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Turning Tides: At Hope’s Door

As told to Leah Gebber

Until my baby was declared brain dead, I never knew what it meant to hope in the darkness. Never give up hope. It’s a rule my husband talks about, thinks about, lives by. And now was my turn to take his lesson and make it my own.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

hospital graphOn the morning of August 30, 2011, I watched my breakfast cereal cascade into the bowl and wondered how long it would take for the sugar to wake up the baby. It usually happened almost instantly — within minutes I would feel the reassuring kicks that told me my pregnancy was progressing as it should. That morning, I felt nothing. It wasn’t a big deal, I reassured myself. Everyone says that the baby doesn’t move too much in the last few weeks. That evening, when I still had little response, I headed to the hospital. Only a precaution.

I lay on the hospital bed and listened to the amplified sound of the baby’s heartbeat, and it was like my heartbeat — suspended in dread — could continue. The obstetrician started a stress test, to determine if the baby was struggling. He was.

After three-plus hours of watching, testing, and consulting, the doctors decided to perform and emergency cesarean. It was 1:23 a.m., and I was in an anesthetized daze when I heard that we had a baby boy. A boy, I thought groggily. So everything was okay after all.

I woke up two hours later, feeling fire and flat absence in my belly. “Where’s the baby?” I asked.

“There were a few problems,” came the reply. “He’s been transferred to a different hospital.” So that’s where Yossi, my husband, was. He had obviously accompanied the baby.

Despite my weakness, I hauled myself up on my bed. “What problems?” I demanded.

“We think he’s anemic. So we gave him a blood transfusion.”

Anemic? How did babies become anemic? And if he had already received the blood, why did they transfer him?



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