Saturday, November 29, 2008

A lot has happened in the last few weeks - so bear with me

About two weeks ago, I had my first opportunity to watch William all by myself - Scott was back to work again for his first 48 hour shift since the baby was born. I was anxious to watch the baby for such a long time without any relief, but decided to just suck it up and enjoy. My good friend Tiffani came over and brought me lunch, so that was very helpful, especially since I hadn't figured out how to do anything other than shower & take care of Will's needs. I was so impressed with myself that I was having such a wonderful day with Will & that I was enjoying spending time with him so much.

Then at 4:00 pm, I had a melt down. I was nursing the baby, and I just started shaking and crying. I thought to myself, "It's about the time that I normally get tired, and I need help - Scott's not going to be home for another 40 hours, and I don't know if I can do this. . . . and why am I shaking so much? Suck it up, Liz!" I called my mom to get a pep talk from her, & she had me repeat to myself over and over that I could do this by myself. I then called Scott, & he told me to put the baby in the bouncer outside of the shower & to get in and relax (I was extremely engorged, and my breast hurt really bad). I got in the shower, and was really surprised that I couldn't get a hold of myself because I was still shaking, & it felt like it was getting worse. I finally had the thought that I needed to get out of the shower because - 1. William was crying & 2. If I didn't get out, I would pass out & really hurt myself. So I got out of the shower, swaddled Will & put him in his cradle in our bedroom (I was still shaking this whole time, & was terrified I was going to drop the baby). I got into bed, covered myself with the blankets & called Scott again. Will was crying, but I didn't have any energy to get up and take care of him. As I was shaking in bed, I could feel heat rushing through my body & knew I must be getting the flu. Scott finally told me he was coming home to help me out for a few hours and that he would go back to work after I got myself under control. When he got home, I was a complete mess. He called an advise nurse and told her my symptoms, and she told him to bring me to the ER. When I got there, I could barely hold my head up. I had a heart rate of 160, a fever of 101.7 & high blood pressure. They admitted me right away & started an IV (it took the nurse three tries). Within 2 hours, they gave me 4 liters of saline, and I was still very dehydrated. My fever & heart rate had gone down considerably, but were still not where the doctor & nurses would have liked to see them. They took my blood for a bunch of different tests, & after other tests, the doctor concluded that I had a Urinary Tract Infection (really? I didn't realize that shaking and a fever were signs of a UTI, just an infection in general. What about the burning they always talk about that comes with a UTI?). He decided to let me go home since I had a new baby to take care of (by this time, my mom was at my house taking care of Will) & gave me an antibiotic. He said if I got any worse after going home, that I should come back to the ER, & they would admit me without any questions.

After being home for about two hours, my shaking came back even worse than before, and I could feel my fever returning. Scott took me back to the ER, & the shifts had changed, so we had all new doctors & nurses who didn't know much of what I was going through. After getting poked two more times for an IV, I told the doctor that was helping me that my breast was hurting. He looked at it to check for mastitis, but concluded that I was just engorged (the first doctor had come to this conclusion as well). He rechecked to see if I had a UTI, and discovered that my urine was completely clean (it didn't make sense that I'd had a UTI in the first place). He then ordered a CT scan to see if I had an infection from delivery (especially since I had a difficult one). Right before I had the CT scan, the doctor came in & told me that he needed to do something that I probably wouldn't be too happy with. My first thought was that I would have to have a spinal tap to check for meningitis (since some random doctor came in & hinted that that might be a possibility - what a jerk, worrying a sick, emotional woman about something completely unnecessary). Anyway, my doctor told me he would have to perform a pelvic exam (I was 4 weeks postpartum & had torn a lot during delivery - I got about 50 stitches and some of them still hadn't dissolved - however, after thinking I would have to get a spinal tap, the pelvic exam sounded like a piece of cake, so I happily consented). After my pelvic exam, I got my CT scan. I have never had any allergic reactions to medications before, but there's a first for everything. I reacted to the Iodine that they put in me for the CT scan - it hurt to swallow, I couldn't breathe through my nose, & my nose, mouth, & cheeks felt fuzzy. Thank goodness they gave me Benadryl, and I was finally able to fall asleep because of it.

