Surgery recovery

The days are melding into each other. Some days I sleep, some days I don’t. I have visitors that I have to book in, because doing too much tires me out more than I thought it would.

I’m not doing much reading, my plans for a 100 books this year are up the wahoo by now. I can’t concentrate on the words, or I find myself reading the same paragraph over and over again.

I have churned through TV and movies though; Stranger Things, The Fix, and The Cook and The Chef, Nigella and Rick Stein on SBS on demand.

My periods have been the bane of my life pretty much since they showed up. After a buffet of medications, trial and error (including two mirena implants) on 8 April I had my long-awaited hysterectomy. I was first on the list for Simon’s afternoon surgery, went into theatre about 1:30pm. I can remember crying from a mixture of relief and happiness as I was put under.

After that, time is relative…

Random photos on my phone while I was still groggy, show I got taken to the ward about 5pm. Hubs and Archie came to visit, I was in pain, but while I sat up in bed eating I FaceTimed them to show Arch I was feeling better.

About an hour after that, I barfed my food back up again. It was the single most easiest vomit I’d ever done, I know – TMI, but it was instrumental in pain relief as it meant I got a second bag of tramadol :D I was helped by the nurse on shift overnight, Olivia, who helped me tidy myself up and clean my teeth. My tummy settled and Olivia and another nurse gave me some morphine tablets. I put my audiobook on, earbuds under my pillow and an ear plug in and I got three straight hours of most excellent wafting.

In the morning I was visited by Simon and two of his doctors who showed me the requested photo of my uterus, (huge, chock-full of fibroids) all three inspected my wounds. I staggered to the bathroom, had a shower, sitting down in a chair, but still bliss; my dressings were changed and I was sent home. Less than 24 hours after surgery.

I was sent home so quickly, the physiotherapist missed me completely. The social worker managed a corridor conversation with us to make sure I wasn’t going home on my own, this was interrupted by the pharmacist who took my prescription and told us she’d meet us at the pharmacy. The Mercy oncology department (don’t stress, Simon is a specialist in difficult cases) have decamped to another part of The Austin while plumbing works take place in the Mercy tower; they’re the only department that can be transferred into and out of the Austin. All the preemies, OBGYNs and other specialised lady-bits doctors and departments have been moving up and down the tower floors while the works take place. The ward the oncology department are working from is in the Harold Stokes tower, basically I was on was on the other side of a large hospital. I was as weak as a kitten and my insides felt like they were falling out, there was no way I was going to be able to walk to the car.

Aman, a lovely porter who also refilled my water jug first thing in the morning, took me to the pharmacy in a wheelchair. Hubs got me the hard-drugs from the pharmacist and Aman popped us all in the lift. I managed to get from the lift to the car, then thought ‘Oh shit’. My mouth was dry, I felt dizzy and really quite awful.

We stopped at the 711 around the to get me some water, I swallowed some pain relief and sucked on an anti-nausea pill then Hubs gingerly drove home. For a 20 minute journey, it took hours. Getting out the car my lips were blue and teeth were chattering. Archie took my shoes off, I crawled into bed and stayed there for two days.

Three weeks later, all the work I’d done leading up to the surgery was worth it; I’m walking and recovering well. I am listening to my body, if I do a bit too much it’s counterbalanced out with a nap. I’m not in any pain and already my energy levels are improving. I’ve still got a few weeks off work to carry on resting up and I’ve got an appointment with a trainer at the gym the week after next. I don’t want to go charging back to the gym, I need an all-round, gentle program to get me back to fitness.

The pathology results came back as benign, Simon called me himself to let me know. I really couldn’t have been in safer hands. I’m going to miss hanging out with him every six months.

C-section at 7:30am

To give the OB his dues, he didn’t beat about the bush, as soon as I walked in with our stand-in labour lady, he sat us down and talked us through what they’d found on the scan I had last week.

Despite originally being given the all clear, on closer inspection they found a blood vessel from the placenta which was very close to my cervix, which makes a natural birth impossible. Had too much pressure been put on it as Peanut made his entry into the world, it would be dangerous for both him and myself.

I’m over the shock now, still bitterly disappointed, but have stopped crying. I moved into coping mode about an hour after he told me. We’ve told everyone who needs to be told, we’ve checked the bag, packed some more stuff into it, I dropped off the projects that I hadn’t been able to complete at work and now we’re working out what to do tonight. I want a photo of my bump, which we were going to do on Saturday, but Hubs will now take tonight, he’s asking me what I want for dinner. I’m not hungry, I do feel like getting drunk, but that’s probably not a good idea… However tempting.

The painters who’ve completed the ceiling in our living room aren’t going to forget this job in a hurry, they were here when the call came from the OB’s office, so witnessed a minor meltdown, then were given a key to finish the job as we’re going to be otherwise engaged tomorrow morning!

