"Some people only dream of angels; we held one in our arms."

Below you will find Austin's story in multiple parts in order to tell the full story of my pregnancy, his birth, funeral and the months following.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Austin's Story: Part Three: The New Hospital

When I arrived at the new hospital, I was transferred to my room. For the first time, I would have a roommate, and I would share a room. Ugh, I was not looking forward to this, but tried to remember that this was only temporary, and I could get through a roommate. When I was situated, I remember eating lunch and re-telling my history of what was going on. I was getting sick of repeating this story. Then I met my roommate… one of her first questions was “Are you a light sleeper?” Oh boy, this was going to be a long couple of weeks was what I thought. She said that she snored pretty loudly, but that there were headphones if I needed them. Great, I already wasn’t sleeping well, now I would have to listen to this. She informed me that she was 32 weeks and had gestational diabetes. Wow, she was a good 9 weeks ahead of me, and if the baby was delivered, she would have a very good chance of being okay. I tried to think that I shouldn’t worry about other’s situations, but I had a hard time knowing that she was already far enough along, and that her baby was viable. I remember thinking it was odd that I was placed with her, and on the side without the bathroom. Here I was hanging on and in so much pain, and she was up walking around and only worried about her diet. I remember hearing her story five times, as she was on the phone literally the whole afternoon.

I was trying not to worry about the situation, and just went online and browsed the internet. After an hour, they told me they were going to take the catheter out of me, and that I would have to get up to use the bathroom. I hadn’t been out of bed for a week, and I was going to immediately have to get up and walk across the room. My first time out of bed was awful; I could barely feel my legs and had a difficult time walking. I had to rely on Aaron and the nurse to get me across the room. I was very weak, but most of it was due to the fact that I hadn’t walked in a week. My legs were being stimulated by the leg compression, so as to avoid blood clots. (I tried not to even think about that.) I seriously felt like an old woman, and truly appreciated how hard some people have it. I clung to the fact that this was temporary and that I was going to be okay, and in the end, I would have a little miracle to explain it. The first time in the bathroom was an extremely odd situation. I had gone from people changing me and taking care of that part for me (which was a relief in some sense) to being completely on my own. I was trying to drink so much water that I ended up having to get up almost hourly; it got easier as I got up, but I was still extremely weak.

About three hours after I arrived in the hospital, I was given a detailed sonogram. I saw the baby moving on the flat screen in the room; wow! The Chief of OB came in and said that my bleed was impressive. It had grown all along (I think it was 14 cm, at this point). I thought to myself, that is what we say about problem students, you are not fooling me. He said they would continue to monitor me, and I was in good care. I was very nervous, but trusted in the doctors to pull me through. As I had grown accustomed to doing, I didn’t ask any questions; I think for fear of knowing the answers. While I wanted to know the truth, I didn’t want to know; I wanted to remain hopeful. Thus, began the longest 36 hours of my life.

That night, I ate dinner… gross, the food was nasty. My sister, Melanie, came and brought me all these treats. She was so sweet and made sure I had a lot of food that would give me strength. She took such good care of me throughout this whole ordeal. She made me laugh, and helped me to the bathroom. Of course, we had to try not to laugh when my roommate was noisy and was snoring a little bit. We were like little kids trying not to laugh too hard. It provided some momentary relief as Aaron and I talked to her and just relaxed a little bit. Unfortunately, it was around 10:00, and both her and Aaron had to leave. I was devastated that I was going to be in the hospital by myself that night. This would be the first time I had stayed in the hospital alone, and since everything was changing so quickly, I feared that something would happen, and Aaron wouldn’t be there. I tried to be strong, but cried that night (one of the only times I did). I knew that the nurses would take care of me, but I was lonely and so scared. I tried to pray as much as I could. I took comfort with my prayer books and the rosary, and I kept the rosary close to me. It really did provide such comfort. Little did I know how bad the night would be. I texted Aaron several times to make sure he was okay and hope safely. At least, he would get a good night sleep, I thought.

I tried to go to sleep, but it just wasn’t happening. My roommate was so incredibly loud; making noises with food bags and with her television on. I got my ipod and tried to sleep. I took an Ambien; nothing was working. Then the snoring began, and it was awful. I have never heard a noise like this before. I began getting really anxious and knew that I was bleeding even more. I tried not to think about it; I rolled over and tried to switch positions. I texted Melanie and Aaron to just vent to someone. I finally called a nurse in, and told them that I couldn’t take it any more. I told them I was bleeding even more, and they tried to tell me to relax. I couldn’t relax, and my contractions were starting again. They felt bad, but said that all of the beds were full. One of the only rooms they had was with another snorer. At this point, it was 1:00. They said they would see what they could do, and I prayed that I would be transferred. They would come by and check on me, and I told them that the contractions weren’t going away. They finally turned the lights on, and put the contraction machine on me, and gave me some pain medicine. They then had to put yet another IV in me. There were about three nurses in the room, yet my roommate continued to sleep throughout all of this. By this point, it was close to 3:30, and I still had not closed my eyes. I tried to relax and they finally told me they were cleaning a room to transfer me. I just needed to get out of that room. By around 4:30, they finally came in and took me to my new room. I was relieved, but still in a lot of pain because I was having contractions. They weren’t terrible, but they were 2 minutes apart. I remember just watching the clock from 4:30-6:00, and just wishing for them to go away. I texted Aaron at 5:30 and told him he needed to come to the hospital. He said he would leave soon; so much for any sleep for him too.

At around 6:00, I texted Aaron again and told him I really needed him. He replied and said that his car had broken down on 66. Wow, just our luck…. L I told him to call my dad and that he would come and get him. In the meantime, I was anxious that the contractions would stop, but they were steady. I saw the resident at that point, and he felt terrible about my condition. He said they were going to take me for another sonogram, and that he would be back to check on me. I just hoped Aaron would get there before I had to go for a sonogram. I was exhausted at this point, and resigned myself to no sleep that night. Thankfully, Aaron got there within a half hour and he held my hand, as we waited for the sonogram. Yet again, I was taken in a wheelchair to the sonogram room. As I laid on the table, I was paralyzed with fear; I was really scared at this point. I was also so tired I just wanted to go to sleep. As she looked at the screen, I tried to see if there was any difference from the previous day, but I couldn’t tell. After about five minutes, she told me that she needed to go get the doctor, but she didn’t say if anything was wrong. I was scared and just didn’t feel like waiting on the table anymore. I was so sick of waiting: whether it was waiting in waiting rooms, waiting back in the doctor’s office, waiting on sonogram tables; waiting for results; waiting for answers. Remember, I am impatient, so all of this waiting was so difficult; yet, I had to remain calm. After all, what would panicking do for me?

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