Last night was definitely one of the weirdest nights of my life.
After Edwin’s bath, the boys were playing in the living room while I cleaned up the dinner dishes in the kitchen. The trash needed to go out, so I bagged it up, and headed outside. After throwing it away, I remembered that I had two gallon jugs of water in the trunk of my car and went to grab them. After popping the trunk, I felt something bite my right foot. Thinking nothing of it, I tried to brush it off with my left foot, but that didn’t work. I actually had to bend down and swipe it off my foot with my hand. Looking back, I guess whatever kind of bug it was felt on the small side.
When I got back in the house my foot stung a little so I rubbed on some Cortisone cream and went back to the dishes. A few minutes later, I noticed an itchy white spot on the pinky of my left hand. Thinking “oh, I must have gotten a mosquito bite outside too,” I put on some more Cortisone cream and again went back to the dishes. Less than 5 minutes later, I saw another spot appear on my left ring finger. Then I looked down at my right foot and realized it was really red and starting to swell. I asked Ed to come into the kitchen to take a look…I was starting to get a little freaked out. While he looked in the medicine cabinet for some Benadryl, I called the nurseline (at his suggestion). While I was on the phone with the nurse, things got progressively worse right before my eyes. The spots were spreading across my left hand, my foot was getting huge, my heart was racing and it was getting hard to breathe (although at that time, I figured it was just anxiety). She told me to go to urgent care or call the OB office. I tried to call my doc but was put on hold by the answering service. In just those two minutes, I developed a ton of spots all over my chest! Ok, time for the hospital.
Ed changed his clothes (he was in pjs) and got Edwin’s shoes on. The whole time we were running around the house, Edwin kept saying “mommy got bug bite? Go see doctor?” Oh yeah, time to see a doctor! We jumped in the car and headed for Brunswick Community Hospital which is thankfully less than 5 minutes away. It was getting really hard to breathe…and yes, I was getting really scared. I just kept praying that God would keep me conscious until we got to the ER. Having been to that ER in the past (always for Edwin or Ed), I knew they had a red phone at the triage window that you’re only supposed to use if you’re having chest pains or difficulty breathing. I IMMEDIATELY headed for the phone, told them I was having an allergic reaction and could barely breathe. Amazing how quickly that door opened! My blood pressure suddenly dropped and I almost passed out just walking to the exam room.
Once in the room, they hooked me up to the monitors, got an IV going (the guy starting the IV asked me if I had a sunburn because my chest was beet red. Nope, all part of the allergic reaction) and the doctor came right in. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t breathe!!! They gave me (by IV) Benadryl, Zantac, and Solu-medrol, a steroid. The nurse said she could see my color getting better almost immediately. I was still having trouble breathing, so someone from Respiratory came down and did an albuterol treatment which made a HUGE difference.
I had called my parents on the way to the hospital to see if they could come get Edwin. So while I was in the ER, mom popped in to see how I was doing. Then she and dad took Edwin home and then Ed was finally able to come back. I’m sure it was a strange site…he’s usually the one in the hospital bed, not me! I also had an oxygen mask on…
Since I’m 34 weeks pregnant, they had someone from the maternity department come hook me up to a fetal monitor. Lillian’s heartbeat was perfectly normal, but sure enough, I was having contractions. At first they were mostly on the the top of my belly and felt more like Braxton-Hicks contractions. But as time went on, they gradually got lower and lower, and felt more like the real thing. I was contracting every 2 1/2 minutes. The ER doc was in constant contact with my OB doc up in Wilmington and they decided to transfer me to New Hanover for additional monitoring.
Did you know that once you’re at a hospital and they want to transfer you to another hospital you have to go via ambulance? Yup. My first ride in an ambulance was thankfully uneventful. The crew was awesome – and since I could finally breathe again, I was in a much better mood! They got me settled in triage at the new Women & Children’s hospital at New Hanover. Not 5 minutes after I arrived, my friend Rebecca showed up. She had just gotten off of work (also works at the hospital), so she kept me company until Ed could get there about 15-20 minutes later.
The nurse hooked me up to the monitors and we just hung out watching Grey’s Anatomy. I was still having contractions every 2 minutes, but they weren’t as strong as they had been earlier. I really don’t remember the timing of everything, but eventually on my doctor’s orders, they gave me Stadol (pain medicine) and Phenergan (in case I got nauseous), turned out the lights and had me rest…they were trying to see if this would stop the contractions. They didn’t stop completely, but enough that we were released from the hospital around 2am.
There you have it. Lillian and I are doing just fine. My fingers and toes are still really tingly this morning (I’m assuming a leftover reaction from all the meds they gave me?) and I’m a little “itchy” but other than that, I feel fine. Edwin was a good boy and loved spending the night at Pappy’s house. Ed is still sleeping – I’m sure the hospital chair wasn’t very comfortable, plus he had to drive us home (45 minute drive) at 2 in the morning. I slept the whole way because that Stadol knocked me out! I took a few pictures with my new camera when Ed first got to New Hanover hospital…I only wish I had had it in the ambulance! haha. Thanks for all of the prayers. I’m grateful that this crazy experience is over and thanking God that I’m still pregnant this morning!
Lillian’s heart rate on the left (132) and the contraction number on the right (23).