Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby Liam Is Born: Recovery

Continued from Baby Liam Is Born: Delivery

After Liam was born and I had been repaired, I was moved to a gurney and taken to a recovery room to be monitored for an hour. There they did the things that they do after any surgery. They monitored my vital signs and gave me pain meds. They were giving me small doses of Fentanyl through my IV and that was working pretty well. After the hour was up, I was taken over to Children's to see Liam.

When I got there, he was all arranged in his bed. He looked so tiny and lost in all that bedding and under the big bright lights of the NICU. I loved seeing him, but I wanted to cry at the same time. In a hospital bed is really never the way anyone wants to see their baby.

He was turned away from me, and I couldn't even see his face. It sounded like he was crying softly, but the nurse explained that he was grunting, as he worked to breathe. But they weren't doing anything about his respiration. Despite the grunting, he was breathing well and keeping his ozygen saturation high. I was with him just long enough to get the run-down on the plan for him and learn that his weight was really only 4lbs. 14 oz, still a good size for a baby his age, and then I was taken back to my post-partum room.

Now this is where having a morphine allergy starts to seriously blow. Normally, the morphine in the spinal block would continue to provide pain relief long after the surgery. But since I couldn't get that, I was starting to have a lot of pain. They gave me Demerol IV push, and that gave me about 45 minutes of coverage. I could only have it every 6 hours.

This was starting to look bad for me.

Thankfully, my nurses were angels, and called to get orders for a patient controlled analgesic pump, or PCA. That provided me small doses of Fentanyl up to every six minutes and with that, I could start to stay ahead of the pain. One of the nurses finally told me to stop trying to stretch it out, but hit the button every six minutes until I could sleep. Sometime around midnight I finally crashed.

Sleep can be Bliss.

At 5 am I woke up for vital signs and to try to get up. Now, I hadn't pushed that little button the PCA pump in five hours, so quickly pushed it, but I only had time to do it once. Then the nurse tries to help me out of bed for the first time.

I don't have words to describe the pain. Scratch that. I do have words, but they're inappropriate for a blog my mother can read.

By the second step, I was crying out loud and the nurse put me back to bed. Which, to be honest, was as excruciating as getting out of it. Of course my first question for my nurse was, "When can we try that again?"  Not that I'm a masochist.  Seriously, I'm so not.  I just know that the quicker you can get out of bed and get moving, the sooner you start to really recover.  And I would really like to get better.

I tried again at 10 am, after a lot more pain medication through the PCA. It was painful, but it was manageable. And it meant I could get my catheter out, get my IV out, switch to oral meds, and best of all I could go see my baby.

Over the last few days I've recovered slowly. I took for granted how much my abdominal muscles for.  Recovery has been painful.  But overall, a c-section wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be. I'm still having some swelling around my incision, and I'm still struggling to balance pain meds, but I'm getting better. And I may be rushing it a bit, since I want to be able to take care of Liam.

And Liam's progress is another post.

To Be Continued...

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