Thursday, December 17, 2009

More of the Update

After Payton and I came home from the hospital, I was on blood pressure medicine to control my blood pressure. The doctor said it would take about four to six weeks for it to return to normal and then I'd be able to get off of the medicine. In the meantime, I had to buy a blood pressure cuff to take my blood pressure several times a day and then call it in to the doctor's office. I also had my staples removed from my incision - it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. One of the worst things that I experienced was the muscle spasms around my incision. Wow! They really hurt!

One day my blood pressure dropped - the bottom number was 52 - I was very lightheaded, felt faint, and couldn't think "right". I called the doctor's office (the alternative number - it was Sunday). They told me to go to the ER, which I did (EG drove me). So then they basically said that my blood pressure was trying to return to normal and the blood pressure medicine had made it drop. But since it was still not stabilized (it would get high) I had to take the medicine, just here and there and half of the dosage. Eventually I didn't have to take it at all, which was great! I hated that medicine. I didn't like how sleepy it made me.

My mom had stayed for two weeks and went home on the day I had to go to the ER. Things quickly got back to normal. Even though I wasn't supposed to lift anything heavy, like Karlee, I had to do it because I was alone during the day with the kids. Sometimes I would really hurt. Other times I was ok.

Thanksgiving came and went - I made a cajun turkey! It was really good. Karlee started sleeping through the night again - with all the commotion she had been waking up at night crying but as soon as my mom went back home and Ashley went back home after being here for Thanksgiving break, Karlee was back on track.

Payton would get up every two hours at night to eat. Now she is going for almost the whole night without getting up, although last night she woke up twice (our routine had changed yesterday, and I think that's why). She likes to sleep in her swing. It lays nearly flat and rocks side to side. We asked the doctor about it and he said while it won't hurt her, we shouldn't let her get used to it. But we need the sleep! Hahaha! So we let her sleep in it at night, though she does occasionally sleep in the cradle and does sleep in the bassinet downstairs during the day.

Payton got to meet Santa Clause for the first time! Karlee loved it too. We had their pictures taken where E.G. works, then we had a family picture taken too. We have been shopping here and there for Karlee's birthday and Christmas. We are all set for Christmas, which is a relief. All of Karlee's birthday gifts are wrapped and ready; all we have to do is pick up her birthday cake and order a pizza tomorrow. I can't believe she'll be two!

Well, that's it for now. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More About Payton's Birth

During the stay in the hospital, I let the nurses have the baby at night. EG stayed with me in the hospital in the evenings, at night, and part of the morning. My mom stayed with Karlee and then she'd come to visit with me during the day while EG was with Karlee.

Because of the H1N1 virus, only grandparents and the father were allowed to visit in the hospital. Siblings were not allowed to visit at all. I missed Karlee so much. But because she is a daddy's girl, I didn't think she'd miss me. I tried to talk to her on the phone but she wasn't really having that.

My c-section wasn't too bad, but they had this tube coming out of my belly to help drain fluids. It fell out a couple of times and they had to replace it. Gross! It had a little bulb on the end of it that they had to empty the fluids out of it every few hours. It just tucked into my underwear. I had staples to hold the incision together. They really didn't bother me. My hips were still hurting but not as bad. I still needed help getting dressed and cleaned up. Getting in and out of bed was hard. I felt overwhelmed at the hospital. I had to have a few more ultrasounds to make sure things were draining and I wasn't bleeding to much internally. I had to have my blood pressure taken all the time and they put me on blood pressure medicine that made me SO tired. I had a few epidsodes of really high blood pressure that they made me stay in bed. They put these things on my legs to help keep circulation going to ward off blood clots. The breastfeeding people kept coming in and then there was this one nurse ("The Breastfeeding Nazi", as EG called her) who INSISTED that I do things her way and right this second. I felt like I was going crazy. As soon as I would go to take a bite of food, they'd bring the baby in and insist that I try to feed her at the breast when I had ok'd the bottle. Then I'd have to have a test done. Then they needed to change the bulb. Then I had to take this medicine. Then I would get sick. Then they'd say, "Why haven't you eaten?! You need to eat!" And it was like, "Well, if you'd let me I would!" EG was getting mad. He was telling them that I needed to eat. Then someone else would come in - the doctor, the chaplain, another nurse to see how I was (there were nurses that stopped in that weren't my nurses - they had just seen how sick I was and wanted to see how I was doing). Don't get me wrong - I appreciated all of this - it just seemed like they all would come in at the wrong time. I was either trying to breastfeed or trying to eat!

