Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I do love the hospital, but I'd rather be at home

Well, I'm back in the hospital. Here's the story:
I didn’t really have any swelling when I was in the hospital, but the day I got home (Sunday), my legs started to swell. And on the inside of my right leg, right where some varicose veins are, it was hard and red. I didn’t think much about it b/c I know swelling after delivery is normal. I figured the spot around the veins was red and hard b/c there were varicose veins there. Well, over the course of the next few days, it continued to get worse.
I called Shana (my OB's nurse) this morning, and she told me to come in today and let Dr. Harnsberger look at it. (My doctor, Dr. Brody, is on Spring Break w/his family.)
Dr. Harnsberger took one look at my leg and said, “You’re going back to the hospital.”
I’ve had shots of blood thinner in my stomach, and I have an IV to give me antibiotics. They are all safe for breastfeeding.
I had an ultrasound of my leg to see if there is a clot, and I’m still awaiting the results.
Thankfully I am back in the same wonderful hospital with the world’s most wonderful nurses who are taking wonderful care of me. And though he’s not a patient (meaning no provided diapers and I can’t send him to the nursery, lol), I can keep Thomas with me. Matthew is staying with me, too. Good thing b/c I can’t get out of bed! I have to stay in the bed unless I have to use the bathroom. Not quite sure if I'm even allowed to shower. I've never been on bedrest before.
This bedrest thing is for the birds! I just hate having to ask for everything! Matthew had to come here before he had time to pack so that he could stay w/Thomas while they took me for my ultrasound. So now he’s back at home packing our things and taking things for the boys over to my parents’ house. I am holding Thomas b/c I just nursed him. He needs a diaper change but I can’t get up to do it. I hate to call a nurse to do it b/c he is not a patient anymore—just me.
My lips are chapped but my I’m not sure where my chapstick is. Chapped lips when you don’t have access to chapstick are the worst!!
I am tired. I just had a baby six days ago. I haven't exactly been getting any sleep.
I’m sad b/c when I left the house today it wasn’t to go to the hospital for 3-4 days. I miss my Andrew and my Benjamin. I barely got to spend any time with them since I’ve been home from the hospital.
I’m sad b/c my niece’s birthday party was tonight and I missed it. She was really looking forward to seeing Thomas at her party b/c they share a birthday and she loves babies.
I'm sad b/c my brother and SIL are revealing the gender of their baby tomorrow night at a family “gender party” and I will miss it.
I'm sad b/c my mom’s 60th birthday is Saturday, and I will most likely miss her party.
I know, my health is more important than parties. But it still makes me sad.
Plus I’m hormonal and sleep deprived, and those things aren’t helping.
I’m obviously worried that this could develop into something more serious. If it is indeed a blood clot and it were to spread to my lungs, I could die. Die. Like dead. Wow. That is sobering.
Matthew and I were talking last night about having more kids. We have always thought that we wanted four children. But having a child with special needs is hard. And causes you to re-evaluate your prior goals and desires. Plus, my veins have been really bad this pregnancy. It might just be better for my body if I’m not pregnant again.
Though I love it. Love it. It makes me sad that I may have been pregnant for the last time and didn’t even realize it. I might not ever get my Katherine Elizabeth. And that breaks my heart. But not because I really want a baby girl. Truth be told, I love baby boys. They’re easy. They’re familiar.
But what I want is what my mom and I have. I want a daughter to be best friends with when she is an adult. Sons are great, but they’re not daughters.
So we’re not ruling it out but not as gung-ho as before.
Meanwhile, it’s after 10:00 and Matthew is still not here. It feels like 2 a.m.
I’m so tired. I hope Matthew remembers everything we need. Poor guy. He is stressed, too. He has been working from home (and from the hospital) since last Thursday. He has two big meetings out of town next week. He’ll be gone Tuesday morning through Friday night. Thankfully, it is my mom’s spring break, so she can (and is glad to) help me out with the boys. Good thing.
Because on Monday, Andrew has a dentist appointment.
Tuesday, he has a follow-up with the ENT doctor.
Wednesday, I have my two-week OB follow-up.
Thursday, Thomas has his two-week check-up and I have to take Benjamin for another blood draw to check his white blood cell count.
Oh, that’s right. I forgot to mention it with all the chaos. On March 19, Benjamin had an endoscopy. While he was under, they took some blood to run routine tests. Turns out his white blood cell count was low. (Normal is 5 to 15; it was 3.4.) His doctor had me bring him back in when I brought Thomas for his five-day check-up for a CBC (complete blood count). His white blood cell count had actually gone down from 3.4 to 2.7 in 11 days. All his other levels (platelets, hemoglobin, etc.) looked normal, so that was encouraging. The doctor thinks it is just a viral infection that is not strong enough to make him sick (he is extremely happy and seems as well as a horse) but is enough to affect his white blood cell count.
But of course I can’t help but wonder if my worst fears are coming true and that my sweet, darling Benjamin has leukemia. (Kids with Down syndrome are much more likely to get it and all of us moms fear this.)
Anyway, so next week is super busy. I only hope I am out of the hospital by then and have a clean bill of health.
Thank you all for your prayers and emails and Facebook messages.
As I was lying in the bed earlier today having an ultrasound done on my leg, tears were just rolling down my cheeks as I prayed and asked God to please make all of this okay. Told Him that I was sorry for neglecting Him lately and my time with Him. Thanked Him for loving me despite my flaws and my shortcomings. Thanked Him for the many blessings in my life. Thanked Him for this Easter Sunday when we will celebrate the resurrection of His Son, who died for sinners like me. And like you. I hope you know Him. I know many of you do. And I also know that many of you don’t, and you’re okay with that. You think that Jesus is okay for some people but not for you. Let me tell you in a loving way, you’re wrong. He loves each and every one of us. He died for each and every one of us. And even though I don’t talk about Him a lot on my blog, I just wanted you, my blog reader, to know that He is the reason that I am not falling apart.
Through my son’s diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Through his heart surgery and intestinal surgery.
Through all the illness this winter and how incredibly difficult it was.
Through all the trials and the joys.
He is the reason.
Sure, I have a wonderful support system. A good sense of humor. And the most wonderful three sons ever.
But before that, and after that, I have Christ.
And I know that He is enough for me.
And He is enough for you, too.


