Friday, March 6, 2015

Our Christmas Day Miracle

This post has taken me awhile to decide if I should write or not. Once again this may be a little TMI for some readers. If you don't like blood then stop reading now. I am going to spare you a lot of details, but I just look at my blog as a journal so I thought I should write about this day that was a sad but blessed day. AND I am not writing this to get sympathy. Ha.

On Christmas day 2014, I woke up in the morning to feed Nixon at about 7 am. He went back to sleep and almost instantly I started not feeling my best. My stomach kind of hurt and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom so bad. Yet when I continually kept trying to go to the bathroom, I couldn't. Matson woke up for the day and I told him I wasn't feeling good, which kind of sucked because honestly I love Christmas. I love family traditions and look forward to them for weeks. I had been looking forward to this Christmas day for months because I knew it would be so special to have our little boy with us for the holiday. Even though I wasn't feeling so great I did my make up for the day to look a little better but stayed in my pajamas because that's what my family does. Pj's all day!

My mom makes a really big Christmas breakfast every year. So my whole family including my grandparents sat down for our big Christmas breakfast at about 9 am. I wasn't feeling my best still so I just ate a little bit of everything. While eating breakfast I really was feeling sick and like I had to go to the bathroom SOOO bad. I felt so much pressure down below and my stomach was hurting so bad. I took magnesium and fiber to see if that would help my constipation (PS: I hate that word. Constipation. Worst word ever besides the word moist.). My grandma who was in town from Washington was asking me what was wrong and even though this makes me sound like a baby, I cried as I told her how I felt. After helping to get breakfast cleaned up my family was all ready to start our Christmas morning!

Real quick I told my family that I needed to run to the bathroom. I went into the bathroom and nothing came. Still a bunch of pressure down there and my stomach was hurting so bad. All of the sudden I felt like I was going pee, but I wasn't. I looked down in the toilet and it was starting to fill with bright red blood and even some clots of blood. I yelled to my mom who was still cleaning up in the kitchen. She came in and I asked her if it was normal to bleed this much after having a baby. Just the night before my sister in law, my mom, and I had been talking about how after I had only had Nixon about 9 days prior and that I hadn't really bled as much as other women have told me. They both talked about how they bled a lot just a couple days after having a baby. I didn't think much of it and shrugged it off. I thought that I was the lucky one who didn't bleed much. MAN, was I wrong!

As I sat there with a constant flow of blood, I was thinking about that conversation and that this must be what all those women were talking about. My mom told me it was normal. But then I just continued to bleed and bleed. She grabbed the biggest pad she had at her house and I put it on and told her I just wanted to go upstairs real quick to wash off in the bathtub and change then I would be down for gifts.

Right when I got upstairs into my childhood bedroom, I could still feel bleeding. I looked and the pad was full. It only took me about 1 minute to walk upstairs. So in 1 minute I filled the biggest pad ever. I got in the bathtub and turned on the hot water. I figured the bathtub is the safest place so that I didn't bleed all over the carpet. I filled the bathtub only about an inch and already the tub water was bright red. I was starting to feel super weak, my stomach was killing more than some of my contractions just 9 days earlier when I was delivering Nixon. I wasn't sure if I was feeling weak because I was grossed out of all the blood or because I was actually sick. At this point I still had no idea if this was the blood that my sister in law and my mom were talking about the night before or not. I didn't know whether or not it was normal to bleed this much and so long after having my baby.

After I had literally refilled the bathtub like 4 times with water and it being bright red and thick, I starting realizing that it was not normal. This is when I knew I couldn't get up to get someone. I was feeling too weak so I started yelling. My family had Christmas music on downstairs so I had to yell pretty loud. No one seemed to be hearing me. I was yelling "Matson" and "Mom" to see if either of them would hear me. As dramatic as this sounds I was also banging on the bathtub wall because I knew I couldn't get up because blood would just go everywhere. I probably looked like some hormonal teenager from a teen sitcom yelling and hitting the wall while screaming their names. Haha. My mom must have heard me because she came up. She looked at the bathtub and told me that this was definitely not normal. She started cleaning up everything and she sat on the toilet right next to the bathtub as I continued to bleed in pain. She kept watching me and I could tell by her face that this was not the normal bleeding she had been talking about the night before. Matson came in and his face was in shock. He doesn't do so well with blood or anything like this, we were surprised he made it through the birth of our son. My mom told Matson, "This is not normal. This is a lot of blood."

Matson started to text and call my OB doctor. He wasn't responding (Of course he wasn't! It was Christmas morning!). Both my mom and Matson decided right there that we needed to get to the hospital. My dad was in my room as some point too. I don't know exactly what went on because I was just trying to get through the pain while they all made the quick decision and plan of what to do.

