Thursday, May 31, 2012

This isn't the normal...

That's what they kept telling me the 2 and a half weeks after I had John William.

After I had John Will I was cloud 9, you couldn't scrape the smile off my face or make me slow down, I was running strong on adrenaline and loving every minute of it.  I had John William on Tuesday and we left to go home on Friday afternoon.  My mom was flying in that afternoon and I was so excited about seeing her.  She was all that was missing during delivery- you know everyone needs there moms hand to hold during that!  But know she was coming had me very excited.  She had booked her flight for that Friday thinking she'd have a few days BEFORE our little bundle of joy got here, John Will wasn't waiting!  God totally worked this out, because my mom being there later was exactly what we needed.

Like I said, we went home on Friday the 4th and I was still feeling good, just very tired.  Brett and I were filled with emotions about being home with our son, OUR SON, for the first time all by ourselves (yes mom was in the next room, but still we were in total control!).  The first night was... crazy!  Our sweet little angel decided to stay up all.night.long.  Poor guy was hungry and I just wasn't able to give him enough food.  The next day we went back to the hospital for a weight check and decided to begin supplementing with formula.  We then had a very happy boy.  I was still feeling ok, I was just tired and wasn't hungry for any kind of food, I began making myself eat- well, mom made me start eating.  Sunday afternoon is when my stomach began hurting and my head began pounding, I thought this was all normal.  The next day I started throwing up and just wanted to lay in the bed.  Luckily mom was here to take care of John William, and me.  I was so weak and my head was hurting so badly, I felt like all my numbers inside had bottomed out, so I called the my hematologist and they told me to come on in.  I went in and my numbers were indeed low, but my blood pressure was high.  My hematologist is at the Cancer Center which is connected to the hospital and my OB/GYN's office, so I was wheeled over to their office.  The doctor on call saw me and said that because my blood pressure was so high he was going to have to admit me to the hospital for monitoring.  So then, I was wheeled once again from their office to the OB floor of DCH.  I got hooked up to IV fluids and a bag of magnesium to help with the blood pressure.  My stomach was still hurting so they gave me a dose of Zofran.  The next day I began feeling better but had to stay another night to monitor me off of the magnesium and on the blood pressure medicine they gave me.  My blood pressure came down, but was still on the higher end of normal.  Dr. D came and checked on me every day, encouraging me that all was going to be ok, and that this was probably just continued from the preeclampsia.  She ordered tests to be run on my heart just to make sure, and of course, all was ok.  The next day we got the ok to home.  This was Thursday the 10th.  That morning, while still at the hospital, I began throwing up again.  They gave me some more zofran, but it really didn't help.  I probably should have taken this as a sign to stay at the hospital, but I was ready to get home, and be with my baby!

When we got home Thursday afternoon I ended up going right back in the bed with my stomach hurting.  I had a prescription for Zofran and Phenegren, they didn't seem to work, they really just made me drowsy to sleep through it.  By Saturday morning I was weak as I could be.  I remember Brett asking me how was I doing and I looked at him and muttered, I don't even think I can talk.  So, it was off to the emergency room.  Because I had been throwing up so much, and couldn't keep anything down we knew I was dehydrated so we were hoping they could let us know what was going on and pump me up with fluids.  They ran several tests and scans on my stomach, but nothing showed up.  They gave me 2 bags of fluids and said I probably just had a bug.  They said they'd keep me there if I wanted, but there was really no reason.  So back home we went.  Back to the bed I went.  By this time my mom had gone back home and Brett's mom took over.  Without these two we'd have been in a heap of trouble.  I wasn't able to even hold my head up so there was no way I could take care of a baby, and Brett was taking care of me.. and working.. and dealing with the building of our house.

Monday I had a follow up appointment with Dr. D, and I'm so glad I did.  We went in, me still throwing up, and she pretty much took one look at me and knew something wasn't right.  She wanted to a full scan of my lower stomach and all the things that are in that area (gall bladder, intestines, etc.).  So once again, I was wheeled from her office back to the OB floor of the hospital.  They gave me a dose of Zofran and then another kind of nausea medicine called Raglan.  My body did not like this combination, along with the Compasine and Phinigren I'd been taking all weekend long.  I had an allergic reaction.  It was crazy!  My body just tensed up and I couldn't relax.  I basically would curl up into a ball and my head was going all the way backward until it touched the back of my neck/shoulders and I would shake.  It was like mini seisures.  I was concerned, Brett was concerned.  It got to the point where I couldn't get out of the ball.  The nurse came in and told me they had ordered some Benedryl and I'd have it soon and once I took it I should be back to 'normal' in about an hour.  I took it and was about an hour before I could finally relax, when I did, I was afraid to move in case it started again!  I ended up having to do one more round of Benedryl and the symptoms never returned.

