The White Room

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“You have protein in your urine and your blood pressure is up very high. We need to go ahead and take the baby.”

I thought it would be a simple routine check up. I was going to go get some groceries afterwards with the food stamp allowance that just came yesterday. We ate canned beans last night, the kids and I. It was all I had left in the apartment.

My doctor sat next to me on the hospital bed beforehand, had me sign all of the consents for the C-section while they waited on my lab work. He said he would be there, assisting during the surgery.

He is too young. He still thinks he can save me, save the world. He asked me if he could pray for us… Pray? For me?

“Do you have a name picked out for him yet?” he asked, smiling.

I laughed. I actually laughed just a few hours ago. I laughed and said, “I will name him for you, doc, just make sure he gets here OK.”

Now, I want to tell them all to get the fuck away from me. Just bring me my baby so I can see him. Hold him. Touch him. 

I haven’t even seen him yet.

There is something in my throat. I try to pull it out only to have two nurses cry out and hold down my arms, tying them to the bed by the wrists.

Don’t DO that! I can’t hold my baby if you do that.

There is another doctor suddenly standing over me, a lady wearing blue scrubs. She has red hair. I don’t know her. The room is too bright, too white. It hurts my eyes.

“Your heart stopped and you stopped breathing. We had to put the tube down to help you.” She is so young. Too young. Where are the real doctors? “Everything is going to be alright but you are bleeding and we are having trouble stopping it. I need for you to stay as calm as possible. Ok?” 

I nod.

Having a machine breath for you is a terrible feeling. It reinforces the fact that you have lost all control.

Your liver is showing inflammation and your platelets are down….

The little doctor, the prick who did my C-section, is prancing around the room, fighting like a cock in a ring, trying to peck everyone’s eyes out.

Where is MY doctor?

I ask the lady doctor in scrubs if I am dying. My words are only ghosts formed around the plastic tube, no sounds. I can see how scared she is. She seems to understand. She tells me, “Yes, but we are going to help you.” 

I don’t believe her.

I can feel the blood gushing out from between my legs. I can see my belly getting large again, like having a second baby growing on video played in fast forward.

There is a somber gray haired man in the corner, standing with his arms crossed. I don’t know him but he looks like he knows something. “How many units now?” A pause while someone I cannot see calculates. “Fourteen.” He looks up heavenward and closes his eyes. “She needs more FFP.”

Do you think God loves drug addicts with Hepatitis C? Does he love their babies?

The red headed doctor is holding my hand. “It is going to be OK,” she lies. “Do you hurt anywhere?” 

I try to tell her around the tube that I want to see my baby but she cannot understand. Frustration turns to tears and I cannot stop them.

“She is bleeding it out as fast as we put it in.”

The rooster doctor is yelling threats from outside the room. Why is he so angry?

I want to go to sleep but I am afraid I won’t wake up.

“I won’t leave you. I’m going to stay right here. You keep fighting.”

Another lady doctor with long, black curly hair whispers something into the red headed doctor’s ear. I can’t hear what they are saying. She shakes her head solemnly and says quietly, “See if they can bring her baby. Tell them if he is stable to bring him right now.” 

Yes. Please! Please bring him.

I am so tired. The alarms are going off. A hand reaches up to turn off the monitor. Everyone stops rushing around. Silence. 

Everything must be OK, finally.

I close my eyes and open them. The room is still white. 

There he is, just beyond the door way. A nurse is holding him, wrapped in a blue blanket. My beautiful boy. I walk to him and brush his little sleeping cheek with my finger. My little boy.

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146 thoughts on “The White Room

  1. HELP syndrome and PIH? So well told, I could feel it. So heart breaking. I understand those cases that touch your heart indelibly, so that you are marked and changed forever from the event. xoxo Paris

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So powerful and heart-wrenching! I really found myself worrying for the mother and the baby, as if I was right there–and felt the frustration and so much fear. I know it was awful for you, but it was a blessing you were there for this woman and her baby. Very well written and moving. Thank you for sharing this experience.

    Liked by 1 person

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