Sunday, March 24, 2013

Back to the Hospital

This is late, but I thought I would share the story of how I ended up back in thehospital after delivering our boy.

Three weeks after delivering my baby boy, I started getting sick. I woke up at 4 AM shaking, shivering, and running a low-grade fever (99*). After waking my mother up at that hour to ask if it was ok for me to feed little man with a fever (it is), I took some Tylenol and snuggled beneath several blankets. This was a Saturday, and Dillon was pulling an 8 hour shift at the office, so I was home alone with a fever, a sink full of dishes, 4 baskets full of laundry, and a hungry baby. Thankfully my wonderful aunt drove in to help with all of the above.

My fever progressed througout the day, breaking when I would take Tylenol and then spiking up further than before when the medicine wore off. By about 9 PM, my aunt left, and I called my other aunt, who is a nurse practitioner, to ask what in the world she thought this could be. I had no cough, congestion, stomachache, digestive problems, vomiting, or any of the common ailments. My mom guessed a touch of mastitis -- I was a little sore, but a hot cloth did the trick on that. My aunt guessed maybe a bladder infection -- I've never had one and didn't know what to look for. I was recommended to go to bed and if I still had fever in the morning, try to find an Urgent Care that was open.

 I went to bed and woke up to feed Roman at midnight, bawling my eyes out from the pains the fever was giving me. I had a splitting headache and was so cold I couldn't get out of the covers. Roman wouldn't touch me because even though I felt cold, my body was very hot, so poor baby missed a meal. I checked my temperature and WOW -- 102.9* !! Dillon jumped up, got dressed, packed up Roman in the carseat, and rushed me to the hospital. In fact, he was in such a hurry, he drove with the windows fogged over and just a tiny hole to see out for the first few minutes.

We were admitted to the ER and they started monitoring me and running tests. My heartrate was up to 140 and my fever had started to come down on my drive in and was now 101.9. I was given an IV in my right inner elbow. Due to this placement, I couldn't feed Roman on my right side, so he had to make due with a hasty left-side feeding after the IV had brought my fever down to normal. The nurse tested my blood and said my white counts were very high. Since I had recently given birth, they wanted to do an ultrasound of my uterus. I was wheeled back into a small dark room where I received a painful transvaginal ultrasound. The tech found debris in my uterus and an OB from my practice was called in at about 2 AM. She began to examine me, which was very painful, and discovered that my uterus was severely infected. I would have to be admitted to the hospital for a few days and would possibly need surgery.

By this time, I was in tears and frantically trying to call my parents who live 3 hours away. Although we are adults, and parents, I felt like Dillon and I were 2 kids alone in the ER, trying to deal with problems above our heads. I really needed my parents! Finally, I was able to wake them up and they quickly got ready and began driving to Conway at 4 AM -- now that's love!
A team of nurse assistants helped Dillon and I get to the OB ward where I would be staying for a few days. They started me on antibiotics and said that after a few hours of this we would see if I was making any progress. To my amazement, one of the nurses who had cared for me during labor--Meghan--was there to take care of me on the night shift. She remembered everything about me from a few weeks before and we were able to pick up our conversation where we left off. She made the call to transfer my IV from my right arm to my left hand in order to make feeding easier. I was dehydrated and my veins were being impossible, so she had to dig around in several places before placing a good port.

I woke up a few hours later when my parents arrived with my mouth full of the worst taste-- my medication had a side effect that was as if I was chewing the antibiotic up and swallowing it. I couldn't believe I was back in the hospital so soon and I was really upset.
The OB, Dr. Johnson, came back in and did another ultrasound (this time an exterior one) and found that the debris was still present and no real progress had been made, so she scheduled me for a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove the debris and infection. This is the same procedure that women go through after a miscarraige. Since I was breastfeeding, they would have to be very careful about my anesthesia, so I was supposed to get a sleeping gas and then local anesthesia. Moments before the surgery, I was bawling to my dad because I was afraid I would feel the needles for the local anesthesia in my cervix. I thought the sleeping medicine would be like laughing gas at the dentist and that I would be awake for it.

They took me into the OR, which was freezing, strapped me onto the table, and the anesthesiologist inserted a drug into my IV. I don't remember a single other thing until they were waking me up to take me to my room. The procedure was less than 30 minutes, and my parents weren't even there when I came back to my room to recover because they thought it would take longer.
After an hour of recovery, my nurse moved me to the bathroom to clean me up. You lose all decency in the hospital, especially in the OB center, so as she was cleaning a very naked me, she discovered that I had serious mastitis on my right side. We all decided that it was from skipping our midnight feeding and then having the IV in my elbow.

I had to stay in the hospital until I was 24 hours fever free, so I was in for another night. My mom sent Dillon home to get his first full night of rest since before Roman was born, and she stayed overnight to help me with Roman since I couldnt get out of bed very easily.

My wonderful Dr. Lawrence visited me in the morning and later that day I was discharged with the pill form of the antbiotic I had been taking through IV. In the next few days, I began to feel better than I had in months. I didnt realize until then that I had been recovering in a very unhealthy way, and my particular type of fatigue, bleeding, and pain were all slightly uncharacteristic of simply being a new mother because I was also harboring an infection.

All this to say, please monitor your postpartum healing carefully, but understand that my circumstances are rare!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roman is 3 Months!

