Friday, September 30, 2011

The Antepartum Suite

For those of you who are familiar with the term "antepartum" and are wondering what we were doing there after delivery, let me explain. The antepartum suites are right down the hall from labor and delivery and my doctors thought it would be best if I stayed close by for a little bit so they could keep an eye on me. At this point, Anna was doing great, but I was feeling pretty crummy. Most of that time is a little fuzzy in my memory, but here's what I DO remember:

I could not focus my eyes no matter how hard I tried. Everyone I looked at had two sets of eyes, one above the other. I'm still not sure if the extra set I was seeing were the upper or lower ones. I also couldn't read the clock, which was right at the end of my bed or see the TV very well. Oddly, I don't remember this annoying me. I think I found it kind of amusing.

Most of the rest of the day on Wednesday I just dozed on and off and enjoyed cuddling with Anna when I was awake. The lactation consultant came in and tried to get us breastfeeding, but that wasn't happening. Jamie wound up giving Anna bottles for the first 24 hours or so (happily, we kept at it and I can now say breastfeeding is going great!). Anna's nurse came in at one point to tell us she had accidentally been given two hepatitis vaccinations. How does that happen?? We were concerned, but were assured she was fine. Several different hospital staff members came in throughout the day to talk to us about it. At one point, her pediatrician came in to tell us they'd called the CDC to check with them, and they said everything would be fine. I think if I wasn't so out of it I might have freaked out. Seriously, how does that happen?

Wednesday night, Arri and my mom left and Jamie stayed with me and Anna. And that's when the you-know-what hit the fan. The first not-so-great moment came when my nurse told me I'd have to have ANOTHER catheter. Remembering how uncomfortable catheters one and especially two had been, I sorta flipped. I remember sobbing and begging her not to do it. All through the day I'd been having bouts of violent shivering. I didn't feel cold (although warm blankets seemed to stop it), I was just shaking uncontrollably. The shakes came back right about then, so I was a pleading, crying, shaking mess. It was ugly. Thankfully, this catheter was not as uncomfortable as they earlier one had been.

Late Wednesday night I apparently had some kind of reaction to the magnesium. The nurse later said my magnesium levels were too high. All I know is I started feeling AWFUL. I was dizzy, my ears were ringing, I was nauseous and I was sure I was either going to pass out or throw up. Maybe both. We called for the nurse and after a few minutes waiting for her, we called again and told her to hurry up! I can't remember if it was me or Jamie who hit the call button, but I do remember insisting she come quickly! Which is really not like me, so I must have been feeling really bad.

Shortly after the nurse arrived, I did get sick. It was horrible. I remember around that time telling Jamie that I felt so bad I just wanted to throw myself out the window. But I felt too bad to get up and over to the window. Which is probably a good thing since we were only on the second floor and a fall from there would have just caused me more pain.

Thankfully the doctor took me off the magnesium at that point. For the next 24 hours I got really nervous every time they checked my blood pressure. I REALLY did want to go back on that awful stuff!!

They decided after doing some blood work that I wasn't bouncing back from the blood loss fast enough, and so they started a transfusion. Also around that time the nurses decided leaving Jamie with me and the baby was asking a little much of a new dad. So they took Anna to the nursery for the night ("nursery" being a loose term since they don't really have a real nursery at NEGA; she spent the night in her bassinet behind the nurses station). Jamie was pretty relieved! He was doing a great job and was already becoming a pro at diapering and swaddling, but taking care of both of us at once was a little overwhelming to say the least.

At some point - the timeline's a little tough to remember - my IV infiltrated. I'd never heard that term used before, and I'm still not sure exactly what that means, medically speaking. As far as I could tell it means your arm swells like a balloon and gets really sore. I couldn't straighten it out completely for days.

My veins had apparently shrunk down into nothingness, so putting in a new IV was pretty tough. The lab people were also coming every few hours to draw blood and each time they had to stick me several places to find a decent vein. I felt like a pin cushion.

Between being off the magnesium and getting a little extra blood, by the time they brought Anna back to us at 9 on Thursday morning, I was feeling a little better. The nurses told me as soon as the blood transfusion was completed I could move on to our next stop, the mother-baby wing.


sonflowerjax said...

So, if I wasn't sure before, I definitely am now. God knew I couldn't handle. Physical labor. Thank you, Lord! So glad that you are better now!

Cyndee said...

I thought your last post sounded a little too neat and tidy but was surprised at how much of this phase I'd forgotten already! (I NEVER will forget you telling me on Thursday that you kept thinking you were going to black out and were afraid if you did, you wouldn't wake up. Heartbreaking.)Glad the nursing is going so well now! :-)

Shannon said...

Wow this would scare the crap out of me if I was pregnant . . .oh wait:) I'm glad you no longer think everyone has four eyes and that you didn't jump out of the window.
Love you!

Rebecca said...

so scary!! I'm so glad to be on this side of everything and know that you made it through just fine :) Love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, your poor sweet girl! Having a baby should never be so rough! I'm so glad you are better now. I knew from your mom that you were having a rough time but I had no idea how awful things were! It made me remember when after I had my epidural with Laura,my blood pressure plummeted and I passed out, and I remember as it was happening that I was so scared that I wouldn't wake up, and my babies would have no mommy! I'm so thankful everything worked out for you (and me!)
Love, Aunt Linda :-)