In Olivia's birth story, I mentioned the difficulty with getting my placenta to come out. We'd hoped Jessica had gotten it all, but knew there was a possibility of my having retained some tissue. I actually retained placental tissue with Amy, which led to a uterine infection (treated at home with antibiotics). Apparently my body is super proud of the plactentas it makes and just doesn't want to let them go.
Well, late Sunday night August 31st, I took a shower and then started having some cramps. For the first few minutes they weren't bad, just sort of menstrual cramp-y. Uncomfortable but not terribly painful. Within a few minutes, they rapidly became sharp, stabbing pains to the right side of my pelvis that had me sobbing hysterically, unable to move or really talk much. I had Brett call the midwife, and briefly talked to Nicole, who told me to definitely go to the ER. Brett got our neighbor from across the street to be in the house with the older kids (thanks, Rich!) while he, Olivia, and I headed to the hospital. I was in so much pain Brett had to lift me out of bed and carry me to the car.
Despite the fact that I was more or less in hysterics and sobbing uncontrollably, the ER took their dear sweet time helping me. I sat in a wheelchair in the waiting room for about 15 minutes, and then spent another 45 in an exam room without being seen. Brett made several trips out to the nurses' station to no avail, and finally got harsh enough with the right person that a doctor and two nurses came in. Shortly thereafter I was given some morphine. Hallelujah! It was my first experience with morphine, and I have to say, I was immensely grateful for it. And, I didn't feel high! A little loopy, but thankfully nothing more than that. (Translation: unlike my experience with Stadol, there were no cartoony purple-spotted cows hopping through pastures.)
The next few hours were spent having labs and blood cultures drawn and getting a CT, a pelvic exam, and a pelvic ultrasound. The doctor was very obliging regarding my breastfeeding and was careful to make sure I could still nurse Livvie. (Mainly this meant not giving me contrast for the CT.) Around 3am, she was getting extremely fussy, and I gave Brett the go-ahead to take her home because it looked like I was going to be there for at least a few more hours.
Just before 4am, the OB resident on call came back in. She told me the ultrasound and CT both showed what looked like retained "product" in my uterus, as well as some definite irritation/inflammation of the lining of my uterus, which meant I had an infection. I was pretty unsurprised. THEN she told me they'd be admitting me! That surprised me, since my infection post-Amy had been dealt with at home. But because of the amount of time elapsed (10 days) and the fact that I hadn't passed the tissue myself, they were concerned they'd need to do a D&C to remove the leftover tissue. For the moment, they would be giving me regular doses of 2 different antibiotics through my IV and monitoring me. Olivia could still nurse, but she could be with me only while another adult was there. (Hospital policy since Olivia was not a patient and couldn't be sent to the nursery, just in case something were to happen to me--the hospital couldn't be responsible for her.)
I got up to the Women's Health floor around 5am Monday morning. A couple of hours later, I called Brett's mom, Barbara, to let her know what was going on and see if she could come back to help out again. (Poor woman had just gone home Friday afternoon, but she packed a bag and drove back without complaint. I would've been lost without her help.) The hospital provided a pump for me so I could still provide milk for Olivia while she wasn't there (although I hated their pump and had Brett bring my Medela when he did come). Once Barbara was back to take care of the older kids, Brett and Olivia spent the majority of their days (and all of their nights) in the hospital with me. The nurses were kind enough to procure a bassinet for Livvie to sleep in, as well as anything else we needed.
Basically, I just had to hang out. Monday and Tuesday I spent the days getting antibiotics every 4 hours and trying not to be bored out of my mind. Several friends from church came up to spend time with me both days, which helped immensely since I was NOT happy to be stuck away from my kids. Tuesday evening the OB resident let me know that they would, indeed, be performing a D&C on Wednesday, after which I could be discharged. I was pretty nervous at the prospect of a D&C, not so much because of the actual procedure, but because of the emotional ramifications. Since the only other time I've had a D&C was when I lost Hannah, I was afraid it would trigger those emotions again (and to some extent, it did).
The procedure (to my knowledge) went well, without complication. I was actually under sedation rather than being put under general anesthesia, and I have to say I definitely prefer it that way. I woke up more quickly and didn't have the lingering effects of GA that I usually do (including nausea/vomiting). Apparently they got quite a bit of tissue out, so I'm glad they went ahead with it. I was discharged later that evening around 7pm, and was grateful to be home again!
Fast forward another 10 days, and I was back in the ER on Saturday the 13th with a high fever. I was terrified that maybe they'd missed something (which they warned me could happen) and that I'd have to have a repeat D&C. Fortunately (?) it turned out to *only* be strep throat, and I was sent home from the ER with a prescription for antibiotics.
Here's hoping I can actually stay healthy now! My recovery has been pretty slow, thanks to the blood loss and the infections. Hopefully I've turned the corner now and can start getting back to my usual self. In the meantime, Livvie has been such a great little girl, and Amy & David have both been helpful (some of the time) and their usual selves (most of the time).