Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the category “Sickness”

This was not how I wanted to meet a goal.

I have had a struggle with my weight since I got pregnant with my firstborn. I just could not get below 164. In the eleven years since, my weight has fluctuated between 164 and 180. Well, except during my pregnancies. I just don’t count those periods of time.

I have tried to eat healthy and exercise. Turns out what I needed was a debilitating condition. After 11 years, I have met my goal weight. I lost a ton of weight during my last pregnancy due to illness and HELLP. Somewhere around May, I started to lose my appetite, have random fevers, moments of dizziness, nausea, and weakened and hurting muscles. I lost that last bit of weight and met my goal… but I feel so weak and I hate it. I wanted to get there and be strong. I have always been proud of my strength.

I have started to see a physical therapist and I will be seeing my general doc and my OB. I don’t think this has anything to do with Baby Max’s birth 7 months ago, but I figured I could talk to the doc and see what he has to say on the matter. In the meantime, I am doing my stretches and I have started to swim more. I don’t feel pain while I am in the pool, but getting out is awful.

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How My Newborn Saved My Life

imageI have spent the past couple of days deciding if I really wanted to write about this. My newest birth story is a hard one. Most of the seriousness hasn’t totally hit me, yet.

My pregnancy was difficult. It started with headaches so severe and strange that my general practitioner had me get an MRI. The headaches faded away along with my morning sickness as I entered my second trimester. Things went pretty well for a little while, then as I got closer to my third trimester, I started to experience muscle and joint pain.

My midwife and I put it off as ligament pain. She did have me go in for a few extra tests and I did come back as very anemic. I started taking an iron supplement and started physical therapy in hopes of helping my poor muscles work better.

I now know that a good number of these symptoms are the lesser symptoms of something pretty serious. Well, something life-threatening, if you want to get to the bare bones of it. I just didn’t show the main symptom of high blood pressure. My bp was actually really great most of my pregnancy. Until I became anemic, then it dropped. And, along with the anemia, my heart rate rose.

My pain became so severe that I was unable to even drive my car. My ribs started popping out of joint at the slightest movements. I was forbidden to sweep or clean. We had to send my youngest son to the grandparents because I was unable to bend down to help him with anything. I had a hard time dealing with him being away from me. My in-laws asked me to stay with them. Partly because they felt bad for me being away from my kiddo and partly because they were really concerned about my health.

On the night of December 22/23, I started feeling pretty regular contractions. I finally woke up my husband at around 4:30. We got dressed, ran home, and grabbed the emergency hospital bag I had packed when I started to hurt. I was 36 weeks and 3 days, which means that I was not allowed to have a home birth.

We went to the hospital and were sent straight up to labor and delivery. My contractions were pretty light, but regular, so we were put in an exam room to determine what was going on with me. They took my blood pressure and then immediately ordered blood tests. My blood pressure had shot up.

When my results came in, my nurse came into my room and told me that both doctors wanted to talk to me and she was going to have to transfer my care to nurses who were more experienced…

The doctors came in and point blank told me that I had HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia. My blood platelet count was down to 24,000. A normal platelet count should be 150,000 to 250,000. Looking me straight in the eye, they both told me that there was a chance that I would die. The cure for HELLP and preeclampsia was to give birth as soon as possible, so I was moved to a regular room and hooked up to pitocin in an effort to really get my contractions going.

I hate pitocin. That stuff is nasty and rough. And because my platelets were so low, I was not allowed to have an epidural. I was also not even allowed to have general pain medicine such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen due to my liver and kidneys not at optimal functioning. I was given a straight drip of pitocin along with magnesium to keep me from having seizures, two bags of blood, and a bag of platelets. I had IVs in both hands. It was as if I had wings of IV drips.

The pitocin started as a low dose. They were hoping to get things going. They slowly cranked it up.

I don’t actually have much memory of the active labor. I know the nurses kept telling me not to push. I pushed anyway. I know I had the whole L & D floor running to my room and the doctor made it just in time to catch the baby. I nearly crushed the fingers of my husband and doula and I guess I was screaming because my throat hurt afterward. I like to think I roared that baby out. It was probably less dignified than that.

Thankfully, I did not tear. I did have more bleeding than normal, but it did stop. Probably due to the clotting shot I was given. I don’t remember what it was called.

And thus was Baby Max introduced to the world. He was placed immediately on me, skin to skin. And we snuggled and I weakly attempted to breastfeed him and he weakly attempted to eat. What a pair we were. I was weak from my malfunctioning blood and he was weak from coming so early.

It has been a week now and my arms still look like I was on the losing end of a fight. I am still in some muscular pain and I have discovered that I really do have to take it easy. If I try to go grocery shopping and do dishes, I am totally wiped out afterwards. I am getting better. With my last lab work, my platelets were still low, but staying steady. I get to have more lab work next week.

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I have lost a lot of weight from this pregnancy, which I think some people would think a good thing. And while I do not mind some of the weight loss, I do mind the muscle mass that I am also now missing. I can now pick up a dinner plate and a full water bottle, but it is more effort than it should be. At least I do not have the pain that I had when I attempted these tasks while pregnant.

Now, I am healing. Max is growing. We are going to be ok. I will be making sure to get back to my gym as soon as I feel able to. I plan on getting a session with a personal trainer to set me on a track to rebuild what I lost. I think I will set a goal of at least one 5K this summer or fall.