The Doctor came in that night and we finally got some answers.  All my tests came back normal.  There was a little sign of infection near some of the stitches that I got from my 4th degree tear, and that's what they said couldn't started the throwing up.  He said because I lost so much blood during delivery, pumping/breast feeding, and the throwing up my body couldn't catch up.  My body was empty of all the 'good stuff' that it needed to keep going at such a fast pace (or any pace) and it wasn't replenishing itself.  My hemoglobin was still very low and I wasn't making any blood and my key tones were dangerously low. He said I needed fluids, and lots of them.  I was on a liquid diet and I needed to try and eat anything I could, and bump up to solid food the next day.  It was so comforting to hear that I wasn't crazy- and wasn't going to be throwing up and have stomach pains the rest of my life.  There really wasn't one big thing wrong with me, just a lot of little things that continued to add up.  Dr. D assured me that they weren't going to blow me off as a crazy patient, and they didn't.  She did every test until we got answers, and she continuously checked on me.  I stayed another 2 nights and it was time to go home again.  I was nervous.  This time though I was good.  I don't even know how many bags of fluids they pumped in me, but it was alot!  By the time I left the hospital I was eating solid foods, bland, but solid foods.  It took about a week for me to get my strength back where I felt like I could be normal and have fear of passing out or not having enough strength to hold John William in his car seat.  But now, I'm good.

During this time, especially the begining, I was having very real depressing thoughts.  I thought I can't do this.  My body isn't strong enough, they warned me about having children and I didn't listen.  I was so scared Brett and I had made a huge mistake.  I didn't feel worthy.  I don't even know how many people we had praying for us, but I know it was more than I can imagine.  And it wasn't long before I was at peace about everything.  All the negative and depressing thoughts left me, and God reassured me that I could do this, and He gave us this precious child, this gift, because He knows we can do it.  The prayers got us through, got me well, and kept our heads up during this very trying time.

I have to give HUGE PRAISE to my husband.  He spent 10 days in the hospital with me.  He never left me.  He went to doctors appointments with me, dropped whatever he was doing for me.  He had to do some uncomfortable things (things where modesty goest straight out the window) and never complained.  He did whatever was necessary to make me feel better and ease my pain.  He had John William duty and I couldn't even get out of the bed to help him.  He would be sitting with me dealing with work issues on the phone and his computer and answering his other phone to make sure contractors were doing what they were suppose to be doing at our house so we can be move in just a couple weeks.  He slept in an awful chair while nurses came in and out all through the night.  He held my hand and kissed my forehead.  He was definitely submitting to me like he promised he would on our wedding day.  I thank God for my partner in this life, I am so blessed.  He got me through delivery and got me through the weeks to come.  Thank you Brett, I love you!!

Since all of this, I have been back to my hematologist and Dr. D.  Everything seems to be healing just fine and my hemoglobin and other numbers have all gone up on their own, praise the Lord!!!  I go back in a couple weeks, and I feel like everything is still continuing to go up as it should!  I've been able to now get off the blood pressure medicine, I just have to check it on my own to make sure I'm staying in the normal range.  We are so thankful.  Thank you to Dr. D and all the nurses I had at DCH, they all made a not so fun experience a lot better.  We prayed for the right doctors to be in place from the very beginning and God answered that prayer.  Thank you God, the ultimate healer, for getting us through and allowing us to now begin this new normal life.


  1. Wow, Crystal, bless your heart! I can not imagine everything you have been through. Dealing with the emotions, feeding, new baby and all that goes along with those is enough without everything you have been through! You are such a trooper! So glad your mom could be there and Mrs. Sharon. Sounds like Brett was amazing too. Hate things got off to a rough start but so glad everything has leveled out and your are feeling much better and can enjoy being mama. You are great to share your story and such an inspiration to others and show what the Ultimate Healer is capable of. God is good and I know is using you to His glory. Will keep up the prayers for you guys!

  2. Hey Crystal,
    Thanks so much for sharing this! We are so glad you are feeling better! We have been praying for you! John William is so precious! We are so excited for you! We cannot wait to meet him sometime soon (hopefully this winter!). Blessings, Lauren (and Travis too!)

  3. Thank you for your sweet words.. Elizabeth, there were so many times that I was going to call you because I remember you had a rough run with Mastitis, but got through it all the better!! And might I add that you and David are quite an inspiration.. Having a child while your husband is in the heart of medical school, being away from family, and finishing medical school is so huge, and then moving across country!! Y'all are pretty awesome and we are so proud for y'all!! I know y'all prayed fervently to be in the right place, so we are excited to see what great things come!!

    Lauren! So good to hear from you! Thanks so much for the prayers, they definitely got us through!! I hope you and Travis are doing well, from what I see on facebook and through Fort Deposit y'all are. We'd love to see y'all this winter, I really hope that works out!!!

    1. Crystal! that is really sweet of you. Please, please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can ever do or help...even if it is something small or big, chances are I have been there. I don't have all the answers but I most likely can say whatever it is won't last forever or it gets better : ) Always here...that's what blogs and emails are for! I emailed a girl I was friends with at Auburn randomly to ask about her little boys' sleep...because Owen has never been the best sleeper. I am definitely always learning, it's something new every day. Enjoy reading about your sweet life friend.