24 April 2014

How the zebra got her scars, Pt. 1

27 Jan 2010, 1930 -  Not feeling well, my legs are swollen, my ankles hurt, my face hurts. Walked to the Y from the house to swim and had to stop several times to catch my breath. Something isn’t right, thank goodness I have a check-up tomorrow.

28 Jan 2010, 0800 – Arrived at the Naval Hospital for my 37-week check-up.  I am 167 pounds. My blood pressure is 172/112, apparently this is a screaming red flag, in addition to the swelling, and the positive test for ureic protein. I have severe pre-eclampsia. They are admitting me. I contact my command and K’s command. They pull him out of the field.   
29 Jan 2010, 1300 – After almost 29 hours of attempting to induce labor, my kidneys begin to fail and I am rushed away for an emergent c-section.  My daughter comes into the world early but strong and with no issues of her own. I start having breathing problems and can’t get air, it turns out I am over-anaesthetized; I get taken to the recovery room where I remain for three hours, away from my little one.  They keep me on oxygen when they bring me back to my room.

29 Jan 2010, 1830 – I hurt, not just a discomfort, but real pain. On my right side and every time I move it hurts more, searing up through my abdomen and my chest. I am told this is normal. My daughter is with me and K. is taking a nap.  They draw my blood.

29 Jan 2010, 2300 – I tell the overnight attending that the pain is getting worse. They say that “all my vitals are checking normal” and it’s just the after-pain from the c-section. They check to see if I am bleeding externally. I am not.

30 Jan 2010, 0030 – They draw my blood. I tell the nurse it hurts.

30 Jan 2010, 0400 – I have not slept, it hurts so bad. I haven’t really eaten and trying to breastfeed hasn’t been working so well. K. is exhausted and trying to sleep. My daughter is also resting. I tell the nurse it hurts.

30 Jan 2010, 0600 – They draw my blood.  I am tired. And cold. I tell the nurse it hurts.

30 Jan 2010, 0800 – A new doctor comes in with an ultrasound, says he is going to scan my abdomen to see if he can determine why I might be in so much pain. After he is done, I start trying to feed my daughter.  K. is sound asleep.  The doctor returns less than 10 minutes later, with two nurses holding bags of blood, an anesthesiologist, a cardiologist and another surgeon, as well as a document saying I give them permission to open me back up since they think I am bleeding internally.  My daughter is pulled from me, still hungry and over my protests. I hear the doctor ask the nurses what they are waiting for but I don’t hear their reply. I only hear the doctor say, 'All that blood must be in her before we leave this room.’  The anesthesiologist says, ‘I need to do this now.’  I say, “Can someone please wake up my husband and tell him what is going on?”

I don't have a conscious memory of what happens next.

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