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Sweet Contentment

I went to a new OB/GYN because my regular OB had no concern about my complaint of “leaking fluid.” Without taking the time to examine me, she gave me a prescription for Monistat saying, “It's just a yeast infection typical in the third trimester.” I protested, as I knew it was not. The new OB confirmed that indeed my “water” had broken. He sent me home on bed rest. I was to call if I spiked a temp or labor started.  

Later that July 15th evening I was admitted to labor and delivery at a hospital in Richmond, Virginia. The next evening doctors collected amniotic fluid for an L/S ratio test to determine if my child's lungs could function in the outside world. My labor was strong but I never dilated past 1.5 cm.

The morning of July 17th Pitocin was started. After 24 hours of Pitocin with no progress the doctors started talking C-section. For several hours I had been getting increasingly ill. I was being pulled forward to throw up and laid back to contract with no food for over 68 hours! I kept asking for my doctor but he was nowhere to be found according to nursing records. Records also indicate I was left alone for over an hour with a blood pressure of 50/32 and heart rate 165+. I was getting frantic. I felt like I was smothering or drowning. I could barely get a breath (hypovolemic shock). They gave me no oxygen until I was in the OR. Just as they startedto put on the oxygen mask I tried to fight it. I heard a nurse say, “She's crashing.” Just then I left them.

Suddenly it was bright, clean white. I don’t remember a tunnel but a doorway. Once in the doorway, in front of me and slightly to my right was my fiancé. He had been a sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty a few months prior. He looked great! He was wearing a white one-piece robe/outfit with a collar that came not quite mid-throat. He was kneeling with his right knee up. One would think that two lovers reunited would rush into each other’s arms it wasn’t so. It was a wonderful, peaceful, loving feeling but we never touched. All communication was through the eyes. I heard him and he heard me but our lips never moved. It was the most okay place I have ever been! I looked to the left and there for a brief time were my grandparents smiling at me as if I had just won an Olympic Medal -- such love but again no verbal communication.

I was drawn to what was going on beneath me. My fiancé and I watched together. I saw ME yet I viewed this ‘situation’ with NO EMOTION at all. I saw the doctors opening me up, pushing on my ribs with the frantic activity to get the child breathing but I had no emotion. My finance’ told me with eye communication, “You can come now or go back. It’s your choice.” I heard him say this about three, maybe four times. I wanted to STAY. 

When I heard the child cry I felt a jolt-type pain. I looked at my fiancé with panic. I felt that was a TUG (the cry) from the scene below. Just as I was regaining my calm, deciding to stay, there was a second cry with the same jolting pain only more intense. Again I looked to my fiancé and again he said it was “my choice.” Looking down at “the scene” I felt an overwhelming sadness and fear -- as all I was surrounded by in this wonderful place became distant as if either “IT” or I was being sucked backward. The next thing I knew I was waking up some five hours later. I feel that the maternal side of me knew I had a job to do and my first sacrifice as a mother was to “come back.”

Trying to reconstruct what had happened, I told a doctor and nurse what happened (where certain people were standing, etc). The doctor said, “How did you know that? There was a curtain up.” Even though I knew where different people were, and that they took my son down the hall and to the left to work on him, the doctor said, “It was just a dream possibly due to lack of oxygen.”

The biggest benefit I feel is that I now do not fear death. (Life is what can be scary!) It was as simple as walking through a doorway. That feeling of sweet contentment brings tears to my eyes now.

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