Tomorrow I return to work and I'm full of mixed emotions. I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" as much as I can. I crave routine and I love my job. I miss my kids, but I'm honestly nervous about seeing them for the first time. I'm worried that they're going to have questions that I can't answer, or may bring up emotions that I don't want to face in front of them. It's also going to be hard seeing all of my co-workers again. I'm sure there will be lots of hugs and probably even a few tears, but I'm going to try to be strong for my boys tomorrow and Friday. I chose to go back towards the end of the week so that I can ease myself back into the working world. I'll be working two days this week, then we have a 3 day weekend, and only a 3.5 day work week next week. I think slowly getting back into full time will help my mind and body adjust to working again.
I wanted to use this post to kind of re-cap the last ten days and what my recovery was like, physically and emotionally. To be honest, there are times when it felt like I was never even pregnant because it was ripped away so quickly. Then that makes me sad because I don't ever want to forget our little guys. Then there are times when I think about how far along I would be today and wonder what I would look like, if I would feel them squirming yet, etc.
Sunday - the day of: physically, I really did feel fine on Sunday in the hospital. Baby B was born around 3-3:30am, and for the next 5+ hours my body was forced into labor to deliver their placentas that didn't come out on their own. This process was honestly the worst of it all. I was cramping and in pain for over five hours, constantly pushing to try to get them out. Once they finally came out around 8:30-9, it was the biggest feeling of relief, physically. I don't think I even processed losing the boys because I was so worried about getting the placentas out without losing too much blood or screwing up my reproductive system (neither happened - everything went very well).
The rest of the day, Tim and I had to process what had just happened, and notify our family and friends. Physically, my body felt fine. I wasn't in pain, the cramping subsided and eventually stopped pretty quickly, and I really wasn't even fatigued. Emotionally, I was numb. I don't think I really realized what happened until a few days later. It was sad and really tough to call our family and friends to tell them what happened, but I don't think I really understood it. Tim and I were able to talk through a lot of it, but I wonder how much we really grasped it then.
Sunday evening, I was discharged from the hospital around 6pm. I declined a script for pain medication from the doctor because I was feeling fine in the hospital. We stopped by Walgreens to pick up some Motrin for me in case I had any physical pain when I got home. Once we got settled at home, I noticed that I was struggling to take a deep breath without having pain. I assumed it was from missing a few treatments since being in the hospital, so I forced myself to do a treatment before crashing in my bed. Unfortunately, the albuterol did not feel as good as I expected, and the pain didn't really go away. I was way too tired to even think about it, so I curled up in my bed and passed out for the night. (I hadn't slept since 1:30am, Sunday morning)
Monday - I woke up in pain! My body hurt! And it wasn't my uterus area, either, which surprised me the most. It hurt to breathe, bend, move in certain directions, swallow food/water, etc. The area all around my rib cage, front and back was so sore! I felt like a little old lady. It hurt to stand up straight and take a deep breath, so I was hobbling around the house, breathing very quick, shallow breaths. I tried not to move too much. I realized that I was so sore from bearing down and pushing for five hours! I took Motrin every four hours, but it didn't give me much relief. Anna's sleep schedule was thrown off too, so all three of us did a lot of laying around together this day.
Tuesday - I decided I needed something stronger for this pain! I called the OB who was on-call at the hospital and asked for a script for something. She ended up prescribing me Norco and 600mg of Ibuprofen. We drove to the OB's office to pick up the script for Norco and had to bring it to a Walgreens to get filled - which took an hour because they were so busy!
We also stopped at the funeral home on this day. I thought we were going to pick up our babies, but we just met with one of the employees (my co-teacher's dad, he was amazing!) to discuss how cremation would go and what to expect.
Then, later that afternoon, Anna had her 2.5 year check-up. With all the chaos going on, I thought about rescheduling, but I also thought it would be a good distraction and a nice focus on our little girl. Tim wasn't feeling the best & was also on Benadryl, so I took Anna to her appointment. She was SUCH a big girl! She was able to use the big kid scale for the first time, and they measured her height against the wall for the first time, too. She also allowed the doctor to look at her and listen to her without having to sit on my lap! From her appointment at two years old, Anna gained over two pounds and grew 1.5 inches! The doctor and I were both very pleased with her growth, and I was so proud of how well she did at her appointment. :)
The rest of the day, I took it easy - that was the most I had to do since Sunday, and I was exhausted. I took the Norco as prescribed, but I felt it didn't make a huge difference in my pain level.
Wednesday - Tim went back to work on this day, which made me a little sad, but I know that he's the type of person that needs to keep busy. Thankfully my friend Catie had the day off already due to babysitter issues, so she and her adorable daughter, Lila, came down to hang out with Anna and I. Catie was a huge help! Her and I have been best friends for over ten years and she just gets me. She helped me with things around the house, helped with both girls while we went into school so I could get my midterms done, and even ran to the grocery store for us! It was wonderful being able to spend the day with her, and Anna loved having Lila to play with.
