Reformed Grits


What happened next
June 19, 2007, 11:24 am
Filed under: Family

The second and final part of Baby Bee’s birth day…

The rest of the time I spent in the hospital was a blur.   The next 8 hours I was on "the mag" I spent hardly able to keep conscious, and when I was awake I was vomiting.  My doctor came in later that morning and sat by me as I tried to focus and said he still couldn’t believe it– that it just doesn’t happen and he doesn’t know why it did.  I looked him in the eye, told him it was nothing personal but… (place loud, hard vomiting noises here.)  He laughed, patted me on the back and said he’d see me later. 

I remember the whole time my head and neck were killing me… like a burning pain.  I vaguely remember them wheeling me down for a CT to see if I had an aneurysm but when I got there I wouldn’t let them do the radioactive contrast dye, knowing I’d need to nurse that tiny baby, so we will never know what that pain was about. 

Oh yes, the baby.  She was in the admissions ICU nursery for observation.  I had sent the Mr. down there to watch over her since I wasn’t good company anyhow.  Occasionally I’d "come to" and see him and he’d tell me she was doing amazingly well and show me a little or picture or something the nurses had sent.

I was so sad things had come to this.  I was starving.  I was in pain.  I was more loopy than you could imagine from the mag.  I was terrified that something was wrong with me.  I couldn’t sit up or get off my left side as my BP was still really high.  I was miserable.  That evening I was very much despairing.  I hadn’t seen my tiny little girl but for a second before she was whisked away and I was so sick I couldn’t hold her anyway.  As I lay in the bed watching my BP get higher and higher, I began to cry and feel very sorry for myself.  Then unexpectedly, a nurse came in and said, "They are bringing your baby down the hall!"

Mr. Grits and I looked at each other incredulously.   What??

The nurse said the ICU nurses had been "on a mission" all day… to keep Bee’s temperature up and stable so she could come stay in the room with me.  We simply couldn’t believe it.  That TINY baby– less than a bag of sugar in weight and a head the size of a tennis ball; the palm of my hand covered her whole face.  Her arms were as long as my fingers– but she was healthy and strong.   They told me that they had no reason to keep her in the ICU– she was too healthy, so she needed to be with us!  They also said that if it was one of our first babies they wouldn’t have done that but since we were "experienced" that they knew it would be fine for us.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  They wheeled that tiny thing next to my bed and warned us, "You MUST keep her warm.  If her temps drop she will be admitted with a 3 day minimum stay!"  So I did what came naturally to me– I remained on my side, knowing the danger of my BP, but I snuggled that tiny baby so close to my heart and I talked to her and stroked her and kissed her through my tears and stared at her and prayed for her, thanking God for this miracle baby; our gift; our little wonder; our teeny little baby! 

My blood pressure eased off; I felt peaceful with that little bundle in my arms.  And I was able to rest. 

I’d love to say that’s the joyful end of my hospital stay.  I’d like to end the story there, but I have to occasionally remind myself of the rest so I will remember that it is good that our family is done.

I was unable to sleep or rest the remainder of the time there due to the scalding pain in my head.  It was awful.  I wish I had better words to describe it.  I was constantly on pain killers, and doctors came in and out trying to help but nothing worked.  Strangely, even the pain killers gave me no relief. 

Sunday morning, Father’s Day, we were to go home.  I remember getting ready to go home even though I was hurting.  I kept thinking I would go home and heal and it would go away quickly.  I remember peeing a LOT.  I know that’s weird to say but I emptied my bladder, and literally minutes later I’d empty another full bladder.  I walked back in to my room, and it was if that can opener had come back and cracked my head open again.  I grabbed my head, fell to the bed, screaming and writhing in pain again.  Mr.  Grits called for help and tried to soothe me but I was not aware of anything except a clanging ringing and almost like a blinding light "sensation" in my eyes… and the pain… I have had babies; I’ve had kidney stones; I’ve had meningitis; I’ve had all kinds of things– but nothing compared to this pain in my head.  Eventually a nurse came in and gave me something–a shot I’m fairly certain although I don’t remember it.  I remember the thought that I was going to die on Father’s Day.  Much too long later, I remember being able to bear it.  We talked to the doctor (not MY doctor) and the nurses, but they all said the same thing– I had to be discharged.  I was terrified.  Terrified I’d have one of these episodes at home and would be unable to be helped.  I remember telling Mr. Grits that if it happened he’d have to call an ambulance because there was no way he’d be able to take me.  I lived in fear for a long time.  I was dumbfounded they would send me home like this.  My BP was still high so surely they could keep me?  But they said no.  I came home, crawled in bed, and tried to hide from the terror that it might happen at any minute. 

I never did have another episode like that, for which I’m thankful.  I did have a number of more ocular migraines which sometimes was like a warning or precursor to the big pain.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night at home having an O/M once.  I was stricken with panic at the thought that the headache would come next.  I remember Mr. Grits holding me and praying over me out loud forever–an hour or more– until I was able to fall asleep.  My blood pressure stayed high; my burning head stayed on fire and a week after Bee was born they re-admitted me for the weekend.  They did MRI’s and all kind of tests and just said it was all related to pre-eclampsia.  I was on pain killers the whole time, but they didn’t help.  I was scraping the bottom.  I was scared I’d have to live like this forever. 

Then one day, I just felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.  The BP meds were unpredictable at best– I was weaning off and the numbers were going down.  My head was still killing me but I was tired of the painkiller fog.  I was on a number of different medicines and they all made me feel even worse… so I quit taking all of them.  I had had ocular migraines every day and every time I felt that terror that the pain might come with them, but nothing stopped them from coming. 

The only thing I have to wonder if it helped was a little something my mother in law had mentioned a long time ago and I remembered.  She had heard that magnesium helped prevent migraine.  Would you believe the first day I took it, I didn’t have a migraine?  I was so thankful!  Eventually I was able to quit taking that too.      

The weeks following Bee’s birth are a fog.  I don’t have a lot of pictures or videos surrounding her birth.  When she asks, all I will be able to tell her is that I’m just blessed to be here.  I still wonder if I wasn’t having some kind of aneurysm or stroke or something that caused the pain, but I won’t know on this earth.   In all that went on, I never even felt like I’d "had a baby."  I was never sore and never felt that kind of pain "down there" like you do after a baby.  Probably because she was so tiny.  Bee’s birth story isn’t the one I would have liked, but it did make for a good ending to my childbearing years, I suppose.  I can look at it and say sadly, but with confidence that it was time to move on to the next phase of my life.  I know that for certain!  And NOW you all know why I couldn’t have visitors!

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2 Comments so far
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Land Sakes Alive (as my Gram used to say)! It sure sounds to me like you made the very best decision for you and the rest of the family.
How intriguing though…I wonder if there is some way (when you have nothing to do..:))…to still get this diagnosed? Surely someone, somewhere can tell you what the reason was for all of that, or at least what the heck it even was!

Comment by Gayle

Dearest friend! I am in tears reading this and remembering this time last year, just having moved into our new house, talking to Caroline, and then at the beach… my whole family was praying for you and I was crazy with worry. You just about ruined my vacation! 🙂 I sat on the porch at the beach listening to you talk about your experience and fears and just praying and praying because what else could I do??? And I remember talking to you when they brought Bee to you!! At least I think I was talking to you then… or maybe I remember you telling me about that.

Looking back, it is amazing all that the Lord has brought you through. Your life seminary. It all makes me wonder what He has in store for y’all’s ministry…

Love to you.

p.s. You know I LOVE the cake!!

Comment by Meg




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