Birth Story

Assalamu alaykum one and all ;)

We are moving beyond two weeks old, and life has changed dramatically. I am pleased to announce that iBaby now has a better understanding of night and day, and is actually sleeping 3hrs at once. Not bad mashaallah!

So for those of you that like more details, here are the rest:

Due to health reasons I had to be induced on a Friday night. The drive to the hospital was so exciting because now it was my turn, not someone elses. I work in the hospital I delivered at, so I always wondered what happened on the labor and delivery unit. The curiosity was killing me.

By 4am-ish, labor began, and by late morning, my membranes were ruptured and labor was in full swing. I still couldn't believe that I was having a baby, and my husband and I were full of anticipation. I just could not wait to push the little guy out, after a long pregnancy riddled with health concerns. The nurses and my doctor were phenomenal. You would never know that they were overflowing with patients and other deliveries by the individual care and attention they gave us.

The anesthesiologist came to place an epidural, and of course, he immediately asked my husband where he was from (he has an accent), and then assumed I converted to Islam for him!!!! You would think that someone with is degree of education and sensitivity training would know better. Anywho, it turned out he was from India and was interested in visiting my husband's country.... and then went on to say that all religions have their trials and troubles etc.....including his own (Hinduism). I left it alone, I just wanted to get rid of the pain.

By late afternoon, I was still 4cm, despite the wicked contractions. I had not made any progress, not even with the hard contractions and the addition of pitocin. By early evening my doctor discussed the inevitable: c-section. Two words I did not want to hear. I came all this way, and was almost at the halfway point! iBaby's head would not come down, and I carried Group B Strep, so the longer he stayed in there with membranes open, the greater the chance of infection. Of course, at that point my glucose kept dropping too low, and my blood pressure was getting too high, and I agreed to the surgery. I just wanted iBaby to be healthy and sound, and didn't really care how he came out.

Around 730pm ish I was wheeled into the O.R., it seemed so cold and sterile, and there was a rush of people moving about. I was strapped down, on the table, with plenty of reassurance from the entire team that everything was going to be OK, because I was terrified. When they re-medicated my epidural, it was different this time. I couldn't feel my legs, nor could move AT ALL. I was paralyzed. I couldn't even use my abdomen/chest muscles to clear my throat. Scary. Alhamdulillah it was only temporary. the shakes began, and I couldn't even speak. Once my husband was allowed in, I calmed down, and the surgery began (I didn't even know it!).

Alas, at 8pm, we heard the most robust cry, and I caught a glimpse of our munchkin on his way to be cleaned up by the nurses. He looked HUGE. Long, skinny feet. Perfect lips and chin. Black peach fuzz for hair. Just adorable. I was able to see him for about a minute and then he was whisked away to the nursery because his glucose was low.

About 4 hours later, after I left the recovery room, and I was stable, I finally got to hold our son. I was somewhat drugged up, but I remember feeling like I was on a cloud, he was so warm and soft and ALERT! He was so bright eyed and calm; we melted into him. I'll never forget it. Ever.

So, overall, it wasn't the ideal birth I had fantasized about. Allahu Alim, it was nothing like I had imagined. It was the opposite of what I hoped for. While I wasn't aiming for a totally natural birth, I mourn the no pushing, no release from the labor pains, no closure to the physical aspect of pregnancy and labor. I know in time, these feeling will leave me, as I work through them. We have a perfect, healthy baby. I could never ask for a better outcome. Alhamdulillah, we were placed in the hands of very capable people who provided excellent care.

The incision is healing well alhamdulillah. It still hurts, but it is not nearly as bad as days 4-5. That was the worst, and it's behind me now. My husband returns to work tomorrow (waaaaah), and I will be trapped in our house, as he works 12hr shifts and I cannot get down the steps myself, nor can I carry the baby down the steps, especially in his car seat. I can't drive yet anyway. I would like to take daily mini-walks, so perhaps I can arrange for a family member to help me with that. It really helps with the healing, and the weather is gorgeous right now. Spring is in full swing.

I had a very bad case of the blues until about 5 days ago-it was atrocious. I couldn't stop crying- everything overwhelmed and upset me, and the nursing seemed like a hopeless disaster. I felt like my body failed me again. To boot, no one mentioend baby blues- only post partum depression and how common it is, blah blah blah. So then I was worried on top of everything else, that I was abnormal, I was ashamed to say anything and kept it all in. Alhamdulillah a good friend shared her experience with me, and then I realized it was kind of normal. I branched out and asked others, and they all agreed. It felt like a weight had been lifted and I haven't been upset since (I kept forgetting I had surgery and that I need to heal too). I didn't ask for any visitors except immediate family, because I could barely get dressed and hobble around. I would get upset when visitors would just pop-in or call, as it seemed I was chained to my breast pump or the baby, and didn't feel comfortable with it yet (Im still not-it's not something I feel I can do in front of others). Nursing has been a real challenge, and we still have some kinks to work out. Inshaallah it will be successful. He's on pure breast milk thus far and I have not had to supplement with formula in a week! For now, he gets me 4 times a day, and nurses rigorously for about 30 minutes before passing out. It holds him for 3 hours! At night I need to give my parts a rest, as they are quite painful right now- hence he gets pumped milk in a bottle. He is happy either way ;) Mashallah he is thriving and gaining weight.

My husband has been great, in the hospital and at home. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, helping me nurse (he knows a lot more than I thought he would), changing and cleaning iBaby, grocery shopping and just loving us. He has been emotionally supportive through the mini break downs too. I love watching his relationship with our son flourish. It is just the purest joy.

I have to go now, iBaby ate 1 hour ago, so I should shower and grab a mini nap before he wakes up inshaallah. My breast pump is malfunctioning and I need to return it ASAP.
Thanks for reading, and I'll be back inshaallah!

iMuslimah & Co.

3 Birds Chirpin':

Safiyyah said...

Salaams Sis:

Masha Allah! I read this post with teary eyes. I am sooooo happy for you all, dear! Hang in there. Thanks for sharing and letting us in on your beautiful story.

UmmAbdurRahman said...

congratulations imuslimah! that is wonderful news.

you know i drove 5 days after i had a cesarean hahahahaha I'm crazy.

keep us posted on you new little bundle of joy.

Umm Salihah said...

Assalam-alaikam Sis iMuslimah,
Oh you've brought back so many memories!

These things almost never pan out the way you hope I htink, but alhamdulillah iBubba is fine and the rest you'll forget all about.

Just take real good care of yourself.