Thursday morning started like any morning apart from glads that were a little tender but much improve from the night before after rubbing frankincense topically on the area and on my feet. My appetite seemed a little up after not being present the day before so I assumed the bug I was fighting was on the way out. After Gabriel woke up we got ready to meet some friends downstairs at 8am to walk to another girl friend's place in town.
I was feeling what I thought was pregnancy pains and even took to twitter to note that I was 18 weeks pregnant but feeling 40. On our walk to the train station I was feeling fatigued already with some back pain and a my head was a little hazy. My friend Loni asked how I was and I just laughed off that I felt pregnant which is what I assumed was going on- second pregnancy, more intense symptoms than the first.
At our friend's place I enjoyed 2 large glasses of coffee when I hardly ever drink coffee so it was a real treat. The plan was to sit and enjoy some lady time while the kiddos watched a movie and then we'd head to the local second hand store. Towards the end of our coffee time I was starting to talk in a way that didn't quite make sense- slightly different structured sentences and not placing the right name with the right person but I wouldn't have realized I was doing this if it wasn't for my friends playfully poking fun at it. Everyone blamed it on pregnancy brain.
Walking a few blocks to the second hand store presented more dull deep back pain on my right side and I had to press on the area from time to time so I could walk with less pain. When I got to the store I needed to use the restroom even though I had went at Nona's a couple time in a short amount of time, but once again I passed it off as pregnancy and drinking two cups of coffee and water. After being in the store for about an hour I was just feeling so fatigued that I knew I needed to rest while Gabe napped which meant I had to get Gabe back to the apartment before he was so tired he'd fall asleep in the stroller on the way home ruining any chances of a solid nap in his bed. I sadly left my friends feeling lame for being 'the pregnant tag-a-long' who can't keep up at only 18 weeks pregnant.
Gabe went down for his nap nicely and I had three solid hours to elevate my feet and rest. Things felt slow- body and mind, but kept telling myself 'pregnancy.' The pain in my back also by this point moved its way around to the underside of my belly bump creating a ring of tight dull throbbing. It felt like I had maybe pulled something, that my muscles were stretching out. I tried to relieve the pain by stretching around but with my pain threshold being what it is I wasn't too concerned, say it with me, "pregnancy."
When Gabriel woke up Chris walked through the door! I about cried I was so happy but then quickly asked, "what's wrong?" He was home very early compared to when he had been getting home lately even though he had worked overtime. Nothing was wrong, just only worked an hour of overtime when he usually has to work more. I was so thankful to have him home to help with Gabe because I was just feeling off but couldn't put my figure on it- once again I was experiencing difficulty to finish thoughts through my speech when talking with Chris, a lot of pausing to remember what I was saying.
We had a wonderful evening together, Gabriel went to bed, we watched a fun episode of Castle that involved the Yakuza and mentioned Yokosuka naval base. We were so tired and were proud of ourselves for getting into bed around 9:15. Chris fell asleep by 9:30 and I feel asleep just before 10.
After about half an hour of sort of sleeping and tossing and turning I felt like I really needed to go pee and the pain in my back that wrapped around to the front under my bump was quite a bit more prevalent. I thought maybe it was all a gas issue and that the bathroom would help but sitting made it worse. Chris was so terribly exhausted and fell asleep so quickly and soundly that I was racking my brain as to what I could do to calm my rapidly rising pain and discomfort.
The pain quickly started hitting a level that was terribly concerning to me causing me to start to panic a bit due to the location of it all, I felt like I was starting to go into active labor, that's how bad it hurt. I was the only one awake, I didn't want to get Gabriel wrapped up in this and I really wanted Chris to get his rest so for half a second I entertained the idea of going to base on my own since we are so close; I figured I could maybe get there and back before Chris woke for work and be fine. Obviously that wasn't an appropriate choice and finally I got over myself and work Chris up.
"Chris, something is not right. Something feels terribly wrong." After I cried/moaned out these words I collapsed on the bed and started to hyperventilate because I knew that the pain wasn't normal and the location of it all terrified me. Neither of us voiced it but we were both thinking the unmentionable. I started having chills and tingling down my legs, I really thought I was going into labor, the similarities of the pain level was uncanny. I was trying to google what was going on but I was starting to feel like I was going to pass out so Chris started looking things up. First I told him that I thought it was maybe nerve pain because of the numb throb feeling and the tingle down my legs but I started being more and more aware of my frequent feeling of needing to urinate that I said it had something to do with that. We looked up UTI but it talked about a burning sensation when using the bathroom and I wasn't having that so I quickly passed it off.
We called around and got a hold of an on-call doctor (or maybe nurse) who asked us some questions. He made sure that there was no visible blood or present fever and said that it could be a UTI but without seeing me wasn't sure. He advised that if I did start seeing blood in the toilet, abnormal discharge or fever that I should go in. At this point I was starting to feel in my gut that I should go to the ER but I was having a hard time being okay with calling friends to see if anyone would be willing to stay at our apartment at this late hour so Gabriel could keep sleeping while we went. I crawled back into bed with a heating pad and the iPad and turned to searching UTI myself. After looking at a couple sites I came across some kidney infection information and that sounded similar to what I was experiencing but I still wasn't convinced because my back pain was more low than high. However I read a snippet that said that if I was pregnant and thought there was a chance that I had a kidney infection I needed to go the the hospital right away because there was high risk for preterm labor and other scary things. Reading that after feeling like I was in labor was what it took for me to make the call and tell Chris we needed to go.
He called his coworker Neil, who is married to Loni, and they so kindly got out of bed and quickly came to hang out at our apartment so we could taxi to the ER. By the time I woke up and we left I had used the bathroom 8-10 times.
In the taxi I started to feel better because I found peace knowing that I was heading to care but then that caused me to feel like I was overreacting with all this and that maybe I should have just waited it out. Chris had also given me 2 extra strength Tylenol previously and those were kicking in but I at the time I forgot that I even took them so I thought the pain was just subsiding by itself.
We got to the ER around midnight and slowly went through the paperwork process, vitals, blood work, urine test, ultra sound, questions, cervic exam, more vitals.... Around 2am it was concluded that there were traces of blood in my urine, infection in my blood and tapping my right kidney made me about fly off the bed thus I had a kidney infection. The ultrasound was one of the first things they did (after paperwork) because baby was the main concern. Chris and I hadn't talked about what we had been thinking the whole time. When the picture popped up on the screen and the doctor began looking for the heart we were very quiet, holding our breathes and our thoughts. As soon as we saw a very strong and consistent heart beat we both exhaled and I began to cry quietly- thank you Jesus, the baby was perfectly fine. When the nurse left Chris embraced me, I cried some more and we praised God.
Because I was pregnant and it was confirmed the kidney infection moved into my blood I was to be admitted to the hospital at 3am for IV and monitoring. If I wasn't pregnant they would have sent me home with take-by-mouth antibiotics. The pain was starting to gain strength once I was admitted to the hospital. They got me settled in bed, gave me the game plan run down, hooked up the drip, gave me the pain killers, Chris prayed over me, said goodbye and then to sleep I went.
I didn't fall asleep until about 4am or so I only got 2-3 hours of sleep before vitals needed to be taken again and breakfast showed up. Praise God Gabriel slept in so Chris got to get some extra rest. They come over as soon as they could after breakfast and getting ready. Chris brought me some entertainment, personal products and my pillow! I started to cry as soon as Gabriel came into the room being pushed in the stroller. The huge smile on his face caused me to lose it. He immediately wanted out and to cuddle on my lap and be fed my yogurt. Chris brought some blocks and cars and we hung in my room until I needed to go to radiation and get my kidneys, bladder, and baby checked with the ultrasound.
Chris and Gabriel came down with me but Gabriel didn't last very long in the room. The tech was an older Japanese man with a terribly thick accent causing him to be very hard to understand. I did the best I could to follow his instruction. To his knowledge he said my kidneys seemed to look fine and he then showed me baby for a bit and printed some photos. Though Chris and I saw and heard the heart last night- which was challenging because baby was so active- it once again brought a lot of comfort seeing a healthy, strong, and active baby thriving inside. My boys headed home for nap time (for both of them) after the ultrasound. I ate my lunch and tried to nap as well.
After nap time the boys came back to visit me before Chris took Gabriel to the park followed by the grocery store. They stayed only briefly since Gabriel really needed to get some play time outside but Chris said he'd be sure to stop back in after shopping. I watched March Madness, pushed my dinner around my plate (still full from lunch since I've been coped up in a room all day), napped and of course Pinterested.
It was really great to see Gabriel and Chris one more time before the end of the day. Gabriel once again just wanted to sit next to me and cuddle. When it came time to say goodbye it was so hard to watch him walk down the hall, walk back to me for a hug, kiss, and fist bump, and then walk to the elevator with Chris. Chris was originally planning on putting Gabriel to bed, asking someone to hang at our apartment and come back and keep me company but my friend Kelli said she'd gladly come spend some time with me which was great!
Kelli is due with baby number three in two weeks but hadn't yet seen the labor and delivery wing so after talking with my doctor and getting the okay we went walking the hospital floors and got a tour of where she will be having baby. It felt so good to chat and walk but apparently my doctor didn't inform that staff I was leaving for a bit so I got in a tad bit of trouble when I returned since I wasn't in the room when it was time to do vitals and no one knew where I disappeared to. She also brought chips and salsa from Chili's as well as pineapple juice and club soda which we mix and drank in huge hospital cups.
Falling asleep was hard that second night; missing family, feeling trapped, and trying so desperately to not rip the IV port out of my arm. My 3am date with the second round of IV antibiotics came quickly in the night once I did fall asleep. After munching on a few tortilla chips (so hungry from skipping the not so great dinner provided) I fortunately quickly fell back asleep.
In the morning when the corpsman took my vitals I asked how they had been checking out, "oh you're healthier than I am," he responded. When the doctor visited in the morning he discussed with me how they'd like to see me stay one more night to get a third round of IV antibiotics in my system but because I never spiked a fever as expected, my vitals have been great and consistent, the color was back in my face and my head was on more straight we decided that I could go home if and only if I came straight back at any sign of symptoms returning. The symptom thing is tricky since the symptoms for a kidney infection are fatigue, suppressed appetite, back pain, confusion, and increased need to urinate which are all symptoms of pregnancy... because of this we decided that if I was feeling extra pregnant I'd come back. The biggest concern was that my cultures weren't going to be back by Monday which meant that the antibiotics I was being sent home with might not be what I actually needed.
Walking home in the fresh air and sunshine was just what I needed but by the time I got home I was so tired and needed a long nap. we had grand plans for the weekend but needless to say wound up taking a really slow weekend with the exception of attending a couple gatherings- talking with friends was so great for the soul.
I'm still infected and hopefully in a few weeks I'll be 30-50% recovered. I am now at high risk for kidney infections for the entirety of the pregnancy and was prescribed an antibiotic to take for the rest of my pregnancy to kill any bacteria in my system that could cause another infection. My doctor and I did talk about taking a cranberry extract instead of the antibiotic and though he didn't say I shouldn't do that, he couldn't say that it would be just as successful as the antibiotic. As of now I'll transition to the long term antibiotic after I finish my initial stronger prescription and then transition to the cranberry extract being very mindful to what my body is telling me.
I'm feeling good now which we are so very thankful for since I was in pretty bad shape when I entered the hospital. The doctors were very concern with how fast the infection came on and spread before I experienced symptoms and told me that if I had waited a day longer I would have most likely found myself in septic shock which is not far from death. Kind of serious stuff which makes it so remarkable to us on how fast my body responded to medical care and and even more of a blessing is that the baby seemed to be perfectly fine though out all of it. We've sure been counting our blessings and holding each other a little closer. I'm thankful for faithful friends, the strength of my body, the advancement of medicine as well as the grace of God who makes all things possible.