Archive for Labor

We’re so Breastfeeding-Friendly, We Do Everything Except Let You Nurse Your Baby

Basking in the joy of the birth of my new, giant baby boy, I wanted to stay positive.

Still, I’d like to share my experience breastfeeding in the hospital in case it helps anyone.

Part of the reason I chose our hospital is because it is more open to a more natural birthing experience than other hospitals in the area. And, although I think this is probably true, that is unfortunately a sad commentary.

My baby and I are breastfeeding well and everyone is doing great–but I fear that if I had not already successfully breastfed my first or if I were less informed or less assertive, our breastfeeding would have been sabotaged.

Immediately following birth, barring any urgent medical needs, my baby was supposed to be placed immediately on me. Since he was so large and stuck during part of the labor, they wanted pediatrics to check him out (which I fully understand–although I suspect this could have been done with him on me, as was done with my first child). However, after they verified he had not been harmed at all during the labor, they continued with the routine, non-urgent procedures.

I kept telling them, “I want my baby! Give me my baby!” but they did not hand him over until they were done. Although in the grand scheme of it all, this is minor, I was sad that I missed that magical feeling I had with the first when she was exactly the same temperature as me and stepped her way to the breast.

After they handed him to me, I had a short time to breastfeed before they took me to repair the tear. I got him to latch on one side and just as he finished, I was placing him to the other breast when the nurse (not the Certified Nurse Midwife) came in an said, “I have to weigh him.”

I told her was breastfeeding and it could wait.

She replied that I was getting “crazy” with the breastfeeding (huh?).

I stood my ground and responded calmly (really, I swear) that he had just finished one side and I was going to feed him on the other and then she could take as many measurements as she liked.

She got very snotty and said that she was going to have to go tell the doctor that I was not allowing her to do her job.

That says a lot right there about her perception of her role and the hospital’s role in birthing babies.

Of course, she’s just one person, and my husband overheard some other nurses speaking of her in a negative way, but at the very least some retraining needs to be done.

Following the repair, I was placed in temporary Operating Room Recovery until the epidural wore off (they had given me more medication during the repair). As they wheeled me in, I saw my husband. I called out, “Why aren’t you with our son?” Perhaps not the most pleasant greeting, but I was starting to lose a bit of trust in the hospital.

“They want to give him a bottle,” he told me.

“What for?” Now I was starting to get a little nuts, “Is he okay?”

“Yes,” he reassured me, “But they said his blood sugar will start dropping because he is so big, so they want to give him a bottle. And they said if they wait too long, breastmilk won’t do it”

“But I’m breastfeeding! Bring him to me! And I’ll feed him!” I was in full on mother bear mode and unfortunately they had sent my husband and there was no target for my protective rage. My poor husband kept going back and forth to tell me the baby’s blood sugar level and to try to negotiate with the doctors to allow my son to come to me.

They first lied and told us he was under the warming lights (he wasn’t and he was perfectly healthy so there was no reason to hold him there) and then admitted they just “did not have the personnel” to bring him to me from the nursery. Now this is not a huge hospital. It takes two minutes to walk from the nursery to where I was. And post-op had no problem with me feeding him in recovery. The staff in the nursery was creating a situation where they would need to give him a bottle because they would not let me breastfeed.

And there was no reason for him to be in the nursery, anyway, as I was rooming in with him and would be in the room as soon as the maternity ward would accept me–as soon as the medication wore off. The post-op staff again was very helpful. I asked them, “How mobile? Like walking or just some approximation thereof?” They told me that maternity liked people walking but they would start releasing me as soon as I could bend both knees. I had one leg already moving and was trying to get the other one working. Eventually they took pity on me and pretended not to notice as I grabbed one of my legs with my hand and said, “Look, it is moving!”

Finally, we were in maternity recovery and they brought me my son! With the delay, it took time and patience to get him to latch. Of course, as soon as he fed his blood sugar was fine and he was healthy and wonderful.

But they had one more curve ball to throw at me–the next day they came without any notice to take him for his circumcision. They said I could not feed him even though he was due right then for another feeding. I was concerned, but they assured me it would just be an hour and then he’d be back. Three hours later…it was now six hours since my son had fed and the poor thing had just been circumcised. He was upset and had difficulty latching.

Then they started harassing me because he had not urinated since the circumcision…again they wanted to give him formula. I told them to go away and leave us alone. Of course, once he fed a few times, he was fine.

