Thursday, June 7, 2012

Part 3 of The Jedi Series~Not Ready


This is a story of a journey, it is not intended to scare or shock. The language used is carefully selected and may be offensive, I make no apologies for it.
I welcome you to share it.
This is dedicated to the one I love.


When I had last been hospitalized at 22-23 weeks I had been told that if I could just make it to 24 weeks, that then they would concentrate some effort in saving the baby should he decide to come out then. And even then, I could decide if an effort to save him, should be made at all. I was also told that babies born at 27 weeks could have very few problems, if any at all. There was really no way to tell since every baby is so different.

Shortly after I took the belly picture marking my 6 month mile stone, I was in the hospital. I had been bleeding off and on which I had grown accustomed to (but never used to, mark my words, every single drop of blood, terrified me) but then things started looking well, a little watery.

I had called my mom and tried laying down and then getting back up to see if there was more. I joked with the triage nurses that I even smelled it, but I wasn't sure what I was smelling for. I imagined an earthy hippie odor. They non chalantly checked my chart and asked me questions, which still to this day, I will never understand. All my info is on my charts and I had just been there not even 2 weeks ago.

Finally when it got down to actually checking the situation out, the nurse was shocked there was so much blood. Maybe I had been a little under exaggerating when I had said "you know...like a heavy period, but watery." She immediately covered my legs and put my knees together and said she would get my doctor, she just saw him around the corner before she came in my room.

I had switched doctor's fairly recently, and had only seen this one, maybe two times.
Such kindness was in his eyes as he walked into my room with the frazzled nurse behind him. He spoke so calmly, asking her what the situation was and asking for more info from her that was on my charts. While he asked her, and she sputtered her answers frantically, he placed his hand on my belly, listening to her answers, and nodding his head.

After he checked the situation out, he continued to talk to her, but all the while, kept his focus on me. He sat on the end of my bed and all the while with his hand on my belly, told me that I needed to be admitted again, and what he was going to do to make sure the baby stays inside.He said that there was no way to tell if my water had broken, because there was so much blood. But he ordered an ultrasound to determine if it had. He then told me, that after I was admitted, a doctor whom he knows, would come and speak with me.

"What doctor?" I asked sitting up.
"Someone from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit"

He patted my legs and said he would come see me in the morning.
Inside I started to shake.
My son, continued to swim inside of me. I knew he was small. Small enough that he could kick flip off my ribs, and boomerang himself back by using his head to propel himself off my groin.

I remember when I was hugely pregnant with my other children. I knew they were "ready" when I had hardly any room to breathe. And then shortly after I would have them.
Big fat round cheeks. Every single one of them.
My first daughter had solid thighs.
My second daughter, weighing nearly 10 pounds, had rolls on her knees.
My first son's newborn shirt wouldn't fit across his chest.
My third daughter had a roll under her neck and frankly looked a little strange. And she had been my smallest at 8 pounds. I remember her dad saying she was dainty, and the nurses laughing because to them, she was pretty big.

When the ultrasound tech came in, she could clearly measure the babies length and size.
About 1 pound 6 oz.

That is the size of a kitten.
A really big hamburger.
Some oranges.
A small melon.
And the baby inside of me.
Fuck.

Well he is definitely not allowed to come out now, I thought, because this whole NICU shit is more than my mind can handle and 1 pound? No. NOT. Going to happen.

The doctor from the NICU came as scheduled, after I had settled in my room. The Biff stood near the pull out chair that I ordered him to sleep on. His arms crossed defiantly, as if crossing his arms could protect him from whatever shit this doctor was going to say.
I joined him and crossed my arms too.

The doctor explained everything very quickly, but clearly.
If our baby comes out now, he would not breathe. His lungs are not mature enough. Most babies come out crying, ours wouldn't.
He would need to be resuscitated. In fact a whole team would be there, just for him, basically saving him. He would then be transferred upstairs, to the NICU.
If he survives that, it would just be the beginning. Words were thrown around, like brain bleeds, heart surgery, ventilator, deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, chronic lung disease, etc.

By the time she turned and left, we both had our arms at our sides and were staring at the ground.

"Well this sucks" I said.
"Fuck yea it does" was his response.

They soon started pumping me with magnesium sulfate (helps babies brains mature faster...or something) and steroid shots to to help his lungs. When I was finally allowed to eat, I ate everything. I no longer cared if I got enormously fat. My baby was only a pound and who knows how long I had to change that? Over the course of the next few days I concentrated on eating and sleeping. The bleeding continued to lessen and they allowed me to walk the halls to see if it was safe for me to go home.

