Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mae's Story: Part 1

I am about to share part 1 of the story, albeit a bit condensed -- I think, of losing my 1st daughter at birth. I am dividing it into 2 parts, because it would take about 3 hours to do it all in one post. So I will write some now and some later today. Some of the events may be graphic in detail, or may be sensitive to your heart. I am not going to be politically correct, because it coincided with a couple of BIG events. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

It was April 21st. I was living in Hawaii. Hubby had duty. I had gone down to the boat as usual, to visit, sit topside and hang out for a little bit. I was 37 weeks pregnant, and due May 7th. That night, the baby was being especially cruel to my insides, pushing up against my lungs and ribcage so much that several times while I was with Hubby, I keeled over in pain or was winded. I had asked Hubby to bring the big vaccuum upstairs for me when he got home in the morning, because I wanted to vaccuum the upstairs that weekend. It was a Friday night.

When I got home, I decided that I didn't want to wait for Hubby to bring the vaccuum up. It was a Kirby. It weighed a lot, but I brought it upstairs anyway. I vaccuumed like a freak. I got in all the crevices and even vaccuumed the ceiling fan and crown molding. I suppose in retrospect, that was my "nesting". I should have known something was up. I went to bed about 10 or so.

I woke up and looked at the clock -- it was 3:45. I had to pee REALLY BAD. I then noticed that I was already in a puddle in the bed. What the hell?? I thought to myself. But I still had to pee. So I went to the bathroom. After peeing and wiping, I went to pull up the fresh underwear. Still sitting on the toilet, I suddenly heard tinkle, tinkle, tinkle.

"That was NOT me," I said aloud to no one at all. I had an epiphany about that trickle and puddle in my bed. I waddled to my nightstand and opened my What to Expect When You're Expecting book. I looked up "water breaking". I read about the slow leak. I admit it now. I had to do a sniff test. I had another trickle in that time, so, I slid off the underwear and sniffed at the liquid on the crotch area. It didn't smell like urine. It was different. Exactly like the book described. Slightly sweet, and not overly odorous like urine is.

"FUCK!" I said aloud again. I called the Labor and Delivery ward at Tripler Army Medical Center. I explained the situation and they told me to come in right away to be checked out. The nurse asked if I had contractions. I didn't. They told me that if I started to get them, to pull over to the side of the road and wait them out, or call 911. I still had to get my husband who was on duty, then he could drive. They were ok with that. I rang off from them and callled the boat.

Riiiiiing, Riiiiiiiing, Riiiiiiing, Riiiiii--

"USS Olympia, this is a non-secure line, Petty Officer So-and-so speaking, how may I help you Sir or Ma'am?"

"Um, Hi. I'm sorry to be calling so late, but could you please get Petty Officer Fireheart? It's kind of an emergency," I was calm and collected. I didn't want to freak anyone out if it was a false alarm. I waited a few minutes and Hubby came on the line.

"Hi Baby, um, I think my water broke, but it's a slow trickle and I called the hospital and they said to come in right away to be checked out, so I need to come get you just in case, ok?" I rushed out. He agreed to that and said he would be waiting topside. It was now about 4 am. I decided while I put on clothes that I should call my Step-mom. It was 10 am on the East Coast, and she'd be at work. When I rung through to the store, she wasn't there. I left a message with my aunt of the situation and to have Mom call me right away. I also called Hubby's dad and my real Mom in Connecticut. I had to leave messages for them too.

I grabbed a couple towels and threw them on the seat in the car. I had my purse and cell phone. I headed out to the base about 3 miles away. I got on base, and as I was on the road that led to the pier, my cell phone rang. It was my step-mom and she was squealing with happieness. I told her what was going on a bit more in detail and told her I would call or have Hubby call when we got settled in, or when we got home. Just then I pulled up to Hubby's boat. There was a bunch of guys on the pier. Apparently the word had gotten around that I was in labor. I got out of the car and let hubby drive. I prayed that I wouldn't leak while I was walking or that I waould just completely drain, like in the movies and on TV, and give everyone on the pier a show. I was embarrased, and who wouldn't be?

As we drove home so Hubby could change and I coulld finish packing my bag (hey I technically still had 3 weeks still so it wasn't all done yet), he explained that he had only just fallen asleep when he heard someone shout at his rack "FIREHEART, wake up! Your wife's in labor!" I was pissed. I had never said that to the guy on the phone, and I didn't want Hubby to freak out. I also felt very bad, because poor Hubby hadn't had any sleep, and Lord knew when he was going to again. We were all changed and packed. We got in the car and made it to the hospital. It was 5 am on April 22nd. The Sub Ball was that night. I guess it was a good thing we didn't plan on going!

We got to the L&D ward. I explained to the nurse on duty at the desk the deal. She rememebered me calling. I sat in the waiting room while they found people to examine me. A bit later, I was called into the exam room. they did all the normal stats stuff. Then I had to be looked at down under. I showed the nurse my panties. She just looked at me like I was one of those women who comes in for every little pang in her stomach. She was examining the cooch and was about to tell me I was fine, when I felt the trickle. Apparently she saw it too because she said "Oh yeah, you have a slow leak. Well, I guess we'll admit you!" My heart leapt into my throat. This was it!

It's a bit fuzzy here. I know I was admitted, got put in a hosptal gown and taken to a labor room. It was a private room. I even had a TV. My nurse for teh day shift came in. She was a young pretty girl. really nice. I never had such a nice person care for me. The docotr came in and told me we were gonna wait for my contractions to start, since they hadn't yet. I was hooked up to the machines to monitor contractions/heartbeats, etc. While we waited, we watched TV. It had been a big night apparently.

Does anyone rememebr Elian Gonzales? The little boy whoo floated to Miami from Cuba with his mom? Well the mom had died, but he was staying with famiily in Miami. It was a big thing. Keep him here or send him back to Cuba with his Dad who wanted him back there? Well the night of the 21st the U.S. gov't had .... retrieved him via gunpoint. It was all over every station. The pictures, they analysees, the political debates. I will always think of that day I was in labor as "The Elian Aftermath Day". 6 years later I still am annoyed that there wasn't much else on the TV except for that. It angered me. I disagreed with the forceful nature in which he was procured from his family in Miami. But I agreed that it was neccessary. His father wanted him back. As his mother was dead, it was his father's right to have him returned to Cuba. Plain and simple....So back to the story.

I had called my Mom in Mass. and gave her our room info and the phone number. Hubby called his dad outside on the cell phone and left info. in a message. And my mom in CT. And his mom in Tennessee. Then when he came back, I asked him to call my friend Debbie. We had only met a couple weeks before, but we talked often and she had volunteered to come to the hospital with me if I needed her. I really wanted a woman there with me. I love Hubby, but this was his first pregancy too. He didn't know what the hell to do. Debbie agreed to come and I waited for her. I read some of my Expecting book, and watched TV. Debbie finally got there. I had been waiting for contractions to start for a few hours now. They had, but they were so weak, I barely noticed them. The docotrs put me on pitocin to start contractions better and got me on an IV and ready for when I needed pain meds.....and the waiting began.

I'm going to stop here. I will write more later. But this is how the worst day of my life started.

2 flame(s) added to the fire:

Dr.John said...

This must be so hard for you to describe. I know it was hard for me to write about my little brother's death.At the same time I think its good that your doing it.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to know what to say, but I'm listening. :)