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Home After Trauma

I would love to be able to say I got home and was able to relax and have everything be normal. I would love to be able to say that I could barely notice the new addition to my body. But that would be a lie.

First day home was rough. I walked in the door with my mom and new baby. Walked very slowly to the living room and sat in our lazy boy chair. Brookes nursery door was open, I could see the blue walls with pink trim (I had painted it before she was born). I could see her hand painted change table that had beautiful butterflies on it. I couldn’t help but feel sad. I couldn’t lift her. I couldn’t even bend change her bum ( Yes I kind of lucked out, NO poopy diapers for me). The only thing I could really do was breastfeed. It was so important to me to be able to do this. If I couldn’t what else was there?

First night home wasn’t any better. I went into my room and on the side of the bed was a bed rail. So I could get up on my own. A bed rail. It had a spot for my night time bag.  I hated seeing it there. Charles (18 at the time) came into the washroom where I was stubbornly struggling to change from my day bag to night bag. (Day bag strapped to my leg, Night bag Was large and had to be hand carried below my hip for proper drainage). I was in a lot of pain, and I felt i needed to do this myself. We were so young. He already had to go to work for 10 hours, come home and not only take care of a new born baby ( Literally everything) but me too. I wanted to be able to do this one thing myself. I didn’t want him changing, emptying and cleaning my catheter and “pee bag.” How romantic was that? How sexy could a already new mom feel with their partner cleaning their pee. I didn’t win the battle. I got half way done cleaning the bag and I couldn’t take the pain of standing anymore. Alas, I had to let him help. He helped me into bed and there beside me was the bassinet with baby Brooke sleeping soundly. we lucked out there too. She slept from 11pm to 11 am, I think the universe knew they already screwed me so i needed a baby that could sleep well. I had trouble sleeping even though it felt like i hadn’t slept in months… I couldn’t lay on my back because it hurt to lay on the fresh implant, I couldn’t lay on my side as it put pressure on my right side either way i laid, and my stomach had been cut open for a c-section. So I had to prop my pillows to sleep in a sitting position. I just wanted to be able to close my eyes and have it all be a dream. but it wasn’t… it was very very real.

Jump a head a to a week later. I hadn’t showered in a week. I had used wash cloths to wash my breast after feedings. But I was scared to shower. I couldn’t life my arms above my head. How was i going to wash my hair. And I could not get my tube wet. It had to remain dry. We had only a stand up shower. Phew how was i going to do this one? even if we had a tub, I couldnt bend. The hospital only sent me home with papers printred off of google. No one showed me how to do this… It was in such a weird spot that even a bag and some tape couldnt hold. too much water ran down my back. My only answer was, I wasn’t able to do it myself. Anyone who knows me knows i pride myself on being strong and standing on my own. I was raised by an army of women just like that. This is something i had to be able to do. the thought of having to have someone else bathe me… it terrified me. I didnt want that, It felt like an invasion. I had already lost so so much. I didnt want my dignity gone too.  but again I had to compromise what the person i was, what i thought i needed to let a family friend, a health nurse help me. She had asked me if i wanted a shower. Encouraged me that it would make me feel better. I knew being clean would make me feel better but, I didn’t want anyone to shower me. To see me naked. To wash me, I was 19. I felt so vulnerable. Yes she was a good family friend but It was still really uncomfortable for me.I felt like i wanted to bawl my eyes out. I wanted to be myself again. I couldnt take care of me, of my baby or of my boyfriend who was working his ass off for us and so clearly exhausted.

I did feel better after the shower, but i still felt really fragile. Like I could break any second. I was in so much pain all the time. I didn’t want to take pain medication. If I did I wouldn’t have been able to breast feed. That was all I could do. I could cuddle her sometimes but when she squirmed too much it hurt my incision and I couldn’t bend to pick her up either. You know how much it hurts to see everyone else playing with your new baby, see them smiling and laughing because she is just so sweet… It was the hardest thing I have had to do as a mom yet. I just wanted to be able to be her mom. I didnt get skin to skin right away, I didnt get to play with her on the floor, I didnt get to bath her, I didnt get to rock her to sleep..I got to watch people do it for me. I just wanted to be her mom. thats it. thats all i wanted. IMG_0521 (2)

