Thursday, August 27, 2009


I am alive!! After yesterday, I wasn't sure if I would be or not - honestly. Yesterday was one of the scariest days of my life. My room would not quit spinning and when I closed my eyes, I would not stop spinning. It was like someone had you on one of those merry-go-rounds, and would spin you so fast, you could only lay down and hope it would stop. Except, you knew you were laying perfectly still and it still wouldn't stop. With everything else that has been going on, I did not know what was happening.

I was terrified for Jimmy to leave me for even a second because I could not even move my eyeballs without my head going crazy. We called the neurologist and the one on call said he just thought it was vertigo and to lay still and drink plenty of fluids. I had no other choice anyway. I don't even think I could have moved if I had wanted to.

They had me on a blood thinner for the last 4 months because of the risk of blood clots with me being paralyzed and pregnant. The OB dr. said that I was to stay on them for at least 6 weeks post partum because the risk is still high. But...when I had the hematoma they had to stop the blood thinner so the bleeding could be controlled. This had us worried that it may not really be vertigo but me trying to have a stroke instead. After waking up paralyzed overnight and no one knowing why yet, I think that a toothache will just about send me into a panic!! I try very hard to stay calm, and really, through all of these complications, I have. But yesterday was different....I though there was something bad going on in my head and I was very, very scared.

Since my heart rate has been low and erratic (since going off of the blood thinner), then I got to thinking that might be the problem.There is a lady in our church that had a stroke some time ago, and she came to the house and asked Jimmy to please get me on a blood thinner. She felt that all the symptoms I was having sounded like a stroke and not just vertigo. Since I still had blood thinner shots still here at the house, we made an executive decision to take one last night. When I took one, my heart rate was 50.

As of this morning, my heart rate is up and I feel better. If I am laying down and turn my head to either side, I get very sick feeling and it all happens again. However, if I sit up I can turn my head and I feel weak, but not sick or everything spinning out of control. We can't help but think the blood thinner has helped and we are asking our doctors to check into this.

I cannot thank you enough for all of your prayers. Yesterday morning when all this was happening, I told Jimmy "Honey, I think I am going to get discouraged." He said "No, Alicia, you can't do that. You stay strong." I did not feel strong. I felt weak and very vulnerable. I felt like I didn't know if I could handle one more thing. In the afternoon, I awoke out of my sleep with these words running through my mind "Not what I wish to be, or where I wish to go, for who am I, that I should choose my way? The Lord knows best for me, tis better far I know...." I have the tune for these words also in my head but this is all I remember of it. I think it is an old hymn about missions. Please, if any of you know what this song is, let me know. However, I knew the Lord had put that in my heart to encourage me and let me know that He was choosing my way and that He was with me and had not forgotten me. This "nugget" from the Lord, helped me so much and once again peace filled my heart.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I feel selfish asking this of you but it is such an encouragement knowing that all over your dear friends and family are bringing you to the Lord. I feel so very loved on by all of you and I cannot thank you enough for that.

I love you all!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Baby and Me - Update Memo

