30 August 2007


August has really been a roller coaster of a month. Though the downers seem to out weigh the positives so far. Let's see...

August 6th. Cory informed me while I was in the shower that her water had broken over night. She called the birth center while I rinsed shampoo off. They wanted to to lay down for an hour and see if it was just a loose bladder or if her water had really broken. We both knew the answer to that already, but humored them. I finished packing her bag while she waited. An hour later she was calling the birth center to tell them we were incoming while I was calling our Doula.

12 Hours later, Quinn showed up. We'll call that a positive.

August 7th. Happy Anniversary. In the hospital. (They did make us a halfway decent diner, by hospital standards... but it wasn't Victoria's.) We'll call that a positive too.

where did things go from there..... damned if I know.... later that week Quinn was back in the hospital, in the ER as it would turn out by the hour that we got him there because he was limp and wouldn't eat, and he was turning yellower and yellower as the hours went on, especially his eyes. Jaundice had set in, we knew he was at risk from his checkup the day before, when they did a blood test and wanted another one 24 hours later. So we did get him some sun, when we could, but there wasn't much sunshine to be had, and the other method they suggested to flush out the billirubin was feeding, except he wouldn't eat he was so lethargic. Nice Catch-22, huh?

The net result from that trip was "Yes, he's got some Jaundice, but it's not so bad, keep doing what you're doing." We got him about as much sunshine as we could over the next several overcast days, and did everything we could imagine to keep him awake through short and frequent feedings.

At this point Veronica, our Doula, happened to call to checkin on how things were going. "Not so well." and she was here in less than an hour. A bit of hands on guidance with feeding for Cory, and a lot of good words to the effect of "throw the perfect-world dictionary definition out and go with reality." really helped. If you don't get 20 solid non-stop minuted of suckling at a crack, you're not a failure. Minor little details like that which the hospital neglected to mention in their education made the world of difference. But in their defense they made SURE to point out that "breast feeding is an effective form of birth control." I am so glad I wasn't able to attend the breast feeding class... Cory managed to control her laughter on that one... I wouldn't have been able to.

Things seemed to start going better at that point... partially because her mom came over to help us keep the house going for a few days. The goodness lasted for a little while. Though somewhere in that range I managed to break my little toe while running to see what 'caused Quinn to scream at the top of his lungs immediately with no build up. Until Cory said "I need to go see a Doctor, now." So off we went to the ER, at some unhealthy hour of the night. She was in back for less than 10 minutes when she came out with some heavy duty narcotic pain pills, and a prescription for more. Now this is a woman that went through child birth without medication, in fact with a Pitocin drip pushing things along. And after a couple minute exam, they're just going to issue her some uber pain pills and send her on her way? Anyone smell a problem with that? Anyone? Buehler?

So a few days later, when Cory was supposed to be waking up to relieve me from Quinn watch, she instead comes down stairs and says "I'm sorry....". Guess what? We're back at the ER, at some unhealthy hour of the morning, again. This time she was in back long enough that I did a diaper change and feeding in the waiting room. After I'd fed Quinn all the milk we had pumped and he was still hungry I asked the admissions desk if she was going to be in back much longer and they went and got a nurse, who said "oh, we're waiting for an ultrasound tech to get here..." "well, if she's sitting idle, someone here would like to see her. Or at least part of her." Nice lady, she took us right back to the exam room Cory was in and Quinn got something to eat. About the time he finished up, the ultrasound tech showed up and took Cory off to imaging and I took quinn back out to the waiting room. Later one of the ER nurses came out to get me, said "you should come back here." By the time I got Quinn all packed up and the nurse helped me with the diaper bag I got into the exam room in time to hear the ER Doctor telling Cory that they had consulted with the OB on call up in the birth center and that she would be moved up stairs and scheduled for surgery shortly. Sure enough, 20 minutes later we were wheeling her up to the surgical wing.

At this point we saw the first news from the world outside our house for a while... apparently all the rain had lead to deadly flooding just a few minutes away lots of road closures here in town. We hadn't even noticed. There's something to be said for living on the top of the hill. :)

Ok, so at this point I'd been up with Quinn for something like 21 hours, so once she had meet with the OB doc on call and we'd heard the surgery plan I headed home with the little guy to get some sleep. Part of that plan was that a new OB Doctor would come on rotation before the OR opened up, and either he or the head of the dept would do Cory's surgery. Well, when he got there and did an exam he said "ya know, what the ultrasound found doesn't explain all your symptoms." He brought in another surgeon for a second opinion and they ordered a CT scan, which explained the added symptoms. In addition to the complications from delivery, she had an acute appendicitis!

