Sunday, October 6, 2013

HG Vanquished

It's been a LONG time since I wrote anything.  I just couldn't deal with keeping this blog updated...not that I have a particularly large readership to begin with. :)

Baby Boy (AA) has arrived, finally, after nine VERY long months.  He is now three weeks old and what can I say - we're in love. :)  Big sister LH will be turning three later this month.  It's hard to believe that I was stupid enough to do this twice in the span of three years, but hey - sometimes man plans and God laughs, and let's just leave it at that.

Overall, I would have to say that my pregnancy with AA was easier than with LH.  For starts, this time we knew what we were dealing with and we knew what treatment to demand.  I was on zofran from around 5 weeks this time, versus last time where I didn't get it until second trimester.  Second trimester, can you believe???

I lost the same amount of weight with AA as with LH (10 kg), but I started out 2 kg heavier this time around so while I was much skinnier than I should have been, I wasn't actually as horribly ill-looking as last time.  Also, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles - I actually gained weight beyond my pre-pregnancy weight!  After about 20 weeks I started to gain weight and managed to gain not only the 10 kg I had lost, but an additional 7 beyond that.  That means that after I gave birth, I was just 1-2 kg above my pre-pregnancy weight and that's where I'm holding.

My recovery from this pregnancy is about a zillion times better and easier than in my first pregnancy.  Part of it is the better medical care, part of it is knowing what the heck is going on, part of it is being much better at asking for help and making myself take it easy.  A big part of it is the fantastic birth that I had with this one.  For a quick overview of my two births, and why this recovery is so much better:

LH - labor was a total of 9.5 hours.  All natural birth; got to the hospital about three hours before the birth.  Went from 4 cm to birth in around an hour or so.  Even though she was small (2.948 kg, or around 6lbs8oz), I had some pretty significant tearing and the lovely stitches and more difficult recovery that goes along with that.  Not to mention that I was not in good health at the time of her birth due to the HG, and I was suffering from PTSD.

AA - labor was a total of 2 hours 50 minutes.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I woke up at 12:47 AM with a strong contraction.  The next one was seven minutes seven minutes later...then six minutes...then five...then we hopped in a cab to the hospital.  It's about a 10 minute drive and by the time we got there, I was contracting every two minutes.  Of course the first thing they did at the hospital was lay me flat on my back and strap me to a monitor, after so helpfully informing me that I was only 3 cm.  I felt like I was dying and pretty quickly changed my mind about wanting an epidural.  So they sent me to L&D (had been in triage).  They were really hopping that night with women giving birth, so we had a midwife with us but no nurse or doctor in sight.  Basically, she told me that the anesthesiologist was busy with another woman at the time but that she thought I was moving too quickly to be able to get an epidural.  Each time she checked me (at close intervals) I was a centimeter further along.  Finally when I was 7 cm, she told me that she thought if she broke my water, I would give birth.  While I didn't really want unnecessary interventions, I just wanted the pain to end so I gave her permission.  She broke my water and I had an immediate feeling of relief...until my body starting pushing!  Needless to say, she was right.  She broke my water and five minutes later I was holding my son.  He was 3.565 kg (a coupld of ounces shy of 8 lbs), with a much bigger head than his sister, and I had absolutely NO tearing (even though I felt like I was being ripped open while pushing him out).  Fast, intense birth + no stitches = significantly better recovery.  Not to mention that I was in better health to begin with.

At any rate, I find it very interesting to take a look at my toenails.  You can clearly see where my health was bad and I was malnourished, and where it got better.  I like the smooth nail part where it got better; but the not-nice-looking nail part legitimizes for me how sick I was.  I mean, it's not that easy to mess up your nails like that through normal fluctuations in diet.  But what I was experiencing was NOT a normal fluctuation, or a small fluctuation like an acute illness.  It was honest to goodness malnutrition.

I suffered from PTSD after my pregnancy with LH, but I honestly don't think I'll have a problem this time.  Physically, mentally, and emotionally I just feel so good.  I have to attribute a lot of that to the better support network I had this time.  As much as I may not see eye-to-eye with my in-laws all the time, they really helped out a lot.  They took care of LH when I couldn't, drove me to and from hospital/urgent care/doctor's appointments, and we actually lived by them for a full month when I was at my worst.  They were a steady item in her life when everything else was topsy-turvy.

I can't not mention KT, a very dear friend with the biggest heart in the world.  We first 'met' online while she was in the midst of her second HG pregnancy and was reaching out for support.  I feel blessed that I was able to help her when she needed it...and she has repaid that a thousandfold.  I can't even begin to list the things she has done for us, but let's just say she is awesome awesome awesome.

Of course I couldn't have done it without my husband, NM.  Between his full-time job and running out household during that time, he most certainly had his hands full and he came through it much better this second time around.

The other friends and family who helped out, supported, gave LH some sense of normalcy, tried to do everything they could to help me feel better...what can I say, it makes all the difference.

And of course, my mother arrived two days before the birth and the help and support she provided in the three weeks total that she was here were invaluable.  It was so good to be able to just take it easy and not have to worry about things like cooking and housework while I started to recover.