I reread what I had written and I realized that I had left out something important - the "treasures in the darkness" that the Lord constantly encourages us with even in the midst of trying circumstances.
The first 3 days after I had the baby, we had the same nurse. She had a keen interest in us and our "story" - as did all the nurses we had. Her name was Barb and after talking with us and asking a lot of questions, she found out that I had not had any therapy at all. Our little county just seems like it doesn't know what to do with me. Since I delivered at a large hospital in Cincinnati, Barb decided to call their therapy department to see what could be done.
Every day, for the remainder of my stay, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist came to see me and worked with me. Jimmy and I learned so much during those days. The therapists got all excited about working with me and said they were "mortified" that no therapy of any kind has happened. They have it all set up for me to come back for outpatient therapy as soon as I recover enough to handle it. They have an entire floor dedicated to therapy and they even took me up there for a tour and a much desired shower as I could not use the shower in the room where we were. I was introduced to "Bob" the director of admissions, who has been paralyzed for 25 years due to falling off a telephone pole on his job. He was very nice and gave us his phone number to call him personally if we had any questions or needed anything at all. On the funny side, after the shower, I had my hair wrapped up in a towel, they made me wear a hospital gown and we had to go back to my room via public elevators and halls so I told them they had to give me a pair of scrubs so that I would be decent. So here I am with a hospital gown, another color of scrubs, my hair in a towel, and some ugly brown socks and that is when the therapist decided to introduce me to everyone. I kept telling her that if she did not let me look decent first, they would all assume that I should be on the psychiatric floor! I am sure I looked quite "unique"!
This has been a huge answer to prayer for me and something that has been bothering me for months now. Thanks to the Lord working through a nurse who took an interest in us, He answered a major prayer and we are praying that positive results will come out of the therapy - if it is His will. If not, then I will be learning much needed "life skills".
Everyone was so wonderful and kind to us. We felt like we were part of a big family by the time we left. I didn't want to leave out or overlook this blessing from the Lord.
Elisha is a precious blessing from the Lord too. He is a healthy little man and he is such a good baby. He really only cries when he is hungry and then he settles back in. We are quite attached as the only thing that we do most of the day is snuggle one another. This has been fine with me and I am enjoying every minute with him. It is much more fun to hold them in your arms than inside your stomach!! The Lord knew that we needed an easy-going baby with everything else going on.
One other thing I want to add is how thankful I am for my precious hubby!! He has had to do so much taking care of me, the children (although they are such big helpers - they are only children and need looking after), our home, the church and on and on. He has never complained one single time!! I am so not worthy of this man's love and care. I could never brag on him enough for the way that he unselfishly loves me and our children. May the Lord heap loads of blessings on him as Jimmy has blessed me so.
Alright, I am going to hush now. I just wanted to add these blessings as part of the much-needed-to-be-told part of our story.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Baby and Me - Update

