I can’t say I wasn’t warned.
One Dr. told me, “You will feel like you’ve been hit by a train.”
Another said, “I won’t recognize you. Your husband probably won’t either.”
I read other moms’ experiences with it.
I was warned, but I didn’t understand. And I’m not talking about the surgery.
I’m talking about the “mag”.
Immediately after open fetal surgery, moms are started on magnesium sulfate. Usually they remain on the mag for about 48 hours.
It is supposed to slow contractions, and if the baby DOES end up needing to be delivered it protects baby from neural complications like cerebral palsy.
Per webmd side effects include:
- Muscle weakness and lack of energy.
- Blurry vision.
- Slurred speech.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stuffy nose.
I would add:
- Coma-like state
- feeling like you want to die
The pictures below are real, uncensored, and scary. Be warned.
At the start of the mag….
Nate’s sister Alyson came to visit sometime – I don’t really remember it at all.
Luckily there is picture proof!
Friday night I started having contractions. They continued every 6 minutes or so for the next 2 days. I remember the pain, and them checking my cervix, and worried voices. I remember at one point a neonatologist coming in and talking to us about delivering the baby. Nate made her leave.
I remember Nate sitting next to me, he was always there when I opened my eyes. I remember him giving me a blessing. And then all of a sudden he was gone. I was sad and I didn’t know where he went.
Later I found out the Dr. made him leave. He hadn’t slept and was staring nonstop at the monitors. He had too much medical background and was starting to lose it a little, apparently. He went to the Ronald McDonald house, slept for a few hours, showered, ate, and came back in a much better state of mind.
Saturday night the contractions continued and I felt like I wanted to die.
At one point I remember thinking, “Just take it all out. All of it.” I meant the baby, my uterus, my ovaries…everything. I remember praying so hard for the contractions to stop, and they didn’t. I felt abandoned. I felt like I had been trying so hard to do the right thing, and I had ended up doing everything wrong. I regretted having the surgery, I wanted to take it all back.
It was a very dark time.
Sunday morning around 5:00 I tried to wake up Nate, but I couldn’t talk. I was having trouble breathing. I managed to move my hand enough to bump something onto him and wake him up. I whispered to call my nurse, which is something I NEVER do.
My nurse Jill came in, who was amazing. She took one look at me and sprung into action! All of a sudden there were 3 or 4 nurses in the room, and they were calling the Dr.
She put me on a non-rebreather, bumped up the oxygen, and turned off the mag (hallelujah!).
They sat me straight up in bed and I remember just staring at Nate while all the commotion continued around me. He was at the foot of the bed and just watched me and squeezed my feet.
They tried several times to draw my blood, which was a new experience for me – I have GREAT veins (usually). They were checking for mag toxicity. I also got a chest x-ray, which is something pretty much every one of my patients in the ER gets, but I’ve never experienced for myself.
It was a weird feeling. I knew exactly what everyone was doing and the reasoning behind it all.
I knew why I was sitting straight up, why I had the non-rebreather, why they stopped the mag, why there were so many people, what they would tell the Dr., why they were drawing my blood, what they were looking for….
I felt more like one of the nurses than the patient. I was acutely aware of everything going on, but still there was a disconnect and I couldn’t talk or move.
Again I thought…I might die right now.
It didn’t take long for the mag to wear off. About 15 minutes after they stopped the mag, I was able to breathe again, and I began to feel so much better. They switched me from mag to Nifedipine (another tocolytic – stops contractions) that I’ve been taking every 6 hours ever since – the Nifedipine seemed to click with me and soon the contractions slowed down.
And soon I felt well enough to eat! After 3 days that Popsicle tasted gooooood :-).
And by lunch I was well enough to eat watermelon! Which I pretty much lived off of for the next 3 days.
By Sunday afternoon I was giving thumbs up! I felt sooo much better.
(And there’s a sneak peak at my scar…)
Sunday night Aspen and Capri came to town (for Christmas!)…
And the Rummler crew came to visit :-).