Friday, December 21, 2012

Delivered Part 3: The Ugly

Trevor spent Tuesday night in the nursery and I was able to get some decent sleep. I woke up Wednesday morning feeling pretty good. No headache. No neck ache. I knew a hot shower would feel really nice so I took one before the nurse brought Trevor to me. Wednesday passed quickly without much incident and I was excited to be going home the next day.

I felt bad that Trevor had spent so much time in the nursery so I decided to keep him with me that night. Around 1am he became inconsolable and I felt a dull headache coming on. I told myself that I was just tired and if I could get some sleep it would go away. I sent Trevor to the nursery once I calmed him down and tried to sleep. The only complaint I had about my roommate was that she liked to keep her light on all night and for some reason that night the light coming from her side of the room was making it impossible to sleep.

I woke up Thursday morning with the same dull headache. I tried not to panic thinking that the spinal headache had returned. I slowly sat up and the blinding pain returned. I texted Evan and told him it was back and that I needed him to get to the hospital as soon as possible because there was no way I could get all of my things together, Trevor ready, and be discharged without his help. Evan scrambled to get Blake ready and dropped him off early with Lindsay and made it to the hospital to find me laying in bed, a mess of tears.

Besides being upset that my headache had returned, I was terrified they were going to make me stay at the hospital. The on-call anesthesiologist came to see me and told me what my options were: 1) Another blood patch- This would be my third blood patch (I had a preventative blood patch while still on the operating table, then another one once the headache started) or 2) Lay flat and let it heal on its own, which could take a week.

I didn't really like either one of my options, but I decided to let the puncture heal on its own. After 2 failed blood patches I didn't want to risk being poked again and creating another hole in the membrane surrounding my spinal cord. I really needed my body to heal on its own so this headache would go away once and for all.

After coming to terms with the fact that I'd be leaving the hospital in a lot of pain, my focus turned to how I was going to manage being upright for at least ten minutes as we walked out of the hospital and waited for our ride home. The pain was so horrific when I had to sit or stand up, but I was willing to do whatever it took to get out of there.

One of the charge nurses came to check on me and said I should stay if I was in a lot of pain. I thanked her for being so helpful to me but told her that I absolutely could not stay at the hospital. I really just needed to be home.

My nurse came and had me sign a few forms and gave me a few instructions on taking care of myself and then we were free to go. Evan gathered all of my belongings, dressed Trevor, got him in the car seat, helped me out of bed and we headed out of the hospital room. Once I made it into the hallway the pain was terrible. I stopped by the front desk to turn in the necessary forms and walked as fast as I could to the elevator. I couldn't hold back the tears and didn't care who saw me crying. We finally made it outside and waited for our ride. At that point being vertical was too much to bear so I laid down. Outside. On a raised part of the sidewalk. I didn't care who saw me as long as no one rushed out and told me I needed to be readmitted to the hospital.

The Ugly

Melanie was giving us a ride and I'm actually grateful to her for taking some pictures. The corpse-like look I'm sporting here perfectly captures how I was feeling: like I was going to die. I tried to stay as flat as possible during the car ride home and the conversation was a welcome distraction from the pain.

We pulled up in front of our building and Evan helped me out of the car and into our apartment. I laid on the couch while he went back out to get Trevor and I just let all the tears I had been holding back for 3 days come gushing out. Even though having a roommate wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be (mostly because we complained to each other about how awful the nurse techs were and laughed about how pushy the hospital photographer was), I felt I had to keep my emotions somewhat in check because no one wants to be the woman who just had a baby and can't stop crying. So I just let everything come out. I was out of the hospital and couldn't be more grateful.

I wondered for a second as I laid on the couch whether I had made the right decision to leave the hospital. What if my headache didn't go away and I had to go back for another blood patch? It became very clear as soon as Evan returned from picking Blake up that he was going to be the best nurse I had ever had. And as stressful as it was for him to have to care for 3 human beings, he was up to the challenge. Being in the hospital was frustrating and stressful for me, but I gather that Evan was just as frustrated and stressed because he couldn't be there to help me. And I'm sure my frantic texts and weepy phone calls didn't help.

By Saturday afternoon I was taking prescription strength Motrin and popping caffeine pills every 3 hours to control the spinal headache. And it worked! My headache was gone by Sunday and I could finally live life like a normal human being.

I had survived pregnancy and giving birth in Brooklyn. None of it was easy and I will never do it again here. Ever. But having such a sweet baby like Trevor helps me look forward to our future as a family.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

Those babies sure weren't going to make it easy on you, were they? Every time I think it would be good to have another baby I read something like this and think "nahh....I can wait!!" But man, talk about ADORABLE! And they are healthy. It was quite the battle for you but the boys are here and they are both perfect! Congrats Momma. My Christmas wish for you is that one of these days you can get the heck out of NY!!! No Southern belle should be subject to live there, lol. Merry Christmas Whitney!