Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Story of A Boy part 13: From great despair to choosing hope.

The Story of A Boy Part 13 From great despair to choosing hope

The story of a boy….well, he was much more than that to me……

This is the 13th  in the series. 

Before I begin; let me say that this post will most likely not be funny. And it might contain information that upsets you and not in the usual way with offensive language and politics…..but in a human, sad and guttural way. I may very well ramble at times and for all of these things: I am genuinely sorry. Please read Parts 1-12 before reading this. It will just make more sense that way.

March 29, 2008

20 weeks 3 days pregnant~ standing in a puddle of amniotic fluid~ frozen for a moment....then I finished tucking my dear sweet living son into bed....went to the bathroom down the hall~ yep no question about it~ my water had broken.......I have no idea how long I sat there feeling a thousand different emotions all at the same time~~~ but eventually I must have left the bathroom ....

Dear husband was sitting on the couch~ took one look at me and said "what's wrong?" and when I told him that my water broke~ all of the color left his face. As we had done before just 10 short months ago~ we called mum to come and stay with the boy so we could go to the hospital.

As luck would have it my Doctor was at the hospital and she greeted us as we walked through the labor and delivery doors. She tried to be reassuring......said not to worry we don't know anything for certain right now......but I knew~ in my heart of hearts I KNEW.

change into the sandpaper hospital gown...climb up on the bed.....dr brings in the portable Ultrasound machine......she puts the cold jelly and then the cold ultrasound wand on my very pregnant belly. She smiled at me as she pointed out "look, plenty of amniotic fluid" and for a micro minute I allowed myself to think maybe I was mistaken......

right up until she put the litmus paper into the fluid~ and it turns immediately. FUCK YOU  LITMUS PAPER~ I HATE YOU!

we cry, we talk, she lays out the options.....in the end she said "Do you want to go to Pittsburgh?" they have a world renowned labor and delivery floor......I say yes...she says "they are going to think I am crazy~ but I'm giving you a shot of betamethasone" ~~a drug meant to help fetal lung maturation in preemies~~ but almost never given before 24 weeks.

phone calls made, consents signed, IV started, fluid and antibiotics pumped into me, the wind is too high for me to go by helicopter~ so we wait for the ambulance to arrive...and in the wait DH said to me "honey you are much farther along than you were with William~ maybe they can do something". But at this point I was calm and deliberate and all I could say was 'yeah maybe'.

You see friends I really was NOT much further along than I had been with William~  A fetus is not considered 'viable' (able to live outside the womb) until you pass the 24 week mark and that mark was nearly FOUR full weeks away~~~ and even then babies born having had no amniotic fluid for that length of time at 24 weeks most often either live with profound deficits or die. As I had been a labor and delivery nurse for 10 years~ I *knew* all of these facts. And my heart was sinking with every passing moment.

It was a very long two hour drive to get to Pittsburgh~ me strapped to a gurney~ my husband riding shotgun in the front seat. The paramedics were very kind and loving....tried to fill the 2 hour drive with small talk~~~ couldn't even begin to tell you what they said~ I was in my own head~ consumed with hopeless despair and agonizing sadness.

They radio report in to the hospital~~ wheel me via stretcher into the teeny tiny hospital room they put mothers in when their babies are pre-viability. FUCK YOU TEENY TINY HOSPITAL ROOM~ I HATE YOU!

Now I *realize* that large medical facilities are usually more busy~ but there I lay on what was quite possibly the most uncomfortable gurney in the GD world for over AN HOUR before a physician came in to see me. And the tears and the agony and the sadness consumed me.

Finally a Physicians Assistant came in and per hospital policy THEY have to confirm that I am leaking amniotic fluid. So the PA does an internal exam....and as she removed the speculum a great gush of amniotic fluid came out with it...I heard it hit the floor.....and from the foot of the most uncomfortable gurney in the GD world she looks up over the sheet and says "your membranes have ruptured~ I can see the sac coming out, you are already dilated to 3. I am sorry, I will get the doctor".

AND THEN THE REAL CRYING BEGAN. Body shaking wrenching sobs of despair and hopelessness.