So if my blood pressure wasn't going to respond to the medicine and level out (it was still bouncing up and down), I'd have to stay. They weren't going to take my staples out while I was in the hospital either. They also wanted to make sure that I wouldn't need any more blood transfusions - I had had four units of blood altogether. Finally my blood pressure somewhat stabilized and I was allowed to come home!

We got Payton all ready, who was just as perfect as can be. I was so excited to go home and see Karlee. I wondered what she'd be like with her new sister. After a few hours they finally had all the paperwork ready and we could go home!

We came home (we only live about 5 minutes away) and I asked EG to stay out in the car with Payton just so I could have the first few minutes alone with Karlee. She ran to the door and yelled, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" I about cried! First, she always calls me "Mum" and never "Mommy", and I'd never gotten a greeting like that before. She wanted picked up immediately but since I couldn't pick her up, I had my mom pick her up so I could sort of hug her and hold her too.

EG came in and Karlee looked at the baby. We let her "hold" the baby with help. She pointed out the baby's nose, eyes, mouth, head, hands, toes, etc. Then she was done.

Karlee looked so big to me! Just being away from her for a week seemed like an eternity, and she looked different.

Payton was very lethargic for about two weeks, but the doctor said she was doing great. She had her first appointment a few days later. She left the hospital weighing 7 lbs, 1 oz (she had lost 9 oz in the hospital, which is what newborns do). She had gained 4 oz back in a few days.

More to come...Payton is up!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Month Late Update

Well, the last time I wrote I was still pregnant at 36 weeks. Five days after that post, I had my baby girl via emergency c-section.

Where do I begin? Well, that Thursday (November 5), I had an appointment at the OB's office. Earlier that day, I had an appointment to get a flu shot with Karlee. We went and came back home to wait until it was time to go to the OB. Well, all day I hadn't been feeling well. Then I started getting vision problems (like weird colorful streamers in my vision and black spots). I generally felt like crap. I thought it might be due partly to the flu shot. I started to get a headache. I knew that my blood pressure would probably be high and I'd get sent to Labor and Delivery just to be sent home after it went down again. I couldn't do that because I had Karlee with me and I didn't want to call EG at work because it was only him and his boss scheduled at work that day. So I called up the OB's office to cancel my appointment but asked to talk to a nurse. The nurse insisted that I come there, because of my blood pressure. She in fact asked that I come earlier than my appointment, which was at 3. So I called EG's sister Carol up and asked her if she could watch Karlee at the last minute. I had to drive the whole way out there (at least 15 minutes one way). Carol took one look at me and said, "They need to take that baby."

I went to the OB and they said that I was 1 cm dialated and 75% effaced. They saw how high my blood pressure was. The bottom number was 110, I remember. Three different people came in to check it to confirm it. Then the midwife came back in and said, "Well, you're very swollen, feeling sick, and your blood pressure is very high. You also have protein in your urine. You are going to have to have this baby, that's the only way to correct this." So I said, "Ok, well, how soon?" She said, "Well, I'm going to send you to labor and delivery and I'm pretty sure you won't be leaving this hospital without a baby." I said, "How sure?" She said, "99.9% sure." So I got really nervous and she said that she was going to call L&D to let them know that I was coming down. They did not let me go on my own and had a nurse go with me (they never did that before). I didn't understand the severity of the situation quite yet. I thought they just sent her with me so I wouldn't change my mind and leave. Once we got to L&D, two nurses stood on each side of me and led me to a room until they got my real room ready.

I called EG up and told him about the situation and he left work to go home and get things ready for me. Of course, I had not packed my suitcase yet because I thought I had three weeks to go! I was actually going to do it that weekend. Anyway, he got Karlee some things around too and took it out to Carol's and then came up to the hospital. I called my mom and let her know what was going on too.

The midwife came back and started me on an IV. They said they were going to start things in the morning to get labor started at about 6 am. I think they started Pitocin that night but I don't remember much because I was pretty sick. I know that I was very nauseated and did throw up. The next morning, along with Pitocin, they gave me magnesium sulfate in my IV. I thought this was to bring my blood pressure down. Later I found out it was to prevent a convulsion from happening. I was so sick from that! I was vomiting bile. They also gave me something that sounded like Silver something. It was supposed to bring my blood pressure down.

