Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Hospital Lost Our Newborn Rainbow

I could not believe how busy the hospital maternity ward was that August 27th morning.  One baby was being born right after the other!  There was literally no where to put me!  I wasn't due for another two or three weeks, but my baby chose today.  Actually my OB was going to Boston for a vacation and chose this date to induce me.  I don't like inductions.  It just reminds me of my first son which was stillborn.  What a mess I walked into that day!  James wasn't with me yet because he was trying to get himself together enough to come since his stomach bug hit him the night before.

My vitals were taken on a gurney in the hallway!  My baby was not checked at this time.  I was directed to the "waste room" to put on a hospital gown.  The nurse apologized over and over, but it was that place or in the hall.  It was so gross to me.  The room was filled with other mother's "after births."  I saw umbilical cords.  I can't begin to tell you how I felt!  I put the gown on, just covered up before an orderly opened the door the deliver more to the disgusting room.  There were no tags to tell what belong to to whom.  The smell made me gag.  I left very quickly  with my belongings.  A nurse directed me to the lounge area around the elevator to have a seat, still holding my things and in a very scant hospital gown.  I sat to wait.  Soon she brought me a pill to take to induce my labor.  Ha to them!  I was sneaky.  I never swallowed that pill!  They were too busy to notice.  I was not going to "shove my baby out of me" to fit someone else's schedule!  I was 30 years old by now and had more wits about me!  Also, I had not told anyone that I had felt small contractions earlier in the morning before going to the hospital.  I wanted my baby to progress at his/her own rate. 

Just as I was figuring out where to put that pill as I spat it out, James came out of the elevator doors and was such a welcome sight!  Along with him, the Assistant Hospital Director came with him.  He was our neighbor and long time friend.  He saw this mess first hand!  A laboring woman in front of everyone including strangers.  It was chaos!  My best friend in Lamaze classes and neighbor had just had her son born the day before by C-Section.  She and her husband came to watch me labor.  Side show everyone!  Actually, since these were close friends, I didn't mind the company.  The nurses kept assuring me a labor room would be available  shortly.   Then the pains began!  Give me privacy and check out my baby please!  I was moved to a regular room to labor at last!  Everything began to flow normally.  My doctor finally had time for me.  Baby was fine.  This was going to be a no drug, completely natural childbirth with me in control with the techniques I had learned.  I had a bed for once and not a metal table!  Progress!!!  Poor James had some tight hand squeezes, which at times he thought I had actually taken his hand off!  He was feeling the pain!  I kept my focus point.  I realized from my two previous births, that when the pains get there worse, you are going through transition, which shouldn't last long.  Just when I felt that I couldn't make it, I was dilated and ready for the pushing.  Now I was moved to the delivery room.  James went with me this time.  I was still in a bed, not the small metal table, as those of you who have followed my previous deliveries proved very uncomfortable for me.  I was glad to push.  It wasn't painful, as nature numbs the area on its own.  James says differently, as I was still squeezing what was left of his hand!  Our baby was crowning! For once we were experiencing a normal labor and delivery!!!  No, this is when the problems began in earnest.  As our baby's head came out the cord was around his neck twice and had begun to tighten.  The doctor swiftly removed the cord and our son came out.  He cried!!!  Our baby cried!!!! If you have lost a baby in pregnancy, YOU know how much that cry means! The doctor transferred our son over to be checked out.  His apgar score was very low.
I  did not realize that I was having problems also.  I was looking down on the room from up in the ceiling corner of the room.  I kept straining my ears to hear what was being said about my son, my second rainbow baby.  Several nurses and a doctor surrounded my baby.  I saw my doctor and nurses surrounding me and working profusely.  That didn't concern me.  What was going on with my baby son?  I tried to get to him so hard.  I tried to be with him.  My ears and head were being pulled away from my body stretching down to his bassinet.  Don't talk about my baby without letting me in on what you are saying!!!  I saw his bassinet being removed from the room.  I stretched as far as I could to follow.  The next thing I knew I wasn't up in the top of the ceiling corner, but back on my bed.  I was hemorrhaging.  Blood was everywhere.  Everything was being done to stop it.  I did manage to find out that my son was in intensive care and on oxygen.  He would be alright, but needed some extra care.  My bleeding had calmed down, but guarded.

