Friday, March 4, 2011

FYBF Friday - And The God of Obstetrics


Howdy all! Welcome to Flog Yo Blog Friday and some false bonhomie. Sick? Yes, I am still quite ill, thanks for asking, but am pushing through determined to be as pert and perky as a pair of cheerleader's tits (really gotta stop watching Hellcats). Now firstly, some housekeeping...

Is ANY one going to enter Muse Wars? It ends tonight and I've not had one entry from any of you! If I can write one when this damn sick then some of you surely could make the effort? Hmmmm? Oh, and I'm not posting mine first 'cause I'm sick and I'm allowed to be temperamental. Did I mention I'M SICK?

Okay, now back to this post. Reading a well know parenting website triggered thoughts of my wonderful OB. The MAGNIFICENT Prof B. Now Prof B was not the first OB I was referred to, oh no. Settle back cause I'm about to tell you a tale of incredible luck, horror and happy endings.

The Birth of Boy 1

I didn't plan on becoming pregnant, no sirree. In fact when it was confirmed by a medical centre doctor close to my current place of work, I came home and said to Big Boy "I don't wanna do this" *sob*. Selfish, I know. We had only been married six months, I was working under contract to a fantastic company; a really fun, social place to be employed. Hell, they even had their own bar in the company boardroom and it was open to all!

But pregnant I was, and I knew as soon as my current agreement ran out it would not be renewed. The centre GP gave me a referral to joe blow OB. I had NO IDEA about OB's, I'd never had a need to know.

So, being me, and a talker, I ring one of my BFF's. Yes, to bemoan my fate and the timing of it all. I should have been grateful, so many struggle to conceive. I was 33 years old, madly in love with my husband, it should have been the best moment of my life. Certainly not one of my finer ones, anyway. But I cannot change the truth, and I will not lie to make myself appear better than I really was.

But back to the phone call. My BFF asked me about the obstetrician I was going to see. I told her his name. Rang no bells. She then went on to tell me of this incredible specialist one of her friends had been to. He dealt with the most dire of situations, worked miracles, saved lives. I protested that mine was just the old garden variety pregnancy and I probably would be wasting his precious time, what with him being the Gandhi of OB's...

She then told me her friend had thought that too, but her birth turned into a not so run-of-the-mill kind, and he helped her and her child where someone else may not have been able to. Bit freaky, looking back now.

So I took her advice, had my own GP give me a referral and toddled off to my first appointment. I won't bore you with the months of visits and blow by blow descriptions of our conversations, but I will tell you he was friendly and articulate and we clicked (yeah, ah Prof - I still remember the chat we had a bout the girl with no vagina - ewwww). He had been involved in ground-breaking work, had pioneered many new procedures, worked in Harley Street obstetrics. Yep  - bloody good at what he did.

And so we come to my D-day. Over the months of my pregnancy I had met many women in the waiting room of his clinic. Some of them were facing the fight of their lives, some of them were facing the tragedy of their lives, some of them were back after facing both with Prof B helping them to find a new joy in their lives. I still felt like a fraud taking up this man's valuable, LIMITED time. Even with high blood pressure from 30 weeks (mine, not pre-ec), all seemed a little trivial for a man such as he to be dealing with.

My BP went north when I was a few days over. I was admitted to hospital to bring it to a more reasonable level, which they did. And induced. Twice. Boy 1 was posterior so I had that lovely back labour as well as front. Want me to spell it out? Well, not only did that added induction throw me straight into second stage labour, but there was no gap between contractions. My uterus was playing ricochet - back spasms, front spasms, back spasms, front spasms. Oh - and do not have our husband bring in pizza the night before you are induced - m'kay? Just sayin'.

Finally, after 12 hours of this they allowed me down to the labour wards and I had a wonderful, pain-removing, epidural. Slept. Big Boy and by this time BFF were with me. A few hours later the real show began. And the wheels fall off.

Monitors galore, we begin to push. Nothing. Attempted forceps. Nothing. Baby distressed, my BP heading steadily up again, monitors start making scary noises. Prof looks to me with those calm brown eyes and goes emergency caesar? I nod. Have I mentioned I'm very good under pressure? Well, I am. So is he.

In comes anaesthesiologist to top up epi to spinal block, off we go to theatre. Big Boy hurriedly dons surgical scrubs. BFF very relieved to be told no. Poor woman with planned c-section pulled out to make way for not very good at this Madmother. And Prof B grabs his clinic partner as he starts to exit, "think we may need you mate."

Now the fun begins. Turns out Boy 1 is lodged in my smallish pelvis like a cork in a bottle. We find out later this was the case for probably his last trimester. And because of attempted vaginal birth he is lodged even harder. They have a screen up, my BP is now doing weird stuff and I am giddy and feeling ill. Over the screen I can see the blood splattering around the room as my body is lifted up off the table again and again as they try and dislodge Boy 1. Big Boy is looking more and more terrified. I remember hearing the Prof say, "This baby has to come out right now!" I cannot see over the screen but my husband can. He is crying. "It's okay" I tell him, "Prof B is the best, it'll be all right."

They remove my son in silence, he is rushed over to the paed. I do not know it at the time but he is black. Why they call it a blue baby, I do not know for he is as dark as midnight. And an apgar of 4.

He cries. They bring him over. After his 5 minute apgar is 9. Time has no meaning for me. My husband is still crying. They send him with his son as they clean me up, stitch me up and send me off to recovery. BP has stabilised, but still high.

There is more detail I could add, and other things that arise over the weeks, but it is not necessary to add them for this post.

I know I nearly died, I know they very nearly lost my son.

It didn't hit home until my six week check up. I love being a mum and bounced into the clinic, make up on, hair done, happy bub in arms. I *bump* into the partner. Beam "remember me? You helped Prof B with my emergency c-section 6 weeks ago."

He looks. Does a double take. "Oh yes, I remember you... you have gone down in the annals of this practice as the most high risk and near death procedure we have ever done."

Think I went a little pale at that. But as Prof said afterwards: "And look at you both today, so near misses don't count."

Needless to say Boy 2 was a planned caesar. Yes, with Prof B. Ran like clockwork. What a man!

One thing I will add is one more piece of Prof B advice. He once told me, "you can't live your life looking backwards otherwise you'd fall over all the future obstacles." So true.

Oh, and my BFF? When she had her first child before I had Boy 2, she used Prof B. And when things required her to go for a c-section, she was calm and well prepared. After all she'd sat through the horror of my experience and seen how well Prof B handled everything, she knew she had nothing to fear. All good.

Think I might send him a photo of my boys.


Kakka said...

Sorry you are unwell lovely lady. Just letting your know, my Muse Wars is done - hopefully I am not the only one. xxx

Romina Garcia said...

Hope you start feeling better soon x

E. said...

Wow. What a ride. I've got to admit that I'm glad you had Pro B of therwise I would never have known you.

Hopefully I'm have my blog mojo and muse back in time for the next Muse Wars.

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

Oooh this gave me shivers, I love birth stories! And writing when you're sick earns you major kudos.