"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Birth Story Part 3-HDU

One of the sad things about a C-section is of course that you can't just spend every minute after your child's birth, with your babies.  When they are also in special care, it is even more difficult.  I went up to my hospital room, and we sent a message to family saying to come up to my room.  It was great!  As family arrived we showed them the photo and told them the names.  That way I got to "introduce" the boys, even though I couldn't be there for the actual meeting.  Then one by one our relatives went down stairs to see the boys. 

While they were down, the nurse came and taught me how to express colostrum by hand and collect it in a syringe.  It was a wonderful feeling, to know even though I wasn't with my boys, that I could provide for them.

As the afternoon progressed, a new nurse took over my care.  I had been at hospital for a while, and I found this nurse my least favourite.  She checked my blood pressure and commented that it was too high.  I wasn't too worried, I'd had occasional spikes, but it always went down again.  And afterall, I'd had the boys, surely pre-eclampcia was in my past?

She kept coming back to check.  I was getting annoyed.  She told me my visitors were making my blood pressure go up.  I wanted to snap back that she was the one making it go up.  But one reading even I started to feel worried.  My hospital room-mate had suffered from high blood pressure, and I knew what was a dangerous level.  She had given me a tablet, but it hadn't worked.

Her boss came in to talk to me.  She told me she was sorry but I wouldn't see my boys that night  (I of course burst into tears).  She said the most important thing for them was that I was okay, and at the moment I wasn't. She wanted to put me on Magnesium Sulfate, which should bring my pressure down.  I also needed full time care, more than one midwife shared over 3 other women could offer.  She would take me to birth-suite (where they administered the MS), and then the next day to the High Dependency Ward.

So I said goodbye to everyone and was moved down to birth- suite.  The midwives there were lovely.  The MS, plus all the pain killers did the trick, and even though I was woken up every hour to have my bp checked, I was asleep almost instantly.  Despite constant comments "You need to prioritise your own health", I kept insisting on expressing regularly, and the milk was sent to the boys.  It was the only thing that kept me going, knowing that those I wasn't with them, I was able to look after them through my milk.

The next day was almost entirely horrid.

I was moved up to HDU, and luckily got one more peep at the boys as they took my bed upstairs.  They were now next to each other, and I got another chance to touch and say hello.  Then on to HDU.  Now, even though this ward was especially designed so that each women would have one nurse, I suddenly felt alone.  I asked the nurse, "can I have some help with expressing?", she looked at me and said "I'm not a midwife, I don't know how".  I asked if a midwife could see me, she said "Maybe, but they are busy on their own wards".  I asked when I would see a doctor.  She said "They are busy, when they have time".  Then she left me alone, unless she was checking my bp.

At one stage the room became to move.  I cried out "Help, Help".  The nurse came in and said "Oh, that's just a side-effect".  Oh...well, some notice would be nice.  Anytime I raised or lowered my bed it would happen again.

I ended up calling Earl in tears, and asking him to come in earlier than we had planned and see me.

When the nurse asked what was wrong I swallowed my usual "don't want to cause a fuss" attitude and said, "I thought this ward was about extra care, but I'm on my own most of the time".  She apologised and said she would ring a nurse.

Earl arrived and looked after me, though he ended up leaving regularly to see the boys.  He brought photos too, photos of his first ever nappy change, his first cuddle with Sebastian, Connor with his oxygen mask now a thing of the past.  It made me both happy and sad. 

He also went down stairs and insisted a nurse come and see me.  She taught Earl how to use the syringe so that we could collect the colostrum without a nurse.

A doctor came and told me that they normally keep people on Magnesium for 24 hours, and would probably keep me in HDU for another night.  I wanted to cry.  That would mean no visit to the boys.

But then my doctor showed up.  She said "This is ridiculous, you are doing well, you have to see your boys!".

So she insisted they take me off the MS.  And after 2 hours with no major rise in bp, I was moved down to the ward.  Almost immediately my favourite mid-wife was there to take me down stairs in a wheel chair. 

I was about to see my boys, properly!

LG

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