I had three, fairly easy deliveries. So in my head, I thought baby #4 would be just as easy.
I was wrong. As I have written before, the baby of the family wanted to make her entrance a little more memorable. After hours of pushing, I met my precious Aria after a C-section. Then came the infection that landed me back in the hospital when Aria was less than a week old. After several rounds of antibiotics…I was back home with my family…and I was finally feeling like myself.
That was short-lived.
I had the chills a lot. I thought it was because I was low on iron…or so that is what I had been told. So every morning and night, I took a steaming-hot shower. I needed to get those chills out of me.
At the 6-week mark, I still couldn’t bend over. When I tried…I would nearly cry it hurt so badly. I couldn’t understand it. Everyone I talked to…everything I read…all said by 6-weeks out, they felt “normal again.”
Then came the stabbing sensations. Pain so intense, it would literally drop me to my knees. It happened at a store when I was with all four of my kids by myself. I crouched down and held on to the cart and loudly whispered to my oldest, “You’re going to have to call Daddy for me.” It would even hurt to have any clothes touch my stomach.
“What is happening?” I would ask that over and over. “Nerves reattaching…normal recovery pain…your incision scar is sensitive.”
I knew whatever was happening…it wasn’t normal. It wasn’t recovery. Something was not right.
Then came that Tuesday night. (This part is a tad gross…and TMI)
It was the week of Thanksgiving and my family was in town. We decided to take all of the kiddos to the indoor trampoline park. I was standing there with my sister-in-law when the pain became unbearable. I could barely walk…I had shuffle my feet to get anywhere. Then something was happening…my sweatpants were soaked. Soaked. From the waistband…all around my legs…down to the floor. Soaked. I made my way into the restroom to try and figure out what was happening. I stood in front of the mirror and lifted up my sweatshirt when I saw it…there was some kind of liquid gushing from me. It looked like it was shooting straight out of my stomach but I couldn’t tell. There was so much and it was coming out so fast.
Next thing I know, I am in an ambulance on the way to the ER.
That’s what formed inside my body from the infection. And on that night…it basically exploded…and started leaking.
I was readmitted to the hospital…my incision was reopened…and the abscess was drained. (Most. Painful. Thing. Ever.)
I thought it was done. I thought I was healed. Nope. Now I had to pack the wound. Basically, stick gauze inside the wound…so my body can heal from the inside out. Again, not a fun procedure. Once-a-day packing…that required me to take some pain meds before it was time to get started. And my mother-in-law, who is a doctor, was the one packing my wound. Talk about a humbling experience.
The packing wasn’t going to work well enough. “Let’s vac her.”
Let’s vac me??
At the wound clinic, I was told that I would need to wear a wound vac for about 8 weeks. Basically, a sponge is put inside the wound (near incision scar)…tubing is attached…that tubing sucks out all of the “bad stuff” inside of me and sends it into a canister that is tucked away in a black pseudo-purse. I wear it like a cross-body purse on most days. I haven’t found a sweater or jacket that can hide the four-feet of tubing I have folded up in the bag…so, I will just get used to all of the stares I get 😉 But I don’t care because this wound vac is a little bit of magic attached to me…it’s healing me!!
For now, I am loading up on protein because I’m told that will help rebuild my tissues and cells and help me recover more quickly. I’m back at work because I missed it…and I need my “normal” back.
But I’m bitter. I’m angry. I’m sad.
I feel like Aria got cheated. I wasn’t able to fully enjoy all of my moments with her because I was in so much pain. I spent most of my maternity leave in tears.
I feel like I broke Luciana’s heart. She didn’t understand why I couldn’t pick her up for SO long. She didn’t understand why I couldn’t get down on the floor and play with her.
Nico & Gia kept asking me, “Mom, are you ever going to be better? Why are you always crying?”
So this is my story. This is my now.
I never truly appreciated good health…until now. I miss it. But I’ll be back…more attentive than ever.
Trust your body. Trust your instincts. If you don’t think it’s normal…than it’s probably not.