Ryan turned 6 weeks old last Saturday. Today 6 weeks ago I was told he had jaundice and would need to go in the NICU. Kaiser in West LA doesn't have a nursery (all babies are roomed with their mommies) and he needed the lights for jaundice so the only place for him to get treatment was in the NICU. I cried so hard when the doctor told us he was leaving our room. I knew that jaundice wasn't serious (both of our brothers had it as well as several of my nieces and nephews) but I was a bit hormonal and emotional. It was so sad walking him down the hallway to the NICU and having to scrub up to visit our son. It was so sad to see him hooked up to all the monitors. The NICU staff was very supportive of me breastfeeding during the day and pumping at night. We would supplement the breast milk with formula.
On Tuesday the NICU doctor on duty was concerned about a possible infection on his head. During delivery monitors were connected to his scalp and they left marks, especially because the doctor tried a vacuum.
Ryan's jaundice count was good by Wednesday evening but they need to keep him until Friday because they need the test results from his scalp.
The doctors were nice and we stayed at the hospital until Thursday and we walked out to our car after the 5pm feeding. We returned on Friday morning and were so relieved when they said he could come home that day, healthy, with no infection, and with only ointment to apply to his head. It was such a relief and incredible to nurse our baby with no cords attached to him. It didn't know how I would survive another night without him home with us. I know that we are so blessed because he didn't qualify to be in a NICU, it was just that our hospital didn't have a nursery to treat him. I have so much more compassion for parents that have children in the NICU for extended periods of time.
Friday morning April 8th, I woke up and told Allen that today may be a good day to have a child, I guessed a day early. My water broke at work around noon. I finished teaching my classes, tried to finish my lesson plans for my maternity leave and try to come up with lesson plans for the following week (since I was planning on teaching one more week prior to starting my leave). I wasn't very successful at completing my lesson plans and writing everything up but I left a lot of materials on my desk for the sub to use.
We got to the hospital around 7pm, my contractions weren't technically close enough to go but my contractions were becoming more painful and my water already broke, so they had to keep me. I was glad that when they offered my an epidural I said yes because by the time my blood tests came back and they were ready to give it to me it was 3 hours later and my contractions were bad.
We slept all night, woke up the next morning and I was fully dilated by the afternoon. We waited for him to drop lower prior to starting the pushing. Once he dropped I experienced the uncomfortable experience of pushing. At Kaiser in West LA, the private labor room you are assigned when you check in, is also the same large room you deliver in. The nurses asked Allen to hold one leg, while he was in his Dodger shirt and jeans while another nurse helped hold the other.
After an hour and a half of the nurses working with me, doing an ultra sound they then called the doctor in to explain our options to us. He said that Ryan was face up and we can try pushing for another 2-3 hours with no guarantee they I would be able to push him out, use a vacuum to help pull, or have a cesarean section. I immediately said that pushing for 2-3 more hours is not an option so lets do a c-section. The doctor said let's try the vacuum with three more contractions first. It didn't work and the vacuum even came off his head.
They rolled me down the hallway for the c-section. By now the epidural had worn off a lot and I'm in a lot of pain. I was laying on the operating table for what felt like 10-15 minutes and everyone was waiting around. When the anesthesiologist finished with the emergency patient, it was my turn and I finally got to see Allen. Allen sat on a chair next to my head behind the blue curtain. We chatted about something and I wasn't stressed at all. Allen would stand up every once in a while and take pictures then went to cut the cord and take pictures of the weight. I was very surprised how relaxed I was during the whole procedure.
Our friends, Lori and Natalie decided to make a last minute trip to CA. We has a great weekend relaxing and enjoying friends. We went to Venice for First Fridays and introduced them to the world of gourmet food trucks. Saturday night we went to the Old Town Music Hall and watched a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie called Follow the Fleet. The theater has an old pipe organ that had been outlined by glow in the dark paint. It was bizarre when they first raised the curtains but it was cool seeing all the keys on the organ move.