Saturday, October 25, 2014

Antepatum Floor

There are many medical experiences here that might be TMI, so I caution you before you commit to reading the story.  However, this was our experience from shortly after Abigail was born to when we left the hospital as a complete family.  Sorry for the extremely long post, part of this post is for me, so that I will always be able to remember the details to our story... even when it didn't go as planned.  I had wanted to write this shortly after she was born, but it didn't happen until today.

If you want to read the story of our labor and delivery,  read it here.

Charlotte Abigail: born 9/18 at 4:21 am, 6 lbs. 6 oz., 20 inches long.

So shortly after my mom and sister left the nurses wanted me to go to the bathroom. I told them that I didn't have to go and that I was fine. They didn't agree considering I hadn't gone to the bathroom since I was induced at around 5:00 pm the day before (it was around 7:00 am).  A nurse got me up and to the bathroom.  As I was sitting there telling her I didn't have to go, the very small room started to spin.  I grabbed the handrail (I was very grateful it was there to grab on to) while I started slurring my words stating I didn't feel good.  I got really hot and my whole body started to sweat.  The nurse kept insisting that I use the bathroom or else the doctor would require me to be catheterized. At that moment... I didn't really care.  For some reason my tongue started to feel like it was swelling and when my speech got even worse, the nurse knew I was in trouble. 

She called for the 2nd nurse that was with me and then there was a party of 3 in the (getting smaller by the minute) bathroom.  The next few minutes are sort of a blur.  A wheelchair was brought in to the bathroom, I was wheeled out with a nurse supporting my head and the other holding my feet up in the air.  They were calling for back up and waving a cloth with ammonia under my nose.  A large male nurse was brought in and he picked me up and put me back in my bed while about 4 other nurses whizzed around me.  I was very grateful they didn't make me try to do it myself, I don't think I had the strength.  After a few minutes laying on my back, I my tongue started feeling normal again and the room wasn't spinning like before.  I wouldn't say that I felt better, but I didn't feel as bad as was earlier. 

Before the nurse would move me to my antepartum room, she had to empty my bladder.  I kept telling them that I didn't have to pee!  But she drained my bladder and showed me the large amount of pee she got out... apparently I did have to pee.  But hey, you give a natural birth and you lose feeling in certain areas of your body.

My poor Dad!  He came and knocked on the door right as the nurse was starting to empty my bladder.  We didn't let him in at that moment, sorry Dad! 

After my bladder was emptied, the nurses finished up whatever else was left to get me ready to move.  Bryan packed up all of our belongings while I got to hold Abigail.  They brought my new bed right up to the one I was currently in and had me shuffle myself over to the new one.  I wasn't allowed to sit up which I thought was kind of weird, however, I didn't feel like I wanted to get up and run a marathon any time soon so I was okay with just "scootching over." 

The nurse wheeled Abigail and me to our new room.  On the way she explained that I wasn't going to a postpartum room, but instead an antepartum room.  At the time, I had no idea what the difference was.  She explained that because of my "complications" (being HELPP and the things that would develop later) I needed closer monitoring than a postpartum room received.  Pregnant women trying to stop pre-term labor and women with complications during/after delivery are put in an antepartum room.  There is a lower nurse to patient ratio on this floor too.

When we got to the room, I noticed that it was more spacious than the regular postpartum room we saw on our hospital tour.  Score!!  I had no idea what a hospital stay looked like, so I didn't understand the nurse rotations.  Our nurse seemed like a very nice person, but came across a little different.   She kept asking if I needed to use the bathroom and to let her know when I did.  (Geeze people, I just peed--well kind of... do I have to do it again??)  I was still hooked up to the magnesium medicine, the blood pressure monitor and stupid heart rate monitor.  Do you know how hard it is to try to breastfeed a baby for the first time when you can't use your right pointer finger?  We got settled in and then started having visitors.  Grammy and Papa came to see Abigail. and as the day continued, so did others.


Here is Abigail compared to Erin and my hospital pictures,  I'm on the right, Erin on the left.  Who does she look like?  I don't think she looks like Bryan's newborn.

Shortly after Grammy and Papa left but before the other visitors, my nurse came in started throwing around the idea of being catheterized and needing to change my bedding so I agreed to try to go, even though I didn't have to go people!  I gave Abigail to Bryan.  As I sat up, things just didn't feel right.  The nurse helped me to my feet, but as I stood up the room spun (quickly!) and I had to sit back down.  (PS-don't rush to sit down just hours after giving birth, it HURTS!!!!)  I said I couldn't do it and she let me lie back down. 