We’ve got to be there between 6-6:30, operation starts at 7:30, we’ll be parents by 8:00. That is fifteen hours away.

I’m not sure how often, if at all, we’ll be able to blog while we’re in the hospital. But watch this space, or keep an eye on Twitter @MamaGranty and @DonMambo we’ll do our best to update them.

What is in our labour ‘goody bag’?

From today, this little tote is staying in our car, I wanted to check I’d included everything Hubs and I discussed, so here is what is in it:

  • A book, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – maybe I’m an optimist, but I also know I am a cranky biatch if I don’t read daily.
  • Peanut’s first outfit so we don’t have to rummage in the suitcase of clothes for it.
  • My ever-so-sexy nightgown. Pink, cotton, voluminous for access and going straight in the bin as soon as he’s arrived and I’m back on the ward.
  • The monitor bands from Friday, they have to throw them away after each use, so the midwife told me to take them home with me for when I go back in.
  • Birth plan, laminated.
  • A picture of roses and peonies.
  • Two pairs of slipper socks
  • Two heat pads to be nuked in a microwave
  • Playing cards.
  • Lip balm.
  • Two bottles of Powerade, blackcurrant flavour.
  • Deodorant.
  • Massage oil.
  • Mini packets of sultanas.
  • Tissues, nice & robust ones not the pathetic excuse they have for tissues in hospitals.
  • Totem, a wooden cat Aged P gave me.
  • Totem, Charlie Mouse – so Wiz and Jimbly are with us
  • Totem, Jeremy Fisher – so Baps and Badjur are with us
  • Totem, Jasper stone – that I can hold onto so Riki and Socki are with us
  • A piece of Rose Quartz to hold onto
  • An angel I brought ages ago in an Oxfam shop, she normally peers at me from my bedside table, I’m going to put her in front of the flowers, along with my other birth totems and look at them all.

A quick trip to the hospital

For those who follow me on Twitter would have seen that yesterday I woke up with a really bizarre, localised pain above my belly button. I thought I’d been kicked heavily and expected the pain to go away shortly after I got up and pottered about the house.

It didn’t. Through the morning it got progressively worse and after visiting the bathroom at work, walking back to my desk, I was huddled over like a little old lady. Enough is enough. I phone Haider’s office and said ‘This is what I’ve got, what do I do?’ I didn’t think or expect it to be labour, it was far too specific, but at the same time as it was so odd, I thought I couldn’t ignore it. I also didn’t want him to think I was blowing everything out of proportion, but I knew that at 35 weeks, I needed to let him know.

Alyssa called me back, Haider wanted me to go to Waverley Private and get some monitoring done, they could assess me and call him in if they needed too. This next sentence is going to sound stupid and crazy, but bear with me. I hung on at work for another 2 hours as while it was getting worse, it was still mostly uncomfortable, over painful.

Halfway through a meeting, I admitted defeat and left the office. I drove home, picked up our labour ‘goody bag’ (will post on it’s contents this weekend) and walked straight into delivery at the hospital. I was assessed, hooked up to a monitor, which I hated, I was stuck in a chair, at one point holding on to the frickin paddle as Peanut was too busy moving around for them to get his heart-rate measured. They could see he was wiggling around, why they umpity ump they needed his heartbeat I don’t know. (Don’t start on about “distress”, as unless you’ve not felt your baby move 10 times in 24 hours, they won’t even look at you, I get 10 movements every half hour). Any hoo, we’d also found out that Haider was in the building operating. A message was left and we waited for him to dash down between cases. Continue reading “A quick trip to the hospital”

Bummocks

My body is treading a fine line at the moment. I went to see my Chiro last night, and came out feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Except for one day where I’d sat all day at work, then sat all evening at the MCG, by back and pelvis have loved being pregnant, but I’ve gone to see them at the clinic religiously and had massages too to maintain my strength and alignment. Last night however, my lower back and pelvis were right out of whack, and I’ve got to go back next week. Been told I need to walk at least an hour a day and I need to lie down and rest too. I was in bed for 7:30 last night, absolutely on my chin straps, Hubs came to bed just after 8:30 as he was worn out too, about 9ish I woke up, wanted to sit up – and couldn’t. He had to help me sit up, then sit behind me while I had a drink. Combination of stomach muscles (or lack thereof) and the work on my back meant I literally couldn’t move, except to roll over.

However, waking up this morning I feel much better, much more mobile, but the sniffles I woke up with yesterday are still hanging around though. We had our first ante-natal class on Monday (another blog post to follow), and one of the dads was coughing, sneezing and hawking his throat. So pleasant. At the end I looked at his red-rimmed eyes and gave him a Paddington Bear death stare; 11 pregnant women in the room and you sit there with a full-on cold. You git.

