Friday, November 06, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part Three

Part One.
Part Two.

Surrounded by scurrying medical personnel, I'll be forever grateful to the nurse who held my left hand as much as she could throughout the the pre-operative kerfuffle. She must have had a hand made of steel because I know I squeezed so hard at one point that my own hand went briefly numb.

Strapped down as I was, I couldn't brush the tears away as they dribbled their way down into my hair line then into my ears. Eventually the dribbles became a trickle and then a steady flow as the anesthetists poked and prodded, trying to insert an arterial line into my veins. This important piece of tubing would be used to monitor the minutest change in my blood pressure. Unfortunately I was so dehydrated and distressed that they couldn't find a home for the line. Two different attempts were made on my left arm and then they switched to my right.

In the background I could hear the assistants disparaging the supply unit as they'd run out of a certain kind of drug essential for my surgery. Apparently, they'd just used the last of it up in another emergency c-section, but they were incredulous that the hospital could run out of such an important drug. Dr Awesome stopped the bitching by telling them to go with the second most popular drug as they had no choice at this stage.

My attention was drawn sharply back to the anesthetists as they threaded the arterial line into my arm. Yes, into my arm. They missed my veins all together and there's nothing quite as revoltingly painful as feeling a piece of tubing slide into your body where no tubing is meant to go.

At this point the nurse came back from telling Alaskaboy that it was taking longer than anticipated--They'd expected to have Kiddlywink out by now--and she grabbed my hand in time for them to miss-thread the line a second and third time.

Finally, Dr Awesome put his foot down. "That's enough," he said. "Let's just go. We can put the line in when she's out." From the tone in his voice and the look on his face, he was sick of seeing and hearing me suffer. And I'm guessing he could see from my face that I'd reached the end of my courage. I remember thinking at that point that I could keep being brave if they'd only successfully put the stupid thing in, but I had no faith left in the anesthetists except for their abilitiy to hurt me.

And hurt me one of them did again. After fitting the gas mask over my face, (Thank God it was at least a slightly opaque white colour not the awful smelly black ones they had years ago) he explained he was supporting the "some part of my throat I didn't quite catch" so I would keep breathing. But to me, all it felt like was him trying to choke me while crushing my Adam's Apple at the same time. There was none of that gentle hold-my-hand-and-count-backwards-from-one-hundred routine I was used to. Imagine the pain of the biggest ice cube you ever swallowed. Multiply it by about 50 and center it all on the very front of your throat. That was the last sensation I remember feeling before the lights went out.

The very next sensation I felt was my left fingers starting to twitch involuntarily. Slowly but surely I became more aware of my body and my surroundings. I caught a glimpse of the clock and seeing just how much time had passed I began to fret. All of a sudden I could peer towards the doorway and see Dr Awesome and Alaskaboy.

"Hi Baby," I said, in a voice that I barely recognised as my own, so weak and high pitched did it sound. "Is she beautiful?"

His voice I recognised, as well as his pride, relief and joy, in the one syllable that he was able to utter. "Yes."

And then I was concentrating on not giving into the urge for terrified wailing as they informed me they were transferring me to a bed. Considering what I'd been through, I expected a huge, painful process of some kind...but they gathered the corners of the sheets and slid me across onto the bed, smooth as silk.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I settled in for the ride to the ICU, tuning out the gurney driver and the nurse who was administering my meds as they argued over the best route to take. Direction sorted, we set off on a kaleidoscopic journey of lights whizzing by overhead and corners being turned at what felt like break neck speed.

My eyes opened wider and wider as we approached the turn for the elevator. Yeah, that sigh had been breathed too early. The guy misjudged the turn, too busy flapping his gums, and rammed the end of the gurney into the side of the elevator doorway.

Hearing myself make an horrific primal scream, I grabbed my stomach as I slid several inches down the bed. Then my hair stood on end as I heard the vicious tone in Alaskaboy's voice as he verbally tore strips off the guy. Miserable and tired of it all I closed my eyes and sobbed the rest of the way to ICU.

The next twenty four hours passed in a blur. I remember making and receiving phone calls and text messages; sleeping a lot; pressing the pain relief button as often as I was allowed; and even managing to get out of bed at one point.

Then during one of my lucid periods, Alaskaboy was there; with photos of our beautiful baby girl. We'd managed to have a list of about six or so names for a girl, but there were two clear favourites. It wasn't until we saw her picture though that we knew which order to put those names in. Funnily enough, the name we chose for her first name was the last name we'd put on the list. And subsequently never added any more names after that. It was like we'd known subconsciously we had our winner since that moment.

As they were preparing to move me out of the ICU and into the intensive care beds of the actual maternity ward I was able to say goodbye to the nurse who'd helped me through those first critical hours. She'd stopped back in to see how I was doing when she logged on for her next shift.

That left me in good spirits and Alaskaboy's terse warning to the gurney driver had me hoping for a smooth journey. HAHAHA! She was worse than the original gurney driver. She not only managed to ram me feet first into the side of an eight foot wide doorway, (you really don't EVER want to know what Alaskaboy said and how he sounded while he said it) but also sideswiped an elevator doorway on the way to the maternity ward. I managed to keep my mouth shut and my cries deep in my throat during the sideswipe else murder might well have been done.

But wait! There's more. The fun and games weren't over yet! It got worse before it got better.

1 Nibbles:

Denise said...

Holy shit!