Cora Belle DeSmidt
7 lbs 3 oz
Born 3/20/17 at 12:37 pm
Our sweet baby Cora was born on the first day of spring. We are completely overjoyed to finally have a baby to love. Here is her birth story for those interested.
With Cora I was having a planned c-section. Initially, I really wanted to try and have a VBAC but my doctors talked me out of trying, stating that a repeat c-section was much less risky. A benefit to having a planned delivery date is that we were able to schedule visiting family members in advance.
My mom decided to come to Rapid on Friday before the birth. Trying to save some money (my frugalness runs in the family) she bought a one-way bus ticket from Albert Lean, MN to Rapid City for only $40. My mom would be able to sit back and read the whole trip plus the bus was advertised to have free Wi-Fi.
NEVER AGAIN! The nightmare stories she has from this bus trip are hilarious but sure make you glad you weren’t on board. I could do an entire post on her bus ride but in the end let’s just say my mom arrived two and a half hours after her expected arrival ready for a big glass of wine.
While Alex and I were waiting for mom to arrive we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at Murphy’s Pub & Grill. We listened to some good Irish music while eating traditional Irish foods. Alex had the obligatory green beer and I stuck with Shirley Temples.
Saturday was my last day at work before maternity leave. It was a really busy day because prom is coming up. Many of my co-workers were not going to have time to eat lunch but my mom surprised us with cupcakes – so tasty!
Many people were shocked I worked up until my delivery. Why wouldn’t I work if I’m able? I needed to make money while I could. The only difficulty about working up until my delivery was dealing with my enormous, ugly, swollen ankles.
Knowing he was on a deadline, on Sunday morning Alex finally finished up my Valentine’s gift from a year ago. I had wanted my wedding dress displayed in a shadow box. Didn’t Alex do an amazing job?
The day before Cora’s arrival Alex’s family drove into town. We were all able to catch up and chat outside because the weather was so nice.
Even better, Alex’s sister asked us both to stand up in her wedding later on this year! We were not expecting this and are truly honored. She had the cutest boxes full of fun items to ask us to be part of the wedding party.
I didn’t want to go out to eat because I just wanted to relax and finish packing my hospital bag so we grabbed Papa Murphy’s for dinner.
The morning of delivery was very surreal. In order to take my mind off the upcoming events my mom and I walked Benny. When it was time to leave Alex and I decided to get a car wash on the way to the hospital – like I said, very surreal.
After arriving at the hospital we were escorted up to our L&D room. I was hooked up to my IV (no issues this time!) and we filled out some paperwork. Next, the anesthesiologist came to discuss the upcoming procedure. I warned the doctor that during my c-section last time my spinal block took two attempts and I felt a lot more pain during the surgery than I thought I should. In my opinion, the doctor brushed off my concerns stating that feeling pressure during a cesarean is normal. I don’t exaggerate pain. If anything, I downplay my pain level. I don’t like when doctors assume I’m exaggerating.
Well joke was on him – this time it took THREE attempts to get the spinal block right. All he said afterwards was “you were a lot harder than I thought you would be”. No shit Sherlock, I told you I would be.
But praise the Lord, this surgery I felt no pain. Comparing the two c-sections is like night and day. This surgery was completely pain free and went so much faster. I totally understand now why anyone would willingly choose to have a repeat c-section.
When Cora came out screaming I felt the greatest relief. Compared to our little Haley, Cora’s lungs were fully developed and her screams were a symbol of health for me.
After being weighed and measured Cora was placed on my chest for skin-to-skin contact. Immediately, she began rooting around. I was wheeled back to our room with her so she could breastfeed.
Our family members were brought into the room to meet and hold her. We were even able to FaceTime with my sister who was on her honeymoon in Belize.
The rest of the day is a blur for me – the drugs were good and very relaxing.