I was finally put in my regular room again.  It was night.  Our son, Taylor, had been born about 3:59 PM.  What a day!  But the night would not be outdone by the day...
I was in and out of it.  I remember finally being able to get some real rest after being checked for bleeding every 20 minutes since delivery.  It was during the night that I was suddenly awakened by a flood of icy water all over me.  I jumped with a start that took my breath away!  Ice was everywhere in my bed and my bed was wet!  A nurse, who was new I later found out, was changing my sheets since they were blood soaked.  I kept bleeding through out the night heavily, which I wasn't aware of.  The nurse or nurse's aide, got my IV tubes caught around the pitcher of iced water by my bedside table while trying to change my sheets, and it threw that pitcher across my bed releasing the ice and water all over me!!!  I was freezing cold, trying the wipe the ice off of me.  Small screams were coming from my mouth.  The poor little nurse was trying her best to warm me and get my wet gown off, but it became tangled in my IV tubes pulling them partly out of my hand.  Other nurses came running and it was one cold mess.  No rest for the weary new mother.  It took many warming blankets to get me back to normal, whatever that was at this point.

The next morning, Taylor was taken off of oxygen and brought to me to nurse.  Finally, normal and peaceful!  Taylor was a good nurser from the get go and I was happy at last.  My bleeding was much better once I was nursing.  I was relieved that no transfusion was needed.  Once I had Taylor in the bed with me, I kept him there....not in the bassinet, but cuddled close to me!  He was so good and content.  He was very long and had a head full of black hair, where my other babies had been born with brown hair.  Taylor weighed the least at 7lbs. 14 oz, but was the longest at 21 inches.  He appeared to be fine to me.  I was assured he was.  His apar score jumped up to high as soon as that oxygen was administered.  My doctor saved his life getting both wraps of the cord off of his neck so quickly.  Why do I have so many cord problems?  I wondered if it was measured.

My parents came to the hospital to visit the second day.  Taylor had been taken back to the nursery for the PK check among other necessary things.  They saw him a few minutes from the nursery window.  It wasn't long after they left, that he was brought to me to nurse.  In strolled the Fitts bassinet by a nurse.  It seemed that I always had a different nurse!  She took Taylor out to give him to me and I looked at her in horror!  This was not my baby!  This baby in my Fitts' Baby bassinet had blonde curly hair!  Lots of curly hair and chubby!  My son was not chubby!  Also, this was not a breast fed baby!  Also, this baby had been delivered by C-section!  In those days days mother were put completely asleep for these sections, so she didn't see her baby right after birth!  Was she bottle feeding MY baby????  I was irrate!  I was screaming and crying for my baby!  The nurses were scrambling to find my baby, my Taylor!  I called James immediately to get to the hospital.  Our son was missing!  GET MY BABY TO ME NOW!  I WAS CAUSING A BIG FUSS AND WITH REASON!  HAD I NOT BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH??? 

Taylor was found in another bassinet in the room of a mother from another town.  That is all I found out.  I was beside myself.  I had to get out of this place. I put everyone on noticed that Taylor would not be leaving my room again for any reason.  The head of the hospital was our neighbor also.  We let him know everything that had gone on.  Tomorrow I could go home.  I took care of everything for Taylor until then.  The nurses knew to keep an hands off approach to me by now.  Just let me get home with my new baby!  Tomorrow would be our 10th wedding anniversary, and we had a second rainbow baby to celebrate the day!  I couldn't wait to show Collins his baby brother!  Tomorrow would be different from May 1975.  Instead of leaving this hosptital with empty arms, I would be leaving it with my baby Taylor in my arms this August of 1980.  Bittersweet......

            August 30, 1980, we bring our 2nd Rainbow Baby home on our 10th wedding anniversary!

                                      Mommy and her precious rainbow, Taylor Scott Fitts!  

Mother sharing her new Rainbow with her first Rainbow!
My sweet baby boy!
                                James rocks his third son, second Rainbow, his baby Taylor.


  1. Wow. Just wow. I'm so very proud of you.

  2. Wow! Gale, I'm sitting with tears in my eyes, I'm so happy for you!! I know this is coming nearly 33 years later, but CONGRATS!!! You so very much deserve both of your beautiful boys, after what you've been through!! Much love to you!!