Not just the baby

by cheryl@cheryl-campbell.com on August 16, 2013

I was coping. We settled into a routine. Geoff always went to work early, so I would go with him on the train. I would spend the day at Audrey’s side, taking breaks regularly to pump. And I worked a few hours each day for some private web clients. Their projects had been only partially done when Audrey was born and I felt obligated to continue. At night, I would get up occasionally to pump as well, although since I had good supply, I eventually stopped doing that as much.

I was exhausted. Once I got out of the hospital I was plagued for a time by shin splints. Then, around December 9th, I started to develop back pain. I had a history of back pain but it hadn’t bothered me for a few years. I figured it was from bad posture, slumped beside the isolette all day. So I made efforts to improve my posture and move around more.

The pain started to interfere with my sleeping as I was having difficulty lying down. Then, on the evening of the 13th it suddenly got even worse. That night I was unable to sleep at all. I was in no shape to go to the hospital the next day, so I stayed home.

Staying home and not seeing Audrey was horrible, and back medication wasn’t working. So the next day (a Saturday), we stopped in at the Mount Sinai ER to get some painkillers on the way to the NICU. The ER doctor thought it was just muscular and agreed to give me Tylenol 3’s. She seemed ready to let us leave.

However, she decided not to let me go just yet. She thought it was best to double check to make sure that I didn’t have a clot in my lungs. She said she didn’t like sending me for an unnecessary CT scan, but a blood test would be inaccurate in a postpartum mother. And, since I just had a baby, and a Caesarian, I was at an elevated risk.

Since it was a Saturday, we had to wait a while. But eventually we went with a technician and I had the scan. Then we came back to the ER and the doctor, now visibly shaken told us the results. I had “many” clots (pulmonary emboli) in my lungs.

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