Friday, July 1, 2011
Memories of Birth, Teale, part four
Mark made phone calls, explaining that things had not gone well. At this point we know very little about our daughter and wait for doctors to come talk to us. I was "drugged" and for at least a day they kept me on something that put me into a fog. I have wondered if that was a purposeful move, to keep me sedated so my memories of mistakes made were too vague to bring forth. When Mark called my Mom, I told him to tell her not to come. Teale had been born at 11:16 PM, almost three hours after we had arrived at the hospital. For three hours she had been in distress, an emergency cesarian could have been done in minutes and she may have been fine. This is the biggest regret, why had they not chosen to get her out of me quickly? I didn't want my Mom driving 45 minutes at that hour on a snowy night. We knew nothing and had not even seen Teale yet. I was scared, needing more information and time with Mark to process what had just happened. Mark told my Mom what I asked, hanging up he turned to me and said "She is coming, she wants to." Little would I know how much that would mean to me for years to come. My Mom arrived and still we knew very little, but soon a nurse came to take us to see our baby. I was wheeled into the NICU laying flat on my back. The bed could barely make the turns to get to where my daughter was, Mark and my Mom close by. The babies were tiny all around me, infants struggling on tubes and wires and machines beeping. The lights were dim as we came up to Teale. She was attached to many tubes and wires herself and she was in the sterile bag, waiting to be taken to surgery. My emotions were numb as I looked at my very vulnerable baby daughter. The daughter I had always wanted to go with the son I always wanted at home, my family was perfect. I asked questions about her, learning they believe she had a stroke at birth. I'm not sure when they told us the "whole truth," a main artery on the top of her brain had burst, causing brain damage. Her brain damage would be severe, most of the entire left side would die off from lack of blood flow and there would be parts of the right lobe, straight down the middle that would also be affected. I looked at my perfect baby, a beautiful rose color now which brought much relief after seeing her grey only hours before. Her nose was adorable, her eyes were closed and she had these beautiful perfect rosebud lips. Her hands were in tight fists as she lay there, little would I know how hard we would work for years to come to get her hand to open and to work properly. I remember thinking she was beautiful, perfect like Beau had been, but with a tough surgery to come, I was protective of how "close" I got. Of course I was not allowed to hold Teale and I knew it could be days before I could. She was four pounds and six ounces, little, but not tiny. She was intubated for surgery and because she was on a medicine that put her into "a coma." They didn't want her moving and hurting herself accidentally with her intestine out of her body. She would be kept in this state a couple days, we knew this was the procedure for the gastroschisis repair. The bag was clear, but the warmth of her body made it tough to really see the intestine. My enduring shots for her lung growth had worked, we would find out later that her lungs were fully developed, a huge relief with many things that were wrong. We were only allowed a short visit as the doctor had been called to perform surgery and was on his way. I had seen our surgeon only hours before on the day I went into labor. We had had no clue at that time I was actually in labor. When the surgeon came rushing into the NICU and saw Mark and I, his shock was apparent and his words still burn in my head twelve and a half years later, simply "It's you?" He explained what was going to happen and that he would come see Mark and I after the surgery was completed. I was allowed to kiss my baby goodbye, trying not to think that this may be the last time I see her. I was then wheeled back to my room to wait for the news of how her surgery went.