Day Nine

October 10, 2008 at 2:13 am 1 comment

After a quick kiss from Sergei, I was whisked through double doors.  The temperature dropped twenty degrees in seconds.  My teeth began to chatter.  I felt very small and alone.  Nurses and doctors buzzed around the room while Russian words swirled above my head. 

I remember being asked if I would like an interpreter for the birth when we signed our agreement to deliver in this hospital.  Thinking Sergei would be there to help, I said no. 

A thin blue paper robe stripped me of armor and eloquence.  I was rubbed raw, unable to play the part of a person confident in her maker.  My mind was cloudy without a clue of what came next, unable to understand basic Russian words memorized in the first six months of language classes.  I could hardly think of how to extend pleasantries to the staff because of nerves.  Prerecorded prayers I had memorized to date were no where to be found in the usual places in my mind. 

“Help me Lord.  Help us.”      

The smiling doctor was in the operating room with several nurses and the pediatric team and an anesthesiologist.  She greeted me and started to explain about the epidural going into my spine.  Her breath reeked of cigarette smoke and her voice was scratchy. 

The room was the kind of cold you feel in an old woman’s hand or when you sit outside on a cement bench on a winter’s day.

I felt a stinging prick in my lower back, smack dab in the middle.  Immediately warmth spread passed my belly and out to my toes.   

A nurse laid me back on the gurney and placed a mask over my face.  I thought I would be awake for the birth like those television shows you see; the little curtain at the woman’s mid-section, the husband seated on a high stool up by the wife’s head.  The baby’s cries fill the room as the doctor lifts up the child to proclaim “it’s a girl!”

The nurse told me to count backwards from ten and I was confused.  I didn’t know if I should count in English or in Russian.  The hum of the fluorescent lights screamed in my ears.  “Deysyet, deyvyet, vohsehm”, my voice shook, “sehm…”

I floated upwards away from the smiling doctor, a scowl now on his face as he bent over me, away from the anesthesiologist waiting for her next smoke break, away from my friends keeping my husband company in the lobby by swapping birth stories, away from the little one struggling in my womb.  I floated upwards towards a bright yellow light.  Relief flooded my body.  I was asleep.

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Entry filed under: 31 for 21, Back Ache, Culture differences, Former Soviet Union, Friends, Having a baby, Hospital stays, Kiev, Prayer, Russian, Sickness, Ukraine.

Day Eight Day Ten

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Julie  |  October 10, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    oh man, why was it cold in the operating room, of all places??!!!

    Reply

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