My first bandage change was no picnic. What they have to do is pull off the clear sticky cover, take off the lock holding the tube in place (also sticky) was, rinse and replace. My skin was so raw that the sterile water burned, any movement of this tube hurt. and when they pulled the lock off I was in a lot of pain and very very dizzy. The nurse had to stop for a moment and grab me water because I was hot, very hot and about to pass out. Maybe it was nerves, maybe it was pain. either way saying it sucked was an understatement. The nurse informed me there was a little infection starting at the base of the tube. Great. She also suggested I get more then one bandage change a week. I know 1 a week doesn’t seem like enough when this line goes right into your kidney and drains urine but truth is we already had to pay 60.00 a week for just one change. If i wanted 2 a week i would have to pay for bandages plus the nurses time. With me on EI and Charles being the only one bringing home an income, and a new baby how could we ever afford that. We were barely making it paying for just this one change. The nurse when she was finished told me I should look into legal help, because in her 25 years as a nurse, she had never seen some one my age with this kind of injury from a c-section. She was telling me what a million people had already told me. What was I to do…what 19 year old has 10’000 to pay for a expert opinion…not me. IMG_1750

There was a lot of struggles with this injury and being home by myself with my baby. Most moms a month post c-section can do almost everything fine again. Nope, not me. I tried to put Brookelynn’s snugly on so i could attempt to get the house cleaned. But where the snugly sit, I couldn’t ware it. The bottom support strap crossed right over where the tube went into my back. So that was a no go and the pressure of it hurt. Holding her hurt. And you can forget me getting on the floor to play with her. I couldn’t even put on my own shoes. I STILL couldn’t bend. I never knew how much I used my core until I had to do my every day life things with out it. i couldn’t even play on the floor with my baby. She had to wait until we went to grandmas or daddy came home. I was being stubborn one day, I wanted to try it myself. I wanted to play with her and try to get her to laugh for me, I wanted to do tummy time. But I got stuck. I couldn’t get up. So there I sat for an hour, until Charles got home to help me. I really shouldn’t have tried it, But i wanted so so badly to just play with her…

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I didnt want help from anyone. I just wanted to be better. I only had to wait 2 more moths until my surgery. I would be better by Christmas. I just had to wait until December. I was November the count down was on. Charles went to lift my bag to make sure i was drinking enough water and he seen this big thing in there, Now i know that sounds gross but im not even sure what it was… I knew i had been a little more sore this particular day then i normally was but i figured that was because I FINALLY went out of the house for an hour. Turns out thats not what it was. My bag was full of bloody urine and had this weird thing in it. We went to the hospital and they told me it was nothing and sent me home with anti-biotics. I didnt think it was normal but i listened to them and took the medication ( which i still take now 2.5 years later) This pain still remained but i just suffered through it. I had to. I had a baby to take care of  and be strong for.

 

I got a call saying my surgery had been pushed. They had instead scheduled me for a routine tube change. Which they should not do if I have any kind of infection on the site, which I did. They went a head anyways. I was laying on the bed with some medication that made it so i couldn’t feel any pain but i could still feel what they were doing. I felt the tube being pulled out. Felt it slithering out of my body. I then felt a really really huge pain. My body jerked and the doctor told the nurse to give me more (was through the face mask) They had to hold me still as they proceeded as i was now in an excruciating amount of pain. When it was done I was so so tired. It felt like the world was crashing down. I wasn’t going to have the tube out for Brookes first Christmas. I wasn’t going to be able to sit on the floor with her for her first Christmas.

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Chuck on Christmas morning helped me down the stairs and i was still really sore from being in the hospital ( I had infection number 3 or 4). He pretty much carried me to the chair and i was able to sit with brooke long enough for her to open her stocking. I couldnt any more then 15 minutes as i was of course..in pain.  At Christmas dinner i had to leave for my IV therapy treatment.

