NOTE: This post is not meant to be a complaint. I just want other women, including my friends to know that if this ever happens to you, I've been there and there are possibilities to help you through it.
I was released and came home from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon July 20th. Things were fine, other than the normal aching from stitches. My parents were going to be at our place around 8 that evening and would be here for an entire week. I was very much looking forward to it. I missed my dad so much I ached and my stepmom, Cherie, and I have been growing closer every time we see each other and I was excited to get to sit down with her and glean some much needed advice in person.
My belly was itchy as is normal as your skin stops stretching as starts to return to normal after childbirth. I wasn't too worried about it and didn't scratch because my skin was too tender to touch. The next 3 days it got mildy worse. And then it happened.
I became so, SO unimaginably itchy that there are no words to encompass how bad it felt. And that was just the beginning. Then as I went to sleep that night, I fought the urge to scratch. I woke up in the middle of the night on fire. I went to the bathroom as is my custom before I attend to the baby. I was stunned to see what I saw in the mirror. All over my body in HUGE patches were lobster red hives. I looked like a leper. The hives were so swollen that they puffed up and inch or more off the top of my skin that wasn't affected. An allergic reaction maybe? I have no idea but prayed in earnest that it would dissipate soon. I had Lars and my father give me a blessing.
I woke up the next morning and they were gone. But no sooner had I realized they were gone, they came back- with a vengeance. In different areas of my body this time. They were even on my face and in my scalp. For the rest of the time my parents were here, they would dissipate for 15-30 minutes and reappear in different areas of my body. I figured I could endure it for about 4 days if it didn't hit my groin area or affect my feet, my most sensitive areas. Every hour was an eternity.
I called Kaiser to talk to the advice nurse and he said to wait a bit. I asked if it could possibly be a delayed reaction to my allergy to the epidural, but he said that was impossible 4 days after coming home. He told me to come in the next morning if things got worst and to call first.
Then in the middle of the night 3 days before my parents left, I awoke again in the middle of the night to what can only be described as sheer torture. My feet, hands, and groin area were smattered with hives. I had them all over. I've never felt such agony.
I spent that day praying harder than I think I've ever prayed fr anything in my life. I didn't know what the Lord wanted me to learn by this trial, a new mom all over again with two children to care for. I just kept thinking, "What have I done wrong to deserve this kind of punishment?" I was so lost. But I did not go see the doctor. Somehow, because my parents said absolutely nothing about it, I felt like I should just tough it out, not complain. It felt like they didn't care. It made me feel distraught.
There was one particular time that i got in the shower and I just bawled. I cried and cried and cried until I had no strength left in me to stand. I'd never felt so weak and over-powered before. I couldn't fight this. My own body was working against me. If I left the house, it would still be with me. My parents asked if I wanted to get out and be at the park for a little bit to get some resh air, but I was too ashamed to leave the house. I didn't want people staring at my hideous hives I had no control over.
Cherie googled my symptoms online and read several blog entries and thing about it. There were over a million hits. And there was NOTHING to tell me what was the cause. So I continued to suffer. There were many times that I said that I was going to Urgent Care, but I couldn't make myself. I felt like my parents would look down on me for being weak. (which is completely ridiculous since they offered to watch Jonathan while Lars and I went with the baby). But emotionally and hormonally, I couldn't see past that.
The morning my parents left,took action. I scheduled an appointment with my chiropractor to set my hips so I could walk normally (my hips would slide out of place so bad as I slept that Lars nearly had to carry me to the bathroom each time) and we went to Urgent Care that night.
The doctor prescribed me a mild steroid. he said it might not work, but we had to see. If I didn't follow the directions to the T, it wouldn't work at all. I asked him if it would affect my breastmilk and if it would affect the baby. In a thick Asian accent, he said, "We have to treat you. The mother needs to be taken care of even more so than baby. If you're falling apart, the baby will get nothing out of you anyway." I took that as, "It's possible that it could have a negative effect, but there's nothing else to do." I was told to avoid being around people since the steroid would put my immune system down and he didn't want me to get sick. I also found out I had a UTI, again. I went home that night with two drugs I hoped at prayed would take care of my problems. I started them both during dinner.
I followed them the next few days. I started to feel a result on day 3. By the time I finished the steroids, the only thing I still had was mild itching, which lasted another 4 days. But after that, the hives and burning were gone. All I had left to deal with was the UTI.
I woke up again to feed the baby and it was hard to breathe. I could barely sit up to walk to the bathroom. Up under my ribcage, it hurt so bad I couldn't see straight. I drank a big glass of water I keep by the sink to stay hydrated. With each swallow, I felt my stomach go cold and expand. It felt like my insides would burst. I used the bathroom. Though I took the meds, my symptoms continued to get worse. I went in to UC again. This time I was prescribed something SUPER powerful for a kidney infection.
I finished those about a week ago and I'm still having problems. But such is life.
I just want all you mommies to know that you should take care of YOU first. If your baby has to wait and scream while you shower or use the bathroom or clean up a bit, so be it. Your natural inclination will be to ignore yourself and anything your feel could possibly be wrong with your body until it's too late. Don't ignore it. Take care of you. Your child will be just fine. Please love yourself as much as your child. No one can function if you're down and out.