The kicker was that the day we were checking out, after all this was over, the lactation consultant comes by, sees me nursing, says “good latch,” quizzes me (how do you know if the baby is getting enough?), and then leaves. Gee, that’s helpful.

While I’m complaining, on a completely unrelated note, I got the demonically possessed hospital bed. The bed is for patients who cannot move and it automatically adjusts as you move. So when I shifted my weight in my sleep, the bed moved, waking me. If I lowered it so I could get out to use the bathroom, it raised. And of course it was noisy, too.

As you can imagine, I could not wait to break out of that place!

To add one last final insult, they insisted I be pushed out in a wheelchair by a staff member. I would have protested, but I just wanted to leave.

I think if I have a third birth, I’m going to just make the absurdly long drive to the nearest birthing center or do it at home.

All of this is not to say you cannot breastfeed if medical need requires your child to have a bottle early on, nor is it to criticize those who choose to formula feed–but just to show how hospital policies that are not always rooted in actual medical need, can create problems during the crucial early stage of breastfeeding. This is why we need to promote breastfeeding and support nursing mamas!

Okay… end rant. Back to enjoying motherhood!

Sonny Side Up


On August 31, 6:01 AM, Junior joined the world, weighing in at 10 lbs., 4 oz. and 22.5 inches.

Trying to finish up some of my freelance contracts, I was ignoring what felt like some minor contractions. I asked Captain Dad to time them and he said they were less than 7 minutes apart. I told him that was not possible, because they were pretty weak. I kept working and then decided if it was not labor, I could always finish tomorrow and if it were labor, I ought to get some rest.

I tried to sleep but couldn’t, so I hopped into the shower. While I was in the shower, the contractions deepened. Captain Dad timed them to about 3-4 minutes apart. Again, they still felt too weak to be labor and it was almost midnight and I was reluctant to wake my in-laws to come over for the toddler in case it was false labor. Finally, though, I told Captain Dad, “Call your parents, now.”

By the time they arrived, I was sure I was in labor. And thinking this was going to be a long labor (my first was 24 hours), I was sure I was going to want more than my hypnobirthing tapes. If only I had known how quick this would be.

My father in law drove my husband and I to the hospital so my husband could help me stay calm in the back seat. By the time we got to the hospital, around 1:30 AM, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and I was 4 cm dilated.

I opted for the epidural so I could concentrate on the task ahead–we were concerned about the size of Junior and the possibility of shoulder dyslocia. I asked the midwife about her largest vaginal delivery and she said, “almost 10 lbs.” I told her this may be a new record for her.

I settled in and the midwife checked the contractions, “There must be something wrong with the monitor, these look way too strong.”

“I don’t know…they felt pretty strong before the epidural.”

“Yeah, but if they were this strong…you’d be…well…let’s check. Oh…wow. You’re fully dilated.”

We tried pushing but I really wasn’t feeling it and he only moved a little bit. Even though I’d only been in active labor for a few hours, and she said I had “plenty of room,” she was concerned because he was stubbornly stuck behind a bone. I don’t really believe in “pushing” so hard–but I knew time was not on our side with this one. With his high weight, the compression was causing his scalp to swell up. What I did not realize at the time, is that he was also “sunny side up” (posterior) which was adding to the difficulty of delivering him.

DH was a great coach, rubbing where I said to rub, even when I seemed to need help in five different spots at once, and echoing the midwife’s encouraging words but with more love, confidence, and conviction. After, I told him that it was almost comical–he clearly had no idea whether or not I was doing a “good job” but just wanted to say something that wouldn’t result in a look of undying contempt.

The midwife called in pediatrics (due to his size and position, he was at risk for certain conditions) and an obstetrics doctor in case he did get stuck halfway out and more complicated maneuvers were necessary.

After the birth, Captain Dad remarked that he could see why I prefer midwives. Seconds after she walked in the room, the doctor was whispering to the midwife (as if I was some insensate beast) about how soon they could prep me for c-section.

We took a break and then I was ready to try to move him again. Just like last time, after some convincing that the epidural was wearing off, the midwife agreed to help me move into another position. Finally, I persuaded her to bring out the bar. She told me she was not willing to let this go on much longer and she’d give me one more good push. I told her “two more,” thinking that there was no way I was giving up yet but that I needed her on my side. She agreed, although I think she was pretty sure I would not even manage to get to the bar.

