Home > Uncategorized > Coping with a weird 10 days

Coping with a weird 10 days

April 17, 2005

A little over 10 nights ago I was sleeping on a (rather uncomfortable) recliner chair in a hospital room next to my wife. We were getting ready to spend 4 weeks in that room because Alicea had bene diagnosed with a severe case of preeclampsia (aka toxemia or PIH) the day before. Essentially her body was unhappy with having a baby inside of it and the docs were trying to hold her stable until the baby was around 34 or 35 weeks along.

I just got back to my house this evening after Alicea and I spent the day with my 8-day old baby girl in the hospital. I’ve been running on autopilot for the last week and a half and haven’t really processed any of this internally. I mean, let’s take stock:

My wife was hospitalized out of the blue hours before I was to fly off to Charlotte, NC for a friend’s wedding.

Then we were told that, while our baby was doing great, we might have to deliver her at any time if Alicea got too “unstable” – but to plan on a 4 week hospital stay with our daughter delivered about a month early.

A couple days go by – the docs are happy with things.

And then Saturday afternoon Alicea says “ouch”. Her side hurt – her right side. I’d talked to the nurses and docs and knew this was something they were looking for as a sign of something going on … so I hit the call button on Alicea’s bed. Alicea kept having more and more pain, and it was coming on very quickly. She was having trouble breathing. Some blood tests were run and about 15 minutes later I stepped out of the room and went to the nurses’ desk to see what was up and to let them know that Alicea didn’t want to hear the dirty details of what was going on (I had just asked her). I’ll never forget the reply I got … “We’re going to deliver the baby now.” Sucker punch, right to the gut. “Are you okay?” the nurse asked. “Yeah, I’ll be okay….” She rushed off to call the docs, etc. and I stumbled back towards Alicea’s room in shock. Be strong. Be strong. … Oh shit! I took a minute or two to compose myself outside of the room before I went in … I had to be strong for Alicea and her mom who happened to be visiting that afternoon when Alicea crahsed. (Thank God she was there, btw, what a blessing.) The next hour flew by. Our nurse from the day shift, which was over 3 hours earlier, stayed around and scrubbed in for the surgery, as did our evening nurse; both of which we’d been with for a couple days and knew. Our regular OB doc came in to help on his day off too, even though another of the docs from his group was on call and onsite. The surgery went quick and I stayed right by Alicea’s side holding her hand and stroking her forehead and telling her how great she was doing. I was even joking around with the anestheseologist and talking about local politics with the surgeons. Heck, our doc even gave me a personal “tour” of Alicea’s innards (pretty cool stuff actually, and no I didn’t get sick from the sight – I’ve come close to becoming a paramdeic a couple times). On the inside I was … numb. How can I have feelings when I’m trying to be strong for Alicea?

Kaitlyn is born … she’s perfect. She’s doing great and the nurses and docs are real impressed with her progress and lack of complications.

But Alicea’s still having issues … it takes another 5 days in the hospital to get her well enough to go home.

I spend those 5 days playing tour guide for family to see Kaitlyn and coordinating the scheduling of endless visits of family and friends, breast pumpings, medical checkups, meals, sleep, and of course times when Alicea and I can actually spend time on our own with our new daughter.

Now that we’re out the coordinating is even more difficult because I have to add in travel times, errands that need to be run, figure out schedules for Alicea’s 5 meds (I have no idea how the nurses do this – wow), and be the chaufeur.

Anyhow, I don’t know what my point is for all of this, but I needed to get it off my chest.

I still don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to really take in everything that’s happened, and I know that’s going to catch up with me and kick me in the ass sometime. But right now, I’m too busy running around to have time to feel sorry, affraid, mad, happy, or even hungry.

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