A Thank You Letter to My Anaesthesiologist

“When pregnant I was really looking forward to being able to share my positive birth story with the world through 42 weeks, however, the story of the birth of my son is no where near what I had planned or imagined and unfortunately not positive. There is someone who I would like to thank though (and I never thought this would be a person I would be thanking!) and that is the anaesthesiologist. My induced labour was long, extremely hard, with close together transition type contractions but not progressing. After using all my coping mechanisms I’d spent 9 months learning I opted for the dreaded epidural.

Holding still for it to be placed while having intense contractions was excruciating but the anaesthesiologist did the best to keep me calm while he did his work. He talked me through everything he was doing as he was doing it so that I was as informed as I could be. This was so important to me as it seemed things were flying out of my control at lightning speed. The epi wasn’t fully taking and at the same time the baby was showing distress. He listened when I said I was still in pain, he tried to work fast to sort the epi. When the decision was made for an emergency C-section, he was the one who focused on talking to me on the way to theatre.

We got there and it was a-buzz with people but he got me to focus on him. He did the pin prick test but I could still feel everything above my left knee. The surgeons were ready to go but he shouted at them to stop. He tried everything (and every drug) he knew to try to get me numb. I heard someone mention GA. I knew what it meant, panic went across my face, he saw it and asked for one more try. Finally I was numb enough for them to proceed. My gratitude to him doesn’t end there though. After my son was safely taken from my body and the repair job begun I could feel immense pain. I felt there was a knife jabbed in the left hand side of my abdomen. Again he listened when everyone else’s faces showed that they thought I was overreacting. More drugs ensued until the pain became bearable. I could finally go to recovery and meet my little man properly.

Pre pregnancy I wouldn’t take so much as a paracetamol and at the end of pregnancy when solphadeine was suggested for my SPD I refused. During my section I had every narcotic and opiate they could give me and I’m grateful to the man who administered them. My emergency C section was traumatic but without his diligence and care it could have been a whole lot worse. I don’t know his name, but I’ll never forget his face. It’s the only one I remember from the 20+ people in the room. Thank you Mr. Anaesthesiologist.”

All birth stories, thank you letters and images featured in 42 weeks have been generously shared by members of the public in Ireland. If you would like to take part and share your story, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch through the website http://www.42weeks.ie, through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/42weeks or follow us on Twitter at @42_weeks.

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