[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n November 30th at 42 weeks pregnant exactly, little miss Everly Jean graced us with her presence… finally. After 3 days of failed induction, contractions and back labour, the doctors finally decided it was time to put mama out of her misery and delivery her via C Section. If you’re interested in reading about my labour and delivery story (no gory details, I promise) and want to know the absolute sanity-saving products we relied on for our first night at home, please keep reading!
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Everly Jean, November 30th, 8lbs8oz
I know what you’re all thinking: “well it’s about time she had that baby!” and trust me, no one felt that way more than me. As I went overdue, I was inundated with (well-meaning, surely) text messages from friends, family and people I don’t even normally keep in contact with. You would think that would be nice, but honestly, I found it stressful and annoying. People who weren’t on my ‘need to know’ list were pestering me daily – I even got a handful of rather demanding emails/messages from people I wouldn’t consider myself close with asking why I hadn’t let them know about the baby. The answer of course was: She’s not even here yet!
At 1 week overdue the doctors started mentioning the need to be induced; One of the few procedures I really didn’t want. I had been having prodromal labour contractions at night for about a week, but they would teeter off by morning leaving me a frustrated and tired soon to be mum. I still was not dilated at all and basically, Everly wasn’t making any headway (literally!) to join us on the outside. So at 10 days overdue, I went into the hospital for induction via Cervidil (I’ll let you google it…) and it was pretty horrific. It ramped up the contractions to ever 3-4 minutes at 45 seconds long each… and yet I still was not effaced or dilated. In order to sleep the first and subsequent nights, I needed Morphine, as the hospital would not officially admit me until I was 3 centimetres along. This went on for 3 days, until finally it was agreed upon that my pelvis was too small and Everly was just too big. I’d gone through 56 hours of back labour as she was sunny side up only to be told it was all unnecessary.
So on Thursday, November 30th at exactly 2 full weeks overdue, at 8:53pm our little lady finally graced us with her presence. In case you’ve ever wondered – getting the spinal only felt like a couple of bee stings when they put the numbing in. In fact, the tube IV that was administered before entering the Caesarian room hurt a heck of a lot more. I was jittery with nerves, but they told me everyone is like that due to the drugs anyway. As soon as Dan was able to join me in the room, things got real and 15 minutes later, Everly was here! The surgeon, anaesthetist and doctors all cooed the moment she was born about her adorable cheeks, and even though I’m sure they do that will all babies, it made this very nervous mummy feel pretty good!
‘But was it all worth it? Oh hell yes.’
Dan was given the chance to present Everly to me, and it was beyond special. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I look back at the picture of him bringing her to me and every single emotion seems to be on his face all at once. So we got about 30 minutes of snuggle and ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ time with her while I was stitched up and then it was off to recovery!
Now let me tell you this – recovery from a C Section is no joke. Anyone who thinks it is the easy way out (yes, people have said that to me) can take a long walk off a short pier. It is major abdominal surgery that you can only take regular Tylenol for while you try and care for a tiny human for the first time! In my mother’s day, they kept you in the hospital for a week for a section delivery – these days it is 3 nights. In that time you need to recover from the freezing (about 12 hours), have a catheter removed, get up and walk with a 10cm incision along your bikini line and shower.
Coughing is terrifying. Showering sounds horrifying.
Holding a baby to try and nurse for the first time while avoiding pressure on your wound? Bending over to lift baby out of the bassinet?
Forget about it.
Nothing about it would strike me as ‘easy’.
But was it all worth it? Oh hell yes.
Welcome to the world, my darling daughter. I’m not sure what I did in this life or the last to deserve you, but I’ll spend the rest of my life proving that I do!
And then you bring baby home…
After 3 nights in the hospital eating hospital ‘food’, being reduced to tears by a few aggressive nurses and watching poor Dan fumble his way through diaper changes because I couldn’t get out of bed for the first 16 hours – I was ready to go home. But guess what? Bringing baby home has a whole new set of challenges that is another post or ten in the making. I will say there were a few items that made the first couple of nights (if you can call them nights, because Everly didn’t seem to get the memo!) tolerable. I honestly feel we’d be even more lost without these:
Available at Nordstrom
Controversially sworn as a lifesaver by parents everywhere, this thing turned out to be worth it’s weight in gold! Everly took to it right away, settling into it like a champ and giving us both a chance to actually move around the apartment without carrying her in one arm. Newborns come out quite confused about what is day vs night and get quite upset about it. Having the Dock means one of us can catch up on sleep (Sleep? What sleep?) while the other eats/cleans/pumps etc. I doubted it’s high price tag before, but would pay it in a heartbeat now at only 7 days of life.
Available on Amazon
Oh, another controversial baby product! The pacifier or soother is a real divide amongst parents. Poor Everly struggles with latching and just can’t always be consoled with a nursing session. None of the nurses would endorse a soother until we got one sweet angel nurse who told us to follow our guts with a wink. We had several, but it turns out the Wubanub was an instant hit with Everly, and if anything has helped her latch as well as feed from a bottle. We’re sold and have a backup because I might lose my marbles if we were to lose it!
The Nature Bond Silicone
Available on Amazon
One of the moms in a FB group I’m in (oh god… have I become one of those mums?) mentioned that this little gadget. She said it helped her save every drop of milk when she was struggling to nurse (a whole nother post on that people…). I ordered one on Amazon thinking it would be great to have ‘just in case’. Turns out ‘just in case’ was immediately after coming home and this thing works like a freaking hot damn! I can put it on the opposite side that I’m nursing or pumping and it catches just as much milk! To think that all would have been wasted in a nursing pad… The best $20 I’ve spent in a long time!
The Medela Freestyle Breast Pump
Available at Target
We were lucky enough to have our insurance cover the cost of this. If you’re a new or nursing mom I would look into if you have the same perk. I knew I would have issues nursing (again, another post) and I made sure to have this ready when we came home. I’m still a bit pissed at the doctor who wouldn’t write me the prescription for it weeks ago stating I wouldn’t know if I ‘really need it” until I had the baby and tried to nurse. Thankfully the next appointment I had, I got a doctor who gladly got me set up with the right prescription stating it was super smart to have it at the ready in case of issues.
Honestly, I can’t say how relieved I was knowing I already had a high quality, double pump waiting at home and that I was going to be able to feed my babe. The Freestyle doesn’t need to be plugged. It’s tiny and really very quiet, unlike the other models which would have you sitting next to an outlet. I can take it with me anywhere and do one or both breasts at the same time. Basically, even if our insurance hadn’t paid for it, we would have shelled out the coin anyway. It has 100% helped me feed Everly, get the milk flowing and give Dan the chance to feed her when I need to rest.
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