Sunday, February 03, 2013

NICU and Midwife Follow-up

Last week my mother in law came into town to watch G while J had two big appointments. She also watched both kids while I had my 6 week post-op appointment. I think she enjoyed spending time with the grandkids, and we really appreciated the help.

First up was J's NICU follow-up appointment. It was surprisingly more informational and meaningful than I thought it would. I had down-played it so much in my mind, mostly because he was only there for 4 days, that I told my husband that he didn't need to go. While it's not bad that he wasn't there, I do think he would have preferred hearing the info straight from the doctor and nurse. My bad, honey.

First, J was weighed and measured. He was 11 pounds, 5 ounces and 22 inches tall. His head circumference put him at the 91%, but I forgot the exact number. His heart rate and respiratory rates were good, though the RR is higher than typical kids, it's still not crazy high unless he's worked up (which coincidentally happens to regular kids too). I also asked the nurse to put him on the oxygen monitor because I often worry about his levels, since he works harder to breathe than most kids. His oxygen levels were, to my pleasure, normal. She even left it on him while he was eating and they stayed in the 90s. Oxygen levels are measured out of 100.

someone likes to just chillax at the doctor
The doctor came, and actually spent like 40 minutes with J, looking him over, talking to me, and going over his records with me. She was impressed with his growth (averaging 31g per day since he left the hospital), his ability to eat and breathe, and his cuteness. Honestly, everyone comments on his cuteness. I suppose his nose makes him cuter, since it's so unique.

She commented on his natural instincts to survive. J is impressive because despite his small nose, he breathes well (though it's noisy) enough to not need assistance, breastfeeds like a pro, knows how to breathe through his mouth some, and tilts his head to open his airways more. These are all amazing things, and we feel incredibly blessed that he's doing so well. The doctor gave me some advice on leaving him alone when his head is turned, because that's how he manages to breathe so well, especially while asleep. (more on this later, from the ENT) They advised us to keep his apnea monitor, especially thru flu/RSV season, because his breathing is such a delicate situation that could go to crap in a second, so we are just being on the safe side. His monitor has gone off a few times, but they weren't really concerned about it. Then she offered to write me a script for a handicap placard!! What??? I thought that seemed awful crazy, because A) we rarely go anywhere and B) there are people way more needy of those spots than us. J doesn't even have to lug oxygen tanks around, so a handicap spot really isn't necessary.

Basically he got as clean of bill of health as possible, and we go back in two months On a fun note, he hadn't had a bowel movement since Monday (this was Thursday), and he decided to have one while we were there...in a disposable they gave me after he had been weighed! Talk about luck, because it was one that I would seriously have hated to have to clean out!!

Later that afternoon I had my midwife follow-up. It was with the midwife who was with us throughout labor and assisted with the C Section. She's not my normal midwife, but I secretly kind of like her better, after what we went through together...so I scheduled this appointment with her. One of the first things she said to me was that she didn't even recognize me! Ha...she said I looked so good! I don't really feel that great, but I know I look a lot better than I did when I had been about to hell and back.

while my MIL was in town, we got to go on our first post-J date
I haven't lost any weight in the past month, but I'm not trying at all, so that's not surprising. I'm down 30 out of 50 pounds, and I don't expect that those last 20 will go anywhere until I start working out and/or not eating dessert 6/7 days a week. The latter probably won't happen, at least until my sweet tooth goes away, and I don't foresee that happening any time soon. The working out thing can "technically" happen now, but my midwife said to do only what I feel comfortable doing. There's the rub, though, because I still have excruciating pain after I've been laying down for a while and then try to get up. She said that shouldn't be happening, but to give it about another month or so, before we go trying to track down the problem. Her hope, and mine, is that I'm just taking longer to recover than normal. Perhaps due to the severity of the situation at J's birth, or the amount of stretching my belly endured with the extreme amount of excess fluid. Whatever the reason, I'm not even 80% back to normal. Sure, I do housework--but the more of it I do, the worse my pain is in those instances. I do like to go for walks, or grocery shopping--but on days that I might do that...my pain jumps up too. And as an athletic person, I definitely know the difference in soreness and pain...I'm truly talking about pain here--it is so bad I can barely breathe when it happens. It takes me about a minute or so to catch my breathe and even be able to talk.

These things indicate that there is a problem with my stomach muscles or wall muscles, and the question is... will it go away on its own? And if so, I really should 'take it easy,' which means no working out, aside from light movement. And if it won't go away on it's own, then I probably need surgery....and if that's true, what's the point of working out if it makes my pain worse and would be fruitless seeing as how another abdominal surgery will set me back again.
My midwife did say that things "felt normal" when she mushed around on me...but she didn't have me do a sit-up like motion or anything, which wouldn't have been a different story, I think.
If I make a follow-up appointment regarding this pain, it should be with the doctor who did my surgery, as much as I love midwifery, there are things surgeons are more specialized in.


  1. So glad to hear J checked out so well. And hope we will be hearing great news about your recovery soon!

  2. I know that pain. I had it with my second c-section. The doctor said it's because of the scarring inside. My friend had surgery, they removed something. She said that the way she was healing it seemed that the muscles didn't stretch well. They had to go back in and cut the scarring tissue which was keeping her from moving well. Now she's fine but there are some movements that are uncomfortable for her.


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