Tuesday 27 October 2009

This time last year

I was being rushed back to hospital.

One week after losing George, half an hour after our lovely midwife had visited, I started bleeding heavily. And then more heavily. And then clots started falling from me. And the clots got bigger.

I remember the emergency room. Tiny side rooms, no curtains, like a cabin. Sitting on a portable commode across the room from Ray trying to get on a pair of hospital string knickers, thinking that's enough now. Stop.

I remember feeling dizzy and thinking that oxygen masks smelled bad... or was it the oxygen?

I remember being wheeled to a private room off the gynaecology ward. Thank goodness I don't have to bleed in front of other women. Nurses and doctors obviously didn't count.

I remember sitting dizzily on the toilet with a cardboard pee-catcher underneath me catching huge clots of blood, being watched over by a lovely chatty nurse who told me how much relief she had gotten from a life of heavy periods by having a hysterectomy. Who then trotted of to show the doctors what I'd done.

I remember dizzy. Lots of dizzy.

I remember the gynaecologist hurting me. A lot. I HATED him right then. The next day I changed my mind.

I remember Ray being called back after leaving me for the night. I remember not wanting him bothered. Why was that nurse insisting on calling him? Why did he have to be here? I remember fear.

I remember being wheeled down to surgery late at night. I remember the anaesthetist sort of choking me to stop me choking (?).

I remember waking up in PAIN. I remember that morphine is GOOOOOOD.

I remember Ray sitting next to me. He took one of my sleeping pills when he got home because he hates sleeping alone. He sleep-walked back to the hospital. I remember sleepily loving him even more. I remember sending him home.

I remember trying to sleep but being woken many times by apologetic nurses. I remember the sun coming up.

I remember looking at my poor bruised arms with five cannulas in them. The ones in the back of the hand are the worst. And then some one else making more holes to take more blood. The side of my wrist by my thumb? Is that the only vein left?

I remember feeling weird at having someone else's blood mixing with my own. Whose? Thank you.

I remember watching visitors arrive for the woman across the hall. Six children, all boys, all redheads. It took a couple of visiting hours to count them all.

I remember wishing my visitors would go home. I didn't want to talk. The hospital food tasted like cardboard. Where was Ray? He wouldn't mind me being quiet.

I remember having my "ladyparts" washed by a 20 year old. And feeling old.

I remember the nurse removing the various tubes from my body. The final one being the catheter. I peed just as she was about to take it out. Oops.

I remember taking a shower and feeling afraid to touch my own body or even move too much.

I remember the gale blowing outside.

I remember being very glad to get home after 3 days.

This time last year I survived.

I don't know why I feel the need to write this out. It doesn't give me nightmares any more. It did for quite a while. along with dreams of the day we lost George. Dreams of blood. Dreams of umbilical cords. Dreams of death. I'm still remembering some dreams (I rarely remembered them before) but they are just normally weird now.


  1. B, I shuddered reading this. Hoping for you and Ray. And missing your baby boy with you.

  2. Here listening, abiding with you.
    <3 to you, Ray, and George.

  3. You did more than survive. You grew, you persevered, you became stronger and wiser and kinder. George has helped you to become a new kind of woman. You are a mother.

  4. Wow Barb, reading your story brought back some parts of my own I haven't thought about in awhile.
    Just as I was finally about to be discharged from the hospital, I felt the need to go to the bathroom, and started passing giant clots...apparently this is somewhat normal after having a baby, but no one had told me and I completely freaked out. I got blood all over my 'going home' outfit and ended up having one last internal exam before truly being sent home.
    And then the catheter...they took it out around the same time I had detoxed enough from the god-awful magnesium sulfate drip. So they sat me up and told me to take a long time before moving since the magnesium sulfate makes you super woozy and I'd been horizontal for nearly 48 hours on it. i said i felt like i needed to pee - the nurse said that was unlikely since the catheter had drained me. 5 min later i rang the nurse - when she didn't come right away, i peed all over the bed, and onto the floor. by the time the nurse did come in, there was a huge puddle below me on the floor, and i was laughing so hard i was crying. it was the only time i laughed in the hospital.
    sorry for the random tidbits...just what came up when reading your post

  5. Oh Barb. This was intense to read and you actually had to live it. You poor dear. I wish I could just bring you cups of tea today.

  6. My tears are falling freely for you. I am just sorry for all of it. All the hurt and pain and fear.
    But truly, sincerely grateful that you are a survivor. You are an amazing woman, a beautiful mother and a loving, kind soul. You and George are touching countless lives. I know because mine is one of them. Love to you.

  7. Sweetie,

    I remember reading your first blog posts last year right after I came home from the hospital, where you talked about how long the bleeding went on. My first thought then was "Oh, god- I'm not the only one who had huge clots and thought I was going to die." I was still having nightmares and flashbacks about them at that point, and reading your story just made me want to somehow go back in time and keep you safe. I didn't know you at all then, and I was so worried for you.

    I am so, so sorry about all of it- the fear, the indignities, the pain, the sorrow. Most of all I am sorry that George didn't get to come home with his mum and dad.
    Sending you lots of love.

  8. boo hiss on last year (except the you surviving part)

    that sounds totally scary.

  9. That must have been so frightening, and still scary to remember. You've written it so vividly, the sights and sounds and feelings. Big, big (((hugs))).

  10. Part of what you have written reminds me of my own experience...this is so stark...so sad...I wish George was here with you today and then all the pain would be worth it. Hugssssss. Remembering your beautiful George with you.

  11. How terrible... all of it. I am so sorry that you had to go through it, and so proud of you for surviving. You are so very strong.

  12. How very sad, what a tragic experience. ((HUGS))

  13. it gives me nightmares too...

  14. Oh my. I never knew this. What an awful experience to follow a horrifying one. I'm so sorry.

    And, fwiw, I think its the oxygen itself that stinks so bad.

    ((Hugs)) friend. You are quite a survivor.



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