Tuesday was spent trying to learn how to get Cora to feed on both sides. I thought breastfeeding would be so easy for me because my body was built for it (have you seen my breasts?). Breastfeeding was turning out to be extremely difficult and painful. We even had to have the lactation consultant come multiple times to try and help. At one time I broke down in tears feeling like I couldn’t feed my baby correctly. Plus, I was super hormonal and still drugged up.
Later on that night Alex and I ordered the Celebration Dinner the hospital offers for new parents. We had steak, vegetables, sparking juice, and the best chocolate cake I have ever had. Granted, I ate my steak cold because Cora was hungry when our food arrived. I have a feeling I might not eat a hot meal for awhile.
Cora would not settle down, feeding and crying all night. Eventually our nurse came in our room and asked if she could take Cora to the nursery. Surprisingly I gave in, I really thought I would want the baby to room-in our entire stay. We were so exhausted, it was a great decision I would recommend to all new parents.
On Wednesday, we were feeling much better having gotten a little rest. We took our time, filled out more paperwork, ate lunch, and then headed home.
During the drive I kept checking on Cora to make sure she was breathing. My biggest worries in life now are that Cora will die or she will be kidnapped. I think I have watched Taken way too many times.
At home we started to try and figure out our new routine. Still healing from surgery it was sure nice to have my mom with us to cook meals, clean, and assist me with breastfeeding. Who knew it sometimes takes four hands to get a baby latched? At night, each of us took turns changing diapers and soothing Cora but I’m the only who could feed her so I got very little sleep.
On Thursday we continued to try and find some routine. Feeding was still an extremely painful nightmare. Trying to fit in some sleep was also an objective for the day.
Later that evening a couple of my friends came over to meet the baby. I was a hormonal hot mess and cried multiple times. When I have gone to visits friends and their new babies the moms always seem to have everything so together. The babies seem happy and the mom relaxed. I wish I had been more myself when people came to visit. I don’t like the feeling of not being in control of my emotions or the situation.
After my friends left I felt even more distraught over not being able to get my baby to latch to my left side. Furthermore, my right side was becoming completely unbearable. My mom suggested to get a nipple shield. Alex was out with his friends and I texted him to go and purchase a nipple shield for me. Being the best husband ever, he quickly returned home with the life-saving item.
The nipple shield became my savior. I could easily get Cora to latch to both sides with little pain. Why did someone not mention this tool sooner?
Now feeling much more confident in my mothering skills thanks to a little piece of plastic, we went to Cora’s first pediatrician appointment. The doctor said everything looked good and the goal was to get Cora back up to her birth weight by the time she is two weeks old.
That evening we all sat down to watch the Badger basketball game and as soon as it was about to begin we heard a huge bang. Our power went out. Having flashbacks to the October blizzard we experienced a few years ago I started to think about what hotel we should stay at that night.
Fortunately, the power returned about an hour later. In the meantime, we used a tiny generator to power a lamp and we watched the game on Alex’s phone.
We had more visitors arrive from Wisconsin on Saturday. Alex’s dad and step-mom came to see Cora bearing even more gifts (we are so spoiled). While the ladies enjoyed time talking and taking a nice walk, Alex put his dad straight to work with helping re-do our downstairs bathroom.
Alex and I are so fortunate to have such amazing friends and family in our lives.
The first week of Cora’s life was a complete whirlwind for us. From feeling like a complete failure as a mom, to being overwhelmed with the amount of love and worry I have for our little girl, the emotions ran high.
I can’t express enough gratitude for my mom who stayed with us for two weeks. She was such an amazing resource to have (a former L&D nurse) and took wonderful care of us. My mom cooked all our meals, cleaned the house, did laundry, and drove me to numerous appointments with the lactation consultants.
Although I was ready to use the nipple shield for the rest of my life, the lactation consultants told me to get off the shield as soon as possible. They cited reasons such as lower milk transfer to the baby and nipple confusion. I went to see the consultants many times to seek their help in getting Cora off the shield. I did feel validated when each consultant confirmed what a stinker Cora was at latching.
Now I am feeding Cora like a pro! Cora is back up to her birth weight and we couldn’t be happier.