I tried to pull myself together when the Dr. came in. I cannot tell you how hard it was to hear AGAIN "your water has broken, your fetus is too small, if you are in labor we won't stop it, the fetus will not survive" and in that moment a hatred such as I have never felt for another human came over me......this Dr. at the world renowned women's hospital had the goddamned bedside manner of a fucking stone. On and on and on he went~ with statistics~ with words like~ even on the very remote chance your fetus survives it would most likely face any manner of health issues: blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy .....and there is a huge difference between survivability and a good quality of life...and if you are in labor we won't stop it...and the likelihood that you will carry this fetus another 4 weeks without any amniotic fluid is slim to none.......and NEVER ONCE did he call her a baby and NEVER ONCE did he speak to us with anything but callous hard facts. And then he said the words that caused my hatred for him to quadruple (I swear to the gods I think I could have killed him right there on the spot) he said: "the only thing I can recommend is that you terminate your pregnancy tonight; there is no chance your fetus will live~ it would be best if you terminate the pregnancy now. You talk it over ~ I'll be back with the consent forms" And with those words he left the teeny tiny hospital room. FUCK YOU DOCTOR FUCKFACE, I HATE YOU.

And then the wailing came~ I am talking wake the dead volume of screaming and cursing and crying. DH silently wept beside holding my hand.


If I live to be 100 I will never, ever forget the words that I LITERALLY HEARD in that teeny tiny room on a dark night in March: 'Mommy, you don't have to. This time it will be different, I promise'

now I have never been much of a religious person~ but clearly I do believe in God. I also believe that sometimes people who have died ~well a part of their spirit stays here. And I am telling you point blank: I HEARD those words~~~ as clearly as if a person had been standing next to the gurney talking to me~ I heard them.

And I sat straight up on that goddamned uncomfortable gurney and I pounded my fists on the gurney and I exclaimed: NO, I cannot do this again...I will not be able to survive the death of another child....I will NOT give up hope.

And then there was calm and quiet and a resolve such as I had never felt before washed over me.

A nurse came in and asked us if we had made up our mind? I said 'yes I'd like to see the doctor'. Of course doctor fuckface assumes that we have decided to "terminate the pregnancy tonight". And in he swept with my chart and a pile of consent forms.......and when I said : no we do not agree to terminate~ he once again goes over every single fact he'd already said. To which I replied: yes I am aware of all of that.....and then he left the room.

A few moments later a nurse came in and started to take out my IV. And I was all~ what? wait? why would you do that? And she muttered something about  since we didn't want to terminate tonight the doctors had ordered that the IV be removed because there really was no need for it~ and hospital policy is that they keep me 48 hours to make sure I'm not in labor or sick...and then they would discharge me. I demand to see doctor fuckface.....the nurse scurries away~~ a half an hour later he comes back in looking exasperated and annoyed. And the conversation went something like this:

Me: I'd like the IV left in for extra fluids and shouldn't you be giving me some prophylactic antibiotics?
DFF: you are healthy you can drink all the fluids you need there is no need for an IV. There have been no studies that show that giving prophylactic antibiotics improve the outcome.
Me: Has leaving the IV in and pushing fluids and prophylactic antibiotics ever been shown to cause HARM?
DFF: none that I am aware of. But again it's really not necessary it won't change your outcome.
Me: Doctor Fuckface (I'm sure I didn't actually address him as that~ but that's what I was thinking)....Doctor Fuckface do you have any children?
DFF: I don't see how that is relevant, but yes I have 3.
Me: and have you ever lost a child~ held your child as it died in your arms?
DFF: no, I have not
Me: and have you EVER known of a single case where the water broke this early and the outcome was a positive one?
DFF: I think I may have read about one in medical school~ but please understand that's exceedingly rare...lasting medical issues blah blah blah
Me: <<<<raising my palm in the stop mode to end his textbook replies which he had already repeated THREE times>>>> If you have heard of EVEN ONE case where it all worked out~ then there is room for hope
DFF: your physician really should never have given you that betamethasone~ that is just giving you false hope
Me: well I **have** held my own child and watched him die in the arms of his father~ and at the end of the night you get to go home to your three living children~ and if I give up hope now I will go home and have to have a funeral  for another baby
DFF: I think you are just prolonging the inevitable. This will not end well~ your fetus will not survive and even if it does the likelihood of it having any sort of quality of life is minimal. We would not even attempt to save the fetus until you are 24 weeks along~~ and even then blah blah blah
Me: but you have heard of one case that it all turned out well
DFF: yes but...
Me: <<<again with the palm up>>> I'd like to keep the IV in and have some antibiotics too
DFF: okay, but it won't make a difference there is very little chance that you'll make it to viability and no reason to hope or believe your fetus will live

and with that he left the room...and I was transferred to another room and admitted...and I never laid eyes on doctor fuckface again


1 comment:

  1. I want to beat that doctor. You never take hope away!!! I'm so glad William came to you and made you see hope was the ONLY option!