Friday, May 1, 2009

The Saga Continues

I was once again wheeled, bed and all, onto the post natal ward. Ward 3 to be exact. It was about 4:30am on Monday morning. I was in a big room with three other new moms and their babies, each person's area separated by a yucky blue curtain. There are no men allowed on the ward outside of visiting hours, so Paul had to go home. It was just me and Charlie, who was asleep in his aquarium. I quickly learned that sleeping on my back was not going to work and instead fell asleep sitting up.

The next day I was told that women who have had cesareans are to stay in hospital for three days not counting the day you gave birth. So I was due to leave on Thursday. Paul visited me everyday and everyday my blood pressure was still high.

It was so awful on the ward! Sharing a room with three other people sucked! Their babies would cry in the middle of the night and set off the other babies. They had loud visitors. They didn't turn off their lights at night. One gal was only 17 and her baby was going into foster care in a few days while she sorted out some legal issue (I eventually heard the whole story as she shouted down the phone at all hours, something to do with a fist fight over some guy) and she was in tears day after day. I hated every minute of being there and just wanted to go home.

So when Thursday rolled around, at last, I was outta there! Or that's what I thought. But my blood pressure readings were still high and the doctors "strongly recommended" that I not leave. The thing with high blood pressure is that you feel totally fine, there's nothing wrong with you that you can see or feel. It's frustrating. I was in tears. I wanted to start my life with my family, I didn't want to spend one more night without Paul.

But I agreed to spend another night in hospital prison on the condition that no matter what I was leaving by noon the next day. We packed everything up on Friday and got ready to leave. I got my blood pressure checked one more time. It had sky rocketed to a dangerously high level. Even I knew that leaving was out of the question. I had to take some strong medication and lay down for an hour. I knew then that I was in for the long haul. The next day I spoke to one of the midwives about Charlie's umbilical cord, which had not fallen off yet and was looking pretty sore and inflamed.

We were told to go immediately to the pediatrician. Where they drew his blood and inserted a cannula. He was to start antibiotics that day. We had to walk down to the neonatal unit three times a day to receive his medication. He never got sick other than that belly button. He ate like a bear and slept all the time.

One good thing that happened after Charlie got sick was that we finally got our own room. After a week of watching other women come and go with their babies, not sleeping at night, listening to other people's conversations, and whispering my own so as not to be over heard we finally had some privacy. It was great!

A few days later we found out Charlie had MRSA. I didn't really know what that meant at the time, of course now I'm an expert.

When they found out it was MRSA we got a room with our very own bathroom! And all my crappy hospital meals were brought to me! And everyone who came into our new room had to wear a disposable apron and wash their hands! I knew it was worse than they were letting on.

I have been sitting on this blog written to this point for weeks now, unable to finish. I kept telling myself it was because I had no time. But really I think it's because the time spent in the hospital when Charlie was sick was the worst few weeks of my life. It was so painful to watch him go through everything that he did. And I think reliving it all by dragging up the details for my blog is proving to be too hard for me. So I've been putting it off. What I'm going to do, so that I can end this drama and start posting about all the cool new stuff we're doing, is wrap it up in a few sentences. So to make a long story short (too late)...

Charlie was getting his medication in our room now instead of going down to the neonatal unit and it sucked!! They came in at all times during the day and night. 2:00pm, 4:00pm, 6:00pm, 10:00pm, midnight, 2:00am, 6:00am. They put powerful medication into his cannula and it stung him and he cried. They drew loads of his blood every night to check the levels of meds and he cried. They hooked a "syringe driver" to his arm every night which is a machine from hell that slowly (over an hour) drives the medication into his little arm. It had a big battery in it and it weighed a ton. But it kept breaking and it would take more than a hour. The cannulas kept coming out so I would have to get a paediatrician to come and find a different place to insert a new one and he cried. But getting the paediatrician to come in the middle of the night took hours sometimes and then his medication schedule would be off. It was a horrific experience. But he was such a trooper through it all.

I was a wreck. Paul was visiting whenever he could but for the most part we were all on our own. The midwives were wonderful and gave me hugs when it all got to be to much. Eventually he had taken his 10 day course of medication and we had waited the 24 hours under observation afterwards. We were finally discharged after almost three weeks on Ward 3. Going outside was weird but I was so happy to finally be taking Charlie to get his first breath of fresh air and have his first look at the sky.

My best friend Jenn had arrived in Birmingham half way through the ordeal so I only got to spend a week with her. I was gutted. It was so hard to have her here but be stuck in the hospital and unable to do all the things we had planned. And she had to see me at my lowest. But Paul took her to a few fun places and out to a few pubs.

So that's it. That's the whole horrible story. But now I have an incredible, healthy and adorable baby and it was totally worth it!

Whew! Now on to the good stuff. We're going on holiday to Wales on Monday. So lots and lots of pictures to come of the past few weeks and Wales, as soon as I get my laptop fixed.

Love you all!!


judyette said...

wow. reading this made me spontaneously burst into tears; i'm still crying as i write this. i didn't realize i had this much emotion still stored up in there somewhere. we were all so worried about you guys, unable to do anything at all from so far away. knowing the hell you were going through. i walked around wringing my hands the entire time from when you first went into labor until you and charlie bear were safely home. i felt ineffective in all that i did during that time as my thoughts were with you and i really couldn't shift focus to anything else. what hell for all of you!! such contrast though eh! spring now, family trips, happy smiles, a beautiful robust little boy :) :) sometimes the very best trips get the roughest starts. love you all so much!!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you guys were dealing with MRSA, so scary. I am so happy that everything has resolved and little Charlie is doing well! Can't wait to see more pictures and hear more stories about the Dooney family. Miss you guys and am thinking about you...