February 22, 1993 at 2:01 p.m., I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I had morning sickness the entire pregnancy. I gained only 11 pounds which put me in the high risk category. Needless to say, her birth didn't go as planned.
I was induced into labor at 36 weeks because she had stopped growing. Thankfully after 4 hours of labor I delivered a surprisingly healthy baby. Three hours after delivery I started hemorrhaging severely. My blood pressure dropped dangerously low.
My husband and I were told if the bleeding didn't stop within the next few hours, I would have to have surgery. My nurse (Wendy) began giving me shots of Pitocin every 30 minutes.
After two shots nothing had changed. I couldn't focus, everything was surreal. I guess because of my low blood pressure. I remember thinking I was going to die but I was very calm. Wendy came in to let me know her shift would be over soon but someone else would come in to give me shots. (Wendy was the attending delivery nurse for 3 of my children.) She promised to come check in on me the next morning.
It was 6 O'clock in the evening when she came to my room. Her name tag read 'Maria'. (I don't remember seeing a last name on her tag.) She was a short lady, about 5 feet. She had short brown hair with gray streaks and beautiful blue eyes. She had a soft comforting voice unlike anything I've ever heard before or since. I rolled over to my side thinking she was there to give me my next shot. (Even though moments before I could not lift my arms, because I was so weak.)
She said, "Oh honey I'm not giving you a shot, you don't need another one. You're going to be just fine." She stood next to my bed smiling and rubbing my legs for a few minutes. I looked towards my husband, intending on asking him if he heard what she had said. He was laying in a chair sound to sleep. I looked at the clock, it read 6:05.
She smiled at me, patted my leg, turned towards the door, then she was gone. I didn't see her walk out the door, she just sort of vanished. I thought I might have fallen to sleep before she left the room and then woke up shortly afterwards but I looked at the clock it read 6:06.
I again looked over at my husband in hopes he would acknowledge she had really been in the room but he was still sleeping. I tried to wake him by calling his name. He didn't hear me. I picked up a thermometer from the bedside table and threw it at him. It landed on his chest. He didn't wake up.
At that moment a nurse (Sheila) walked into the room carrying the familiar needle with her. I told her I didn't need any more Pitocin. That's what the last nurse had told me. She said she was my only nurse for the night. She questioned me about the other nurse. What did she look like? Did I know her name? She looked over at the empty bassinet at the foot of my bed. She asked if my baby was in the nursery to which I replied yes. I saw the relieve wash over her face. She told me she would be back in a minute and quickly rushed out the door.
A short time later I saw her standing at my door along with 2 other nurses, they were whispering and looking in at me.
Finally they all walked into the room and came over to my bed. One nurse looked to be in her mid twenties (I cannot for the life of me remember her name), the other was surely in her fifties. Her name was Sarah.
They started to fire questions at me so rapidly it frightened me. All I could think was the lady was probably trying to kidnap my little girl. The noise of me demanding to see our baby woke my husband up. (To this day he swears he doesn't remember falling to sleep. He says he remembers sitting down in the chair, wondering why the room was suddenly freezing, the next thing he remembers there were nurses in the room, I was demanding very loudly to see our baby and he was holding a thermometer.)
They assured me my baby was in the nursery. Nurse Sarah told the younger nurse to bring E to me.
As we waited Nurse Sarah took my blood pressure. She turned to Nurse Sheila and told her to put away the syringe and call my doctor. I wouldn't be needing that shot.
She then pulled a chair next to my bed and sat down. The young nurse walked in carrying my baby. She placed her in my arms and walked out of the room.
Nurse Sarah pulled up a chair and sat down next to my bed. She sat there smiling as I looked E over. She asked if E was my first baby. When I replied fourth, she asked about my older children. Just as I was sure she was about to tell me something important my doctor came in.
When my doctor came in, he started in with his own questions but mostly they were directed at Nurse Sarah. When Nurse Sarah explained it to him, he smiled and said, "Ok then." He checked me over, told me he was simply amazed at my recovery. He said even the color had come back into my face. He stood there staring at me for a minute or so then suddenly he asked if I was hungry to which I replied 'starving'. He told me he would order a pizza on his way out.
After he left Nurse Sarah said, "I've never talked to anyone who Maria has visited." She looked closely at my face as if she was trying to decide whether she should keep talking or not.
I silently stared back at her because I knew. I don't know how or why I knew, but I knew.
Her story was that Maria had been a nurse on the maternity floor years ago.
Nurse Sarah said, "The story I've heard is that Maria got called into work one stormy night, she never made it here. The rumors are that she sometimes visits the new moms. All the descriptions of her are the same."
Nurse Sarah silently looked down at the floor. I remember thinking she was saying a prayer. Then she shook her head and said, "Who am I to question these things." I wanted to question her to find out more but I could tell she had said all she was going to. She rose from the chair, patted my leg, winked and said, "They say she only visits special people."
The next day, to everyone's surprise I was released from the hospital in excellent health. As my husband and I walked down the corridor with our baby daughter, we could feel everyone's eyes on us. Some were whispering, others were just staring. Perhaps they were thinking I was a lunatic or maybe they were wondering, "Why her?"
This story is a special part of me. I know that night I experienced something most people never do. For that I am extremely grateful. Growing up, my daughters loved this story. Especially E. When other kids would say, things such as: I weighed 10 lbs at birth, E would proudly say, I almost killed my mom.