The Birth of the Pop-Tart

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Poppy’s birthday is April 17th, 2012.  She is nearly 20 inches long even though she came more than 3 weeks early.  She is in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) but no longer requires a breathing apparatus which is great because all the gear that they have had on her until today have made her closely resemble an amateur science project.  She should be able to come home within the next couple of days once she no longer requires a feeding tube.  

So...Matt and I go casually to my weekly OBgyn visit on Tuesday.  I have my usual trouble when trying to lay down on the examining table.  Dr. Crites measures my bump and informs us that it hasn’t grown in the past week.  She tells us that within the next few days we should go and get another sonogram.  I hadn’t had a sonogram in over a month.  Until now, the baby was growing on schedule so there hadn't been a need for a an additional sonogram.  Matt and I pop down to the second floor of Presbyterian Hospital to try our luck at getting a drop-in sonogram at this very busy institution called Obstetrix.  Some way some how I finagle our way into one of their ambient rooms.  I am unable to lay on my back at this point, which means that the technician has a difficult time making her way around my uterus while I am trying to get comfortable by lying on my side.  I know that this sounds exaggerated, but it's true: when I try to lay on my back I begin to see stars and a beckoning white light.

I end up on the floor of the sonographer's office (yet again).  The doctor who Matt and I have dubbed 'Dr. America' walks in.  We call him this to distinguish him from the rest of his colleagues in his practice, who are all foreign.  He also happens to be a relatively upbeat sonography doctor who is sure enough of himself and his capabilities to actually haven given Matt and I his opinions about various things (such as a first trimester guess of Poppy's gender) throughout my pregnancy.  The tech has been able to take enough in-utero pictures for Dr. America to be able to tell that Poppy (who is still breach) is swimming around in only 4cc's of amniotic fluid.  He tells us that this is the bottom 7th percentile in terms of volume and that it explains why she hasn't been growing over the past week or two.  He gets on the phone with Dr. Crites and they come to the swift conclusion that I should go downstairs to Labor & Delivery.  I generally drink copious amounts of water, which leads my Doctors to believe that simply putting me on IV fluids isn't going to improve the viability of Poppy's uterine home.  Dr. America wheels me down to L & D and my Cesarean Section is scheduled for 5:30 pm (it would have been done immediately had it not been for the savory breakfast taco that Matt fetched for me).

Matt is up at Presbyterian right now to take her some of the milk that I've been pumping, and he might even get to hold her (we haven't been allowed to do that yet because of the breathing devices and IV that are both gone now).  I normally go to the NICU to see her but I overdid it yesterday after I was released from the hospital.  Presently, my intense urge to nest has been overruled by my desire not to feel debilitating pain around my cesarean incision.  My lower abdominal area is swollen and bruised but Dr. Crites says that the wound is healing nicely.  On a little side note, several of the nurses who examined my incision while I was in the hospital exclaimed something to the effect of 'wow, you don't look like you just had a baby', or 'your tummy is much weight did you gain during pregnancy?'  When I told them that I was right at a 25 pound weight gain they would quickly tell me that that is a great amount.  I even got an emphatic 'you're ready for a bikini!'  I must tell you guys that these comments made me disproportionately happy considering the amount of pain I was in simultaneously (which, let me tell you, was considerable).    

She of course doesn't have a control group, but the nurse says that she thinks that my breast milk has helped Poppy to move toward breathing on her own more quickly than she would have on formula.  It has been good for me as well because I get to indulge in the feeling that I can actually do something for her while I'm not with her.  

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