Friday, August 1, 2008

Reliving the past...Part III The birth

Wheeled into the anaesthetic bay, hooked up to some weird white bag of fluid in a net. Local anasthetic shot in the arm/inside elbow joint for mother of all canula's to be inserted for morphine afterwards.

Ian sat with me while they prepared the theatre. I could hear them with all the clamps and things clanging about, bear in mind I am scared as all hell, Ian says, "sounds like a kitchen in there". Feel like I'm going to vomit at the thought.

Someone comes in and says that they're ready for me, I start to cry and say goodbye to Ian. He looks absolutely terrified and quite hilarious in his scrubs and hat. I tell the theatre staff that I am keeping my eyes closed because I am too scared to see medical equipment/operating table etc. They all laugh. I hate them all.

I'm asked to move over onto the "skinny bed" ie the operating table. It's cold. As soon as I lay down, they were sticking those heart monitor things to my chest, the BP cuff is wrapped around my arm and I'm asked to lay my arms on the arm boards where one of my arms is tied down.

The anaesthetist did tell me before hand that I once the mask was on I'd feel a lot of pressure in my throat, it'd feel like I had a golf ball stuck in there, he'd said. He was right. When the mask was first put on I couldn't sense any form of gas coming out of it and I was convinced he was suffocating me!! I pulled the mask off and said, "there's nothing coming out", and he told me there was and put the mask back on. I can remember the golf ball feeling so well, I kept grabbing my throat to make it stop, then I heard them say, "Okay she's out, let's get on with it" FARK! I was desperately trying to say, "I'm awake" and that was the last thing I remember.

I woke up in recovery around 5.20pm in so.much.pain. Nurse asks me how I'm feeling, I sob "It hurts so much!" and she says "oh, you're not hooked up to your pain relief" and connects the morphine to my canula. Fat lot of good it does, it just seems to make me itchy. Nurse comes back and I ask her if I had a girl. She says "yes", does my obs and goes again while I go back ot sleep. We repeat this at least another 3 times. Just before I'm transferred back to the ward, they realise I'm still on the theatre sheet (which is covered in blood and god knows what else) and they ask me to roll off it. You have got to be kidding me I think. It hurts so bad, I can't even explain!

Back on the ward, Ian is holding Isla, I am on oxygen and have hideous after-birth contractions, surgery pain and double vision, as well as the itchy and slight nausea from the morphine, I feel dreadful. I can't hold Isla because I am not well enough. Initially, I am scared to look at her, I can't explain why.

I wont go into the whole visitors thing again.

The next day, I am able to hold Isla in the morning, around 11am. The nurses looked after her overnight so I could rest. I give her a bottle and can't quite figure out how to hold her properly. Around 2pm I'm moved from my home of the past few weeks in the ante-natal ward to the post-natal ward. Room-mate askes staff to leave me there so she can help me look after Isla, and so she doesn't get a feral roomie. They insist I have to go.

Luckily, I get a private room, which I am in for about 5 minutes before visitors arrive. It takes 2 ward staff 2 trips each to move all the stuff I'd accumulated in my old room to the new one. My half sister and my nephew arrive, followed by my Dad. About half an hour after they leave my Nan arrives and my Mum - this is a big thing for my Mum, she is terribly afraid of hospitals and had tried to visit me once before Isla was born but couldn't stop crying or shaking, she only lasted about a minute.

Nurse comes in and says it's time to take out the catheter, so Mum and Nan leave. With the catheter out, I'm now free to get up out of bed and walk around. A few hours later a midwife came to help me with Isla and to help me out of bed and into the bathroom for a shower and to use the toilet while Ian gives Isla a bottle. I am certain my stomach is ripping apart as I get out of bed. Try to go to the bathroom, and I can't go. Midwife says to keep trying, and I do, I really need to pee, but I can't. After about 30 minutes of trying she suggests I shower as the running water may help me go. No such luck.

Over the course of the next few hours, I found myself sitting on the loo for long stretches of time, but not being able to pee. It hurt! At one point, a clot came out, I called the nurse and she didn't know what it was, it wasn't blood-like, more jelly like. Possibly a piece of placenta, they're not sure. It sits on the nurses desk and is passed around in the hope someone will know what it is. Hideous stink that was coming from me now disappears too. According to Ian, it was the worst thing he's ever smelt (which is particularly unnerving considering he used to work for a mortuary transfer business and picked up dead bodies for a living). The 'thing' is sent to pathology for identification.

All through that night I still couldn't pee. Around 3am it becomes unbearable. I can't stand up, I am in way too much pain to walk to the bathroom. I call a nurse and ask for a bedpan, I explain it hurts too bad, begrudgingly, she brings me one - and I still can't go. 6am my body starts convulsing from the pain and pressure in my bladder. I should point out that all the while, the nurses were telling me to drink more water. I'd had about 3 litres at this point.

I call a nurse, who gives me 2 bottles of water and ural sachets to drink, and I do. She gets the portable ultrasound machine and puts it on me, and says, "there's only 100mLs in your bladder!" HA! She finally gets sick of me complaining and says she'll have to put in a catheter, I think this was more of a threat than an offer, but I insist she does it. She gives me an injection first then puts it in, and hey presto! out comes 2 litres of pee immediately. She had to empty the bag straight away. I can't explain the relief I felt at that moment!

Am released on the Tuesday to come home (Isla was born on the Thursday).

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