I don’t remeber exactly when it was… but I remember one night i was not feeling well at all and I was pumping milk so i could go to the hospital. I had just finished and was cuddling brooke before my mom was going to pick me up. All of a sudden i was shaking and i had to yell for chuck to take the baby. I was bawling I couldnt walk or put any pressure on my right side, chuck ran upstairs to our family friend and they came down stairs. My “uncle” had to pretty much carry me to the car. My “aunt” drove me to the hospital and charles stayed with the baby. When we got out my mom met us there. She went inside to ask for someone to help me get from the car to the wheel chair. They told her no, that she had to do it herself. WHAT!? yea that really happened. i took 45 minutes to get me from the car to the chair. it was only 3 or 4 steps away but i couldnt walk. I was so scared, I thought i was going to lose my kidney. When we finally got in they took me to the back where they said it didnt look like my tube was draining. They gave me a morphine IV drip to try to subside the pain. It didnt help. Not even an ounce of pain went away. The first doctor told me I would have to wait to be transferred to abbotsford in the morning. My kidney wasnt draining and they wanted me to wait 10 more hours… At shift change a new doctor came in and told me he would sit with me all night if he had to and got a siringe and started manually pulling out liquid. My mom by this point was super mad because she had been asking for the last 4 hours for someone to ;oft the bandage and look at the tube to see if it was kinked. No one wanted to as they didnt know how to deal with it. Thats why they were going to transfer me to Abbotsford. But this doctor listened. This doctor took off the bandages and unkinked it. The second he did that I almost fell over. I was so high on pain meds and so exhausted/relieved. It was like a million pounds had been lifted. That pain hurt more then pushing in labor for 4.5 hours. It was brutal. And after that i had to stop breastfeeding due to constant medications.

Finally time for my surgery. At first they  came in and called me by the wrong name and said i was having a different procedure. They had the wrong file. Comforting right? I went in and the original sergon wasnt even allowed on the floor while i was there. I was scared out of my pants. what if this one made thing made it worse… good news… The surgery went well. They cut out the obstruction so cut the tube off the bladder, sewed up the bladder, cut the tube and made a new bladder incision and re attached the tube. I woke up in my room and everything was fine… But i now had a vaginal catheter and would have to go home with it. I felt weird. Like i didnt feel like myself. I felt almost numb. Like my heart just shattered into a million pieces. Broken. I was so broke down.

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Today, 2.5 years later…i am still struggling. I am not as happy i once was. I am in constant pain and deal with Constant kidney infections and theres nothing anyone can do. I have been trying to get help for a law suit but no luck apparently going through all of this and only being 22 with out being able to have more kids with out huge risk is not enough in Canada to sue a doctor, I would have to pay 10’000 for an expert opinion. Thats just to get them to assess me, and see what is wrong, what it is doing to me and what it will do years to come. We have already had to pay all medication and bandages up to now and only have more expenses coming. I suffer from P.T.S.D and require anti anxiety medication and i have never needed that before. I have always been happy and healthy.. until i went in to that O.R. He didnt only make me lose the chance of having another healthy pregnancy but he made me lose myself. I will never bee the same, not my body and not my heart. I am tired of being in pain. And now… they just tell me i will get used to the pain. Theres nothing anyone can do. I just have to learn to live with it. I am on oxycodone for pain. Thats how bad it gets. And i just have to get used to it.

And thats where we are up to date. Thank you for reading my very long story. It took me a long time to sit and write this as it still makes me cry. It was a huge emotional trauma. And i relive it everyday.

 

-Alana

p.s

I am trying to raise the 10’000 needed. Feel free to donate here if you can. Any and ALL help is appreciated

https://www.gofundme.com/hdbjw8

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C-Section Complication 

September 12th 2014 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I didn’t know that a few day’s later it would send my new world into turmoil…

 September 13th I started to feel pain on my right side. It felt like someone was jabbing me really hard in the middle (right Side) of my back. I mentioned to my nurse that I was feeling pain there that I didn’t think was normal. She assured me that pushing for 4.5 hours was the cause as it takes a toll on your body. OK, yea sure I get that. I was enjoying time with my family. My new bundle of joy. I had never been happier in my life. Man of my dreams, healthy, happy baby girl. I was on an all time high. Nothing could bring me down… So I thought.

