Phew, has it really been that long? I suppose time really does fly, doesn’t it?
Let me give you a quick run-down of the last two months:
I went on annual leave on the 30th of June. I decided to only start my actual maternity leave as of the day my baby was to be born. My gynae and I had decided that going for a voluntary caeserean section would be the safest route for me due to my chronic high blood pressure which seemed to get even higher with each visit. We set the date for the 13th of July and I arranged that I would take two weeks annual leave and then go onto maternity leave as of the 13th.
Prior to going on leave, I obviously got really busy at the office trying to get as much done as possible before going on leave, which explains my total lack of blogging.
Right, now for the real story.
I was to go for my final scan on the 6th of July, a week before the c-section. Hubby was away for a few days on tour with the band and I decided to go stay with my gran while he was away. It was probably the most relaxing time I’d had throughout my pregnancy with my gran spoiling me to death. (I got breakfast in bed every morning!!) Hubby was set to return on the Saturday and I arranged for my grandparents to take me home (I didn’t have my car) late afternoon.
My mom came over to visit in the morning as we were set to go baby shopping before my grandparents would take me home. While we were sitting outside having tea, I realised that I didn’t seem to have any taste on the right side of my tongue and I had severe ear and neck ache. I thought nothing of it, thinking that maybe I had just hurt my neck while sleeping and that it would go away once I was in my own bed again.
My grandparents took my home after a wonderful shopping spree (thanks Mom!!) and I was left to unpack everything and make the house pretty for Hubby’s return. He arrived home at around 8 that evening, at which time I realised that I had developed pins and needles on the right side of my mouth and I still didn’t seem to have any sense of taste on the right side of my tongue. Again I just brushed it off as a symptom of my sore neck.
The next morning Hubby and I had a chance to sleep (ahem..) in a little and we just lazed around for an hour or so. I realized though, that the pain in my neck hadn’t gone away, in fact, it seemed worse. The pins and needles in my mouth had also intensified. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom to have a glass of water, only to find that the water ran out of my mouth on the right side. I looked up to the mirror to see what was wrong with my face and got the fright of my life.
The entire right side of my face had sagged. I looked like I had had a stroke (which is entirely possible considering my high blood pressure). I had no control over any of the muscles on that entire side. I couldn’t smile or frown at all. I ran back to the room and told Hubby that we needed to get ready to go to the doctor.
An hour later we were on our way to our local GP to see what the problem was. His diagnosis was almost instant. I had Bell’s Palsy. The entire right side of my face was paralyzed and there was nothing the doctor could do about it because I was pregnant. He advised that I ask my gynae about treatment at my appointment the following day.
What happened the rest of that day is a blur to me. I think I may have been in shock.
The following morning Hubby and I left for our appointment. My gynae immediately said that I have Bell’s and to me through to her examination table. I was still in terrible pain in my right ear and down the side of my neck. This was evident in my elevated blood pressure which obviously freaked my doctor out. She took my blood pressure one more time and the next moment she sent me down to the labour ward to be admitted.
Everything happened very fast from there. Hubby went home to fetch my hospital bag, just in case, as my doctor said that she was only admitting me for observation but that I should bring my bags anyway. She also had me put on a cortisone drip to start treating the Palsy and had my blood pressure tested every 30 minutes or so. I sent Hubby off to work after a while and told him I’d let him know if there were any new plans.
I spent the rest of the day reading and napping while I waited for the neurologist to come and see me (he never did manage to make it, but I saw him a week later). At around 2 that afternoon, my gynae came to tell me that I would be having an emergency c-section within the next hour and a half. I called Hubby and told him to get to the hospital as soon as possible.
At 3pm I was in a hospital gown, prepped and ready to go into theatre with Hubby in tow. (I’ll tell you all about the actual birth and hospital stay in a separate post.) At 15:30 on the 6th of July 2009 my daughter Sienna Jade was born. She was 4 weeks premature.
She is now 7 weeks old and very healthy and happy. I however still have no control over the right side of my face. The neurologist said it would take about 6-8 weeks for the nerve to heal and for me to regain control of the muscles in my face. Fortunately I don’t have much pain anymore, something that nearly sent me over the edge the second night after Sienna was home.
I’m now waiting patiently for the control to come back to my face so I can smile at my baby for the first time.