Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning the hard way

A brief hello before I dash to the airport in an hour's time.

I have been on night shift and busy between since I last blogged. There has been another night away with my dear one (sigh, happy sigh) and some very challenging shifts, Monday night in particular.

Its a very long and traumatic story, and some of it would leave you incredulous. It did all of us staff and the couple themselves, along with their extended family. Suffice to say it was a very late discovered first pregnancy(near term), a very thick GP, some unfavourable maternal factors for an unknown little passenger, a pretty unwell baby, no amniotic fluid, an eventful attempt at labour, a long and interesting discussion with the top doctor about the language of CS and 'failure to progress', followed by a trip to theatre and the most traumatic CS I have ever taken part in. The little fellow was in a pretty bad way after an enormous and heroic struggle to birth him, and after a full resus his battered little self was transferred to the nursery where he struggles on, but he doesn't look fabulous.

I found his Dad wandering the corridor dazed so I arranged for some phone calls to put through for him while I dashed back upstairs to do the minimal I could to get out of there. We sat outside in the dawn light after my shift finished, as he waited for his Mum to return. The doctors were quite hopeful of his outlook at that stage, only just over an hour since birth..... Dear little JJ. I have my fingers crossed and am sending prayers for a gentle life for you and your sweet parents.

I'm tottering since that night, reeling from the events, and still reflecting on it and will for some time. What his poor parents must be feeling is beyond my comprehension, but I worked really hard during the labour to prepare them for anything, and any outcome. I addressed it quite specifically, trying not to scare them any more than they already were, but not painting sunshine and roses either. Sunshine and roses will be a great bonus for this couple, but they've had one hell of a 4 days. This time a week ago they didn't even know they were going to be parents, and now they have an express ticket for the rollercoaster of special needs parenting.

I'm heartbroken for them. I wish it could be different for them. What a shitty deal.

The team at work have been really supportive of me, wussing my way around on the next shift (and even now), but the whole hospital is aghast at the events and I was the only midwife present. It was so hard to fill out the paperwork documenting his injuries.... I had also had a medical student with me for that shift (geeze, you think they would avoid placing them with me by now - I seem to be a bit of a shit magnet when paired with a med student!). She was taking photos in theatre initially, but as it went down she got selective about what the parents may have wanted recorded. No-one needs photos of 2 doctors and a midwife doing CPR on their newborn.

I had a good shift last night, with a lovely calm gentle and normal spontaneous birth with a student midwife who was a delight to supervise. The woman birthed just before midnight, and stayed with us for a few hours, then there was paperwork to complete from the previous night on JJ's birth.

Just before knockoff we received a woman labouring thick and fast with twins. There is a lot to be done for a twin birth (are you surprised?) and it was nice to have a student to show the ropes to for her first exposure to a twin birth. We didn't get to see them born, but wouldn't have missed them by much!

I'm off for 5 days to Queensland for a conference, and Melbourne briefly to see my niece graduate from the Australian Ballet School. My Mum will be in Melbourne for the event too, and I get to see my dear sister who misses us all so much (and we miss her too). I will stay with another niece, meet her sister for breakfast, and squeeze in a blogmeet at the airport on the way home with Frogdancer and Widget! Then I will have the rest of the week off. Phew! Its all go!

See you when I get back.


Natalie said...

I join you in feeling dazed and sad. What a difficult shock. I hope all turns out as best as possible.

Lesley said...

I'm happy to hear you'll be doing something fun after all that. Horrors.
Have a great time!

widget said...

OMG! I do hope that when we meet up you will have had some rest. I am very excited about meeting. It's my first blogmeet (not counting that I work with Froggie and Scott). it's going to be fun.