Saturday, March 12, 2011
This story actually takes place over three months. Yeah, it was that bad! It began September 3, 2008 at approximately 2:00 AM. I went into labor with my fourth child, soon-to-be Baby Girl. I wasn't due for two more weeks but I knew this was it. I got all of my things together, called the grandparents over to stay with the other kids, and made the familiar middle-of-the-night journey to the hospital. I'd been there, done that before...no big deal.
The house doctor was too concerned about missing his own sleep and wasn't too thrilled that I was there. He ordered me to be hooked up to monitors and told me to rest. Yeah right...I'm in labor, stupid! A couple hours later, another house doctor came to check my status. In broken English, he said "I no send you home! You in labor!" Well, duh! They prepped me for my fourth C-Section...again, no big deal. I knew what to expect. Although the only difference was that this was THE LAST C-Section. The nurses were asking me all the routine questions and then asked if I was getting a tubal this time. "Yes, Ma'am!" I replied. "Where's your paperwork?" she asked. "I don't know." That's not my job, I thought. "Oh," they casually explained, "you didn't fill out your paperwork a month in advance...no tubal for you." So, even though I was going to be wide open on a surgery table, and I told them at my first OB appointment that I wanted a tubal, they couldn't do it. I was not too happy.
They wheeled me into the OR where the anesthesiologist introduced herself. She introduced me to another woman who "would be helping out." Stupid me didn't catch on. What she should have said is, "This person has no clue what she's doing and has never done a spinal before. How about if she practices on you?" As I was hunched over, contracting and freezing, this person started poking me in the spine with needles. She hit some sort of nerve that caused me to jump and scream. Oh great, I thought, now I'm paralyzed. Fantastic. She apologized and tried again...and again...and again. It took four tries, with me screaming during each one, before she got it. I was sweating by this point and feeling very faint. I started vomiting but couldn't sit up. So they tried to prop up my body so I didn't aspirate. They gave me such strong medication to stop the vomiting that I barely remember the birth of my daughter. I remember Hubby saying, "It's a girl!" I drowsily replied, "Oh," and went to sleep. So the Magic Moment of my last baby's birth was robbed from me. I don't remember leaving the Operating Room.
Once I recovered from the traumatic spinal, I was doing well. The baby was healthy and beautiful. Then on her second day, she got very fussy. She acted like she was starving all the time and she wouldn't nurse long. Of course, the nurses kept offering formula but I turned it down. I had successfully nursed three other babies and I was going to do it again. So they brought in the hospital pump so I could check my milk supply. After 15 minutes, I only had a dot of milk the size of a nickel. So there was a problem. I sobbed, upset that I couldn't provide for my baby. I offered her a bottle, which she downed in five minutes flat. What kind of mother was I? I stayed in the hospital an extra day, trying to get the nursing problem solved. I met with lactation consultants who didn't seem to know any more about breastfeeding than I knew. I went home, feeling totally frustrated.
A few days later, I visited a lactation nurse out of Children's Hospital. She suggested that perhaps I had a thyroid problem. She asked if I had lost any hair. YES! Had I lost or gained weight? YES! Other than the little baby belly, I was much thinner than before I got pregnant. I didn't have an appetite. So she sent me for blood work. The doctor said I had extreme hyperthyroidism. But the bad news was that my low milk supply wouldn't be able to be corrected. I was able to supply about half of Baby Girl's milk for six months. For a couple months after that, I nursed her to go to sleep and at night. The lactation nurse ordered a thyroid scan a couple days later at the hospital.
When Baby Girl was 2 1/2 weeks old, I started having sharp pains in my stomach. I just wanted to ignore the pain but Hubby made me go to the ER. They gave me a CT scan but didn't see any problems. So they sent me home. Two days later, it was time for my thyroid scan. At the hospital, they asked if I had received any type of contrast recently, like for a CT scan. You betcha! Well then, that means they couldn't do the thyroid scan. Of course. So I went to my family doctor and filled him in. He started pushing on my stomach and I about lost it! Wow, the pain! He sent me straight back to the hospital for an ultrasound. That showed nothing so they sent me back to ER. I sat in the ER all day with my newborn baby and my father. My mom and Hubby were both at work. After about eight hours, they decided to take me back in for another CT scan because they didn't know what else to do. I had to get infant formula from the maternity floor because I had run out of milk (both kinds).
As I sat on the scan table, someone interrupted and stopped the test. Some dude, somewhere in the hospital, thought he might have seen something on the both the ultrasound and scan. They only thing they could do was take me into surgery. Lovely. I left my newborn baby with my father as I was wheeled, sobbing, down to the OR. At the last minute, both my mom and Hubby arrived. That helped put me at ease. In surgery, they found my appendix extremely inflamed. Because I had just had a baby, it was not in the proper place and was hiding behind something else. So they removed it but I had to stay overnight in the hospital. My mom kept my newborn baby overnight. I cried all night long.
I know this story is getting really long but it isn't over yet. I'll try to make it quick. The next week, Hubby found out that he had a tumor inside his nose, almost between his eyebrows. He was admitted to the hospital for a minor procedure to remove the tumor. All went well and he was discharged the next day. But a week later, he started having major bleeding and was admitted again. They got the bleeding stopped but kept him. I got a phone call at 2:00 AM that they were rushing him into surgery. So I had to wake up both my parents...my dad stayed with my kids and my mom drove me to the hospital. I still was not allowed to drive from my surgeries! My poor newborn baby spent more time in that hospital her first few weeks than she did at home! But all turned out well.
UNTIL I had to got back into surgery for my long overdue tubal. My gut had been cut open three times in three months. It looked like I had been through war. It's a wonder I recovered! But I did, we both did, and have had no problems since. It was a rough couple of months and I consider them The Third Worst Day(s) of My Life.