Thursday, November 19, 2009

The birth of James, Part 1

It's hard to know where to begin with my birth story.  It really starts about 2 weeks before his birth.  No, I wasn't in labor that long, but the events leading up to James' birth started 2 weeks and 1 day before he was  born, as near as I can tell.  It was the night before my first baby shower, given by my sister, sister-in-law, and my mother-in-law.  I felt achy and gross.  I thought it might be the flu, and I don't believe I've ever had the flu before, so I wasn't sure.  The next day was my baby shower, and I was still feeling sick.  I really just thought it was either stress related or was a normal part of pregnancy.  After all, I was nearly 8 months pregnant; there's bound to be some aches and pains, right?

Well, I got through my shower, and afterwards my husband took me home. I took my temperature and had a slight fever, so I realized that I must actually be sick.  Yuck. So, I went on feeling like crap and Monday I called in sick to work.  I went to my doctor, who told me it was a sinus infection.  She said it was possible that I also had the flu, but she wasn't going to test for it; she only wanted to treat the sinus infection (with antibiotics), and she also claimed that flu medications are not safe for pregnancy anyway.  That is not true.  Anyway, with hindsight I now believe that I had neither a sinus infection or the flu, but something much more serious that was just starting to take hold of my body.

I called off work again Tuesday, and even though I still didn't feel well, I felt obligated to return on Wednesday.  Wednesday is the day I stopped eating.  Not completely, but I ate very little.  At the time, we thought I wasn't eating due to my anxiety, due to my history of not eating when my anxiety is acting up.  I was also exhausted and felt nasty.  I sat at my desk at lunch, trying to choke a little of the lunch I had packed, but mostly just wanting to nap.  This continued for the next week and a half.  I called in sick again on Friday.

I was taking the antibiotic Z-pak, but it was having no effect, so I went back to the doctor on Friday, and she prescribed a different antibiotic, amoxicillin.   I started the new antiobiotic the next day and was really hoping that my 4 day weekend off (since I took Friday off and Monday was a holiday) of resting would restore my health.  But no, I was still feeling sick come Tuesday.  And it was very difficult for me to take the amoxicillin.  I hate pills, and it was a big one.  I would often gag when I took it, and I had to take it 3 times a day.  My husband would have to coax me to take it.

Speaking of my husband, he was getting pretty worried about the not-eating thing.  Over the next week, he tried to cook my favorite foods, or blend up smoothies so that I didn't have to eat - I could just drink.  Even that was difficult, but I did choke down the smoothies he made.  My husband is so sweet.  I forgot to mention that for these 2 weeks of illness,  I slept on the recliner in the living room.  I'd done this before, but this time, my husband slept on the couch to be with me.  I kept thinking he would be uncomfortable and decide to go back to bed, but he didn't.  He stayed with me every night.

Toward the end of the week, I stopped taking the amoxicillin.  The previous night I had gagged and threw up, so I wasn't about to take another of those nasty pills.  My husband wasn't happy, but maybe it was for the best after all.

TMI alert - Around mid-week of this 2nd week of illness, my urine turned deep, deep orange. I had never seen it this color.  I looked it up on the Internet, wondering if it could be caused by the medication I was taking.  Sure enough, it was on the list of side effects for amoxicillin, and was even one of the ones that you're supposed to tell your doctor about.  This was on Thursday. So I called the doctor's office, and they said they wanted to follow up with me. So I made an appointment for Friday around my lunch break.  I didn't have any more sick time ( I just started this job in July), and I didn't want to take any more time off work.  In the parking lot on the way to my car, I gagged and vomited.  Again, I attributed it to my anxiety problem.  I often gag when I have anxiety, although I don't vomit.

My doctor told me that I should go to the ER to get rehydrated with IV fluids.  I considered not going, as I didn't want to have to tell my boss I wasn't coming back after lunch.  But thankfully, I did decide to go. 

To be continued...

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