Physically, I was starting to feel better, I was able to breathe a bit better, but still tried to move slow and take it easy. One new symptom I noticed was that my boobs were starting to hurt in the morning, and by afternoon, my milk was coming in. This was not something I even thought about since having the boys, so it really threw me for a loop! It made me sad that my body thought I had the babies home with me and was preparing to feed them. I knew there wasn't much I could do, but figured I'd ask at my doctor appointment the following day.
Thursday - This was definitely my most emotional day. I woke up really sad. I don't know if it was because my physical pain was finally gone, so now I could start processing the emotional pain of it all; or if it was because I had my appointment with MFM and I knew it was going to be so hard to see the team again.
Thankfully my friend Kristin went with me to my appointment. I asked her a couple days in advance because I wasn't sure what I'd feel like being on the Norco and if I should drive. I also wasn't sure if emotionally I'd be able to drive after my appointment, so I was happy when she told me she'd take me. She picked me up early and we hit up the mall for a little bit before the appointment, which was a nice little distraction.
When we got to MFM, they called me back pretty quickly and as soon as the first nurse came in, I lost it. She looked so sad to see me, immediately gave me a hug and we cried together. Once I settled down, I told her the story of how everything happened Sunday and we talked it through. She told me how sad everyone was to hear about it and how they all cried together for me. It was nice to be able to talk to her though. And when she left, the nurse practitioner came in and it was the same thing all over. We hugged, we cried, I talked (a lot) and we had a great conversation. She was able to answer any questions I had, gave me a couple tips on how to help dry my milk, and was extremely comforting. She reassured me that there really was nothing that anyone could have done differently and that unfortunately things like this just happen and there's no way to stop them. After talking to the both of them, I felt better and was able to leave feeling pretty good. Kristin and I got some lunch together and I was so drained when I got home that I took a nap!
I remember thinking on this day, "Oh my goodness, how is it Thursday already?!" Then I realized how quickly Monday was coming up and how I was definitely not ready to go back to work yet. After talking with the nurses and Kristin about how I was feeling, I decided that Monday was not the day I'd go back to work. I decided to take a few more days the next week and make my first week back nice and short. That's when I texted my principal that I'd be coming back in one week, the following Thursday.
Friday - I really don't remember much of what we did on Friday. Anna spent the day with Grandma on Thursday since I had my appointment, but I chose to have her home with me on Friday since it was really my first day home alone without visitors or anything. I know that was the first day I took Benadryl to help dry up my milk, and ended up taking a long nap on the couch. Thankfully Anna also took a long nap in her room, so we were both able to catch up on our sleep.
Saturday - We chose to spend the day with Tim's mom, sister, our nephews and then Tim's Grandma. It was nice to spend time with family and to watch Anna, Cole and Liam play together for a while. They're so funny together and act like siblings, so it's always entertaining.
Sunday - We had a lazy day around the house and it was wonderful! I think we ran some errands, but my days are blurring together, so I honestly don't remember. I know that physically, at this point, I was starting to feel so much more normal. I did have a bit of cramping over the weekend, but that's to be expected. Thankfully it only lasted a day or two and hasn't stuck around.
Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday - This week has flown by! Over the weekend, I remember thinking to myself that I had no idea what I was going to do this week, but I cannot believe how quickly it's gone by. Anna and I have been able to spend a lot of time together and it's been so nice! We've cuddled a lot, read books, played, painted, went to the museum, to the park and ran some errands. It was wonderful being able to soak up her extra cuddles and spend this time with her before having to return to work.
Each day I slowly felt more normal, both physically and emotionally. My body is getting back to the way it was prior to my pregnancy little by little. My milk is definitely drying up - thanks Benadryl - and I'm no longer in any physical pain from all of this. Emotionally, I'm okay. I am able to laugh with my family and friends, look forward to seeing people and doing things and I don't feel like I'm stuck in a rut. It feels like so long ago that I was pregnant, and sometimes feels like all of this was just a terrible dream. I still have several flashbacks, daily, about holding my baby boys and being in the hospital. I know, with time, that will get better.
And now, here we are - Wednesday night. I'm up later than I wanted to be, but that's not surprising. I'm feeling nervous about returning to work tomorrow because I really don't know how the kids are going to react. I feel bad that I've had to put them through something like this at such a young age.
I can deal with adults, and I'm looking forward to laughing with everyone again, but it's the kids I'm just not sure about. I really hope they allow us to go about our day as normal as possible. I'm worried about crying in front of them. I'm worried that they'll ask me questions that I can't answer. It's just a lot of unknowns which I never like...
Here's to a good night's sleep and cooperative little children tomorrow! :-)