Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baby Isaac's Birth Story

When you have a scheduled C-section, this is how your birth story should go:

39 weeks, September 22, 4:45am
Daniel and I woke up very, very early on Thursday, September 22.  Per our instructions, we made it to the hospital at 5am (my parents arrived the day before to take care of Ben), and everything proceeded smoothly from there.  My surgery was scheduled for 7am, but they were ready for me a little early - so precious Isaac Miller Wiginton was born with zero complications by 7:07am.  He was 20-1/4 inches long and weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz.  Besides having the exact same hair, I don't think he looks much like newborn Ben.  Like Ben, though, he is ridiculously cute.

Maybe he looks so unlike Ben because he is WAY bigger?
My recovery went really smoothly.  I knew what to expect this time, and I was determined only to spend 48 hours (the minimum stay following a C-section) in the hospital.  I was also determined to look like Halfway Normal Mommy when Ben came to visit us, which probably helped me will myself to recover quickly.  By Friday night, I was feeling really good and expecting to go home the next day.  Then Isaac and I were discharged on Saturday morning, and we all lived happily ever after - hooray!

I love his fuzzy hair!  It might even be a little redder than Ben's was.
And that's exactly the way my story went... until that last sentence.  At 7:30 on Saturday morning, my OB came into my hospital room.  I thought it was just a routine check-in and that he was going to clear me to go home.  Nope.  Instead, he informed me that my blood counts were pretty frighteningly low (normal hemoglobin numbers are 12-16, and mine was 5.8) and that I needed to have another procedure to figure out why. 

I quickly fed Isaac, and within a few minutes, I was being wheeled back down to the operating room.  It's not safe to operate with hemoglobin levels under 10, so I had to have a blood transfusion before anything else could be done.  Then my doctor (who, by the way, was amazing and is my hero) made a few extra little cuts on my abdomen and checked out my innards laproscopically.  He was hoping to find a blood clot somewhere that he could just remove laproscopically.  No such luck.  What he actually found was about a liter of blood just hanging out inside me.  Apparently there were two tiny pin-prick holes in my organs that were slowly pumping blood where it ought not be.  So he had to re-open my C-section incision (gross, I know) and get rid of said blood and close said holes.

100% worth all the trouble :)

Before this second surgery, I didn't have much time to worry or even process what was going on.  After it was over, though, I realized I was starting the recovery process all over again.  I ended up leaving the hospital the next afternoon (Sunday), feeling okay... but by Sunday night, I was not having fun.  I learned that insane swelling is normal after a blood transfusion -- and I was so swollen Sunday night that I weighed 10 pounds more than I did at my most pregnant.  And all of the swelling was from the waist down, so you can imagine how comfortable that is.  "Cankles" doesn't even begin to capture it.  I lost 30 pounds in my first six days back at home - of just fluid.  Yikes.  All that digging around on my insides also gave me some crazy bruising all over my hips and legs, so I was pretty sure for a day or so that I was going to die.  And I had plenty of time to worry about it because - remember? - I was up multiple times a night with a newborn.  Those were good times.

I'm not usually very good at looking at the bright side of things, especially when I have actual reasons to be frustrated.  In this situation, though, God was so merciful and protected me from getting depressed about my physical state.  After one or two breakdowns early in the week, there were only a few moments here and there when I felt upset that this whole thing didn't go the way it was supposed to go.  

It has now been 13 days since Baby Isaac was born and 11 days since my second surgery, and I am feeling much, much better.  My parents stayed with us until Isaac was 10 days old and basically kept our household running during that time period (THANK YOU, Mom and Dad!).  I was scared to see what happened after they left.  So far, Daniel and I are surviving the difficult new territory of having two sweet boys (he's working from home this week, which is a huge help).  And we are so incredibly thankful these angels!