After 287 happy pregnancy days, 14 hours of active labour and an emergency c-section, Frosty is finally here!
Let me introduce you to Lavinia Olympia Vitulli-Mattana, born 30 Oct 2019 at 06:49 am. She weighed 3.07 kg at birth.
Here’s what happened last week, from the early labour time until we came back home. Lots of baby pics also attached!
Week 41-ish: transitioning to active labour
I left my blog chronicles with the second pessary in action, in the hope to help the cervix soften and dilate, and start the active labour. Unfortunately the pessary softened the cervix only a tiny bit, so I needed to use another more powerful gel, which only dilated it 1cm after 6 hours of mild soreness and cramps. My dilation eventually reached 2cm, but still no waters broken.
I was nevertheless moved to the delivery suite when two midwives – Esther and Virginia – (Virginia is a BRILLIANT student) would follow me minute-by-minute until the end.
They broke my waters with some difficulties, as the dilation wasn’t the most ideal to facilitate the procedure. It took less than 10 minutes for the active labour to get triggered, with massive contractions and strong pain.
I resisted the pain and avoided pain killers as much as I could. The pain escalated quickly, and I went from codeine to gas in a couple of hours. The gas made me pretty dizzy as I was drunk, and helped me go through the next stages of the labour. I was hoping my cervix would dilate more to start pushing.
The pain was so severe at 9pm than Franz eventually recommended me to get some morphine. Being more able to bear with the pain would help me go through a not so speedy dilation phase.
I’ve never taken any heavy drugs, so the morphine experience for me has been quite a troubled, painful and interesting trip. I don’t remember much out of the excruciating pain, and some foggy nonsense stuff I said. Franz told me later that many of my saying would have been really hilarious if I wasn’t so much in pain.
Franz and the midwives told me that I faced the pain being vocal, but always trying to control it through my breathing techniques. They also said I never gave up on contractions, not even for one minute, but instead I literally fought the pain, contraction by contraction.
After 14 hours of active labour, facing the last 5 hours with no morphine at all, I was only 3 dilated. What a very poor improvement. I was stuck.
C-section: a matter of gut feeling
At this stage the medical stuff put me in front of two options: getting one or two epidurals, and seeing if the cervix would dilate enough (10cm) to start pushing, or going straight away for a c-section.
Despite my confused mental status, I reasoned that if the dilation didn’t progress with the epidurals, I’d have gone through other 12 hours for unbearable pain for getting a c-section anyway.
My gut feelings took over, and I cried a “get this baby out of my system now” — actual quote of myself.
I was moved to the surgical theater, where the first spinal didn’t work out. It took a second spinal and a higher dosage for the c-section procedure to start off. Franz and the two midwives were with me, cuddling and praising me all the time for being brave.
20 minutes after I stopped feeling my legs, I saw my daughter for the first time. Lavinia Olympia popped out from the other side of the surgical bed still with the cord attached. I exchanged with Franz the most intense and beautiful look ever between the two of us. We would be never in two again. Lavinia was finally here.
Lavinia and I spent her very first 3 hours of life having a wonderful skin-to-skin time. We stayed at the Maternity ward for two days, to make sure my wound was okay and Lavinia latched correctly to my breast. She is a champion, as she latched perfectly at her first attempt.
Here are Lavinia’s first 72 hours of pictures. This is just a VERY tiny curated selection.
Oven updates – AKA welcome to nanny’s pant land
I couldn’t take any pictures of my bump 24 hours after giving birth: I was still in a post-operation mode lying on the bed, and in a lot of excruciating pain.
As soon as I was home, though, I took some pictures to compare my post-partum bump with last week’s bump.
The very last weight checkin right before entering the early labour was 52.1kg (114.8 lbs). I had a last minute growth spurt which it might be some water retention from the hormones injected to induce the birth.
24 hours after the delivery I was already down to 49kg (108 lbs). On Monday morning I dropped more weight and touched 48.6kg (107 lbs), on Tuesday I was 48.1kg (106lbs), on Wednesday it dropped again of 900g, touching 47.2kg (104lbs).
Seven days after I gave birth to this little masterpiece I am below my pre-pregnancy weight on the day I had the embryo transfer on Feb 7th (47.6kg – 105lbs), despite of still looking bloated and with an enlarged tummy.
The uterus is nicely shrinking down: on Monday it was already only 3 times bigger than its pre-pregnancy size. The midwifes were very pleased to see how fast it’s bouncing back.
That’s the front perspective of my 41 weeks bump and 48 hours post-partum. I have no shame in showing my huge nanny’s underwear. My body is clearing out the system from everything I don’t need anymore in terms of connective tissues, blood, fluids etc, so I’m going to have a massive period dropping for at least a couple of weeks. That’s called lochia in medical term.
Actually, that makes Lavinia and I a great nappy team!
Lavinia’s physiological weight loss after birth fell under the 10 percentile, meaning she’s above average. That’s great news–especially considering she’s a petite baby and had some growth troubles in utero.
48 hours after birth she’s already re-gained 50g. This is thanks to my colostrum and milk which apparently are very high quality. Lavinia has immediately shown a big appetite too–I had no doubts about that since she’s my daughter.
You have no idea of much this makes me happy, as I was terrified of not being able to provide for her in that sense. I also have to praise my consistent and rich nutrition daily diet if my milk is that good nutritionally.
The midwives will check on me and Lavinia another couple of times before discharging us. Then the GP will take over. I still need to take it extremely easy as my womb needs time to heal; I have to remember myself that I had a major surgery, while I only want to go out and show Lavinia the world.