Friday, May 30, 2008

Back home

(I started writing this on Thursday, a full day later I still hadn't finished it. Apologies)

The last 48 hours have been a blur of pain and insanity. I'm so tired that I may never walk further than 3 feet ever again.

Remember how I said that I was getting transfused? Well, my hemoglobin dropped a lot, because as that placenta pulled away, I lost a lot of blood.

Half the blood volume in my body to be precise.

Hemoglobin started out at 95 prior to labour, then went to 80 immediately after the c-section. The next day it had dropped to 54. The resident came in and explained that I would need a transfusion of at least one unit maybe two to avoid permanent heart damage. Really they were concerned about more than just heart damage, but they were trying to be low key to avoid freaking me out even more than before.

And that is why I have even more pain and swelling than the average c-section.

When my blood was at it's lowest level on Tuesday I really began to lose my mind. That was also the day that the residents started to shit on me and ignore me because they could; because the staff Docs were gone....

And again the nurses rode to my rescue, tracking down the Doc on call and figuring out who should be covering for my case and getting them on the phone and begging them to come to my room and make a treatment plan. And they did....

After an US to make sure I didn't have any bleeding into my belly or retained placenta or excess fluid, I got another unit of blood and a good night's sleep. (Thank you baby for not keeping me up)

And I stopped crying. I also called my GP and told her the entire story and after she got over the shock she helped me out too.

Today before I left, I met with the lactation consultant and got a nipple shield and some polysporin for my cracked bleeding nipples. I breastfed both my older kids for well over a year through thrush and mastitis and all sorts of hell and I am absolutely determined that I am going to breastfeed this baby as well even though we got off to a rough start. This is my thing and my thing only btw, like my attitude about pg loss and IF. If someone else wants to use formula, whatever, I'm fine with your choices, but when I really really want to do something I get a bit stubborn about it, so don't take it personally and please be supportive. Thanks.

So to those of you who had emergenciy c-sections or bled out during delivery or just have low hemoglobin---any suggestions? Ideas?
Assvice welcome? Heeeelp?


  1. I can't get over everything you've had to go through just to have this baby. I have no advice or assvice regarding your questions. But if you need anything just let me know. When you're feeling up to it, I know Patti will want to see you as well. Maybe in a month or so. ;) Keep well.

  2. Er, no experience here, but I guess it van't hurt to eat high protien and high iron foods for the next few weeks, but you probably will be on a good (ie lots of nutrients and not starving your self) diet with the breast feeding anyway.

    Other then that, take things slow and easy, and remember to hug the big brothers too.

    I am so glad you and dinkypie are alright.

  3. While I had an emergency C, I never bled-out, so no assvice here.

    I was a bit surprised at how fast I recovered from a CS. It wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. I hope that you start to mend very quickly.

    Are the boys thrilled with your new baby?

  4. Ummmm... eat liver?!?
    But seriously, whatever supplements your dr recommends - every little bit helps!
    Concentrate on getting yourself well.

  5. I have nothing of use to add, I just wanted you to know that I genuinely, hand-on-heart, read "hemoglobin" as "hobgoblin". This is how you know it's time to go to bed...

    Look after yourself.

  6. I don't have any assvice, but I am so glad you're OK and on the mend.

  7. No assvice here, just lots of wishes for your recovery & successful breastfeeding!

  8. No assvice you are awesome.
    Hope G is feeding like a pro soon.

  9. I have no assvice, but I fully stand behind your decision to do whatever it takes to breastfeed. Yo go, momma.

    Ok, I do have a bit of assvice... eat steak. Lots of it. Call your local Keg and ask if they can deliver on a daily basis.

    Or if you ask nicely, I'll come over to your house and make you a kickass brisket.

  10. My hemoglobin was really low after I had a baby, so my nurses and doctor recommended a supplement called Floradix. It is liquid, kept refrigerated. We got it at a health food store in our tiny northern Canadian town, so I am sure you are able to find it. Assvice, as requested.

  11. Well you asked for assvice, so here goes ... (In all its TMI glory)

    If you were just anemic and not recovering from surgery, I'd say go eat big hunks of red meat. But since you've had anesthesia and are likely (hopefully) still on some narcotics for pain, I'm guessing your intestines are not normal yet. So I'd avoid red meat now and eat pasta, fruit, and other soft foods instead. Hold off on super-huge iron supplements and just take your regular prenatal vitamins for now, too.

    Trust me, you DO NOT want to get constipated with that freshly traumatized belly of yours. It sounds like you've got enough pain already.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  12. Wishing you a speedy recovery.


  13. I don't know. Wabi makes a good point about doing all you can to avoid constipation. Goodness. I hope you have lots of help around the house. Thinking of you. And I'm glad I stopped by again and got another look at gorgeous Dinky Pie. BF-ing? All I can say is do what you told me to do. Lay in bed, sleep, and eat.

  14. Are iron supplements an option? I'm not an expert at all, but you could ask your doc if there are any safe for breastfeeding. Get better soon.

  15. i bled a lot with O (retained placenta) though nowhere near what you've been through...but i still came home really, really depleted and tried to eat a lot of iron (spinach, oatmeal, fortified cereal, chickpeas) at the same time as i was eating vitamin c (helps with absorption, i believe) plus steak cause i just like steak a lot. :)

    you've been through one hell of a week, Aurelia. rest and use lotsa polysporin (and lanolin, if it helps) and i wish you the very best with the breastfeeding and the recovery and the pain.

  16. Take it easy, rest as much as you possibly can... That's all I can say.

    I was also really stubborn about the breastfeeding and each time, once I got past the first 'catching-on' phase, things really got much easier. Good luck!!!

  17. Hi Aurelia, I'm a new reader and I suffered from a postpartum hemorrhage that resulted in a 2 unit blood transfusion the day after my son was born - I don't know if this was the case for you, but before the transfusions, they had to give me some benadryl through an iv to prevent infection. I found out a couple of days later when meeting with my lactation consultant that it had completely dried up my milk supply, even though none of the drs had warned me. It's still unclear whether or not this is was strictly due to the benadryl or whether I'm prone to low supply, but in any case, it was a factor that I wish I had been warned about. It wouldn't have changed my determination to breastfeed, but it would have explained why I had such a hard time at first.

    I also had the experience of taking fenugreek to increase supply, but had to stop after my LC realized that it was making me prone (in those first weeks) to excessive bleeding.

    Your son is absolutely beautiful and you're amazingly brave and strong. I ended up having a great breastfeeding relationship with my son for over a year, even though we had a really rough start. Good luck!

  18. If you take an iron supplement, you might also make sure you take a stool softener (my OB prescribed Colace).

    And YES, yes, yes to the polysporin for those poor nips. My midwife said I nearly gave myself the equivalent of a nipplectomy, due to pumping too long with the wrong size breastshields for Tiny Boy when he was in NICU. It can really help, and if you don't notice a difference, your midwife can also prescribe a stronger antibiotic ointment that you might have to gently wash off before BF, but it can help you heal more quickly. I also used some silicon breast pads (like LilyPadz) to help protect them between feedings. They were AMAZING, and felt so cool against the raw bits. I even alternated putting them in the fridge so I could always apply a cool set.

    Hoping your healing kicks into high gear, and I hope the BF goes better. Hang in there, sweetie!

  19. I bled out during delivery a week ago... the one thing that helped me most to feel better was rest. Which I could only get because my baby was kept in the NICU - because she maybe had an infection because she had some fluid in her lungs and with a high white blood cell count. Although it was possibly also just stress after a very long (36 hours) labor... After I got over being completely devastated I realized I needed rest very, very badly with all that blood loss.

  20. I had a totally dreadful section - it wasn't an emergency, but it turned into a train wreck on the table. The uterus failed to contract and I lost a lot of blood - they almost did a hysterectomy right then and there. They gave me two units of blood in the OR - but none after that. And a couple of days later my blood counts were okay - it really didn't take that long to get back up there. I did have plenty of swelling for a couple of weeks, and who knows about tired? Tired and newborns kind of go hand in hand.

    Feel better.

  21. I had a post-partum hemorrhage with my first pregnancy and an urgent (if not precisely emergency) c-section with my second. But I'm zero help because in both cases, my physical condition didn't really bother me -- the first time because I was so relieved that the baby was okay and the second time because I was so sad that it wasn't.

  22. spinach salads for you I guess...what a load of no help at all am I eh.