Matson and my dad ran downstairs. They got the car right by the garage door and a bunch of towels onto the passenger seat. Meanwhile my mom was helping me stand out of the bath, get my pj's back on, and I couldn't stand so literally my mom was carrying all my weight. If you know my parents house then you can picture this. My mom, who weighs like 100 pounds, carried all my weight from my bathroom to the top of the stairs. I think she realized that I wasn't doing too well and that she probably couldn't carry me down the stairs so I sat on a chair at the top of the stairs until Matson came and picked me up. Matson picked me up, we ran down the stairs, I could hear Nixon crying, and as we were leaving I told my mom through tears that Nixon was going to be very hungry soon. He needed to feed right then! It's amazing what being a mom does to you. Even through all my pain and bleeding, I honestly couldn't think of anyone but Nixon. I needed to feed him and that was all that I was thinking about.

We got in the car and Matson was speeding to the hospital. It was snowing and yes, Matson was speeding. I will be honest I thought we were going to get in a wreck and we almost did twice because of dumb non-Utahns driving in Utah snow. I screamed at Matson multiple times to watch out and slow down. This felt all too familiar to the morning before Nixon was born. Matson responded to me that I needed to get to the hospital and he was not going to stop even if it was a red light. So it made me very happy that all the lights were green and we didn't have to go through any red lights.

We finally arrived to the ER doors. Matson carried me out and my dad, who followed us there in his own car, took our car and parked it for us. Matson carried me in and put me on a wheelchair. They wheeled me into an ER room. The nurse instantly started asking questions to Matson and I. We told her I had just had a baby 9 days before and everything that had happened this morning. Meanwhile another nurse was putting an IV in. Next the nurse looked at my downstairs and did confirm that something was definitely wrong and that I was losing a lot of blood. She changed everything, threw away my soaked clothes, and tried to clean me up to only have to clean me up less than 20 minutes later due to all the blood. My dad and Matson were making grossed out and shocked faces at my blood. There were blood clots the size of fists coming out. YUCK!

Because it was Christmas there was not very many people at the hospital. There was a doctor on call there but by this point my OB (my parents' neighbor and family friend) had already responded to us and told us he was sorry that he wasn't by his phone and that he was leaving his house to the hospital now to come help. I am SO grateful to him and his family for giving up their Christmas for me too. My OB ordered for an ultrasound. The nurse had to call in an ultrasound tech because none were there due to the holiday. It took her about 45 minutes to an hour to get there. When she came she wheeled me to the ultrasound room. She looked at my uterus to see if any pieces from the birth were in there. There were. She wasn't sure if they were placenta or what but something was in there that wasn't supposed to, which may be why I was bleeding so much. She explained to Matson, my dad, and I that they were smaller than a centimeter but that it didn't matter how small.

After the ultrasound, my OB arrived and checked me out. I'm not sure at what point I was given morphin but I was because all of the sudden I started going in and out of sleep. Drugs work VERY well on me. In high school I used to take lortab for pain and I literally would take it and in less than 30 minutes I would knock out and sleep for hours and hours. Due to the pain medication the only few things I remember was that the nurse had to keep changing the pads underneath me (like the pads that you train a dog on) and that after the ultrasound my OB decided that I needed to have surgery to remove whatever was in me and to stop my bleeding.

Since I was to have surgery my OB had to call in a surgical nurse, anesthesiologist, and others to come to the hospital so he could perform the surgery. This took another hour or so for them to all arrive. Once again I think I was in and out of sleep this whole time because all I remember before the surgery was that Matson left to go check on Nixon and to talk to his brother who was calling from his LDS mission. He didn't want to leave me but my dad reassured him that he would stay by my side and wait for me while I was in surgery. So Matson left to go talk to his brother who we only get to talk to twice a year and introduce Nixon to him over the phone. After Matson left some of the people we needed for the surgery showed up. This is when my OB and the anesthesiologist wheeled me to the operating room and my dad was told to wait in the waiting room. I moved onto the cold operating table and the last thing I remember before they "put me under" was my OB sternly asking where the surgical nurse, Karl, was and that he better hurry because I needed the surgery NOW. To be honest that kind of freaked me out but also made me realize that this was very serious.

Since the next thing I remember is being in the after care room, I am going retell you the next events from Matson and my dad's memories.

During my hour or so long surgery Matson was able to talk to his brother for a little bit and introduce Nixon to him. They also held a big family prayer over the phone with his brother on his mission. At this point Matson had no idea what was happening to me at the hospital and his family was all very worried about me. Matson returned Nixon back to my family's house and came to the hospital. I was done with my surgery and in the recovery room. The doctor and surgical team came into the recovery room just as Matson got there. The doctor had blood all over his shoes and stuff. He told Matson and my dad that they could go see me. They walked over and Matson said it was the worst thing ever. He could tell I was not in good shape, which shocked him because he thought that the surgery was going to fix me. Even though the surgery was done, Matson said I was as white as could be and I laid on the hospital bed not moving and in pain. Matson and my dad were very concerned because even though I had the surgery, I was still bleeding. This not only surprised my dad and Matson but also the recovery nurse, surgical nurse, anesthesiologist, and my doctor. I was still losing a lot of blood.

