I want to thank you all for the sweet words and kind thoughts regarding our daughter. Thank you for keeping us lifted in prayer or sending us positive thoughts. It is very much appreciated. I don’t know how else to thank you all, except by saying THANK YOU!!!
I decided to share more about my experience, but this is more about me and my health. I mentioned in my previous post, that my body took, or was taking, a big hit. I’m a pretty healthy person, so when I started to learn about all of the things that was starting to go wrong, I was really panicked. I believe this was part of the reason why I couldn’t get my blood pressure down while I was in the hospital (the first time).
The first hospital stay was a week long. It was BEYOND frustrating because every day, they’d tell me, “Tomorrow, we’ll see if you can go home”. EVERY DAY they told me this! Seriously, my emotions were either sad or angry while in the hospital. Sad for our loss or angry because they “teased” me with being able to go home. I have never cried so much in my life. I can’t even believe I still have tears left to shed. It was an extremely challenging time for me.
During the first stay, the goal was to get my blood pressure down. Folks, my blood pressure got as high as 203/110 before I delivered. If you know anything about blood pressures, then you know that is HIGH! Like, these numbers are stroke, heart attack high. As I said, I didn’t know my BP had gotten that high until the 2nd ultrasound appointment my doc requested. My previous OB appts , my BP had been normal (120s/80s). So these numbers were shocking. And do you know what? I felt fine. That’s the super scary part…I didn’t feel bad at all.
The first day, day and a half, I floated between Labor and Delivery and the High Risk Perinatal Unit. I literally went back and forth. Started in L&D because they thought I’d immediately deliver due to my BP. But my pressure started getting better, so they thought maybe we could control my BP enough and possibly give Ava a couple more weeks. So they transferred me to High Risk for observation/monitoring. But unfortunately, it went back up. It kept spiking very high. Not 200s high, but 170s, 180s high. And other things started to go wrong…things I didn’t feel but was sure to if I kept the pregnancy. It was clear that we had to deliver. So I went back to L&D. This was all in 24-27 hours. I was exhausted from all the monitoring (taking my BP every 15 mins, every 30 mins, etc). Lots of meds were given to me and lots of blood was being drawn.
Because of my risk for seizure (preeclampsia, which can turn into ‘eclampsia’ and can make a woman susceptible to seizures), I had to be placed on an iv of magnesium. If anyone knows what this is, then you already know this was NOT fun. For those of you not in the know, how can I describe it?
Ok. I don’t know if it’s always done this way, but they gave me a heavy dose right up front. Then eased up on it. You feel like you have the flu….times 50! Maybe times 100!! The first round of it, I hurled. It was INTENSE. You feel very hot/flushed, like you’re super, super sick. It does go away, but during the first hour and change, you just feel AWFUL!! It also kinda knocks you out…I just passed out to sleep after 10-15 min into the larger dose. After the hour passed, I was fine. And that’s mainly because the dosage is lowered and my system had adjusted to it. But even though I adjusted to it, it’s still not fun to be on it.
Skipping ahead, as you know, we decided to induce and deliver Ava. That was…an experience.
In short, I received suppositories to dilate my cervix. I would receive these until dilated. They checked every 4-6 hours. It was a long process, but once it started, it was fast.
The first round of dilation was like, *painpainpainpain*. “Ok, I’m ok. I can DO this.” Then, by the second round, it was like, *PAINPAINPAINPAINPAINPAINPAINPAIN*. O.M.G. friends. I have never, ever, ever in my life, felt pain like that…EVER! That’s when I gladly asked for an epidural.
The nurse told me the anesthesiologist was the best, so no worries. When I tell you this guy was THE GREATEST, he was THE GREATEST!!!!! He was so on point!! He was super professional. Super friendly. And he got everything done in about 5 minutes..or maybe 6? I can’t remember, but he was extremely efficient. And I felt virtually no pain. It was just some pressure and that was it. YES! Dare I say, I loved getting an epidural? I know! But it went SO well. However, I will say that the actual epidural medication did a number on me. I was SO numb (and out of it because I was on the magnesium and other meds), I ended up delivering Ava so fast…I barely realized it at first. I was supposed to notice some pressure, and I think I did, but I was OUT OF IT. And I was a little sad about it, but what could I do? I was drugged up and could barely move.