I sat up and reached for the bar and got onto my legs. I started to move him out and I could feel him sliding out. The midwife shouted, “Oh, my God!” and I saw her lunge forward. Between the gravity and the change of position, he shot out like greased pig.

And, after some brief checking, he was placed, huge and hungry, on me.

There would be some sewing up of a fourth degree tear (I believe Catherine used the phrase, “tore his own exit” for her son’s precipitous descent but I could not locate the exact post), and some wrangling with various staff over the hospital’s not so breastfeeding friendly policies (but I’ll save that for another post)…but mostly there was us. Our family. Our new baby boy.

Welcome to the world Junior the Jotunn, mommy’s little giant.



He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother (41 Weeks)

Toddler Girl has offered to go get little brother out. I only wish it were that simple!

I’m now 41 weeks, 2 days and Junior hasn’t budged. The midwives have already estimated he is large. Clearly he is. I can feel his head and his rear and he is definitely big. The question is, how big? And what, if anything, to do about it.

The ultrasound today places his weight at 10 lbs. 12 oz. Unfortunately, there’s a huge margin of error there. In the back of my mind, though, is another number–8 oz. gained every week. Assuming the sonogram estimate is one pound too heavy, that’s still a large kid, who is getting larger every day.

Because my midwife is associated with the hospital’s practice, she has to inform my of the “increased risk of shoulder dystocia” and “offer” me a scheduled c-section. Which, to a hypochondriac like me, is like chum in the water.

I asked her a million and one questions, driving her to go consult with a doctor and, eventually, just photocopy reference pages for me to take home and read. I’m supposed to page her with our plan tomorrow.

So, full-on research mode. I learn that Fetal Macrosomia is difficult to predict by ultrasound and alone does not indicate a cesarean. I learn that induction in this case is also not indicated…my interpretation in layman’s terms would be “worse than useless.”

I also learn that Shoulder Dystocia is still rare, though a frightening and potentially extremely dangerous complication.

And then I read Nicola’s comment about a big baby birth on British BabyCentre:

i had a scan at 36 weeks which confirmed i was carrying at that time an 8lb baby. my first born was 9lb 5oz and my 2nd was 9lb 6oz. we were expecting a big baby however when i went into labour 12 days overdue, 9 hours later i gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 11lb 15oz… All absolutely natural, no stitches. healed absolutely perfectly and was up and about straight after delivery.

And then I found the “miraculous birth” story of this great big baby via Enjoy Birth.

Which is exactly what I needed to hear.

Right now, after pouring through online medical journals, we’re not planning on doing anything until at least 42 weeks. I’m hoping I go into labor before then, and things progress well. I’m considering a private hypnobirthing session, too, to bolster my confidence–I did this when Baby #1 was discovered to be transverse. She turned in time for the birth…I’m not saying there is causation there, but it can’t hurt, right?

Send labor vibes, people!

Jessica Alba’s Natural Birth

It is so wonderful to hear a celebrity like Jessica Alba talking about a natural, peaceful birth:

“I didn’t scream,” Jessica tells OK! in an exclusive interview and photoshoot. “It was really Zen.” And Cash could only marvel at his wife’s quiet strength when she gave birth. “She didn’t make a sound,” he says. “It was amazing.”

The Love Guru star tells OK! that she had natural birth. “The labor was more like meditation,” she says. “I did yoga breathing. I was focused.”

Go Ahead, Make My Day (34 Weeks Prenatal Visit)

We went to the 34 Week Prenatal Visit last night. Yes, it was the same midwife from last time, though she seemed to have relaxed and there were no more awkward non-joke jokes.

We have decided to have a hospital birth because my first child was born with a complex heart condition and my husband was deployed during the last birth. We considered a home birth, but decided that wasn’t the best option this time for our family as a whole. Although I wish we had the “middle ground” option of a birthing center, that isn’t available in our area.

So, at this visit, I brought a draft of the birth plan to get an idea of what to emphasize. Our hospital is actually the best in our area both as a medical facility and in terms of what I want for the birth–the midwife practice has a very low c-section rate, less than half the national average, and the other area hospitals do not offer rooming in. So, all was going relatively well until we got to the part about allowing labor to progress naturally even after the membranes release.

Although she said they are willing to let things take their natural course, she casually mentioned that if I develop a fever during labor, my son will be brought to the NICU for antibiotics until he is cleared to go.