Matson recalls the time in the recovery room being very up and down. He remembers all of the medical staff panicking and running around the entire time I was in there. Machines going off and on.  My dad hated when I would randomly scream from pain. I don't even remember screaming but apparently I was. I was in the recovery room for quite a long time. Multiple times they were wanting to give me a blood transfusion but my doctor kept holding off because blood transfusions can be risky for future children and can cause other complications. The entire time I was in there Matson said I was paler than a ghost, not moving or doing much but sometimes would say short phrases over and over again. One was that I was freezing cold so they put like 20 warm blankets all around my face and body. Another thing I kept asking and worry about was Nixon. Then I would also worry about Christmas and our family traditions. Then lastly he said about every 10 minutes or so I would say I think I am peeing. But I wasn't peeing, I was actually bleeding more. This is when the medical staff would scramble around not knowing why I was still bleeding.

This is obviously not my most attractive picture.
 This is me about 2 hours after my surgery during the crazy time in the recovery room.

Matson and my dad were sitting by my side yet out of the team's way. Matson said he continually was praying for me. He thought I was going to pass away and that he was going to have to take care of Nixon all on his own. That's all he was thinking about. The nurse could not even get a needle in me to take some of my blood to test. They poked me all over to see if they could get some blood out but there wasn't any blood. It took multiple nurses and then finally the anesthesiologist to fill just a very small amount of a vial.  After a few hours of stress in the recovery room, I stopped bleeding and was finally ok. They moved me to a regular hospital room. I was stable but Matson said I was still complaining about being cold and I was still pretty much asleep. By this time it was about 7pm or so in the evening. 

I remember waking up and suddenly being in a normal hospital room. My first thought was that I had to get something to eat. I was starving. They brought me some nasty ham Christmas meal. Matson forced me to eat at least half of it because I needed to eat meat now so that I could have more iron in my body to help me build up my blood supply. In the regular hospital room the nurses were so nice. They got me fluids, a bunch of medicine, loads of fresh warm blankest, and they kept telling me that I may have to stay over night. I DID NOT WANT TO STAY OVER NIGHT. It was Christmas and I felt like I had already ruined it for both our families. Plus I really wanted to see Nixon. I felt so bad for abandoning him all day.

My family was amazing and took care of him. My sister in law fed him all day since she was breastfeeding my niece. She also gave him his first bottle of pumped milk. She was amazing. I balled when I heard about all the nice things people had been doing for us all day. Lots of prayers, my family taking care of Nixon, my sis in law feeding him, all the medical staff taking extra time for me on Christmas day, and both our families waited and paused Christmas for me. 

Since my doctor knew I badly wanted to be home on Christmas, he allowed me to be discharged out of the hospital. I was incredibly happy. My doctor told me that I could go home if I just rested and took it very very easy. To recover all I needed was some pain medicine, lots of sleep, and iron. He also told me it would be a couple of weeks to a month before I feel normal again. YIKES. Finally at 11pm on Christmas I was discharged. 

I went back to my parents house and saw my sleeping baby. Apparently he slept all day long and all he did was wake up to eat. He was an angel baby so they said. At 11pm my family started our Christmas. They fed me again (more red meat) and even though I was feeling very weak I sat on the couch and watched everyone open their gifts. It was a little bit of a different Christmas but I was so grateful everyone waited for me. The next night Matson's family had their Christmas and I will be honest it still totally felt like Christmas!

All in all I lost 2 liters of blood at the hospital and who knows how much more before I got to the hospital at my parents house. I lost a significant amount of blood and was therefore considered anemic. For the next month and the first month of our newborn's life I was very weak. I slept when Nixon slept and it took all the energy I had to just get in the bath each day. I couldn't even get up to make myself food or I literally felt so light headed. Matson was a saint. He made all the meals, cleaned everything, fed Nixon bottles in the middle of the night, and was Mr. Mom. PLUS he tried to work as much as he could from home. Matson's biggest job though was forcing me to eat red meat. That was a job in and of itself. Haha. I hate red meat. Actually let's be for real here. I hate all meat really.

The pieces of junk they took out of me was sent into a lab to be tested. It wasn't placenta or anything. Just blood clots. My doctor explained to us that what happened was my uterus didn't fully contract so my body still thought I was pregnant. It was still pumping all my blood down to my uterus as if our baby was in there. But since it wasn't, my uterus was just filling up with blood. Now I know in the future that I should bleed more right after having my baby and I should have strong cramps from my uterus contracting down. 

I am so grateful for prayer, my family, friends, and my husband. I could not have done this without him or our families. We are so incredibly blessed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment