I’ve always valued life in and of itself as something that we should never take for granted. However, the past couple of days made me re-evaluate the significance of life on a completely different level.
It started Saturday evening (11.19.11). There was truly, nothing out of the ordinary about it. My love (Eder) and I got dressed to go grab some dinner, and then we had planned on having a movie night since my body had been restless weeks prior. Melody was expected to arrive on 11.24.11. I associated most, if not all my pain to “pre-labor” pains since throughout my entire pregnancy I’ve had nothing but great news. No high blood pressure, no gestational diabetes, and no high protein levels. My pregnancy – other than the typical nausea and other random aches and pains that come with pregnancy—was smooth sailing. I had been feeling massive abdominal pain in my upper quadrant, which would extend to my back. However, every time I’d call or see the doctor nothing was wrong. The pain subsided, and we associated it to “my body preparing for labor”. Well, that exact same pain started after dinner. I couldn’t keep my food down (not even water). The days prior, my appetite was up and down. There were days that I’d eat really well, and other days I couldn’t keep anything but liquids down. I decided to wait it out since it could just be another “false alarm”. The entire night was nothing but tossing, turning, crying, whimpering, and having my boyfriend comfort me ever so helplessly because he had no other method of making me feel better.
At 8:30 am on 11.20.11 I decided to go into Labor and Delivery since I was already 39wks and 3 days pregnant. I felt bad that I didn’t let Eder sleep, so I told him to just stay home, as I figured that they’d send me home to “walk it out” anyway. He fought against it; but knowing that I am a stubborn woman, and given that he was half asleep while fighting this battle, he let me go. As I drove to Torrance Memorial in massive pain, giving birth that day never crossed my mind. Being the crazy woman that I am, I wanted to walk as much as possible, so I opted out of the free valet, and decided to self-park on the third floor and take the stairs down. I checked in at 9:00am and was led to L&D Room 6. I went through the typical protocol—take of your clothing and slip into those overly large hospital gowns, pee in a cup, and lay there until the nurse comes to see you. My nurse, Sandi, took my blood pressure—187/110!
“Do you suffer from high blood pressure?” asked the nurse. “No. Not at all… it’s never been this high before.” So, she took it again. 185/100. She checked for swelling, asked an endless amount of questions, and even pulled up my records that were recently sent in from my doctor since I had pre-registered to give birth. As she was placing the heart and contraction monitors on my abdomen, she whispered under her breath “Something is not right”. When she stepped out, the first thing I thought about was my baby. She needs to be ok! I could care less about any of the pain I was feeling at that moment; all I wanted was for my sweet Melody Rose to be ok. The nurse came back in and ran some STAT labs. 20 minutes later she comes in and tells me that my platelet count is at 76,000mm3 when it should be at least 150,000mm3—I had severe thrombocytopenia (fancy term for low platelet count). As they continued with the labs, she told me to call my partner because I was going to have to deliver the baby that same day. I immediately called Eder, and he came as soon as he could. Again, not wanting to make a big fuss, I sounded calm and told him to wait to call anyone (my family or his) until we knew for sure that this was going down.
I was already dilated 3cm so they figured that I could give birth vaginally without any problems. They broke my water, and gave me pitocin to induce my labor pains. We called our family to let them know that Melody would be arriving today, and if they wanted to join us they could. Naturally, everyone was excited because we had waited for this day to arrive. The pitocin kicked in quickly, and caused hours of excruciating contractions. After hours of pain, they realized the pitocin was causing me to dilate more but decreasing my baby’s heartbeat. Something else needed to be done. They removed the pitocin, which helped the baby. My contractions were agonizing. I remember clenching onto the bed rails, the blankets, ANYTHING and waited as the pain quieted down. I didn’t yell, scream, or cry. All I wanted was to have my baby in my arms as soon as possible. I waited in pain for what the doctor suggested.
Every lab result came back with something different. What worried me was the look and alarmed tone my doctor had. After a couple of hours, a diagnosis was finally reached. I had something called HELLP Syndrome. I’ve never heard of it before. HELLP Syndrome is a life-threatening complication usually considered to be associated or a variant of pre-eclampsia. They usually occur during the later stages of pregnancy. HELLP stands for Hemolytic anemia, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count—All of which I had. The only way to get rid of HELLP is prompt deliver of my baby.
