Friday, January 26, 2007


Hey, everybody. Just writing a quick note to let you all know that baby and I are both a-ok! I want to thank you all for your prayers and well-wishes. If I don't write back personally, it is because I am supposed to be on bedrest, and because so many of you were so kind! Anyway, please know how much it has meant to both Jim and I, as well as our little one. I'd particularly like to thank my family, Jim's family, and Kathie for their support.

The surgery itself was fine. I was wide awake for everything, as they didn't even want to give me any relaxant (for the baby's sake). They had told me on Monday at my pre-op appointment that I would get SOMETHING (not the regular joy-juice, but at least something to relax me). So when the anesthesiologist told me that they wouldn't, I started crying. I pretty much cried from that point until I was numb from the waist down. I have to be honest and admit it was the scariest thing that I have ever experienced. Being taken flat on your back into a freezing cold room full of people wearing masks, seeing huge lights that look like they belong on a spaceship on the ceiling, and being put on a cold table that is barely wide enough to lay on . . .yeah, not fun. Then, the ONE thing I was most worried about--the spinal--they had trouble with. She (Carolyn) gave me a shot to numb the area, which really hurt, but then she started pushing the tube in (before they insert the super long needle) and it KILLED. I kept shouting "ow!" and crying, and she's like, "You shouldn't be feeling that! Where are you feeling that?" I said, "My BACK!" (should that have been hard to figure out???) Finally, after about 15 minutes, she quit torturing me and went and got the head of the department, Dr. Kuba. He did it in about 30 seconds and it didn't hurt at all.

So after that, I went numb from my belly button to my toes. I kept getting annoyed because they hadn't started yet, so after like 10 minutes, I asked the nurse when they were going to start. She told me they were almost done! I had absolutely NO clue whatsoever that anything was going on. There was a sheet hung up, so I couldn't see, and I felt absolutely nothing! That was pretty amazing. Then another scary part came when they had to lean me back, and the medicine made my arms and shoulders numb too. I tried to swallow, found I couldn't, and choked. I couldn't swallow or cough, which really freaked me out, but was actually fine and didn't kill me. The surgery itself (apart from the spinal catastrophe) only lasted 12 minutes! The doctor was really happy with it, and seemed more pumped than I ever have seen him before! That gave me confidence. Jim and my mom said that he was really excited and happy when he came out to talk to them, too.

So then they wheeled me to recovery, where I discovered a new tip I will share with you all. My blood pressure kept sinking incredibly, dangerously low. They had to give me 2 intra-muscular shots (which I didn't feel, courtesy of the spinal) to try to stabalize it. In the meantime, I got nauseous. They also kept giving me meds through the iv for the nausea, but it wasn't helping. They had started doing that when I told them I felt sick during the surgery itself. I finally felt like I was about 2 seconds away from throwing up, so I told the nurse, and she just threw a towel next to me and said, "Make sure to turn your head." This entire time, some nurse was trying to get the baby's heartbeat and not doing a very good job of it (because she's not an OB person and not used to knowing where to look at what point in someone's pregnancy), so she's pressing like a fool on my tummy, which by now is regaining feeling. That didn't help. I was already dry-heaving, and this other nurse gave me an alcohol pad and told me to sniff it. This is my tip. If you are ever feeling nauseated, sniff alcohol. She told me one of their surgeons had done research on it and talked to the whole staff, and they'd been trained to start giving nauseous patients alcohol pads. It is AMAZING. It works, honestly. I was sniffing alcohol pads like a champ for the next 1/2 hour, and it really kept me from throwing up. She told me she'd never seen it fail yet, and told me it was perfectly safe to do during my pregnancy for morning sickness too! Luckily I haven't had any, but still--nice thing to know! Try it next time, you'll be surprised!

Ok, so then they took me upstairs once my blood pressure was stable and I could (sorta) move my legs and feet. I was half laughing/half crying in that sorta insane way because the effects of the numbing were so frustrating! Trying to move your toes and not being able to is really a strange feeling. The next horror story was when my legs finally fully woke up--I told the nurse I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom, and she pulled out the . . .ugh . . .catheter bag to show me. Yeah, didn't even know it. I HATE that feeling (having a catheter). So I had to have that connected for the next 2 hours. It was hellish, and then when they removed it, it really, really, really hurt. I don't know why, but I would rather wear a diaper than have one of those. It REALLY bothers me a lot. Those two hours were the longest part of the day.

After that, everything slowly got better and better. I had been told I would have to spend the night, but I was not bleeding (I had only a few spots afterwards) and was able to walk to the bathroom by myself (and peeing a lot, which was what they wanted to see) so they let me go home after dinner. They kept monitoring the baby's heartbeat throughout the day--it was strong and steady, and he was moving a LOT--in fact, they'd get the beat, and he would literally flip head over heels and they'd have to go 4-5 inches down to find it again. :) They were loving his activeness.

When I left, they all said they would see me back when the baby was due. I was told I could deliver at Pekin if I make it to 36 1/2 weeks, which I will do as long as there are no risks. St. Francis is WONDERFUL when you have a risky situation, but Pekin is so personal and small and you get lots of individual attention there, so it would be nice--plus convenient for the family. Anyway, they were all so sweet and told me they just KNEW it was going to go full-term, and that I just needed to have faith. They are right. I had a major breakdown halfway through the afternoon . . .basically because I kinda had to poop (sorry to share, but it's true) but I was worried it was the early contractions, like I had w/Brian. I just thought I had to poop when I was having my first contractions w/him, and then he was born less than 90 minutes later. I called the nurse in and asked her if they could check with that belt that they put on, and she said at 14 weeks they couldn't pick those up. I started bawling and kept saying I didn't want it to happen again because it already happened to me once, etc. My mom and Jim were both crying too, and she reassured me that it would be fine, but I needed to be calm for the baby's sake and try to have faith. So I prayed and calmed and finally accepted that I had to give it to God. I know it won't be easy, but I know it's what needs to be done. The same nurse came by right as I left and told me to have faith, that it would be tough, but that it was in God's hands now and it would be taken care of.

ANYWAY, this is my story. Right now my back is KILLLLLLLLLLLLING me because of the spinal ordeal, and I've had a headache almost non-stop since yesterday morning, but other than that . . .what really matters is that my son (??) is ok and God protected both of us and kept us safe and sound. Now we just have to make it another . . .hmmm . . .at least 18-22 weeks would be nice! Keep praying for us!Love you all, and thank you so much for everything.


PS I (or Jim) will post sono pics tomorrow!

1 comment:

April said...

Just read this, Amy. I'm so glad that it all went well!!

So you said, "son" -- did y'all get to see anything?

Again, SO, SO glad that you're ok.