It has certainly been a week for the record books at the Friedrich household. This baby is full of firsts...the most recent of which was a three day, two night stay at Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital here in Amarillo. I am certainly thankful our call is not out in the middle of nowhere because the nurses and staff and BSA were wonderful. For a break down of the week, here's what happened.
Last Saturday I landed myself in the ER only to return Tuesday for fluids and dehydration. I was to the point where I could not keep any fluids down no matter the combination of medications I tried. I'm not sure I have ever felt so physically, mentally and emotionally spent in my entire life. It seemed no matter what I did or did not do, I could not get myself well.
After our visit on Tuesday we headed to the OB office Wednesday morning. It was suggested I start steroids and upon gazing at my condition (which was me barely able to walk because of dizziness and fatigue) they were willing to go ahead and admit me to the hospital. Stubborn 'ol me wanted to give the steroids a try first with visions of uncomfortable days and nights at the hospital. I could not have been more wrong.
By afternoon and evening on Wednesday it was clear I was not going to be able to make it on my own at home. I threw up every ounce I tried to drink and only managed to keep down one dose (of the three daily I was supposed to have) of steroids. I was admitted to the hospital Thursday morning.
I did not anticipate the anxiety that would be taken away from not having to worry about taking sips every 15 minutes or managing my medications without falling asleep. I did not have to worry about bothering Stephen and he was able to do the funeral he had that afternoon. I think it was a welcome relief for the both of us.
I was immediately put on IV fluids and given two iv medications to help stop the vomitting, one which I had never taken before. It proved to be the miracle combination so far as this new medication keeps food moving out of your stomach into your intestines before it has the chance to become terribly acidic. (The things you learn when you're sick.)
After 24 hours of keeping down IV fluids, I was allowed clear liquids, which tasted like nectar from heaven. Sometimes I wonder if the Land of Milk and Honey was really just jello, chicken broth and water given to starving dehydrated Israelites.
At some point I was taken off IV medication to make sure I could sustain the liquids while on pill forms of medication. For all the hype about "don't take medicine while you're pregnant", I'm on more medicine than I think I ever have been. However, it is clear that without these medicines, myself and my baby would probably die. It's a daunting thing to think about and it makes you thankful for modern medicine. Throughout all this, baby has sustained a healthy heartbeat and even likes to squirm underneath the doplar. He/she is a swimmer that packs a punch when poked! I was able to listen to the heartbeat once a shift which always made the time more bearable.
By Saturday, much to our surprise I was given the go ahead for solid food. I had half a roast beef sandwich that consisted of the beef, provolone cheese, lettuce and good old white bread. It filled me up like a thanksgiving feast, and I was able to keep it down. Not only that, my nausea was the most controlled I can remember since being pregnant. It's enough to make you sing praises to God for all the things possible through the gifts given to us on earth. Food, water, modern medicine, children...life!
What I had not anticipated is this side of recovery, in part because I was getting to the point where I couldn't imagine life without throwing up. The nurses bid me a nice farewell and said the hoped they did not see me again until June (which I agreed.) It is possible that I could get sick again, but we are hoping this regimen of medicine and steroids will get me through the hump I need to be able to function on my own again.
I did not anticipate how weak I would be. Thankfully, I have never really been incredibly sick during my life. I have lost all my pregnancy weight and about two pounds beyond that, about 7 lbs in all in the course of a week and a half. My body and muscles often feel like I ran or rode my bike on a hard work out after mundane tasks like showering, making a sandwich, or walking from one side of the house to the other.
I had high hopes of making it to church this morning as it's been 5 weeks since I have made it to a Sunday morning service for one reason or another, but the daunting task of walking across the yard and then to the Sanctuary and then talking to everyone made me realize I should stay home. It is easy to want to do something when you're lying or resting...
So far, I rest when I feel like it and make sure something stays in my system at all times. I trust that doing to ordinary things in life are enough exercise for now and know I will continue to get stronger as I can eat more.
Once again, thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I can honestly say I think they were the only things that sustained me at times. I am sure Stephen feels the same. Your phone calls, cards, meals for Stephen and visits were welcome encouragement. I ask that you continue to pray we have found a good solution and that things continue to be on the upswing. I feel as though carrying this child has truly been a group effort and I know we will all cheer loudly when he/she makes his/her grand arrival!