Melissa’s Story – by Shari

My story is written as a letter to me by my former Mother-in-law. I don’t remember much of the event. She told me the story of what happened for the first time in 2014, my Sheehan’s baby was born in 1998. I didn’t know what had caused the hemorrhage. I didn’t know what Sheehan’s Syndrome was until around 2003. I didn’t fully understand how much it affected me and the fact that I was being mistreated. My body required hormones to function properly and I couldn’t produce them.

I knew I was different from the very first day, I woke up everyday wanting to be normal again. I had a new normal now. I had permanent damage to part of my brain. I needed replacement therapy to be healthy. Doctors were zero help, science still hasn’t done enough research. My life since then has been a struggle for proper healthcare. I have made the best of every day and tried my hardest to be my best. I have been diagnosed Panhypopituitary. The doctors and I are still working toward full replacement therapy. Here is my story, written to me by my former mil, Shari.

 

I remember most that we were concerned for two-three weeks about the swelling and tried to discuss it with the midwives.  I had just had a friend lose a baby in the ninth month due to toxemia.  When I went with you to try to have midwives do an ultrasound or induce – they were patronizing and said “it’s fine – the baby will come when ready “mom” – things are different than when you had a baby.”

When you went in to deliver – you were having a hard time so they did finally break the water and discovered michonium (don’t know how it is spelled).  None of you knew what that meant but from my EMT training and experience with numerous births and coaching – I did.  It was a sign that the baby was “overdue” and I knew how serious it was.  I watched the whispers and the neonatal team line up in the hall knowing that the baby would need immediate care.  I did not want to alarm anyone and knew we were at one of the best hospitals for neonatal issues so I said nothing but was even more upset with the midwife and took her aside and said “still think everything’s fine and the baby is eight pounds?’”  She said “yes”.  They rushed things along.  As Lil Donnie arrived and we all saw how big he was, she kind of stuttered a bit but said “well I guess he is a big boy”.  I know that boy was 11 pounds as they rushed him off to try and save him since his lungs were full of toxins.  There was a problem with the bleeding and delivery of the placenta at the same time.  I will never forget the devastation as Donnie looked at me with tears in his eyes as they immediately whisked the baby away just as they called to him to say that his wife was losing too much blood and he needed to sign papers.  He was only 20 years old and was torn in two.  He immediately went to you and focused on you as I told him we would follow the baby.  My understanding is that they were pulling on the placenta to get it out.

 

We were in neonatal and it was so odd to see such a “giant” baby in the incubator with oxygen and machines when all of the others were so tiny.  I remember the doctor telling us that he was more concerned with Lil Donnie surviving because he knew the others just needed time to develop further but he was in a scary place with his lungs very developed but full of poison.  He wasn’t sure if he would make it.  I felt so helpless because I couldn’t see him, touch him…be with him.  I was upset that your dad would not go in (because he was a pastor he could get in) and I didn’t want the baby alone since no one knew if he would survive.  I am sure now that your dad was just as worried and didn’t know what to do really.  They had finally stopped the bleeding with you but you were so pale and weak.  I went home and got stuff and stayed overnight in the waiting room but couldn’t do much but check on both of you.  I remember you trying to see Savanna the next day or so but were so out of it.  You didn’t see the baby for days and didn’t want anyone holding him before you got to.  Honestly I kind of understood but was upset because the baby needed someone to touch him, love him even if you couldn’t.  I don’t remember how long before you saw him or came home…I just remember that you were so unemotional and disconnected from that point on.  You were pale and weak and different.  You seemed to have some connection to Savanna but not the baby really and no one else.

 

For the next year, it was scary.  I worried about you and the kids.  I watched them a lot.  It got to a point where Donnie did not feel safe leaving you with the kids to go to work.  You got better after a long time but was never the same.  I remember you went from doctor to doctor and them saying they were worried because you had no adrenaline and would not react in a crisis or even a life threatening situation.  Donnie kept his vows through sickness and health and confided in us how concerned he was.  He was worried about all of the medical bills and went with you to most appointments so he could hear what they had to say.  He just wanted you back.  He had not had a wife in a long time.  You were miserable, cried a lot, and searched for answers.  We tried to help but felt helpless.  The marriage suffered and you suffered and Donnie suffered and no one had answers.  Eventually it was finally diagnosed as Sheehans disease which was at least something. After all the trips and expense of doctors, we were all thankful for some answers and possible solution.

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