Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birth of James, Part 3

My in-laws came to St. Luke's, and my parents just went straight to St. V's. I was loaded into the ambulance; my husband rode in front. On the way to St. V's, the technician monitored the baby to make sure he/she (we didn't know the gender) was ok. I believe that I started receiving the magnesium sulfate by IV at St. Luke's. Magnesium sulfate is supposed to help prevent seizures, which I was at risk for, due to my poorly functioning liver. I was warned that it would probably make me feel like shit. Great.

After a nervewracking ride in the ambulance, we arrived at St. V's.  I was taken up to a room on the 7th floor.  I remember they told me to drink this super sour nasty stuff, in order to neutralize my stomach acid, in case I would vomit during the c-section.  I was told to drink it like a shot.  I can't drink shots.  I've never drank one the way you're supposed to. I sip them.  Thus, I've only had 1 or 2 in my life.  So, I sipped it some and finally tried gulping it.  After all that I'd gone through already, I had to have an impatient nurse who acted really annoyed that I wouldn't hurry up and drink it.  Well, gee, I'm sorry if you have to wait a couple minutes.  Oh wait, no I'm not.  Of course, as I knew it would, the nasty stuff came back up.  Maybe not all of it, but some.  It was horrible.  Did I mention I have a phobia of vomiting?

Ok, so my liver and kidneys aren't functioning well, and they're worried I might have a seizure.  I have to have my baby a month early, without any of the benefits of being in labor.  So, I'm pretty nervewracked at this point.  But there's more.  First, they tell me I can be awake during the c-section.  My husband can only be with me during the c-section if I'm awake.  They give him scrubs to change into.  He goes to the bathroom to change, and while he's in there, they tell me that I can't be awake.  My platelets are too low; they are worried about my blood clotting abilities, and so they don't want to risk having an epidural in my spine.  I must have the baby under general anesthesia. So Greg changes into scrubs, comes out, and is told that he will not be able to present for the birth.  Poor guy.

So, I'm taken alone back to the operating room.  I hear that they are waiting for the anesthesiologist to get there.  I hate the waiting.  They begin preparing me for the c-section by tying my arm to the table.  I have anxiety issues, and I didn't like this.  I was hoping they would hurry up and knock me out.  They put the oxygen mask on my face and told me to take deep breaths.  One of the last things I remember is someone saying "Look, she has hives all over her back."  Great.  On top of everything else that is wrong with me, I now have hives.

I don't remember much after that.  The next couple days are a blur.  I really don't have any clear memories until Tuesday.  I remember coming out of anesthesia with the oxygen mask on my face and having a difficult time taking in a breath.  I'm not sure why - maybe my anxiety.  I vaguely remember my friends ( the 2 that were planning my baby shower that I missed) visiting on Sunday, as well as my sister-in-law.  That's about it.

But here is what I've been told happened:

After the c-section, my baby was taken past my room (which I was not in, but my family was waiting there), and my family got to see him.  A boy, which we hadn't known before, 4# and 9 oz, 17 inches, James Irving Gillen, named after my grandfather.  Anyway he was taken past my room on the way to the NICU. He actually was in very good shape, however.  He received antibiotics, because he had swallowed some meconium (the first baby poop) inside me. Because of this, they were worried that he might develop pneumonia.  He didn't.  He had an IV, and oxygen, although he was already breathing pretty well.  It was just a precaution. He spent 2 days in the NICU, and then was tranferred to the regular nursery.  He ate well, and had no problems.

They believe my hives were caused by an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I had taken for my "sinus infection."  So now, I'm apparently allergic to Z-pak and amoxicillin.  I still had hives on my back, and I was super loopy, so I would try to scratch them, and then my IV would beep because of occlusion and the nurse would have to come in and fix it.  So, they gave me Benedril so I wouldn't itch anymore.  Again, I don't remember this. Apparently, I also asked to see my baby repeatedly.  I kept forgetting that I had asked already not that long ago.  I kept falling alseep and  was in and out all day Sunday.  In fact, my poor husband actually had to feed me, I was so out of it.  And then, he would have to tell me to swallow my food, and I would think that I had, when in fact the food was still in my mouth...

Why was I so out of it, you ask?  Oh yeah, because they had givien me tons of mag sulfate, and my kidneys weren't functioning, so the mag sulafte was not getting filtered out and was instead building up in my blood.  Apparently they hadn't thought of this earlier.  So, they decide I need a dialysis treatment to get rid of it.  My family is told that the dialysis will start around 2pm and be done at 5pm, and I might get to see my baby.  But it actually starts around 8pm and gets done around 11pm.  I don't actually get to see my baby for the first time until Monday evening, 2 days after I had him.  And, I was still really tired from the past 2 days events, so I don't even remember it.  I have lots of pictures of this joyous event, but no actual memories.  I don't think I have any real memories until Tuesday morning, when they tranferred me to the regular postpartum ward, with the baby nursery.

To  be continued...

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