After 6cm dilated, the Dr. said that I would not make it unless I delivered. They were worried that I would have severe hemorrhaging which they would not be able to stop. Their suggestion was to have an emergency c-section. I agreed. I remember crying to my mom, because all I wanted was a normal pregnancy with a normal delivery. I was petrified. However, I knew that I needed to get this done. Eder was of course terrified, but he agreed to go into the O/R with me. As they took me into the O/R to prepare me for local anesthesia, the doctor suggested that I have a platelet transfusion just to be on the safe side. Everyone was great at trying to keep me calm. I heard Coldplay playing in the background (I guess they turned music on to relax me). As they injected the local anesthesia in my body, they noticed that only the left side of my body was responding to the medication. My right side was not numb at all. “Can you feel this?” the anesthesiologist asked me as he pinched my right side of my abdomen. “YES!” That was not a good sign. They then told me that I may have to go under general anesthesia, but they were going to try a bit longer to see if I would get numb locally. As they attempted to continue with local anesthesia, a nurse came in with my latest lab results, 35,000mm3 platelet count. Also, the baby’s heartbeat was severely decreasing, and my blood pressure shot up to 191/110. They couldn’t wait anymore. My doctor told me that I needed to go under general anesthesia and deliver immediately. As tears rolled down my face, I asked if I could see my boyfriend and my mom one more time. They couldn’t grant my wish because I had no time to waste. The last thing I remember thinking was “I won’t get to see my baby come into this world.” The thought saddened me, and as tears rolled down my face, I remember seeing the mask placed over my face, and started praying. As I started feeling warmth take over my body, I drifted off into sleep as I heard Coldplay singing in the background “lights will guide you home…”
I woke up in the ICU recovery room and I remember the nurse saying, “Marysol, you had a beautiful baby girl. She’s healthy.” I smiled and drifted back into sleep. The next time I opened my eyes, I saw my love next to me, and he told me that Melody Rose was here and was beautiful. Because the anesthesia was still in my system, I drifted in and out of sleep; I really didn’t know what was going on or where I was. All I really remember is not being able to see my baby until 1:30 in the morning. She was in the nursery, and usually they don’t allow babies in the ICU, but knowing everything I had undergone, they made a special exception. They brought my baby to me and I got to hold her in my arms for the first time. She looked just like her daddy with beautiful dark almond eyes. She was tiny because she also went through a rough day trying to come out to meet us. She weighed 4lbs 6.5oz, and measured 17.5”. She was absolute perfection.
I only had 5 minutes with her, and they took her back to the nursery. It was hard to let her go, but I was still in a daze. I was thankful that she came out fine. The days proceeding her delivery was where I got the most clarity as to what happened when one of my nurses told me that I was very lucky to be here. She explained everything that happened to me in the O/R. Apparently, when they took Melody out, they could not stop the bleeding from my incision. I lost a lot of blood during the surgery, and got a blood transfusion. My blood pressure decreased dramatically, and they did everything they could to stabilize me. That was the reason I was in ICU.
It was frustrating to not be able to walk, move, or do anything for myself. I am a very independent person, and feeling helpless was horrible. I am thankful that I had my amazing boyfriend by my side the entire time. Not once did he leave me.
After 5 days in the hospital, I came out with a new perspective on life. You never know why things happen the way they do. From the moment I met Eder, to the day we found out we were pregnant, to giving birth to my sweet baby, things always fell right into place as they were supposed to. It may have not been an easy ride, nor has it been perfect, but I am exactly where I want to be. I am forever thankful for my life, my beautiful daughter, wonderful boyfriend, and loving family and friends that were there through the whole process. It was amazing to see how much love and support we had from everyone and how much love Melody has gotten in the short time she has been with us.
I may have missed my baby’s first cry, feeding, diaper change, and seeing her come into this world. I may have undergone excruciating pain and am still trying to recuperate, but like the Coldplay song that played in the O/R on that hectic Sunday evening, the lights that guided me home were my beautiful baby and my sweet love.
I wish my damn camera wouldn’t make so much noise. I wanted to sneak pics too!
Love how this came out!
sneaked a photo of the edward scissorhands costume at #lacma’s tim burton exhibit 😍 #timburton #edwardscissorhands ✂👐 #costume #exhibit #museum #photography (Taken with instagram)
One of Melody’s first concerts!! FTW!! My kid is going to be fuckin’ BROOOOTTTAAALLL!!!!
the black dahlia murder at the house of blues. fuck. yes. #metal #tbdm #blackdahlia #music #concert #houseofblues #Hollywood (Taken with instagram)
Not just SOME parts of it!!! ;) <3
hahah it’s true
Omg! I want this!!
This is SO cool! Damn, I miss coffee!! Lol
Friedrich Nietzsche (via vhikarious)