Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Gummy Bear

Yesterday. What a day.
I arrived at the hospital at 5 am to an almost completely deserted labor and delivery unit. Usually that hospital is cheek by jowl. Yesterday there were only 4 women laboring. They got my IV going, took my vitals and got me back to the OR by 7 am. The anesthesiologist decided to do a saddle block, telling me that this procedure allows you to get walking much sooner because it doesn't numb your legs or feet. Didn't really turn out that way. When he asked me if the cleansing liquid felt warm or cold, I noticed that I could feel NOTHING from above my belly button down. Way more numb than any epidural I've ever had.

I really didn't want to hear what was going on, so I zoned out while listening to "Wicked!" on my iPod. Defying gravity on the operating table. Everything went super smoothly. Removed the polyp and completed the stitch and wheeled me into recovery by 7:50 am. Although it took me a while to get any feeling back in my legs, we were out of there by around 10:30. A little side bonus: The nurses couldn't get a steady heartbeat of the baby. They'd find it with the Doppler, then they'd lose it. So . . . they had to do an ultrasound. Oh bummer! Heidi calls it "little gummy bear."

It was all so smooth that I was home and in bed by 11:30. That's when things went quickly downhill. Around 1 pm, I started with a really bad headache that got progressively worse. By 2, I was a puking, bawling mess, so I called the doctor. He sent me back to OB triage to diagnose a possible spinal headache--a side effect of the saddle block where fluid slowly leaks out of your spinal column at the site of the shot, causing your spine to compress when you stand or sit vertically. One site on google declared a spinal headache unlike any headache ever. They weren't kidding.

OB triage was expecting me (that's not a good sign, is it?), admitted me, and started me on my second IV of the day. I felt kind of stupid going back to the hospital for a headache, but the anesthesiologist told me it was a good thing I'd come in. These headaches never go away without treatment, just get worse, and I would have been there at 1 am if I'd waited.

By the time I got home, around 6 pm, I'd had a total of 5 bags of fluid (over 5 quarts!), one bag of antibiotics, two iv shots of pain meds, two doses of ibuprofen, and one dose of fiorcet. I was five pounds heavier, and much of that fluid was retained in my face. Not a good look to go along with tear-swollen eyes.

Plus, the A/C in our master bedroom went out yesterday, so it was at least 83 last night at bedtime. I slept in the basement, but my selfless man slept upstairs to listen for the kids.
Plus, at just the moment when I was crying uncontrollably and dry-heaving, the A/C guy and CPS showed up (baby A's visit--oh, forgot about that!).

Today has been much better. A good night's sleep and a lot of time spent horizontal cure a multitude of ills. I did have to get up for an hour or so to go see Micah's Mother's Day preschool program, but his teacher is so understanding, and she let me bring my pool lounge chair to lie down for the whole program. Brad's sister Katie took the little boys (which I think gave her a dose of what reality is like with boys!), so I just laid back and enjoyed the show.

I feel markedly better today--from a pain level of 8 yesterday to a 1-2 today, I think I'll be back to normal if I stay down today and tomorrow. And the cerclage is healing well. Hopefully by Monday, I'll be back on my feet for at least a few hours a day.
Whew. The end is in sight.
Epiphany #72--If a spinal headache doesn't motivate you to have a natural labor, nothing will.
I delivered Lily and Micah naturally, and I know that I don't want to do this whole headache scenario again, so I think it will be a natural delivery again. We'll see. I reserve the right to change my mind, however.


  1. Oh MY! What a disaster! I'm so glad that everything is taken care of and you're on your way to full recovery. Sorry about the headache, I never suffered such a thing, but my sis in law did and apparently, it SUCKS! And hey, at least you know you'll LOSE those 5 lbs. Here's to a much better weekend and a road to freedom. I need to call you, so, maybe later this afternoon.

  2. I don't even know where to begin!
    I am so sorry there was so much bad in that crazy day. One of those things would've been an enormous amount to handle, so piling it all on is ridiculous!!

    On the bright HAPPY you got to see "Gummy Bear" (how cute is that name?) that you watched the program in your lounge RELIEVED you are feeling much better today!!

    (((HUGS))) And, I seriously pray your A/C in on the mend!

  3. Once again, I feel your pain. On my second cerclage the spinal didn't even affect me so they had to put me under. Nice except when I started coming out I found that I had a headache that screamed for decapitation. Never, Never, Never, Never will I have another spinal. No way. No how. No need for a 4th cerclage either. Glad you are done with this chaper.

  4. Oh my goodness...I am so sorry you had to go through all of that! And boy, are you handling it well. What a trooper...

    I'm glad it's so much better today and agree that you should just stay down a bit longer to be sure. You are definitely the ultimate non-advertisement for spinal blocks. To tell the truth, I didn't even know they did those any more. They were quite popular at one point, I remember; and I had several friends who got up too soon and wound up with the headache you describe.

    I like the whole lounge chair story. I love when people just let you do what you need to do in this kind of situation.

    Hope you are feeling 100% very soon!

  5. Goodness, I am so glad that you are better now! I hope you continue to heal and recover. Good luck with the A/C. I am glad that you got to see your cute baby!

  6. Oh girlie, sorry the day did not go as planned. So relieved everything turned out good, for both you & your gummy bear. :)


  7. I know your pain. I had a spinal headache after my fourth child, and I was FLAT on my back in bed for a week. I went back to the hospital twice for a blood patch, where they try to take your own blood and inject it back into the spinal column, but after multiple stabbings, they couldn't get enough of my blood. It was a Miserable experience. I'm glad yours is going away.

  8. I just saw a link to your blog on a friend of mine's blog. That is very exciting about your new baby! I am glad you are on the mend, and hopefully you will be able to regain some of your freedom soon. Bedrest with two-year olds has to be a daunting task! Well, take care and before you know it you will have your beautiful, little love in your arms. (:

  9. And that's why I'm not having any more children. :\ Well...actually that's not the reason why... It is much more simple than that. ;) But any of your pregnancy experiences would be enough to convince the faint of heart. I hope you are back to "normal" soon.