“The WHAT?”

Last time I did in fact develop a fever, which no one noticed until my mom said, “She’s burning up.” The wait for antibiotics stalled the labor but in the end, everything worked out fine. After she was born, my daughter was given antibiotics in an IV drip in our room. After 24 hours, she checked out fine and, if it weren’t for the heart murmur, we would have been able to leave.

So, explain to me why my son would need to go to a NICU to receive antibiotics?

According to the midwife: “That was Texas. I don’t know of any hospital in New York that does that. That’s the policy.”

Hopefully this won’t be an issue. But what bothers me the most is the pressure it puts on once the membranes release–the threat of separation hanging over you, pressuring you to make decisions you don’t want to make. If labor isn’t progressing, then here comes the suggestion of pictocin (don’t want to get an infection and be separated), and then the increased risk of a c-section. Last time I had pit but no c-section (thankfully), but that’s a fairly typical downward spiral of how a mama who wants to have a natural or vaginal birth can lose control of her own labor. To me this is not allowing things to take their course.

Later on, I find out that they have a “non-separation bonus” which means that, if requested in advance, the standard heel-pricking, etc. are done in the room with you unless they don’t have enough staffing.

Would I have found out about this if I hadn’t strongly expressed the desire to not be separated from my newborn son?

And, sorry…we’ll wait until staffing is available for non-urgent medical procedures. Unless someone’s life is in danger, no one is taking my newborn son from me.

Out in the parking lot, I turned to my husband and said, “You know, I can refuse consent…if there’s a problem, we may find out how security reacts to a postpartum mama who refuses to hand over her baby.”

He gave me that look you give the strange guy on the street who mutters to himself.

“Will you back me up?”

He still looked a bit anxious, but to his credit the man said yes.

Week 20: You Gotta Have Heart

Skipping way ahead to current day. I’m in week 20 and I just had the fetal echo cardiogram. Because my daughter was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, they wanted to check out Junior (oh, yeah, BTW–IT’S A BOY!).

All looks well and I’ve been cleared to proceed as “normal.”

Which begs the question for me, what is normal? I had a midwife last time in Texas, and I’ve found a good midwife practice here in New York. However, I didn’t have the most pleasant labor experience last time around. How much of that was exacerbated or alleviated by being in a hospital, it is hard to say.

Part of me is really starting to feel like hospitals are great–for sick people. But a normal pregnant woman with a normal baby isn’t sick. And it isn’t just the horror stories of healthy pregnant women catching rare awful things from other patients…I’m also just really thinking about why hospitals are necessary for birth.

I’m a fan of Hathor and Crunchy Domestic Goddess, and I’ve been listening and reflecting on what they have to say about home births and the importance of feeling comfortable in your birthing place.

The benefits (in my mind) of a home birth is that it feels more natural and normal to me and I’ll have privacy and can birth the way I wish. The barriers to a home birth include the limited number of nurse-midwives in my area who will attend, the comfort level of other essential participants, and inertia. After all, the path of least resistance is to just go to the hospital. Which is strange, isn’t it? You would think that the easiest thing to do would be to just stay put, but somehow decades of pop culture have made it seem far more normal to rush into a speeding car, climb into a wheel chair, and be propped up in an unfamiliar bed.

My husband missed the birth last time (he was in Iraq), and he is looking forward to it. But I think he would feel more confident having his first time (and yes, his opinion does count here) in a hospital. I can’t forget that although I have a previous experience, this is all fairly new to him.

So, if anyone is actually out there reading…I’d love to hear your experiences with home birth. And I would REALLY love some words of wisdom from your partners. How did they feel about the home birth, before, during and after? Did they need convincing? What made them go for it? How was it? Would they want to do it again?

Attachment Parenting: Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting

On a mom support/discussion site I started a group for talking about attachment parenting. I’m no expert on the topic, but I love chatting about it with other moms. A mom-to-be asked us what AP is all about, and lots of the group posters responded. This got me thinking–it would be fun to have a big discussion about each of the eight principles of AP as laid out by the API.

Then I thought it would be fun if I could get some additional people involved in the discussion by posting on my blog.

If you would like to share an understanding of the Attachment Parenting principle, please either comment or leave your link in the comments. Next week, I’ll move onto the next principle and also link back to anyone who posted on their own blogs. If you have a blog, could you also link to this post (or the post with the principle you are writing about) so others will join in.

