Saturday, May 26, 2007

Greetings all! Thank you so much for all the prayers, thoughts, words of encouragement and congratulations that you have sent our way this week. So sorry it’s taken so long to give a full update, but it’s been a whirlwind!

We were discharged from the hospital last Sunday afternoon and now things are finally “settling” down if you can call it that. Sebastian is a wonderful baby! He keeps us constantly entertained – it’s hard to not just look at him all the time! He is a very happy and hardly every fussy – we are actually getting up to four hours of consecutive sleep at time. We actually have to wake him up and convince him to eat. Just yesterday he started waking on his own though, and that is starting to happen every two hours…ekkks! Paul and I have been a good team to make it through the night. We’ve been to the pediatrician and all is well – he is gaining weight and is healthy overall.

Paul is a super daddy and is pitching in with everything – even getting up with me for the late night feedings and changing practically ALL poopy diapers! I’m not complaining! -=) My mom is staying with us and has been a huge help with meals, laundry and watching Sebastian when we need a break. Since he is sleeping so well for now, she is just coming over in the mornings and helping us out.

I am feeling pretty well except that I’ve developed a uterine infection called endometritis so I’m having to take antibiotics. My body is just tired and achy and I have to monitor my temperature to make sure that it doesn’t escalate. Luckily my doctors were able to see me quickly and get me the medicine I need to feel better. So I’m trying to relax and get rest and at the same time take good care of Sebastian – quite the challenge!

Below are several pictures from the past week –it’s so hard to decide what to post because he is just so cute!

Also, after the pictures is a longer version of our labor story. Some of you may or may not be interested in the details, so read with caution if you don’t want all the details!

Baby Sebastian at the hospital.

Welcome home Sebastian!

Sebastian's first package - a cute froggy playmat

from cousins Arlene and Jonathan. Thank you!

Welcoming Baby Sebastian – “the long version with details”

At our last appointment with the doctor, he gave us the option of scheduling an induction a few days before my due date due to the possible size of the baby. Because we really hoped to have a vaginal delivery, going a few days early could only increase our chances of not having to have a c-section. We were prepared for either scenario, but figured this was the best chance we had so we went a head and scheduled an appointment to get induced at 5 am on Thursday, May 17.

Well, we got a phone call at 2 am from the hospital telling us that they had no rooms available for a 5 am induction so we needed to come in at 8 am. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear the phone ring in the middle of the night and ended up waking up at 4 am, got dressed and began eating breakfast when we checked the machine and realized we needed to go a little later. As Paul put it, it was like telling a little kid to go back to bed on Christmas morning.

We left for the hospital and arrived a bit before 8 am. Two other girls, both overdue, were also there for inductions. After much impatient waiting, we finally got a room, filled out lots of paper work, and they got me hooked up to an IV and some pitocin to help my labor begin. The nurses all seemed very impressed that for my first baby I was already 4 cm dilated and 50% effaced. The first few hours were actually comfortable – we watched TV, visited with Paul’s parents and enjoyed watching the monitors I was on that tracked the baby’s heartbeat and my so far only mildly uncomfortable contractions. Around 3 pm, the doctor came in to check me and he was pleased with my progress at 5 cm and decided to break my water to get things moving a bit faster.

That’s when things started to pick up speed and get fun! I was managing my contractions pretty well for about 2 ½ hours, and then they started to get pretty painful. I managed through the painful contractions for about another 2 hours when I decided that I really didn’t want to wait any longer to get pain medication. I was begging for the epidural for about an hour because the anesthesiologist was in a c-section. I was in serious pain!! Come to find out that I was already 7 cm and the anesthesiologist said I really shouldn’t have waited so long. Wow! I was pretty proud of myself. I really wanted to try to do it unmedicated, but I am very pleased with how things went. Now, I am glad that I went as long as I did for the experience, but I am DEFINETLY a fan of the epidural. =)

By the time I go the epidural it was about 8 pm and the relief was instant. I even took a nap! Around midnight I was 9 ½ cm and the nurse and doctor said that soon it would be time to start pushing. The active pushing phase lasted about 1 ½ hours – I guess that’s pretty good for a first time mom according to the nurses and doctor. The first 45 minutes were uncomfortable, but not terribly painful, but once I got into the home stretch it started to be much more painful. Paul, my mom and my Aunt Monica were all with me in the labor room helping me get through it. I was always encouraged as they kept seeing Sebastian’s little head and they kept saying how much hair he had. I knew it couldn’t be too much longer.

Finally, the nurse called the doctor in since it was almost time for the final pushes. Once Doctor Cacciatore (yes, that’s really his name – very Italian too!) came in it was only 4 or 5 more pushes before Sebastian came out on May 18 at 1:51 am. They handed him to me right away and it was amazing. I’ve never in my life experienced something like that. They quickly took him though to make sure all was well and as we had agreed Paul stayed with Sebastian the whole time so he knew exactly what was happening.

As the doctor was finishing with me, I think that last part was worse than the actual delivery. Besides the fact that I tore, I had many blood clots in my uterus that had to be removed and I burst a capillary in the surrounding area. I lost a lot of blood and for about two or three hours I was very nauseous, had the shakes and was just plain out of it. Once they moved me out of Labor and Delivery I began to feel much better.

Our two nights at the hospital were eternal. It seemed we could never get sleep between learning how to tend to Sebastian and then all the nurses coming in every few hours. By Sunday we were certainly ready to head home.

We visited the pediatrician on Monday and Tuesday to make sure that Sebastian’s weight was doing okay because my milk hadn’t really come in yet and he was down to 7 lbs, 11 oz when we left the hospital. He asked us to supplement with formula, which we are doing occasionally if we absolutely have to, but I am pretty adamant about breastfeeding so we are now just feeding him anytime he wants to stimulate my milk supply. Things are going much better now and he is eating much more consistently.

Wednesday I went to my doctor because I had a urinary tract infection (not fun!) and got medication for that but within 24 hours I was still feeling like something was wrong and started to run a temperature and have terrible chills and body aches. I called our nurse hotline and they told me to go to the ER if it didn’t get better by the evening. I was a wreck – I was so upset and scared and of course didn’t want to leave my baby. Luckily, we monitored my fever throughout the night and my temperature didn’t escalate again until 5 am so I just called my OB in the morning and they fit me in right away. It turns out my doctor thinks I have endometritis, a type of inflammation and infection of the membranes that line the uterus. It’s one of the most common infections that follows childbirth and usually has to be treated in the hospital, but luckily Dr. Cacciatore believes my case is still mild enough for me to treat at home. I’m taking medication now and haven’t had a fever at all today. Hopefully it will stay that way because if it does spike up past 102 I’ll have to be admitted to the hospital. So keep me in your prayers!

So that’s the long labor story with all the details. Long and short of it all is that it was an experience I will never forget and will forever be one of the happiest days of my life. Sebastian is our little miracle, our angel and I can’t believe it each day when I realize how blessed we are to have such a beautiful family.


Father Tim said...

Sorry for the ups and downs, but it definitely sounds like an "up" overall!!! Congratulations!!!! Love, Father Tim.

Mayra said...

Cristina, Paul y Sebastian: Since I couldn't actually be there, I loved hearing the full story. These first days will probably go by in a blur, but the experience is unforgettable. Cristina, let us know how you are doing. We'll call this weekend. It's hard to figure out a convenient time to call (convenient for Sebastian), but we'll chance it. Hope the breastfeeding is going well.Best wishes!! Mayra