Welch, Lindsay

April of 2016 I was your typical 1st time expectant mom. I was packed for the hospital, ready to meet my son and had my birth plan mapped out. However, as most will tell you, nothing ever goes according to plan. 
My natural birth quickly turned into an induction thanks to scare tactics on behalf of the doctors. I was left in labor for 65 hours while they turned the pitocin off and on. The midwife told me that there were others further into active labor than I, I would just have to wait. After 24 hours they broke my water, more waiting. We waited until my sons heart rate dropped dangerously low and I needed an emergency c section. I remember the epidural and how it freaked me out having no control over my lower body. I remember them stabbing me, not the pressure they assured I would feel but the sharp, stinging, slicing pain. More drugs in the epidural but it wasnt working. I vaguely remember them shoving my husband out while they slipped a mask over my face and everything slipped into darkness.
My son was born not breathing or conscious. He was rushed to the NICU for a chest tube and to be monitored. When I came to, the only thing I wanted was my baby. I didnt care they had cut me from below my sternum to below my belly button. I didn't care I had a 16 inch incision no where near the bikini line. I just wanted my baby boy. It was miserable not being able to see or hold him. My whole birth felt stolen from me. I had no memory of having my son and now I couldnt even see him. I was beyond livid. I was so mad, I got up from the bed (which had no sheet on it cause they couldnt find one) and walked my self to the NICU and threatened to swing my IV pole at anyone who tried to stop me. Those poor nurses gawked at me, swollen but up and walking 2 hours after surgery. One tried to approach me but I picked up that pole like a bat and I growled that I was going to see my son or I was going to fight. They decided to send an escort with me to the NICU where I finally met my son. I still couldn't hold him but I let the NICU know that this was MY son, my attorney had already been contacted and to tread lightly. Neonatal had informed them I was a "Mama Grizzly" and 1 nurse understood me greatly. She was the best advocate I had and my sons 1st girlfriend. We both spent 5 days in the hospital after my surgery and before I was released I inquired about a round bruise that sat underneath the incision. I was quickly told my body sustained lots of trauma and bruising was normal. They wouldnt even look at it and released me. 
I got to go home and spend 1 night in my bed with my son. I couldnt get warm, my fever spiked and I shook so hard my back muscles ached. I kept telling myself it was hormone changes. I was actually fighting for my life before I literally exploded all over the carpet. I had first thought I had spilled a glass of water onto the carpet but it sounded more like a faucet was turned on, pouring onto carpet. Thats when the stench hit me. It was quite possibly the worst smell I had smelt in a long time. It was worse than death, it was infected death.
My husband called 911 and things moved fast from there. The ambulance came, looked at the site I was pouring pus from and took off lights and sirens. Once I got back to the hospital they took me back to the maturnity ward where my Dr said we needed to go in, cut the infection out and stuff with gauze. I said I didnt want that. She said "Sweetheart, the only other option is death and you have a sweet baby who needs his mom." 
So again, emergency surgery where I woke up and had 11 kurlex stuffed in my abdomen and a giant, gaping hole covered in abd pads and tape. The nurses never told me my diagnoses (I had anxiety pre-nf pretty badly) but did tell me to get comfortable, I'd be there for awhile.
I amazed the nurses with my determination. They brought in a second bed so I could have people stay with me, to care for my son during procedures. I may not have had an abdomen but I was frequently calling because my kurlex was falling out. I walked my son around the nurses station, I cleaned my hospital room and took care of my newborn. I never knew how close to death I walked. In fact, we walked hand in hand and I was oblivious to everything but my new mom responsibilities. I was never put in a coma, I was made to endure getting put to sleep daily but Im grateful I got to bond with my son and able to keep some sense of normalcy (I did IV pole dance for the nurses, once they told me I got to go home that week, so much for normalcy, lol)
32 days, 25 surgeries, 1 bowel mesh and a wound vac later, I got to go home. I had survived the rare flesh eating bacteria, earned a badass reputation on the maturnity ward and discovered my purpose within the months that came.
I still struggle. I still have bad days. Angry days. I still have an open wound almost 2 years later but I know the reason I suffered, was to help others through it. To be able to hold the hands of others spiritually, offer words no one knew to say to me and be a pillar of support through the Necrotizing Fasciitis journey, because I survived it, and I will always find the silver linings in the clouds of this life. 💕