Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Two Weeks in Heaven. And Hell. All at the Same Time. (part 1)

This story starts BEFORE I went into the hospital...but really covers the two to three weeks after we got home.  It was SUCH a whirlwind.  We were in HEAVEN and in love with our baby girl, but we were faced with some tough stuff all at the same time.  Let's get started.

Memorial Day 2013
I went into the hospital for my c-section sick.  The week before, I started coming down with a head cold which was traveling down to my lungs.  I could feel that I was headed to being VERY sick.  I met w/ my Dr twice that week (remember the trip to L&D and then the followup the Friday before she was born).  The appointment that Friday, he prescribed a z-pack for me.  He said he wouldn't normally do that, but because I was so close to my c-section and not getting any better, he would.  I was so relieved!  I couldnt breathe through my nose!  The z-pack helped a LOT, but I was still coughing and stuffy when I went into the hospital.

Now...let's skip ahead to when we came home.

We got home from the hospital on Saturday (May 25).  Ben's parents came back into town (they flew to a wedding for a couple of days) and his sister flew into town on Saturday as well.  They were staying in a hotel this time.  The Monday after I got home was Memorial Day and we were having a BBQ lunch before they all headed back to their homes.

Before lunch, I mentioned that I was a bit chilly. Everyone noted this & laughed b/c apparently I had been freezing them out of the house.  Oh well!  So, when we sat down to lunch, I was in the middle of eating and got a chill.  Well, this chill didnt go away and suddenly I realized that something was wrong.  I couldnt control my shaking, so I excused myself to the bed room.  I assumed Ben would follow.  He assumed I was getting a jacket and coming right back.  Well, by the time I got to the bedroom, I was having full on convulsions.  I had done this in the middle of the night a few times while pregnant, so I assumed this is what it was.  I just stood by my bed, too cold to move and unable to stop my body from massive shivers (and moaning).  Again, I assumed Ben would come & at this point, I wasnt about to walk back to the front to get him.  I couldnt even talk through whatever was happening to me.  I just stood there.  Trying to decide how to get help & wanting to get under the covers, but knowing that the bed would be cold.  FINALLY, I crawled into the covers and a second later, Ben came to check on me.  I couldnt even talk. It was bad.  I managed to say "Geeettt....my-y-y-y mo-o-o-om." and when she came back, she immediately felt my head.  Again, I assumed it was whatever had happened before & didnt think to check my temp.  They grabbed the thermometer and my temp was almost 102.  So, my mom said that she needed to look at my incision while Ben called the Dr.  It was a holiday, so of course we had to wait for a call back.  I was SO cold, that moving the covers to show my incision sent me back into convulsions.  It was miserable.  The Dr on call called back and we all talked to her on speaker phone.  She assumed I was coming down with mastitis (I was still breastfeeding, which we will get to in a minute) and that more symptoms would come on later in the day.  This was, apparently, a pretty classic sign that it was coming.  So, she called in an antibiotic (antibiotic #2 in 2 weeks) and Ben went to pick it up.

All of this & my in-laws are still in the kitchen & Finleigh is sleeping away in the swing.

1st Drs visit
The next day, Tuesday May 28th.  My Birthday.  We had Finleigh's first check up at the Dr office in the morning.  I called MY Dr, who is right next door to the pedi & talked to my nurse, Delana.  My Dr, Dr Richards, was out that day, but his dad, Dr Richards, could see me that afternoon.  Of course the appointments couldnt be close together.  We took Finn into her appointment, took her back home to stay w/ my mom, and then headed straight out to my appointment (have I ever mentioned that the Drs offices...which are across from the hospital...are 40 min away from our house? YUCK!).

I met w/ MY Dr Richard's dad and REALLY liked him.  He was VERY thorough in trying to find out WHY I had a fever.  He mentioned 3 possible causes:  wind, would, water.

Wind--lungs.  Mine sounded clear, even though I was still having trouble breathing from the sickness I went into the c-section with.
Wound--mine looked great (I wonder if he ever tells his son "good job!"?...just my random thought!).
Water--something wrong w/ my kidneys...so they took a urine sample.

It was a mystery.  

