Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Premmie Game Part 3

My hospital evening meal arrived. I can't remember at all what it was. I ate it and then Corey and I went for a walk. We walked past the neonatal unit. I wasn't well enough for a tour but had met a neonatal nurse/midwife (in our unit the senior nurses were all midwives) and a paediatrician. I then went to the chapel and wrote a prayer and a note for the chaplains. 

We arrived back on the antenatal ward and the game had changed. More bloods had come back and I was in deep trouble. I was taken back to my original room in the delivery suite. The room had changed, there was a desk and chair, and loads of equipment. One of the doctors I had seen earlier in the day showed me a mirror. My skin had gone a very dark shade of grey. Odema had set in. I felt like the Hulk, with my clothes bursting at the seams. 

There was no time to explain anything. A student midwife and two seniors were working on me along with a senior registrar, my own consultant having gone home to rest up. I had a catheter inserted, one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life I have to say, together with a magnesium sulphate drip and Hartman's solution, to keep the eclampsia at bay and support my kidney function. It was hideous. 

All night I had to be kept awake. I had blood pressure checks every fifteen minutes. I had to have ecgs every 3 hours. I had to have consultant visits too. I couldn't read as my eyes could not focus. There was no television. I sat and thought. I thought of names for the baby, we had decided on Joseph or Matilda, I thought of middle names. I sang a lot, hymns and songs. 

I have never been so frightened in my life. Reassuringly the baby was moving a lot, I could feel outside kicks. I felt so guilty that I was failing him, that my body was rejecting the very thing, the placenta, that was meant to be keeping him alive, nourishing him, supporting his growth and development. I was so scared of what was ahead. 

I felt cheated and angry. I could hear labouring women, excited families in corridors. I could hear people complaining of short staffing due to the medical emergency over the corridor. That was me. I was an emergency and I was using up a staff member. 

By 4 am I was distraught and exhausted. My husband was called and he came straight down and held my hand. 

Dawn was coming and soon I would have a baby.


  1. A long night, just waiting! I was well and was on nil by mouth from 2am so sat up having a "midnight feast"!!! Sounds crazy but sleep wasn't happening anyway.

    Aww Joseph might have been Matilda, so poignant now with little Matilda Mae!

  2. I didn't know how much you went thru with the birth - I guess we (well, Dianne) had it easy by comparison.