Thursday, December 8, 2016

Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

I didn't think I would need two parts for Lincoln's Birth Story, but by the time I finished typing it up it was rather lengthy. So here is PART TWO! And if you missed PART ONE click here.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

The anesthesiologist said it indeed sounded like a spinal headache caused from the epidural. I'd never heard of such a thing before but apparently I was leaking spinal fluid out of the hole where I got my epidural. And, that caused my brain to become unbalanced which results in one hell of a headache. It felt like I had no strength in my neck to hold my head up and it was a beast trying to look down at Lincoln to nurse him.  The anesthesiologist recommended that I get a blood patch which basically patches the hole with a blood clot. I was sold on the instant relief bit, but I had to wait until the following morning to get it done.

By that point I was feeling weak and lightheaded from the headache so I wasn't allowed to get out of bed especially if I was holding Lincoln. The nurse helped me feed Lincoln on my side, which I'd never caught the hang of while nursing Aria so that was a game changer. Thankfully remaining horizontal kept the headache to a dull pain, so I did my best to stay in that position until the next morning.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

Chris and Aria came up to the hospital in the morning so they could stay in the room with Lincoln while I was getting the blood patch done. I got wheeled away on a stretcher which was a new experience, and the overhead lights were really awful since I was also light and sound sensitive.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

Getting a blood patch is similar to getting another epidural. Local anesthetic, don't move, pressure, etc. However, the anesthesiologist could not find the spot that he needed. He sure tried though...over and over. Then he called in another anesthesiologist who tried a few more times before he did eventually find the right spot. The right spot sent a shock up and down my spine which made me jump a mile. And then I was promptly terrified that I just ruined my spine since they strongly suggest that you do NOT move. It was apparently fine.

For the blood part of the blood patch they take blood from an IV and squirt it into the spine...that "right spot" they found. I had an IV in each crook of my arm (always fun). They didn't want the one in my left arm (I have no idea why) and the one in my right arm bent so it was no longer functional. Instead, they used the back of my hand which was another fun experience. Then the anesthesiologist says to let him know when the pressure is unbearable because that is the desired amount of blood he wants to use. Have I made this sound delightful enough yet?

We got to that unbearable amount of pressure and the headache just melted almost totally away. I had just a slight headache remaining around my forehead. However, my back, shoulders, and neck were all protesting. I could barely move or turn my head. It felt like I had objects in my spine...I even asked because I was scared to stretch my back. And then I sat and sat, and waited to be taken back to my room. I have no idea how long the blood patch took or how long afterwards I was waiting, but four hours later I made it back to my room.

For the record, I am no expert on any of this. I'm just sharing what I was told, or even my interpretation of what I was told since the anesthesiologist explained it in much more detail. And the two anesthesiologists that performed the blood patch used all sorts of big words that I promptly forgot. Also, my ligaments in my spine are shorter than usual (I'm like 70% sure that is what they said anyway...) which is why it was so hard for them to successfully administer the blood patch. I hear that usually the blood patch is fairly painless and pretty much just takes the one try to find the spot. I'm just lucky, no?

I wasn't allowed to eat anything before the blood patch so I was starving. My nurse brought in a tray of hospital food that I inhaled while getting the paperwork done so I could be discharged as soon as possible.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two
Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

We eventually made it home as a family of four!

But, I could not move. Every position was uncomfortable. So, everything fell on Chris - taking care of me, Aria, and a newborn.

The next day was Thanksgiving, and I tried to help out with the cooking but I ended up back on the couch. And, while I tried to ignore it my headache slowly got worse and worse until it was right back to a spinal headache. I watched the Macy's Parade, snuggled both of my babies, and Chris made a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, but I ended the day crying from the pain.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

Chris called the hospital's anesthesia services because they said to call if the headache came back. Apparently I wasn't discharged with the papers for 'what to do after getting a blood patch'. No bending, no lifting anything over 5 lbs (Lincoln weighed 7 lbs), ice your spine (which actually hurt too much for me to keep up with), and take pain killers. I was taking pain killers but not enough. So, I was back to staying horizontal and doing only the things I absolutely had to do.

