True stories about birth and giving birth

Day 810. Ground down

It’s been years but some moments of it still haunt me.

When the idea that I might be having a baby first occurred to me I didn’t dare to go into the pharmacy to buy a test (to tell you the truth, at that time I didn’t know how to arrange these kind of things). I was really naive.

I had heard about homebirth but I didn’t know where to learn more precisely about it, not to mention to find somebody who can help me about it. … I was really attracted to the idea; I had always thought that I would have my baby in my everyday surroundings… I thought a woman can give birth, and that homebirth would cost a lot of money (at that time I didn’t have a job and my husband was an undergraduate) … and I didn’t know anything about obstetric care. I hadn’t even been to a genealogist either. I thought….

Then came the firs shocking experience: the firs examination. I am still ashamed of that part, so I am not going to write about it; anyway I felt it was really humiliating. And that ultrasound machine with the part like an artificial penis… It was like being raped. But I tried to believe that was normal. Everyone did so. Nevertheless the doctor’s first question was shocking too: “Do you want to keep it?”.

Then I started to visit the doctor. Every time I had to wait for hours. Then they found something with the AFP and I was told to attend a specialist, too. (There I had to wait for hours too, and I didn’t feel I got anything special…) I spend half days in waiting rooms. Looking back I can see how useless they were, because I didn’t have any problems.

I also can remember a story in connection my blood sugar stress test. I was to go to the lab, but I had woken up very early and after a while I was awfully hungry. I felt dizzy. I knew I wasn’t allowed to eat, but as it was really early I decided to eat one biscuit. Only one… then I finally could go to sleep. In the morning I went to the lab, and I was naive enough to confess my sin of eating one piece of biscuit. What I was told because of it! “She is not able to do it for her child…!” (The other woman working in the lab told this one maybe she should be a bit more polite…) But she refused to carry out the test on me. So I had to go again on another day.

So I went on spending hours sitting in waiting rooms. My selected doctor didn’t send me to any tests, I was supposed to know when and where to go and keep asking for the referrals. Then gradually he “gave” me to an inexperienced colleague. (By the way, my regular visits consisted of a blood pressure measure and a urine test; that was all. That is why I had to sit there waiting for hours. ) Otherwise, I didn’t have any problems during my pregnancy.

It was in the third trimester that my father died. Some time after this I was woken up in the middle of the night by something pouring out of my body. I had attended a course preparing for the childbirth; still I didn’t know what was happening. I was shivering with fear. We called the ambulance: “Aren’t you sure what is happening? Then you should come in.” Still trembling we quickly packed the things that might have been needed and rushed to the hospital. It was still flowing and I took off my clothes, which were soaked. I didn’t know where they took my clothes, I put on the hospital staff and I was shaved and heard the sarcastic words: ”Weren’t they sure that something was pouring?” Luckily I got away without an enema…

My husband went missing. I was scared what would happen next. I was in a dark room and made my bed soaking. Nothing happened. Some silent music played. (But it wasn’t calming at all. I didn’t know where my husband was.) Then I was put into another room, where there was somebody else too. It was the operating room. The infusion was inserted. Finally I found my staff but I couldn’t go there for it. The other patient was able to move, so I asked her to fetch my telephone for me. Finally it turned out that my husband hadn’t been let in, so he took home the borrowed car, because he couldn’t park there any longer.

I can remember the door was wide open. I was lying on the bed, tied, and I didn’t know what on Earth was happening to me and around me. There were people going around on the corridor. Something was coming out of me, from time to time somebody came up to me, they said their names or not – it might have been the cleaner as well, they touched me, got inside me… Nothing happened. But at last my husband turned up. I was asked if I wanted my selected doctor, but as he hadn’t cared about me for quite a while, I didn’t really wanted him. (Years later I heard he was a kind of “Jack the ripper”, so I don’t mind him not being there.)

Then suddenly the contractions started. I heard some beeps, the door to the corridor was still open. And then about twenty medical students flowed into the room. They stopped opposite me. I was there, laying out, in the position of a roast duck, and they were standing opposite me. I could see their faces. Their instructor was speaking English to them telling them what was happening. I asked them to leave. “Why did you come to a teaching hospital, then?” The resident doctor said to him that it was unusual to come in so many of them. So the half of them left.

I could see their pitying looks. Most of them were from some Arabic country that’s why he spoke English to them. About ten of them remained. (Just like a Monty Python scene… Somehow I can’t laugh…) Then this man speaking English climbed up to the bed, knelt to my head and started the push my abdomen while going on with his talk. The students felt sorry for me. I can still see their eyes in front of me. They had to see this as childbirth. It had nothing to do with Childbirth.

Somehow in the end I had my baby. I could see only some purple thing, which was quickly taken away from me. Then I was stitched. It was more terrible than the delivery itself. I had a huge tear. Grade four. (It recovered completely only after my second birth, before that I always suffered from it. Dribbling of urine…) It is said that they do episiotomy, to prevent this…

And then I was left there completely alone, my baby was gone. I could only feel terrible emptiness. I was allowed to leave the place after two hours. The baby turned out to have developed pneumonia so he was put into an incubator. I was told to go up to the other ward, my baby wasn’t far from there, I could visit him. My friend was waiting for me outside on the corridor. On seeing me she shouted out: “You look like a zombie.” Still I was the only one to leave the obstetric room by herself on her own legs; the others were taken out in wheelchairs. Wearing the hospital night robe (open at the back) I had to walk through the outpatient clinic to the lift to go up to the room where I was to stay. I was empty inside, and it was terribly painful to sit.  

Some time, later on I could see my baby too. A newborn in a box. I felt nothing. There were some other newborns there in other boxes. We were warned not to look at the other babies… Then we had to leave.

I stayed alone again. I mean there were four of us in the room. Two of them before delivery, one of them had a CTG attached, the other in depression. Two of us after delivery. The other’s baby was really premature, so she was smoking on the toilet milking…

I had a fever, my tits became inflamed. I went to look for the nurse. She didn’t even care to get out of bed, just told me to milk, and sent me away. I became more and more fevered. Finally I got some antipyretic, but nobody showed me how to milk.

Then came the suture removal and the visits and the emptiness inside. After three days I was sent home. The baby stayed of course. I could visit him every three hours. I was commuting between the flat and the hospital. I tried to milk and took the drops to the baby. Then, after about two weeks he could come home too. He got his discharge report, I went back for mine four times but I have never got it. I don’t have the faintest idea what happened during my labour.

Then of course our story went on with the baby not developing well enough, he should be given some formula, his skin getting awfully yellow and his navel looking terrible. I threw the scales out of the flat, and I breastfed him all the time (naturally I was able to do this only with a nipple protector, but at least with the help of it I managed and the baby was growing, but I had to defy with almost everybody, only my husband supported me). Then, for ten months we had to take continual tests because of intrauterine hepatitis and later on we visited a neurologist. My baby was stated to be mentally retarded. Finally the doctor who specialised in treating mentally retarded ones sent us away saying the kid didn’t have any problems. And after almost two and a half years this birth is over. But somehow it still hurts…

J. R.

Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.

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