Meet Donna: They Told Her She Got What She Asked For
April 17 2020
April 17 2020
My spirit makes me strong. My faith kept me alive. Why am I a beautiful disaster??
I was expecting my second baby. A girl. I always wanted a little girl. My first child was a c-section so this one was going to be too. Everything was scheduled, everything was planned, I just had one request- I asked to see my baby when she was born. I didn’t get to with my first so I wanted to with my second. My doctor didn’t see a problem with my request and seemed very happy with it.
My day came. I nervously talked to the nurse as we got me ready about my family and my request to meet my little girl when she is born and a million other things before the anesthesiologist came in to perform my spinal. He was cocky and rude. Very full of his ability. The second he stuck the needle in my back he hit a nerve that went down my leg and out my foot! My leg jumped! He blew it off. I laid down on the bed and tried to relax. I noticed as time went on I wasn’t feeling any numbness. I told the anesthesiologist this and he was offended! He asked if I thought I could get up and walk? I told him “get up yes, walk, not sure?” My dr. came in and he told her my concerns. She asked my as well then said we’d wait a few minutes. Every 15 minutes or so she would do a pinch test on my belly. The 3rd she said she was going to try again. I knew it was coming and didn’t flinch..... she started to cut.
I told her I could feel it. She asked if it hurt and I said it felt like she ran her finger across my belly. She kept going. I felt her cut deeper into my stomach. It felt like she was using a butter knife to saw her way through my stomach muscles! I screamed in pain!! Trying desperately to fight the urge to try and get away all I could do was scream and cry while I felt her cut and tear and pull my body open!! Finally the anesthesiologist asked if he should put me out? Everyone stopped. The nurse replied, “but she wants to see her baby.” My dr began again. I tried to speak. I tried to look for my husband but couldn’t see him. I just didn’t understand why he wasn’t saying anything. What was happening??? Finally my daughter was in front of me. My dr was holding her, repeatedly asking “do you see her?, “do you see her?”. Then she was gone. Then they put me to sleep.
I woke up in recovery not feeling a thing. My dr was there. She was down close to my ear telling me I was ok, my baby was ok and how sorry she was. Everything was going to be ok.
In my regular room I was told every nurse on the floor knew what had happened. No one asked me, and I had nurses with me in seconds no matter what time of day. I was told a letter was written by the nursing staff of what happened and given to the administrator but I didn’t see it. The administrator later confirmed it.
A few weeks after getting home a visiting nurse came to check on me. She couldn’t contain her feelings when I pulled up my shirt to reveal the black and blueness of my stomach from hip to hip and from my belly button down.
I called my drs office because I wanted to see her and talk about what happened. I was having trouble sleeping and dealing with all of it. The receptionist wouldn’t let me make an appointment but did tell her I called. A few hours later my dr called me back. When I told her I remember everything she told me that wasn’t possible. The medicine they give to put me to sleep is supposed to make sure you don’t. I started telling her every cut, every pull and everything that was said during the delivery of my baby girl. I could hear my dr crying on the phone. She apologized and just kept telling me I wasn’t supposed to remember...
I spent the next 4 years on ambien, Vicodin and Zoloft. I grew bitter towards my husband. He never wanted to talk about it. Could never understand why I was having such a hard time with it. I got multiple letters and phone calls from hospital administrators, all telling me ‘I got what I asked for ‘.
A friend of mine moved back from out of state and we had been spending a couple of days together. She was the first one I opened up to about all of this. Not even my best friend knew. I guess because she was a nurse I thought she would understand or something. She listened to my story and didn’t say anything. I was stunned by her lack of response honestly. The next day we met up again and she brought up my story. She said she wanted to ask me something and if it didn’t mean anything or make any sense don’t worry about it. Then she asked if I thought it was possible for someone or could I have sat up in the middle of my surgery?? I told her, “you know, I keep having this memory, flashback, whatever, where I did sit up and I remember feeling the arm boards hanging off my arms where I pulled them free of the bed and reaching around to protect my stomach. But I stopped because I couldn’t see and was afraid I’d hurt my baby so I laid back down.” My friend gasped and said, “oh my god it was you!!!!!! “ Her friend was the nurse in the OR that day and had sent her an email telling her she wouldn’t believe what had happened and told her my story. My friend had no idea who the patient was until I told her my story. She helped me realize I wasn’t going crazy. I didn’t ask for any of this!! I needed to stop taking all the medicine and wake up!!
13 years later I’m remarried and my little girl is beautiful and 5’9”!! Turns out I was suffering from ptsd. I blamed my husband for not stepping up and protecting me that day or fighting for me the weeks to follow. I guess the trauma of it all got to him that day too because after we were divorced I found out he thought they put me out when the anesthesiologist asked....
I never told anyone because my husband wouldn’t talk about it, the hospital told me I got what I asked for, but my out of town friend brought me back to life.
I am strong and I am beautiful. I had to save myself because no one would listen. My life was a disaster for many years but I refused to let it own or define me! I harnessed my disaster and let it fuel me everyday!