It will be like a carnival of attachment parenting, I guess, but with less structure.

The last talk about what is attachment parenting got me thinking–since the philosophy is very much open to interpretation, maybe it would be interesting and enlightening for us to look at a principle (from the API) each week or so and say what it means to us and how we do that…

This week I’m talking about:

***1. Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting***

The rest of the principles are:

2. Feed with Love and Respect
3. Respond with Sensitivity
4. Use Nurturing Touch
5. Engage in Nighttime Parenting
6. Provide Consistent Loving Care
7. Practice Positive Discipline
8. Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Here are my thoughts:

For me this means taking the time to educate yourself on your options and weighing the risks and benefits of your choices. It means considering the fact that your body is in a symbiotic relationship with another human being and trying to foster that relationship.

The way I personally, specifically take action on this one:

  • I watch what I eat during pregnancy…though I actually eat a fairly good pregnancy diet the rest of the time, anyway.
  • I should exercise–but chasing a toddler counts, right?
  • I try to listen to my body…though that was easier before I gave birth to my little Hurricane…
  • Last birth I listened to hypnobirthing tapes. This birth, I am torn. I would like to have a better and more natural experience, but I also have the concern that we could have a repeat of the heart condition, which might necessitate medical intervention. I’ve been talking with DH about what role I would like to see him play (actually, it comes out more like, “Guard the door and keep people the hell away from me unless I ask for them.”) I feel lacking in this department, but also unsure of where to look next.
  • I feel fairly well prepared for parenting. I anticipate the major decisions and discuss them with my husband. We’re on the same page and he backs me up on the decisions I make as the primary caretaker and I don’t give him too much grief about minor changes in routine that he does when he watches her (like dumping syrup on pancakes for breakfast when I usually give her oatmeal and fresh fruit–it’s only once or twice a week). I kinda figure they don’t come much more high maintenance than my little diva and I’ve read and researched and I’m pretty happy with the way things are going so far. The next one simply HAS to be more mellow…right?

Please feel free to jump in, however you like!

Baby Diva’s Grand Entrance Into the World

Pamela Kramer of Happy Panda Baby is hosting a Cyber Baby Shower for the gals at 5 Minutes for Mom. Mamanista has donated a prize, by the way.

As one of their games, they want to know about labor stories. Since I already wrote about this, I’ll quote most of the older post and add some new details–because a story must always grow in the re-telling. 😉

ETA: They also want “baby bump” photos. Mine was just normal sized, but I’ll share. Here I am at 30 weeks:

And here’s a profile shot to get the full effect:

Warning: If you have never given birth before, you may want to skip the rest of this post. If you are a man, seriously, go read something else. If you are pregnant, JUST STOP READING NOW. Come back in a few months when you are holding your perfect little one.

Well, Baby Diva knows how to make an entrance. Shortly after Baby Diva’s birth, I wrote this:

At 2:30 am on the 8th, I awoke, feeling “kinda funny.” Then I felt “kinda wet.” Then I felt REALLY WET.

A week ago, I had found out Baby Diva was in the transverse lie position…meaning she was across my uterus instead of head down, or even butt down. Laboring in that position is unsafe, and having your water break in that position is downright dangerous, so I had an appointment to attempt to turn Baby Diva the following day.

Obviously I was never going to make that appointment.

Super Dad was still on his way home for leave from the Sandbox (Iraq) and my mom was not due in from New York for about 12 hours. So, my friend graciously picked me up at 2:30 am on the 8th.

Three doctors consulted because they were not sure if Baby Diva was still transverse or not. Meanwhile, a nurse tried to get an IV in me and I refused. I wanted a hep lock. She kept saying–but when you have a c-section…I kept saying, but that is not certain yet.

She mumbled something about me being difficult–but walked away.

Finally, they decided Baby Diva was a little twisted, but head down enough to proceed.

They allowed me to labor for about 8 hours but I was not making any progress at all–in fact I went backwards. With the water broken they urged pictocin. They put it all the way up and I handled it for about 2 hrs. I tried to play my hypnobirthing tapes but they kept interrupting any relaxation I was able to achieve. When they said it was going to still be a long while, I went for the epidural.

My mom was delayed at the airport–she was due in that day at noon! She arrived just as they were prepping me for the epidural.

Then we started to make progress…but I developed an infection, and the contractions stopped really working.

