Thursday, July 09, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part Two.

Part One.

After signing in to the Labour and Delivery Ward, (thankfully we'd preregistered,) we were ushered to a room, where I put on the first of many hospital gowns I'd wear over the next week. Despite having preregistered, there was still a bazillion pages of paperwork I had to fill out. Authorizations for all kinds of drugs/procedures etc etc. Kinda weird really, but I guess this is sue-crazy America, so they'll shove paperwork at you all day long in an attempt to avoid having to pay out in a lawsuit.

The first drugs I received in my brand-spankin' new I.V. were a blood pressure medication and magnesium sulfate. The first to prevent a stroke and the other to prevent possible convulsions. One of the reasons I'd wanted to avoid an epidural, apart from the whole stick a needle in your spine aspect, was to avoid the regular taking of my blood pressure. With how tight they have to pump the cuffs, I often end up bruised after a routine doctor's visit...imagine how I felt at the idea of it being taking with an automated cuff every 15 minutes? Yet there I was, hooked up to the infernal machine.

Machines I should say. There was also the fetal monitor. This lovely thing they cinched TIGHT around my belly in the hopes of getting it to stay in place to track Kiddlywink's heartbeat. I don't know why they bothered because she sure as hell didn't stay in the one place! LOL There was also the lovely catheter. Convenient that I didn't need to get up and go to the toilet. What I mostly focused on though was my raging thirst. I was allowed nil by mouth, and I dunno about you, but a drip may hydrate the body but I STILL wanted a drink, dammit. My mouth was doubly dry, from fear as well as thirst.

Many tests, and hours, later, Dr Awesome finally arrived. My lab results had come back and yes, it was as he'd feared, HELLP Syndrome. The reason he'd waited so long to operate on me was because he wanted to get those lab results back before proceeding. (I'll forever be grateful he made me wait those interminable hours. I found out later, if he hadn't, he wouldn't have known just how low my platelet levels were, and there would have been a real possibility of bleeding out on the table...just like sufferers of HELLP did in the past when they didn't have even the little knowledge they have nowadays about how to deal with it.)

The choice of inducing me had disappeared when they'd seen my cervix was closed completely and Kiddlywink hadn't “dropped” yet. And now, any chance I had of even being awake, including a caesarean with the dreaded epidural, was zero. Add yet more paperwork to be hurriedly signed before they shaved me down below and all of a sudden it was all systems go. Alaskaboy was handed scrubs to put on and they whisked me off to the operating theatre, for a good old fashioned birth: under general anesthetic.

Alaskaboy struggled to get the scrubs on as fast as he could, and followed my gurney out to the theatre. At this point, I was more worried about Kiddlywink than myself--ignorance truly is bliss--and hoped that she was well-formed enough to survive. My subconscious mothering instincts had prevented me from calling in to the doctor any time over the previous ten days. A good thing as it turned out. 34 weeks is the cut off point. One day earlier and she'd have had to go to the super scary, teeny tiny babies' NICU and not the “normal” NICU.

Laying there in the surgery, listening to them discussing their pre-op stuff, it made me smile on the inside despite the pain I was in; the attitudes/conversations and preparation sounds were somehow reminiscent of every single kitchen I've worked in.

Then we were informed that due to the nature and seriousness of my surgery, Alaskaboy would NOT be allowed into the theatre at all.

He was to wait outside.

In that moment, Alaskaboy, standing in the doorway, and me, lying on the operating table as they started to strap me down and my belly up, locked gazes. My absurd thought in that moment was, “God, it's just like in a movie!”

Truly, it was. Last time we'd shared a gaze this intense was as I walked down the aisle towards him on our wedding day. Now, as then, we stared into each others eyes for a few short, but highly charged seconds, and then had to look away. I wanted to drown in his eyes, but I couldn't bear the depths of the emotions contained within them. Nor could I bear the tears that had started to form. The first time, they'd been hard enough to see when they were tears of immense joy. Now they were caused by terror. Realising just how afraid and distraught he was, increased my own feelings tenfold.

Then the door was shut in his face, and he had to wait outside, and pray.

And even though I was in a crowded room, I felt dreadfully alone.

1 Nibbles:

cmae said...

Kada!!! Don't leave me hanging!!!

This sounds utterly frightening. I'm so glad you and baby are now safe - so grateful. (((HUGS)))