But, and it’s a big but, I also saw my OB yesterday. Peanut is lying breech, so while there is still room for him to turn around, and the Chiro and I have a plan and I’ve got some exercises to get him to shift, the side he prefers lying on is the one opposite my placenta. So there may not be room for him to turn around in there anyway. Continue reading “Bummocks”

Week 26 and Ups & Downs 9

26 weeks, where has the time gone? Technically next week I enter the third trimester, it doesn’t seem that long I was feeling sick to my stomach and thinking ‘Woe is me’ Now I’m tired out and thinking ‘Woe is me’. Only joking.

This week is busy, not least because we’re off on holiday  at the weekend, and we’ve both got half a tonne of things to do before we can go, but for where I work it’s also Board paper week, which puts pressure on the end of the office that I work in. Yesterday I was bone tired, was going to go for a snooze but then realised we were due to skype my brother so sat up on the couch instead. If I’d gone to sleep and been woken up for the call, I would have been an absolute cow, so on the one hand, I’m pleased I didn’t go to sleep. I managed my grumpiness, but then got a bit over tired. I was also kicked up under my ribs at 4:40 this morning by the little man, which didn’t go down to well I can tell you. I rolled over and he settled, but it took me ages to get back off to sleep again. I reset my alarm for 7am, but having ploughed through the day, probably should have admitted defeat and just got up and gone in early. Hey ho.

This morning was very hard work to get through, but I got my second wind (thank you berocca!) and was hugely productive this afternoon. Hubs finished work a little early today to get checked out after his car accident on Friday, he had dinner ready for us when I got home, we’re sat up watching the news and will go to bed when it’s finished. At 7:30pm. Party on dudes

Here are our Ups and Downs.

Downs:

  • Not being able to do as much round the house. Only I would find this a problem…
  • I’m barely eating anything in the evenings, but then I’m not hungry in the evenings either. Tonight we had soup, and I’m stuffed. This is a down insofar we’re going on holiday next week, and our main meals will probably be in the evenings.
  • Names. This will sound daft, but just when I thought we’d got our shortlist sorted, Hubs keeps finding other names he likes. Including 2 that I also really like. I was quite happy not thinking about this any more, and now they’re all running around my head again. le sigh

Ups:

  • We’ve received confirmation and a ‘we’re looking forward to welcoming you’ letter from Waverley Private. Slowly all the T’s are being crossed and I’s are being dotted.
  • While it’s annoying to be woken up by a swift kick to the ribs, (I know it’s nothing to the sleep deprivation to come) it’s hilarious to watch my stomach dance around. When we put our hands on the bump, we can feel him moving rather than just indiscriminate kicks. Skyping my brother last night, he said one of the sweetest things about when my niece was born was watching her movements and realising they were the same as she had made inside my sister-in-law. Despite extensive googling, I can’t find anything on what babies actually do in there. I guess they’re all so different, no-one can say for sure, but given all the videos around, I thought there would some information on it.
  • I still feel really relaxed about the whole thing. Which most people still find hilarious, given that I am a worry wart (see the ‘Down’ about names). We’re breaking out notebooks on our trip away for lists. And lists of lists. When we get back, preparing for Peanut begins in earnest.
  • We are both looking forward to the holiday. It’s the first time we’ve been out of Victoria since we went to Tasmania last year and the first two week break we’ve had since April 2007. Heck!

Turning a corner

Today I am 25 weeks and 6 days, tomorrow as I click into week 26 I am ever closer to the third trimester and the end tape is in sight, which means our thoughts are naturally turning towards how Peanut will enter the world. Our classes at Waverley Private are every Monday night through May, and we’re both seriously thinking about our Birth Plan, although we’re calling it “Birth Intentions”, as let’s face it, you cannot plan a birth no matter how hard you try.

One of the main reasons we’re holding off on the intention document is that until our 30 week scan, we don’t know where my placenta is or more accurately, if it’s behaving. We know exactly where it is: if you imagine an upside down bottle, with the opening of the bottle the cervix, mine attached very low down almost in the neck of the bottle, and for good measure, on the side, so it’s both posterior and anterior. It had lifted from our scan at week 20, to the following week’s scan to get the remainder of Peanut’s heart measurements, so we’re all (OB included) hopeful it will lift enough for me not to have a c-section. As we get closer to finding out if this is the case, I’m trying to manage my expectation about this, but I know if I have a c-section, I will be bitterly disappointed. I can’t pretend to be otherwise.