After delivering her, my health improved greatly. All the things that were going wrong, were getting better and better. I fully recovered from the preeclampsia. The only issue I had was my blood pressure. And that’s what kept me in the hospital for a week. This was all very normal according to the doctors, but…they still acted “shocked” that my BP wasn’t getting better. I guess they wanted it to get better faster? I don’t know. But everyone reassured me that there were plenty of women who had preeclampsia that needed BP meds for a while after delivery (up to 6 weeks and sometimes longer). It was very confusing. One moment, I’m hearing it’s normal and the next, they would seem perplexed by it. It was just weird.
This whole experience was challenging because I was so anxious to go home and anxious that my BP wasn’t going to come down. My doc’s counterpart told me at one point that she thought my BP was high due to me being in the hospital. I agreed wholeheartedly. While I was there, all of the nurses were so wonderful. I really did have a great care experience. But some of the techs (they only took the vitals. They didn’t know anything about my situation), were a little nerve-wracking. One would always say to me after a high reading, “What’s going on girl?! Why is your pressure so high?!” and things of that nature. I hated hearing those words because it made me feel like it was my fault I was sick. But then I found out that the techs didn’t know I had lost my baby. They didn’t know I had preeclampsia. They just didn’t know anything (I confirmed this when I would start talking to the nicer ones and saw the looks on their faces when I shared why I was in the hospital). Even still, their words were inappropriate regardless and would drive my anxiety up. I would be so nervous when they came for vital checks. And boy oh boy, did they check often! I didn’t get any sleep, which is typical for being in the hospital. They came in every hour during the day and every two hours in the night. Right around 4 or 5 am, they came to take vitals AND draw blood. That first week in the hospital I was so exhausted. I was so stressed. And of course, I was grieving. No wonder my BP wasn’t coming down.
I finally got out of the hospital due to all of the drugs they put me on to keep it down. I didn’t care at the time, I just wanted to get out. But a cardiologist that came to tell me the results of my CT scan (I had SO many heart tests run), asked about the meds they put me on (he hasn’t read my history). He warned me that most likely, I’d get home and my BP would go down too low.
Sure enough, that’s what happened. And that’s what put me in the hospital for round two.
Fortunately, the low BP resolved itself very quickly. BUT, my next challenge was a low-grade fever. The fever started the next day I got home from the first hospital stay. It was only around 99-100, so I knew it wasn’t a big deal. However, when I went to the ER (via ambulance. Oh yes, only the classiest way to get there), the EMTs said it was 102! By the time I arrived and had the nurse take it, it was back to normal. Weird, right? I don’t know what that was about, but I was happy it was normal.
The ER doc got all of my history (from the previous week) and was concerned about my heart rate. I told her that it’s been like that since the last week and they ran all sorts of tests to figure out why. Then, the on-call OB came down (he knows my doc) and his concern was to get me off some of the BP meds (yay!) but to keep me on the one that helped my heart rate. He was very aware that I was probably still dealing with the effects of preeclampsia and that the meds would help control my heart rate. Ok, fine. Good. Let’s get me out! He leaves and comes back after 10-15 mins and says,
“Dr. Woods (the ER doc) is concerned about the protein that was found in your urine. It’s not a lot and it’s not a big deal. I’m actually not concerned, but she thinks you should stay overnight for observation. I’m going to go and get you admitted and we’ll go from there” and he left.
Folks, I nearly died inside. I just started to cry. I could not believe my luck. Even though it was just a night, I was devastated. My nurse came in and she knelt down beside my bed and prayed with me (she knew about everything that was going on from the week before). It was the sweetest thing, but I couldn’t focus. I didn’t want to be there again.
We ended up sitting in the ER for nearly 2.5-3 hours waiting for them to move me. That in and of itself was torture. I was praying someone would come back and say, “We’re going to let you go!”, but no such luck.
They finally moved us to the “short term unit” and lo’ and behold, it was GLORIOUS!!! I had a nice private room and the floor was nice and quiet. They were super nice and actually let me sleep most of the night. It was nice, until I kept spiking a fever. UGH!!
