Cesarean section- (noun) a surgical procedure in which incisions are made through a mother's abdomen and uterus to deliver a baby

Elle Elizabeth Lawrence

Elle Elizabeth Lawrence
tummy time: three weeks old

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 56, Octomom vs. Monomom

I can't button my pants. My favorite pair of skinny jeans sit in the closet mocking me.

Today, I was tempted to sneak into the mall and purchase new jeans. Comfy jeans that would fit my 15 pound heavier self. Wearing sweat pants and too loose maternity clothes just isn't cute anymore.

But I denied myself the shopping trip when I saw the cover of Star Magazine.

I never thought I'd ever say I'm jealous of Octomom. But, I'm jealous of Octomom. She lost 150 pounds!

So, in celebration of Elle's 8 week birthday, I've decided to take the Octomom challenge. I will lose these 15 pounds by Elle's 100th day of life. Bye bye baby fat, Momma's preparing to purge the post-pregnancy pot belly once and for all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 55, Her First Medicine

My "Earth Mother" days are over. Elle's taking her first medication at 55 days old. I know I had promised myself I'd do as much as I could the "natural" way. But when you see a baby crying while eating, well it's a sad sight. I couldn't take it. Waiting it out just didn't seem like the right thing to do. So, I called the doctor, again.

Dr. Acosta was kind enough to quickly call in the medication to Walgreens without seeing Elle in person. Elle is now taking 2ml of a fruity yellow medicine called NYSTATIN four times a day.

The silver lining is that she slept for 7 hours and 45 minutes last night! Being tired and medicated aparently has some benefit.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 54, Thrush

I know things could be worse, but this is ridiculous. Elle is crying constantly. It seems the milk residue that had settled on her tongue is now turned into something way worse. Thrush.

The little white patches of yeast are clumped mostly on her tongue with a few on the sides of her mouth. Doctor prescribed some yucky yellow medicine.

I'm back to feeling incompetent.

Day 49, Sears Photography Shoot

A few days ago Elle turned lucky number 7 weeks old. To commemorate the event I decided to take her into Sears and get her first professional photos done.

The photostudio opened at 10:00am. So, I assumed if we started getting ready at 8:00am we could leave the house a little early, and be the first ones there. I love how in my Pre-Elle days, all these little plans I used to make would work out just fine. But now, not so much. We ended up leaving the house a little past noon, and I was actually hustling the whole time.

I learned a few things about getting baby pictures done that day:

1. Always have an appointment. We waited for two hours.

2. Newborn props are for NEW borns. Poor Elle was busting out of everything cute they put her in! I guess at 12 pounds 10 ounces and 22 inches in length, she no longer qualifies as a newborn :( How sad is that?

3. Bring several bottles. I thought that two four ounce bottles would be plenty. Wrong. If your baby eats when she's stressed, like mine, you'll need way more than you think. I ended up in the ladies room rinsing out one bottle in the sink and refilling it with bottled water and a "to go" packet of the first formula she was on.

4. Get in the picture. Being 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, I didn't think I wanted to be photographed, even with my own baby. But, Kristen, the photographer, made me hop in there. Now I have a memory that will last a life time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 48, Doctor Visit

Last night Elle's breathing made me uncomfortable. I felt nervous. What if she needs medicine and I'm being to "Mother Earthy" to give it to her? So, I called to Pediatric Associates and made an appointment for 7:45 am today.

7:45 am would have sounded really early to my Pre-Elle self. But nowadays, I know it's not really early in the morning, if you never really got to sleep at night anyway.

Elle and I arrived right on time. The nurse instructed me to strip her down. She weighed her on a little scale as if she were sliced deli meat. Elle weighed in at a healthy 12 pounds 10 ounces. Which is considered "above average" on the growth chart. (I'm already scouting which schools have the best college volleyball team since she's poised to be 6'3.)

When Dr. Acosta arrived, she assumed we were here for the one month checkup. I felt a little annoyed I had to tell her we already did that two weeks ago. Dr. Acosta, after all was holding Elle's file in her hand. Anyways, my annoyance changed to embarrassment when I had to admit we were there because I had given Elle a cold.

The doctor listened to her lungs, checked her ears, her throat, and her temperature. She asked if Elle was eating well. I reported she was. Then Dr. Acosta passed Elle back to me and made the following recommendations:

1- Since her lungs were clear, no medications were necessary.
2-Run a vaporizer at night to keep her mucus moist.
3-Use saline drops to break up the snot.
4-Suction her mucus to keep her nasal passages clear.
5-Prop her crib to keep the mucus from collecting in her throat.
6-Bring her back if she gets a fever or stops eating.

So, as it turns out, I do know what I'm doing! I left the doctor's office so proud of myself. Maybe I am qualified enough to be Elle's mother after all.

Day 47, Waging War on the Cold

Today I decided not to be helpless. This cold will not collapse the mothering confidence I've slowly secured over the past six weeks. I took decisive action; I waged war on the cold.

First, I recruited my husband to watch the baby. Then, I ran to Walgreens Pharmacy and purchased Vick's Warm Steam Vaporizer. I had no experience with this, but remember having one when I was a kid.

At eye level, below the shelf that held the vaporizers, Walgreens had conveniently placed infant cold medications. But I was reluctant to give anything to the baby, even OTC stuff. So instead, I picked up the "Little Noses" kit. It came with a newborn size aspirator and a small bottle of saline drops.

