To mark the 1-week-anniversary of Anthony’s birth, my body decided to give me a bit of a scare.
Jesse was set to leave for work at 10:30 (our school has had testing every morning this week, so he hasn’t had to be there until right before lunch– a gentle way to ease back into the “everyday” after Easter Break and having a baby!). My mom was supposed to be home from a work meeting at 11:15– less than an hour, right? I was a bit nervous about being alone with both the babes for the first time, even if it was just 45 minutes. Even if I hadn’t had bleeding issues after the birth, I would still be forbidden to lift Gregory for a few weeks (it can cause hemorrhaging in a normal post-partum woman)– not a big deal unless you realize that this rules out lifting him into his crib for naps, putting him in or out of the carseat or high chair….the list goes on.
But 45 minutes. No big deal, right? That’s what I’d been telling myself all morning.
Jesse left for work, and G had a bit of a meltdown, screaming and crying, “Daddaaaaa!!!” at the door. Poor little guy, he’s going through such a rough transition since he had Jesse all to himself over the 2 weeks of break, only to have him go back to work AND be distracted by another baby.
I was sitting on the couch, Anthony in the Moby wrap, and coaxed G over with the promise of reading books. After a few minutes of crying, he finally gave in and sat next to me.
Somewhere around the 3rd book, I felt it– a huge gush of blood.
Oh well, I thought. It takes almost a month for the bleeding to fully subside after having a baby.
I kept reading. Another gush.
And another, and another, and another.
When I left the hospital, they told me that if I filled a pad within an hour, that was too much bleeding and I needed to go to the Urgent Care or ER. Any more than that required an ambulance (if your veins collapse from blood loss on the way to the hospital, there’s no way for them to get an IV in for a transfusion).
Hmmmm. I got up, put Anthony in his bassinet/rocker, and made it to the bathroom while the gushing continued. Sure enough. I had filled that entire pad in a little over 5 minutes.
Crap, oh crap. I thought. Jesse had only been gone for 10 minutes, which meant that my mom wouldn’t be home for at least another 30.
I went back out to watch over Anthony, since G was running all over the house like any normal toddler. And the bleeding continued. Despite my efforts, I started to panic. Here I was alone with 2 kids, getting ready to hemorrhage.
I called my mom, and thankfully, she answered. I asked if she could come home as quickly as possible since I was bleeding a lot. She said that she would do the best she could.
I then texted Jesse, who was about to start class. He called back right away.
Just hearing his voice made me lose it. I started sobbing on the phone, I was so scared. He said that he would be home ASAP and that he wanted me to lie down until then. Easier said than done– Gregory was intent on causing mayhem, but I let him rip apart our bedroom while I watched Anthony in the bassinet beside me. Within a few minutes, Gregory was leaving all sorts of objects for Anthony….a slice of bread on his head (where did he even GET that?), the dropper that goes with the gripe water, the nose suction bulb….
Jesse was home within 10 minutes. We are OFFICIALLY BLESSED to live within a 5 minute drive from school and to have such caring co workers willing to step in and substitute teach in an emergency!
Jesse took the babies while I called the midwife. She was in an appt., but the nurse on call said that if we didn’t hear back within 15 minutes to head to the ER. My mom got home a few minutes after that. Anthony was hungry, so I nursed him and since we still hadn’t heard anything, we left both boys with my mom and headed for the Twin Cities Hospital ER.
I was pretty much losing it, by this point. I kept thinking, “WHERE ARE YOUR BIG GIRL PANTS? STOP CRYING AND BE STRONG!”, but I couldn’t. I just kept thinking about how I didn’t want to spend another night in the hospital, away from my babies.
Luckily, my mom had called ahead to her friend that works the front desk at the ER and had found that there was NO wait (an ER miracle!). We checked right in and were shown to a room.
What followed was a series of tests– first, a vaginal exam (SO NOT FUN after having a baby a week prior!), then 2 types of ultrasounds, then a blood test. Ugh, it’s amazing how calloused I’ve become to needles just within the past week. She had to use my other arm since my right arm was already covered in holes and bruises (I bruise easily).
And then…Jesse and I waited. We answered questions here and there, but mostly tried to talk about other things. Jesse has been pretty obsessed with T.S. Eliot lately, since he’s discussing his poetry with his seniors right now, so he read me some.
And then, the news: the ultrasound was inconclusive, but they thought that they could still detect tissue left over from the birth. It needed to come out, or I would continue to bleed. If they couldn’t get it out through medication, surgery (a D+C) would be necessary.
So, they decided to give me another shot of Methylergonovine (a drug similar to what they give to induce an abortion), one of the three that they gave me right after Anthony’s birth (the one that went really deep into the muscle), only this time they shot it into my butt instead of leg– a LOT less painful, actually. They said that they were also sending me home with a bunch of pills to keep it going.
But right before they gave it to me, the Dr. said offhandedly, “Oh, and you’re not going to be able to breastfeed while you’re on it.”
I started crying again at that, explaining my baby was just days old and I’d only saved up one bottle of milk! Not to mention the fact that I don’t want to introduce either a pacifier or a bottle for the first 3 weeks, since it can get in the way of breastfeeding.
She said it was no big deal, I’d just have to give him formula for a day.
Okay, so I understand that for an ER doc trying to keep someone from a life-threatening emergency like bleeding to death, giving formula to a baby means nothing. But I was in a very vulnerable place, and this was the last emotional straw. I asked if they could wait to give the drug until my mom could bring the baby to nurse one more time. She agreed, so we called my mom who immediately packed up the boys and my breast pump (in case Anthony decided he wasn’t terribly hungry).
Luckily, one of the nurses who was a bit more “OB” minded, called up to the maternity ward and asked them to check in their database. Whaddya know, it’s relatively safe (as safe as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, anyways).
So, they started me on the drug and sent me home. Since I wasn’t given two other cramping drugs at the same time (like after Anthony’s birth) the cramps were not nearly as bad– just like being on a painful period.
And, after about 6 hours, I passed a pretty large clot (about the size of a pack of gum– sorry to be graphic!). I had a follow up appt. with Lisa yesterday, and she said that we’d just keep an eye on it, but for right now, things are back to normal.
Hopefully, the road to recovery is finally drawing to a close!