Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Biggest Trial (so far)

I think I'm finally ready to put my thoughts into blog form. Although I am still struggling with some aspects of this, I really think that getting this out of my system will be therapeutic for me.
I was admitted into Kadlec Medical Center on January 2 due to pre-eclampsia. The symptoms came much earlier with this pregnancy than with my first. Originally Josh and I went to the hospital because I was having severe pain in my stomach that was shooting to my right shoulder. I usually don't google symptoms, but I needed something to get my mind off the pain while I waited for Josh and Marianne to get to home. I thought it was gall stones. When the doctor told me how high my blood pressure was, and that the pre-ecalmpsia had now become severe and I was being admitted with the probability of delivering within the next 24 to 48 hours, I was in shock. I was not prepared for that kind of diagnosis, let alone the thought of delivering 7 1/2 weeks early. The words of the blessing our stake president gave me went through my mind, and for a moment I felt that I had been lied to. He said everything would turn out ok, that this pregnancy would go the way we wanted it to. At the time of the blessing I thought the pregnancy and delivery would go as smoothly as Emily's had. I realized I had to redefine "ok" and decide what I really wanted. "Ok" meant we would survive, and I really wanted to live. Josh gave me another blessing before I was officially admitted, and he blessed Natalie and myself that we would be fine and all would be well. It was a long day. I experienced so many emotions and thought of every possible scenario. I was put on magnesium, which meant I was stuck in my bed with nothing to do but think. I thought about my kids, and wondered how this would affect them. Who would take care of them during the day? How would Braxton get to school? Would they understand why their mom wasn't there with them? I thought about my husband. How would he handle work and playing single dad? Would he be able to pay the bills, help Braxton with his homework and get the kids to bed on time? Most of all, I thought about Natalie. When all was said and done, would she still be with us? How long would she have to be in the NICU? Would there be any long term effects?
Monday, January 3rd, went about the same. I slept a lot. My blood pressure was still high, but was staying consistent. My labs weren't getting worse. I had the second steroid shot to help Natalie's lungs develop in case she needed to be delivered early. Tuesday went much better. I felt so much better. My doctor said they would take me off the magnesium, and if things stayed the same they would keep me until I was 34 weeks, send me home and let whatever happens happen. He really didn't see that as a realistic goal, but that was the plan. I was so optimistic. I was almost 33 weeks, so I would only have to stay in the hospital for another 9 days. That night the nurses moved me from the labor/delivery room I was currently in, to a recovery room. Early Wednesday morning, my body took a turn for the worse. The pain came back in my stomach and shoulder. My blood pressure was threw the roof. I couldn't breath...I could barely think. I finally called Josh around 3:30 a.m. and told him I needed him to be there. He arrived an hour later, and I just kept going downhill. I started throwing up every so often, even though I didn't have anything left after a while. I couldn't control my bodily fluids. At 5:30 a.m., it was decided that I was going to have to be delivered. The NICU nurse came in around 6 a.m. to explain what would be done and how they would take care of Natalie, and I could only sob. I think Josh half listened to what she was saying, but I know he was very concerned for me. Finally around 7:30 a.m. my nurse was able to give me something to help with the pain. I was able to lay back and rest. It wore off much quicker that it should've, and I ended up getting 3 doses in an hour and a half. They were only suppose to give me one dose every hour at the earliest. Dr. Smith came in to explain to Josh why I was going to be delivered, and I realized how serious this pain was. Because of where the pain was, they were afraid of my liver exploding, in which case both Natalie and myself would probably die. They wheeled me into the operating room just after 9 in the morning. The pain was coming back pretty strong by this time, and I was ready for it to be over. I am very grateful to have had a C-Section. I knew what to expect and I could relax. I started to cry when I heard Natalie cry. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. She sounded so normal and healthy. The greatest blessing I received throughout this process is that Natalie was never in jeopardy. Her heart rate never dropped or accelerated. She was perfectly safe, to which I will always be grateful. Josh got to hold her and I got to kiss her face before she was taken to the NICU. I was stapled up and sent back to my room. Physically, I continued to improve. I was put back on the magnesium for a couple days to help regulate my blood pressure. I was sent home Saturday January 8th. It wasn't hard to leave Natalie in the hospital. As I healed and got feeling better, it became harder and harder to leave her there. I was ready to take care of her, and hated that I couldn't yet.
Emotionally I am still trying to heal. It's been very difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that it was MY fault Natalie came early. I hate that I had no control over that. I'm trying very hard to be grateful for the beautiful children we have, but sometimes I cry for the children I thought we would be able to have. I wasn't ready to be done, especially when I wasn't able to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy with Natalie. But, physically I know my body can't handle it. I hate knowing that I came very close to not being able to raise my children, and not having any control over it. I prayed desperately to be granted the opportunity to grow old with my husband and watch our family grow together.
I am so grateful that my time here on earth is not over, that I still have a purpose here. I am SO grateful that my precious little daughter was born a fighter, and she has thrived in her short month on this earth. I will be eternally indebted to those who eagerly volunteered to help my family, and continued to do so even after Natalie and I came home. I am grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who loves me and understands my concerns, my needs and my wants and does what is best for me. I may have questions at times as to why things happen the way they do, but I do not doubt that He knows and loves me and only has my best interests in mind.
I do not think the issues I am struggling with will go away quickly, but being able to write about it has helped immensely. If nothing else, it has helped me see the miracles that occured while I was sick, and appreciate the fact that I am better. "My (daughter), peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” D&C 121:7-8