Emily’s Nursery

 

Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Pleasant Pink

Curtains: DIY’d, fabric is Waverly Spring Bling Spring

Curtain Hardware: Threshold Mercury Ball Curtain Rod from Target

Crib and Dresser: Baby’s Dream Legendary, purchased from Georgia Baby & Kids Furniture

Glider/Recliner: Benji by Best Chairs, purchased from KooKoo Bear Kids Furniture

Mirror: Urban Trends Collection from Overstock, painted gray

Side Table: International Concepts Hampton Accent Table, painted white

Table Lamp: Marshall’s

Floor Lamp: Kirkland’s

Bedding: sheet and crib skirt are both from Target

Wall Letters: Pottery Barn Kids

Picture Frame: Pottery Barn (no longer available)

Desk Clock: Pottery Barn Kids (no longer available)

Changing Pad Cover: Amazon

 

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Emily’s Arrival (Continued)

After getting out of the hospital it was so nice to finally be home and start figuring out this parenting thing! David and I were both pretty stressed because of Emily (of course) but also just the sheer amount of stuff we brought home from the hospital. They really loaded us up with lots of supplies, diapers, and drugs. Emily and I were figuring out breastfeeding, and David and I would try and sneak in a few naps here and there.

The day after we got home from the hospital I started getting the chills and running a fever. My temperature spiked up to 101, but then I’d recover and feel OK. A few hours later it happened again, but with more violent chills/shaking and a fever of 104.5. We headed to the emergency room and my mom watched Emily.

I was quickly admitted to the ER (my temperature was still 103 at this point and my blood pressure was very low) and they began to take blood and urine to determine what was wrong with me. The 1st ER doctor came in to check me out and somehow came to the conclusion that I had endometriosis. Then an OB from my practice came in and she was convinced I had a kidney infection (I had some really minor pain on one side). The lab results confirmed the kidney infection and they sent me off to the main hospital for antibiotics and David went home.

At this point I was feeling decent, but pretty bummed about being back in the hospital (alone!) but it seemed like they could just fix me up with some antibiotics and I’d go home the next day. Unfortunately it didn’t work out like that. Some of the initial blood cultures were showing that the infection had spread to my bloodstream (sepsis). Additionally the cultures also showed that the particular strain of E. coli that caused my infection was resistant to antibiotics (and subsequently everyone who now entered my room had to wear a robe and mask). I also received a CT scan to check for infections in other organs. Luckily, the CT scan was negative (besides the kidney infection) and the blood culture results finally came back without the blood infection and a plan for antibiotics that would be effective and still allow me to breastfeed. I had been pumping around the clock to be able to keep up for when I got home to Emily, but unfortunately had to throw out a large portion of what I produced because of certain antibiotics and the contrast dye used during the CT scan.

The major caveat to my treatment plan was that the antibiotics to treat my infection could only be delivered intravenously. Oral antibiotics were available, but they weren’t safe for breastfeeding. On my 4th and final day in the hospital (and the final step before I could go home) I had a PICC line inserted into my arm. Basically it’s a temporary IV that would allow me to give myself the antibiotics 1x per day for the next 2 weeks. Essentially they shove a tube up through your arm that goes directly into a major vein in your heart.  It’s kind of freaky, but you gotta do what you gotta do. After the PICC line was inserted, they did a chest X-ray to confirm the correct placement, and then I was finally able to go home! I had spent almost 4 full days in the hospital.

Luckily I was not physically uncomfortable or ill-feeling for the majority of my stay, but the mental part of being away from Emily during most of her 1st week of life was really, really tough. I am pretty sure I had a crying meltdown on the phone with David every day when the doctors would make their rounds and tell me they needed to keep me another night. Luckily I had lots of people checking in on me via text, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. so that kept my spirits up. I also had a few great nurses (that made me really appreciate how hard nurses work!).

After 2 weeks of antibiotic treatment my PICC line is gone and things are mostly back to normal. Emily refuses to breastfeed after taking a bottle almost exclusively in her 1st week, so it seems like I’m destined to be a slave to the pump for the next several months. But we’re getting the hang of things, albeit rather slowly.

