I’ve been trying to clean up the photos on my computer for some time now. There are so many, especially after kids, as you take a gazillion photos and save them all. Oh the wonderful age of technology.
Along the way I came across the photos of me just after I had Marshal. I hate photos at the best of times, I prefer to be behind the camera. That I probably got from my dad, he was a photographer and an actually good one. He worked for the newspapers and from what I remember he took photos of politicians and Robert De Castella. (I know because I met him when I was younger, one time my dad did have us kids.)
But these photos are different. Quite shocking I guess. I don’t remember that time very well, I was in a drug induced haze with all the pain medication I was on. I thought I looked ok, thought I came out unscathed. Then I saw the photos…
Please, I warn you, these might be a little shocking.
I ones I’m really impressed with are my arms. I had some many needles stuck in me in 3 weeks that my veins pretty much gave up. My arms were black from burst veins. There was one time where they had 3 people attempting to get a needle in, they needed to take blood, yet again, but no one could get it in. The mention of doing it through my feet was terrifying. Luckily the surgeon who did my first operation got one in. It was horrible.
A bit of background for those who don’t know, I didn’t just stay in hospital because I liked it…
We went into labour on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning with my waters breaking ever so slightly. I was told to go back to bed and call them in the morning. After heading to the hospital to get checked and being told I wasn’t in labour I was sent home, in a shit load of pain. I couldn’t take anything as they didn’t admit me.
We kept getting told we weren’t in labour and were sent home twice. Saturday came and I wasn’t leaving with the baby still on the inside. We were 40+9 weeks and it was time. After the longest wait with the understaffed maternity ward I was finally admitted and given the life saving gas.
I remember telling my husband it wasn’t working. I was on all fours on the floor of a hot shower with my head on a chair, gas in my mouth. He said “I’m sure it is I haven’t seen you this calm in days.” It was the best feeling.
Shortly after I was given pethidine as the next step in pain management. Now they don’t give it to you. Now you get morphine. I’ve had both, not sure which one is better. But the pethidine and gas made me loopy. I never take panadol for anything unless I am on deaths door. But the mixture of these, let me tell you. I said “you could do this every day”. I even told the antithesis who did my epidural I loved him and I hope I hadn’t been uncooperative. It was a fun time. I think I even managed a small sleep somewhere.
Then it went pair shaped. I think this is where my temperature started going up and labour stalled. Since my waters broke I had been going for about 65 hours. I was exhausted, my family was exhausted. The doctor called the caesarean. I was heartbroken. More than heartbroken. I felt like I had failed and burst into tears.
To go for so long and have it all snatched away so quickly. I have beliefs that babies should be born naturally, not come out the sun-roof. I know this isn’t always the way, but it was meant to be my way. It was MY birth plan…my way. It’s here you start thinking you could have done something differently. It’s not good to think of the should haves…
So off to the operating theatre I went. Then we got to meet our little man a short time later. Tears of joy, anger, hatred of myself, and more love than you could poke a stick at. He was here, we had become a family.
Because my temperature had gone up, his had gone up to. No one was allowed to touch him for an hour. My husband and mum did not take their eyes off him the whole time. I was wheeled in to recovery as I had lost a lot of blood and to get try to get my temp down. It was very lonely.
A few hours later I got my first cuddles. I got to try my first breast feed. The horrible midwife shoving him on, squeezing, so much pain. Too many tears. After trying many many things, we decided on bottle feeding. Yet another heartbreak for me. It wouldn’t be the last.
Day 3 we were getting ready to go home but my temperature kept spiking. I wasn’t allowed to leave. I was started on, and I quote “the domestos of antibiotics”. Nothing worked.
Over the next week, my temperature never settled. I saw my boys every day, but sometimes I just couldn’t hold Marshal. He was my warrior, taking on the role of primary carer like no one else. I was sent to High Dependency ward. Plugged up to monitors for my heart, was scary. I started going septic. The antibiotics weren’t working.
The worst thing was, no one had any idea what was going wrong. I had blood taken twice daily. Urine samples, more blood. Nothing was showing. Doctors were asking about my heart, my kidneys. It was decided that I’d need an operation to see if my kidneys were inflamed. So 2 holes in the back later, nothing. A waste of time.
I think I used every machine in the hospital. I had scans, monitors and ultrasounds, One of the technicians for something asked if I was pregnant. I politely replied “no, that was what got me here!” Putting tax payers money at work! We really do have a wonderful hospital system. (This cost me nothing…)
Then my temperature went too high. It got to 40.6. Apparently 42 degrees is fatal, as I found out. Infectious disease got involved. Had no idea, except that the “professor” was a total dickhead and sent me back to the maternity ward.
That day, my stomach bloated. I was on nil by mouth for 85 hours. Anyone could see this problem…except the hospital. They told me I had gas and I needed to fart. Up until this point I had remained calm. It was now that I lost it. I screamed at my husband, screamed at the nurses, the doctors. I’d had enough, I just wanted to go home.
One doctor who was packing up to go home took one look at me and called an emergency operation. My husband found me in the lift at night being wheeled in for life saving surgery.
I had a thing called an Explorative Laparotomy. Pretty much they cut you from belly button to pelvis and pull everything apart to find the cause of the infection. Nothing was found except a bowel adhesion. This was probably caused by my nil by mouth for days.
But whatever they did, it saved my life. I was on the road to recovery, I could see the light! I also had a wedding to get too, I wasn’t going to miss it!
I got out of hospital after 20 days. I was allowed to go home with my family. I felt like I was escaping. I pretended it was the first time Marshal was going home. The first time we were going home as a family.
I attended my friend’s wedding down the coast, stood up next to her as her bridesmaid. I got my make up done and my hair put up. I looked like a washed up shadow of myself, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I look at the photos and sure they are lovely photos, but all I see are my scars and bruises. I even laughed when she told me the date, Sure I’ll be there, I would have just had a baby, but yes. Little did we know the fight that would happen…
Now I have Marshal sleeping in my bed because we can’t get him out. Maybe he’s making up foir lost time. I would give anything to have been able to take him home first. Give him his first bath at home, have no sleep while waking up to every snort, sneeze, gurgle.
I think it’s amazing what people go through for love. I’ve got my love, my boys. After all the shit that happened, I’m glad I’m here to be with my family. I’ve got the scars to prove it wasn’t easy.