A beautiful baby boy!
Alexander Li Wen Hernandez was born at 8:49 pm on 2nd January 2007. Since then, he's been keeping us very busy. The past week has been little more than a blur to me.I spent the first 4 nights after the birth in the hospital and we brought Alex home yesterday. Alex doesn't seem to mind being home, in fact I don't think it makes a difference to him whether we are at home or in the hospital!
The whole experience of childbirth was a series of firsts for me, and although I approached it with a lot of fear and anxiety, it all went well and I could not have asked for it to be any better.
On new year's day, we were at home watching tv when I felt what I thought were contractions. We started timing them and they were about 30 minutes apart. By the evening they had progressed to 15 minutes apart. I still wasn't sure they were 'real' contractions as I have been told contractions hurt. These didn't. They felt as if the muscles in my lower belly were tightening into a large tight mass. They were uncomfortable, but not painful. We timed them anyway - just in case.
That night we went to bed thinking nothing was going to hapen till the morning. As I could not sleep I continued to time the contractions and by about 1am, they were about 6 minutes apart. I was excited! Something's happening! I woke Chris up and told him I was going to call the delivery suite to see whether they wanted us tyo come in to get it checked out. After answering a whole lot of questions from the midwife, she decided that in the light of my rising blood pressure over the past weeks, I should go in and get checked up. So off we went to the hospital.
When we got there, my contractions had all but stopped. I was horrified! They kept me there for observation anyway, and at about 7 o'clock in the morning, my obstetrician came in and broke my waters in the hope that my contractions would start up again. Nothing much happened and they continued to come and go. At about lunch time, my obstetrician advised that we should get the drip set up to induce labour and speed things along - and speed things along they did! The drip was set up at 2pm and by 2:30pm I was experiencing hard and painful contractions. They were regular and took my breath away.
We focused on getting past each contraction, which became harder and closer together as the dosage went up. By the evening, they were a minute or two apart and very painful. The strange thing is that in all that pain, I forgot to ask for pain relief. It wasn't till 7pm that the midwife asked whether I'd like some pain relief and what I'd like (as if she had a menu or something). I thought I'd try some gas first. I never made it past the gas, though. Gas, my friends, is the world's best invention, in my books! In fact I was so 'hooked' on it that I was negotiating with the midwife for more gas when they took it away from me when it came time to push. According to Chris (and I don't remember most of this), she said to me, "You can have another puff of gas if you give us one more big push". I feel so embarassed now, that I was that
desperate for gas. apparently I was also quite loud. That's evenmore embarassing. I sure hope those rooms are sound-proof, though I very much doubt it. I was so out of it, I don't remember screaming, though I do remember asking for more gas, and still feeling the pain even after being given more gas. I am glad thatI had the doctor and midwife around. they coached me through all the pushing and I relied on their instructions. I am convinced that if not for them, I would have done a lot more damage to myself. I managed to get away with only a small tear and a few grazes. No stitches were required. I could not have asked for a better result, I think.
It is true what they say about forgetting the pain of childbirth once it's all over. I know it hurt, but I no longer remember how badly. It's bad enough that I won't be doing it again in a hurry, but it's not like the memories of the pain still haunt me.
Now that I have my lovely little man with me, all the furstrations and difficulties of pregnancy and pain of childbirth feel like it was nothing compared to the joy that he gives me. How can a creature, bvarely 5 days old and so tiny, bring me so much happiness? I don't understand it, but it's real. He's sound asleep at the moment, and he's the quietest little sleeper ever. Sometimes we have to give him a little nudge just to check that he's still breathing. Aside from a little jaundice, he's been pronounced healthy by the paediatrician. We've been feeding him regularly and placing him near the window for some sunlight in the hope that we'll be able to flush the jaundice out of his system quickly.
The milk has just started coming in and I am so sore it's not funny. I tried using an ice pack today, which was great temporary relief. I was told it will settle down in a week or so and cease to be so painful. I sure hope so! I doubt I can carry on breastfeeding if this pain does not go away in the next week or two. The lactation consultant was happy with the way Alex is latching on. I have managed so far to get away with only a few small blisters which are now healing nicely.
My days and nights have been occupied with feeding him and watching over him. At the moment he wakes for a feed every 2-4 hours and the longest sleep he's had is 5 or so hours, which was pretty good in my books. Chris is a gem and has been helping out by bathing him and changing him. Right now, I look after Alex's needs on the top end and Chris looks after the bottom end. Fair exchange, don't you think? Chris has also been doing the cooking. Dinner tonight was a delicious stir-fry with rice. He's also got a pot of beef soup cooking in the slow cooker. Mmm.. yum.. maybe I should consider handing over the cooking duties permanently!