About an hour or so later I decided to try getting out of bed again.  The main reason was because I could feel myself sitting in my mess, and that was just gross!  I convinced the nurse that I didn't need to go to the bathroom, but that maybe we could move the rocking chair in room close to the bed and I could sit in that while she changed my bedding.  She agreed (If I'm being honest, when she talked, I heard Charlie Brown's teacher) and got me sitting up.  She helped me stand up and pivot into the chair.  I went slower this time, so sitting down wasn't as painful.  I knew something wasn't right though as a soon as I was in the chair.  The nurse kept talking and started changing my sheets.  My tongue started to swell like earlier as she finished up.  I told her something wasn't right and that I didn't feel good.  She started talking about needing to call my doctor to have her come examine me and I remember thinking that was a stupid idea because I needed help now!  I was sitting across from a large window that was open and very bright.  I began seeing little "swirley patterns" start from the outside of my vision and worked it's way in.  I slurred again that I needed help and the nurse turned around and I saw an "Oh S**t!" look on her face.  She made a phone call and another nurse walked in the room shortly after that. 

This nurse took one look at me and reached in the bathroom and pulled the emergency cord as she started calling out orders to my nurse.  Within seconds every available nurse was in my room.  There were probably 8 nurses in the room.  The nurse that was called into my room started barking orders to get towels and water and a rag with ammonia on it.  Her main priority was to get me back in bed.  I could barley speak at this point, but ironically had very sarcastic thoughts flying around in my head that I just couldn't express.  They tried to have me stand up but when they lifted me up, my legs became dead weight.  A group effort got me in the bed and as soon as I laid flat, it became easier to communicate.  As I was being lifted into the bed a Doctor in pink scrubs (I will always remember that) came in and started asking me questions like "What's your name?  What is today?  Can you tell me you're baby's name?  Does anything hurt?"  I was able to respond to everything in that slurred voice, and my answer to does anything hurt was "yes, my who-ha hurts."  When they didn't laugh, I felt the need to say "Come on guys, I just said who-ha!"  A male doctor came in the room while I was getting back into bed, and he immediately announced that he was a neurologist and saw the commotion and wanted to see if he could help.  I will always be grateful for this group of 8 nurses, the pink scrub doctor and neurologist: the pink scrub doctor calmed and comforted my husband who couldn't do anything to help me besides hold Abigail, the neurologist was very forthcoming with his intentions which was oddly calming to me in the midst of chaos, and the nurses who took care of my every need even when I couldn't.  The 2nd nurse (who ended up being the charge nurse) stayed in my room for a little while to make sure I adjusted back to my bed the way I was supposed to.  I didn't know she was the charge nurse when I made a comment about not liking my nurse.  I'm sure she is a great person, she just wasn't a great nurse. 

About 30 minutes later my doctor came in to see me on her morning rounds.  She said I handled delivery with HELPP like a champ but was very concerned about my post delivery status.  She ordered two units of blood and a catheter for me.  I'm not going to lie, a catheter sounded nice because then they would quit pestering about going to the bathroom.  I still didn't have to go! And the idea of getting out of bed didn't sound very appetizing. 

My nurse took care of the orders and then the 2nd nurse (the charge nurse) appeared and told me that they had done some shuffling for the rest of the shift and I would have a new nurse.  I felt really bad for getting her in trouble, but the charge nurse assured me that their number 1 priority was me and if I wasn't comfortable with my assigned nurse then they would do something to fix it.  I hate being that person who complains but I was relieved to not have to have the bad nurse again. 

My new nurse asked if I had ordered lunch yet.  Food?  I hadn't thought about it in a while.  The nurse showed me the room service menu and how to order food.  I sent in my lunch order not expecting much, but I did order a Diet Coke!  We started having visitors again around lunch time and things starting calming down.  We also tried to catch naps when we could, even if it was just a few minutes at a time.

Here's to my 4th diet coke in 2014!  (If you know me at all... that is really saying something)

Eventually all of the visitors left.  It was just Bryan, Abigail and myself.  I had finally finished up my 2nd unit of blood, but I was still being monitored for high blood pressure and that stupid heart rate monitor didn't go anywhere.  I was also still required bed-bound with the catheter.  Even with all these uncomfortable attachments, I was so excited to be there with my little family that God has given me.  We made it through several feedings and then would get her to sleep (for an hour or so).  I didn't have a clue what I was doing when trying to feed.  I wish the lactation consultants would have come to visit me that first night to teach me what to do.  I had planned on going to a breastfeeding class, but slept through the one I signed up for and then didn't get a chance to go again because of Abigail's early arrival. 

It was around 2 in the morning and Abigail was getting really fussy.  I could only (attempt to) feed her, I couldn't easily bounce or rock her, I couldn't change or swaddle her.  That job fell on Bryan.  We quickly learned that she enjoyed being swaddled and lightly bounced while being walked.  I couldn't do any of that.  I made it to the 2:00 fussy session and Bryan had things under control.  I didn't mean to, but I fell asleep.  I caught a 20 minute cat nap and woke up to Bryan holding our precious little one.  I felt so guilty for falling asleep and not being able to help but later Bryan and I discussed how that was a huge boost to his confidence.  He said he felt I clearly trusted him enough to handle anything that would happen.  Bryan was so worried that he wouldn't know what to do or that Abigail wouldn't like him.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  I have loved watching him grow into his role as a father. 

