I've been putting off writing this post. My blog ultimately ends up being converted in to memory books for the kids, and the story of the last month is one I want them to know. I also know that telling it (to the very few people that still read my blog) may help me heal a bit.
March 2014 was to be a glorious month! We were to welcome our fifth blessing into the world. Hubby and I were so excited. But baby #5 will never rest in my arms here on our earth. Instead, he is resting in the arms of our Lord - our little Saint in heaven to watch over us for eternity. For this I am overjoyed...but for our loss, I am heartbroken.
At about 6 weeks into the pregnancy I received a call from the doctor - Your levels are dropping...not good...we'll wait and see...maybe it's just a mistake with the lab. I knew better. I had been spotting on and off since the pregnancy began, which has never happened in any of my last four pregnancies. I prepared myself for the impending miscarriage. My doctor asked me to return in a week for another level check and an ultrasound. Two days after his initial phone call I began to bleed heavily. Here it was - I sadly said goodbye to our baby. I also called the doctor and requested (actually begged) to skip the appointment. Do I really have to drag ALL FOUR kids up to see you just to be told my baby has died? The sweet man honored my request, offered his prayers, and let me move on with my life.
Fast forward two weeks later... midnight, July 27th - I woke my husband and begged him to call an ambulance. Two hours later I was in a hospital room surrounded by a dozen nurses/doctors receiving a blood transfusion. My husband was being counseled on my chances of survival. The miscarriage that I had supposedly had wasn't a miscarriage at all. The baby was in my left Fallopian tube and it had ruptured. My abdomen was full of blood and I was going into shock.
I had to undergo a two hour surgery for the removal of my left tube. Hubby was so strong - I'm so proud of him.
I spent four days in the hospital and ultimately had to receive another blood transfusion, but in the end I survived this ordeal with only the loss of my tube and (of course) my baby.
The last three weeks I've had a lot of time to reflect on all that happened. Knowing that I was so near death has been very hard for me to deal with. I often find myself up at night reliving the night I was rushed to the ER. I see the nurses on either side of me squeezing saline into my veins, my husband crying, the look of fear in the doctor's eyes. I hear the ultrasound tech telling the doctor that there is free fluid everywhere. I remember locking eyes with a nurse and repeating over and over, "I'm scared," I remember the pain that I was feeling all over.
I'm not sure if I'm struggling with some post-traumatic stress, but I'm definitely struggling. I think my biggest question is - why? I'm trying to embrace my suffering as an offering for those who are suffering so much worse than I. I honestly really, really suck at this though. I'm so quick to take the "woe is me" approach. My question is this though - I was spared. My life was saved. What do I do with this? How do you just carry on with the mundane tasks of each day knowing that you've been given a second chance at life? I feel as though I need to do something spectacular - Climb Mount Everest or something. Ok, not really - I hate heights. But I do feel as though God left me here for a reason. That he has something great in store for me and my family. I find myself constantly looking and asking for signs. Ok God, do you want us to serve here, help these people, what, where?
God did show Himself so many times during this horrible time. His nudge was what convinced me to call for an ambulance. He was there in the form of the EMT who kept me calm during the drive. In this strange town we were able to deduce that we were both Catholic, homeschooled, and I knew of his wife. What a blessing! He was there in the form of nurse CJ, whose eyes were my source of comfort during the scariest moments in the emergency room. He was there in the form of the OB surgeon who was a fellow Catholic and would spend hours sitting and talking me through everything. He was there through our amazing support system. We had wonderful visitors - some who even drove a good hour to sit with me - even our parish priest. I wish I had taken a picture of the emails, texts, cards, Mass cards, and flowers we received. Meals were also provided for us for an entire month. Both our mothers came to stay with us after we returned home. And nothing, absolutely nothing could have been more appreciated than the enormous amounts of prayers we received.
And, of course, long ago God sent me the man that was going to hold me up during this time in the form of my husband. He has been my rock through all of this. He has carried the load of a 4-child household without complaining. He's dealt with my crazy emotions and (most of the time - laugh, hubby) held me when I needed him close. This was his tragedy too - please keep him in your prayers as well.
I feel so blessed to be alive, to be surrounded by such love, and to be a daughter of the most amazing God. I'll probably still struggle for sometime with the thoughts of my experience, the purpose of it all, and the loss of our baby. I ask that you continue to pray for these intentions.
But life isn't dark...it's full of light! I'm surrounded by it! Praise be to God for our sufferings - for suffering is never wasted when it is united with Christ's suffering on the cross.
Lil' Bit is keeping her nickname alive. Unfortunately, she's lost a bit of weight over the last month and is no longer near the curve for weight. The doctor isn't horribly concerned but has ordered up a full battery of blood tests. We're also heading to Children's tomorrow for a sweat test to check for cystic fibrosis. This will be our first experience with this test...should be interesting. We are all fairly certain that Lil' Bit is just going to be petite, but I am thrilled that the doctor has decided to be so thorough.
May 14th, 2013
*Update (May 29th, 2013) - All the tests turned out fine!