Saturday, March 3, 2012
The most difficult weeks of my life.
After Sage flew out of me in the hospital, I was in shock - immense, engrossing, fulfilling happiness, and shock. Shock that she had arrived so easily, that she was so beautiful, that I loved her so intensely, shocked that she was So perfect. I could not believe my good fortune. While Sage slept I stared at her in awe and gratitude.
While Sage slept, endless nurses and tecks came to visit, a whole whirlwind of life I could have done without seemed to envelop me. Firstly I found I could not pee - and spent hours trying to - only just avoiding being catheterized. I won't mention either the stool softener which seemed to make my anus as tight as a ball of fire!
Then there was the argument which seemed to involve half the hospital staff (I exaggerate of course) but it did include the hospital administrator - because I had declined a number of the routine procedures for baby (such as erithromiacin in the eyes - and the hep B vaccine etc). At one point they decided they would go ahead without my consent - until that is - my hard headed doula spoke up for me. She reminded them that I had all my paperwork in order - and of course they could go ahead against my wishes, but that there would naturally be legal consequences! It was then that I realized why it had been the right thing to hire her.
Breastfeeding did not come easily. A nurse told me she had the perfect latch. When Sage came off the nipple I had two big blisters - that are still evident today. Eventually someone suggested I use a pump. This was when I met the lovely nurse who looked to be about 8 months pregnant - with a baby which she later told me was to be born dead. I heard her whole story - I felt so guilty to have such a perfect baby, and know that hers would not make it.
Between stuffing down vast quantities of the absolutely fabulous food they served at my hospital, and staring at my baby, I realized it was nearly time to be discharged and I had still not slept. In fact I didn't sleep for 5 more days. It took a trip to the emergency room, where I was badly treated, because for some reason they thought I was a suicide case - or that I might have harmed the baby. I was not allowed to use the bathroom - or drink any water. People treated me like I was crazy - In fact I was. By the time I was discharged I was so dehydrated and tired I couldn't recognize my friend who had come to pick me up - or give directions to my house - which is only a matter of minutes away.
Later we found out I had a severe case of thrush - baby too. Somehow everything seemed to go wrong. I got home and had to call people out for the washing machine, garbage disposal, replace the boiler, car etc. The lovely colleague who was staying with me to help - who I have known for years , and absolutely love - turned out to have what I could only describe as early stage alzheimers. She was No help at all.
Suddenly because of the thrush, I lost my taste - nothing tasted good. It was three prescriptions before they managed to give me the right drug. My nipples were So painful - and it was days before someone suggested I could have a bra to hold the milking apparatus.
Later I would have to battle through more insomnia, and resultant confusion, psychosis, paranoia - and we won't forget a horrendous week of mastitis. I will make a special post about mastitis later. As I am writing this now I realize I don't want to remember how awful things were. And sadly I actually don't remember a lot of the wonderful and amazing people who came to visit me and deliver tremendous kindness and gorgeous gifts during this time. I think I should wait till a time this nightmare is further away - in a past that can never come back to remember to recount exactly what happened.