After I had been in the ER for about 12 hours or so, they moved me up to my own private room in the hospital. They kept giving me morphine for the pain, I continued to shake, and my temperature kept fluctuating. They also gave me shots in my stomach for the 2 days I was there, so that I wouldn't get blood clots in my legs from being in bed. The doctors still didn't know what was wrong with me, they just knew I had an infection of some kind. They put me on two different IV antibiotics, hoping that my body would react well to them. On a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the most harsh, one of the antibiotics was ranked at 100. The on-call doctor finally called for the OB/GYN on duty to check me out. I kept mentioning that my breast hurt, but thought that it might not be very important since 3 doctors by this point had told me I didn't have mastitis. When the OB came in, she checked one breast, and I didn't really respond to her exam. When she checked the other breast, however, I was shocked at how painful it was - I started yelling out and crying because it was so tender. She said that I most likely had mastitis (You think!?). I didn't have the red spots on my breast that are so often associated with mastitis (which is why the other doctors kept disregarding it), but because I was so sensitive to her touch, mastitis was her best guess. She advised that I keep taking the IV antibiotic just in case the infection was on a broader spectrum than just my breast. I still didn't improve, and my temperature got up to 104. They had to cool me down with ice packs even though I felt like I was freezing. My veins also blew, so they had to restart my IV. Because my veins were so shot, they had to have a pic nurse come in & use an ultrasound on my arm to find a vein that would work. (I looked like a drug addict from all the times I'd been poked). Finally that night, after they gave me my second dose of the antibiotic, my fever finally broke. I woke up shaking & sopping wet. The nurses had to change my sheets because they were soaked. From that point on, I started to improve dramatically.

The next morning, my personal OB came to visit me. He checked my breast and said immediately that I had mastitis - by then I had the red spots. He said he would work his magic and get me released early & prescribe Vicodin & an oral antibiotic for me so I could go home. After a few more complications with needles & IVs, I was finally able to go home (My vein blew again, so they had to restart another IV with an ultrasound, which blew within 2 minutes, so they gave up. Every time they started to use a needle or an IV on me, I broke out in a sweat - my body was so sick of being tampered with & my veins were dead).

This whole experience was such a mess, but it also made me so grateful for my health, for my husband, family, friends, my sweet baby, & the priesthood. When I got home after being in the hospital for 2 days, I hardly recognized my baby. His cheeks had gotten so much fuller after being on formula, that I had to watch his mannerisms to realize that he was the same little boy. He had changed so much in 2 days. After waiting such a long time for this child to come into our home, I couldn't stand being away from him & not being able to take care of him as a mother should. The first time I held him when I got home, I just rocked him & sang "You Are My Sunshine." This song took on new meaning for me after being in the hospital, especially the part that says: "The other night dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamt I held you in my arms. When I awoke dear, I was mistaken, & I held my head & I cried." I love my baby boy so much, and I was so happy to be home with him again.

I am also so grateful for the priesthood. I had more than one blessing while I was sick, and they brought me so much comfort. Heavenly Father is in every aspect of our lives, & is very aware of our discomforts, pains, joys, needs . . . everything. I could feel the Spirit as I went through this experience, & I knew that all would be well. My father who came up to be with me and to help with William gave me a blessing, telling me that it was not my time to go yet & that I had a special mission as a wife and a mother that I needed to fulfill. This was such a comfort to me, especially as there is nothing I want more in this life than to be a wife and a mother.

I never got around to posting a 1-month picture of Will because I was preoccupied with healing from my time at the hospital. So here it goes - nothing fancy, but at least it's something.

Taking a nap with daddy - Scott ended up taking more than a few hours off of work, so he could take care of me. He took me down to my parents' so they could help with Will while I recovered.
Will's gotten so much chunkier than he used to be. I love the little rolls he's getting, and his double chin is amazing - it practically props his head up, so it doesn't bob as much. I also love his sad face. His lips turn down so much, & he looks so sweetly pathetic.
Nice & warm after his bath, so he's much happier
When Scott went back to work for his next rotation after I was sick, my mom brought me back to our house. She had a lot of work to do back in Danville, so I called my friend Marisa to see if she could help me take care of Will - I was still weak from my hospital stay & couldn't even hold him for a very long time without getting worn out. She took care of him when he cried, fed him formula supplements, took me to my doctor appointment, and ran me to Will's pediatrician so he could fix his oozing bellybutton (he weighed in at 9 lb. 12 oz. after weighing 8 lb. 4 oz. 1 1/2 weeks before).

