what a pain

So the headache didn't go away... it just subsided for a while.

I pretty much spent all day yesterday in a dark room holding as still as possible. I have a pain killer which kind of works for a few hours and makes it so I can get up and walk around after a few hours. (But even in Los Angeles, it's hard to find a pharmacy open on Memorial Day)

I woke up with the headache again today. I just read that this type of headache is thought to be the most painful condition known to medical science and that women who have it often say it is worse than child birth (which I said, for sure... and with the memory recent enough for it to be true.)

I guess I'm done compaining. I'm laying next to a gorgeous little baby right now who keep sighing sweetly. And the headache medicine did not interfere with breastfeeding, so we are back on track there.


that was (too) easy

I guess whenever something is too good to be true, it probably is. Somehow, I am one of those really rare cases and got pre-eclamsia post partum. Unfortunately, the typical treatment is delivering the baby. I had shortness of breath with the symptoms, so my doctor sent me to the ER at 3:00 in the morning yesterday. My pulse was 35 beats per minute, so they gave me something to jump start it which caused a cardiac nightmare and instant severe high blood pressure headache. After a while, it became apparent that this headache was not going anywhere and it did not respond to pain meds (4 shots of morphine didn't touch it.) I was asking someone to drill a hole in my skull like they do in "House" so I could get some pressure relief.

I had a bunch of tests and scans and eventually a spinal tap and everything was fine. They found out when they sedated me for the spinal tap that full 100% oxygen mask helped the headache. So it looks like I might get the diagnosis of cluster headaches. I have to see a neurologist. After laying in total darkness with oxygen for a few hours, the pain meds were enough to come home. I am taking it easy and get a break from breastfeeding because of the pain meds and contrast they had to inject for the C/T scan. Which means I get to sleep! I'm hoping it doesn't throw off my goal to BF. But, I should be okay. I'm setting alarm clocks to get up to pump. So that should help.


viola is here

[Editor's Note: I am tired and have typo'ed my new baby's name five ways from Sunday. So let me set the record straight. Her name is spelled V-I-O-L-A, pronounced V-eye-oh-la. Sorry about the confusion.]

Viola Paige McCowen

8 pounds 11 ounces

20 inches

Welcomed May 21, 2011

at 4:27 PM

Holy cow. I had a baby yesterday. It still doesn't feel like it really happened. Here's why.

I thought I needed to go in and get checked out because I thought I was seeing some liquid trickling but I wanted to hang out with Nancy for a few hours first. She had driven down from Northern California just to see me for the day. So, we made plans to spend the second part of the day hanging in the hospital getting it checked out. But at noon, I had some good contractions instead. I didn't think it really changed our plans at all. We'd still hang at the hospital. This stuff takes time and I'd need someone to keep me company anyway...

Ha ha. Right away the contractions were long, hard, and 4 minutes apart. Wow. Let's spend 1.5 hours making sure that they are really sustaining that pace before calling the doctor.

We woke Mark up just to let him know to meet us at the hospital in a while once it was clear that we were going in. He had the same idea we did... plenty of time to pack some last minute things, primp a bit, grab some food, mozey on in.

By the time we got to the hospital, I was almost in transition. My membranes ruptured before I could fill out the paperwork to get signed in. The doctor almost didn't have time to drive the 20 minutes to get there. Mark got there just 20 minutes before I delivered and the doctor arrived about 2 minutes before... I was kind of huffing to hold it in by then.

This kid was start to finish a 4.5 hour thing. I was really Earthy and chanting and moaning and breathing those hee-hee-hee-hee-HOOOOOO type things. It was nuts. Glad I didn't plan for an epidural, because there was no way I had time for that. I think I had about 10 minutes of pushing and it was (as much as this can be said for delivering a baby vaginally) a piece of cake.

Wow. What a wonderful experience. I have this amazing little baby, hardly any pain or discomfort to show for it and am going home from the hospital in a couple of hours. I even was able to walk over to the nursery four hours after delivery to give her the first bath myself. I feel pretty good, considering. It's weird. I guess what they say... "second baby is easier" is true.

We are calling her "Viola Paige." Voila is after Mark's great aunt, who I always admired and adored and whose wedding rings I wear. She was such a strong, spunky woman. I hope Voila can know about her and be as inspiring.


it's official

New job. Check.
New city. Ba-da-boom.
New baby. Baked.
New house. Found.