Sunday, 2 January 2011

How a Rainbow came to be (or Georgia's Birth Story)

Happy New Year! Belated I know. My blog has been sorely neglected of late.

So 2010 is behind me. What a difference a year makes. This time last year I was heartbroken and despairing. This year, I am...well still heartbroken as a Rainbow baby doesn't change the tragic course of events that preceded their arrival, but I'm counting my blessings too because Georgia made it safely into the world. I am very lucky and unlucky at the same time.
Losing a baby does make you appreciate the simple things, but it doesn't make dealing with a demanding newborn any less, well, demanding. Georgia takes up a lot of my time now. I don't have much time to blog, or email, or even grieve for the little girl who broke my heart. The road with G so far hasn't been an easy one as she has terrible silent reflux which she is now on medication for, and as a result we have not routine to speak of yet. We co-sleep, breastfeed, anything for an easy life. We are currently in the grips of a constipation epidemic as I tried to introduce a few bottles of formula so we could combined feed for a month or two, as a result we are now enduring several marathon crying and whinging sessions whilst she desperately tries to get her bowels moving! All exciting stuff!

I thought I had better at least make a note of some of the details of her birth, whilst they are still fresh in my memory. So this is kind of a birth story post, of sorts.

I guess I will skip straight to the big day, and save the boring stuff about my precursory hospital stay for another time maybe.

On Thursday 21st October I was awake at 6am. To say 'awake' insinuates I had been to sleep, which is an impossibility in a busy hospital let alone when you are in there waiting for the arrival of your Rainbow baby. But that is when the nurse came to check my blood pressure and run another CTG. At 8am John arrived, he was so excited, I remember feeling scared I was going to let him down again. Shortly after the Doctor came so I could sign the forms for the anaesthetic, and explain what would happen. I was due to go down to theatre at 9am. We sat chattering about what was happening, scarcely believing that today we would meet our little Baby Girl. I could feel her kicking and moving around, it seemed so strange, almost impossible to think that in a few hours she would be in my arms. 9am came and went. At 10 am we asked when I would be going down, we were told that a lady was in labour with twins and they were waiting for them to be safely born in case an EMCS was needed. So it was just a waiting game. We watched TV as much as we could concentrate on, then I took to pacing the ward like a caged animal, willing the lady having twins to push with all her might!
Finally at 11.30am a midwife came to take us to Theatre. At this point I started shaking with nerves and shivering with cold and fright. We went down into the bright, sterile theatre. I was told to sit on the table whilst they put the spinal in - my most feared part. John was taken to scrub up.
It seemed to take ages to put the spinal in, my spine has a natural curve in it so they initially had problems putting the needle in, there were several attempts made and by this point I was feeling incredibly sick and shaky (I hate needles with a passion). John had rejoined me by this point and was trying to talk to me to take my mind off it. My canula was put into my hand and the spinal anaesthetic given, I was immediately laid down and prepped for surgery. I remember them asking me what music I liked and I really didn't give a shit at this point about music, so in the end I think Kylie Minogues new album was put on the stereo. I remember them spraying me with the aerosol to see if I was numb and my right side hadn't worked so they tipped the table to get the drug flowing through that side, at this point I started to feel light headed and really sick, I was retching into a bowl and they realised my blood pressure had dropped so started pumping fluids into me and I felt better within minutes. They said they were ready to start and I realised in horror I could still just about feel and move my toes, I told them this in blind panic but they said this was normal and most people could feel their toes during a spinal. As I was processing this bit of information the first cut was made - "Did you feel that?" I was asked (!) well no, I hadn't so they started to cut further. I now was feeling very out of it and still a little sick, I just remember needing to chatter to John about total rubbish so my mind wasn't on the operation, I felt no pain just a lot of pushing and pulling, people leaning on me.  Suddenly the midwife said "Baby is nearly here" and my attention was suddenly back on the gaggle of people at the foot of the bed. "Here is your baby", the curtain lowered and a little purple, scrunched up person came into view. A few moments silence then the most wonderful sound, the sound I had waited to hear for over 18 long months - a tiny baby squeak and then a full on cry. I started to cry with her, as did John. Big sobs that turned to laughter as total relief washed over me. John was still crying with joy, I was straining to look at my baby who was having a few checks her APGAR score done. When they were satisfied that she was breathing OK without help she was finally placed on my chest, still crying but simply delicious. John was still crying and asking me what we were going to call her. I was looking awestruck at this wrinkly, squawking being that had emerged from my belly. Now I could put a face to those little feet that had been wedging themselves under my ribs. We deliberated for a few minutes over her name, unable to make our brains function properly in the absolute relief and happiness that was taking over us. We decided on Georgia May. A name that had been on her shortlist. As we said it out loud I was uncertain, I wasn't sure that name suited her. Now I couldn't imagine her to be called anything else.
As we gazed at her I became aware of a commotion at the 'business' end. I had just had the drug to help them deliver the placenta, so at first I thought it was just them pulling it out. Then the surgeon closest to my head looked over to his colleague and said, very matter of factly, "I think we will have to deliver the Uterus as well - we can't stop the bleeding from this vessel".


That was me coming back to reality. At this point, had I had full use of my lower half I would have jumped up and shouted "WHAT? You can't be SERIOUS!". This has always been one of my fears as it happened to a friend of mine, she woke up to be told her Son was gone and so was her chance of carrying another baby - a full hysterectomy.
I panicked. I was trying desperately to see what was happening at the end of the bed, John was still oblivious to this as he was busy with our daughter. I felt sick, the room swam and then they casually said, "It's OK we've stopped the bleed, can I have suction here please?". As though they had been discussing last nights TV. This sadly is my lasting impression of the section, absolute panic and belief that I would be unable to carry another baby. No explanation of the bleed, it just says on my notes it was due to a 'thick vascular area'. Given that I bled profusely after the placenta was delivered with Lucy I am now scared to death of the next time - if there is a next time - that I am pregnant. I have yet to discuss this with anyone medically as once you have your rainbow baby the hospital want you out the door and do not want to know. I am also wondering if this tendency to bleed is somehow related to what caused Lucy's death. And I am scared of it happening again. I wonder what would have happened had I tried a normal vaginal birth this time. I wonder. It frightens me that this has happened twice now. I am genuinely frightened and I don't think anyone will be able to tell me the answer to this and many other questions.

But still, Georgia is here. I kiss her sweet head a million times a day. I love her dearly, fiercely.

But Lucy, I still miss you. Out of no where something will happen and remind me of you and I will start to cry. I wish so much that you were here. I wish so much that you didn't have to suffer and die inside me. I hate that you have had to face death baby girl, I pray every day you were not scared, or in pain. I cannot bear the thought of that. I still cannot get my head around the fact that you were inside me so alive one moment, and then gone the next. I still wish I had acted sooner when I felt you slow down.

I love you.

I don't want to be this person that has lost a daughter. I want be a mother to both of you, here on Earth where I can smell your sweet heads and kiss both of you a million times a day.

Sleep tight. I hope you will be a guardian angel to your Sister.


1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that Georgia has reflux, it is awful.

    My blood ran cold when I read what your surgeon said. I'm so glad it didn't come to that.

    Thinking of you and both your sweet girls, Lucy and Georgia xo