Courtney said...

Wow, Angela. That is a lot on your plate right now!!! I so wish there was anything I could do to help. I live really, really far away, though, so I'll stick with sending lots of love, and happy and healthy thoughts for you and Mr. Benjamin! xoxo

MamaErin said...


You are so amazing! Your faith is inspiring to someone like me who is one of the ones you speak of who doens't feel like I need it but it's ok for others. I admire you in so many ways.

You will be in my thoughts and I hope all is well and you can go home soon!


Beth Chappelear said...

Oh Angela... I am reading your blogpost with tears streaming down my cheeks. So much is going on for you right now and I admire your faith and your strength in the midst of it all. I will be keeping you guys in my prayers - all of you - and hope you can continue to keep your spirits up. And a slight tip... those blood thinner shots hurt in the belly - I know because I had to do them twice a day my entire pregnancy. If you can get an ice pack and ice it a minute or so before, and after, the shot you don't feel it as much and you don't bruise as bad. Just a suggestion.Hang in there my friend.

Adrienne said...

Oh Angela, I am so sorry you are going through all of this!! First and foremost I will keep you in my prayers that there is no clot and you will be home soon. And then for your sweet Benjamin and that his blood count comes back up and all is well with that. Try to stay strong and positive, you'll get through this.

You are in my prayers!!!


The Moses Family said...

Angela, I've been thinking about yall all evening & then I read this and I just couldn't hold back the tears. I called both my Mom & MIL tonight and told them about you and asked them to pray for you. I just want to be able to take all your pain away. I know I can't, and that is why I will do what I can-pray. I'd be glad to do anything for your family to help out in all this.

JILL said...

I'm so glad you called your nurse! But, I'm sorry you are missing the family parties. From what I know of your people - they are liable to show up at the hospital with cakes.

Now, when Matthew brings you that chapstick (you know I coach all pregnant women to pack some in their bags... I prefer Avon's Care Deeply, but, that's a minute detail) be sure to ask a nurse for a couple bandaids and wrap them around the chapstick... because if it is round and you set it on your table - I can guarantee it is going to roll off and end up on the floor. And you will hate asking a nurse to come in just to retrieve your chapstick. LOL

Christia said...

You know? I love you. And I'm praying for you.

Sarah said...

Angela, I just want you to know how much I love you. I truly love you and your boys. You are often in my thoughts and prayers. You are an amazing example of strength, courage, faith and love to me and so many others.

Stephanie said...

the. most. beautiful. blog. post.

I love you.

Kara said...

Praying for you Angela. Hugs.

Mary Jo said...

Oh dear dear friend. My heart aches for you. I am praying for you.... one thing I'm praying for you is for a sense of normal to come soon. You know, just one or two weeks without medical issues for you and your beautiful family.
And might I make a suggestion? Look at the schedule, the crazy schedule that is next week and see what can be delayed. I know there's a lot in there that can't (wow that's a crazy list!) but I think A's teeth could wait a few more weeks if needed. I wish I could run out and help you, but I also know you have others who will step in and do that. And as you said, most importantly, you have God to lift you up through this.... and to lean on and be carried while broken when you can't do it any more. I love you - MJ

Ginger said...

Hugs Angela! Take care of yourself and get better fast. I'd be crying too, just from being postpartum without having to worry about the other stuff. I'm glad your family is always there for you!