  September 13… unlucky 13 I guess. I woke up in pain, but i looked over to see the love of my life sleeping with our little girl all wrapped up together. They looked so sweet. I found myself smiling. Looking at them so peaceful. Such a strong love. A new love. This was my family. This was my life. My happy ever after. And the pain I felt wasn’t something i wanted to wake him over. So i told the nurse again. And still they did nothing but up my pain medication.

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 September 14th. I went through the day learning how to properly breastfeed Brookelynn. How to apply the Vaseline and how much. Getting the hang of a routine with a baby. Totally exhausted. We had a busy day. Lots and lots of visitors. When night rolled around I was in more pain then usual. I mentioned to the nurse I was still hurting. I requested a hot water bottle. That’s just what they brought me. A square hard water bottle that had hot water in it. I was in pain how was I supposed to lay with this behind my back. (I felt like they were stupid.) A little while later I tried to get some sleep. But I couldn’t. Charles was finally sleeping in the chair beside me. I tried to pull myself up to look into the clear bassinet beside me. I couldn’t move. It hurt. I was panicking. I cried out to Charles who awoke panicked. We pushed the help button for the nurses. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was dizzy, I felt nauseous. I was leaned over the bed almost in half. (which you fellow c-section moms know should hurt the still fresh incision) the pain in my back was so excruciating that i did not feel anything else.  The doctor came in and started to lightly hit down my back. She got to the mid section on the right and I almost jerked off the bed. It.hurt.so.much. She got a worried look in her eyes. And told me first thing in the morning I was going for an ultra sound and a CT scan. (Things from here kind of all mesh together. So  I am sorry in advance)

 I of course had to go alone for the scans. After all was said and done. They concluded that somehow there was a blockage in my right ureter tube (Image below). Some how during the c secion my tube was cauterized or sewn shut.

 

 

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My right kidney hadn’t been draining for two days. TWO DAYS. That’s where all the pain was coming from. My doctor came in and explained they needed to attempt to put a stent in to open the tube again, me being me i asked what would happen if that didn’t work and he told me if it didn’t work i would need a nephrostomy tube. (they would put a hole in my back, insert a tube that would then drain the urine from my kidney into a catheter on my leg.) I was 19. I was scared but hopeful.They scheduled me an emergency surgery to attempt a stent. I was scared as hell. But i had faith this would work. It would all be ok. It would all be ok, breathe…They put me to sleep for the procedure. I was still groggy when I woke up, my doctor had told me the stent wasn’t successful. It hadn’t worked. It felt like a dream a very very bad dream. I was still really out of it I assume I passed out again as i woke up in my room. The doctor came back in and I asked him if he had told me it hadn’t worked. He confirmed. It did not work. They couldn’t even get the camera in to see past the obstruction. I needed to be transferred to Abbotsford. Alone. For my surgery. I felt a lump the size of the world rise in my throat, I held back tears and agreed. I need to be strong for Brooke, Charles and my family.

 So the time of the surgery came. Time to leave my baby and go in for a surgery we didn’t know was going to work. Charles had to go back to work or he would lose his job, my mom needed to be with my daughter along with a life long friend Shelby. So It was time for me to do this. Alone. I was strong i knew i could handle this. I mean I had to. I had some one relying on me now. It wasn’t just me anymore. They loaded me on the stretcher and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I lost it. I cried, and I cried. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to leave my girl. she needed me. We left the room and came to the elevators, Where the ‘surgeon’ who had given me this c-section stopped. He looked shocked, he said “I am so sorry” and I couldn’t even look at him. My whole world was crashing down. I was more scared than I had ever been in my whole life. So I did what any normal girl would do and I texted my daddy. He told me i was strong. and that i could do it. I needed that, but i didn’t believe it not then.

