I can’t believe our sweet Lenora Rose is a month old! Sharing her emotional birth story below. Crazy how different each delivery and recovery has been. This is a long one…
Lenora Rose Cordell was born at 6:10am on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. I worked from home on that Monday and Tuesday as the rest of my team was a conference in Las Vegas and this uber uncomfortable mama needed to work in my pajamas. The craziest similarity with all three deliveries? I had either worked from home or taken the day off before I went into labor with each one!
About 7pm I was exhausted laying on the couch while Jon started the bedtime routine with Liv and Gray upstairs. Sad to admit but I lost my cool with Liv and snapped at her moments before this; over what I don’t even remember. #momlow I stood up and felt a small rush of liquid, I thought, that’s weird, I can usually hold my pee. Omg. Holy shit. That’s not pee!!! I yell up the stairs calmly, “Um Jon, my water just broke” and in typical daddy bear fashion I hear back “alright Gray, time to brush your teeth” ha – life shall continue!
Since my water didn’t break with the other two, I had no idea what was supposed to happen. It definitely wasn’t a rush a la Miranda on SATC all over Carrie’s Manolo’s. I called my midwife and she asked if contractions started, which they hadn’t, and she said usually come on pretty quick after your water breaks. We made a plan to go in by 6am the next morning if they hadn’t happened on their own (I could do this as my Hep B test was negative). Well over the next 7 hours my water kept leaking which is the grossest feeling ever. Luckily those adult diapers came in handy but I couldn’t fall asleep at all! I was anxious as I really wanted my contractions to start on their own and go into labor without the aid of drugs. Plus, this was finally really happening!
Well, about 1am they started!!! But like 10-20 minutes apart. Shit, this is going to be a long labor I thought! And then at 2am they came on fast, every 5 minutes. I let Jon continue to sleep until about 2:45 when I thought OK this is really happening! We flew to the hospital as my sister had already come over earlier in the evening as we knew no matter what someone would need to be at home in the early morning.
Checked in, epidural – ah, heaven, quick hour cat nap and I remember from before when you feel the urge to poop, it’s time!!! Ha, did anyone else’s midwives or doctors say this?!
I was elated that the same midwife who delivered Olivia would deliver our sweet baby girl! She is calm and creates such a warm environment I asked to watch in the mirror this time and found this to be incredibly beautiful. I don’t know why but I half expected to be grossed or weirded out. After 3 pushes our Lenny was here! Plopped on my belly as her umbilical cord was pretty short. She was “cheesy” the nurses said and her screams brought tears to Jon and my eyes. After all the post-birth necessary clean up, we headed up stairs for our new home for the next 2 days.
It was an hour after delivery that my world came crashing down. I don’t remember the details but I suffered from a postpartum hemorrhage. My nurse went to go press on my uterus to ensure it was contracting and I guess didn’t like how much blood came out because (and this is where I sort of black out but Jon remembers every.detail. Poor guy. I can’t imagine how traumatic this was for him to see. everything.) all of a sudden she calls into her phone “we need the hemorrhage cart stat” and 30 seconds later the room is flooded with 8 people. All lights on. New IV’s being inserted, pricked with shots in my hips and given a drug that made me feel beyond blackout drunk (and this Big 10 College Bartender could drink back in the day!). The doctor gave a big push on my belly and all I remember is the feeling of a waterfall of blood rush out of me. It just felt like SO much and it was. I ended up losing 900ml, just 100ml short of needing a transfusion, thank God. I remember looking up at the ceiling and feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath, like I was going to die and then those thoughts of never seeing my husband or kids again and I started to have a mild panic attack. I met Jon’s eyes and he reassured me everything would be OK and that I was strong. Afterwards I talked to my bestie who is a nurse and they said he was lucky to be allowed in the room. He wasn’t leaving my side, my rock. Deep breaths. Ok and this is WAY TMI, but in order to stop the bleeding, the doctor stuck her entire forearm up my who-ha to scrap out the clots. I couldn’t feel a thing and had no idea what was happening.
From there I was on the mend but it was beyond terrifying to have a beautiful birth and then feel like I could die. The recovery from massive blood loss was not what I expected; I was lethargic, super tired (beyond the no-sleep thing), pounding headaches all day every day. I found it really difficult to function with needy kids around and me wanting to be their super mom. I took the first two weeks and legit didn’t get out of my jammies so I didn’t feel this internal pressure to do things. Jon was and is amazing; taking the kids every morning so I can get another cycle of sleep in. Halima had fun activities every day so I could really focus on myself, Lenny, sleep and ensuring I ate enough to keep my incredible supply going.
I really tried to up my iron intake with vitamin C to help my energy. Lots of Spinach smoothies with pineapple and steak. I just now feel back to myself. And the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn is a real struggle; my cognitive thinking is at an all time low. It takes forever to do something that I could do rather quickly before, I don’t think a layer or two beyond the surface of whatever task needs to get done. I actually only can do tasks, I find it a real challenge to use my right brain and connect emotionally right now. Fortunately, zero issues on the marital front – we even went out on a date night to see Mumford & Sons and danced our asses off!
Life adjusting to a zone defense has been interesting but because Lenny is still in that sleepy newborn phase, it’s not impossible. Nurse, sleep, poop repeat. The love Olivia and Grayson have for sweet baby “len len” as they call her is beyond imaginable. It’s not all roses though – Liv is obsessed with being first and Gray retaliates with a nice “plop” on the head. I’m hoping some individual daily attention nips this.
Having fully recovered now, I guess it’s pretty rare (like 1% of births) but once you have one you have a significantly higher chance of having another one. So I guess our thought of having a fourth kid is officially squashed. Ha!