.

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  4. He really is a beautiful boy, and he very much resembles his siblings! I am praying for you and for him, and for your entire family. May God bless you, hold you all close to His heart, and bring you safe through this storm.

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    1. Jennie, thank you for all the prayers. I know all these prayers are helping to calm my anxieties so that I can just love on my sweet little guy. I have been praying for you all as well. I hope that David's surgery was successful and that he is healing nicely.

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  5. I'm so sorry you are going through a rough time. Postpartum really stinks and messes with us BIG time! I had some breastfeeding issues with Sam and had to work with a LC for a couple of hours and it was rough. Now he is dealing with reflux and after every feeding he arches his back and screams in pain. I've fried a lot of tears over that. Praying that all goes well and that you find peace and happiness soon!

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    1. Oh! Reflux! That is so hard. I will pray that Sam will quickly get through this phase. I love his name by the way. It was my first choice this time around but it has already been used in our family and I thought it would be too confusing.

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  6. So sorry it was so tough. Mother guilt is the worst. Hope it's all fled away by now, like a dark crow who couldn't find a thing to eat. You are such a good mama. Your boy certainly looks like the rest of the family. He belongs!

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