The Day I Died

Halstee Manifesto

Halstee Manifesto

Yesterday, I posted about 5 Key Lessons I learned from my Father. The thing is, it was a few short years ago that I had that moment, that I remembered those lessons, and actually began to live them.

I was told that the “surgery” was easy, a simple in and out procedure, I would only be under for 15 minutes. I wasn’t scared, in fact, I was prepared to just get it over with and go home.

I had given birth 3 weeks before hand, but had a massive bleed out, it was standard to get a D&C, no big deal. What no one really understood, was I hadn’t connected with my child. The moment my child came into the world, I felt awkward, like it was all happening to someone else. My brain and body were just not connected, I didn’t feel connected to anything, nothing tasted good, it was strange. It was a kind pediatrician who realized that no one had monitored me after my first bleed, my milk had not come in. He patted my hand, handed me a prescription, and off I went. After 2 pills, my milk came in. I was lucky.

The day of my surgery, I handed my husband enough milk for 2 hours, we drove to the hospital, and as I was being wheeled to the O.R. he kissed me, while holding our son. It was an in and out procedure, I woke up, my husband smiling, and my baby gurgling, happy to have Mummy wake up. it was at that moment, i turned and said “something is wrong, I feel like I am bleeding.” The nurse simply replied “don’t be silly.” 5 minutes later, I complained again, this time she looked, and went white. She made a call. There was a lot of scrambling. I had 2 nurses begin to poke my feet and my hands, they were trying to get more i.v’s into me. I started to feel sleepy, sick and limp. I watched everyone around me whirl. The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist stroke my hair, with a worried look on his face.

I woke up, I dreamt I was with my Father, I don’t remember what we talked about, but when I woke up, I saw my boys, my husband tear-stained, holding onto our son. I cried out, the doctor and nurses were standing over me, trying to give me more pain medication. I had no idea what I looked like, or what was going on, but I was in extreme pain, pain that I would never wish upon anyone. I went in and out of consciousness. The pain was unbearable.

I was eventually wheeled into my own room, with my own nurse. My husband was instructed to leave for a few minutes and to take the baby. The older nurse stroked my hair, and quietly told me she was going to give my a sponge bath. I could barely see, my eyes were almost swollen shut. I had a heart monitor, and catheter, and an I.V on each foot, and hand. My breasts were so full of milk they were leaking. I was a mess.

The nurse quietly took off my gown, I looked down, I had iodine from the top of my chest down, there was blood caked everywhere, as she began to bathe me, I whimpered, then sobbed. I just had so many emotions.

The nurse calmly said “You are so lucky, you have a beautiful son, and husband, hold onto that.” What I couldn’t put into words at that point, was I could feel. It sounds crazy, but I felt unemotional since giving birth, and for some reason, I could feel.

My week in the hospital was painful, but one thing about lying in a hospital room does to you. It makes you think. I realized, I had been living for my work, and my work didn’t even make me happy. I wasn’t really living. That was probably the most disturbing thing to face. It was on that hospital bed that I died. According to my husband, they did revive me, he knew that much, I can’t imagine what it was like for him to be left with a newborn in a hallway, not knowing if I was coming back. For me, I did die, and the moment I came back, I was different.

2 weeks after leaving the hospital, I went for a checkup with my doctor, she asked me “How are you feeling? It is o.k to feel depressed, you have gone through a lot.”

I looked at her and said “I am happy, I have no right to be depressed, I am alive, my child is healthy, I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself.”

My vow, was to not be afraid, to jump into anything and everything that came my way, and to raise my son, I didn’t go back to work at Foreign Affairs, instead, I became an entrepreneur, and have done so without help, I am proud to say, my son has never been to daycare. I wanted to be there for every milestone, and for every sniffle. In a sense, my experience not only snapped me out of depression, but was the biggest blessing. If I had died that day, I would have died with so many regrets.

I can say, 5 years later, I have no regrets. I am living.

Are you living?

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