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.




For the love of…Snow

There is a ton of friction between darling husband and myself right before the trip. I know it’s ridiculous because this is supposed to be a welcome break from everyday life and we are supposed to be a team and a loving couple taking our lovely family on an amazing vacation. Unfortunately reality doesn’t always match up with how things are “supposed to be”.

A couple of days before, hubby tells us that we are going to “cold”. I secretly hoped for “warm” but am being extremely unfair since I have been dropping hints about missing Sweden, the seasons and especially the cold winter weather this time of year. Something is definitely missing for me when you celebrate Christmas without snow amongst the palm trees. So fine, cold it is!

The kid’s pediatrician isn’t exactly thrilled about the trip, the plane ride or the “cold” and insists on seeing them the day before AGAIN to check ears and baby’s lungs and urine (just in case). She is not convinced the antibiotics are working their magic because especially little girl’s ears still don’t look good. But what are we going to do? The trip is all booked and paid for. The Kid’s daddy says that “we will of course stay home if we are jeopardizing the kid’s health in anyway” but at the same time it’s seems a little extreme to cancel the whole entire surprise winter vacation because a couple of ear infections. We carry on, plan on going and hope for the best.

I frantically go out and get winter clothes for all of us (after willing my son to fit into last season’s snow suit-no such luck) despite the kids still being sick. They are both on second doses of antibiotics (responding well… luckily after an especially bad bout of diarrhea) fever-free and much better but I still feel bad dragging them to the mall. It’s also hard, trying on stuff alone with a baby and a preschooler. Planning (being a “natural born planner), organizing and finally packing for this vacation is no cake walk. Nothing about this does exactly feel “restful”.

It was supposed to be a wonderful surprise and I’m working on myself and my secret resentment about this trip feeling like MORE work, not less. I really want to have a great attitude, seem (and actually feel) thankful, stress free and happy. I can’t even imagine this being a relaxing trip though with two still sick kids, one being extremely wild three teal old and the other one a teething, nursing preemie. Traveling by plane with two kids under four- oh joy!

Finally the day before, I have time to get excited! It’s true, I can actually feel it. Yes, it’s hard work but this vacation is a welcomed break! We can do this. Snow around Christmas will be awesome after all. I am starting to get used to the idea. I love snow, and think about how much fun our son will have with it, and how many Christmassy things we will be able to do. Snow here we come! Bring on the sleigh rides, the snowmen and the snowball fights! This will be great! The kids will look so cute in their snow gear (nobody will be able to tell that I haven’t lost the baby weight under all that clothing) and maybe hubby and I will have the chance to re-connect by an after ski fire place with some yummy hot coco (not sure where the kids fit into that picture). All children love snow, I can’t wait to “introduce” them to it (baby’s first snow!) I’m really actually switching all ideas about warmer weather and am starting to really look forward to a white winter wonderland!

As I’m packing (in a way better mood now) my amazing husband hesitantly lets me know that…it is actually not currently snowing at this mystery location… Actually, there is no snow at all. And the weather forecast for the week shows temperatures in the mid-forties to fifties with absolutely no chance of snow. Terrific!!!

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Dr. Mom is getting admitted to the hospital and bedrest starts

