My doctor swings back the white sheet that is functioning as a makeshift door to my emergency room.
“Melanie!” She says with a mixture of excitement and concern. “I’m so glad you came in!”
“Karen!” I shouldn’t call her by her first name but it burst out of me. I’m happy to see a familiar face—and one who knows my birth story. We nearly give each other a hug.
The results of my tests become known to me little by little. Besides the obvious infection in my cesarean wound, I hear I have a bad urinary tract infection—and they immediately start me on strong IV antibiotics. I’m so dehydrated from the constant throwing up that they start me on IV fluids, too.
My doctor begins examining and opening my incision. Let me just say this: feeling someone pull stitches apart where your own baby was cut out of you is a million shades of scream. I try to relax and not think about the pain, but I keep wrinkling my face and holding my breath.
“We need to give her something,” my doctor says to my nurse. “Let’s do Fentanyl.”
“Is that a narcotic?” I ask.
“Just give me ibuprofen.”
My doctor looks at me. She knows how much I dislike pain medicine.
“You know, I really think a low dose of Fentanyl will help—it’s fast acting. Ibuprofen is not,” she encourages.
I know I need something to relieve the pain quickly so she can open and clean my incision, so I let them hang a little bag of Fentanyl on my metal IV pole.
My doctor goes on to tell me the whole situation: besides the infection in my cesarean incision and the urinary tract infection, the CT scan shows that I have developed internal abscesses throughout my abdomen. I have never heard of such a complication, so of course I google it. I’m instantly assaulted with gross pictures. Basically, my belly is full of infections. What bewilders my doctor so much is that despite all these infections raging throughout my body, I still don’t have a fever.
While my doctor finishes cleaning out my wound, my nurse brings in a breast pump for me. I haven’t nursed Henry for several hours. I feel anxious about my milk supply dwindling while I’m away for him.
“You can keep the pump with you throughout your time at the hospital,” my nurse says.
What does he mean throughout my time at the hospital? What time is he talking about? Little do I know I will use that breast pump for the next eleven days.