Once at home, I traded places with my hubby. He handed off the baby and began building the Vick's Vaporizer. I took Elle up to her nursery and decided her changing table would be the best place to administer the saline drops.

I placed one small drop in each nostril and suctioned the drop back out with the aspirator. It was completely uneffective. I didn't realize the purpose of the drops were to moisten any dry snot in the baby's nose. Elle's nose at the time was already quite moist (we live in Florida), so all it did was add to her stuffiness. Also, the little aspirator was almost too small. If left space in her nostril and the snot seemed to just slide around it. I went back to using the "old school" one I stole from the hospital. It was MUCH more effective (see picture).

I finished the suctioning procedure just before my husband finished putting the vaporizer together. I felt grateful he wasn't around to see my mini-failure with the saline drops. It's frustrating when my mothering skills fail, and worse if there is someone around to watch.

He walked into the nursery with the vaporizer filled with water and a few pinches of salt. His look was all business. It seemed he had waged war on the cold too. He plugged it in and closed the bedroom door. Within minutes the room felt wet. The air was moist and humid. Elle's wood dressers looked like they were sweating. I assumed the vaporizer was working because even my nose was starting to feel a little better.

Once TJ was satisfited with the functionality of the vaporizer he kissed Elle "goodnap" (it was was a little early for goodnight) and left me to rock her in the glider.

Elle fell asleep within a few watery minutes, but I continued to hold her and rock her. I hoped cuddling would help, it made me feel better anyway.

After about forty minutes of rocking, I put her down into her Fisher Price Glidder instead of the crib because it has a 60% incline. My thought was that the incline would not allow the snot to settle in her throat the way laying flat would.

Thankfully, the vaporizer worked. Elle slept soundly. My mothering confidence had been bruised, but now felt adequate again. And thankfully, my husband still thought I knew what I was doing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 46, Baby's first cold

4:00am this morning, Elle woke up coughing and crying. The little lady has her first cold.

I slept on the carpet floor in her nursery. Upon reviewing the definition of helpless, (deprived of strength or power; powerless; incapacitated), I've decided I've used the word way to liberally. This is the first time in my life I have truly felt helpless.

I have no power to affect the situation and I can't fight the cold for her. This sucks.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 45, I caught a cold

I spent the day sniffling, sneezing, and blowing a drippy nose. I have no idea where I caught a cold from since I haven't left the house in six days. Regardless, I have one.

In the morning I tried my best to keep my sneezes away from Elle. Sometime later in the afternoon, I gave up. It's inevitable, she's probably going to catch this cold no matter how many times I wash my hands or sneeze into my elbow.

She's only six weeks old, I'm not ready for her to be sick yet :(

Surgery Prep

Looking back, I'm glad I didn't know what the surgical procedure would be like. I remember
9:00pm came and went. Dr. Bass, my obstetrician had yet to arrive to the hospital. Nervousness set in as I imagined Dr. Bass would be flustered, rushing into the room, making a hasty mistake or two that would leave me permanently paralyzed.

Although Dr. Bass was late, his nurses were on time. Tilda, a Haitian American nurse in her late thirties introduced herself, "I should I have called in sick today. I do not want to be here." I smiled weakly and shot a glance of disbelief in my husband's direction. "Ok everyone clear out," she ordered. My mother, father, and husband stood up and watched my eyes for approval. I tried to make them say, "STAY, I'm scared!" I thought it had worked when my husband started in my direction. Instead he swooped in and popped a small kiss onto my forehead. "Good luck, Babe. I'm going to go get dressed."

I watched him walk out of the room, smiling, clutching plastic green hospital couture, and cloth booties.

Catching Up

Making a commitment to brush my teeth everyday during the first month would have been a challenge. So, since I have anxiously started this blog yesterday, January 14th, I now have 44 days of catching up to do.

To accomplish this, I will post twice a day.

One post will be about a topic experienced in the first 44 days of c-section recovery.

The second post will be that day's reflection.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

December 2, 2009, a C-Section is scheduled!

On December 2nd, I waddled into my recently renovated doctor's office. I say "waddled" to help you imagine me, thirty-eight weeks pregnant, 54 pounds heavier, with swollen legs and feet. If I could see past my stomach, I would have noticed my ankles were missing underneath a few pints of water that had accumulated down there.

During the checkup, my doctor had observed that Baby Elle's estimated weight was 8 pounds 8 ounces and felt that my formerly petite frame couldn't handle delivering a baby that could be anywhere from 7-9 pounds.

A c-section was scheduled for 9:00pm.

Saying I felt "disappointed" at first, would be a serious understatement. I had spent the last 9 and a half months convincing my husband I was strong enough to have a medication-free birth. I was so sure of myself I even skipped the chapter on epidurals in the childbirth book provided during labor and delivery class (more on that later).

But after a few minutes of contemplation, as I put on the delivery gown from the hospital, I realized, I'm going to meet my daughter today.

Nothing could dampen my mood after that.

About the Blog

The Assignment: To blog the first one hundred days of recovering from a c-section delivery, and thoughtfully reflect on the birth of my first child, Elle Elizabeth Lawrence.

The Due Date: March 11, 2010

The Objective: To entertain readers with the reality of c-section recovery. To record the thoughts that go through my head as a woman learning to become a Mother.

The Student: Angela E. Lawrence, 9th grade English teacher on maternity leave from Fort Lauderdale High School.