Friday, August 31, 2012

Wednesday, August 15

We got up early on Wednesday morning so that we could finish packing for the hospital. I had gotten about three hours of sleep. As luck would have it, one of the work projects that I had been working on for months was scheduled to go live on Wednesday night. Since I thought that I might be on bed rest in the hospital for a few days or even a few weeks, we stopped by my office on the way to the hospital so that I could pick up my laptop and a few other things. When Chip tried to crank my car to leave the office, it wouldn't start! The battery had died! It was about 7:45 am, and lots of folks were showing up for work. A couple of my co-workers, Tim and Milton, helped in giving us a jump start.

After I checked into the Women's Hospital in Tupelo, I was taken to Labor and Delivery Room 107. The nurses asked me to change into a gown. I had Chip take a few last preggo photos of me since I figured I would not be back in my normal clothes until after she was born. I was right.

The nurses took my blood pressure (144/70), took more blood samples, and put an external fetal monitor on my belly to monitor Lydia's heart rate. Lydia got another BPP sonogram and scored 10/10. When my blood work came back from the lab, it showed that my liver enzyme levels had doubled from the previous night. I did not have any symptoms yet - no headaches or abdominal pain - but from looking at my health stats my doctor could see that those symptoms weren't far behind.

Preeclampsia and and HELLP syndrome have a laundry list of complications from liver and kidney damage to seizures. To prevent seizures I was hooked up to an IV of magnesium sulfate at around 11 am.  Magnesium sulfate (called "mag" by the nurses) is the devil's drug!! Just look at this list of side effects:
 - hot flashes
 - muscle weakness and lack of control
 - nausea and vomiting - blurry vision
 - slurred speech (well, because it is a muscle relaxer and the tongue is a muscle)

And I experienced them all. The first dose was very concentrated and burned like fire going through my IV and made me super hot. After that initial dose the following doses were more diluted. Sadly though, because the drug is a potent muscle relaxer, I was bed bound... which meant bed pan. Because of the nausea and vomiting, I was put on a liquid diet of Sprite (which I didn't drink because it is disgusting), Jell-o, pudding, and cream of chicken soup (also disgusting but manageable). Being bed bound was awful... Chip was such a trooper for being my personal servant for a few days. The liquid diet just made the whole experience more of a nightmare.

The nurses monitored my blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate every hour, even during the night while I was trying to sleep. Blood samples were taken every eight hours. It continued like that for three days.

That afternoon I arranged for my brother, Brian, to come to the hospital the next morning. Chip needed someone to lean on and relieve him a bit, and Brian was eager to see me and see how I was doing. Corinne also volunteered to come over to see me. On Wednesday afternoon and evening, I worked some to monitor how things were going with the project release. All was good.

1 comment:

The Clem Family said...

I still can't believe how awesome you look at 32 weeks! Thanks for sharing your story!