Lindsey said...

Not much I can say, but you should know that I am praying praying praying for you. We are here if there is anything we can do...
(got to love those shots in the stomach, huh? yuck.
love to you and all of your boys!

Fredericks Family said...

Angela, you are awesome. I know you already know this, but even through your trials God is using you to show himself to others. People will see Christ through you. I can't even begin to imagine what you are feeling and all that you are going through right now. Even though we have never really "met", I feel as though I know you so well and I am so glad to know that we'll spend eternity together as sisters in Christ. Hang in there.. Snuggle that little baby for me:)

Tonya0429 said...


I am so sorry your having to go through this, especially now right after giving birth. But I know if any one can get thru this it is you. You are such a inspiration to me and you amaze me all the time at how strong and brave you are. I will be praying for you and your family and I know you will be getting lots of prayers and God
will hear them and you will be home before you know it.


count it all joy said...

I hope you're now getting a little bit of sleep Angela. I'm so sorry to hear that you've had this complication. Praying for all of you. Meredy xo.

Ashley said...

Even during a trial your sweet spirit is shinning through. My family will be praying for you.

Monica said...

Angela, You and your Family have my Prayers! I hope you are on the mend sooner than you expected. I'll also be saying special Prayers for Benjamin.

Aishlea and Brandon said...

So sorry to hear this news!!! I hope everything is okay and am sending my prayers your way!!

This was a beautiful post, by the way... and so true!

Maureen said...

Wow, I'm a bit speechless right now. You have so much going on. I'm not the most sappy person but your post made me cry. This is such a bittersweet time for you. I don't know much about blood clots but I do know they can be scary. I'll keep checking your blog in anticipation of clean bill of health for you. (((HUGS)))

Maureen said...

I didn't mean to leave out your sweet Benjamin. I hope to read about a clean bill of health for him as well. You're braver than I am; I wouldn't even be able to spell out that word.

Monica Crumley said...

Very moving post. I pray that all will be well with you and Benjamin. Your faith seems unshakeable and that will be your strength to get through anything. Of course, it would be nice if God gave you a break right now so you can take care of your body and your baby. Missing parties is a bummer, but a clean bill of health would be truly the best thing to celebrate.

AKW said...

Beautiful Post. Take care of yourself and fell better soon. Hope you are able to be home with your family so you can experience a wonderful Easter with your family

TwolittleN's said...

Angela, I have to tell you that you are such an inspiration! I've read your blogs for some time now and have always been amazed by your strength and positive energy. You deserve good things to come your way! Saying prayers for you and your family!

The Hollimans said...

Angela, I am so sorry. I'll be praying for you.

Shannon said...

i am sending you my thoughts, prayers, and hugs!!!! i am so sorry that you have so much on your plate right now... you will get through this and anything else that comes your way. i promise!!! love ya!!!!

Fredericks Family said...

Ugh I wrote out a big ol' response last night and it didn't save for some reason! Just want you to know you are awesome. God is using you.. Others will see Christ through you even during your trials. It's amazing how you always find a reason to praise him and be thankful even in the hardest of times. You're a female Job:) I love knowing that we are sisters in Christ.. Hang in there. Love you!

Laura said...

Beautiful post! I hope Matthew remembered everything, & I hope you have a wonderful Easter!

Anonymous said...

Angela - I'm sending big hugs your way and will continue to pray for you and your family. For peace. Love. Patience. Sleep. Healing. For His arms to continue holding you in His embrace. I love your honesty, your passion for life and love for your family. Take care of yourself friend.


Sari said...

Dear Angela, my heart is heavy for you as I read all you have in your heart and what is going on with your health right now.
Rest, know that God will take care of it all..ALL. Praying for you, your health, for your arms to be filled with much love from all of your boys. Soon. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Angela -
praying for your family - your post has me in tears, but don't tell anyone so I can keep up my tough girl image...

The Wood Family said...

Your post made me cry!

First of all, I was on strict bedrest with my 3rd pregnancy from week 21 until a 35 week delivery. And I had a not quite four year old and a not quite two year old. Fun times!

Second, cut yourself some slack on being hormonal and emotional. You JUST HAD A BABY! Bring on the tears! Let 'em's healing.

Third, it sounds like you have a rock-solid Mom who is always there for you. What would we do without our moms, seriously? And don't feel one minute of guilt about letting her help you. It's just what Mom's do. Truth be told, I bet she wouldn't dream of spending her Spring Break any other way.

Finally, YOU are RIGHT ON about Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It's easy to forget that in the 'moments' of life, but I'm glad He's a constant when all things around us are not.

Love and prayers to you and your family.


Emily said...

Oh, I hope you are feeling better and back with your babies...You are in my thoughts. HUGS!!!