That First Cup of Tea

Today I made myself a cup of afternoon tea for the first time in…a year and a half? It used to be almost daily I would have tea in the afternoons. Lately I had been having cold coffee because it is there and quick.

I miss having tea, and having the time to enjoy a cup. Having a baby is so exhausting and even when he naps, there are other things to do besides enjoy a cup of tea. couple that with battle some pretty extreme exhaustion and there’s just no time, or really no energy, to make a cup.

Dmitri has always appreciated his alone time; always been good at keeping himself occupied. It would usually only last long enough for me to sit down and answer some messages though. As he’s gotten older, his independent play time has stretched out even longer so that I can get half an hour to myself at a time. Still not long enough to make a drink a cup of tea without burning myself.

The exhaustion I’ve been dealing with turns out to be Epstein-Barr virus. The virus that causes mono. I was lucky enough to get it without getting mono. the only symptom I got was exhaustion, which isn’t at all helpful when trying to get a diagnosis.

So now that the Epstein-Barr seems to be cycling down for now, and Dmitri is happily playing with his cars in the same room as me but not being engaged by me, I was able to make a cup of tea. It may seem like a silly thing to make my first blog post in months about but it feels important. To me at least Having energy to do things again is amazing and hopefully I’ll be able to keep this blog up more.


‘Tis the Season

Well our first Christmas as a complete little family has come and gone. We had most of Tyler’s family here, minus his sister and sister-in-law. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see everyone we wanted like my dad and the rest of the family but that’s to be expected living far away. Dmitri loved having his grandparents here and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed his company too. He got passed around to everyone every day and was loving all the attention. Even though our house was full of people it was relatively stress-free. My only anxiety was when the creator of the Fucked-up Family Bullshit got sneaky access to Dmitri (which is something we expressly told them not to do (seriously, how can you think that sneaking behind my back to see Dmitri is going to fix our relationship, like at all. For fucks sake grow up.)) while we were Skyping with family. Fortunately that call couldn’t last very long because I had to go make dinner. I am really not impressed by the stunt they pulled but when you are dealing with someone who feels they are entitled to, well, everything, I’m not surprised they did that. Next time we’ll just ask to be called back when they aren’t there. Because fuck that. Seriously.

After dealing with that, I finished making my turkey (which ended up being a little dry because I was on Skype too long) and the rest and I must say, it was pretty delicious. I enjoy cooking, even giant meals like Christmas dinner, as long as Dmitri is being taken care of. Luckily I had tons of people willing to sacrifice their afternoon to help me out.

After Tyler’s family left, he had a couple days off work still so we got to spend some time together and he got to have lot’s of Dmitri time, which they both loved. Now it’s just Dmitri and I again and he’s been getting pissed that he only has be around but he’ll get over it. He got quite a few new toys for Christmas so we’ve been cycling through them each day and he’s forgetting about changing hands so often. Soon we’ll be back to normal and he’ll only want a change of handlers once Tyler gets home. He does love his Man Time

The next celebration coming up will be Dmitri’s birthday and I’m pretty sure That’ll be the next post unless we do something exciting. I think for the most part I’m going to keep Dmitri pictures to a minimum here and post most of them on my Facebook. I’ve set my privacy settings so that only friends can see what I post and I would like to keeps pictures of him more private. Anyone can read this blog, which is cool, but I do want to keep Dmitri more protected.

I will post a couple lot of Christmas pics because they are too cute not to share!


Half a Year

I know that it’s totally cliche, but it seems crazy to me that Dmitri is already 6 months. We’ve been able to keep another human alive for six whole months! Dmitri is now at the age where he is experiencing separation anxiety. I put him down and he looses his shit. While it’s fairly annoying, I have to keep reminding myself that he’s just learned that I can leave him and that is scary as shit for someone who has always known that I or Tyler will always be right there. Instead of being frustrated that I can’t really get anything done unless he’s napping, I need to make a conscious effort to not be annoyed and go give him cuddles. If the house is a mess and dinner isn’t made, it shouldn’t matter. It will get done eventually. Luckily Tyler fully supports this and knows that taking care of Dmitri is a full time job. I feel so incredibly lucky to have such a supportive husband and a husband that takes Dmitri as soon as he gets home from work so I can make dinner and clean and go pee.