What I did not mention is:

1. The epidural only ever worked on one side. So for the rest of the labor, pictocin-enhanced contractions kept coming on my right side. Not feeling it on the left, though, was enough to keep me from passing out.

2. I was so determined, I said, “I can stand if that will help.” The midwife said, there is no way you could stand with that epidural. “No,” I told her, “It has been wearing off. I can do it.” Reluctantly, she brought be the bar and I stood so gravity could do its work. Seriously. I could kick Chuck Norris’ butt.

3. Even that was not enough. I’d get her crowning, but then, because of my fever, it would be too long until my next contraction and all my labor would be undone.

I think my mom was ready to club me over the head and tell them to wheel me into the O.R.

I won’t go into the gory (gorier) details, but with the epidural wearing off and pushing past the 24 hour mark, I still managed to get her out. I told the midwife there was no way I was having a c-section after 24 hours of labor!!! (OF COURSE if it had been life or death I would have–but other than that I was determined)

Baby Diva was born on August 9, 2:38 am, and was 7 lbs, 2 oz, 19.5 in. I have never felt so perfectly warm and wonderful as when they placed her on my chest.

Two days later, she would be diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. My husband had to go back to Iraq and my mom returned to New York–leaving me with a baby who shouldn’t cry but was determined to be colicky anyway. But now she is the heart-healthy one year old you see on this blog.

So, it was all worth it!

Explorers Journal

Dear Readers,

I do not know if I shall survive. I have been in darkness so long.

Underground stream

Whoosh

One they call “Mommy”

Fattening me for some sort of ritual slaughter

Already beginning to lose knowledge of my native language and identify with my captors

Baby Diva Debuts

Baby Diva Hours OldBaby Diva knows how to make an entrance.

Warning: If you have never given birth before, you may want to skip this post.

At 2:30 am on the 8th, I awoke, feeling “kinda funny.” Then I felt “kinda wet.” Then I felt REALLY WET.

A week ago, I had found out Baby Diva was in the transverse lie position…meaning she was across my uterus instead of head down, or even butt down. Laboring in that position is unsafe, and having your water break in that position is downright dangerous, so I had an appointment to attempt to turn Baby Diva the following day.

Obviously I was never going to make that appointment.

Super Dad was still on his way home for leave from the Sandbox (Iraq) and my mom was not due in from New York for about 12 hours. So, my friend graciously picked me up at 2:30 am on the 8th.

Three doctors consulted because they were not sure if Baby Diva was still transverse or not. Meanwhile, a nurse tried to get an IV in me and I refused. I wanted a hep lock. She kept saying–but when you have a c-section…I kept saying, but that is not certain yet.

Finally, they decided Baby Diva was a little twisted, but head down enough to proceed.

They allowed me to labor for about 8 hours but I was not making any progress at all–in fact I went backwards. With the water broken they urged pictocin. They put it all the way up and I handled it for about 2 hrs. I tried to play my hypnobirthing tapes but they kept interrupting any relaxation I was able to achieve. When they said it was going to still be a long while, I went for the epidural.

My mom was delayed at the airport–she was due in that day at noon! She arrived just as they were prepping me for the epidural.

Then we started to make progress…but I developed an infection, and the contractions stopped really working. With the epidural wearing off and pushing past the 24 hour mark, I still managed to get her out. I told the midwife there was no way I was having a c-section after 24 hours of labor!!! (OF course if it had been life or death I would have–but other than that I was determined.)

Baby Diva was born on August 9, 2:38 am, and was 7 lbs, 2 oz, 19.5 in. I have never felt so perfectly warm and wonderful as when they placed her on my chest.

Over the next two days, the doctors came to me with increasingly worrisome reports about Baby Diva having a heart murmur. Finally, they decided to transfer her to San Antonio…but at the last minute decided it would be safe for me and my mother to drive her down so I could continue to breastfeed her along the way.

At San Antonio we discovered that she has a condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot, which will require surgery sometime between 3-6 mos. Later is better as she will be stronger.

In the meantime, Lilah is behaving like any newborn–I just have to keep her extra calm and take exra germ precautions.

Some of the scariest words I have heard now include:

“And she will require open-heart surgery.”

“Try your best to keep her calm. If she cries, she may turn blue.”

“Here is the 24 hour pager for when she turns blue.”

Super Dad was able to hear Baby Diva’s first cries on the phone and arrived back home for leave the day after our San Antonio trip.