This is not what I expected to happen at my baby shower.
My mother-in-law is in hospital hooked up to ECG machines. She seems well and is in good spirits, mainly concerned with how she “ruined” my baby shower. Of course we are all in way more shock than she is.
The day started great. Dog and I had a nice lie in, listening to the rain on our roof. (Our bedroom is in the loft with windows over the bed.) It was strangely soothing.
Got up, managed to take Dog out in between the torrential rain showers, and then came back and had a nice bath before heading to our local pub for the baby shower / Christmas dinner.
It was so nice! Lots of my friends were there. Everything was set up absolutely gorgeously and I was so happy. We had our starters and then our mains (I had turkey dinner and it was amazing) and Dog was having the time of his life as my friends were falling for his sad “I’ve not been fed, honest” face. (Never fall for it. I always do.)
Suddenly I heard T’s sister shouting, “Mum! Mum!”
My mother-in-law was sitting in her chair with her eyes and mouth open, completely unresponsive. It was so shocking. We didn’t know what to do. People were yelling, “Call 999!”
What happened next was kind of a rush and kind of slow motion, the way only accidents and traumatic things can be.
T’s sister started shaking and trying to dial her phone. I put my arm around her and led her to a chair. She was shaking violently.
L, my amazing midwife who I had invited to my baby shower, leapt up and came round the table to my mother-in-law and tried to check her responses. She wasn’t responding at all so with a bit of help, she got her on the floor and started doing CPR.
I really thought I was watching my mother-in-law die.
We took T’s sister round the corner and sat her down to try and calm her. Gave her a glass of water and I just held her whilst she shook. I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t even feeling anything I think, other than shock. Everyone was shocked. I mean, one minute we were eating our Christmas dinner and the next, there’s an old lady on the floor with someone over her performing CPR.
Luckily, and it was probably only minutes, a friend came round and said, “She’s breathing!”
We calmed T’s sister and went round to see her. My mother-in-law was lying on the floor in the recovery position and L was tending to her. She was remarkably chipper considering we all thought she had died! Typical T’s mum, she was sort of wondering what all the fuss was about. (She didn’t have to see her staring face.)
The first responder arrived. She didn’t seem to know what to do, but L even helped her to sort out the blood pressure cuff (seriously?!) and by that time T’s mum had been sitting up in a chair for a while. I mean it was so shocking because she was on the floor unresponsive one minute and the next she was acting like nothing had happened.
Two other paramedics arrived and thankfully seemed a bit smarter about what was going on. They took down the story from a sort of hysterical T’s sis and a calm and collected L. L had already been on the phone to the ambulance crew beforehand and explained everything. T’s sis is actually a trained nurse, and she said she couldn’t find a pulse, whereas L said she had found a “thready pulse” – but either way it was a really shocking thing that happened.
They took T’s mum to the ambulance after a while and did an ECG, and then they took her to hospital. We all felt a bit helpless as to what to do. T’s mum insisted we must finish our dinner, and as they were taking her to hospital with T’s sister, we felt at least she was in safe hands. So the rest of us had our dessert, and we chatted for a while, but it was really strange knowing my mother-in-law was in A&E.
At that point despite everyone telling me not to, I called T and told him what had happened. They didn’t want me to tell him as he’s away this weekend and can’t do anything, but I felt like if it had been my mother and the situation was reversed, I would want to know. He was pretty calm about it and we kept him updated throughout the evening.
I felt bad for my best friend who had done such an amazing job of organising it. And before that happened, we were having a really lovely time, and they still gave out goody bags which she had put together which was so amazing and everyone wrote messages. I am sure I’ll have time to appreciate them after. And people helped me carry a mountain of unopened gifts back to our flat. But I think we will open them tomorrow when T is back and I’ll do more of a baby shower write up then. As right now we’re all still in shock.
Once all the guests had left, I went to drop Dog at home and got changed out of my party dress and headed to the hospital. My mother-in-law was still in A&E but had been moved out of resus and was hooked up to a machine monitoring her heartbeat. We waited a few hours until the doctor could see her. She was in really good spirits considering (typical old people, “Don’t make a fuss!”) and her main worry was that she and T’s sis hadn’t paid their bills for lunch – which I assured her was not an issue!
T’s dad arrived and of course it was a terrible shock for him. We sat with her for a few hours and kept her company. I think hospitals can be really boring and that’s a bit depressing too. Both T’s parents and sister live over an hour away, and the incident happened at around 4pm, so by the time T’s mum got moved to the cardiac ward it was late. I took an executive decision with T that we should book them into the local hotel and so we did that.
I popped out to the supermarket to get supplies and came back with bags for each of them with PJs, underwear, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, shower gel etc. It was quite confusing trying to decide what both of them would wear but it was a rough guess and the hotel’s on the high street with lots of shops, so they only need to wear the stuff tonight and tomorrow and then they can choose their own!
We eventually picked up T’s dad’s car and drove back to ours with T’s sis, and dropped the car in our parking space. Then I walked them into town to the hotel. I finally got back and am sitting with Dog. It’s 2 mins past midnight for NaBloPoMo but I figure it’s still before midnight in the US, and under the circumstances…