His GUESS was that I had picked up c-diff while in the hospital.  I was having some stomach issues, too, so he said that was a great clue and that because I was on the antibiotic BEFORE going into the hospital, I could have easily picked up a bacteria while in there b/c my system was wiped clean.  He said its pretty classic...but they had to check my stool.  Fun.  So, home we went w/ a cup and instructions for Ben to bring it back the next morning. Can I pause and say that I thought these cups used to be NOT see through?  Well, not this one, my friends.  Fun fun.  Bless Ben's heart.

My legs and feet were SO swollen after I got out of the hospital (I had the leg pumper things on the whole time IN the hospital)...I looked like I had horrible hobbit feet.  I was in a LOT of pain & couldnt even recognize my feet anymore.  Dr Richards said this was normal, but Ben was worried and wanted me to have a dopplar done to check for a blood clot.  Dr Richards said it was up to us & if it made Ben more at ease, to go ahead and do it.  So, he sent us across the street for the dopplar.  

He said (this is important to the rest of the story)...that the tech at the hospital wouldnt be able to tell us YES or NO, but that we needed to learn to read their cues.  IF the tech said we could go home...it would be a NO.  IF the tech asked us to hang around...it would be a YES...we would need to wait on a call back from him on what to do (this I kind of knew from the last DVT...I was told not to leave the hospital).  So, across the street we went...me in complete fear, but not really thinking it was a blood clot.

The tech said we could go home!!  PTL!!

So, it wasnt a blood clot...what was it??  We had to wait for the sample to be tested. Ben went back to work the following day, Wednesday, as planned.  In the meantime, they called that my kidneys/bladder were fine.  No problems.  On Friday, they called and said that the sample was negative for c-diff, but didnt really give any other instructions.  I was feeling better and not running any more fever (from the antibiotic, I assume).  Well...the weekend came and I started having more & more trouble breathing.  My chest hurt SO bad & I was using my inhaler a LOT.

At this point, I was still breastfeeding.  Kind of.  I would feed the baby a bit, then give her a bottle, and pump.  I was actually getting milk while I pumped, but at this point, we were almost 2 weeks out and I wasnt getting very much.  Milk...yes...just VERY little.  It would take 3 times pumping to even get an ounce.  Finleigh had started getting frustrated, as the Dr said she would, so by the end, we were mostly just pumping & giving her what little we could mixed with her formula.

Back to my breathing.  Over the weekend, I got so desperate for relief, that I pulled down my nebulizer/breathing machine.  The meds I had to go in it expired in 2007...thats how little I use it. HA!...but it was better than nothing.  I used it a few times.  There were a couple of times that I would be pumping, using the hands free wrap thing, & using my breathing machine at the same time.  It was just TOO MANY tubes and containers hanging from my body.  Pretty comical. 

The first thing Monday morning (we are now at June 3rd), I called my OB's office to try to get in.  SOMETHING still wasnt right.  BOTH Dr Richards' were out of the office, so they suggested that I call my general practitioner.  My GP, Dr Casey, is NOT one to just call & get in to see that day.  BUT, I called & by the grace of GOD there was a cancellation at 2 that day.  Ben, of course, had a meeting that afternoon at work.

My mom & I loaded up the baby and headed first to the chiropractor for my first adjustment in 3 months and the baby's first adjustment.  She had just moved offices & told me in a text that her elevator was out that day.  Perfect.  We had to park about a block away and we walked to her office & up the stairs.  When we walked in to see her, I literally could NOT get my breath.  I couldnt talk AT ALL for quite a bit.  Mom explained what was happening.  By the time the baby was being adjusted, I could talk, but even my talking was labored.  I couldnt get a sentence out w/out gasping for breath.

After the chiro, we went to lunch before the Drs appt.  I was having a hard time even drinking through a straw.  We get to Dr Casey's office (at the hospital) and my mom sits with Finleigh downstairs...the same spot where I sat in 2007 when I had the DVT and was told not to leave the hospital.  So, I see Dr Casey and she immediately was concerned.  Apparently, my pulse-ox was very low, so she was concerned before she walked into the room.  I started explaining what we had already done, and that I was 12 days out from my c-section...she stopped me and said "You cant even have a conversation w/out being out of breath!" to which I agreed!  Let me stop & say that she listened to my lungs & said that they were clear. She was VERY concerned and sent my straight downstairs to the lab for a CT scan.  Her guess was that I was having a pulmonary embolism (blood clot that released and went to my lungs).  Like, she sent me STRAIGHT down...skipped paying the office & everything.  "JUST GO" they said...and dont leave the hospital until I hear back from Dr Casey.  OY.

at least she looked cute!
OK.  So, I start to freak out a bit.  I walk down to my mom who is in the same chair that I sat in when I had the DVT.  Ben wasnt with me, he had a meeting...the same as the last time I had a DVT.