I was finally able to start nursing again after pumping and dumping for about a week. Here's William in a food coma. He's so cute.
William trying to decide if he wants to fall asleep or not while Scott & I ran errands.
Mama giving him a bath - he loves floating in the tub. He just sticks his legs out behind him & kicks like a frog.
I couldn't decide which bath picture I liked the best, so here's all of them.
He's got baby cleavage.

On November 19, Scott and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary. I actually got dressed up & did my hair & makeup. We went to Green Acres nursery to look at trees for our backyard (actually my idea & not Scott's - the 4-year gift is flowers or fruit, so I thought it would be fun to buy a citrus tree or some other sort of tree for our anniversary - we haven't purchased one yet because we are able to get plants wholesale through someone else). We then went to Tahoe Joe's and got steak dinners while William slept in his car seat on top of the table. We had a great time.

My mom & grandmother, Sammie, came to visit William for a day.
Scott's family came to stay with us for Thanksgiving, and we had such a wonderful time. It is so much fun getting to know everyone a little more each time we get together - they are all truly amazing people. Unfortunately, Scott's sister, Michelle, and her family couldn't come down, but they did call & sing "Happy Thanksgiving" to us.

Dennis, Karen, Gail, Allyssa-Rae, & me
We played games a whole bunch while Scott's family was here - cards & Mario Cart: Dennis, Kayla, Mark, Allyssa-Rae
Thanksgiving Day: Mark, Scott, William, & Dennis - I dressed Will up in a little acorn outfit for his first Thanksgiving.
Our first real family picture since Will was born. It's so nice to finally have one.
Joy & Mark with William
What better way to end this post than by ending it the way it started (Really, it's almost laughable). On Thanksgiving Day, I started out feeling perfectly wonderful. Everyone was just sitting down for dinner when Will decided to wake up from his nap & eat. So I went upstairs to nurse him when I suddenly had severe pain in my breast. I finished feeding him, & Scott had me come downstairs to eat something so that I wouldn't go all day without food. I could hardly hold the plate to dish my food up, so Scott had to do it for me. I went upstairs, & Scott brought me food in bed. I finished most of my dinner, but was in too much pain to sit still. I jumped in the shower, hoping that would help me feel better, but noticed after I got out that my sore breast was extremely swollen. I had Scott, Dennis, & Mark give me a blessing because I was almost positive that I had mastitis again. After receiving the blessing, my thoughts were confirmed. I called an advise nurse & could barely talk to her because I was in so much pain. I told her that I thought I had mastitis again even though the flu-like symptoms hadn't started yet. She told me I probably just had a clogged duct, but had me take my temperature, which turned out to be 99.7 (not very high yet, but a fever nonetheless). As I was talking to her, I suddenly began shaking - she told me it was probably nerves. She transferred me over to a doctor who was working at the hospital where I delivered, so the doctor could advise me on what to do. As it turns out, the doctor I spoke to was one of the four doctors who helped with Will's delivery (a tender mercy). She thought that I probably had a clogged duct, but said she would prescribe Vicodin & an antibiotic for mastitis (I was a little insulted that both the doctor & the advise nurse thought I would call crying over a clogged duct - I knew I was in more pain than that - I had had clogged ducts before). Scott ran to the pharmacy & picked up the prescriptions for me while I stayed at home to follow the doctor's orders - pump & pump & pump. It hurt to even lift my arm, so I struggled even getting started with the pump. I just prayed that someone from Scott's family would come upstairs to help me. Within a few minutes, Joy came upstairs & started rubbing my back & helped me control my breathing. Karen then came upstairs & applied cool compresses to my head to stop my rising fever. They helped me into bed & continued to massage my legs & back & helped me with my breathing so I could relax more. I continued to shake, but my fever didn't get nearly as high as last time. After Scott came home with the Vicodin, the pain almost completely disappeared. (When some people found out I was hospitalized for mastitis the first time I had it, they looked confused and asked why like it wasn't a big deal. This really bugged me because it's not like I was being a pansy & exaggerating it. Now that I've had it a second time, I can see what they mean about it not being so bad - even though it is still very painful. Because I was able to catch the mastitis early, I haven't been nearly as sick as I was the first time - but the first time was hell.) I am so grateful that I knew what I had before it got to the point that it had last time. My fever got up to 101.7, but it also broke later that night after I'd started my antibiotic.
I'm still in pain, but nothing like I was earlier. I thought I was going to be able to nurse William, but after 6 weeks & getting sick 2 times now because of nursing, I need to call it quits. I can't take care of my baby when I'm sick like this. Thank goodness for such an amazing family who could take care of both Will and me when I got sick for a second time. My love for Scott's family has multiplied because of this experience, which in ways makes me very grateful that it happened. They were so quick to respond to my needs & my child's needs with so much care & love.

