I don't remember much about a year ago today. I was completely drugged up on magnesium sulfate to the point I couldn't see straight, was sick on my stomach, and couldn't even lift my arms and legs by myself. I remember I couldn't read the doctors or nurses name tags so I had a hard time remembering their names and faces. They had 2 faces because I was seeing double.
I was so, so, so, so hot that day from the mag. I am usually a cold natured person. I have a space heater in my office at work that I run year round. I wear long pants, socks, and long sleeves to work every day - year round. I am ALWAYS cold. Trent, on the other hand, is hot natured. He is always hot. But on this day a year ago, the roles were reversed. I remember continually asking Trent and every one in the room, "are y'all hot?" Trent would go over and turn the A/C down a little more. One time I looked over and he had his long pants on, boots on, his work shirt, and his work coat on - and then he zipped the coat all the way up to his neck. I knew then he was cold. But I was still hot! That mag sulfate may work great for stopping contractions but it is rough stuff.
My sisters and other family members were trying to cool me off with cold wet washcloths. That wasn't enough. They finally had to get a plastic bucket and fill it with ice cubes, soak the cloth in the ice water, and put the cloth on my face and neck with ice cubes still stuck to it. That finally gave me a little relief.
Sometime during the day, they did an ultrasound and realized that Claire's cyst was pressing on all of her vital organs and that was not good. It was also pressing on her stomach and not allowing her to "swallow" the amniotic fluid. So in turn, the amniotic fluid was just backing up in my belly causing contractions. A lose, lose situation. They couldn't figure out what was going on with my placenta. It was nothing they had ever seen before - at Duke mind you.
So the doctor that I had seen on Sept. 3rd when we went for the 2nd opinion was thankfully working this day. He knew my history. I don't remember much of the conversation, but what I do remember was that he said we had to make a decision. Either do an amniocentesis and draw fluid out of my belly AND also out of Claire's liver cyst and risk pre-term labor (which I was already in) OR do nothing and Claire and/or I would likely die. I remember him saying that, but I don't really remember it registering.
We were so blessed to have the BEST labor and delivery nurse ever that day - Tammy. Our family was a mess. She came in and said - "ask me any questions you want and I will answer honestly." So we asked away. She told us like it was. Then everyone left Trent and I to make our decision. We didn't really see that we had any choice. We called the preacher and asked him to pray with us over the phone and that comforted us. We told Tammy we were ready and wanted to do the amnio.
I asked Dr. Brancazio if they had ever done the liver cyst draining through amnio before. No - he hadn't. I asked if it had been done at Duke before - no, it hadn't. I thought Duke was the place where all the weird stuff was done! He and another doctor went to research it for a while. They came back and we got ready.
He explained the risks that a needle would be going into Claire's body and they couldn't really control her movements inside my belly. They could damage her or other organs accidentally. He did explain that they would insert the needle through my belly and into Claire's liver first. Then the needle would come out and a catheter would be left. They would drain the cyst first, then pull the catheter out of Claire into the amniotic fluid, then drain the fluid from me.
I remember them getting started, and all I wanted was ice. I just looked at Trent the whole time and begged him for ice. He would put ice chunks in my mouth. My mouth was so dry and hot from the mag, I couldn't even swallow because my tongue would stick to my throat. It was TERRIBLE!
The procedure worked and they drew I think about 90 mLs of fluid from Claire's cyst and over a liter of fluid from me. Trent said you could watch my belly basically shrink as they did it. And you could see on the ultrasound machine that Claire's cyst walls were collapsing. I am pretty sure this procedure saved both of our lives that day. Like I said, I don't remember the severity of it, but have been told since then that it was a life or death situation for the both of us.
Today, one year ago, my sisters started this blog. Here is the very first post:
Thank you for following our journey for the past year! All of the prayers have been more than we could have asked for.
The Scott Family