We walk to the lab and are called back pretty quickly.  It was SO cold...we had to wait for a bit after they got my info/history and mom ended up waiting in these chairs while I was having the scan.  The people there were GREAT to her & Finleigh and kept taking them warm blankets to cover up with.

They had to put an IV in my arm & use dye to do the scan.  I was going to have to pump & dump for 24 hours after this.  Joy.  So, I had the scan & holding my breath for 8 seconds was about the hardest thing I had done in a long time!  HA!  When I finished...a lady came over the speaker and told one of the guys who was helping me "she's staying."  He helps me up and then informs me that he wants to leave my IV in, just in case I have to be admitted...not to leave & wait on instructions from Dr Casey.

OK...enter freak out mode.  Based on what Sr Dr Richards had said...this wasnt good.

I walked back to my mom & Finleigh and had a meltdown.  They were going to admit me & what was I going to do with my NEWBORN?!?

We waited...under warm blankets...and finally got a call from Dr Casey.  She said it wasn't an embolism, but that my lungs were FULL of infection and fluid.  (I had JUST finished the 2nd antibiotic)  She said that she REALLY wanted to admit me, but ONLY because I had a new baby, she would let me go home.  She called in ANOTHER z-pack, current meds for my breathing machine, and STRICT instructions to get to the ER if I got ANY worse than I was when I talked to her.  She also wanted to see me the next day.

Awesome.  I had a 12 day old and I had pneumonia.

BUT, SUCH a blessing that I wasnt going back into the hospital.  She DID mentioned that I would need to pump & dump for the week or so that I was using my breathing machine.  Umm...I was barely getting ANYTHING...and had yet to have a "let down," so we looked at this as the answer we needed to just switch full time to formula.  I was sad, but I know it was the right answer.  I never had any dry-up side effects b/c there was just nothing to really dry up!

This day was really the worst for my breathing wise, from this point on, things started getting better.
We went back to see Dr Casey the following day and she reiterated to Ben how scared she was the day before and how bad I had looked.  My puse-ox was already up to 94, so she was pleased...but still gave us warning and wanted to see me back in a week.

My mom left on Thursday.  This came QUICK.  All night Wed and all morning Thursday I just found myself SOBBING.  I wasnt prepared to do this on my own.  We hadnt really "practiced" well and I hadnt been doing things for myself.  Not only for these 2 weeks...but for the 11 weeks leading up to this. Every time I even THOUGHT about her leaving, I broke down.  HARD.  (SO unlike me) At one point, she found me in my bedroom sitting on the side of my bed sobbing b/c I wasnt ready to do it alone.  I hadnt made my own breakfast or lunch...let alone barely made a bottle or cleaned them!

She talked me off the ledge by reminding me that my sister was coming that afternoon and would be with me until Saturday.  On Saturday & Sunday, Ben would be there to help me be ready for Monday...my first day alone w/ the baby.  At least it was supposed to be.

Y'all this was only HALF of it.  Just wait!

Sister Michelle and Bryson came on Thursday night & lifted my spirits...she had been filled in, I am sure, of my meltdown.  Bryson had a good time singing to Finleigh Th night.
Please note how close he is to her face...this will be important.
On Friday, we got up and took Finn into her 2 week pediatrician appt & she was looking GREAT!  We were given the OK to not wake her up at night to feed her b/c she was gaining enough weight.  PRAISE!
Bless...shots hurt!
We get home from the Dr...and HELL #2 starts.  We walk in from the Drs appointment & Michelle informs us that Bryson was throwing up.  

To be continued...
OY!  Coming soon...Hell week #2.  AKA, Finleigh's 3rd week.

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