Friday, 6 May 2016

The obligatory birth story- VERSION 2- The time I became an honorary Simpson.


WARNING- This post is not for the weak of stomach!

For those who haven’t already please check out the first part of my obligatory birth story by clicking here. I realise that I did take a light hearted approach to the labour itself however what happened next is not something that could be easily made light of. I recently read Jodie's (@wigan_mum ) birth story and the fact she had to stay in hospital for 5 days due to health issues. As you all know Elijah was admitted into NICU for 9 days, however I was also in myself for 7 days before discharging myself. So I thought I would go into what I know describe as the ‘aftermath’ of the labour and focus on the health implications that I was also facing at the same time as going through the turmoil of having a son in NICU (check out Elijah’s admission to NICU story by clicking here).
 
As I have already touched upon in the earlier birth post the labour itself was really good. I did have to get cut, to avoid tearing but at the time I didn’t really know what was going on. Once Elijah was born and I delivered the placenta via the injection in the leg. I enjoyed my time with Elijah being on my chest. I am not sure how long had passed as you are in the euphoria of meeting the baby you carried for 9 months before they said they had to stitch me up. This is where I began to take a turn for the worst. At the time I didn’t think it, but looking back at photos of me you can clearly see something isn’t quite right. I was pretty much a shade of yellow. I could have been an honorary Simpson. From reading my maternity notes back I lost a lot of blood during the labour. At the time it didn’t seem like it, I cannot remember there being a lot of blood on the sheets etc. Maybe there was and I blocked it out!

Two ladies came in to stitch me up and I swear that was more painful than the labour itself. I am not entirely sure she knew what the hell she was doing. They moaned at me when I said I couldn’t go on. I was passing in and out of consciousness. The pain was insane. I was even back on gas and air and it was not helping. I had a lot of clots still inside me and they were trying to get them out so I wouldn’t have to go to surgery. Someone else was then called, a surgeon I think to try and get the rest out of me.  She was literally pulling them out of me with her hands. I can say to this day I have never been in as much pain as I was then. I couldn’t even hold Elijah. Greg was feeding, changing and looking after him. I had no concept of time, I am not sure how long this went on.  Eventually I think they just made do, and begun stitching. With what was about to happen it was clear I should have gone to theatre and had it done properly.
 
After I was stitched, I began to stabilise and had a biscuit and some Powerade. I felt strong enough to try and go to the toilet so we called the midwife. I managed to get up of the bed with her help and try and make it to the toilet which was in the same room. After I cowboy waddled about half way……I woke up to an alarm going off, Greg screaming my name. I had passed out and hit the floor. I Imagined I was in a music video with my favourite band Deaf Havana (check them out I have loved them since I was 15!) It was like a moment from One Born Every Minute where the alarm goes off and everyone comes running. I had a cannula (which was in for 5 days as they forgot to take the bugger out and I have still a scar to this day!) put in my hand whilst I was on the floor and was put on a drip. I had to stay on the floor for at least 30 minutes. I had no pants on. Let’s just allude to this point for a minute, laying on the floor with 10 people or more around me with no knickers on my foof on display. Which wasn’t exactly looking its best. I think some kind nurse may have put a sheet over me at one point.

This was now a clear indication I was to be kept in. The one thing I dreaded. However, now I am happy I was. Elijah was in the best place for when he needed medical support. It may have been a very different story if I was allowed home. Once Elijah was admitted to NICU. I was moved up onto the ward and then into a side room. I was so tired I slept straight through until the nurse woke me at 6am. This was then when the reality of Elijah’s situation was dawning on me. I couldn’t eat, I barely drank and was necking as many pain killers as they gave me. I just had one focus. To see my son. I couldn’t really walk so a nurse helped me to the toilet and to get dressed. She literally had to put my knickers on for me.
 
When Greg arrived he wheeled me down to see Elijah in NICU and I fainted again. I was told I had to be taken back to my room. I stayed there most of the day, the consultant came and told us about Elijah’s heart defect. To emotionally cope with just giving birth, with Elijah and what was going on I barely thought about myself. I had begun passing really big blood clots. Which are normal just after birth but I was still doing this 7 days afterwards. It was clear I should have gone to theatre. One of the reasons I was not recovering as I should have been was due to an infection. More than likely from something left in me that shouldn’t have been. The blood clots I was passing made me feel dizzy. There was also a time where me and Greg had to cram into the shared toilet. Him armed with a plastic jug to try and catch one so it could be examined. Poor Greg, he now not so fondly refers to it as, 'slug in a jug'.

I was put on antibiotics and my pain relief was upped. Someone came round to check my stomach as well. It seems like my uterus was going down but due to an infection I was still passing a lot of blood and clots still. I think I went through a whole months worth of maternity pads in a few days. When I took a shower it looked like a scene from a horror film. This was obviously not aiding the fact I lost so much blood during labour. I had to sit on one of those shower chairs while Greg washed me. Not the most attractive or sexy time in our relationship there.

