Remember last year how I fooled a bunch of you on April first with a fake pregnancy announcement? Well, Karma came back to bite me. This year I was the butt of a very, very bad April Fool's Day joke. Last year I was faking a pregnancy; this year I was in the hospital praying that my real baby was ok and not about to be born 9 weeks early...
Monday evening after work I was feeling great. So great that I went to the hospital to visit my friend Jenny who had just delivered her precious little boy, Henry! He really is just the cutest little guy ever and I'm so glad I got to meet him. He and his mama both seem to be doing very well!
I left the hospital around 7:00 and ran through the Burger King drive-thru to grab some dinner on my way home (the fact that I can actually type that sentence without dry-heaving means I've come a long, long way in the last 24 hours). I made it home just in time to spend a few minutes with my pajama-clad little lady and help put her to bed. I ironed my clothes for the next day and went about my normal night-time routine.
I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed at ten o'clock - just two hours shy of April Fool's Day - when everything started to go downhill. I'll try to be vague here to spare you the details, but there was an urgent need to use the restroom. Just a few minutes later I climbed into bed and hoped that was the end of that.
Spoiler alert: it was not the end of that. I never turned my light out that night because I never got the opportunity to lay down and go to sleep. I got hit by the meanest, ugliest, most violent stomach bug (or was it food poisoning?) ever that had me held hostage in the bathroom ALL night long. There were times when I thought the fun might be over but could only sneak out of the bathroom for about ten minutes before running back in. It was bad. Number of clothing changes during the night: five. Number of pairs of pajamas that just had to be thrown away: one. Number of very necessary middle-of-the-night showers taken: one. It was a super special kind of hell that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Around 5:00am, I crawled into the bedroom and told Matt I didn't think I could do it anymore. Yes, 5:00am...and it started at 10:00pm. That's seven hours straight for those of you who struggle with math. :) I knew I was dehydrated. I was scared out of my mind that it would never end and what it was doing to my baby. But my biggest worry was how to get somewhere for help. I wasn't sure I had a big enough window to actually travel anywhere.
Matt called my mom who rushed over so she could stay with Katie Wynn. Bless her heart for not only taking care of KW, but also for exposing herself to me. While Matt loaded the car with towels and garbage bags and outfit changes, she got to pass me some wet rags as I hugged the porcelain throne.
We have a local hospital about 15 minutes from us and another bigger one in the city about 20 minutes away. The hospital I wanted to go to, though - the one where I delivered Katie Wynn and will deliver this little boy - is at least a 45 minute drive. I was terrified I wouldn't make it but told Matt to head that way anyway. I knew the care would be better there, especially for the baby.
We arrived at the emergency room right at 6:00am and couldn't have had better timing. We walked straight to the front desk and - thanks to having already preregistered all of our information for our upcoming delivery - were able to be taken straight back to a room. I don't know that we could've planned our arrival any more perfectly. The ER was quiet so we had a room of our own and lots of attention right away. I was immediately hooked up to a bag of fluids (after having blood drawn) to start getting hydrated.
If I thought the seven hours in my bathroom at home were hell, well then, I don't know what word to use to describe the first five-ish hours in the ER. I'm really trying not to go into too much detail here (I'm sure you can use your imagination though) but there are definitely two words you don't really ever want to hear while in the ER: bedside toilet. And here's another tip: if you ever find yourself heading to the ER with a stomach bug, they won't give you anything to stop it. Nope, they'll give you fluids to rehydrate but if there's a bug or virus inside you, it's "best for it to work its way out on its own." So then you'll just be having your twenty-minute-interval exorcisms in the presence of others. Super, I tell ya.
I received three bags of fluid very quickly - I'd guess about a bag an hour - and was still completely dehydrated. I also received three doses of zofran that did nothing to stop my nausea and vomiting. Around 11:00am is when I really broke down. My mom had texted and said that Katie Wynn had thrown up and all I could think about was how I had given it to her and I wasn't even there to take care of her. The tears came quickly.
And then, miraculously, the nausea and vomiting stopped. Matt says the bug just wanted my tears and that's why it finally stopped. I say it could've had my tears a heck of a lot earlier if it had left me any fluid to produce them.
Shortly after 12 I was finally given permission to try to drink something. You have no idea how excited I was to hear this! Even with all the vomiting, I just kept feeling so dang thirsty. All I wanted was gatorade and, as luck would have it, the vending machines were all out. Poor Matt had to hop in the car to run and get some. (Let's just all take a moment to give him a huge shout-out for actually coming back and not leaving me throughout this whole ordeal. He's a really good man, I tell ya.)
Things finally started looking up from here. I was able to finish a 12oz bottle of Gatorade and keep it down. The ER doctor told us we were ready to be moved to the labor and delivery ward so they could monitor the baby better. I have completely left that out of the story but the baby's heartbeat was checked when we got there and seemed to be fine and I wasn't feeling any contractions. We didn't get checked into the L&D room until about 3:00pm. They had done more urine analysis by then and decided more fluids were still necessary so I was hooked up to bag #4, but this time it was a much slower drip. My obgyn was out of the office for the day so we were admitted under the care of one of her colleagues. They hooked my belly up and monitored the baby for an hour and everything checked out fine. Thank the Lord!
Around 4:00pm we learned that I would have to stay the night. My heart rate was still high and they wanted to try to get it lowered. I have a high heart rate on a good day - which we told them numerous times - but the lowest it had been all day was 123 (which is apparently high...) and they were concerned. I had had an EKG done before leaving the ER, though, and everything was normal.
At 6:00pm I moved into ante-partum room for the night. I was starting to feel a lot more stable. Matt had run home to get clothes and to get Katie Wynn and Lolli settled at my parents' house for the night. Thankfully, Katie Wynn had not been sick any more throughout the day so I was assuming her morning episode was a fluke. Matt and I hung out and watched TV before bed - a rare treat for us, actually! I did spike a slight fever that night so I took tylenol before going to sleep. It was short-lived though because when I woke up for my first bathroom break of the evening, I was drenched in sweat. Bag #5 of fluids was started at some point during the night after my IV machine started beeping like crazy at me.
I was pretty much convinced that I'd gotten food poisoning from Burger King until I talked to my mom the next morning and learned that my Dad now had it. Thankfully, she got Katie Wynn out the door to daycare without coming into contact with him. By then I was feeling much better, mostly just sore and tired. I was allowed to eat bland foods which all stayed down and I even got to take a shower - I was thrilled!
My doctor came to check me out around 1:00 that afternoon and said I could be discharged! By then, I was on bag #6 of fluids and my fingers looked like little sausages. Matt had gone to work for the day so Mom came to pick me up and take me home. I made quick work of lysol-ing our entire house before collapsing into the chair for another nap. Having a stomach bug is exhausting!
Now I'm feeling much, much better. The biggest complaint I had at discharge was a sore chest and painful cough. Apparently that's a parting gift you can get from the dry air in the hospital. Hopefully it'll clear up soon.
So that's my very long-winded excuse for not having blogged at all this week. I don't have an excuse for the week before it but the good news is that since I'm being forced to rest and take it easy, maybe I'll actually have time to get caught up on some posts! We'll see...just typing this one made me ready for a nap...