Thankfully my back was feeling much better by Saturday (Nov. 26th) and my headache was almost gone by Monday (Nov. 28th). I was scared that the headache was there to stay for the next 3+ weeks because the anesthesiologist said that the hole will heal by itself but it could take up to 7 weeks. I'm not sure if the blood patch didn't work or if it just took some time to work. Tuesday (Dec. 6th) was the first day I didn't have a headache since the day after Lincoln was born, and I'm pretty sure I will never be getting an epidural again.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two
Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

Talk about a challenging start to being a family of four. I'm definitely glad to be on the other side of that spinal headache. And, while Aria has been great with the transition it was a bit much for her when mom was stuck in a horizontal position and dad was juggling all the balls. She was feeling jealous and left out which resulted in extra dramatics, but as soon as I could be a bit more mobile she started feeling herself again. She has been super into snuggling baby brother and holding him for all of 25 seconds and helping with buttons and diaper tabs etc. She has also been copying me with her baby Stella doll - she's even borrowed the boppy so she can nurse her doll. =) I can only hope she continues to love it especially as baby brother gets bigger and older and able to interact with her more. Right now it is hard to even imagine that, but I'm excited to see their relationship grow with each week and month and year. Just not too fast please.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln's Birth Story | Part Two

16 comments:

  1. oh my goodness my dear! I am so sorry you had to go through that. I'm glad you are feeling better now!!

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  2. Oh my goodness. That all sound SO terrible. So glad it healed so quickly and that you are now headache free!

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  3. Wow. I'm so sorry this happened to you! This sounds terrifying! On top of all the other aches and pains having a new baby does to you. Ugh. So so so glad you're past the hump now!

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  4. So glad that got worked out and that it's gone, for a while there, I thought mine would never go away either. Mine wasn't nearly as bad as you, as long as I didn't look down I was okay. Yay for being a family of 4 and having a hubby who cooks! Mine wouldn't know the first thing to do int he kitchen!

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  5. Oh gosh. This sounds so awful. So glad that you are doing better now. I love the picture of Aria and Lincoln in the bed!

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  6. Oh man, that's rough! I'm sorry you had to go through that. When you told me about your headache, I had no idea it entailed all that. I'm glad you're on the other side of it though; I'm sure those days at home were pretty tough. I love that last picture of all of you though at Disney Springs! :)

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  7. Holy cow!! That is so awesome. I am so sorry friend. Thank goodness it went away and you could get back to normal and enjoy your time with those babies of yours.

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  8. Yeah, your experience pretty much scared me off of epidurals soooo heres hoping for a quick birth of an imaginary third baby lol. So thankful you are finally back to yourself because recouping from giving birth isnt hard enough on its own. Bless you friend.

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  9. Oh goodness, this made me cringe so bad. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. I'm glad you were feeling better pretty quickly. But it really makes me nervous about getting another epidural...but I'll probably be screaming something different if I'm back in the situation. ;)

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  10. Man, I'm so sorry you experienced all of that. Exactly zero fun. However, it's so good to hear that seems to be behind you.
    And the sibling relationship bit? It is seriously more precious than gold.

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  11. Definitely not the experience you had in mind. :( So glad you are feeling better and way to go Chris for stepping up! (I'm sure he would have anyway, but what a shock it must have been for him, too!) Beautiful little family you have. :)

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  12. You poor, poor thing, that sounds horrible but I am so glad that you are feeling better. & way to go, Chris, for holdin' down the fort for you & the babes.

    By the way, I love the picture of your babes laying in bed, Aria is sure a proud big sister. :)

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  13. What a horrible, horrible side effect to the epidural! Glad you came through but can't even imagine dealing with all of that!

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  14. Goodness. From the minute you told me about this spinal headache, I felt incredibly bad for you. I mean, what a way to start our your new family of four life. BUT I am SO SO glad that everything is back to normal now! So crazy how something so wonderful (an epidural, or so you think) could do something so painful. Yikes.

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  15. Oh my goodness. Blood makes me squeamish so I had to skip over a few bits but I still got the gist that that was AWFUL. No more epidural for me either. And probably just no more babies period. So glad that headache didn't last weeks and sorry you had to go through that.

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  16. Oh my word! That doesn't sound pleasant at all. This same thing happened to our Youth Minister's wife. She ended up having to have three blood patches done. I'm glad the headache finally went away.

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