After a restless sleep, where I am awoken many times by two little babies looking to be fed, a new day has dawned on the maternity ward.
I am feeling better today. Stronger. I am able to sit up in bed.
My husband hands me too little bundles of joy; it is very early in the morning and these are the first cuddles I remember with my beautiful twin boys. I can’t believe they are really here and in this moment everything stops. Tiny faces look up at me. Tiny fingers. Tiny toes. I know then that everything has been worth it, no matter what happens to me. This belief has never faltered.
The midwife comes in. I have never seen her before. It’s another new midwife. I ask if I am going to be moved to the post-natal ward today. She looks at me with shock and barks: “absolutely not you are far too ill”. With that, she is gone.
I am sat with my thoughts. I wonder what is going on. I am feeling better, albeit only slightly.
I look to the hubby who shakes is head in disbelief. Bedside manner has clearly escaped this midwife. She is definitely NOT one of the guardian angels on my HELLP journey.
An hour later, a Canadian doctor breezes into the hospital ward, with a handful of trainee doctors. This is to become the norm over the next few days. I am a special case. They are all interested in reviewing my notes.
He introduces himself. He tells us he is a Specialist. In what, we have no idea. He looks at my notes, asks a few questions and disappears.
Then, the midwife is back. “Pack her stuff up,” she tells the hubby. “We are moving you to the 24-hour observation ward”.
This is the first we have heard of this. The hubby demands to know why. She mutters words like: “risk of stroke, liver failure, kidney failure”. Then as quick as she can, she has left the room.
The tears come now. What is wrong with me. My head is swirling with thoughts. Confusion, fear and anxiety grips like a vice. A dark fear creeps into my mind. Cancer? I say nothing. I keep it all in. If I don’t say it, it won’t be real.
We are moved to the 24-hour care ward and I am in tears the whole time, unable to articulate how I am feeling. I look like an absolute emotional mess. Thank goodness my parents and hubby are here for support. And don’t judge me.
There are two other ladies in this small ward.
There was one lady whom I had not seen before. She is unconscious. She remains that way for the duration of my stay. Her family sit by her side, hoping her condition will improve. Meanwhile, they tend to her baby. Midwifes take over in the evening.
The other lady, however, I instantly recognise.
The lady from the post-natal ward, Mum A. The one that I feared for. The one who moaned and groaned the whole time she was there.
She is bed-ridden. She is unable to sit up. She is awake and moaning constantly. My heart skips a beat; where is her baby?
Eventually, I ask the new midwife allocated to me, if she is ok. She quietly explains she is very ill and her baby is in the special care unit. She gave birth and hasn’t seen her baby since. They don’t think they will be reunited any time soon.
I suddenly feel overwhelmed with sadness for her. I realise how lucky I am. My boys never left my side, even when I was out for the count.
I look at these other ladies and fear tightens its hold . I must be ill. Seriously ill. Otherwise, why would I be here?
That day is a long one and nighttime is even longer. I am lucky the midwife sits by my bed, helping me with the boys in the evening. I need her because the hubby is not allowed to stay with me.
This is the midwife who realises the boys are jaundiced. After a few hours in her care, she remarks on their skin colour and says that we need to get it looked at. Once more, I feel like I have let the boys down. I didn’t see it. Blood tests are taken and we await the results.
Day two of my boys life comes to a close.
I am in 24 hour care. I don’t know what is wrong with me.
The doctors now know I have HELLP Syndrome. The specialist who was brought in has diagnosed me.
No one has told me or my family this. I continue to think the worst….
Do you want to know more about HELLP Syndrome? Check out this post.
Want to know more about Preeclampsia Awareness Month? Visit here.
Visit the Preeclampsia Foundation website here.