Sunday, March 22, 2009

Did I not just...

"Did I not just give birth?" I asked myself as I looked in the mirror for the first time in several days. I knew I wasn't a picture of perfection when I had been wheeled into delivery, but the last time I looked in a mirror THIS was not what I saw. I was puffy to say the least. It had been about 16 hours since I had delivered the babies. My instructions were to get up, go to the restroom, and try to walk a few times up and down the hall. Easy enough, right?

As I hobbled to the restroom I stopped at the mirror to brush my teeth. To my surprise, I looked like I had gained another 20 pounds. How could this be? Why do I look like I have gained and not lost? My mother and I discussed my appearance and things did not add up. I knew I should have lost approximately 15 pounds during surgery (simply by removing babies, placentas, etc.) I had a little over 10 pounds of baby in me total and I knew they weren't there anymore. So, we ventured down the hall to find a scale. The scale revealed that, not only had I not lost weight, I had gained 11 pounds instead! We paged a nurse and told her that something was wrong. Her response was that "Some women have a tendency to gain fluid after deliver - nothing to be concerned about." Okay, nothing to worry about.

My mom held onto my arm as we ventured back into the hallway for more walking. I was free! For the first time in four months, I could walk! Matter of fact, I was TOLD to walk and emotionally it felt really good to be me again. But, a few steps down the hall, a feeling of panic settled over my body. Heaviness. I knew this old foe of heaviness all too well. I kept walking, willing it to go away, and hopefully be my imagination. It did not. A few more steps and I was gasping for air. I could not breathe....again. Panic and tears filled me as I begged my mother to go get me help. We slowly went back to the room and paged the nurse. "My daughter is having trouble breathing, could you please send someone quickly!"

Five minutes one came.
We paged again.
Ten minutes one came.

I was feeling really weak and the little breath I had felt like it would cease at any moment. Realizing that no one was listening, my mom (bless her) ran down the hall and physically brought a doctor to my room. I felt like someone was standing on my shoulders smothering me...again. Finally, a team of nurses rushed to my side. They checked my oxygen level and I was much worse off than the first time I was sick. "I can't do this again!" I cried to the nurse. Begging, pleading, for anyone to help me. One round of congestive heart failure - fine. Two rounds was too much for me to handle mentally and certainly physically. I had too much to lose this time around. I had three new babies that needed me. I wanted to live for them. "Please don't let me die and leave them with no mother!" Please God. Please hear me again. "You give breath and life to all things-please hear me just one more time!"