Friday--Day 2 in the hospital--was a day of answers to my medical difficulties and snuggles with Abigail! 

I had a great nurse that was very personable and compassionate.  The catheter was removed (I was more worried about that then when they inserted it... I was worried for nothing).  That afternoon I finally felt like I might need to go to the restroom.  The nurse was prepared and very encouraging in getting  me out of bed.  To spare you the details, (I know I haven't up until now, but might as well start somewhere) I ended up passing a potato size blood clot vaginally.  It was like having a baby all over again, but not quit as painful.  The only thing was that the nurse didn't explain to me what happened.  She took care of everything and got me back in bed.  I knew what had happened wasn't normal, but I didn't know what it was.  She just said "no wonder you needed blood."  I was cleared to get out of bed when I wanted, but that I had to take it slow and not over do it.   Later that night I passed another potato size blood clot with the night nurse, who explained what it was and a little of what happened to me. 

Abigail had all of her screenings and test.  Her bilirubin level was a little high and I was instructed to feed her as much as possible to try and flush it out of her.  I tired, but wasn't very successful.  She passed her hearing test and had some state mandated blood screening.  The birth certificate paperwork was filled out, she got her bath and we were looking good.

Abigail's hearing test:

She passed!


We also had some special visitors. 
Saturday--Day 3--I finally started to feel a little more like myself and they removed the heart rate monitor, thank you Jesus!  The doctor on duty for the weekend prescribed me a blood pressure medicine since my blood pressure was still high and had been since I had arrived on Wednesday.  They kept the blood pressure arm sling on through the morning, but then they took it off and came in to check it every couple of hours.  Talk about liberating!  I was no longer hooked up to anything except the thing on my arm for the IV (I don't know what that's called).   We had a few visitors throughout the day. 

Abigail's bilirubin levels were retested and came back higher.  The doctor wanted to see more poopy and wet diapers or she was going to put Abigail on formula.  I was trying my hardest, but I honestly don't think she was getting much at all.  My poor boobs, I had been squeezing and shaping them every which way to try and get her to eat, but it didn't seem to be working.

The doctors asked if we wanted to be discharged or stay another night.  The doctor was comfortable doing it either way and let us choose.  I think Bryan was ready to go home, but I wanted to stay another night.  I just felt like we needed one more night of knowing professional help was down the hall. 

Sunday--Day 4--Abigail had a 4 am bilirubin blood test again.  The doctor on morning rounds came around to give me instructions with my blood pressure medicine.  I was ready to be discharged.  While the doctor was talking to me, the pediatrician came in with the results of her bilirubin test.  Abigail was clearly jaundice now and she needed to be placed under these special lights to help rid her of the bilirubin.  The doctor also instructed us to begin supplementing with 30 ml of formula after each feeding.  The doctor warned us that there was a chance Abigail couldn't be discharged today. 

Talk about a punch in the gut.  All I could think about was how they were expecting Bryan and I to leave without our baby.  Pure fear is the only way I could describe the situation.  I started crying, the doctors and nurses were very comforting, but that didn't help with the fact that I might have to leave Abigail.  We started asking questions about could we possibly stay in a waiting room somewhere.  I was willing to stay without a bed for however long it took,  I just needed a chair in a corner anyway... Bryan too.  We talked about the possibility of me being discharged without Abigail, but being given a "stay over" room for parents in this situation.  The nurse said she would look into it and see the cost for these rooms and if they had any available.  This was slightly comforting, but I just wanted to go home with our baby.  4 days is enough time in a hospital no matter how great the food is!  I had to cling to the verses in Philippians about Rejoicing in the Lord always--We had a beautiful baby girl that was going to be okay, after all jaundice is very common.  She was in the best place for her.  She was well loved and well taken care of. Rejoice!

Around lunch time the pediatrician came back in and we discussed a plan.  She agreed to discharge us as long as we had an appointment first thing Monday morning with Abigail's pediatrician and if we would stay the rest of the day and leave as late as possible so Abigail would be under the lights for as long as possible.  Luckily as far as insurance and being discharged goes, it didn't doesn't matter if you leave at 9 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon, or 9 at night.  We agreed to be discharged late in the day and to make an appointment so we could go home as a family. 
We had hoped to shoot for around 6:00 so that we could get home with a newborn before dark, but as the day went on, the pediatrician convinced us to stay until 9:00.  My sister came up (she actually was awesome and came everyday we were in the hospital.  When Abigail would sleep, she would stay awake and watch her so that we could catch a nap... she's the BEST!)  during the day and my mom ended up stopping by around 8, just in time to see us off. 
Bryan and Erin changed one more diaper before leaving.  Erin didn't handle it very well, and I was laughing so hard it hurt!
We got dressed and ready to head out.

These are the last moments before we left the hospital.  God was so good to our little family.  Even if it didn't go as planned, I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else!


Take me home Mom and Dad!
If you stuck around to the end, you are a trouper! We just love our Charlotte Abigail!

No comments:

Post a Comment