Another labor and delivery horror story...(but with a happy ending.)
I had been hospitalized the week before she was born. High blood pressure, diabetes, pre-term labor. I checked myself out after 3 days because the diet they put me on sent my blood sugar through the roof and then crashed me into ketosis every morning. My blood pressure was worse. I was insane and worried. I had lost so many babies before her. I missed my other little girl. I wanted to be home and keeping my blood sugar PERFECT with my diet and having a cup of tea on my own couch. I wanted my baby to be born alive NOW - before my body completely rejected her with disastrous results.
I was back in the ER a couple of days later and on to an emergency C-section. Protein in my urine, blood pressure 198/123. Finally - she was to be removed from this hostile environment. She was quiet when she was born but fine and beautiful. I thought - sigh - stitch me up and send me on my way with my Morphine pump. No easier way to have a baby. 1/2 hour and it's done.
My blood pressure had dropped because of the spinal and the anesthesiologist was pumping IV fluid into me fast to keep the BP up a bit. Well - he screwed up. I heard this horrendous sucking sound coming out of my arm and when I looked down I saw it! This humongous air bubble 6 inches long in the tube and traveling at what to me looked like the speed of light. In an instant intense pain and I was unable to breathe. It was excruciating pain in my chest. Anyhoo panic ensued. The anesthesiologist kept screaming over and over again in an ever higher pitched tone of voice 'Air Embolism'. The ER team was screaming a phone extension to call to code me but THEY COULDN'T REMEMBER THE NUMBER. They tried several numbers (and my husband told me later that the physician ran from the room to get a crash cart) and finally got it right.
My poor husband was standing there holding our little baby right by my head and watched the whole thing go straight to hell. I was in my own world completely conscious, completely overtaken by what was happening to me, and starting to get quite pissed off about the fact that nobody was stuffing some valium in that IV and shoving a tube down my throat. I could not breathe. I seized. It surprised me - my body so strong to do something like that. Up went my head, arms and legs...slam back down on the table. Wow, I thought, so that is why they tie you down when they operate on you. Again I seized. I was amazed by what my body was doing. The damn anesthesiologist kept trying to put one of those plastice oxygen masks over my nose and mouth...he's suffocating me!! He wouldn't stop screaming in panic. I turned my head back and forth away from it - from him trying to suffocate me.
Something clicked in my brain. There is oxygen coming out of that mask I had to tell myself. There is oxygen coming out of that mask and you MUST TRY TO BREATHE IT. I stuffed my face into the mask and attempted to breathe. Teeny, tiny, grating little breaths. Very slowly getting bigger until after about 30 tries I was breathing in great big breaths of that oxygen. My husband said that I kept repeating 'Please God don't let me die' over and over again.
I was never stitched up so fast in my life. It's bizarre what he remembers about it. Apparently my uterus was completely out of my abdomen at the time and it flopped over my side on the first seizure-like-whatever-the-hell-it-was. (He said it looked like a 'death throw') I was kept in recovery and on a heart monitor for six hours afterward. I'll never trust a vaunted university hospital again. EVER!
She's beautiful and we're both alive five years later. Thank you God! Grizzly Mama just doesn't do the birthing thing well at ALL! On second thought perhaps it was just good enough. I am alive to enjoy my two beautiful healthy girlies.