Now that CT scan was a bit of a problem for us, see Quinn had been exclusively breastfeed up to that point, and that was the plan for quite a while. Now Cory was under a 48 hour "pump and dump" order, that they didn't tell her about until AFTER she had drunk the crystal light cocktail that caused it. In hindsight, after some suggestion from a co-worker, I did a bit of digging on it and we probably coulda feed again a couple hours later, especially if they had warned her ahead of time so she could have pumped. This meant Quinn had to take formula for a while. He didn't like it, can't say as though I blame him, it tasted vile when I licked it off my wrist, nothing at all like mom's milk.

So about 5 hours after we came home, or 2 naps and a feeding, the last of our pumped supply, I called the hospital to see how Cory was doing, and if she would still be able to come home that evening. This was when I learned about the appendicitis development, and that there was no point bringing Quinn in for a feeding, since by then she'd had the CT scan and Mom's Milk Bar was closed for a few days. Somewhere in here I had called both our folks to let them know what was happening. Now I called them back to update on what happened, while I was on the phone with her Dad they wheeled her into surgery (when I'd talked to the nurse the last time they didn't know when she would go in yet.) Her Mom showed back up here late that evening, finally releaving me from Quinn watch for the first time in something like 28 hours, at which point I went over to the hospital to see Cory (who by then had been out of surgery for a few hours and was already in better shape than she had been when I brought her into the ER the previous morning. Once I was sure she was OK, back home for the first real sleep I'd gotten in over 36 hours, 'cause those little hour and a half cat naps while listening for the sounds of spitup from the crib next to you aren't very restful... no matter how nice they feel at the time.

Cory came home the next day, and we spent the rest of the week trading Quinn watch between her mom and I, while she rested and recuperated. Monday of the following week, after a bunch of tears all around, Cory's mom headed back home. We ordered out Chinese and I ran down to pick it up. The usual hole in the wall place we order take out from, while Cory was adventurous and ordered something new (which it turns out she didn't like) I had wanted Chinese for a while, and had suggested that for dinner specifically because I wanted my orange chicken. Turns out that wasn't such a good idea... it really didn't sit well with my stomach and I spent most of the night heaving instead of sleeping. Tuesday morning (in my time warped view of the world, in reality it was Tuesday afternoon) I took myself in to urgent care thinking I had a bit of food poisoning... and not wanting to expose Cory or Quinn to the UC/ER waiting room. (a move I'm still glad of, having seen the folks in the waiting room, not matter how much Cory doesn't like it.)

First hint this was more serious than I thought, the triage nurse filled out an ER admission paperwork, not an urgent care slip. Second hint: the same Doctor that had caught Cory's complications a week ago, was the one I saw, and he really wanted some workups run after he got the history and did a physical exam. The blood work worried him. Enough that he called for a CT scan. When I called Cory and told her that I was having that same Crystal Lite cocktail that she had complained about a week before, she laughed, same as I did when he first suggested it. Laughing while you have an appendicitis btw, hurts like hell. Before I'd even had the scan, she and one of our neighbors drove over and stole my truck from the parking lot. Well, I got in to scan at 5:30, and the results didn't make it back for a while, but apparently there was no question of the results. It was about 6pm and the ER doctor introduced me to the surgeon that was going to do the surgery. I saw he was already in his nice golf shirt and said, we'll I guess we'll both get a good night's sleep and do it in the morning, figuring that by then it was too late in the day, and the OR had already been closed down. "No, we've called the OR staff back in, you'll be moving upstairs in a few minutes... directly to the OR." The next time I saw him he was in scrubs and was there as part of the transport team, in fact I'm pretty sure he's the one that actually pulled the gurney I was on out of the exam room, through the hospital to the elevator and then off into the OR. 18:44:23 was the time on the clock when I scooched over from the ER gruney to the OR table and downed a shot of the most vile antacid I've ever tasted. ("You do not want to sip this, it's going to taste pretty bad." "So you're saying pretend it's a shot glass?" "That would work." "OK, Bottoms up folks. <gulp> ugh, good thing they gave me that anti-nausea stuff downstairs.")

So what are the odds of that? That both of us would have a acute appendicitis about a week apart? Cory's dad did the math and was saying it was billions to one against. It's supposedly in my inbox at work, but I've not seen it. (need to check spam folder, in case the assassin thought it was a lottery scam.)

So August. Sucked over all. Yeah it had some bright points, but they just don't quite overbalance the downsides.

This was our 4th wedding anniversary; 5th year in the house. The end of it here was my 9th anniversary with the company, my manager happened to point that out... on the day of no less, when I finally got in touch with her. Thankfully I work with a great team and even though this made a mess in a number of things, I still have a job to go back to. I've lost track of the number of times Cory's folks have been here to help us over the last month; there's no way I can thank them appropriately.

And through all that, I managed to pull off a special project for Cory that she still doesn't know about, and wont until the end of the week some time. (UPDATE: she's seen it now.)

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