By: Heather Somaini
March 8th, 2:30pm
Dr. C asked me to sit down so she could talk to me and Tere. I had just seen the anesthesiologist injecting a series of what appeared to be escalating levels of drugs into Tere’s IV, her arm, and finally straight into her uterus. I knew what we were about to hear was not good.
Dr. C explained that Tere’s uterus was not contracting like it should after birth, which is necessary to stop bleeding. It’s generally called postpartum hemorrhaging. She explained that they had given Tere a number of drugs to help while Dr. K was massaging the uterus in hopes that it would start to contract. She said they had a little bit more time with this and hoped it would work, but if not, they may need to take more drastic measures. I looked at Dr. K, my doctor of over 15 years. He looked right at me and with the smallest, almost imperceptible movement of his head left to right, he let me know this was not going to do the job.
I swallowed hard and looked at Tere. She had gone through so much and now this? To lose the one thing that defines most women –the ability to have children – would be incredibly difficult for anyone. What could I even say that would be comforting? I resorted to humor and said “no more periods for you Tere – woo hoo!!” She laughed and said “I told you this was a one-bake oven.” As usual, Tere took it in stride and brushed it off as just one more thing that needed to happen.
The nurses handed both babies to me and I sat down so Tere could see them. They were gorgeous and perfect and everything we could possibly hope for. I started to count their fingers and toes at one point and then decided that was ridiculous since the doctors would have known from the ultrasounds if they were missing any. Funny the things we do because that’s what everyone did when we were born.
The nurses took that picture I had kept for so long in my head of me holding both babies. I just kept staring at them and trying to angle them for Tere to see. It was about that time that Dr. C called off their efforts and we agreed to an emergency hysterectomy . They started the surgery immediately.
I had my face close to the babies when I noticed that Free’s breathing was unusual, different than Izzy’s. I asked one of the pediatric nurses if that was normal and she put her ear down to listen.
After just a moment, she looked back up and quickly said “You’re coming with me. Let’s go!”
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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