The OB from my practice had commented that the ultimate cause of the infection was likely from the catheter used when I delivered. I don’t think there is a day that goes by that David and I don’t joke about suing the hospital for pain, suffering, and lost wages due to constant bottle washing!

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Pre-CT scan contrast drink

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My niece requesting my escape 🙂

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Giving myself antibiotics at home

Emily’s Arrival

Emily’s 1st month has been a whirlwind in so many different ways. It’s crazy how fast you adapt to being a parent and the accompanied sleep deprivation! This is a novel of a post, but I want to remember and document this, but you’ve been warned…

Stepping back to how it all started — going into labor! I got up in the middle of the night to pee (as usual) but when I laid back down in bed I started feeling some mild cramps. I knew that contractions could start and stop, and these were very minor pains, so I just would glance at the clock to see if there was any pattern or rhythm. The contractions would go anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes apart, but then suddenly I felt a “gush” of my water breaking! I went to go tell David (he was sleeping in another room because of my pregnancy-induced snoring!) and he *literally* jumped out of bed screaming (I guess I startled him when I woke him up!). We put together the last few things in our bags and called the OB office to let them know we were going to the hospital. I wasn’t having strong contractions or anything at this point, so it wasn’t a huge rush to get to the hospital, but at times I was shaking with nervousness/adrenaline.

We got to the hospital around 6am (yay for not having to deal with any traffic!) and got into the L&D room and checked at about 6:30am. I was still 3.5cm dilated (same as at my doctor appointment the previous day) and not having “efficient”/strong contractions so they gave me Pitocin to help things move along. Things *did* start moving along at that point, and they gave me a narcotic intravenously to take the edge off. That only gave me about 30 minutes of relief (and they can only give it to you once per hour) so I requested the epidural. The anesthesiologist was taking forever to show up, so they gave me a second dose of the narcotic (I can’t remember the name of it…), which only gave me about 10 minutes of relief. They finally inserted my epidural, at which the contractions were starting to get pretty intense…but then the epidural didn’t really do much. My left side was a little numb, but I still felt a lot of pain on my right side. The nurse called the anesthesiologist back and they had to re-place the epidural a 2nd time. Thankfully, the 2nd epidural worked! It was about an hour and a half from the time I asked for the epidural to finally being pain free, so I had a rough patch of time of really concentrating on breathing through some very intense contractions. It was not really something I expected to have to deal with when going into labor with a plan to get an epidural, but at that point I was just glad that the 2nd epidural actually worked!

Finally after all of that (~11:15am by now), the midwife checked my cervix and announced in a very surprised tone that I was complete/fully dilated. She had to go perform a C-section, so I was able to relax a bit and “enjoy” my epidural for the next hour or so. I was a little too nervous to actually fall asleep, but I was able to rest up pain free while we waited for the midwife to get back.

The midwife returned from the C-section and it was time to start pushing. The problem (?) was, I could not feel *anything*. They really gave me a GOOD 2nd epidural. I didn’t feel any pain or even any pressure at all. So it was a kind of out-of-body experience, but I ended up pushing for about 40 minutes. My contractions were not extremely close together so there were some long gaps in there. As she was getting closer, her heart rate started to drop a little so they gave me an oxygen mask. After maybe 10 contractions she was out and they put her on my chest. She cried right away! And so did we. 🙂

Because of the short time between when I received the IV narcotic and when she was born, the NICU team was called into the room to check her out (they warn you during the hospital tour of this white phone on the wall that connects to the NICU nurses). She had a little “hiccup” in her breathing for about the 1st 24 hours or so, but was otherwise deemed OK by the NICU. They cleaned her up (and me too..) and then we hung out for a bit. We stayed in L&D for quite a long time because I was still very numb from the epidural. Even when we went up to the recovery room David and the nurse had to essentially pick me up out of bed and put me into the wheelchair!

The following 48 hours in the hospital were pretty much a blur, with visitors, nurses and doctors constantly coming in and out of the room. I don’t think I slept more than 3 or 4 hours total. By Friday morning we were anxious to get out of the hospital and back home.

To be continued…