Today officially marks one month since I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, Keira Rosalyn. It has definitely been an adventure of a month! She was born at 10:26am on October 13, 2020. We checked into the hospital the night of October 12th, giddy with excitement. The nurse administered Cervidel by 8:00pm and we settled in for what we thought would be a long evening. Well… I progressed faster than anticipated and at 5:00am the nurse arrived to start me on Pitocin.
That stuff is as wild as it is rumored to be! It wasn’t long before the contractions started coming hard and fast. I dilated from a 2 to a 7 in the space of two hours! I started getting nauseated and dizzy from the pain and, worried I might pass out, my husband did his best to talk me into getting an epidural. I finally gave in around 8:00am. The contractions were coming so quickly, the anesthesiologist could not completely administer the epidural in between contractions, and I had to hold still during a contraction why she finished. Staying still while being slammed with pain was far beyond difficult, but I managed it with excellent coaching from my nurse and my husband. I planned to experience the delivery drug free, but I must admit that the epidural was pure magic. It didn’t make me completely numb as I feared, instead it took the edge off of the pain. Soon, I was told that I was completely dilated and ready to push.
As soon as I began pushing, Keira’s heart rate dropped dramatically, and the doctor had me stop. Extra nurses flooded into the room while I fought against my body’s natural urge to push. I honestly didn’t know the extent of the issue until after the delivery was done.
I have to take a second to brag on my wonderful husband. Not only was he the absolute most amazing coach I could have asked for during the delivery, but he has been a fantastic, supportive daddy ever since.
The doctor had me move onto my side to continue pushing. Keira arrived soon after with the umbilical cord twisted around her neck. Andy had to quickly cut the cord loose. He can now tell you, definitively, that it is fairly freaksome to have to cut something that is so close to your baby’s neck. The doctor took her away to be assessed and then informed me that the placenta broke off inside me and she would have to extract it manually. It is truly as uncomfortable as it sounds! After the placenta was out and I was stitched up, the doctor handed me my gorgeous little girl and all the pain was completely and perfectly worth it!
Life as new parents has been quite the experience ever since. Our first night home from the hospital was insanity! In the hospital I saw two different lactation consultants, and both said that Keira was feeding like a champ. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively, so their reassurance meant the world to me. However, on our first night home from the hospital Keira became inconsolable. She sobbed and cried and demanded food the ENTIRE night. Thankfully, we had our first pediatrician appointment scheduled for the following morning. We rolled into the pediatrician’s office unshowered and in tears – at least I was in tears. I have never looked like such a hot, crazy mess in my existence! The pediatrician determined that she was not getting enough food and was becoming dehydrated. He recommended that we begin supplementing with formula so she wouldn’t drop more weight. Talk about a hit to my pride as I thought we were doing well with the breastfeeding! We started her on formula as soon as we got home that day, and she was almost immediately better. Over the course of the next week or two, I attempted to formula feed AND breastfeed, but my supply was quickly deteriorating. Even with regular pumping, I just wasn’t producing enough. After many tears and a ton of mom guilt, we decided to formula feed exclusively – and it has been the best decision we could have ever made.
Since we made that change, she has gained back the weight she lost – plus some – and is continuing to be a healthy, happy, thriving little girl. Extreme props to all the mamas who are able to completely breastfeed. I really wanted to make it happen, but I had to accept that every baby and every mama is different. That being said, I do not understand all the mom on mom guilt and those that push the agenda that breast is best no matter what. Truthfully, FED is best and whatever makes your baby happy and healthy is the way to go. I’ve been a new mom for only a month, and I can already say that moms need to be better supportive of each other and recognize that we are all just doing our best.
That aside, life as a new mama has been wonderful, beautiful, frustrating, and exhausting!
I’m getting used to surviving on little to no sleep and I’ve rediscovered my love affair with coffee. Seriously, I have been drinking SO MUCH DAMN COFFEE!
And I never realized how much I am capable of loving such a small, little person. It’s like my heart is now existing outside of my body. My heart – crying, pooping, smiling, and looking like a mini replica of my perfect husband. It’s miraculous!
We are slowly becoming accustomed to the late-night feedings, the spit up showers, being farted on, the constant worry, and having beautiful eyes the same color as mine gaze at us with complete trust. Her daddy is already looking forward to teaching her how to change a tire and build cabinets – and her mama is looking forward to teaching her how to cook and defend herself (hello Tai Kwon Do!). We are, without a doubt, in for a crazy, beautiful, and very sassy life – and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the wide world.