The shakes are back…

As we drive to the hospital to feed our brand new baby girl (I can’t wait to see her, to feel that I have her, that she is real) I feel hot and cold at the same time, the dizziness and overall discomfort won’t go away.

I feel my forehead which is warm but not hot and compare with my husband’s. Like a child I ask my mom to feel it too and she agrees, definitely warm but not alarmingly hot.

Maybe a slight temperature, but like I said before, I gave birth only a couple of days ago and I get a fever for basically everything so I’m not that worried about feeling this icky.

Except when we reach the hospital, I feel worse…

I am hotter and suddenly the shakes are creeping up on me. As we wait for our turn to get a sticker, be allowed in and wash our hands (I sent my husband to Mc Donald’s with our son to get some fries) I tell my mom to hold on.

I have to sit down because the room starts to spin and here comes my friends (more like my enemies) the shakes from last night. They get worse and worse and my mom tells me to stop shaking, like she did when we were kids when we were coughing or had the hiccups (which might sound a little brutal but actually do work).

Like a good daughter I try to listen to my mommy but I just can’t stop shaking for the life of me.

I tell my mom that I need to go the bathroom, trying to tell myself that I can control this but at the same time starting to wonder what is wrong with me, something like this has never happened to me before.

Since the restrooms by the NICU are being cleaned my mom searches for another bathroom on the first floor since I am now shaking so bad, I don’t feel that I can walk. I suggest that we ride the elevator up to the third floor where I know that there is a bathroom for sure since I just spent 2 days in recovery there (on the third floor not in the bathroom).

I really want to get away from people, I feel like they are staring at me and I really need to get a hold of myself. The trip to the bathroom didn’t help, I have to concentrate hard on walking and then there is if possible even more blood in the toilet (but still not enough to soak my pad but I’m starting to think enough to be concerned?) and the shakes are getting worse not better.

We go back down to the NICU and I can’t even focus on seeing my baby (sleeping peacefully, clenching her tiny hands).

My favorite NICU nurse, Kate is there, telling us she needs to eat in about twenty minutes (the baby not Kate that is).

I am now starting to realize that I will not be able to feed my baby, the shakes have turned violent and I am now so so cold, freezing actually.

I don’t know what I tell my mom, something about going to the bathroom again but I know she looks really worried now…

I walk as fast as the shakes will allow me to the bathroom right outside of the NICU and luckily the cleaners are all done in there. I make it in to a stall before I sink to the ground, thinking something is really wrong here…

I try several times to get to my feet but I’m shaking so much I have to make attempt after attempt, clenching my teeth as I’m hugging my body, trying to zip up my sweater further than it can go and telling myself that I need to make it back into the NICU to tell my mom we need to go home.

All I want to do is crawl into to bed with about a hundred warm blankets, fall asleep and just forget about how cold and shaky I am and hopefully wake up feeling better.

I also attempt to call my husband to come pick us up but my phone keeps sliding out of my hands and forget dialing, it is a lost cause, this is starting to get ridiculous.  

As I walk back into the NICU, I believe even more people stop and stare at me but I have a one track mind, people fade out of my vision and I can see that my mom is now looking more than concerned.

I tell her that I don’t think I can feed the baby and that I need to go home but as she tells me to stop shaking and tell her what is wrong and my eyes well up with tears as I can’t, she takes matters into her own hands. She usually lets me (and my sister) do the talking here (in the US) as she is Swedish (but quite good at English I might add) but right now she goes to find the nurse.

I don’t even know what they are saying as I become less and less aware of my surroundings, all I know is, I WANT to stop shaking and get warm. Oh why, why is it so damn cold in here, could they maybe turn off the A/C, it’s ridiculously cold for these tiny poor infants!

Nurse Kate takes one look at me and I can hear her tell mom that I must be running a seriously high fever. No I protest, it’s just the shakes (whatever that means). She leaves just to come back seconds later with a wheel chair. I do think I can walk (besides where am I going in that? I have had enough of wheelchairs for I don’t know…about a life time) but when I stand I realize that I absolutely can’t walk and am actually grateful as I sink down in the rolling chair.

Kate asks if I can direct my mom to triage (isn’t it only extremely pregnant women and women with pregnancy complications that go there? I have time to think) but she takes another look at me and apparently determines that I am in no condition to direct anybody anywhere. And off we go to the elevators and triage, Kate wheeling the chair and my mom hurrying after us.

 

 

 

Ode to the Wipe (wipe wars)

You know the moment when you ask your husband to get a wipe and he turns into a confused alien life form without the ability to understand you…or you know, move!

