“Do you have medical records of Kevin?” My friend Alley asked, “It will help you if you want to you know the diagnosis and procedures done at the time.”
“I do not,” I replied. Honestly, for a long time, I did not want to deal with the facts when I was already in the worst shape possible. At the same time, I wanted to know what happened that day beyond my hazy memory could serve me.
Today, I finally had the courage and said, “Yes, let us do this.”
Alley and I walked into the medical record office and came out with stacks of documents in an envelope.
“Do you need help reading them?” Alley asked nicely.
Usually, I do not want to trouble her. It was her day off; working at the hospital must be a lot for anyone. But, I did not want to be alone with my documents. “That would be nice. You can explain some the medical terms to me,” I replied.
We picked a quiet place, an outside garden in the hospital. The bushes were neatly trimmed; flowers were blossoming with sweet fragrances permeated the entire garden. Only a couple was at a corner: the woman was smiling talking to the man in a wheel chair, who I could only see his back. We chose a seat in front of a fountain. The sound of water trickling down was quite soothing. As Alley slowly opened envelope, I took a deep breath.
“Are you OK to hear this?” Alley was concerned.
“Well, the worst has already happened.” I straighten up my lower back and said, “I am OK. Thanks for doing this.”
She pulled 27 pages of documents. 27 pages? My baby only lived for 15 hours.
“6/26/2013… The baby came out hypotonic, pale with gasping respirations…” Alley’s voice was soft and calm.
“Do you know you had HELLP Syndrome?” Alley pointed the notes from the neonatologist, “Dear, you were in such a poor state.”
What? HELLP syndrome? That explains what the delivery doctor said, “You could have died.”
Why didn’t I? I thought to myself.
Alley continued reading. I was listening but at the same time not listening. Words did not mean much to me any more. I was already captured by the devil.
At the corner, the women raised up, walking towards us. The man in the wheel chair followed. As they were passing, I finally saw him, holding a baby. Is he alive? I wanted to know. I strained every ounce of my energy focusing on this tiny being: a delicate face, sleepy eyes, and pink complexion.
Alley’s voice was still echoing in the background, “…Anemia, abruption placenta… extreme immaturity, sepsis, IVH…”
In front of me, a baby opened his mouth and yawned. He is alive!