February 15, 2011

Our Love

Anyone that knows us in the "real world" knows that our sense of humor is a little *off* to say the least.  We laugh a lot and I attribute that to be a large factor in how we've made it through some of the cards we've been dealt together.  

Typically it's him who's spouting off wise cracks and jokes so my contribution to our humor is much smaller in percentage.  My husband has this incredible knack of trying to crack jokes at the most inappropriate times in an attempt to lighten the mood and make me feel better.  Nothing says "I love you" like making me laugh hours after brain surgery or a c-section.  

So when I get the chance to be funny I take full advantage.  Case in point...

I woke up yesterday morning to this wonderfully sentimental post-it note message collage on our bathroom mirror.  (I'm too sleep deprived to even be concerned about the mess that is my bathroom.  At least the mirror is reasonably clean.)

Every time I walked into/through the bathroom is made me smile.  Even after 11 years together he can still be sweet.

About 3pm yesterday afternoon one little thing caught my eye.  (Yes, it took me that long in my sleep deprived, caffeine-lacking state to notice it.)

It appears as though his beautiful sentiment is missing a subject.  So I proofed the statement for him.

As you can see, romance is obviously THRIVING in our household.  But it works for us.

February 10, 2011

My HeartBreaker

Oh, she's cute.  No one has ever doubted that (and I'll gladly admit that I'm biased because she is my offspring after all).  But really, she did break my heart.  Or rather the pregnancy in general did.

We only stayed in the hospital for 2 days after she was born.  Not the typical 72 hours that the insurance will cover for c-sections.  My OB felt that we'd be better off at home if we wanted to go and I agreed whole-heartedly with him.  My incision felt good, I was moving around well, baby was doing well.  It would be easier to have our family at home in our own beds so we could start adjusting to the new addition.

So they kicked us loose from the hospital late on Monday afternoon.  

By the end of the day Tuesday, I was just beat.  I told C that it seemed so much harder (physically) this time around.  I recovered really well after the c-section with KT (and after surgeries in general, usually I'm up and moving around so much quicker than we anticipate); this time was just really different.  I was having trouble with swelling from my feet up to my hips, my whole body ached and I just felt really horrible.  That night we laid in bed and I cried about how I was feeling.  I tried reminding myself of the obvious: that my body was 4 years older, that I had been through brain surgery and I was not getting as much rest because of taking after a four year old during the day.  Add to it post-partum hormones and I hoped I was just over-reacting.

Yeah, not so much.

I woke up about 6 am on Wednesday, January 5th and couldn't get a good breath.  It felt like there was a palette of bricks on my chest that wouldn't allow me to fully expand my lungs.  Physically it hurt to inhale more than just a little.  As I tried shifting to different positions in an attempt to get some air C woke up and I explained what was going on.  We agreed that I'd call my OB's office when they opened to see what they recommended.

A few hours later when I finally drug myself out of bed my breathing was still labored and I felt really, really weak.  A phone call to my OB's office had us scrambling to head to the hospital once again -- this time to the ER in fear of a pulmonary embolism.

When we got to the ER it was immediately apparent that *something* was wrong.  An initial EKG showed my heart rate between 30-15 beats per minute while my blood pressure was soaring somewhere above 170/120.  Based on how fast the nurse excused herself from the room, I knew it couldn't be good.  They immediately ordered an ultrasound of my legs and a CT scan of my chest.  (Meltdown #1 for Mandy came as the doctor told me I wouldn't be able to nurse the baby "for a couple of days" because of the contrast dye used in the CT scan.)  Both tests came back showing an absence of blood clots -- which was the initial concern -- but instead showed a significant amount of fluid around my lungs and heart.

The not-so-good-with-his-bedside-manner ER doc came into the room to tell us the diagnosis was postpartum cardiomyopathy and I was going to be admitted to the hospital for care.  

Postpartum cardiomyopathy occurs when there is damage to the heart. As a result, the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems.

His explanation of the condition was brief, generating more questions and alarm than anything else (que meltdown #2 for Mandy as he left the room).  At this point a flurry of activity began -- the nurse came in to give me some diuretics to start draining fluid, a tech came in to talk about the echocardiogram she was about to do and the baby woke up (she'd been asleep through all of this so far) with full fledged wails of hunger.  Thankfully the ER staff was completely understanding of the situation and went on a mission to get us some formula from the Women's and Infants Center as we had none packed in the diaper bag.

A couple hours later I was settled into a room in the cardiac unit and was trying to process what was happening.  C had left with the baby to go get KT, the longest echo in the world had been performed (the combination of heavy duty diuretics causing me to need to pee every 8 minutes and the tech being trained by the service rep on how to run the new echo machine meant a 20 minute echo took us almost 90) and meltdown numbers 3, 4 and 5 and subsided. A meeting with my newly appointed cardiologist put some of my fears to rest and a hope that there would be no permanent damage.

Twenty-four hours after diagnosis I was once again kicked loose to settle back in at home with strict instructions on monitoring myself and severely limiting activity.

Over the last month I've undergone a series of bloodwork, another echo and follow up appointments with the cardiologist.  Thankfully my heart function is returning to  normal and the doctor has stated there is "nothing to be concerned with" at this point.  

And so it appears (although we had already made the decision due to the reoccuring hyperemesis and 25+ weeks with a PICC-line) that our family of 4 will stand solid, unchanging in number as our future unfolds.  I was adamant that we were done after this pregnancy as it was but the possibility of the myopathy coming back and causing irreversible damage, or possible heart failure, is certainly not worth tempting fate.