In any normal circumstance I probably wouldn’t dedicate a post to month one of having a newborn in the house. We all know it’s hard-ok, freaking exhausting. We know that newborns don’t sleep, we know they cluster feed and we even know it’s a tough adjustment especially when you have other kids in the home. I am not here to mention any of those things we already know…. instead, I want to take you through the mother f*ing chaos that was our first month as a family of five.
Hurricane Dorian was our first obstacle. I was scheduled to have a c-section on the exact day the storm was supposed to rip Florida off the map. Nerves were kickin’ to say the least. I called multiple times to reschedule but the answer I got every time was, “well, we just don’t know what the storm is going to do.” No kidding, neither does anyone else. I don’t want to have this baby on my living room floor during a hurricane, please get me in earlier. I know my body, my other two being born on exactly 39 weeks and a day, no way was I going to be able to hold this third child in any later than that. After some convincing (okay, pleading) the doctor approved for me to come in on Labor Day, September 2nd. Two days earlier than my scheduled date, enough time before this monster storm comes so I can be home with my other babies. (Side note: I know this storm devastated the Bahamas and I am not downplaying that. At the time, I genuinely thought of the storm this way and so did everyone else so for the sake of the story and for you to understand the stress level I was on, the storm was category 100…k?)
I went to the hospital and started having contractions only 2 minutes apart- thank goodness it all worked out, I was right where I needed to be. Told you- I know my body, I was having that baby early one way or another. There in triage waiting for prep, the nurses and doctors informed us of their “lockdown plan and procedures.” Como se what?! We got there before the storm so I wouldn’t have to reenact a scene from the Handmaid’s Tale but the storm was still scheduled to come one way or another. The hospital let us know they would be locking down and not letting anyone in or out until the storm passed. We were looking at 3-4 days in the hospital according to the nurses there. So, I dodged one bullet by going early but hit another by getting locked in away from my other two kids until AFTER the storm passed. I couldn’t win, I didn’t want to leave my kids during a massive hurricane. We just accepted what had to be done and prepped for surgery- luckily I had some pretty great help from family to ease my mind. Delivery went smooth and recovery went well. We were introduced to our sweet baby girl (our surprise gender baby) and life was great. Born on Roger’s (Kenny’s dad passed two years ago) birthday, Parx Navy Hill is a special addition to the family.
After only 24 hours I was released to go home to my other babies. Usually a c-section delivery requires a minimum 48 hour stay but with the hurricane coming the doctors made an exception, hooray! Everything was working out perfectly and we were thrilled to be able to go home. It was all going perfect-until it wasn’t.
About three or four days before baby came, Dax had a nasty cough that was starting to concern us. He was his usual happy self with no fever or any other signs of illness so we just decided to let him ride it out. We had so much on our plate with the baby coming that we figured it would just pass on its own. Yeah…ok, lets just say it didn’t. When we got home that evening from the hospital, Dax was already in bed. Lennox had stayed up to see us and meet her baby sister, the most precious site to see. I was in pain from the surgery but so incredibly happy to start this life as a party of five. Dax woke up the next morning still coughing and acting more sick than before. Because of the hurricane, the doctors office was closed for a couple of days. We got Parx to her newborn appointment about 2 days after being home so we decided to let Dax see the doctor as well. Quite possibly the worst news we could get with a 3 day old in the house… POSITIVE FOR RSV! Holy mother of God, I almost passed out right in the doctor’s office. “I’m sorry, there isn’t anything that can be done, it has to just pass… in about 4 weeks. Oh, but in the meantime keep him away from you and the baby” the doctor told us. How in the world was I going to keep my son away from me? Kenny and I knew something had to be done for the protection of P, so I quarantined myself in the room with her the best I could. If I left the room, I washed my hands, striped my clothes and showered before handling baby again. We did this for a solid two weeks. I was depressed, feeling like I was missing everything my other two were doing and sad that I couldn’t cuddle my sick son. Luckily daddy stepped up and we made it through. Dax is doing great now and I am so relieved, if you know anything about RSV it can be freaking scary.
Not that I’m counting but let’s move on to the next bump in the road we faced during month one. About two weeks after being home and dealing with the stress and anxiety of everything above, I had my two week postpartum check up with the Doc. Let’s just say it did not go very well. My incision was healing beautifully but my blood pressure was not. My doctor sent me to the ER immediately and I was admitted back into the hospital for dangerously high blood pressure. During pregnancy there is something called “Preeclampsia” that is common after 20 weeks gestation. Common symptoms include high blood pressure, protein in the urine, blurred vision and headache. This is the reason they take a urine sample and blood pressure reading at each appointment. What most people are unaware of is that this can too happen AFTER pregnancy which can lead to seizures and stroke. This is why it is so important to monitor your blood pressure and symptoms up to 6 weeks postpartum. While in the hospital, they tested me for everything related to eclampsia but fortunately I was only experiencing the elevated blood pressure part (Postpartum Hypertension). I was prescribed medicine and released after a 24 hour observation. I am attaching some information on Postpartum Preeclampsia because this can happen to anyone, healthy or high risk.
Being home was the best feeling, I was starting to feel better and the medicine was doing its job. I was checking my blood pressure every hour just to make sure it was good and drove my husband crazy with worry. We had a few rough weeks after that with the kids being sick, sent home from school and the continuing adjustment with baby three but we did it. I am 8 weeks postpartum, my blood pressure has gone back to normal without the medicine and our baby girl is doing so well. If you’ve made it this far reading about the chaos that was our first month, go you! It was an absolute sh*t show but here we are, standing strong and loving our family more than anything in the world. Cheers to Hill party of 5!
Your fellow mama,