The original reason I had to stay was null and void. They ran more tests and my urinalysis was fine. But now, they had to figure out why I had this fever. My doc’s counterpart came in to see me… I’m going to call her Dr. Overkill because while she is great and means well, she was the one that kept running a million tests on me during my first stay. Anyway, Dr. Overkill comes in and is again vexed by the fever AND my heart rate again. UGH! Lady! I have a fast heartbeat, deal with it! But this time, she went a different route. She thought maybe I had a uterine infection. I was having pains in my abdomen that weren’t too bad the previous week, but they were steadily getting worse and worse. I knew what was going on though and it wasn’t an infection. My fibroids were shrinking. This is typical after delivery (if you have fibroids). Dr. Overkill did mention it could be my fibroids, but then said my fever had gotten too high for this to be the cause. I meannnnn, it went to 103 once! Most other times, it was 100 – 101. Plus, I had one shrink last year and I had all the same symptoms. It was definitely my fibroids!
But what do I know? I’m just a patient. *rolls eyes*
So we had an ultrasound done. Annnnd it showed nothing. Oh, it showed that I have fibroids. Duh! But hey, what’s the harm in seeing if anything is there, right? No harm, except because of her, I’ve had so many tests run on me “just to see” what could be wrong. All I can think about it is, my hospital bill is going to be re-donk-culous!! I know, I know…it’s all in the name of getting me healthy. I get it. But yo, THEY don’t have to pay for a 12-day stay, complete with 2 EKGs, 1 ECG, 1 CT scan, 1 Ultrasound, blood cultures, urine cultures, 2 rounds of magnesium, 3 rounds of antibiotics, an epidural, countless blood pressure meds (pills and IV), SO MUCH Motrin and a few Oxycodones. I mean, it’s just so much. And do you know she wanted to run an MRI!? My doc finally put her foot down and said it wasn’t necessary. Dr. Overkill was obsessed with figuring out why my heart rate runs high. (I found out, it’s hereditary!)
After that, she was done. She told me I was strange! *hmph* Sorry, lady. And I wasn’t lying. They’d examine me all the time. I had good breath sounds, good lung sounds, good bowel sounds… everything was GOOD. Like, even better than good. I was healthy. All the blood they drew from each day, checked out fine. But I had these weird things going on. I admit, it was strange, but I just let it go. If something was truly wrong, I had faith they’d find it.
Well, finally after a 5-night stay, they let me go. My fever went away for 24hrs, so they were confident the antibiotics did their job. My BP was stable and I checked out fine.
I’ve been home for a few days now and it feels good to be in my own bed. I am feeling slow and fatigued, but I feel better. Not 100%, but maybe 80%? I’m getting there. (EDIT: Today, Friday, I’m feeling 90% better).
I saw my OB yesterday (Thurs) and went over my meds. I’m now on one BP med, but I haven’t taken it since I got out of the hospital (the 2nd time) b/c my BP has been normal (I now own a lovely BP monitor). I called and discussed this with my OB earlier in the week and she was ok with it. She thinks in the next few weeks, I’ll be off of it. My body seems to be recovering pretty fast, but she’d like to see how it is in the next few weeks. If my BP continues to be normal, then I can be off the meds. Yay! She gave us guidelines in terms of when I should take it if it does go back up. So fingers crossed, it’ll be all good over the next couple of weeks.
So that’s my story! It has been a long two weeks, folks. I have never been on so many medications in my LIFE! I was worried about them all. It was crazy. But thank GOD, I made it through it all. Seriously, I have just experienced the toughest thing ever in my life. But I kept thinking, God wouldn’t give me more than I can handle. And I just prayed for Him to be with me and to give me strength. So I thank Him for my life. I couldn’t have done it without Him.
And I thank all of you, that have reached out in all sorts of ways to me and my husband. We will forever be grateful for your love, your prayers and your light. It is SO APPRECIATED!!!! These days, I’m in tears often, for so many reasons. And your love is one of them. I’m truly overwhelmed by it all and my heart (my perfectly, functioning heart, thank you very much) goes out to you as thanks. 🙂
One day, I’ll be back to writing crazy, silly and sometimes (hopefully) thought-provoking things. I look forward to it so much!! For now, I’ll be around on social media as much as I feel up to it.
Love you all and until next post,