Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Theatre

At 9 in the morning the midwives came to take me to theatre. My husband wasn't anywhere to be found. "Um, where is your husband?", they asked? "Dr K took him", I smiled. Dr K had taken us under his wing and treated Corey like a colleague, and went to help him scrub up. The midwives giggled "they don't normally do that", they grinned. "He loves the two of you". I felt really blessed that we were being treated like individuals in a very terrifying situation.

They asked me if I wanted a stretcher or to walk. I decided I was walking into that theatre, I didn't want to be stretchered in. It was the hardest walk of my life. I was scared, I was full of odema, I had a catheter in, and canulated. I felt pretty rough, and hadn't slept in 36 hours.

The anaesthetist met me in theatre. "Mrs Hodges, will you please consider changing your mind. You are not, ahem, a small person, and I really would rather you have a general anaesthetic". I looked at him and said "what if the baby dies? Who will comfort my husband? How will he tell me? You will try the spinal".

I practiced my hypnobirthing and went silent. At first I visualised my cat Atticus, and then Wineglass Bay in Tasmania. I imagined my back curving into the bay, me and the beach were one. I felt the dampness on my back, and then the sensation of the needle going in. It seemed to take no time at all. The anaesthetist popped round the front of me and said "my dear you are fat at the front and thin at the back". I glared at him "well I am pregnant you know", and the very serious gowned and masked team sniggered.

My husband came in with Dr K, and sat by my side. He looked calm, and I started chatting about our honeymoon. They started working. I couldn't feel anything at all, no pressure. There were two doctors, Dr K and the gorgeous Charlie, a big Ghanaian chap who I really loved.

Quietly Dr K delivered my baby. No big moment, he was taken swiftly away, they forgot to tell me his gender. Off he went into the treatment room, and they sewed me up. It was a strange moment. I could already feel relieved of the placenta that I had failed. Or which had failed me. My baby was gone, but I didn't even know what I had had. I felt a bit lost at that moment.

And then I heard crying. I was fed up. Labouring women then that. I complained to Corey, and he grinned. I could see the midwives eyes shining. It was my baby. The baby was crying. At 27 weeks, weighing not very much, his estimated weight was 2lbs, he had enough energy to cry. I felt nothing but pride.

Then it was over. Taken away to recovery, my husband went to see our baby. It was over. I felt lost and frightened. My battles weren't over. Another 24 hours monitoring ahead of me, I felt exhausted and drained, and I wasn't to sleep. I couldn't see my baby, I still couldn't read or watch television.

Nothing had changed.

Yet everything had.

I was a mummy.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - what an emotional journey you had. (My son was born at 27 +1 (emergency C-section) weighing 2lb 1lb after I'd been in hospital from 20 weeks with very heavy bleeding.) Thank you for sharing. x