You are feeding your precious newborn and she spits up all over you and it’s dripping done towards the couch and your fancy pillows and throws…and you yell for your husband (who by the way is already up on his feet, baby less and way closer to the much needed wipes) to get you some wipes!

First the confusion occurs “wipes?” “What wipes?”

“Eh, only the wipes we use everyday, ALL THE TIME” (stay calm, breathe, he will get them very soon).

Enter alien life form, head spins around, walks slowly around in circles, muttering inaudible.

“The wipes, the wipes, the freaking WIPES!!!” You can’t help yelling to emphasize the urgency here!

“Uh, where?”

“Uh” (you have surrendered to mockingly imitate which you really didn’t mean to but the baby is falling asleep and you rather not wake the monster…eh hmm little angel and you are pretty darn fond of those pillows…)
“Right there, right there, where they always are, right by you HURRY”

Confused expression, looking in the general direction of where I’m painstakingly pointing; “okay, okay, no need to yell! I’m going!” Walking in slow motion. It is brutally painful to watch and no matter how hard I’m tilting the baby in different angels and soaking spit-up up with my shirt sleeves (nice, I know!), the first pillow is now soaked (just one more thing to add to the to do list! Yay!)

“Eh, which kind of wipes again??”

“What kind, WHAT KIND???”

“Yeah, you know there are the purple or the blue”

“WHITE, WHITE, they are all WHITE and all the SAME!!!!” I’m already getting up, hoping against hope not to wake the baby, regurgitated thick whitish milk dripping down my black yoga pants (what? Gross?? Just pop out a baby and see what you are wearing or what mess is currently dripping done your stretchy pants!)

“No they do have different color on the outside, some are butt wipes, I thought…and some are…”

Getting almost stampeded by furious new mom with a frantically screaming baby on her way to her much needed wipes.

Getting them right in front of my husband who exclaims “oh those! I could have gotten those for you”, falters … slightly terrified at my expression…

“Well, I would have gotten them, no need to get so upset”…

This little anecdote is mean to make you knowingly nod your head…(not think b*tch to yourself) because the truth is you can change out the word “wipes” with almost anything I ask my husband to get fast!

I get it, I’m faster and better at finding things around the house, I know where I put things and I want them in a certain way but sometimes it’s comical (or it would be if it wasn’t so frustrating) how he (and now also my 4 year old) can’t find things right in front of him (them).

Wipes are an excellent example because they are so needed for everyday survival!

This is what I call “an ode to the wipe”

Wipes are indeed necessary items in any family with little kids. Sure they are a household staple but they are also under rated. Wipes are essential, no they are in fact crucial. They have a lot more functions than the most common “wipe butts” function. Think; drool, liquids, spit-up, vomit, sticky messy messes AND also include adult spills. They can be used for older kids as well, not just babies, they can also be used on and for dogs and their messes. They can wipe buggers, paint, apple juice, chocolate, little leaks, big leaks and even bloody noses and knees.

When I was a kid, we didn’t use wipes, not even for changing diapers. The only “wipe like” occurrence I can think of is the “wet wipes” we use to keep in the car on our European road trips.

Now when I forgot wipes at home (ahhh), am out of wipes or just took the last one, its a near disaster. I need wipes in my house (every room), car and purse almost as much as I need air (slight exaggeration but you know…).

Ever taken the last wipe, elbow deep in the century’s worse poopy diaper or as your toddler is a squirmy mess close to your light tan suede couches with chocolaty fingers?

You are in desperate need of a wipe (or several) as you get “spit uped” on, peed on (yes, really), spilled on, or when you bite your tongue so bad after being hit by a flying iPad (yes, this happened) so you are gushing blood everywhere.

No, this is not a wipe commercial…nor do I get any kick backs or incentives of any kinds to post this but come on, don’t you agree parents? wipes are a daily necessity (more like hourly…”minute-ly”).

The need for wipes (no, they are not just “butt wipes” as my husband calls them, they are everything wipes) do not stop once your babies turn into toddlers or even big kids.

Sharing wipes is caring. You need them everywhere, the playground, the store, the mall, the car, so when you are out…lets just say if someone hands you some, you are forever grateful!

I can’t believe I used to live and actually function without them in my life. I was wipe-less for far too long. How could I have missed the miracle of a simple wipe? I must admit, you need them waaay more with kids but wipes are not just for kids, they are for everyone.

Wipes are for everyone, everywhere! I don’t care how old you are even mommies and daddies..(I am a spiller myself!).even if you are not even a parent…you need them!

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this!

Nowhere in particular I most admit but to prove a point; more wipes to the people!

