To avert a hemorrhage. January 20, 1999.
Snaking my hand up the cord
like a life rope
the slippery cord until I
reach the placenta, globular and adherent in the fundus
following the membranes around and around.
Trying to get a grip
While the blood pools around my wrist
saturating the sleeve of my gown.
Page overhead. Call any ob in house.
Open her fluids.
Type and cross match 4 units, stat.
The placenta will not release its
grasp of the fundus,
villi twisted and snarled,
invasion of the myometrium.
The fire drill continues in my head.
Management of an acreta.
Mobilize your staff.
That is how it is with us now.
I am trying to avert a hemorrhage.
Following a slippery, thin cord up a dark passageway,
Seeking to identify and remove
The source of this godawful bleeding.
I have chest pain now
and after it is over.
There is blood around my ankles.
How many liters?
I cannot recall.
The patient lives
a transfusion, extra iron, plenty of rest, a good diet.
It is not so easy with us.
I can see that we are bleeding
to be sure.
But I cannot identify the source
of the hemorrhage
so I cannot remove it.
Staunch the flow of our marriage blood
that slow ooze,
that ever present trickle.
Great rivulets running down my leg
pooling now around my ankles.
I drown in the blood of our marriage
before I can even give it a name.