This journey isn't over yet!
In my last blog, I mentioned I was unwell and recovering in the special care unit after my caesarean. 2 days pass, and overnight my temperature is going up to 40 degrees. Unusual, and unsafe would be an understatement. Doctors coming in day in, day out. Night after night, blood test after blood test. Trying to work out why my temperature is spiking so high. My temperature is 40 degrees, but I am shaking and shivering. I feel freezing cold. While the nurses layer me with heated blankets and give me as much medicine as possible to bring my temperature down, we don't know what's causing this. There’s an infection somewhere, that's pretty evident, right? but where? No one knows. Blood tests are coming back normal, which doesn’t make sense. Sent for ultrasounds and CT scans. They all return normal. 2 weeks pass and I'm on a sepsis pathway. Sepsis pathway you ask? Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection that can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. In other words, it’s your body’s overactive and toxic response to an infection. (https://www.sepsis.org/sepsis-basics/what-is-sepsis/). I'm sure most of us have had some sort of infection and had some antibiotics and we're all good to go, with no mention of sepsis. It's okay, don't panic. Just because you get an infection, doesn't mean it will become septic. Sepsis is quite serious and isn't as common as it may sound while reading this. Kind of like all the other things that have gone on throughout this pregnancy, labour and post labour. There's quite a trend in unfortunate events if you hadn't already noticed haha. By this point, I’ve now missed my nursing graduation. I’ve been in the hospital for days, weeks, and now months! Wanting to go home more than ever, wanting my baby with me. It's just not possible. Sepsis is serious and although I feel quite "fine", I'm not. My body is struggling, my body is exhausted. It is fighting something a lot bigger on the inside than it seems to the natural eye. I’m in tears. I want my baby with me and I want this to be over. They still don’t know where this infection is and going home isn’t on the cards any time soon. I’m now begging to be taken back to theatre! Crazy right? Why would I want to go back to theatre? I am convinced my caesarean is infected and needs to be cleaned out. It’s red and it's inflamed. I ain't no doctor, but I am a nurse. I don’t have anything to lose. Nothing’s working. I’m on the strongest antibiotics and they aren’t even working. I’m unable to breastfeed because of these antibiotics so I’m expressing and pouring my milk down the drain (pumping and dumping as they would call it). Every specialist possible in the hospital has seen me to asses and they don’t even have answers. The complex care team that I’m under, aren’t convinced it's my wound. The ultrasounds aren’t showing any collections of puss. The weekend comes around and the doctor comes to asses, once again, as my temperature is still sitting around 40 degrees. The decision is made. Back to theatre I go. I had never been so excited to go to theatre at this point. I wake up with some good news and some bad news. I’m back in the special care unit with a blood transfusion. A blood transfusion? What has gone wrong now? I bled out. Losing a lot more blood than I should have. So in goes 2 bags of blood. Which is totally okay, it's an easy fix compared to everything else going on. Remember that straw sized cannula that I needed in case of a blood transfusion? Yeah well, I didn’t need it then. But I needed it this time around. Oh and how I mentioned they were struggling to find my veins because I had been in hospital with so many cannulas? I came out of theatre with a cannula in my FOOT! Yes, you read that correctly. My foot! Through my stocking and into my foot! We thought the struggle to find my veins before was bad? Well, it's worse now!
But the good news? I was right! It was my wound that was infected. In saying that though, they were also right. There were no collections of puss, but that’s because it wasn’t puss! It was dead tissue! Gross!! I know.
All happy days now right? I'm on the road to recovery? Well, that’s what we thought. Although I’m not quite finished with this hospital journey yet.
It's now Sunday the 8th of December! My birthday! How exciting, right? Well, not really that exciting. I'm still in the special care unit having a chat with my midwife because I'm basically best friends with them all by this point, right? Haha. Mid-sentence and I stopped breathing. Why? How? What? Gasping for air, my chest is tight. I can't breathe. The oxygen mask is put on, doctors, anesthetists, nurses and midwives all run in. Jake and my dad arrive at the hospital for my birthday, just as confused as the rest of us as to why I look worse than ever. The paramedics are called and it's been decided that I'm being transferred to ANOTHER hospital. A hospital that has ICU. Being transferred on to another bed with the paramedics and Jake’s family arrive for my birthday! A nice little hi and bye as Jake explains to them what is going on. At this point I had decided in my head, I wanted to dry my milk up. I was already “pumping and dumping” because Harri Leigh wasn’t allowed my milk while I was on such strong antibiotics and I didn’t want to run the risk of mastitis either. After everything, it would be just my luck that I would get another infection. So I had made my decision to dry up milk, despite all the nurses and midwives trying to convince me to keep expressing. I was too sick and I had made up my mind. I arrive at the next hospital and sent straight to ICU. The ICU doctors assess and I'm sent to have a CT scan on my chest, immediately. The results return and the doctors are pretty convinced they know what is wrong. The new antibiotics start, and by the next day, they’re starting to work. My temperature is coming down. I can breathe again and I'm not on oxygen anymore. The doctors come in and inform me of what has happened. I had aspiration pneumonia. How? And what from? Remember that blood transfusion I had in the second operation that I mentioned just a minute ago? While I was laying on the theatre table, and given the blood transfusion, some went down into my lungs and caused aspiration pneumonia. Now that we’ve solved ANOTHER problem (my last and final problem) and we know what's wrong, the antibiotics are working and I’m FINALLY on the mend. It is now Tuesday the 10th of December and I'm being discharged!! Yes, you read correctly, I’m being discharged! At last!! My 2-month hospital journey is at an end!
My baby girl is still in the nursery at the other hospital so as soon as I'm discharged, I go straight to see her where they inform me that she will be discharged this week now that I'm going home. This is by far one of the most exciting days! Discharged after 2 months in hospital and told Harri Leigh is coming home this week too! It’s nearly time to take my baby girl home and we couldn’t be more excited! Spending every day at the hospital with her, wishing each day that it was time to take her home. Thursday the 12th of December comes around and the nurses ask me to sleep in the nursery with Harri Leigh. As excited as ever, I couldn’t say yes quick enough! Leaving her each night to come home without her, broke my heart. So not having to leave her? 100% I will do that! To make it even better, when I leave the hospital on Friday after staying the night, so does Harri Leigh!!!
It’s now Friday the 13th of December, 6:30 am and Jake arrives at the hospital. 7 am and the doctors come in to say they are preparing her discharge information, along with all her specialist referrals. We are finally getting ready to go home. It’s now 9 am and I leave Harri Leigh in the nursery for the next 1-2 hours, the last time I will ever have to leave her! Why? so I can go have my stitches taken out from my second operation. Am I excited about this? Most certainly not, but once I leave this hospital I am never coming back! It is the last place I want to come back to for a long time. At last, my stitches are out, and back to the nursery Jake and I go with the capsule.
This long-awaited day has finally come! It’s time to bring our angel home!! We’ve made it! We’re all at home safe and sound! But is everything perfect? Am I feeling 100%? I wouldn’t say so, but I’m too scared to be admitted to hospital again. So as any new mum would do that doesn’t want to leave her baby. I suck it up and do everything I can to stay and recover at home while adapting to our new life with a newborn! Until next time -Madds & Harri Leigh x