Norah's Story

Friday, April 3, 2015

The last 11 weeks.....


I have been putting off writing for awhile now.  A lot has happened in our family since January 16. The best thing that happened is that Cecilia Rose was born weighing in at 8 lbs. 2 oz and 22 inches long!  She's the perfect gift from God, and we are so thrilled to finally be a family of five.

Her birth was a standard repeat C-section.  The most difficult part was being stuck 3 times to get the IV in, but after that it was smooth sailing.  She was born on Friday, January 16 and on Monday, January 19 in the evening I was discharged. 

Around 11:30 p.m. I had the most horrific headache.  I woke Greg up because it was so bad and so acute that I knew deep down that something was wrong.  I sent him to Walgreens to pick up my pain meds and took two of them.  It didn't help.  I don't think I slept at all...the headache was so much worse lying down than being up and moving around.  At around 7:00 a.m., I texted Dr. C to ask her what to do because with every beat of my heart my head felt like it would explode.  She said to drink some caffeine and lie down and see if that helped, and said that if it didn't I should probably go to the ER to be checked out.  I kept trying to take my blood pressure and the cuff kept reading error.  I thought it was just broken, but after I took a shower and the headache kept getting worse, Greg took his bp and it worked on the first try!  We finally got it to read mine--190/99!!  I texted Dr. C again and told her I was heading back to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital at around 11:00 a.m., we called a few people to make sure Maggie and Elliott were picked up from school, telling them we'd probably be home around 3:00!  Little did I know what would transpire in the following hours.

There were no other people in the waiting room at the ER, which totally surprised me.  It made things move rather quickly.  They hooked me up to an IV (got it on the first try!) and wheeled me back to get a CT scan of my head.  While I was in the CT scanner, something strange happened.  I didn't know what it was, but I knew that it was not good.  When they wheeled me back to Greg, I felt funny.  I couldn't talk to him at all.  It seemed like mere minutes went by before the doctor came in to tell us that there was bleeding on my brain and that they were taking me by ambulance from Missouri Baptist Hospital down to Barnes Jewish.  I could feel myself panicking because I couldn't say anything that anyone could understand.  The nurses were asking me to tell them what was happening in these pictures, but even though I knew what I wanted to say, the only thing that would come out was jibberish.

The only feelings I remember from this point on are fear and panic.  I got loaded up in an ambulance and taken into the ER at Barnes.  It felt like being a part of a movie.  It wasn't quiet like the hospital I just left.   There were only serious patients here--how was I so serious so quickly?  Why was this happening to me?  I just had a baby!  Why can't I talk or move my right side?  From this point on, I don't remember the next 48 hours. 

By the time I remember coming around, sometime 2 days later, I was in the ICU but had retrieved all of my function.  My parents and Greg's mom were here holding down the fort at home.  My BFF and her hubby kept Cecilia for a couple of nights.  It's all so crazy...

So, on January 20, I had a stroke.  Four days after giving birth to my rainbow baby, I had bleeding on my brain and was rushed to another hospital.  I watched my husband holding my new baby and pacing back and forth while I couldn't talk or feel my right side, and it ranks right up there with one of the scariest moments of my life.  Cecilia is 11 weeks old today, and I feel as if it has taken me this long to understand what has happened to me.

I have had two very near death experiences in the last two years.  While you are in the middle of a health scare, you just do what the medical professionals tell you.  As the patient, you don't think about how critical you are or how things could have gone so much differently.  I am trying to understand why this happened....why I got stripped of my first week with my baby who I had prayed so hard for....why my husband had to see his wife so serious and worry how he would go on without her.  But through God's grace and the prayers of a WHOLE lot of people, I am still here.

I am not quite out of the woods yet.  I have seen quite a few doctors at Barnes and still have another appointment in a week with a cardiologist.  I may never get an answer besides pregnancy that caused my stroke.  Each day I wake up and thank God for giving me another day and pray for no more horrible headaches.  I know He will continue to protect me and whatever the outcome from all of this, I know His plans for me are great!
No kids allowed on the neuro floor, but they made an exception for us!




7 comments:

Christina Hillenbrand said...

Thank God for you getting better! Will keep praying for you. You always look so happy with your beautiful family!

KKMUNGO said...

Oh Elizabeth, we are so happy that you're improving and your family is stronger than ever! Thanks for sharing so we can include you now, more than ever, in our prayers. Love, the Mungenasts

cherishjord said...

Continued prayers for you and your sweet baby. Love the family photos.

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story. You are so brave just for living through it and choosing to be grateful for today. I am so thankful you are here today to tell this story and I am praising God for you and Greg, Maggie, Elliott, Norah, and Cecilia. (Overcome with tears but full of thankfulness.)

Unknown said...

I continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story of Gods grace!

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth...just saw this blog sent to a boatload of us at MQP from Allison Brennan (what an incredibly loving person she is) and you should know you know have had about 400-500 MQPers praying for you in a huge way, and you are going to be fine! Enjoy this beautiful Easter weekend, certainly you have much that is left misunderstood, but you are now back in good health and can move forward...and that's a beautiful thing...perhaps this is God's way to remind us all to take it one day at a time, and make the very best of that day, who knows...you have a beautiful family and that little Emily Rose is absolutely precious...may God bless your entire family, all ways and all days.

Brooke said...

Oh my gosh, Elizabeth. I've been checking your blog frequently waiting for an update on this rainbow baby of yours. I'm so delighted that Cecilia is here (and I LOVE her name) but I was shocked to read about your health scare. You've already been through so much--I can imagine how frightening that was for you and your family. I'm so glad you're doing well now. Thinking of you and sending much love.