Three years ago, this happened….
Through those doors the happy delights of life, or the grim reality of death?
Welcome to the World
So here it is D Day, Dore day, call it what you will. We are late in the afternoon and after a session of fasting and waiting, my wife is number one on the runway, today flying for C section. Our three year journey has culminated in what we are told will be an event of roughly, forty minutes. Three years? That’s 1,576,800 minutes in old money and the end result will be with us in just 40.
That is 0.002% of the whole process.
I feel completely powerless. No matter what happens, I can do nothing but watch. I am not a Paediatrician nor am I a midwife. My Nursing degree passed me by as did my qualifications as a Doctor. No, the level you get from me is that I can operate a Defibrillator, can clear an airway and patch you up with a first field dressing and masking tape.
I only recently refreshed with the local Ambulance service but this is waaaaay above my grade. Doctor Zhivago I am not. Here I stand in my scrubs and orange crocs waiting to be welcomed in. I should add the crocs were on loan but they do have a groovy look to them.
What lies within?
It’s like peeking behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. Only when you see the wizard in the film, you aren’t that impressed. I however am. The team in the operating theatre are already about their business and things look very shiny. My missus, true to form after having the anaesthetic, has vomited violently. Its not uncommon and she has been Mrs puke pants for the entire nine month pregnancy. Having half a kilo of morphine cocktail rammed in doesn’t seemed to have helped. Watching someone in distress doesn’t please me, especially when its the one you love the most. Once again the fear factor kicks in.
What happens in a C Section?
The gist of it is this. Pregnant wife goes in, guts get cut open, baby gets pulled out, wife gets sewn back up, all live happily every after. Try telling my bowels that.I’ve resisted watching a C section on Youtube, didn’t see the point and it would only raise the anxiety levels.
Strangely she is alot calmer than I am. Perhaps it’s because she is surrounded by professionals and I’m outside these doors, peering in to a world that awaits.
A world of what appears to be butchers tools morphed with modern machines. A world that has suction tubes, flashing lights and machines that go ‘ping’. A world completely foreign to me but ‘business as usual’ to those within. The four walls of legends and a chap who’s nickname could be Edward Scissorhands.
And so it begins
n the changing room I meet a Doctor that, in his own words is, “helping out” with the procedure. Like an idiot I blurt out, “you’re good at this aren’t you?”. He had no words but his expression said it all. You tit, but yes I am. I’d already met the consultant and I felt we were in good hands with him. Likewise the nursing and midwife staff were on top form too. It’s just the unknown and the helplessness.
Today I don’t get to go through the big doors, no that is reserved for special pregnant people. Instead a nurse sticks her head out and invites me in via the tradesman’s entrance. This is it, the moment of no return. The feeling that washes over me is one I had in 1988. I am sat in the side door of a Britten Norman Islander, waiting for my cue to jump. We are at 2000 feet and the loadmaster taps my shoulder and shouts go go go.
In that split second, the feeling of impending doom coupled with intense excitement washes over me head from head to foot, as I fall out plummeting to earth. As I step through this door, I am met with the same feeling. Only this time it’s not my life at risk but the life of my wife and my unborn child.
The door closes gently behind me and a machine goes ‘ping’. The game is on…
Part two coming soon. ‘May the Forceps be with you’
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