“I’m so tired Oscar, I need to sleep so please can you go away, Clara has just had a feed, what more do you want from me?”
“You have every right to have a good kip. You’ve just given birth to our daughter. Here, I’ll try to make you a bit more comfortable that way you might feel better. I’ll just place this pillow under your head. Hmm, you’re a bit warm,I’ll just pull your sheet back a bit. Shit!”
Ava mumbled. Oscar gasped, glancing at the large pool of blood which had soaked through her hospital gowns and now seeped from under her. Ava glanced back.
“Oh my God! I’m bleeding really heavily!”
Hanna noticed the terrified expression on his face on looking up from her documentation and rushed to Ava’s side.
“Is this normal?” She gasped.
“Ava, Hanna is here now.”
“Ava, I’m going to get one of our doctors.”
“I’m so cold.” She mumbled. “So, so cold.”
“Ava can you hear me?”
“Yes.” She whispered as Oscar gently stroked her hair, checking Clara who lay peacefully in her cot. Hanna forced a smile.
“Ava, you’re in safe hands, we’re going to try to stop the bleeding but we may have to take you to theatre.This is one of our Obstetricians Mrs Bali, she’s just going to assess you. Oscar and I will step outside.”
“Oscar, I-I think it’s my time, I think I’m going to die!”
“Shh, Ava please don’t talk like that! Like Hanna said, they’re trying to stop the bleeding as we speak. Mrs Bali is an expert in her area.”
“Oh. I didn’t even notice all the people.”
“I need to go outside the room now, I love you so much Ava, never ever forget that.” Oscar planted a kiss on Ava’s lips, closing the door firmly behind him.
Oscar paced up and down the corridor with Clara in his arms, gently rubbing her back. Hanna, waited anxiously as she stood at a computer, quickly updating Ava’s hospital notes. Mrs Bali stepped outside, a grave look upon her face.
“Ava has experienced a major Post Partum Haemorrhage, she’s lost a lot of blood. I’m sending her to theatre. That way they can give her a full examination and possibly insert a drain for any internal bleeding.”
“Oh Lord! How common is it? It can be very serious can’t it?”
“It happens to about 5-10% of women.Once a woman’s baby has been delivered, her uterus will usually contract again to help expel the placenta and to reduce the bleeding through the big blood vessels which were supplying it. The most common cause of a primary PPH is the uterus failing to contract, as expected, after birth. “
Oscar bit his bottom lip and nodded, returning to Ava’s bedside, where she lay in fresh bedsheets.
“Why are you crying Oscar?”
“Has Mrs Bali spoken to you?”
“Well she wasn’t going to tell you first, I know it’s a PPH.” She mumbled.“I’m not worried any more, but Oscar, crying doesn’t make things better.”
“I care, I really do.”
“I love you Ava, I always have.”
“I can’t think why. I don’t suppose I that was ever kind to you or treated you fairly, but you made me so miserable by the end. We were so wrong for each other Oscar, so so wrong.”
“Perhaps we were. I love you because you made me very happy in the earlier days, you gave me the courage to build up the relationship with my Mum.”
“Hmm, maybe I was jealous. I wouldn’t have been a good Mother, I don’t remember mine enough. I think she was kind. Clara has you now, she doesn’t need me. I think it’s my time Oscar, I feel ready, I think you’re going to be okay I can feel it.”
“Ava, please don’t talk like that!”
“I’ve lost too much blood.” She whispered. “Can’t you see? I wont make it. I’ll die on the operating table.”
“Shhh, you’ll survive this, please for Clara’s sake! She’ll be lost without a Mother’s guidance!”
“Oscar, I don’t want to make it. Don’t worry about being a single Dad, Clara loves you so much already.I always think there was a reason why I didn’t want to talk to the baby when I was pregnant. It makes parting easier that way, so, so much easier. You can be a Dad and Mum to her.”
“Ava no, please!”
“Just stay with me until I go in, you’re all I have left.”
“What about your Aunt Olive?”
“She’s not my blood Aunt you know, just one of my Mum’s good friends.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that?”
“You didn’t ask. You never, ever did. Plus, you’ve always had problems of your own. Why is it so cold?” Oscar took Ava’s pale, icy hand in his, rubbing it gently.
“Your ridiculous temperature is coming in handy.”
“I’m very glad. Here’s another blanket.”
“Where’s the baby?”
“Still sleeping, would you like to hold her quickly?”
“I don’t know.”
“They’re taking you to theatre in 5 minutes.”
“I suppose I better had. Can you put Clara in my arms?”
“You said Clara.” Oscar smiled weakly.
“Of course I did, that’s her name isn’t it? Could you go outside the room for 5 minutes so that I can have a word with Hanna?”
“Sure.” Oscar, with a heavy heart, placed Clara in her arms. She gurgled gently. Oscar kissed Ava’s forehead, closing the door behind him.
“Hanna, Oscar’s very unwell, but I think he’ll want to come to theatre with me. Jesus, who’d have thought that …no I won’t say that. I have to admit that I can’t take to Clara, it’s just too painful. Poor little thing, I suppose you have to feel sorry for her. I know that Oscar will look after her well, if he isn’t too ill. If he is then his Mum might care for her, I don’t know. Can you just make sure that he gets the support that he deserves? He can come back in now.”
“Let’s just get you cleaned up a bit first and change you into a hospital gown. Rebecca, one of our lovely health care assistants is going to help me.”
“Oh I didn’t even hear her come in. Thanks.”
“We wont be long.”
Hanna opened the door, leading a pale Oscar back in. “She’s ready to go now Oscar..”
To be continued…