Life continuing while I stayed upstairs in my bed resting, pumping, & recovering:
Gail taking care of William
Dennis, Scott, & Mark starting on the waterfall in the backyard.
Will all bundled up for a walk.


  1. Wow, Liz... wow. You've had some serious adventures the last month-- thank goodness everything worked out and you're on the mend. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. William is truly the cutest little boy, he's just precious! Taylor and I have you in our hearts and prayers- you're such a GREAT mom!

    ps. we LOVE your hair dark like that... you look TERRIFIC!

  2. liz - this post made me cry! did you ever get my message i left on your answer machine? you were probably in the hospital then. please call me anytime. ben's schedule is flexible enough that i came come up. mastitis is awful - and you seemed to have suffered terribly. i'm so sorry for all that you have gone through. i'm sure this thanksgiving you are counting your many blessings. and don't feel bad about stopping nursing. you do what is best for you and little will. we sure love you guys. take care and get a lot of rest. you can still get breast infections as you ween and go to formula.

  3. Liz, I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. I thought I had a bad experience with mine... PLEASE let me know if you need anything. Will is so cute and precious. Being a first time mom is the hardest thing and you just can't imagine it until you're there, but you are doing such a great job with him. Keep up the good work. You are a SUPER MOM!

  4. Oh my gosh. I am so glad you are ok! I cannot believe those docs thinking it was a UTI.

    Your little boy is so adorable! And I love the family picture. Your hair is so cute.

  5. I can't imagine what life would be like without modern medicine. I will never feel the pain of child birth or mastitis, but I can say that medicine is a gift from God. Leslie has had several ailments that would have caused weeks or months of pain and suffering, but thanks to medicine (and priesthood blessings) I know her pain and suffering was reduced and probably kept her from dying a couple times.

    I am very happy to hear you are doing better. Tell Scott hello for me.

  6. I am so sorry to hear that you have had some struggles and glad to hear you are on the mend. Will is so adorable!

  7. You poor, poor thing! I never had full blown mastitis, but I got it in the early stages, and it was NOT good. It was during the time that Hazen was still in the NICU, so I was pumping...well, needless to say, I called the Dr thinking I was dying when I looked down, and noticed that the milk was bright red!! So scary- but I can't believe you had to be admitted! THAT'S HORRIBLE! I'm sorry that nursing didn't pan out how you thought it would (didn't for me, either), but you are SO smart to realize that you're doing what you need to to be the best mom ever!!

    Will is so darling, I can't handle it! Loved the baby cleavage!

  8. I can't believe you got sick again! It is definitely a blessing that you knew what it was and caught it early the second time. Please let us know what we can do to help. Will is looking as cute as ever, and I love your hair!

  9. liz- bless your heart- so glad you're finally feeling better; what a difficult couple of months- he's a doll- love the pic of him in his stroller! and your new "do" looks great-

  10. Your pictures are so cute, especially the bath pictures. Sam says, "Dat Biz an' Baby We-ahl?" It's hard to distinguish between "Leah" and "We-ahl." I'm glad you're feeling better.

