A year ago today: Evening of July 18 through the 19th, 2012
I know that about 48 hours after a c-section, you start to really feel it. I remember almost sending Steve home after Mimi's birth, saying I didn't need him the second night, that I felt fine. My sister-in-law, Sasha set me straight. "You'll want him there tonight," she had said, "the second day was always the worst day for me." Sage words.
So I was so very glad that my mom was going to stay with me the second night. She's the perfect person to have around when I feel miserable, and I knew I'd feel miserable.
Sure enough, that evening the extra pain started. It became hard to move. I was sore. By around seven or eight I told the nurse I didn't think I could get up to go to the bathroom. I did get up, but it was harder than earlier in the day. Earlier in the day I had walked a little -- walking often the day after a c-section is important for the healing process, I remembered that. And knowing I could get to see Jonathan if I walked to the wheelchair had been quite the motivation to get me up. They had started him on 1 ml of colostrum every three hours this first day, which surprised me, and made me nervous. I'd remembered those other blogs. The ones where the baby didn't do so well with food. So I needed to be sure to see him. As much of him as possible.
But now I was back in my hospital bed, and not feeling that great. A few hours after the aches got worse, it felt like they spread. It wasn't just my abdomen that was sore, it was every muscle in my body. And the room was so cold. I had the nurse bring in more blankets. I had a difficult time rearranging myself with the new blankets. It hurt. As she helped I told her I knew this was because it was the second day after a c-section. She looked disapprovingly at me and said I shouldn't be that sore. Maybe I was complaining too much. She looked annoyed.
An hour later I told mom I needed more blankets. This is where my mom is the superhero. I'm not sure I could have convinced the nurse that I wasn't a needy self-absorbed patient. The nurses eyes and body language had basically said as much many times since she came on shift. But mom got the job done, and she could be more forceful than I had energy to be.
Then I asked for more blankets. I was still shaking.
And then at about 11:30 or so, I suddenly got hot. Very hot.
All 15 blankets (and, really, I'm not sure this is an exaggeration) were removed. And I was still hot. And weak. But I felt a little better. Weak, sore, but not shaking any more. All I could muster were quiet moans with every move. I couldn't think. It reminded me of the few times, before my tonsillectomy, where I'd get strep three months on end. I'd barely have fought it off, and I'd have it again. By the end I'd stare into space and want to cry, but have no energy for tears.
This is what that felt like.
And I was still on heavy narcotics.
The nurse sent up someone at about 1 or 2 am to draw some blood, see if there was any infection. They started me on an antibiotic shortly thereafter.
Within three hours I felt better. Much better. By the end of the shift, the nurse obviously had turned around. She saw the real me by five in the morning. The me she'd seen earlier in her shift? I think she understood that wasn't a self-absorbed overly-needy patient, that was a very-sick overly-needy patient. I don't think I've ever felt that sick in my life.
When all the labs came back 24 to 48 hours later, they had found a rare form of strep in my blood. They had also found ecoli in my blood.
Ecoli and strep.
Jonathan was started on antibiotics, as a precaution.
But he never got sick.
The OBGYN suggested that perhaps the two infections were caused by some of what was brewing in the amniotic fluid, that it had entered the blood stream during the surgery or something of the sort. At least I think that's what she suggested. She didn't know for sure either. She used a lot of big words here that I didn't understand and didn't have the energy to ask about, but I think I got the gist.
Basically, taking Jonathan out the day we did? It might just have given him the chance he needed. Had he stayed in, he might be fighting what I was fighting. And I wasn't doing too good of a job fighting it myself. I couldn't imagine him trying.
We made the right choice.