I always get mad at myself for getting frustrated with Dmitri when he whines or cries. I know that he is doing it for a reason and I’m still adjusting to ‘everything else can wait’. I want to have a tidy house and dinner cooking but those things don’t matter as much as Dmitri does. I want him to have a happy childhood and not feel as though he takes second place to whatever I am doing.

We always want our children to have what we didn’t or have a better life than us. Unless of course you had a fantastic childhood and had everything in the world. For me, I want him to have 2 supportive and loving parents. I want him to have more good memories than bad. I know that I cannot make all his memories good, because I will fuck up. I know that I will never be a perfect parent because, you do as you know. Unless you break the cycle, as I am constantly trying to do. I’m not saying that every part of my childhood was awful because it wasn’t. But I do have more bad memories than good ones and they’re all of stuff I never want Dmitri to ever experience. So, while he is still young and won’t remember anything, I continuously question what I’m doing and asking myself “Is this what was done to me that had a negative impact?”. So far, I don’t think I’ve done anything to fuck him up yet but I know it will only get harder the older he gets. I am hoping though that, by always questioning my actions or thoughts, it will become second nature and not a conscious effort. Hopefully eventually, I will naturally do what’s right, and not what’s damaging.

One thing we have done to hopefully help make sure Dmitri doesn’t experience the same kind of abuse I suffered is we cut the family member who caused the fucked up family bullshit and trauma in my childhood (except for this blog because I am not tech savvy enough to know how to block their access). With them out of our lives for now, I can focus on what I need to do in order to not have history repeat itself.

Each month with Dmitri comes with new challenges but more importantly, more joys. He is so much fun to be around is always just a happy smiling guy who seems to really enjoy his existence in life. That is something I am determined to continue as long as I am living.



Healing is hard. While I’m mostly healed, I’m not at 100%. I still have a hard time bending all the way over without feeling it pulling and if I’ve had a particularly active day, I still get sore. Leaning forwards against a counter, or anything really, is a bad idea and Noklop still can’t walk over me.

Everyone always talks about just the good things about having a baby. I think part of that is because the hormones that make you forget how awful pregnancy and childbirth are are still present to make you forget about the first few months (that and sleep deprivation) but also I think as mothers, we are expected to enjoy every minute of being a new mother and god forbid you say anything negative. We shouldn’t have to struggle with anything because having a baby is supposed to be so natural. They are supposed to come out maybe not with ease but it should be natural, baby should latch right away and the baby should be a good sleeper. If we show that we are struggling, it makes us look like, or feel like, we aren’t able to be a good parent. You never hear of anyone else struggling so why are you? Your friend’s baby latched and breastfeeding was a breeze so why are you having such a hard time with it? Well, I’m willing to bet that your friend didn’t have an easy go at breastfeeding. I’ll bet she was engored for a while and it was also painful and maybe there were other issues but she didn’t admit it to you because, well, I don’t know. I have no shame in admitting my struggles in the first 2 months. While Dmitri has always had a good latch, I had way too much milk. I dreaded feeding him because there was so much milk that he always choked and was only getting foremilk. Even if I pumped out 4 ounces, there was still too much for him to handle. I couldn’t lay down to feed him because I couldn’t lay on my side for about 6 weeks because of the c-section. But, we struggled through it and my milk supply has finally figured itself out. Mostly. He’s been eating less frequently but taking more so I still get engored but it’s not every day now. Maybe once or twice a week I get uncomfortable. I’ll take that over waking up every morning with rocks under my skin.