 They called my name. It was my turn. I was wheeled in. And there was a surgeon, 5 nurses a lot of tools, cords and tubes everywhere. They had asked for me to pull myself from the stretcher to the operating table. (reminding you i had just had a c-section and i couldn’t lay on my back due to this surgery) I was very slow. was doing my best. I was shaking and barely holding myself all together. The doctor was rushing me and I informed him it hurt to lay on my belly as i had just had a baby delivered by c-section. His reply was when did you deliver. HE DIDNT KNOW! 2 days ago. just 2 days ago. Finally i was belly down on the table. They started hooking me up to oxygen and wires. When the surgeon then realized i needed to be the other way as my left side was facing him, not my right. So now I had to attempt to get up with iv’s, tubes and wires connected to me. I lay on the pillow softly crying. the nurse asked me why i was crying, was i hurt or was i scared. How do i answer that? i am terrified and I am hurt. They put me under for the surgery. I woke up in recovery. I now had a tube in my back and a catheter. I was broken. How much more did i have in me? Just when I was feeling like slipping into sleep as the world was just too much, my dad walked in. Man did i ever need to see him. I felt like i could breathe again.He was trying to take my mind off it, and i loved that, but there was only so far my mind could wonder.

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 The rest of the time at the hospital was OK. I couldn’t be left alone with Brooke encase i got a pain and dropped her. Not to mention I was very very weak. I could barely eat. I had trouble lifting my six pound baby up. I couldn’t even lift my arm above my head. But, I was only going to have this thing for 2 months. Then another surgery to get it removed (A stent would be put in to hold the tube open). I could do that. two months. I would be fine.

 Time to leave the hospital and take my baby home after a week from hell. We could finally take her home. be home. I could lay in my own bed. Sleep in my own bed. The nurses prepped me to go home. They gave me paper work to read about this new addition to my body. The papers were from google. The nurses didn’t know how to take care of me. In their careers they hadn’t seen this from a c-section. So they didn’t know what to tell me. No one did. All any one could say was i am sorry this happened to you. I was broken that this happened, but that didn’t change even an ounce of love i had for my daughter. She lights up my whole world. Takes the pain away with just a little smile. In all the havoc, she was my saving grace.

xoxo

-Alana

 Want to know how I did at home? There is more in “Home After Trauma”. Spoiler? They pushed my surgery. to months later.

p.s

I am trying to raise the 10’000 needed. Feel free to donate here if you can. Any and ALL help is appreciated

https://www.gofundme.com/hdbjw8

Meeting Brookelynn

 September 12th 2014 I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl,Brookelynn Louise Kennedy. Our meeting wasn’t like most. I didn’t get to hold her, or really look at her right away. You see, she was born via C-section. She had an abundance of mucus in her lungs and needed to go to the incu. Her daddy got to hold her only long enough to show me her face, and then she was taken from us.

 In the recovery room at the hospital all i could think about was my baby, how I didn’t even get a good look at her… I couldn’t really see as I didn’t have my glasses. It had been 45 minutes without seeing or having my baby. Charles came in (Brookelynn’s daddy) and showed me a few videos of our beautiful girl. She was so curious, not crying. Just looking. She was sucking on his gloved hand in one, as they wanted her to latch to something. I couldn’t be me. And that hurt. i wanted so badly to see more than a video of my baby girl. I knew i had to wait.

 Up in the hospital room (2 hours late) they finally brought me my girl.(photo above) I had never felt so much love in my life. This little alien looking person, this little person I had never met took up so much room in my heart. She was perfect. She had my moms nails, my long fingers, daddies eye lashes and shape, my eye and hair color. I knew right away she was going to be smart as a whip (boy was I right).

 I was blessed to be able to breast feed. Although I would have been just as happy if I couldn’t. She had a good latch right away. the bond I felt while breastfeeding made me understand why mamas go through the bleeding and cracked nipples, the pain of the bites. It is such an amazing feeling to do something for your baby only you can do. But of course daddy wanted to be apart of the feedings too, as it is the biggest bonding time for a baby. So I decided to pump and breastfeed so daddy could get the cuddly baby love too. Your probably thinking didn’t she get nipple confused? No! she didn’t. She was fine with a bottle and a boob. She was happy to have daddy and I feeding I think.

 You never know how many choice you have to make until you have a baby. You have to choose right away if you want to vaccinate, If you want to breastfeed, if you want to co-sleep, what kind of schedule you want to try to work out. Will the diapers you chose be OK ? will they give your baby diaper rash? Will you give your baby a soother? So much is expected of you and your precious baby that the first day is so over-whelming, but worth it.

 Expecting mamas out there… remember one thing and you will be fine;

It Is Worth every second. 

xoxo

-Alana

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