I know we’ll be able to say ‘We’ll have him on that day’ when we’ve consulted with Dr Najjar, and we’ll end up with our boy safe and sound. But Hubs and I are only doing this once (we keep reminding people that Peanut will be our only child, they don’t seem to get it), and I wanted to work through and own the experience of birth. Being stretched flat on my back, out cold is not how I envisioned it. Why out cold? I am not having an epidural. Full stop, end of discussion.

Being pregnant is a journey that I’m travelling on at the moment; but I envisioned the birth as a journey we would both travel on. Hubs is a bit isolated from the whole process at the moment, even when he listens to my belly, or feels him move, he’s pretty much left to watch this going on, while I’m feeling it. While my gorgeous boy is endlessly supportive towards me, for most fathers the whole pregnancy and child thing only becomes truly real when they see their child. Continue reading “Turning a corner”

Ups & Downs 6

Now we’re in the house, what have been my Ups & Downs for the past couple of weeks (edited 4 Feb):

Downs:

  • Not being able to find things easily, I don’t do well when my life is a bit chaotic (remind me why we’re having a baby again), so not having everything put away is a struggle for me. I’ll get over it.
  • Pregnancy Brain – what was I doing again? Where was I going again? What is that word I needed, doofee, thingamy?
  • Autumn is on its way, so the nights are colder, Hubs loves it, he gets to sleep and sleeps better. If I’m cold, I don’t find it easy to sleep, so dropping off the past couple of nights has been harder than normal.
  • I’m fighting a cold, so am snuffly and very tired in the afternoons.

Ups:

  • We’ve got our boy!
  • Peanut is growing beautifully – OB’s words of this morning, not mine.
  • I wake up and am raring to go, but crash about 3.
  • We had an ultra sound on Monday, and I get another peep at him this coming Monday. Let’s hope he’s wiggled around so they can do the measurements they need to.
  • Forgot to say, my hearburn is being quiet – kept under control with Losec. Much happier all round as anyone who’s ever had it will testify!

Week 16 OB Appointment

I met with my OB again today, it was scheduled for Friday, but I had to bring it forward as we’ve emergency training all morning. I walked to his second office from my only office, slowly, as it was a bit hot, predicted to hit 40c, it only got to 32c.

My blood pressure was boringly normal, as normal. He then ran an ultrasound over my tummy and woke Peanut up, much to his/her disgust, as we got another indignant leg stretch, which made the OB laugh. After 5 minutes of prodding and poking, he declared himself satisfied with the baby, saying that everything looked beautiful.

After talking to me about my spotting and UTI, he tutted when I told him the GP had worried me about losing Peanut. Our next appointment is the 20 week scan, where the image is a lot clearer than the one in the OB rooms. The picture I brought home today is more than a bit fuzzy. You can tell it’s a baby if you hold it at arm’s length and squint, like you’re looking at a magic eye picture.

Week 14 and Ups & Downs 3

Goodness, we’re ranking up the numbers. I was pleased when I hit double figures, now I’m pleased because I’m officially out the first trimester. Peanut is hopefully heading home safe and sound. Here are my Ups and Downs for the past couple of weeks:

Downs:

  • Spotting – I’m still getting a bit, and still getting reassured that it is ok. I popped to the Royal Woman’s yesterday after being on a course at Royal Melbourne Hospital, they kindly ran a doppler over my tummy to find Peanut’s heartbeat, which was loud and clear. I’ve been given strict instructions on what to do should anything change, i.e. get to A&E pronto.
  • UTI – I was warned, after being investigated last year that as soon as I got pregnant I may get more of them. I’ve been put on a 10 day course of antibiotics, with a repeat to take if I need to.

Ups:

  • I think I felt a flutter the other night while I was trying to get to sleep. This is when I concentrate to see if I can feel (to mix a metaphor) anything. The only problem is my tummy bumps and rattles a lot with my IBS, so it’s difficult to tell, however the flutter I felt was low down, right in the middle. As soon as I get anything definite, I’ll let y’all know.
  • I have some energy back. Although, the car is in the shop being fixed this week, so I had to rely on public transport. This energy flow is great, but I have the distinct impression I seriously overdid it today. I had to walk to get a bus (which drove past me), to get a train, to walk to get a tram. I ended up walking far more than I had planned to, compounded by being told to get to the GP to collect a prescription today. I had a sleep when I got home, but tomorrow and Friday at work are going to be difficult.
  • I had a good birthday. Sounds silly, but I don’t always being so close to Christmas. I was thoroughly spoilt all day, and will blog on my other blog later in the week about it.
  • We’re visiting Waverley Private tomorrow night to talk over our admission form. Not sure what else they’ll cover while we’re there, but I’m slowly realising that this is happening.
  • The PregTASTIC show I skyped in on is up online. This is what I sound like far too early on a Sunday morning folks. Thanks to Sunny and the rest of the panelists.