Today my sweet boy is 3 months old! Time has truly flown and I have loved every single moment of being his Mommy. Never did I imagine I would be able to love someone with such unconditional, overflowing, joyful, tearful, passionate love. The love between a Mama and her boy is so different from any love you can imagine...even the best of loves such as Daddy/Daughter (I do love my Daddy sooo so much), or even Husband/Wife love (and we know Dillon is the love of my life, forever and ever amen!). Our happy little love has grown up so much in 3 months and I am incredibly proud of him. Every time he does something new, my heart swells up and I think I'll burst with pride and joy. Just this week, I was making a list (and posted it to Facebook) of all the milestones he has met thus far. I'll recap:

Weight: 14 lbs 12 oz
Height: Just over 2 feet tall! wow!
Physical: rolls to his side, kicks his legs, bats at toys above him, can grab his paci and pull it out of his silly little mouth, can grab lightweight things such as rags or the string that clips his paci to his clothes, can hold up his head and chest, smiles socially (that grin is contagious!), can go from a laying back position to an upright sitting position
Cognitive: talks nonstop (coos, says syllables like "ma, ba, ga", yells, and I swear if you say "I love you" he will mimick some gibberish that sounds like he's saying it back), makes eye contact and holds his gaze steady, is very alert, can soothe himself half the time by sucking his fingers, knows who his Mommy and Daddy are, misses us when we're gone, freaks out when he sees us after waking up or if someone else has been holding him

Other: He is eating every 2-4 hours (he goes longer during the day and during sleep time, but in the evening he is a cluster feeder and tends to eat closer together) and is 95% breast fed. He takes about 4-5 oz of formula if he is home with Dillon while I'm in class and just CANNOT wait until I get home to eat. Recently he has been having explosive diarrhea (I know you want to hear that) so we took him to the doctor and they suggested I try taking all milk out of my diet. This has been pretty hard because milk is in so many things! However, I am willing to do any and everything as well as make all sacrifices for the health of my love. So far we have not seen great results, but it has only been about 4 days since we began the new diet. If we don't see results in 2 weeks, we will reconsider what may be causing it. Also he has been diagnosed with reflux and is on medicine twice daily.
He sleeps with us in bed still, but I have been putting him in his crib in his own room for naps every day. This week is our Spring Break (woo!) so I have plenty of time to start training him to sleep in his crib at night. Right now he is waking up once in the middle of the night for feedings, so it is manageable for me to get up and take care of this. I am praying he will start sleeping all night soon! He has cradle cap and a lot of his hair is starting to fall out. I think his big boy hair is coming in and I am seeing some golden hues, but it is still brown through and through. Nothing we have tried helps the cradle cap. Trying baby oil next, then coconut oil.

A First: The day before he turned 3 months, we went to an archery tournament in Hot Springs to watch my little brother shoot his bow and arrows! While we were there, Daideo (my dad) let Roman suck on a banana. Roman was lunging forward as if he really wanted it, so my dad just let him get ahold of it. He did not actually bite off any of it, nor did he swallow any banana. He just sucked on it and got some of the flavor. He absolutely loved it and it was so cute to watch.
Another First: Roman met a dog this week. It was a 9 week old Chihuahua named Vada. He was not sure what to make of her, especially when she licked his nose!

3 Month Old Likes: blowing spit bubbles, laying on his side in bed next to Mommy, play mat with 'his friends' as we call them (the owls and other animals that dangle from the top of the playmat), baths and splish spashing, physical therapy time with Daddy, talking to Mommy and Daddy, brown blanket with the polka dots (so soft)
3 Month Old Dislikes: the taste of his reflux medicine, waiting to eat when he's so hungry, tummy time, having the cradle cap picked out of his hair, when people try to hold him like a newborn instead of letting him be upright

Nicknames we have called him: Little Love, Buddy, Baby Heart, Baby Bear, Sweet Silly, Silly Willy, Silly Monkey, Baby Love, Sweetheart

I just can't get enough of this little boy. He is my everything!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chi Alpha VMA's 2013

I stopped writing for a while because I didn't think I could keep up with the calliber of some of my previous posts. I would compose stories with the intentions of evoking some grand response from my readers, but then I realized that the blogs I follow are written about everyday life. I want to share in everyday life with people, and most likely you want to do the same. Duh...what was I thinking?

My topic today, however, is quite grand. On Saturday evening, Roman and I attended the 2013 Chi Alpha VMA's (video music awards). This is is a red carpet affair which showcases videos created by teams of Chi Alpha (XA from here on) staff, interns, leadership, and dgroupies. In the past it was sort of a free-for-all where each dgroup was given the choice of creating a video or not. This year we have about 50(ish) dgroups, so there was no way that would work. Instead, dgroups were paired together with a member of the XA Film Team in attempts to build community between all involved. This worked on some levels and fell apart on others, but that's not incredibly important.
At the VMA's, each video was played and everyone was given a chance to vote for 5 different awards.
Best Picture
Best Cinematography
Best Choreography
Best Message
Best Ensemble

In the past, many of the videos have been downright silly, and while I love a silly video, I also love the videos that are emotional, evoke responses, and tell a story. We had several videos this year that gave me chills and challenged me. What's even cooler is that after sharing them with my mom, she said she wanted to share them with the youth pastor at her church. Coming from a town that I think is SO incredibly broken and desperately needs the Lord, I couldn't be more excited.
I just wanted to use this post to share those videos with any of you who might read this  in hopes that you would be challenged as well. Not all of them are super serious. My group's video (which won best choreography) is a Christian parody of Gangnam Style.

Here is where you can find the Chi Alpha YouTube channel with all of the videos, past and present.

The winner for Best Message was Open Letter.
The winner for Best Cinematography was Rise.
The winner for Best Choreography was DGroup Style. My video: starring me, my husband, and son!
The winner for Best Ensemble was Disney Compilation
The winner for Best Picture was Filthy Man.

Please feel free to share these videos with your friends, teens or college students, youth groups, churches, or anyone! But remember to give Chi Alpha and the amazing directors credit. Thank you!