Monday, 17 June 2013

The Spa of your Nightmares

English: Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
English: Stoke Mandeville Hospital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Twitter this week a well known comedienne asked for her followers to share their craziest experience.Well I've actually had quite a few but I thought I would write about the one I shared with her for you lovely people in somewhat more than 140 characters.
So it was 7 years ago. My second daughter (6th child) was due in just over a month. I had a routine hospital appointment at Stoke Mandeville hospital (where all my children were delivered by CS Section) so me and DS#4 toddled off expecting a couple of hours touring midwives and consultants followed by maybe a sneaky McDonalds and a nap.
I had been suffering with a bit of a pain in my side occasionally and it turned out my urine test was a bit iffy. The consultant decided to play it safe and told me she wanted to admit me. And she didn't want me to go home first - I had to head straight for the ward.
Insert big sigh here.
So I called a friend to come and fetch the small child I had with me and bring an overnight bag. Called my sister in law to ask her to pick the other children up from school and then I lurked in the car park and we hefted DS's car seat from my car to hers. And with a cheery wave I waddled to the ward.
For some reason I didn't call DH to let him know  - I think I figured his sister would update him when he got home from work. No point worrying him.
I was shown my bed. Unpacked. Knocked back some painkillers for the growing pain and let the midwife wire me up to the inevitable monitoring machine.
Hmm. Baby's heartbeat seemed a bit slower than normal to me. I queried it with midwife who reassured me. Which would have been great if she'd not immediately walked round the corner and yelled;"We need a consultant in here ASAP!"
It all goes a bit blurry after that as a variety of people in scrubs poked and prodded then I found myself being wheeled towards the lifts. Mildly curious I asked where we were going. The midwife pushing me answered:"You are going to have your baby, Dear."
WHAT!
DS#2 aged 1
I asked her to call DH but obviously couldn't remember his mobile number. I gave her my home number and hoped his sister could find his mobile number and get him to race to the hospital.
Meanwhile I was transferred to a bed on the delivery suite to be prepped for surgery. It was here I had one of the most surreal experiences of my life.
Now I'm not sure if you know this but if you have a caesarian section you have to have your lady garden area shaved, and you can't be wearing nail polish as  medics can tell a lot about your oxygen levels from the colour under your nail.
So, lying on this bed, I looked down to see a small army of women prepping me for the emergency section. I had one on each foot frantically scrubbing nail polish off. The same on each hand. Meanwhile someone was trying to ram a line in one hand while someone else tried to do the same on the other elbow. Further down a  tiny (or kneeling?) woman was using a small yellow razor and about 1ml of water to shave my....well you get the picture.
Most weird thing about all this were that all these women looked to be Thai, or some similar ethnicity, so I remember chuckling to myself (slightly hysterically) that it was like a spa - although what with the needles and dry razor it was like the spa of nightmares!
More blurry moments and I recall being panicky and nauseous on the operating table as it turned out they thought my placenta had come away which put my baby in very real danger of death.
Then a small timid voice came from the doorway behind me:"Am I meant to be in here?"
No, not the surgeon but DH who made it for DD's birth just in time! Apparently the hospital had left a non-urgent, "keeping her in but get here at your leisure" type message but luckily he decided not to stop and have a coffee with his sister or drop into Tesco for some magazines for me before coming over!
It was all a bit touch and go for a while and we got to experience the amazing care from the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) who nurtured our tiny daughter through her breathing issues. My placenta had not come away and we never did find out what was causing the pain but long story short DS is a bright, happy beautiful girl who shows no signs of trauma from her early and rapid entry into the world!

Moomoo aged 7
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