I called my dad early the next morning. Truth be told I was scared to death to get a blood transfusion. I had been privy to this information for nearly six hours and growing more and more worried. Dad was calm. I'm not sure if he truly was, but that's the face he put on for me. The main thing I kept telling myself was the blood transfusion would help me return to "normal" faster with some extra (hopefully healthy) blood in me.
My doctor wavered back and forth on the blood transfusion. She kept hoping the fluid enhancer was going to work. All it was really doing was puffing me up into ginormous proportions. One would've thought that it would also help bring my milk in. No such luck.
By day three having been pumping every 2-3 hours and drinking a gallon of water a day, my body was still only producing less-than-minuscule amounts of colostrum. The NICU was giving my babies formula, and frankly it depressed me. The lactation consultant consulted me for nearly an hour reassuring me that it was because my body was in "survival mode" and working on making enough blood for my body to function and not extras like brea$tmilk.
They called in the blood transfusion. Danny was getting ready to go home and relieve his sweet mom of the sometimes daunting task of taking care of Pookie, Bun, Gabbers, and Ham.
"Please stay for a little bit to make sure I'm not allergic to the blood," I begged. "I'd hate to croak with you gone."
"That's not funny," he said. "And you're not going to croak. You'll feel better with good blood in you."
I felt calm with the nurse that was administering the blood transfusion. She was confident and comforting educating me about the whole process and explaining each step as she went through it. It was a smallish bag of blood. I had envisioned something much larger. Little bits of plastic on the side of the blood bag looked like the red licorice I was eating. I told Danny, "I'm done with the Nibs. You can have the rest."
Danny asked me if he was good to go home. He set me up with snacks and ice water on my rolling hospital tray. My brea$tpump was cleaned. My puke bowls were in close range and the laptop so I could read blogs and pop bubbles.
I was extremely weak and I fatigued easily. Even moving the mouse for the computer tired me. I wondered how long it would take to feel "normal" again. I promised myself to take my vitamins daily and to take seriously the notice of low-iron levels should they happen again in the future.
The nurse stayed with me for the first hour of the transfusion making sure my body didn't reject the blood. I grew more and more calm. I wasn't itching. My vitals were steady. The nurse told me, "I'm going on break now. If you need me just press your button and the girl at the desk will tell me."
I fell asleep. Two and a half hours later when I awoke I noticed the bag was almost out. I attempted to pump. Popped a few bubbles. Checked my email. Now the bag was empty. I paged the nurse. No response.
I paged the nurse again. The girl at the desk said, "How can I help you?"
I told her, "My blood transfusion bag is empty."
She said, "I'll tell your nurse."
"Thank you," I said.
A different nurse came in and started the new bag. She asked about my IV site and how long it had been in. She said, "Hmm. They'll probably change it tomorrow." She left.
I started to straighten my sheets and get comfortable to go back to sleep when I noticed a growing blood spot on the bed. And by spot I mean as big as Grandma W's pumpkin cookies-- about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. I lifted my arm and it dripped to my elbow. My hand was covered in blood. It looked like a crime scene. I paged my nurse again. No one answered. I paged again. Finally the girl at the desk came in. She called over to Labor & Delivery for a nurse from there to come help. Life in my room calmed down and I slept comfortably (well, in a semi-upright position) until morning.
After lunch I felt chilled. I called for some more blankets. The nurse brought them in, asked how I was feeling, and checked my vitals. My temperature was 102 -- and that was with Percocet.
to be continued . . .
read The Twin Birth Story part 4
read The Twin Birth Story part 6