|j/k this story is like the story of my LIFE|
Instead, I found that my blood pressure had skyrocketed seemingly overnight, and the babies were still too small. They sent us upstairs to triage for monitoring. It all happened very quickly, but I still wasn't too scared. I thought I might end up on hospital bed rest for a while, which wasn't the best news of all time, but better than anything else I could think of.
|Spoiler alert: the news wasn't great.|
That all changed on Monday, March 23. My liver enzymes tripled overnight, which is the thing the doctors were fearing. After a quick scan of the babies, it was decided that they needed to be delivered via c-section. I was 27 weeks 4 days pregnant. I thought it was too soon. I was terrified. I spent the next few hours crying and worrying.
|I joke now, but seriously, lotsa crying.|
Finally, they wheeled me in, and it all began. It was strange and bright and somehow both incredibly slow and entirely too fast. Victoria Jane entered the world at 2:43 pm, and her sister Avery Francis followed shortly thereafter at 2:44 pm. I saw them both for a brief moment before they were taken up to the NICU. They weren't officially named for about a week, because I didn't want to name them until I was able to get a good look at them, and my one second, high-on-painkillers moment didn't count.
Why did it take me a week to be able to see my daughters? Well, that's the next part of the story-- the liver part.
|Apparently, neither could half of my liver.|
The scan showed that the bleeding was isolated to under the cap of the liver? (again, I think, but it was a lot of information all tossed at me while I was on painkillers and entirely confused), but I had the procedure to stop the bleeding. Afterwards, I was taken to ICU instead of back to maternity.
This was possibly the worst part of the entire process.
I definitely needed to be in ICU, but not for as long as I was. After about a day or so, I felt trapped there. I felt like no one listened to me, like no one understood what kind of patient I was. I came from having a c-section, from the maternity ward. They kept treating me like any other ICU patient, and that wasn't the case. There was a constant stream of people coming into my room at any time without warning-- nurses, doctors, hospital administrators. I was being hounded to start using the breast pump to get my breastmilk supply up, but no one would give me the privacy to do it.
Plus, ICU is very loud. The nurses' station is in the middle of all the rooms, and we had sliding doors and curtains, but that didn't keep the sound out. During a shift change, I couldn't sleep because it was so loud. I heard other patients screaming in agony for help, constantly pushing their Call buttons. It was an awful experience. This is what I never want to go through ever again.
There was also a truly agonizing ordeal with another CT scan where my nurses got my bed stuck in an elevator and decided the best plan would be to SHAKE MY BED WITH ME IN IT to get me out. Yes, shake the girl with the excruciating liver pain. Brilliant plan. But I digress.
|Get me OUTTA HERE!|
I stayed in this new not-postpartum department for a few days, but it wasn't the best place for me either. I was still constantly interrupted by any number of people, and I still couldn't consistently pump. The nurses told me to put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door to alert them and others that I was pumping, but many doctors ignored it. One morning, no less than 20 different people came into my room before noon. I had to wear a heart monitor for reasons no one could adequately explain. I still felt very trapped.
Finally, my on-call OB came to check in on me, and she went through all of the things I needed to be concentrating on in order to get discharged-- a whole laundry list of things that I'd been trying to do but couldn't thanks to the constant interruptions-- and I lost it. I had an epic meltdown and laid it all out there for this poor doctor who just happened to be assigned to me that day. At this point, I'd been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks with no end in sight. I was exhausted in every possible sense of the word.
|All the shambles. So much shambles.|
After a few false starts and setbacks, I finally got out of the hospital on Friday, April 3, two weeks and one day after I was admitted. This was my very first hospital stay, and I really hope it is my very last. I never want to go through this ever again. I am very thankful for every doctor and nurse who took care of me, for every person who cleaned my rooms and brought me food. I am grateful that I was in the hospital when I was, so the complications were caught in plenty of time. I am so glad that I am alive to tell this story. However, I never want to go through any of that ever, ever again.
I've been home recovering for a while now. My days are spent resting, pumping, and visiting the girls in the NICU. It's not very exciting, and I have my good days and bad days, but mostly I do my best to stay stress-free and try to "enjoy" this as best I can. Hopefully we will be able to bring our girls home soon (whenever it's best for them, of course) and start the new phase of life as Mom, but until then, I need to take care of me.
And speaking of taking care of me, that guy I married? IS A SAINT. He has been beyond amazing from the moment this all began. I didn't even think it was possible to fall more in love with him, but hot damn, I really did. Even though all of this, I must say I am so, so lucky to have married this man. I'm so glad he wore that Ben Folds Five shirt 15 years ago so I decided to become friends with him. It was definitely the best decision I've ever made.
|You and me both, Rach.|