|Our son, Vili, about 12 hours of age.|
|Our daughter, Timna, about 12 hours of age.|
It was Friday November 27. when I thought I had caught a stomach flu. The day before I had visited the mothernity clinic in a local hospital. All was well with the pregnancy. My blood pressure was a bit high - as it had been during the whole pregnancy. Doctor gave me a prescription for the medication I already had used - now with a higher dose. Next appointment was to be after three weeks. So, I was not worried. However, I did call a nurse and told her my symptoms. She agreed that is sounded like a stomach flu.So I rested the day. In the evening I could eat again and the episode seemed to be over.
Next day I went shopping. I was feeling totally fine - puffy and swollen, yes, but that's how it had been for some time already.
Sunday morning came. It was the first advent Sunday when people sing "Hosanna" in churches here in Finland. We left for the morning service and after that went to eat out with my in-laws and some friends. When we got home, I had a little nap and left for a friend. We had what's called a "little Christmas party" here in Finland. Some women from the church gathered together to celebrate the Christmast time. All was just fine until it was the time to eat. I had nausea, but decided to eat little anyway. I blamed the lunch we had had and decided to pull it through without much hassle. However, my plan did not work; I ended up vomiting in the toilet and drew plenty of attention... Few people got really worried, I tried to assure them that I was fine.
During the evening I had said jokingly to an another pregnant woman, who was due in few days, "tonight is a good night to give birth." I also worded my wish that our babies would not be born in December (as I am) - meaning that I'd hope them to make it to January... I guess one needs to be more exact in wording their wishes - you might get what you ask for. :D
While I drove home, I got a bit worried myself. A friend, who is a nurse, had been really worried about me when I left, so I decided to call another friend who is a doctor. She sounded a bit worried as well, but because I had no other symptoms but the nausea, she suggested that I'd just rest and if other problems rose (headache, problems with vision, upper stomach pain...), I should leave for the hospital. However, something - maybe it was the nurse-friend's worry - made me think of measuring my blood pressure. 209/119 was the highest measurement I was given - additional times gave me an error-message. That is bad. Really bad. So, I phoned the hospital. They told me to pack and come over for a few days, so they could follow how things are developing. I asked if we should hurry - and the answer was "no". So Roope took time to feed the animals and I packed some stuff taking my time. Right after I had called the hospital, phone rang; the doctor-friend had become worried and questioned about my blood pressure and was happy to hear that I was about to leave to see a doctor.
When we left, I vomited just before entering the car. Then the head ache began. A bit later I began feeling as if someone tightened a belt around my upper stomach. It was about 10 PM when we got to the hospital. When we got in, the nurse welcoming us took a look at me and seemed quite worried. First, we took the heart rate of the babies. It took a while to find the other one and I found no comfort even the nurse said it is normal that it takes a while to find the beat. However, babies' hearts sounded ok. They drew some blood from me, in order to run some laboratory tests. The doctor came at some point to check me. Blood pressure was still that super high. I was given some pills, which I vomited right after. So, I got another pill, chewable one, for the blood pressure. While waiting for the lab test results, the babies were checked with ultra sound. And they seemed to be ok.
After my lab results came, the doctor was ready to send me to the mothernity ward for monitoring. The mid-wife/nurse questioned her and suggested another set of lab tests. We were lucky that the doctor was the kind who can accept advice. They took another set of blood and we went into a dim lighted room to wait. My reflexes were over-reacting when tested. That, they told us, was not good. And we waited. And waited.
When the test results came, it was about midnight. The doctor told that we'd leave for a C-section right away. She returned to speak a few words with Roope while I was already wheeled in my hospital bed to the operating room. My husband was told that the babies were ok, they had nothing wrong. It was the wife who was in a life threatening situation... I had a massive pregnancy poisoning that had appeared and forwarded really fast. I was at the edge of cramping and it was not certaing that the veins in my head could handle the blood pressure and the operation... I had no clue that it was I who was at the edge of life and death. I was worried about the babies and could not figure why we had to go into C-section, as they had seemed to be ok. But I trusted my doctor and did not question their choises.
Before they began operating, I was promised that I'd be shown my babies - even only very shortly. However, that did not happen. I only heard the calls, "A-baby, 0.58, a boy" and "B-baby, 1.00, a girl". I heard how the lungs were suctioned and I heard both babies cry loudly... but not a glimpse... That was scary - they had promised...
But how wonderful can it be, when someone does more than required! The fairly young, male anesthetist came to me with his cell phone. He had gone after the babies, taken a picture with his mobile and showed me a photo of the two little tiny babies with hats on and people taking care of them. The photo was very small and the babies in it only a few millimeters... but they were my babies. No words can tell how much it meant for me that he had done such a thing! How did he even THINK of taking that photo?
I was then sewn togehter and taken into a intensive care unit in order to be monitored over night. Roope was given a chance to go and see the babies first and then he came to see me. He had been so worried - yet, he did not tell me yet, how serious it had been.
Early next morning I was told I'd be trasferred shortly to a mothernity ward. Around 9 AM, the doctor (the one who had taken the photo for me) came to see me and asked how the babies and I were doing. He took an interesting look at the nurse, when I answered that I had had no news about the babies yet. The nurse vanished quite quickly - and right after the doctor had left, she returned to tell that they had called NICU and that babies were fine. From that moment, it took about two hours and I was at the mothernity ward - and shortly after, I finally was taken (in a bed) to see the little ones.
Here you do not see the pause I had in writing... thinking of that moment... no words for it. *sigh*
|Vili and Timna, 10 days old, together for the first time since the womb...|
They were so small, yet they did not look as bad as I had feared. Actually, even with the puffiness and machines, they were the most beautiful little creatures in my eyes. Vili, our son, had a few monitors, cannulas and CPAP (kind of "whiskers" in the nostrils that provide pressure for the lungs to keep them open) to aid with breathing. Timna, our daughter, was doing a bit worse and she had needed a ventilator, the tube going through her nose into her lungs. But they were alive. They were beautiful. And they were being taken care...
It was only in that afternoon that I realized how close to death I had been. However, before that I had already heard that it could have been much worse. After the birth they had found that Timna's umbilical cord was attached to the placental membrane. That is something that could not be diagnosed before birth, as it does not show in a ultrasound... As fas as I understand, the worst case scenario is that the umbilical cord could have ruptured in the womb, meaning death for all of us. In the best, it would have hindered her growth and we would have ended in C-section before it was too late. Another chance yet is that the babies could have been full term and while giving birth the cord would definitely have been torn and Timna would have suffered from a serious lack of oxygen, leading to a serious brain injury.
So, I must humbly admit again, Someone knows better. And that Someone is watching over my little babies and He is able to take much better care of them than I am. I will do my share. My husband does his. The multitude of family and friends are supporting us and praying for the little ones. The hospital staff is working hard and doing all that is possible in the medical terms. But in the end, only God KNOWS and His choises we should trust.