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Monday, May 16, 2011

3 Whole Weeks

Amazing how time goes by when your are counting the days of a brand new life...our baby is already 3 weeks old today! I was looking at her sleep last night and realized that 3 weeks ago on Sunday night we didn't know her yet.  In some ways it feels like she's been here forever with us, and maybe that's because so many characteristics of hers are recognizable from her behaviors in utero, but other times I cannot believe it's already been three quarters of a month since she lived inside of me and we didn't know what she would look or sound like, how big she would be, or what life with her would be like.  Every day she seems to develop a more solid appearance that is uniquely hers, rather than the nebulous puffy "newborn" face.  She spends her waking time mostly alert and looking around, although she has had a few seriously fussy hours in the past week when she would just not be soothed.  I know it's par for the course with a newborn, but I feel so helpless when she gets so worked up and has this full body cry that just about breaks your heart to listen to.  In general though, when she cries she really just wants to eat...and she has figured out that there is a 24-hr all you can eat buffet just waiting for her! According to our bathroom scale, she is 10.5 lbs already! 

Her next doctor's visit won't be until she is 2 months old, and we're scheduled to start her childhood vaccines at that visit.  I'll be honest, I've always, always been a pro-vaccine individual, and I think I still am 99%, but now that I'm considering blindly trusting the manufacturers of chemicals that will be injected into my perfect little child, I'm a little bit shaken by the fact that I have the option to choose not to do so.  I've been spending some time perusing the CDC website and reading reports on various vaccines, and trying to weigh my options about what I think is best for her.  Every parent makes decisions on behalf of their children in what they believe are their best interests, but I'm finding already at 3 weeks just how difficult that responsibility is! Anyway...not to start a pro-vax or anti-vax dialogue or anything...but just throwing it out there that it's on my mind! 

Here she is at 3 weeks (and already a Wee-Wolverine at that!): 

As for me, I had my 2 week post-partum visit with Holly last week, and overall things seem to be going as well as could be expected at this point in recovery.  We talked about the pathology report of the placenta and possible causes for the post-partum hemorrhage.  She said there was nothing remarkable in the pathology that seems to be something we would have been able to identify via ultrasound or anything before delivery, but the fact that I have had one serious hemorrhage means I am at an increased risk for a repeat scenario in future deliveries.  The succenturiate lobe of the placenta was just a random occurrence in my case, although it can be associated with serious complications like Vasa Previa and velamentous cord insertion (neither of which I had, and both can usually be seen on ultrasound).  That being said, she explained that I would still be able to have normal midwifery care throughout the prenatal period and plan for a typical delivery, but we would definitely do "Active Management" of the third stage of delivery next time, and they would have certain medications ready in the room in case I started bleeding again (Pitocin, methergine, cytotec, hemabate - all meds I received in major doses in the OR to contract the uterus and/or stop bleeding).  We also talked about the fact that an experience like this can cause PTSD type reactions in people, and those may not arise immediately but may come about when planning a future pregnancy or when approaching the next delivery.  Right now I'm doing well, and although in the first week I did have "flashbacks" to the hemorrhage and being in the OR, those seem to have subsided and I'm able to relax and just enjoy my family.  Holly was wonderfully caring and supportive when discussing all of this, and we are again so thankful for the support and care and really professional medical treatment we received from the midwives, OB team and nurses.  In our case, we truly couldn't have been in a better place, and I will forever feel that way.  

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