Everything was going as planned on Monday, July 27th. We were to go into
the hospital at 5:00 p.m. and they were to monitor me and start my induction
on Tuesday morning. We went as planned, and they got me all settled in
and hooked up to the monitors. They decided to give me a little pill to help
me get ready for the induction and within 30 minutes, the pill had started me
into labor. My contractions were 2 minutes apart, although they were not
terribly strong. Thankfully, I could not feel them!:)
The doctor said that she would come back and check me every little bit and
that we may have a baby by morning without ever having to start the
Pitocin. After about 2 hours or so, we noticed that the baby’s heart rate was
doing crazy things. It would go up to about 170 and then suddenly drop to
about 70 and then back and forth like that. It lasted for about 10 minutes.
Just as we were starting to get nervous about it, the doctor came back in and
said that she wanted to check me again. As she was checking I noticed a
worried look on her face and she asked for an ultrasound machine to be
brought in. They did the ultrasound and they said that our little guy had
completely turned. They said that he was sitting “Indian style” with his feet
and bottom down and his head up. They went out to discuss it with the head
doctor and my nurse said to me “Do you realize what this may mean?” I said
“C-Section” and she said that was correct.
The doctors came back in and said that they were going to try to turn the
baby manually but if that didn’t work, they would have to do an immediate
C-Section because my body was already in labor. After trying to turn the
baby for about 20 minutes (which was terribly uncomfortable) they said that
he wasn’t going to budge. At that point, everything was hurry-hurry. Jimmy
was thrown scrubs, I was given a hat, the nurses started preparing me, and
the anesthesiologist was brought in to consult with me.
Apparently, I was a puzzle for them because I did not need an epidural for
pain because I have no feeling waist down. However, due to being
paralyzed, there is something called Autonomic Dysreflexia (http:// that happens when your body
experiences pain and you do not know it that causes your blood pressure
and heart rate to become unstable. So, it was necessary to have a pain
medicine to fool my body into thinking it felt now pain. They decided to
give me the epidural and see what happened. They wanted me numb from
my chest down and that was not happening. I could feel everything on my
stomach so they felt like the epidural was not working. So, they began to try
all different kinds of medicines to numb me. Finally, the anesthesiologist
said to me “Hon, I am about to give you something in your I.V. that is going
to put you out.” I said, “Okay, how will I know if it is working?” He said, “
You are will feel like you are stoned.” I said “I have never been stoned” He
said, “You are about to be!”
The next thing I remember is my ears starting to ring and then I felt like a
bed was sitting on top of me and smothering me. I could not swallow,
breathe or move my arms (or so I thought). Then I felt like I was completely
floating away from all reality. I felt like I was leaving everything. Not in a
calm way, but in a weird, terrifying way. My mind never stopped working
and I felt like I had no grasp of any kind of reality. I thought to myself “I
think I must be dying but there is nothing I can do about it”. I have slight
memories of a baby crying in a far distant place but not realizing it was my
baby. I remember Jimmy rubbing my head and saying “He’s alright” but not
grasping what in the world he was talking about. My first clear memory is waking up in the recovery room in severe pain and not being able to hold
the baby because of the pain and just trying to concentrate on taking my
next breath. This is my memories and version. Jimmy’s version was
He said that once the doctor gave me the medicine in the I.V. that I seemed
to go out but that I cried and moaned the entire operation. They said that I
could feel everything that was going on and nothing every stopped the pain.
He said that the anesthesiologist was trying everything that he knew to do
and told Jimmy that he had “emptied the medicine chest” on me and did not
know what else to do. He also gave me a medication that makes you forget
most of what happens and that lasts for about 24 hours. We could not
understand how I felt things if I have no feeling from my waist down. The
doctors explained that the feeling of deep inside your body (organs and
such) come straight from the brain and do not come from the spine. So, that
is why I could feel what they were doing deep inside of me. I guess you
learn something new all the time! They told us that the medicine he gave me
was the same as LSD and that is why it was all so crazy for me.
I am confident that anyone who has had both a C-Section and has delivered
naturally would pick the latter! There is a lot more to recovery with a C-
Section and it takes time. Due to me having no use of my legs, every move I
make from sitting up to rolling over has to be purely through my arms.
When you pull with your arms, it pulls your stomach muscles. Seeing as
how they cut through my stomach muscles, every tiny move I made was
extremely painful - even with the pain meds. They could mash on my
incision and I don’t feel a thing so that is a positive. The feeling that I had
was like a hot poker being jammed deep inside of my left side. No matter
what I do, that is the only place I feel pain.
They wanted me to try to sit up for awhile every day. The problem I was
having was that every time I sat up for about 5 minutes, I would get
extremely dizzy and nauseous and start blacking out. They did not know
what was causing that and so they had me stay extra to monitor that. I am
still not able to sit up longer than about 20 minutes without the same thing
happening so that is a bother but we hope that as I get stronger, that will fix
On Monday night (a week after that baby was born), we were still in the
hospital and REALLY wanting to come home. I was missing the kids awful
and just wanted my home. Jimmy was helping me that night and had rolled
me over on my right side. When he rolled me back over on my back, there
was blood everywhere!! It was pouring out of my stomach on the right side
of my incision. We got the nurse and within minute I was surrounded by 3
doctors and 3 nurses. I was talking 100 miles an hour trying to keep my
mind off of the whole situation. They said that I had a hematoma that had
ruptured and blew out the right side of my incision. This has led to Jimmy
having to pack the “hole” with some kind of medicated gauze, that looks
like a shoe string, twice a day. Also, I have to be extra careful now so that
can heal. We were almost feeling like every time we turned around there
was new comlications but we were thankful that we were still at the hospital
when it happened and not an hour and a half away at home.
They let us come home on Tuesday night (after 8 days) and we suprised the
children. They were so happy to see us and we were so happy to be home
with them! The baby is perfect. He never cries unless he is hungry and then
he eats and snuggles right back in.
As for how I am now, I am getting stronger. I am able to make small
transfers by myself now, I am rolling over and sitting up by myself so that is
major!! The pain is less now and I am trying to sit up for as long as I can. I
really cannot stand having to be so dependent on others but that cannot be
helped for now. I cannot thank my sweet hubby enough for all of his love.
Also, my children have just jumped in and cannot seem to help me enough. I
feel so blessed by the love that I am receiving from my precious family.
Until next time....thank you for all your prayers for our family!