Tummy Troubles

I am totally ready for my tummy to be back to normal. Thursday at about 4:30 am, I started yakking up uncontrollably. TMI. It sucked. I was also up at that time with baby and didn’t have time to put him down and run to the bathroom. So I held him while I hugged the porcelain god. Thankfully, the hubby woke up and took him from me. It was a miserable day. Water wouldn’t even stay down. I was starving and super thirsty by the time I could finally get a few sips to stay down.

It is now Saturday night and I still have very little appetite and the tummy is still twisting ominously. I made Chex mix in hopes that might spark something. It is one of my favorite snacks… But no. The smell totally turns me off right now.

And, before you ask, I am not pregnant. I’m actually pretty sure this is food poisoning. Yay!

Well, the idea was a good one…

So much for my list haha. Sam caught some sort of virus and was vomiting most of Thursday and part of Friday. He seems to be better today, but is still sleeping. At least he did not wake up in the middle of the night throwing up all over his crib. If he does well today, I will take the boys swimming tomorrow. Poor guy.

Getting back into the groove.

I have slacked on my exercise. I am working on getting better at not doing that (slacking I mean). I worked on a weekly schedule that will incorporate classes & use of weights at my gym with my running. I have determined not to beat myself up if I can not keep this schedule. Things happen. Like the kids not waking up until nearly 10am today. I depend on them to wake me up by 8am hehe. This meant that I missed the morning yoga class. I had hoped to make it up with this evenings yoga class, but the youngest is still napping and that class starts in 25 minutes.

To help me make it more real, I am going to write out my schedule here:

Sunday: Swimming (this is the one day the gym does not have child care, so I have designated Sunday as family swim day.)
Monday: 8:20 am Running, 9:20 Body Pump (I did this class for the 1st time this past Monday… I still can’t bend my legs very well.)
Tuesday: 5:05 pm Body Attack (I missed this class yesterday because I could not bend my legs)
Wednesday: 9:30 am weight machines, 10:30 am yoga
Thursday: 8:30 am Run, 9:20 am Body Vive
Friday: 3:30 pm Weight Machines, 4:30 Body Step
Sat: 9:00 am Run

As of my last check-in with my complementary personal trainer thing for joining the gym, I lost 4 lbs and a little more than 1 inch in the month since I started my gym membership. I felt pretty encouraged by this since I felt I had not been working out as much as I could have been. I missed a full week due to being sick and Sam has been so crabby lately that I can’t get in a full workout without the child care people coming to get me. I will be über happy when those FOUR top teeth finish coming in.  Poor baby.

Sam’s doc requested metabolic and genetic testing to figure out what is going on with him. The metabolic results showed he has a B12 deficiency, which could actually explain some of his weakness. Everything else in that test came out normal, which means that muscular dystrophy has been ruled out. It could take about 2 more months for the genetic tests to come back. He is now scheduled for an MRI in July. I am not looking forward to that one.
He has been in occupational therapy for 2 weeks now and seems to be improving with that. She (the therapist) also shows us all kinds of playtime exercises to do at home.  So, I pretty much play with him during my free time, do his stretches during diaper changing and nursing, and my husband works with him before and after work.

Now, to rant on things people ask me:

Q: “Do you hold him too much?”
A: No. If any baby in the history of mankind has been held too much, I would like to see it. I held and snuggled my older son waaay more than I do Sammi and he physically developed at a faster rate than normal. This is not to say that I do not hold Sam, I am just so busy with another kid and with forcing Sam to exercise that I just can not hold him as much as I would like to. I cherish our nursing times since that is when I can hold him and not make him work his arms and legs (the stretches are quick and he can just rest while I do them). I hate this question with a passion and I get it constantly.

Q: “Don’t you force him to hold up his head?”
A: This is a dumb question. It doesn’t piss me off as much as the above question, yet, but it is getting there. To answer seriously: yes, yes I do force him to hold up his head. I do that because he does not have the muscle tone needed to get his head up on his own.

Q: “Do you let him lay down too much?”
A: WTF. Do you want me to hold him or not hold him??? He has a lot of tummy time, so I guess he is laying down a lot… exercising. I stopped using devices that allowed him to lay down and do nothing when he was 4 months old: baby bouncer and swing (that was all I had for him in that category). I sold them and bought a Bright Starts Bounce Bounce Baby. My hope was that he would look up at the toys and reach for them more. Sometimes he does, but mostly he stands in it with his head resting on the ledge. It’s pretty pitiful.

I guess I get annoyed with the questions people come up with because I feel as if he/she is attacking my mothering skillz. I know I am a good momma and I know I shouldn’t let these things bother me, but they do. There is a level of insecurity where I have to wonder if his lack of muscle tone is due to something I did or did not do. Logically, I know this is not the case, but there is still that worry in the back of my mind.

 

There are few things as sad as

a sick baby. I’ve been getting about 4 hours of sleep for the past couple of nights. Poor Sam has tested RSV positive and is absolutely miserable. He does seem better today than yesterday. I am just hoping this does not last the 2 weeks that I keep reading about. I think I will go nuts from lack of sleep. This has also put my exercise schedule on hold. I do plan on doing some yoga today, if he takes a nap after big brother goes to school. Sol is in afternoon kindergarten, so he will be going to school in about an hour and half.

I am very much afraid that this could lead to Sam getting pneumonia or bronchitis. All I can do for now is to pump myself full of vitamin C and make sure to keep nursing him as much as he will let me.

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