Soon it was like a conference in my room. A doctor, a midwife, and several nurses and the anesthesiologist came into my room. They told me that the Pitocin wasn't working, my blood pressure was not coming down, and the risk of me continuing on like this versus delivering the baby early was just not a question, they had to take the baby. I had to have a c-section. The anesthesiologist told me that he was hoping that I could be awake for the delivery of the baby, but we'd have to wait and see. They also did not know if EG was going to be allowed in the OR or not. The doctors left, and two nurses began prepping me for surgery. They told EG to put scrubs on and before I knew it, I was put in the OR and given a spinal block. EG had to stay out in the hallway and they'd let him know if he could come in or not when they were ready.

I was still so sick. I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt like I could barely breathe. I wondered (honestly) if I was dying. I just wanted to see my baby. The anesthesiologist kept talking to me and telling me to breathe. They let EG in. I told the anesthesiologist that I was going to throw up. He told me to turn my head and vomit in the basin next to my head. I did. It was all bile. So gross! The doctors were doing the surgery at this point. I couldn't feel much. I kept trying to breathe. It seemed like forever. I didn't think I was going to make it. A nurse said, "You're going to feel a lot of pressure on your chest. We have to push down on it to get the baby out." She pushed and I felt like I'd never get my breath back. I got sick again. Then they told EG to look over the cloth thing they had between us and them so I couldn't watch the surgery. He stood up and then they told me I was going to feel some tugging, which I did. They said, "It's a girl!" and I heard her start to scream. They paused near us so I could get a glimpse of her and then they took her to the table next to us and told EG to come over and cut the rest of the cord. She was screaming away. They said, "Wow, she's a big baby! 7 pounds and 10 ounces!" She was 19.5 inches long and was born at 10:59 a.m. She had a head circumference of 14. Then she started choking and I kinda felt horrified for a minute, but they suctioned her out a few more times and cleaned her up a little. They put a hat on her and had me kiss her head. EG held her and I focused on trying to get through everything. Then all of the sudden, they took the baby away and made EG leave. I got sick a few more times but it was mostly gagging.

Then they transferred me to another bed and to a room next to the OR. Two nurses were working on me - I was bleeding a lot (more than usual) and they kept having to move me back and forth to clean me up and they were pressing on my belly too. The spinal block wore off. OH WOW! I was in so much pain! They were moving me so much and I had that pelvic symphisis disorder - I thought my hips were going to break. I begged them to let me have a little time to prepare before they moved me but they wouldn't. Then the pitocin kicked in! Labor pains after I already had the baby!! Oh my...I begged them for something. They had to wait for some reason - maybe in case I had to go back into surgery. They called an ultrasound tech in to see why I was bleeding so badly. I have never felt so much pain in my life. They finally gave me a morphine shot, but it wore off quickly and they couldn't give me another shot for an hour. EG finally showed up sometime during the day. I was so dry - I hadn't had anything to drink since the day before and they allowed me some ice chips, then some water (and they yelled at me for drinking it too fast but I was SO thirsty). The cramps kept coming but would feel better if EG put counterpressure on them (it was like back labor). Wow oh wow, my pelvis was on fire! The bleeding finally slowed down. I asked if I could see my baby and they brought her in after awhile.

Eventually they put me in another room where I could be monitored with nurses that were working with only me. They loaded me up on heavy narcotics. I remember thinking one thing but saying something totally different. It was hard to see and hard to focus. I don't remember much of that night or a big part of the next day. They gave me two units of blood because I had been anemic and lost a lot of blood. I couldn't do much other than hold the baby for short amounts of time, and then I'd basically pass out. My mom and brother came to visit. I don't remember much else that day.

Eventually they moved me to the main wing when I started to get a little better. They ended up giving me two more units of blood because the first two were not enough. I spent about a week in the hospital.

Payton Layne was absolutely gorgeous. She was very lethargic for a long time because of the medicine that they had given me that transfered to her before the c-section. She was a little jaundiced, but otherwise very healthy. I wish I could have bonded with her a little earlier, but because I had been so sick I had not been able to see her much at all those first few days. She looked very little - not like a 7 pound 10 ounce baby - everyone said she looked like a preemie. She was even wearing preemie diapers. Her head was so perfectly round and soft. She had hair but not as thick as Karlee's, or as dark. She was perfect.

The doctor told me that I could have died - things were very serious. It was a good thing that I decided to go in to the OB that day instead of cancelling out like I had planned!

More to come...Payton needs fed!