Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Joy and Pain
When the kids came to see Katie at the hospital for the first time they brought three adorable balloons for her. They also worked at home on making Katie a "Zero Birthday" cake and getting her some gifts. For me they made cards and cleaned up the house. What more could a mom want?
I'm still sort of surprised every time I say "my 8 kids" or answer the question of "how many kids do you have?" I actually got that question quite a bit during my hospital stay. Of course, my hospital stay was longer than expected. Katie was born on Thursday night so I stayed until Saturday afternoon. Then, Saturday night I developed a bad fever that had me sweating with heat and freezing with chills so bad I was going into convulsions. I was laying in bed that night shaking so hard under a mountain of blankets that my muscles seized up and I couldn't control them. I also had intense belly, back, and head pain.
Sunday morning we called the midwives clinic and told them that this kept coming and going and my fever kept going higher. They told me to get examined right away. We spent an hour in the Urgent Care Clinic before they refused to treat me because I'd just recently given birth. So we returned to the hospital where I delivered Katie and they admitted me in the emergency room. I had a temperature of 104 by then. They hooked me up to an IV to start pumping me full of non-stop antibiotics which continued from Sunday until Tuesday night. They also did a chest x-ray and other tests to rule out lots of different kinds of infections or other problems. Periodically they'd come by and inject my belly and leg with a blood thinner to prevent blood clots. (let me just say OUCH!)
Eventually they decided that I had an infection of the uterus that was probably contracted during delivery. By Tuesday I was insisting that I had to go home and could not stay another night. The problem was that hospital rules wouldn't allow me to take care of Katie in my room by myself. With the added broken leg problem, I totally agreed. So Daniel had to stay the night with me so that he could help me nurse Katie and take care of her. Unfortunately we couldn't find any more people to stay with our kids. As it was, Daniel was running back and forth to the house to avoid breaking the "no more than six hours with a babysitter" rule for kids in foster care.
Even if we could have gotten the county to provide respite care that fast for four foster kids and transportation to school (which you can't), there's no way our current kids would have handled that at all well. They'd feel frightened, abandoned, and like disposable kids. And it still wouldn't help us with what to do with our other three. So our midwives managed to get a deal with the hospital doctors (who never once even came to examine me after I left the E.R.) that I could go home Tuesday night at 10 pm since that would be 24 hours from the last time my temperature spiked over 100 degrees. And I had to submit to one more of those horrible Heparin shots in my belly (did I mention OUCH!!!?). Anyway, I'm home now, still have a massive headache, but otherwise seem much improved. Now I just have to wait for my leg x-ray on Friday to find out if I'm headed back to the hospital for surgery. Please pray the answer is "no".