Earlier, I wrote about hormones taking me by surprise. They got better as time went on but I had to deal with some fucked up family bullshit and the anxiety and stress of it all almost sent me over the edge. Up until then, my hormones were good. They made Dmitri and I bond and made me miss him when Tyler took him in the mornings (I still miss him, but not as strongly). However, the stress of the family bullshit sent my anxiety through the roof and dealing with all that fucked up shit made me so stressed out that my milk all but dried up for a few days. Because of my over-production of milk I had plenty of food for him but I didn’t know when I would get my supply back. It took at least a week before I could feed him without having to add bottled milk. That stressed me out even more and my anxiety got out of control. I was so much more weepy than before and I couldn’t control it. I knew it was situational and not true postpartum depression/anxiety but I didn’t think I would be able to get myself out of it. I had my 6 week check a week or so later so I talked with my nurse practitioner about my situation, already planning on asking for help through it. She sat and listened and agreed that it was the situation that was fucked up (my words not hers, she talked about Jesus…) and asked if I wanted something to help me. I agreed and was given a prescription for a low dose of Zoloft.  The Zoloft helped immensely and I could feel my brain clearing up. Part of that was the hormones finally leveling off but I knew I needed the Zoloft to help calm the anxiety so that the hormones could stop going crazy.

Just as I have no shame in talking about how shitty being a new mother can be, I have no shame in admitting I needed help with mental health due in part by being a new mum. Women are always comparing themselves to each other and I think that’s bullshit. I could easily have read all the stories about how birth was easy and believed the bitchy women that say that you’re weak for having a c-section but I didn’t and I hate that some mums out there do. I fully believe that without the c-section either Dmitri, or myself would not be here today. When I wrote about Dmitri tearing his way into the world, I wrote about the very little bit that I remember. I did leave some stuff out, not because I forgot but because I didn’t want to add how dire my situation became. I remember the sense of urgency in the OR and I remember being suctioned out. A lot. I also remember the surgeon talking about how they had to get my bleeding under control. My uterus had gotten so swollen that it kept tearing. And tearing and tearing. It took them an hour and a half to get that under control. My healing from the c-section wasn’t just from the usual incisions, but also from a patched up uterus.  If Tyler and I want to have another spawn (this is a very big if) I have to wait at least 2 years and will have to have a c-section again. And I will probably be considered higher risk due to scar tissue.

The point of this very long post was to show all the new mums (and there have been quite a few in the last little bit) that no, being a new parent isn’t easy. Everyone struggles with some aspect of it. We should be able to complain and admit that we don’t enjoy everything that goes along with it. That doesn’t mean that we don’t love being a new mum and don’t love our babies because we do. There’s a crazy kind of love that you don’t experience until you have your baby and I wouldn’t ever give that up for anything. No matter how many sleepless nights I have, no matter how many times I get engorged, I can’t imagine my life going back to how it was before Dmitri.

I think some people need to remember that just because someone isn’t constantly complaining about how much pain they are in or how they are struggling, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Being in pain from surgery was constant and I didn’t think I needed to talk about it every second (though apparently I did). This doesn’t just apply to physical health but mental as well. Anxiety and depression and the like aren’t things that pop up to say hi for 20 minutes then go away. Until the person gets help, it’s ever present. And sometimes even with help, it’s still there a bit. Or a lot. With new mums, we need to remember that they are probably struggling with something and maybe doesn’t want to admit it. New mums and dads need all the support they can get. If you’ve had children, talk about what you struggled with. If you didn’t have any issues you are either full of shit or have completely forgotten. Even If you didn’t have the same issue, be supportive. Don’t pick fights and argue and assume that the new mum being quiet is because she’s pissed at you for some reason. She is probably worried about how she can overcome her issue or is tired. Or in pain. Or all 3.  Try reminding her that everyone struggles in the beginning and while it doesn’t seem like it now, it will get better. “It Will Get Better” was my mantra until about 2 weeks ago because it finally did get better.  That doesn’t mean that I still don’t struggle with feeding him or the pain of healing but it’s much better than it was and I know It Can Only Get Better

The Force Is Strong

Force, nature, hormones, whatever the fuck you want to call the thing that makes my brain completely irrational and weepy. It’s not a bad ‘I can’t/don’t want to deal with my baby’ kind of weepy, it’s what I would call a good weepy. It’s a ‘someone else is caring for my baby for an hour and I miss him so much’ kind of weepy. It’s totally irrational and really fucking annoying and I know that it’s just hormones leveling out but good god. I was never emotional during my pregnancy. I could read sad stories or watch baby commercials without feeling feels (except the Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercials but I don’t know anyone who can watch those without feels) and not get emotional. But this last week and especially yesterday was really tough.