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32 hours in labor

Since they had already prepped me for the possibility of a C-section (both my mind and my body; mind not so ready…) I am according to the nurses all ready to go. I ask somebody to get my husband but nobody seems to listen, they are all glued to my baby’s heart rate monitor and that makes me even more nervous. “Wait, she will make it, right? There is no possibility that she wouldn’t…right?” Then the thought hits me that my pain meds might have caused her sudden drop in heart rate. I am beside myself with guilt; the timeline fits. It is now early afternoon and the bright sun is shining in from the large hospital windows. I ask the nurse, trembling with anxiety. She is telling me that the pain meds have no effect on the baby whatsoever, this kind won’t even reach her at all and I am trying to convince myself that she is right and that she wouldn’t lie to me. They are trying different things with me and switching out some stuff on my IV, moving me into different positions on the bed. The pressure is building up and I really do feel the urge to push. The baby is stabilizing for a couple of minutes and it is then the doctor comes in with a big smile asking me if I’m ready to push? Again, I’m confused; “what about the OR?”. Luckily my husband comes in right then asking the doctor what is going on. She tells him to get ready for the baby; she will be coming very soon! What; I panic yet again, I’m not ready. I want to scream that she is only 34 weeks and my body has been trying to refuse this delivery all along. This is not right, but Dr. Jenny just smiles while she is checking me (this time I am barely flinching). “I knew it” she says, “knew what?” I ask “that I’m not progressing?” (almost hopeful now). “You are 10 plus one” she replies (whatever that means, 11?). The pressure is crazy now and I almost can’t help but push involuntarily. The doctor leaves with an order to the nurse to hold off on the OR and that she will be back shortly, she then turns to me, telling me that she will be watching in the lounge (I think about that for a second: what will she be watching? Me in this bed? Me pushing? And where, in some comfy, plushy lounge? After the doctor leaves, the motherly nurse gets right down to business, telling my husband to grab my left leg “up, out and back” as she grabs my other. I get a strong and vivid flashback to the birth of my son as she tells me to push like my life depends on it (and maybe the baby’s). She counts to ten (rather slowly) and then tells me to rest (for about a second). Wow, this is hard work, after the almost 32 hours in labor I’m exhausted. What they say is true though, something else kicks in, adrenaline is flowing and it takes me over, as I grunt and push and breathe; not really conscious to the rest of the world or what is going on around me. After four rounds of pushes she is suddenly telling me not to push anymore.  I am stunned at this information; am I not supposed to push her out as fast as possible. The social worker (the one that was impressed that I was a licensed MFT) comes in to tell me not to get scared about the team of people that will soon crowd our hospital room. “They are only here to make sure the baby is okay and to whisk her away to the neonatal intensive care unit”. She is telling me not to get sad if I don’t get to hold her and to listen and trust the medical professionals. Ehum.. okay, and when can I push again? Nobody tells me anything and again the urge to push is intense. My husband is still holding my leg and my body feels shaky and weak. The nurse warns me yet again not to push and I’m really trying not to; not sure what is going on. Two young girls come in to ask if we want to donate our baby’s core blood. The nurse tells me that I don’t have to talk or listen to these girls right now but I’m feeling gracious. If my baby’s blood can save lives; why not?  But then they ask me to sign some paperwork and I’m like; are they kidding me? I’m in the pushing phase of active labor and shaking like a madwoman, they want me to sign documents? Now? Actually hold a pen and sign my name?  We ask if my husband can do it but no, it has to be me. Somehow I hold the pen close enough to the paper and I’m not sure what kind of signature I produce but they seem satisfied. The nurse tells me that my baby is not doing too well. Oh no, not again, I can’t handle more of this. She says that maybe the surgery can’t be avoided after all. She then calls the doctor to ask her, instead Dr. Jenny comes running. She has a brief, intense conversation with the nurse and I understand enough to know that they are concerned; very concerned. Seconds later the room fills with people; what is going on here? The doctor pulls up a chair and sits right in between my legs. She pulls the stirrups out and tells me to put my feet in them and move my bottom close. She locks eyes with me and tells me to push like I have never pushed before. In my peripheral vision I see the nurse shake her head. I do a couple of rounds of pushes until the nurse screams that they have to roll me away to the operating room after all. But the doctor’s face is grim, with clenched teeth she informs us all that the baby is already in the birth canal, it’s too late for surgery now. I’m not sure my husband is aware of what is going on but I am terrified. “Jenny, you are going to have to push her out” Dr. Jenny says. The nurse tells her that baby is not doing well. The doctor tells me “One more push, you got this!” (No pressure) “This is the one push where you will have to get her out” (eh…okay, let me get on that). I feel her head coming out, I feel it. The burning sensation is out of this world. I hear the nurse gasp; “she is not going to make it”…

 

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