The last two days have been a real blur. I’ve just spent two days in hospital and it’s really great to be finally at home. Let me start at the beginning. On Sunday I started feeling really unwell, all shivery and shaky and with a cracking headache. I started taking Panadol (acetamenophen) and it wasn’t making the smallest dent in my headache. It got so bad I couldn’t stand up without feeling an incredible sharp pain in my head, and by the evening my temperature hit 39oC (102oF), and I’d taken all the Panadol I was allowed to, so we decided to go to hospital. I thought that perhaps they’d give me some more pain relief and send me on my merry way, boy was I wrong!
At the hospital they checked me out, a doctor came to see me, lots of questions, some blood tests, checks on the baby’s heartbeat, urine tests, etc. The midwife thought I probably just had a virus of some kind, but the obstetrician resident wasn’t so sure. They called my private obstetrician and she wanted me admitted overnight to keep a check on me. Unfortunately they didn’t have any beds available in the antenatal ward, so I spent the night in the labour ward, in one of the admissions rooms. I didn’t sleep too well; partly the weird sounds of women going into labour, the sounds of very young babies, plus the disconcerting noise of medical alarms and beeps and doors opening and closing. I also didn’t sleep well because they’d had trouble putting the IV cannula in, the first two attempts didn’t work and so the third went into the crook of my arm. I was told to keep my arm straight all night, and not to put any pressure on that arm. (Not very comfortable for a good night’s sleep and getting up and down to the toilet!) My temperature stayed high all that night, even with the pain relief, and my headache was still really bad, so they gave me codine as well.
The next morning some test results came back, there was nothing to suggest a bacterial infection, so that suggested a virus. Again, the midwives weren’t too worried, but the doctors were concerned that it wasn’t more serious (the word meningococcal virus got mentioned at one point). The whole day was a blur of waiting: waiting to see a doctor, waiting to hear what they thought, waiting for them to consult with my obstetrician, waiting for a room, waiting, waiting. I started counting the various signs around the room. I kept getting told I was probably going to go home, but then someone would come and give an opinion that I should be checked for something else. I guess they are very cautious with pregnant women!
In the late afternoon my obstetrician came to see me – she told me that they were worried because a headache and fever are not common together with no other symptoms, and she wanted me to go for a neurological exam. I finally got a room in the antenatal ward after she left, and it was like arriving in a hotel. I could see the outside! It was quiet and peaceful! Hot food (they only have sandwiches delivered to the labour ward)! I was still waiting on my neuro assessment, and then was finally told that they wouldn’t be coming in the night, it would be the next morning. I had a much better night’s sleep, although I had to be woken up 6-hourly for my intravenous antibiotics, and at midnight yet another cannula failed. Taking this one out was really bad and I bled profusely everwhere. They had to change my sheets and wipe everything down. I had another one put in (it was my fourth in the left arm!). My temperature seemed to really drop down over night and I felt so much better.
In the morning an obstetrician came to visit and saw that I was looking and feeling much better. She told me she didn’t think I need to see the neurologist because I was doing so much better, I could probably go home, she just needed consult with my own obstetrician. Of course there were a few more hours of waiting around and getting scripts for my at-home antibiotics, more checks on the baby, etc, but I was finally out of there at midday.
Meanwhile, Chris has been juggling Rose, work, and coming to see me. He’s been doing an absolutely amazing job, although he does have the air of someone who hasn’t had enough sleep. Rose has coped without her mum amazingly well. Delwyn’s been looking after her a lot, and Petra and Paul have helped too. (Petra wrote about it in her blog). It’s times like this that we really wish we had family members nearby. The juggling won’t stop for another few days as I’m still pretty weak and won’t be up to looking after Rose. But still – I’m home!
One last thing – the best thing about my hospital stay was hearing all the newborn babies. It made me so excited to have our own little baby in a few months! Those soft little cries and mewls from newly born lungs are heartbreaking. I can’t wait!
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