Driving to the hospital felt a little bit surreal, like I was watching a movie and it was in slow motion. I knew something big was about to happen but my brain couldn’t fathom the hugeness of it all. When we got there it was like checking into a hotel. We were shown in a room with a king size bed, a huge bath and ensuite with a two man shower. Very luxurious and not at all clinical. I got settled and at 12:00 that night it all began…
The first load of meds were administered at 8 by the mid wife on duty. I was to rest on the bed for the first few hours while they occasionally monitored Stitch. If the meds were going to work it’d take about 6 hours. I starting feeling pains about an hour in but I didn’t actually identify them as contractions. Hubby and I dosed and I kept waiting for Something to happen.
At around 6 my mid wife decided to administer another dose and that meant another 6 hours of waiting. I sent Hubby home to shower and get breakfast while I took a nap. 15 mins later I felt pain, real, horrible pain. I had to breathe through it but it was the wrong kind of pain. Surely contractions didn’t feel this severe so quickly? I just didn’t feel right. The midwife checked baby and his heart rate was slow. I started doing exercises and drinking coke and coffee to get him moving again.
Half an hour later I was convinced that something was wrong. The pain was excruciating. I was beyond breathing and was starting to make high pitched noises, not quite screams tho. I called for the mid wife and told her something was wrong. She tried convincing me that I was in labour and that these were how contractions felt but I was adamant. She did another check, Stitch was showing almost no movement. She gave me a look that scared the crap out of me and if I wasn’t so busy trying not to scream I would have probably started shrieking. I had to have an emergency c-section. And just like that my world turned upside down.
I stood leaning against the cool glass of the balcony doors while she scuttled about calling the gynae and whoever else was needed. I vaguely heard the news reporter on the radio say something about traffic being a mess because of the rain and how parts of JHB was flooded. I called Hubby and told him he needed to get there Now. Lucky he was already on his way.
At 9 that morning I was taken to the theatre and prepped for surgery. My contractions were now one on top of the other and I had no relief from the pain. My head was pounding and I felt like the tummy was gona pop. My muscles were about to explode and the nurses had to hold my hands to prevent me from bucking and tossing my body. and through all that I kep thinking that I couldn’t feel my baby moving.
They began the surgery and I kept thinking how strange and numb I felt and how completely exposed I was. Hubby was chatting to the nurses and everyone was bantering back and forth and it all sounded so fake. The anesthesiologist kept telling me to calm down and that my heart rate was too high. Someone mentioned something about blood loss.
And then I felt someone pushing against my tummy and I heard the doc say that it was 10:03 and I had delivered a baby boy. I waited for them to bring him to me, I wanted to see him and touch him and love him but I couldn’t move and they took him away. Why did they take him away? Alarm bells were shrieking in my head. He wasn’t crying either and I could hear some hushed voices somewhere across the room. I was telling Hubby something was wrong, he needed to find out what. Minutes went by and eventually they called him to see his son.
I felt like I was slipping into a deep sleep and everything became muted and far of. The stupid anesthesiologist kept calling me and wouldn’t let me rest. I briefly remember seeing my wrapped up baby and giving him a quick kiss before they took him away again. I think I passed out, quite a few times actually. And then I was being wheeled back to my room. I still hadn’t touch my baby.
Hubby walked into the room and his eyes were filled with tears. Stitch was in distress. He had swallowed too much meconium and they had him on an incubator to help him breathe. He was being taken to ICU to a nearby hospital as they were better equipped to deal with him. The ambulance was on their way. He was fighting for his life.
At first I didn’t understand what they meant. Meconium? His first poop was accidentally loosed in the amniotic fluid and he swallowed it and it covered his skin and lungs. Why were they taking him away? I hadn’t even seen him! They then took my bed to him and I finally understood. There lay my tiny baby boy, surrounded by nurses and his little body was filled with pipes and needles connected to all types of machinery. His little rib cage pressed up and down and his hand and feet were being held down by a nurse. His pulse rate was too high and the sedatives weren’t working, he kept pulling things out. I lay there absolutely numb watching my son fight for his life. And my heart broke over and over and over again.
Eventually the ambulance got there and after sedating him 3 times he was taken away. Hubby had to go with him to make sure everything was in order. I was taken back ti my room and forgotten about. I lay there, unable to move with a sheet draped over my body and not a stitch of clothes under. I was cold, scared and panicking.
A few minutes later a nurse came in to tell me that he was going to be alright. His vital signs improved almost immediately and he was out of the red. Finally! I could breath again! She then went on to explain a whole of stuff that in my drugged state I couldn’t understand but basically I was in a pretty bad shape as well, loss of blood, high pulse rate, blah blah blah. I didn’t care, my baby was going to be ok. On 31 January at 10:03 I became a mother.