the baby rollercoaster...

>> April 26, 2011

It's been a rough month, y'all!

For about three weeks I'd been feeling really terrible - exhausted, lethargic, completely worn down. I assumed it was normal late-third-trimester joys, until I fainted in Target a couple of weeks ago. My doctor's office told me to go to the Emergency Room and make sure everything was okay. I'm sooo not the kind of person who runs to the ER every time I feel dizzy, but this time I'm glad I did.

Blood tests revealed that I was severely anemic, with about half the normal volume of blood in my body (instead of twice the normal volume as it should be when you're pregnant), as well as low potassium and very low blood pressure. The doctors were puzzled, since all my blood work had come back normal only 3 or 4 weeks earlier.

After 8.5 hours on my back on a stretcher in the ER (not fun at 36 weeks pregnant!), and fainting a second time, I was transferred at midnight from our local ER to the downtown Atlanta hospital where I had planned to have the baby.

Two transfusions, three days, and four units of blood later - I was discharged as "stable" and sent to my regular weekly OB checkup with my doctor across the street. Still fainting and dizzy, with lab numbers that were barely reaching the minimum "okay" levels, and feeling no better after all the blood transfusions, my doctor sent me back across the street to be readmitted.

More blood labs. (Don't they know that there's no point in giving you blood if they're just going to take it all away again?!? Sheesh.) Tests and consults with a hematologist. No clear answers.

Tests and consults with a cardiologist. More blood labs. Diagnosis of dysautonomia and orthostatic hypostasis, compounded by pregnancy. (Basically those big words mean that 1)my automatic systems - like blood pressure and pulse rates - don't function correctly and sometimes do the opposite of what they're supposed to, and 2)instead of constricting to recycle used blood back to my heart and brain, the veins in my legs relax and let it stay there.)

Which still didn't answer the sudden drop in iron levels from 12 down to 5. Or the reason why I didn't have enough blood in my body, even though I wasn't bleeding anywhere internally.

Two more days in the hospital. Endless worry about our 17-month old son being juggled by friends and relatives back at home. Lots and LOTS of prayers. More dizziness and fainting spells. Not able to stand up and walk without losing consciousness.

Friday night, I was sent home on strict bedrest, until my doctor was back in town to make a decision about early delivery or not. Saturday afternoon, my awesome nurse-PH went to the ER himself. He'd been getting me some ice water when the icemaker got jammed. As he tried to pull it out of the freezer door, it flew back and hit him squarely in the mouth, causing deep lacerations. When it rains, it pours! This week we spent more time in medical facilities than in the entire 8 years of our marriage combined!

On Monday our doctor said we could have the baby that week. Wednesday morning, 6 AM, found us driving the hour back to the hospital, this time headed straight to the Labor & Delivery wing.

At 9:22 AM, Sophíe Alexandria Grace was born, healthy and strong @ 7 lbs 5.5 oz, 21 inches long, and 37 weeks 1 day gestation. Sophíe @ 2 days old...
They kept her in the Transitional Special Care Unit for 6 hours or so, making sure her lungs were fine, and checking to see if my anemia had affected her iron levels. Everything came back clear and strong, and after several agonizing hours of waiting - she finally came to stay in our room.

So it's been a little crazy - and I probably won't be up to posting much original material for a little while here on CLUTCH. But I want to thank you all for your prayers and Facebook messages and texts and voicemails. You are all just wonderful!
...1 day old...
In the meantime, Veronica will be holding down the fort, and we have lots of guest posts lined up from other great PW writers.

Lots of love,

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Joy Dombrow April 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM  


I have been thinking of and praying for you. I am glad that you made it through your pregnancy safe and sound and that beautiful little Sophie has arrived. I am praising God with you! I hope that you all recover from these crazy weeks quickly.

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