Thursday, April 10, 2008

Some words you can't unread **Updated**

**This is going to be ugly and a little graphic. Possibly not suitable for all viewers. **

Got the records from the hospital today.

The ones from the initial consult and from the delivery. It was probably...200 pages, doctor's notes, nurses notes, ultrasound and blood test results. Not too bad.

Of course I read them. How could I not.

Part of today was kind of good. It was up and down at school, but ended mostly up. Well, more up than down. Relatively. Up enough that I thought, okay, this will be hard, but I can read this. I want to see what happened, according to the records. It wasn't too bad, at first. Much of it was just as I recalled. But.

Some holes should not be filled.

Patient found to have delivered infant. + cardiac activity...

Jacob was born alive.

On the records, the time noted was more than 20 minutes after the time of birth/death noted on the infant bereavement record. How did they know what time he was born? Did they guess? Did they lie? Was a nurse there for delivery? What happened in the 23 minutes between the so-called time of "birth" and the doctor entering the room?

Did my child lie there dying, on my bed, between my legs -- alone -- for 20 minutes while I was oblivious?

When did they tell me it was time to push? Who was it? Which child? It's like a freaking nightmare.

And I don't know if I can ever forgive myself.


Spent some time talking with C, who clarified some things for me. Events and their sequence. There were nurses with me, one went to get the doctor. We were told the boys did not survive birth, but no one mentioned any cardiac activity, so I don't know if it was a few moments or minutes or what. C was focused on me and he was not prepared to see them, certainly not while I was not "present."

Turns out I really have very little memory of that night, even less than I thought. C said that I worked really hard to deliver the boys. It wasn't just a few pushes (I only remember the first one or two). It's really just glimpses for me. Like a dream. Really, a nightmare.

C thinks a lot of why I passed out, and he passed out was just sheer, physical exhaustion. It's hard for me to believe. I don't remember. Perhaps physical on top of emotional exhaustion. Doesn't really matter. I was still not present.

I hate not knowing. I hate that I wasn't able to be present for my sons. I hate... well... I hate all of it.

But you knew that. And you know it.

Good to know that I'm not alone. It's a start.


CLC said...

I am at a loss for words. But it sounds like you need to speak to the doctor and get some questions. Or you husband does, because I am sure you probably aren't able to speak right now. I am praying for you and your husband. I know that doesn't mean much, but right now I don't know what else to do.

Tash said...

I think this is a question for the doctor, and you deserve to know the answer. You deserve to know what happened to your babies every step of the way, death, and beyond. It could just be a time foul up -- someone didn't record something, misheard something, forgot to write it down for 23 minutes because she was busy. And someone needs to walk you through this report so you know exactly what happened when with which child.

It's painful, it's terrible, but if you're feeling guilt and can't sleep until you know, you need to make an appointment and have someone walk you through what happened word for word. It's your right.

Newt said...

I don't have anything to add, just that I agree with the pp that someone from the hospital should sit down with you and walk through the records.

And that I'm so sorry. For your losses, for the ways the misery just piles up on top of itself, and for everything else that is breaking your heart. I'm so so sorry.

c. said...

This must all be very hard to digest, STE. I'm very sorry.

niobe said...

I'm sure, as others have said, if you want to know as much as possible about what happened, someone from the hospital can explain what the details and notations mean. Though, of course, medical records often contain mistakes and guesses inserted after the fact, so they're far from perfect.

Amy said...

I agree with everyone else here, you need answers and you deserve them.

I am thinking of you and hoping you find all of the answers you need.

Antigone said...

I'm glad others have been able to give you words. I've hit 'Comment' have a dozen times since yesterday and just sit here staring at the screen not knowing what to write.

It's all just horrible. They gave me an epidural and I couldn't feel a thing. My child came out and lay between my legs for about half an hour. But he'd been confirmed dead 7 hours earlier by ultrasound.

Julia said...

I am only seeing this now, and all I have is I am so sorry.

But no, I am also appalled they just gave you the 200 pages of the medical records and didn't offer to have someone sit down with you and go through them. My doctor wanted to meet in person to give me the three page autopsy report, even though I got him to tell me the main finding on the phone. This is really thoughtless and not at all professional. I hope you get all the answers you need, and soon.

One more thing though. Almost nothing makes me sadder than seeing bereaved parents blame themselves and feel this enormous guilt. This really is bad enough as is. If there is any way at all for you to let go of the guilt, to remember that you are only human and that you did absolutely the best you could've possibly done for your boys, every step of the way...