Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pressure Cooker

The week after the girls was born was one of the biggest whirlwinds of my life. I had every intention of documenting the girls first few days in detail so that none of us would forget those little precious details. I especially wanted to do this since we are pretty sure they are our last little itty babies. Unfortunately some medical issues of my own have taken over and I haven't accomplished what I really wanted to.

At the end of the pregnancy my blood pressure kept creeping up a little bit more but was in a 'normal' range for pregnancy. The day the girls were born it got really high and just stayed that way. The doctors termed it gestational hypertension since I wasn't spilling protein into my urine before delivery it wasn't considered pre-eclampsia. Normally a day or two after delivery blood pressure should start to return to normal. In this case I am not normal. I'm one of the lucky few people who has developed postpartum hypertension. My blood pressure has done nothing but go up. In fact I believe it's now higher than it was when I was still pregnant and when I was having the girls. From the limited info I've been able to find it peaks for most people around 3-6 days after delivery. By the time the girls were 6 days old my blood pressure was still high even with some meds.

Thursday night, June 2, was one of the scariest nights of my life. While we were feeding the girls my nurse came in to check my blood pressure and it was 200+/110 - NOT GOOD. The next several readings stayed the same. At it's highest it reached 209/120. At that moment it didn't sink in just how dangerous that was. Petey finished feeding the girls and got them back to nursery. In those few minutes one of the nurses moved me to a bigger room, started a catheter for a urine sample, got an IV in me & started pushing drugs, took 3 blood pressure readings and had the lab up there drawing blood. They also put padding on the side of the bed in case I started having a seizure. They were concerned I had developed postpartum pre-eclampsia which would be a very bad thing. The one piece of good news was that all my labs came back negative for pre-eclampsia which meant that I indeed had horrible hypertension. The IV meds & lasix they pushed that night did help bring my numbers down and I slept fantastic thanks to some Ambien. However, the next day my numbers came back up. I also felt awful but I attribute a lot of that to my milk coming in.

On Monday (when I orginally started writing this) there was not a ton of improvement. Thursday (6/2) I was started on 100mg of Labetolol which was upped to 200mg Friday. Sunday I finally consulted with a doctor from internal medicine who upped my Labetolol to 200mg three times a day and added in apresoline three times a day as well. When that didn't help to bring down the numbers significantly overnight he upped my apresoline to 25mg from 10mg. Today my blood pressure has been on a crazy roller coaster. My bottom number has consistently stayed around 90-100 which is way too high for my comfort and my top number has gone from the 160's to the 190's which is again too high.

I kept riding this roller coaster and getting more and more discouraged for the next day or so. It got to the point that I would break down and cry every time they took my blood pressure because I was so frustrated with my body. No one had any answers as to why this was happening and the meds didn't seem to be doing much of anything. I had several breakdowns in front of the nurses and even more when it was just me and Petey. I never dreamed it would be ME keeping us in the hospital and not the girls. They were discharged on June 6 and 'guested' in my room with Petey. Elliot's birthday was on my mind and, again, I never dreamed that I would miss it because I was stuck in the hospital but as the days drug on that seemed more and more a real possibility and that REALLY brought me down. Every single time I even tried to mention it to the nurses and doctors I would end up a blubbering mess. It really tore me up to think about missing his birthday especially since at that point it had been nearly a week since I'd even seen them. Mommy guilt was setting in pretty deep and I didn't think I was going to be able to handle missing that big day. Yes, odds are he wouldn't have known the difference but *I* would have!

So, Tuesday (6/7) I had finally had enough. I had one of the nurses I really liked (Barb) and that I felt really comfortable talking to. Dr. Witthoeft also was aware of how badly I wanted to be home by Thursday & promised she would do what she could to make that happen. They were able to get Dr. Johnson from Internal Medicine to come in and talk to me. I told him how frustrated and discouraged I was and how I *needed* to be home by Thursday. I kept trying to explain to everyone that the girls weren't my only kids and that I desperately needed to get back to being Mommy to my other two. He seemed to understand I wasn't doing well and decided to be much more aggressive. We ended up doubling the two meds I was on. The result was like magic. It brought my blood pressure down to a range I hadn't seen it in for months which was fantastic! This time it was happy tears that I was crying. For the first time in what felt like an enternity I felt hopeful that I might finally get to go home!!

Wednesday things continued to look good but I refused to get my hopes up too high. Finally I got word from Dr. Labeau (the OB on call) that I was good to go home from her point of view. Dr. Barsch from internal medicine came to talk to me and agreed as well that I was at a good enough point to go home. All of a sudden Petey and I were packing like crazy people and he was taking stuff out to load up. It seemed a bit surreal as I had begun to feel like I was going to be stuck in that little room f.o.r.e.v.e.r. We had to make a couple stops to pick up a blood pressure monitor and some prescriptions but we made it home late that afternoon.

Home was a feeling I don't really know how to describe. It was fantastic. And CLEAN. Our parents left the house almost sparkling which was so nice to come home too. It was also very quiet. Too quiet. The big kids weren't coming back until the next day so I enjoyed the quiet as much as I could. My bed slept really, really that night ;)

No comments: