So as I said in my last post, I was happily on my way to the childrens playground with Jasmine via la poste when I suddenly had really bad stomach pains. I was doubled over the pushchair barely able to walk. Jasmine who knows the way to Le Parc decided to carry on without mummy, which had me running after her like something out of a bad horror movie, having abandoned the pushchair (poor Isabelle).
I caught up with the 20m old sprinter & literally shoved her under my arm (thankfully she's still a lightweight) and hobbled back to the pushchair which I then leant on for support as I struggled back home. Its at times like this when you wish it wasn't winter as our village was completely quiet, not a sole to be seen or heard for miles around.
I knew something wasn't right as the pains were exactly like those in Dublin & for the early labours in France (I told everyone they weren't normal labour pains but would they believe me?).
After dropping everything in the kitchen I collapsed on the sofa leaving Jasmine to play with whatever she know's she's not to touch & Isabelle asleep in the pushchair. After 5 minutes I was incredibly sick & decided to call a friend to look after the children. She came straight away (another benefit of being well integrated into a small village) and concluded she should call the Dr toute suite. Another great benefit of la vie en France, my local medecin arrived within 30 minutes of the call, examined me & said...off to hospital. She called an ambulance & then (get this!) she ran around my house packing a bag for me & each of the girls!
More reinforcements arrived to volunteer to look after the girls (my friends really are superb) and it was arranged one would bring the baby to hospital so I could continue to feed her. I called my hubbie in Dublin (at his desk for 2 hours only) & left a message. I was then whisked away to the sound of nee naw (as Jasmine later explained to Daddy) worrying about my girls.
At hospital I was taken aux urgences which to be fair was a bit grotty & full of undesirables (yes I confess to being a bit snobby here). I found out there was a 6 hour wait but they would find me a quiet corridor to feed Izzy away from ill people (I wondered if such corridors existed in hospitals but they apparently do). I was put on a drip (perfusion or La Perf) and left in a corridor.
By 8pm my friend arrived & we were transferred to a quiet room in urgences (not a corridor) & then I was approached by a typically french suave Dr with a dreamy accent who whisked me off for an echo (ultrasound) where they discovered I had lots of gall stones (calcules) including 3 huge ones the size of cherries, I kid you not.
Il faut operer demain - the words I hadn't wanted to hear were said. I was transferred to surgery (chirurgerie vasculaire) and on nil by mouth until further notice. Not great when I am the sole source of food for Isabelle. I was told I could continue to feed her until I went to surgery but after that not for 48 hours. I would have to throw my milk away (I was worried the surgery would stop it completely). Isabelle was put on formula & as my friend gave her the first bottle, I cried. So much happening so quickly.
I couldn't have strong pain relief as I wanted to continue to feed Isabelle so managed on Paracetamol. In the morning the anaesthatist came to see me (again shockingly no swagger - I must say my opinion has now changed about them). Then about 5 mins later the nurses came in to prepare me for surgery. Mu hubby hadn't even touched down at Montpellier and I was going to be put under. He called me just as soon as he'd landed & I said I was fine. I was glad to know that all the problems with my pregnancy were caused by the Gall Bladder (vesicule billiere).
The strange thing is, everyone asked me if I ate lots of charcuterie, I can't stand it (sorry!) but I just can't eat fat on meat, never have done & that's what makes it even more unusual to have such a problem at my age.
Anyway, next I was wheeled down to the theatre (Le Bloc) and into a room with not a lot in it to be honest. Suddenly a team of green people surrounded me & started wiring me up & strapping my arms & legs down. It was an interesting experience, some people would have freaked, but I just chatted to the green man peering over me with a mask who seemed very interested in why I moved to France.
Count to 3 & gone.
I woke up 3 hours later a bit spaced out but calm. To my delight I was then transferred to Maternity so I could have Isabelle with me (well she was only 4 weeks old). The midwifes were excellent and I found much amusement in the staff coming in saying 'look how awake the baby in 3033 is' until they found out Izzy's real age.
One midwife was truly excellent, she said it was bothering her that I had to throw my milk away so she researched the drugs I was on & then checked with the Paediatricians to see if I could feed Izzy as the drugs were safe for pregnant women. He confirmed it was ok & so only 24 hours after surgery I resumed feeding Izzy. I was so happy.
Ok so her wriggling was a bit painful & carrying her about or putting her in & out oh her crib whilst wrestling with la perf was a challenge but we managed & after 5 days I came home.
It's now 2 weeks almost since my op & I've just had my stitches(les pointes) taken out. Still a bit sore but well on the way to recovery & looking forward to Christmas & a healthy 2011. As a bonus I've lost all my baby weight within 6 weeks & am now back in my own clothes..so there was a plus side to all that I've been through.
Anyway as I won't get chance to post again (the beau parents are currently descending into Montpellier as I type), I wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy, Prosperous New Year x