When I get to the hospital (after a weird cab ride where the driver asked if I could give him some extra money because he has four kids and his wife is unable to work…I mean I feel for him I really did, and I do tip him a lot) I immediately take the elevator up to labor and delivery. Once there, I am not sure what to say “eh hmm my water may have broken and I’m barely 30 weeks and my doctor eh told me to come here”. The receptionist looks (understandably) confused looking at my belly (which I thought was huge only hours ago, now not big enough). She makes some phone calls and then sends me down to the reception area, I have no idea where I’m going or what I’m supposed to do but another receptionist tells me to sit down so that she can get my information. She is extremely slow and I feel like I can’t fully answer questions like why I’m there. She gathers a whole bunch of information (why do they need to know where my husband works, my old address, how old my son is and the name of my GP?) while she is telling me that her computer isn’t really working right now “it is so slow and keeps freezing, you know” (hmm, I’m not sure that I do). In the meantime my sweet mom is texting from Sweden (probably in the middle of the night for her) saying that she is coming. Since I still believe that this is going to work out, that it is somehow a big mistake and that I will be home soon (preferably the same night, but probably not if this woman with the slow computer has anything to say about it) I text mom that she should hold on, I’m sure things will work out. She is texting that she is already searching for flights (my poor mom, she just got home from visiting my sister in Ohio and is still jetlagged and now probably sick with worry). Meanwhile my sister in law is taking care of my son while my husband is getting ready to drive over to the hospital. I feel tired as the receptionists tries to get my fingerprints to work on the scanner thingy for maybe the fourth time (“tricky fingers you have ha ha). After we give up to try my fingers again later (how long is this really going to take) she strongly suggest that I fill out a living will (if I don’t already have one…eh no) and that I give someone the right to decide what to do if something “unexpected happens” and I can’t talk for myself (uplifting). I know this is probably standard but I’m in a very emotional state right now and it all feels very depressing. After what feels like hours, the receptionist tells me to wait in the waiting room until she finalizes things (what did she do while I was sitting in front of her cubicle forever?). After what seems like another long wait she comes back up and motions to another pregnant woman and what I assume is her husband to come with us. We are all awkwardly silent in the elevator as it takes us up to the third floor, the perinatal special care unit (I don’t even know what that means). As the receptionist shows us to our rooms I briefly lock eyes with the other mom to be, I recognize the fear in her eyes and then we open our mouths at the exact same time as we both say “good luck”. I’m left in this tiny, depressing hospital room with a big green, extremely ugly gown (that I recognize from the birth of my son) with the instructions to undress, to put on the gown (wait do I take my pants off…how about my shirt?) and get comfortable (comfortable really?).  My husband finds me sitting on the edge of the big bed with the ugly bedspread in the big green oddly patterned hospital gown (shirts and panties underneath) sobbing. I just really don’t like not knowing what is going on. My husband is even more confused, thinking that my water broke in one big gush at my doctor’s office. I have to tell him that, no this is all happening because of the little trickle that I told him about the other night, “when you peed your pants?” he seems even more confused if that is possible. Two nurses come in the room with clipboards asking my husband to sign something asking him whether he would save me or our unborn baby girl should he have to make that decision. Could this possibly get any more depressing? He actually looks at me like he wants me to tell him who to choose, hesitates and asks “you, right?” and then quickly just signs and hands one of the Asian nurses the paper when I’m not answering. The nurse (she seems to be a nurse in training since the other one seems to closely watch everything she is doing) asks me questions (here we go with the hundred questions again) about everything from live births to miscarriages to my last bowel movement (?). I tell my husband to leave so that he can relieve auntie at home; it’s starting to get late. I no longer hold out hope that I get to go home tonight but I’m still hopeful that I get to go home tomorrow. I still feel like I’m lost, out of place and that nobody is telling me anything. The nurses are coming back and the one nurse is telling the other one (who suddenly looks even more nervous than before) to start an IV. They tell me to get comfortable on the bed (again, really?) as they take my temperature and check my blood pressure. The more experienced nurse (I assume) follows the other one’s every move as she nervously (not a good sign) tries to find a vein in my arm. She pokes around with the needle forever until she finally gets it in, only to take it out to try a few more times until the other nurse finally takes over (slightly violently pushing her colleague out of the way with a frustrated sigh). When the IV is finally in place the nurse tells me that they will monitor me and my baby throughout the night, closely watching heartbeats and contractions. More gooey stuff on my stomach and then I get strapped in with blue and pink bands as I’m told not to move too much. They both leave me but tell me that they will come in the room every two hours throughout the entire night to check my vitals, change medicine bags and fluids, take my temperature etc.  As I turn off the lights in the little room, the light switch conveniently located on the side of the bed, I feel trapped with my IV in one arm and the blood pressure cuff on the other as well as the bands tightly wrapped around my tummy. I feel so alone and the one thought that continuously runs through my head until I finally fall asleep in the early morning hours is: how come I’m in the hospital bed in February when my due date is not until May?

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