The day of arrival, December 30, 1985, came and went, and each day became progressively longer. My abdomen progressively larger and one month later the doctor decided, “It’s time.”
Three hours later with bowels full of caster oil, my parents rushed me to the hospital. Upon arrival, a nurse seated me in a wheelchair and pushed me down a long corridor. All preparations were swiftly attended to, monitors connected and baby stopped contracting. The horror was about to begin.
The doctor rushed into the room and cried, “Oh! Oh!” several times and then whined, “hurry, hurry, we need Cesarean.” The horror that spread across my mother’s face was beyond description. The calm exterior she always possessed was rapidly diminishing; and yet, she encouraged that “everything will be alright.”
I was wheeled down a corridor on a steel gurney covered with a thin, white sheet. At the door the staff told my parents that they needed to say good-bye. With tears running in rivulets down my face, I told them I loved them, to care for my children and to tell my husband that I loved him. That is when I was escorted into the horror chamber, and the thick metal doors with wire mesh windows were shut behind me, leaving those I loved behind.
The white enameled walls were very clean. The smell of disinfectant was pungent and stung my nose. To my left were sharp scalpels and silver scissors. Fluffy white cotton, rolls of gauze and other sundry items were placed on a table next to me.
The anesthesiologist sat me up, my legs were outstretched and my stomach was rolled up in a hard ball in front of me. I was ordered not to move. I felt cold liquid splashing down my naked back, and then the sharp prick of a needle sinking into my spine. The baby inside my belly shifted in rebellion to its forced position. The doctor missed his intended mark. Immediately upon the puncture of the second needle a powerful shock ran up my left leg, and I let out a yell. “Don’t move!” I was commanded by the faceless being behind me.
Nurses gently laid me down. I had no sensation of any kind in my lower extremities. I could see my legs, but they didn’t seem to belong to me. I was utterly and hopelessly helpless.
Nurses were running around giving each other orders. The assisting physician laid my left arm to a board and inserted another IV into my forearm, then strapped my right arm to a second board and wrapped it with a tight green band. As I looked to my right, I could see my parents gazing through the little wire-meshed window at me in horror.
I could hear the steady falling of air pressure hissing as my heart beat through the tight band on my right arm. The doctor pulled a long clear tube about one inch in diameter and strung it over my face where it fell into some container above my head. A white curtain was draped across my chest on two long metal poles to hide the horror from my eyes.
Although I was numb, I felt the pressure of the scalpel on my lower abdomen as it slid across to make an incision. The doctor pulled and tugged, and then the gurgling of my own blood shot across the tube that was above my face. The roar of the vacuum continued as the blood was sucked up. I became nauseated as the tugging continued on my abdomen.
The mask less face of the physician sneezed spraying liquid across my open body. Doctors and assistants were calling out numbers when I heard, “Oh my God, help me, I’m dropping him.” There was a frantic rush, the assistants were grabbing for the baby. Tears ran down my face, but I could not call out because of my dry cottony mouth.
I was helpless as I lay there. I envisioned my long awaited delivery dropped to the floor in a slimy mess. However, my fears were quickly relieved when the doctor held a beautiful tiny human being at my side and congratulated me on the arrival of my baby boy. My dreams, my hopes and the reality of that little human life held out before me were a pleasurable ending to a horrifying ordeal. That night Matthew James made an entry into the world. A world of cold, harsh white reality, of metal steel and prickling needles.
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