    I can't wait to see you guys in less than 3 weeks!!!

  11. I put Leah in her elf outfit on Friday, and she was so cute and hilarious. We went out to dinner, and the waitress went nuts over her and kept sending other waitresses over to check her out. It was so funny.

    I'll get Will's elf outfit in the mail to you.

  12. As sick as my baby was, there was one good and I actually loved taking care of Will, even in the middle of the night! That was a first for your dad and he said, "you know, that's kind of fun." After six children, he finally had time to get up with a baby in the middle of the night without having to go to work the next day. You can't get sick anymore! But since he's going to be on a bottle, I can get up with him and let you sleep next time you visit! I have to say that for a little girl who was always afraid of needles, you were amazingly brave. I also think you have the best husband ever!

  13. I am so sorry about everything that you had to go through and are going through. You are such a strong person. The good thing is that will is healthy and very cute and you are getting better. I wish I lived close so I could help out. You are a great mom and will is lucky to have a mom like you. Take care of yourself and I can't wait to see you guys again.

  14. Liz,

    Wow! I had talked to scotts Mom and she told me what was going on, but I didn't know to what extent. I didn't have mastitis but I can definately sympathize with you. At two weeks I had my gallbladder out after having Peyton. I was in and out of the ER for two days on morphine for the Pain until they could get me in for surgery and then underwent major surgery, all while trying to care for my brand new baby. If it were not for my parents I would have stopped breastfeeding. My dad drove back and forth from the hospital with milk I had pumped for Peyton. I pumped a whole 48 hours of extra for her because I couldn't feed her for that much time after my surgery. With out my family and the priesthood I know I would have not made it through so easy, even though it was the worst few days of my life. I love you. I am glad you are better and remember if you ever need to talk call me. I have been there, I know the struggles of motherhood!


  15. I'm really really sorry you were so sick. Having a new baby is hard enough without a bunch of other crap on top of it! Love the dark hair, by the way.

  16. You poor thing:) I hope you start feeling better. I can't believe you got another one...not fun. We love you guys and are always here for you. I love the new pics of Will...he is getting to be such a big boy! I love the wedding pics too...I haven't seen any before and they are super cute. Call me so we can set up a time to do Will's pictures!

  17. Holy Cow, Liz. I am so sorry. That sounds just awful. I hope you are feeling better and nothing else happens. Don't fret about no longer nursing... I only was able to nurse my older for six weeks and she couldn't be better. Will is super cute and you're looking dashing as well.
    Talk to you soon, Lisa

  18. Oh my goodness! I hope you continue to mend and don't have any more scares like that. It's hard enough to be a new mom without getting sick on top of it.

    Will is so cute!

  19. I am glad that you are feeling better. Hopefully this time it is for real. Happy Anniversary! You have had an eventful year. Will is getting so big and you look great!

  20. Liz, you are such a trooper! I don't know how you do it? I hope you are feeling better. If you need anything at all do not hesitate to call. Jaxon and I just stay home most of the time. We would love to come and help or just come for a visit.

    Will is getting so big. He is so precious. I love the picture of him in a food coma. I remember when the doctor told me to supplement Jaxon with formula because my milk didn't come in and he was the same way. So cute!!!

  21. All I can say is wow.... I hope that you are doing better. Its too bad there isn't much you can do but take antibiotics... Keep up the good work though...stay strong.

  22. My goodness Liz! What an adventure you've been through since William arrived. You are such a trooper, especially to decide to continue nursing Will. I don't know if I would be that strong. I remember the first month of breastfeeding being terrible and a half but I didn't have it quite as bad as you! Good luck in the coming weeks. I might say "It will get better" because it did with me and Opal, but after your story, I'm a little hesitant to say that. Hang in there for as long as you can, but don't feel guilty one bit about going to formula! William will be healthy and will love you just the same!!

  23. Wow Liz... I hardly know what to say after reading that. I know I'm late in responding, but I wanted you to know how amazing I thought you were. And how grateful for what I haven't been through you made me. You are an amazing person. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. Hugs.


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