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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Another labor and delivery horror story...(but with a happy ending.)

Five years ago today the little one was born. She was a wee bit early due to an inferior vessel. But she's beautiful and five now. It's hard to believe.

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.

16 Comments:

Blogger Kermit said...

Miracles come in all sizes and various types of packaging. We are but dust wrapped in skin and animated by the Holy Spirit. Peace be with you and that beautiful 5 year old.

Kermit the Green

14 July, 2005 01:04  
Blogger Steve Donohue said...

It's great to know that everything eventually turned out well in the end, because as you already know, there are never any guarantees.

Actually, I'm suprised to hear about the "vaunted University hospital" troubles- should I assume Temple? I know that in Chicago the University of Chicago hospitals is hands down the best in the state, probably in the region.

14 July, 2005 01:14  
Blogger bob said...

Congrats are indeed in order, Grizzly!

14 July, 2005 03:10  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks guys.

Steven - it wasn't Temple. I was surprised to have that incident happen as well. There are several top notch university hospitals in Philly. Pennsylvania U, Jefferson U and Hahnemann to mention a few besides Temple.

The anesthesiologist was apparently still learning as it took several sticks from him to get the spinal correct too. THAT was a lot of fun...

By far the strangest hour of my entire life.

14 July, 2005 08:59  
Blogger MonicaR said...

PS Steven. Dr. Beer - who helped us to straighten out our pregnancy loss problem - is a professor at University of Chicago Medical School. He is a wonderful man. I shipped many a blood sample to his lab.

14 July, 2005 09:03  
Blogger "Alice" said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To the birthday girl. Six hugs and kisses (the extra one to grow on).

14 July, 2005 09:55  
Blogger skye said...

Every child is a miracle. Happy Birthday indeed!

I am sure it is a "birth day" you will never forget, Monica.

14 July, 2005 18:14  
Blogger DV said...

Having met your two girls I can say they are a credit you and Poppa Bear!

14 July, 2005 18:53  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Awwww - thanks everyone. It will never be forgotten for sure.

Every minute was worth it I will say that.

15 July, 2005 00:24  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Love you, love your site. I couldn't bring myself to read this post for fear I would never allow myself to get pregnant. I'll probably be going to Penn.

15 July, 2005 09:35  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Oh Polanco - once you lose a baby trying to have a baby is never the same again. It's scary and it is a brave thing to do despite the risks that we are now so aware of. No more naive.

I was a wreck the entire pregnancy. There were moments during it that I truly relaxed and enjoyed it but they were few and far between. It was hard to let go. Every moment was worth it though and in a way I am sad that I couldn't enjoy it more.

I had immune problems one of which was that The Troll and I have a very similar tissue type. It's quite rare and I am hoping, Polanco, that you don't have a problem like this and any future attempt will be successful with a happy outcome for you.

15 July, 2005 12:16  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Oh! And PS. It wasn't Penn.

We're narrowing it down here, aren't we? :-)

15 July, 2005 12:17  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Hey Monica... Did you let Toadie out of the cage to celebrate the five year olds' birthday?

After you clean up the cake and ice cream, come on over and bring your stick so we can poke him back in the cage.

15 July, 2005 14:41  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Mike! I was all excited about playing with our Toadie and I am unable to comment on your site!

Please...can I...huh...please?

I cleaned everything up just like you said. Promise I'll be good. :-)

16 July, 2005 01:35  
Blogger tshsmom said...

That's one SCARY story, I got goosebumps!! You truly do have a miracle child. The other miracle is that you're there to raise them!!

16 July, 2005 08:07  
Blogger alix said...

i am in resounding agreement with the last sentence of your post! oh my goodness. what a surreal and horrific ordeal!

again, happy birthday to your baby!

17 July, 2005 18:45  

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