Monday, May 28, 2007

A Memorable Weekend

Memorial Day weekend brings back a lot of memories for me. Not of soldiers who have died, (although I appreciate their sacrifice) but of days in the hospital waiting for my son to be born or to die. Two years ago for Memorial Day weekend I was laying in a hospital bed trying to stay calm so that they could keep me pregnant long enough for Noah to get the all important steroid shots. The fact that it was a holiday weekend barely registered to me. I remember that the hospital cefeteria was offering a special dessert - angel food cake with strawberries and blueberries. I would imagine that it was good, but I was NPO so I never got to try it. The Dr. who put in my PICC line on Saturday performed the procedure in khakis and a polo shirt - he had been called in on his way to a cookout because after 18 hours of blood draws I had no useable veins left and the IV for my mag was barely holding out. Memorial Day weekend has a lot of painful memories for me. I was in excruciating pain from my liver and was black and blue from the BP checks. I could have no visitors or phone calls and my only form of entertainment was my husband sitting next to me reading Nancy Drew books aloud. On Sunday the neonatologist came in and said "Twenty-four weekers have alot of problems but don't worry... I've checked out your labs and I'm confident they can keep you pregnant until at least 28 weeks." In the wee hours of Memorial Day I heard less conforting news. A doctor shoved a c-section consent at me and said "Normally I would explan the risks of a c-section but if I take the time to do that you'll die and so will your baby. None of the risks are worse than that." Noah was born at 2:44 am, letting out a little cry so that Mommy would know he was alive. I felt empty that day - I could still feel his little fluttering kicks but I knew he was no longer safe inside me. I felt like a failure. For a long time I was convinced that if I hadn't been such a whiner about the pain of my liver failing that they wouldn't have done the surgery and Noah would have stayed safely inside me until 32 weeks (the longest they said they were willing to let me stay pregnant with HELLP). I came to realize that my guilt and the mag had skewed my memory and there was in fact no chance that I would have made it to 32 weeks and a pretty good chance that my liver would burst and/or I would bleed out with my 49,000 and dropping platelet count and we would both have died. Hopefully this year will bring happier memories.


Shannon said...

Emily, memories are always hard. You have come so far and Noah is so amazing!!!

abby said...


Slightly different set of memories, one year and one week later than yours, are percolating in my brain (and I wasn't even the pregnant one) this morning. Your post brought tears to my eyes.