I had decided before we went in that Elijah would be formula fed so Greg could do the first feed. However, when Elijah was in NICU I asked would it help if I breast fed, or expressed and she said no. No amount of breast milk would repair his heart. I was also warned against it as I was too weak. Yes, I regret not being able have that bond with him. Elijah wasn’t able to start feeding again until day 3 and I was physically couldn’t. My milk therefore never came in. I didn’t really even think about it. Fast forward 18 months and I have officially lost my pregnancy boobs. I pretty much have the boobs of a 12 year old. Half the time I don’t even wear a bra, I miss them!
 
By day three I still wasn’t really eating, I had no appetite what’s so ever and was so pre occupied I was on auto pilot. I was still so tired and out of it, that I was ordered a blood transfusion. When they started it I remember it feeling really cold. This did make me feel a bit better, but I was barely sleeping. I mean who can honestly sleep on a hospital ward? I tried to see Elijah as much as I could and this meant when Greg wasn’t there walking down two corridors to get to him. I began living of coffee again, something I hadn’t had for 9 months. I ate small things like raisins or a bag of skittles to keep Greg off my back but gave him my tea every night.

Pre pregnancy I have suffered from an over active thyroid and I had some many of the same symptoms again, I made them check it again but it turned out it was normal. Unfortunately, that bad boy has since returned with a vengeance and I am on tablets for the rest of my life. I think by day 4 or 5 I was beginning to go a bit loopy. With all of the stress and the fact I didn’t feel my best I just wanted to go home. It didn’t look like I was getting discharged any time soon, and nor was Elijah. I was still refusing food. I would wake up get dressed and go straight to NICU. Half of my notes just said ‘Vicki was down in NICU’ nearly every time they checked on me. Most of the nurses would just leave my tablets out for me to take whenever I returned back. I realised although I was ill, they are so busy you can easily go under detected I didn't want a fuss. I didn't want a lecture off them. I wanted this to be over.
 
It then becomes a tad awkward I think when you have been on the maternity ward that long when the turnover is so quick normally. I think by day 6 I was one of the only ones that had been there this long. Physically, I was getting there but still a mess. Mentally, I had lost the plot. I couldn’t cope I felt like I was literally going to have a breakdown. I wasn’t 100% and my baby might die. With all of the hormones rushing through my body I didn’t know how to react to what I was being asked to do or face.

It came to a conclusion on day 7, a Thursday I think. I caught a fluey cold, sore throat, runny nose etc. I knew I couldn’t risk passing it on to Elijah. What good was I being there is I couldn’t even see my son? I couldn’t jeopardise how well he was doing. I think they were pretty happy to have the bed back as well when I said I wanted to be discharged and go home. By day 5 I had begun to feel like I was a nuisance to them and I shouldn’t really have been there anyway. I made a snap decision at about 10am I was going home. I wanted to leave. They sorted out the paperwork, the tablets (an entire bags worth) and by 1pm I was walking through the ward with my Uncle who came to pick me up with an empty car seat.
 
Going home without my baby crushed me. I was texting my friend Sam asking if she thought he would forget me. Or that he would even know I was his mum. Greg stayed up there as he still had to have lots of tests and I didn’t want him to be on his own. It took me 2 days to shake the cold and on Saturday we were going to pick our little boy up. I spent those 2 days at home on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. I remember binge watching The Leftovers just to try and take my mind of what was happening. I used to walk into Elijah’s room and think he should be in there. I didn’t want anyone to visit me. I couldn’t face it. The bleeding slowly began to stop but I was still passing clots and I was so tired I slept those two days away. At least that way I didn’t have to face what was happening. I can remember as soon as I got home I had a bath something that you cannot have in hospital and it being the best thing in the world! My Nan always says a hot bath can cure anything. It made me feel half human but it didn't cure me.

I never really recovered from the birth. I became anaemic and had to go onto iron tablets. My thyroid has now become under active and requires constant medication and management. I think I stopped bleeding about 14 days afterwards. I also joke that Elijah took a organ with him when he came out, but although it sticks with you I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again! I know I am crazy right?
So what's your birth story? I would love to hear about them!

This post is also dedicated to the lovely Jodie @wigan_mum who inspired me to write this! Go give her some love on her blog and read her birth story, click here to view.

1 comment:

  1. Wow you went through alot Hun! I can't imagine having your baby go to NICU but you where very ill as well! You really did suffer.
    'Slug jug' made me laugh πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    Well done you for being so strong, Elijah has such a wonderful mummy!
    Thank you for dedicating this post to me, you have made my day πŸ’˜πŸ’˜πŸ’˜

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