Right before G was born, I looked at the nurse and said, “Remember, I’m a bleeder!” I was laughing, but we’d talked about it seriously before, and she started getting the necessary medicine ready, but I bled faster. Just like last time, the moment I delivered, I started to hemorrhage. One bad thing about being more alert than last time, is that I was also much more aware of how much I was bleeding and how concerned everyone was. Even with all the medication they gave me, it still took a while to get everything under control, and I ended up losing about twice as much blood as a C section, double what I lost when I delivered E.
The room started spinning and I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Even though all I wanted to do was cuddle G, I had to pass him off to Tom because I was worried I’d pass out and drop him. The doctor ordered my bed laid down flat, and told me that with the amount of blood I was losing, I was going to need a blood transfusion (Remember last time when I asked if I was going to need one and was reassured I was fine?). As scary as it sounded, I was willing to do anything to feel better.
It was, however, very surreal to go through that process. Watching them verify my blood type and bring in the donor blood, go through all the transfusion protocol, watching the blood enter my IV. Let’s just say the Red Cross has been added to my list of annual donations going forward.
I think I passed out for an hour or so here, and woke up around when the transfusion was over. My doctor was still concerned, though and had left me under restrictions in case he had to take me into the OR quickly. I wasn’t allowed to sit up, eat, or have anything removed (IV lines, epidural, etc) just in case. They also wanted to keep me on the labor floor (as opposed to moving me to maternity) since there was better equipment and access to the OR there.
Finally at 6:30am I was allowed to sit up, but all other restrictions were still in place until my next blood draw. So we were basically just waiting for that. I was very dizzy still, but otherwise feeling okay until about 7am when things went downhill again. My epidural had worn off and suddenly I was feeling a combination of discomfort and pain that was driving me nuts and getting worse. Part of it was due to everything I was still hooked up to, so I tried begging the nurse to unhook me, which didn’t work. As a back up, I asked for Motrin or Tylenol to see if that would help.
Here’s where I’m going to say that I loved every nurse and staff member I interacted with, except this nurse. And yes I know I should make a complaint about her, but I don’t remember her name, and at this point I just want to move on. But she very much ignored me while I was in a lot of pain, avoided making eye contact, would not respond to my questions, and when she did come back after I’d requested Tylenol or Motrin, she gave me a pill and told me to swallow it. Yes, I also should have confirmed what she was giving me, but I didn’t. I’ll chalk that up to the fact my pain was inching towards an 8 at this point.
She disappeared again, and finally after about 8:30am I was feeling better enough that I called Tom over and told him to hold the baby in front of my face. I was in too much pain earlier to even acknowledge them or look in their direction. The nurse came in shortly after with a smirk on her face and said “How did that Oxy work??” I was shocked and managed only “THAT’S what you gave me??” at which point she laughed and left.
Again I was torn. If I had known what she was giving me, I absolutely would have declined it. I’ve never taken anything that powerful in my life - I even refused pain medicine after I had my wisdom teeth out. But, it also worked and allowed me enough relief to actually look at my son (I still don’t think I was strong enough to hold him at this point). Either way, I was more than happy when my bloodwork came back stable and she was allowed to unhook me from most things, and move me to the maternity ward (and off her service).
The rest of Sunday afternoon was pretty good. I still had IV ports in both arms, which meant I wasn’t allowed to get dressed, and they wouldn’t let me shower since they were worried I’d pass out, but I was able to eat, move around a bit, and Nicole came to visit while Tom popped home to check in on things.
Of course nothing about this time around was easy, so that night when both Tom and I came down with the stomach flu it was just another thing added on. I’d sent Tom home earlier, so he was on his own. I was actually kind of lucky to still be in the hospital, since I had nurses to take care of me. G was taken to the nursery and I was placed back on restrictions, hooked to IVs, given meds, and had repeat blood draws every 6 hours to watch my blood counts.
Originally we’d been cleared to go home Christmas Eve, but getting sick threw my levels out of whack again, so they cancelled those plans until I was stabilized again. It also seemed like a good idea to watch G for a bit to see if he was showing any signs of getting sick (thankfully not). It ended up just being a long and hard hospital stay - I actually didn’t see Tom again until Tuesday, since he was home getting better.
We finally brought our almost Christmas baby home on Christmas morning, and have been adjusting to life slowly since then. There will be more updates in the days coming as I get less and less dizzy, and regain my strength. Stairs are hard, picking up E is hard, but I’m resting and taking lots of iron, and spending the rest of the time snuggling my boys!