3-WEEK STAY AT HOSPITAL
…9 years have passed but I still have this picture in my mind.
I wake up, I feel resentful and blame myself.
Why was I so naive? I waited until doctors were on the evening ward round- after all I was not allowed to get out of my bed! But I should have screamed, been hysterical, maybe then my son….
I had private appointments at gynaecologist. I came for a check-up on 30 September. I saw my son, he weighed about 1 kg. It was the 26th week. Everything was fine. I was happy. I came back home.
In the morning I noticed that my waters were leaking. I got panicked. I called my doctor. He told me to go to the nearest hospital specializing in saving premature babies.
I called St. Adalbert Church. I was told to come quickly. My baby and I were examined. I was to lie in bed until my little son drew up and was given medicines stimulating lungs development. I was not allowed to get up, not even to go to the toilet.
I was lying for 3 weeks. I fully followed the doctors’ orders. My son was most important to me. I was not aware of what would come next after giving birth to my son. I took two series of medicines stimulating the baby’s lungs development.
There were not many nurses, besides they had hard work to do all the time. What I was afraid of most were weekends. Just because I could not see any doctors around, they were busy. That is why I wanted to give birth on a weekday. Each of us dreamt about it – not to give birth at the weekend.
But child has no choice.
Saturday comes and my scenario comes true. In the morning I tell the doctor that I am not feeling well. At 10:00 a.m. I have USG examination. The baby’s pulse is 180 – the doctor is far from being satisfied. I still feel unwell. I call the doctor again. He is not coming. I am given a papaverine injection which has a relaxant effect. It is 2 p.m. and the doctor is still busy. There are two doctors.
I have a visit. I still feel unwell.
They call the doctor. I have a CTG examination and after 20- minutes I give the result to the nurse. It is already 7 p.m. The doctor comes to the ward round. The visitors have to leave the room. The examination is in progress. The cervix is dilated. Labour pains occur – but who knows when it happened since no one has seen me since the ward round. I am taken to the labour ward. I am scared. My family are waiting in front of the labour ward door.
It is too late for anaesthesia. I am waiting for the anaesthesiologist who is to give me epidural anaesthesia. They give me an injection (in my spine). I am conscious, not sleeping.
God, I am so scared.
I can hear the sound of medical instruments. I still have this picture in my mind, after all these years.
I am petrified and anxious about my baby. They are about to cut my stomach. I know it, I can hear and see the doctors.
At 7:45 p.m. the labour is finished. My baby is born. They tell me I have a son. Nobody shows Oskar to me, the only thing I can see is a green curtain. I am still scared. They stitch me. I leave the operating theatre. I pass my friend and sister-in-law who have been waiting outside the room all the time. ‘Ania, we saw your son, everything is fine, we will call your husband’ they say.
I am in the post-operation room. I regain the feeling in my legs. I feel constant pain. I cannot fall asleep. I am worried. I ask about my baby. I am given pain-killing injections.
The girl who is lying next to me wakes up. She had a caesarean birth by a doctor with whom she had private appointments – she was afraid of labour. It was a caesarean birth at her request. She made an appointment with the doctor at hospital. She was very scared of giving natural birth.
In the morning a doctor taking care of “premature babies” doctor comes. She asks me what I want to know. It is 6 a.m. ‘Your son’s health condition has deteriorated’ – she says. He needs mechanical support. He is connected to a respirator.
They take me to the room for mothers with babies. I am the only mother who is alone without my son. Next to me the mothers are happy, they are feeding their babies. I am not even allowed to stand up. Not enough time had passed since I was given the epidural anaesthesia.
I get up. I go to see my baby. It is a terrifying sight. My son is lying. My little moppet around cables and pipes. Why is he suffering? I feel very weak, I come back to my room with a heavy headache. I cannot stand it.
The doctor comes into the room. Other babies are lying next to their mothers and crying. I feel terrible. They take me to another room and call a neurologist. It turns out that epidural anaesthesia complications have occurred. I am told to lie flat without any pillow so that the level of liquid gets even. I am put on a drip, I have to drink a lot. I am alone in the room, my health condition both physical and mental is bad. Oskarek is lying upstairs. The only thing I can do for him is to pump my breast milk. I take it to my son and come back to my room to lie down again. I miss him.
Being scared of what may happen I decide to baptize my baby. I give him the name Oskar. I pray for him.
I am discharged from the hospital. My son stays there. I bring him my breast milk every day.
A joyful day. I take my son from the hospital. He is diagnosed with perinatal hypoxia, he has malacia, which will absorb. It is a premature baby – he will catch up – they assure. It is what all premature babies have.
Oskar is 8 months. I still fight for him. This time, however, the diagnosis is four-limb cerebral palsy. I am devastated.
How is it possible.
I stayed at hospital for three weeks before the labour and after it.
Oskarek is 9 years old, he requires full care. He does not walk or seat, we must feed him and change his diapers …….
‘SON, IT IS YOUR FAULT, YOU WERE BORN TOO EARLY’ DOCTORS SAY
BUT YOU WILL NEVER HEAR IT FROM ME!
That’s what they think but you have me. I will fight for perinatal care standards for you.
I can see your suffering every day. You have suffered since the moment they wrapped you like an object after the caesarean birth.
They did not even prepare a respirator or transport incubator for you.
Why did we go there anyway?