Monthly Archives: May 2017

Springtime

Copied this template from The Fisk Files (I love Britt’s blog).

making: decisions about paint colors (we bought a house on Friday!). I’m usually fairly decisive but paint colors have me going to Home Depot again and again for more samples.

cooking: do roasted veggies count as cooking? Potatoes and carrots drizzled with olive oil, salt, fresh pepper, and dried herbs. Yum.

drinking: Decaf coffee on repeat. #nursing

reading: I was reading The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity but I’ve already renewed it three times from the library and had to return it today. I’ll finish it at some point, fingers crossed. It’s pretty woo woo but I love her premise that everyone is creative.

wanting: to be done moving! Boxes and a general sense of disorganization are my life right now.

looking: like I’ve lost a lot of hair. Postpartum hormones did me in and my hair is T to the hin. (more…)

Postpartum Complications Scene 16: Life Today

(Scene fifteen is here.)

I stare at my body in the mirror. I see the huge pink scar between my hip bones. I see the almost-faded scars where my tubes were in me. I see the enlarged veins in my hands from all the needles they poked in me. My body carries stories. I learned to be brave because I had to be brave.

It’s taken a while for me to write out all that happened. I wanted to write a different story. I wanted to write about the story where I heroically birthed my baby despite the intense struggle. The story where I gathered strength as a new mom from the rush of birth hormones surging through my blood. The story where my hopes came to fruition.

But that story is not my story, and today I am actually thankful that is not my story. (more…)

Postpartum Complications Scene 15: Healing

(Scene fourteen is here.)

Recovering at home is easier than recovering at the hospital. No one except my baby wakes me up. I get to eat my own food. No one pokes my veins on a daily basis. And there’s something peaceful about being at home. I feel hopeful.

During my first week at home, I nurse Henry and do skin to skin all the time. It’s good for us—and it pays off. After a week of being home with him, he doesn’t need to be supplemented with formula anymore. Being able to exclusively breastfeed was a prayer of mine at the hospital and I’m grateful it works out.

Home health nurses come over three times a week for two months to monitor my wound vacuum and incision. My wound looks more like a scar every day and I don’t have to focus on eating humongous amounts of protein to help it heal and regain muscle mass. Simple tasks like walking around our apartment or standing to wash some dishes no longer wipe me out. Friends and family bring us meals and encourage us with their presence in ways I can never repay.

Amy with Henry when he was just a month old.

(more…)

Postpartum Complications Scene 14: Leaving the Hospital

(Scene thirteen is here.)

My tubes are out.

My IV is out.

My infections are mostly gone.

My kidneys are back to normal.

My aspiration-induced-cough is almost gone.

My white blood cell count is much improved.

My wound is healing.

My body looks less like a war zone and more like a place of unformed scars.

I am finally cleared to go home. My muscles have atrophied noticeably, especially in my legs.

A nurse brings a wheelchair for me. I look at that wheelchair as if I have never seen a wheelchair before. This is for me, I wonder. I debate with my sister and Nathan about whether I should just try to slowly walk to the car, but mostly I am in denial. (more…)

Postpartum Complications Scene 13: My Drain Tubes Come Out

(Scene twelve is here.)

On Tuesday, eleven days since the Friday night when I went to the emergency room, I am alone in a hallway by the ultrasound rooms. I’m daydreaming about my ultrasounds during my pregnancy. I had my first one when I was nine weeks pregnant and I remember seeing his small body move like a jellyfish on the black and white screen. I think about how full of awe I was as I watched him. My baby, there you are.

I realize how different this ultrasound will be. Instead of searching for life today, they are searching for any problems still lingering in my torn up body.

After they push my bed into the tiny room, a young technician begins squeezing clear jelly on my squishy, childless belly as she searches for remaining signs of infection.

She is not saying anything.

“I sometimes forget that ultrasounds can be used for things besides looking at babies,” I say, trying to make conversation with her.

“Yeah,” she says, quietly probing my belly while she stares at her computer screen. (more…)

Postpartum Complications Scene 12: Breastfeeding and Other Morning Conversations

(Scene eleven is here.)

Almost every morning my doctor who helped deliver Henry comes to check on me. I feel like she knows me more than all the other doctors, so I always enjoy our brief morning visits.

“How’s pumping going?” she asks. It has nothing to do with all my current health problems, which is why I so appreciate her asking me about it.

“Well, basically, not good. I can never get much milk anymore because they keep putting me on no food, no drink protocol before these terrible procedures. Then I’m so tired from everything that happens during the day that at night I just want to sleep when they’re not coming in my room to take my blood pressure for the millionth time. I’m just too tired to pump anymore. My body is a mess,” I mumble on depressingly. My attempts at a good attitude are long gone.

She pauses at the computer where she is checking my notes and looks at me. She looks worried. (more…)

Postpartum Complications Scene 11: A Second Tube

(Scene ten is here.)

After all the tests to figure out what was going on with my bladder are done, the infectious disease doctor tells me she recommends putting another tube in me. She goes on to explain how my most recent CT scan shows I have another infected fluid pocket under my uterus and they need to drain it. But I have a hard time listening to her explanations after she mentions that the tube would go through my butt cheek.

“Um, sorry, but did you just say the tube would go through my butt cheek?”

I’m helplessly waiting for someone to burst in to the room and tell me this is a joke. I almost laugh before I cry.

The next day, I’m wheeled back over to the radiology room to get the second tube put in me. (more…)