Tyler’s mum wanted to go for a run and Tyler’s dad suggested taking Dmitri in his pram.I didn’t really think anything of it and was kind of excited to get to have a nap considering I was up pretty much all night with Dmitri and could use a bit of a restart. They left for their run and I retreated to my bedroom but was overtaken my an overwhelming sense of lonliness and sadness because I missed him so goddamn much already. I know that part of that was due to exhaustion and the rest was from hormones. I wasn’t worried about his safety or anything like that because I knew he was in good hands and the pram has pretty awesome shocks on it so I knew he wouldn’t get jostled around. My only thoughts were of how much I missed him. Which is stupid because I knew he would be back in like an hour and I would be able to hold him and kiss him all I wanted but the irrational part of my brain just wouldn’t leave and let the rational part take over again. I basically cried myself to sleep. Then slept for 3 hours so at some point my rational brain must have come back because I didn’t even hear them come back and didn’t hear his cry for dinner or anything.

I’m not an emotional person so having absolutely no control over these fucking hormones has been tough and annoying. I know that they will pass in a couple weeks and as long as they don’t turn from good weepy to bad weepy, they aren’t worrisome.

The best way to calm that force down is baby snuggles. They still have the same effect on me that they had the night I delivered him. A great sense of calm washes over me and I can feel us both relax so we can settle into a good cuddle session.

I never thought I could love something so strongly so quickly. I was worried about making that bond with him but turns out I worried for nothing. I immediately felt a connection to him and it keeps getting deeper and deeper. I think I can’t love him anymore than I do but then I look at him or hold him and love him even more. It’s a good feeling.

Here are some more Dmitri pictures because why not.

It’s The Little Things

Today was the first day in 2 weeks that I was able to shave my legs. This may not seem like much but for me, it’s pretty big. It’s the first time I’ve been able to bend over without much pain. Until just recently, putting on pants has been difficult and socks took me at least a minute per sock. While I still have difficulty with those, I am finally feeling like I am healing and can possibly see a faint light at the end of the pain tunnel. I know I still have quite a ways to go but at least now I can see the baby steps getting me there.

Dmitri’s Entrance Into The World

We’ve had Dmitri in our arms for a whole 7 days now (well, sorta since he was born at 11:57 last Saturday) and already my memory of his birth is getting hazy. I’m assuming that means the after prego hormones that make you forget all the shitty things about pregnancy and labour are kicking in and since I don’t want to forget all the bad stuff (to remind me that I don’t want to breed again), I’m writing a fairly frank and honest post about our experience. If you don’t want to read about it (I don’t blame you), scroll down to the bottom to look at pictures of Dmitri.

So, onto the event, as I remember it. I’ll get Tyler to add any details i’m already missing.

Friday night we went to bed as usual. Dmitri was acting a bit different than usual in the womb. He was more active and moving low then wiggling back up. I thought that maybe he was just working his way down and that I would go into labour the next week or something. At the last appointment I was only 2 cm and 80% effaced so I didn’t think he was ready just yet. around 12:45 I was laying in bed tying to fall asleep when I felt this gush. I thought I had peed myself, something that I had managed to avoid during my pregnancy. When I felt a second gush I went oh fuck and jumped out of bed. I make it as far as the towel we keep on the floor for Noklop to play with and then felt another huge gush. It felt like a gallon of water came flying out of me when in reality it wasn’t even enough to soak the towel through. I clicked at Tyler to wake him up and told him my water just broke. He was kind of in denial and said ‘ Oh ok…so…can we go back to bed or…?’. I told him he can go back to bed but I’m gonna go hop in the shower because I’m disgusting. As I said that, more fluid gushed out of me to make my point. I think I took about half an hour in the shower at least because Tyler came in, more awake this time, and asked me if everything was alright and what we do next.

After my lovely but disgusting shower, I called the OB to see what they recommend and was told to wait at home till I have consistent contractions that get worse over time. I had no idea what contractions were supposed to feel like but at the moment I felt nothing so I wen’t back to bed. I watched Netflix for a while before I started feeling something. around 3:30 am and started timing them. They varied in time and intensity for a while but very soon went to consistently 3-4 minutes apart and getting a bit stronger. I called the OB again and she suggested I come in so we did. We arrived at the hospital a little after 5 am and went to triage to get checked and all that. I was only 3 cm and still 80% effaced, below the regular threshold for admission, but because my water had broken I was admitted. We met my nurse and then were left to labour. I thought that it would be Tyler and I for the majority of the time with people coming in and out to check but was pleasantly surprised that my nurse stayed with me the whole time. Well, at least till shift change.

Things kind of progressed in that the contractions got stronger but didn’t get consistent. sometimes they were 3 minutes apart but then there would be two back to back. I was given Fentanyl, which was wonderful for about an hour because I could doze a little but it wore off quickly and I didn’t like that. Around 11 am the doctor came to check me and there had been no change for the past 4 or 5 hours so she suggested we start Pitocin. I never wanted Pitocin as a way to induce labour but since I was already in it, I was fine with it. I did ask for an epidural at this point because Pitocin usually makes contractions stronger and closer together and I really didn’t want to feel them stronger than they already were. They were manageable at the time but anything stronger and I would have had a harder time with them.

Getting the epidural didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. It was more uncomfortable than painful, and that was a nice change. Of course, with getting the epidural, my contractions slowed down but they upped the Pitocin and they picked up and finally dilated to 6 cm by about 3 pm. I was optimistic that things were going to continue smoothly from here on out, by about 4:30 pm I was at 7 cm. The nurses had me change positions a lot and use different things to get things moving. I couldn’t get out of bed so they were brought to me. One was a giant peanut shaped rubber ball thingy that went between my knees. I liked that one because I could move my legs back and forth and it kept my mind off the shaking I was now experiencing due to the epidural. The other tool, I didn’t like. It was a beanbag with an indent for my bump to go in. The first it made me a little nauseous but it passed. It still wasn’t all that comfortable and I preferred to be on my knees. I was still able to be fairly mobile and could move around the bed with only a little assistance. I guess most people are stuck like lumps and need two nurses to help them shift but when a second nurse was called in to help, she wasn’t really needed. I think she liked me for that. It was either that or the 2 dozen cookies I brought in for the nurses. One nurse, not even one assigned to me came into the room to thank me for the cookies and asked how I got them to not be flattened out. I told her I add more flour than the recipe calls for. She kept chatting about the cookies for a bit and I remember thinking I’m glad she liked them but I’m kinda busy trying to force a baby out of me.

Around 7 pm was another shift change and this is where things started going downhill. My new nurse came in maybe an hour or so after the epidural started to not work. I think one of the positions I was in squished it a bit so the meds were displaced for a while. I was feeling the contractions full force and they were the most painful things I have every experienced. I have forgotten what they feel like now (thanks hormones) but I remember thinking they were just so awful and I wanted it to end.

So my new nurse comes in with me feeling the contractions. I think she thought that I had been feeling some pain the whole time because when both Tyler and I said I hadn’t been and that the pain was excruciating, she didn’t seem to think I was feeling them full-on. The epidural was still pumping meds, they just weren’t getting to the right spot. She wanted me to change positions to the beanbag again. I told her last time it made me nauseous so they gave me something to help with that. Well, it didn’t. As soon as I was laying on it I got super nauseous. I backed off of it up to my knees because that helped before but it wasn’t helping this time. I couldn’t even answer  her when she asked why I was off and Tyler had to tell her that I was nauseous. Then I got sick all over that stupid beanbag which was super traumatic for me. The last time I had been physically ill was grade 7. Not even during my pregnancy did I let the nausea take over but this was too much. After that, my nurse seemed to take my complaints of pain and whatnot a little more seriously.

At around 8 pm, I was still stalled at 7 cm and still in a lot of pain feeling every contraction. They still weren’t getting regular and Dmitri’s heart rate was starting to dip after each of the big ones, which was normal apparently but I found it alarming. The doctor came in again and found I still wasn’t progressing so we had to talk about our options. They were pretty much keep labouring and hope things change and if they don’t, then we talk about a c-section. I never wanted an elective c-section. Elective meaning it’s been 6 hours and things are moving but slowly and everyone is impatient. I was obviously okay with a c-section if it was because one or both of us were in danger. We weren’t there yet. The doctor said she would check again in 2 hours and if there was still no progress, we would have to talk about a c-section.

Well, 2 painful hours came and went and of course there was no progress so she suggested we do the surgery because it was closing in on 24 hours since my water broke and that is a breakpoint at which infection becomes a real risk. Tyler and I agreed to the surgery and that is where my memory pretty much stops. I think my brain went ‘ okay you did what you could, it’s out of your hand, you don’t have to do anything anymore so goodbye’.

Stef’s Version of Events:

According to Tyler I was awake but not responding very much. He took a picture of me before the surgery while on the gurney that I don’t remember agreeing to. What I do remember is seeing Tyler in his paper scrubs before being wheeled to the O.R. Then I remember being wheeled in. Next I remember them sterilizing me and then I remember them saying they’re ready to cut. The last thing I remember before they finished was asking where Tyler was. It was very important to me that he be there, not because I was scared but because I thought they forgot him and he should be there to see the birth of his son. I remember nothing else until I heard Dmitri cry. His cry woke me from whatever daze I was in and I saw them bring him to the table to get checked and saw Tyler looking at him. 

After that, I remember Dmitri crying and the nurses putting him on me and he instantly stopped crying. It was a pretty amazing feeling, as out of it as I was, I very vividly remember that moment. I was holding him, with the help of the nurses while they were trying to close me up. The pressure of them shoving my organs back in was pretty painful but it didn’t matter because I was holding Dmitri. I kept bumping elbows with the surgeon so they gave Dmitri to Tyler and sent them to the recovery room to finish the surgery. The next thing I knew I was in the recovery room.  Tyler filled me in on what happened after they took Dmitri off me. Because my labour was so long, my uterus was pretty swollen. It started to tear so they spent an extra 45 minutes fixing the tears before they could sew me up. During this time, They sent Tyler and Dmitri to wait in the recovery room for me. I guess Tyler wasn’t given a whole lot of information and the nurses flitting about didn’t have much more to give him. I felt really bad for Tyler when he told me that. On top of seeing me in really rough shape and in pain for the majority of the day, he’s told there was a complication and to go wait outside. It’s pretty easy to think the worst at that point. He did say though that having Dmitri in his arms has a huge calming effect. It still does.

I woke up in recovery in a crazy amount of pain. They were trying to get a line set up for morphine but it kept backing up into the other bags and wasn’t working at all. I was shaking like crazy from the epidural and pain and I think just trauma of what I just went through. They asked if I wanted to hold my baby and as much as I did, I think I said no. I told them I was worried about shaken baby syndrome. Silly I know but to me, I was shaking so much that I was sure I was going to harm him. I think they just kinda laughed and put him in my arms. As soon as I had him, the shaking stopped. I don’t know what caused it to instantly stop but I assume some sort of crazy hormone release; or magic.

A nurse finally grabbed a morphine pump and got that set up and taught me how to press the button. It took quite a while for it to kick in. Or maybe it felt like a long time but was really only 30 seconds. I don’t know. All I know was I wasn’t in as much pain and I finally had my baby.

We got into our room around 2:30 or 3 and all 3 of us passed out instantly. After about 2 hours of sleep both Tyler and I were rejuvenated and ready to start our new life as parents.

Tyler’s Version of Events:

26Mar16 10:30-11:30 pm: After 6 hours of seeing Stef in ever increasing amounts of pain and an exponentially increasing risk of infection to both mother and child we had agreed to go forward with a c-section. We were told that it would only take 30 minutes to prepare the operating room, but it felt like ages. Stef was in severe pain and completely exhausted. It was very difficult to see her in such rough condition, but be helpless to offer anything beyond words.

26Mar16 11:30-11:57 pm: As Stef was wheeled into the operating room, I was told to have a seat outside while they prepared her for surgery and that I would be invited in as they begun. Instead of sitting peacefully I opted to nervously pace back and forth in the hallway, which seemed to make some of the nurses in the ward edgy. Eventually I was invited into the room to sit next to Stef, who had a screen covering her from the neck down. Stef looked very pale, and while she was somewhat responding to my interactions with her, it was clear that she was not entirely coherent. I bumbled around trying to comfort her while, when all of a sudden a cry erupted into the otherwise quiet room. It hit me like a ton of bricks “holy crap, I’m a dad” .

26Mar16 – 27Mar16 11:57pm – 12:20 am: The nurses very quickly and efficiently did their immediate health checks and then gave me a few moments to interact with him. As soon as I said my first words to him, he turned his head, stopped crying and stared right into my eyes. We just gazed at each other intently in silence for a little while when one of the nurses interrupted “Don’t you want to take some pictures?”. “Oh yeah!” I quickly snapped out of the baby induced daze, grabbed my phone and started snapping photos. The nurses resumed their newborn activities and Dmitri resumed crying. After about a minute or so the nurses offered to give Dmitri some skin-to-skin time with Stef, who was anxiously looking onward through all of this. After placing him on her chest, Dmitri immediately stopped crying and Stef looks visibly relaxed. The medical team gave them ~10 minutes together at which point the logistics of performing surgery on someone holding a baby became too difficult. The surgeon mentioned that Stef’s uterus had torn while removing Dmitri (related to the 22 hours of unsuccessful labor) and it would take some extra time to sew up. The nurses gave me Dmitri and sent me to a recovery room while they finished with Stef.

27Mar16 12:20am-1:30am: It was a stark contrast going from the busy, bright operating room filled with Stef and a regiment of highly qualified personal to suddenly being in a small, dim room with just Dmitri and myself. At first it was very calming to just hold and talk to him. However, in relatively short order Dmitri got hungry and began rooting around me looking for a boob to suckle on. This in turn reminded me that Stef still had a large opening in her midsection and recently experienced a complication during surgery. The prior calm quickly turned to anxiety as I pestered the nurse who had been coming in and out of the room for updates on Stef. Of course, that nurse didn’t have any magical channel to the operating room and so could only offer generic re-assurances. The surgery was originally scheduled for 1 hour, but ended up taking 2 hours. That extra hour of sitting feeling a bowling ball of worry for Stef, while simultaneously managing a hungry newborn, whom I had no hope of satisfying, might just have been the longest hour of my life.

27Mar16 1:30am-2:30am: When Stef finally arrived out of surgery a wave of relief swept over me. Unfortunately she was still in a lot of pain relating to the incision and cramps, and also still shaking from the leftover effects epidural drugs. All of this was compounded by the fact that she so far beyond exhausted. Luckily the shaking stopped the instant I handed Dmitri to her. Even better Dmitri instantly found the boob and quickly managed a good latch, which calmed both Stef and Dmitri. Soon after the after-surgery pain meds kicked in and we were all taken to the Mother-baby ward for the rest of our hospital stay. 

27Mar16 2:30am – onward: Upon arriving at the Mother-baby ward all three of us quickly settled in after a long Night-Day-Night and got two of the best hours of sleep ever. Stef, who went to bed particularly ragged, woke up seemingly as healthy as any other day. I awoke to her feeding Dmitri with a big smile and all of the colour returned to her face. I couldn’t help but be in awe that after the litany of pain, mediations, sleep deprivation, hormones and emotional swings she endured over the previous 36 hours, here she was happy as a clam and thrilled to begin life as a new mom. Oh and Dmitri was looking pretty damn cute as well.

The hospital stay was pretty standard. people coming in and out all the time, little rest, and lots of talking to family and friends to let them know that we are all ok and even though it was a pretty rough ride, we got a fabulous prize out of it.