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Daniel I Russell - Writer of Horror Fiction

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Life and death was in our hands...and we hated it

On Monday 27th July, things started off just like normal. By 9am, I was listening to the Funky Werepig radio show while Sherie was sitting on the sofa, watching children's TV with our 3 year old. The pregnancy had been uncomfortable for a few days and she was taking it easy.

By dinnertime, the discomfort had increased to an ache. By 2pm, a sharp pain.

We went to hospital here in Manjimup and while Sherie was being examined by the midwife, she spoke the words we were dreading hearing.

"She's gone into labour."

We're only 25 weeks gone, so just over 23 then. Sherie's previous two children were prematurely born at 32 weeks and are fine in every way...but 23 weeks was very, very bad news.

Sherie was put on some intravenous drug which gave her the shivers like a heroin addict going cold turkey. It was heart breaking to see her so upset and in such a physical state. In the evening she was flown from Manjimup to the hospital in Perth. I drove the four hours through the dark, desolate country roads to meet her there.

Thankfully, the labour had stopped by the time I reached her. We managed to spend a few hours together before I was promptly booted from the hospital. After driving round Perth for an hour (bloody Sat Nav), at 2am, I found the motel and crashed for the night.

I was awoken at 7am. Sherie was in labour again.

I found her in the birthing suite at the hospital. Contractions were easing and about half an hour apart at this point. We had meetings with the obstrician and pediatrician, and those were conversations I would never wish on anyone. We had...decisions to make. Should Sherie go into labour again and give birth, we had to decide on C sections and the amount of care given to our child, discuss brain damage and breathing problems, and hear about artificial ventilation, bleeding up the tubes and, the one that sickened me the most, skin splitting.

I don't want to spark any moral debate, but we decided that if there was a chance for our baby to survive, we were going to fight for it.

Thankfully, we're now at 25 weeks and baby is still safely inside its mum's tummy. The hospital has kept her in just in case, and it's been hard for all involved. Sherie is couped up in a tiny room 24/7 all on her own, while I'm looking after both children here in Manji (I'm not complaining...but it is draining). We've seen her once since then, and are visiting again tomorrow. We miss her so much and want her home, as long as baby and her are safe.

So not much has gone on with the writing over the last fortnight. It kind of puts things in perspective, I mean, all the hours spent writing novels and shorts when I could have been with Sherie... With her away, makes me regret the time spent away from her when she was here. I know she's going to bollock me for this when she reads it as I should be writing.

"You!" says Sherie. "Write!"

I guess she's here in spirit.

Hopefully next week, when she's back and the baby bump is being rubbed again, I'll be back in my usual immature mood. Might even post another Samhane excerpt following the nice little batch of sales.

Till next week...

Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 8:14 pm :: 7 comments

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