There had been disagreements between the Dr's as to where my bleeding was coming from. It all seemed inconclusive. The baby seemed fine, but they didn't know when the placenta was going to (if at all) detach more, start to not provide the baby with what he needed, or even the exact location of the bleed. What no one could see was that my placenta was slowly detaching from behind. No ultrasound would ever show that.

As I walked the halls on a Friday, I was winded. It had been so long since I had ever walked more than a few steps. My mind focused on the pictures on the walls, and imagining that I would have my baby in one of the rooms I passed. It made me happy. We would make it. And I would see him, and hold him, just as I had with my other children. And it would be a god damn glorious day. This walk through the halls would soon just be a memory, and I would be back home with my kids, awaiting our baby's arrival in October.

I was irritated but compliant that after the walk through the halls, I was made to stay one more night.
I woke up on Saturday, July the 2nd, ready to come home. I had eaten breakfast, was ready to get my IV out, and be on my merry way.
When I got out of bed to use the bathroom, I felt a cracking in my groin. Immediately placing my hand there I muttered "fuck fuck fuck" the nurse asked "what is it honey?" while she was in the bathroom getting my towels ready for my shower.
And then for millionth time it seemed, my panties filled with blood.

My doctor happened to be in the hospital and came in to examine me.
"You aren't leaving this hospital until the baby comes out. How far along are you?"
He grabbed and prodded my belly.
With worry in his eyes, he gave my head a pat and said he would be right back with another person to do an ultrasound.
Thankfully, the baby was fine.

I was depressed. I missed my kids. I was sick of being worried. I wanted to sleep next to my boyfriend. I wanted to be able to see my mom without her having to get checked with security. A million and one complaints and pity parties I had for myself.
Sobbing I rolled over and tried to go to sleep.
No matter how much I tried, I couldn't. I was uncomfortable, I felt a small tightness in my belly. A growing ache in my back. And it seemed that every minute or so I couldn't breathe.
Having 4 babies, I knew all too well what was happening.

I was in labor. 


5 comments:

  1. It is draining to relive these moments, let alone put them into words. And you have a way with words, lady.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Humble. The force is definitely strong with your little Jedi. I can't even imagine what you were feeling..

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know this is so hard to relive. You are so brave to share

    ReplyDelete
  4. and again, holding breath. I cannot imagine how scared you must have been. As others keep saying we know the outcome, but FUCK.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm not sure if you see these comments or not, but I'd just like to share that I was SORT OF in your position.. a lot of similarities as well as some differences. I was pregnant with twins, in 2004.. Due March 18, 2005. In November 2004 I had started to leak some fluid, didn't know what was happening so I let it go for 2 days thinking it was normal .. at this point in time i should share that i was a very young sixteen year old grade 11 in high school at this time .. walking around Wal-mart (ha) I had my legs crossed because of the leaking, my mom asked what was going on, and she just happened to be talking to the pharmacist at the time and she said to get me to the hospital. I was 22 weeks at this point.. I rushed back to my home town hospital, they checked me, I was 2 cm dilated.. This can't be happening seriously, was what went through my mind. They gave me 2 options, I can be rushed to St. Joseph's hospital in London, Ontario (an hour away from my home) in an ambulance, or I could take my own car, pack my things at home for a long stay. I chose the latter, and packed my own things.. Arrived in London at 130am, to be on bed rest unless I had to use the bathroom. Within 48 hours, I was in full blown labor.. My mom had spent that night at home and was on her way back at 6am when I discovered this. They took me to a delivery room, where I stayed for the next 18 hours with pitocin pumping through my veins. I slept as much as I could.. 1am on November 22, 2004 my first little princess arrived. My cervix closed up to 2cm (WTF RIGHT?) so the doctors decided to try to keep baby numero deux in so she could develop a little more. Baby number 1 passed away within an hour of being born.. We passed her around the room to my family and when she came back to me is when she passed. (I chose not to have any medical intervention due to all of the serious complications a baby born at 23 weeks, 1 lb 4 oz could possibly have).. Because my cervix had closed up they left the umbilical cord out from Mykaila (aka baby 1) and within hours of her being born I contracted a dangerous infection in my uterus. Fever shot to 109, blood pressure through the roof, I was well on my way to dying if they didn't get the baby out. Pitocin was once again started up, and man those contractions hurt like hell! 22 hours after baby 1 arrived, princess number 2 made her arrival.. 10:22pm, 1 lb 7 oz, 12cm long. I couldn't hold myself together enough to hold her knowing Mykaila had passed away with me. My mom & nana held her, and she passed away within about an hour. I named her Rhyanna :) I'm so glad your outcome was much better than mine. It still hurts to this day, almost 9 years later, I miss them all the time.. But I now have an amazing little 3 (4 in october) year old little boy, and 2 little angels looking out for him!

    ReplyDelete