Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Ins and Outs of the Surgery

I knew having Ezra by C-section was going to be a slow and hard recovery, but I wasn't quite planning on all the extra things to go wrong. During surgery I thought I was being really patient so after about 15 minutes I asked if he was almost out and if they were almost done. Ha! They hadn't even finished cutting me open yet because of all the scar tissue. This really tested my patience and endurance, not to mention pain tolerance, even though the spinal block was working I could still feel a huge amount of pain during the entire surgery. I bawled and YELLED because it hurt so bad and I just wanted it to be over. The anesthesia team was amazing and listened and complied to everything I asked. When the pain became too much they gave me laughing gas although it was hard to keep it over my nose because I couldn't breathe. The laughing gas temporarily knocked me out two times, after waking up the first time and realizing they still weren't done with the surgery and feeling that incredible pain again, I asked them to just put me under. But the doctor said he was almost done so they didn't want to do general anesthesia. Well, the surgery just kept on going and going. What typically takes 20 minutes last an hour which seemed like a lifetime having to tolerate that amount pain. I've never felt anything like it before. Because of my throwing up, pain level, crying, etc. I was given an exorbitant amount of drugs. Like, a lot!

I really wanted to experience the feeling of having the baby placed directly on my chest immediately after birth and I asked everyone involved with the birth (NICU team, OB team, anesthesia team, recovery team) to make sure I was able to hold my baby as soon as he was born. While that was very possible this time around, I was in too much pain and couldn't focus on anything except being done with the surgery so he stayed with Lance and the nurses.

In the recovery room I was in and out of it, I think a nurse tried to get me to hold and nurse Ezra but I was too drugged up and couldn't stay awake. After moving to my postpartum room a lactation nurse came in and tried to get me to nurse again so she held the baby up to my chest and expressed milk but the drugs were too strong and I couldn't stay awake or hold him. I tried opening my eyes so I could look at him but I couldn't even do that. Much of this first day after surgery I just tried to stay awake even for 5 minutes but I wasn't very successful. Into the evening the nurses tried to get me to eat but every time I sat up the nausea and dizziness hit very strongly and I would throw up. Also into the evening I had extremely painful gas pain in my shoulder (or referred pain) from air getting caught in the abdominal cavity. It was so intense I had to literally change positions every 5 minutes to get it to move and the only position that somewhat worked was sitting up with my legs dangling off the side of the bed. I couldn't sleep at all.

At about 2am one of the OB doctors came in and told me they suspected I had internal bleeding and were going to start blood transfusions. They also gave me double the amount of iv fluids. They said in the morning they'd take some blood samples to see what my so and so levels were and determine if I needed another procedure to stop the internal bleeding or if the blood transfusions were working. On day 2 I tried walking about every 30 minutes because only walking will make the gas pain go away. One nurse said I was overdoing it but I didn't care because I was not going to have another nightmare evening of no sleep with that sharp gas pain! The walking didn't help and I could no longer lay down so any resting was done in a recliner. After 7+ blood draws they determined that the blood transfusions were working, my blood numbers were looking better and I didn't need another procedure. What a relief! They said the problem was blood that spilled over into the abdominal cavity during the surgery.

On day 3 and 4 the pelvic floor pain returned, the gas pain lessened, the vomiting continued, the swelling got really out of control, and all I wanted was mom to be there. She flew in the morning I got released so while Lance left to pick her up from the airport and bring her directly to the hospital, I decided to try my first meal. I was in the recliner eating french toast and the next thing I know I woke up to the door opening. Mom and Lance walked in and I had fallen asleep with breakfast on my lap, syrup spilled all over my hospital gown and everything - apparently I was still on a very large dose of drugs. I was pretty embarrassed. The pelvic floor pain was so bad I couldn't lift my legs to walk so I shuffled around when needed and used the wheelchair when shuffling became too painful.

After getting home things remained the same but the pelvic floor pain became even more worse, the gas pain returned, and the pain killers I was sent home with still made me very sleepy, dizzy, and groggy. I was only able to hold and feed Ezra once the entire stay in the hospital and even then I had to have someone help me.

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