My head is still spinning from the events of this summer. I still shudder every time I think back to the week of July 5th and a flood of memories and emotions comes over me. Excruciating pain. Fear. Discouragement. Helplessness. Being forced to deal with something I never saw coming threw my life and my family's life into a complete tailspin. Once again, I knew God was teaching me that only He has complete control of everything.
Sick. The first weeks of summer I was overcome with morning sickness. And afternoon sickness. And evening sickness. Early in the summer we learned I was pregnant. Again, all of the anxiety and fears that come with being a "high risk" pregnancy overwhelmed me. We kept it a secret from everyone for as long as possible. No reason to worry our family and friends. Every day was a struggle to keep up with a very active 2 year old and 4 year old. And on top of that, we dealt with several rounds of strep with both the boys. I had my share of that sickness, too. It was one thing after another. Just when I thought I was beginning to see the slightest sliver of light at the end of the tunnel, everything changed.
We had a fun 4th of July weekend. The boys were beyond thrilled to be in our city's little parade in Cohen's tiny red Mini Cooper and enjoy fireworks at my parents'. But, Cohen seemed off. Again. I took him to the health care clinic the next day where his strep test was positive.
The next day started out like usual. However, when I was feeding Henley breakfast, I got a sudden, sharp pain in my lower left abdomen. I immediately worried about the baby. I quickly found my doppler and confirmed that the baby's heartbeat was there. I barely got through feeding Henley and had to lay down. "Surely this will pass soon,"I thought to myself. After all, I was only 14 weeks pregnant and both my trips to the ER with Cohen and then Henley were at 16 weeks. Excessive bleeding with Cohen and my first TIA with Henley. What in the world could it be this time? As the pain intensified, I called Chris and told him I needed him to come home and possibly take me to the hospital. I called my mom to pick up the kids. The last thing I wanted to do was spend my day in the ER with some minor problem, but I couldn't function.
After the most uncomfortable car ride in my life, we were there. I could hardly convey how I was feeling because I was in so much pain. They started an Iv and pain medication and set up a Sono. The ER doctor came in after awhile and said my test showed a possible mild uti. Really? Mild? That is not the word I would use to describe how I felt. They gave me round after round of Iv pain medication with hardly any relief. They still wheeled me down to Sono where the lady said everything looked fine. After hours of uncomfortable waiting, the doctor came in and said, although they couldn't see the left ovary, everything looked fine. They would do one more Sono on my kidneys to make sure I didn't have stones. Nothing there. They gave me medication and said they were discharging me. By the time they came back with the papers, I was in tears because I couldn't imagine being sent home in so much pain and discomfort. I like to think I have quite a high threshold for pain, but I felt like they thought I was making this up to get a stash of pain medication. They did say I could be admitted and observed all night. That sounded expensive.
At home, I had to take Percocet every 4 hours just to function. I couldn't take care of the kids. I couldn't eat and I couldn't sleep. I called my OB and their suggestion was that I was constipated. On Wednesday that week, I insisted on keeping the boys because it was Henley's 2nd Birthday. I did my best, but I was really struggling. The next day I went to my family doctor and she said I did have a uti and they were going to give me a prescription. However, she also set up another Sono for the next day. I tried to be optimistic, but knew this was not the answer. I took my first pill but still couldn't eat or even walk. I laid down while Chris put the boys to bed. I tried to get up to take a shower and everything went black and I had trouble breathing. We called my doctor and she said this was definitely not progressing like a uti. I felt like I had no other place to go, but back to the ER. My mom came to stay with the boys. I endured another horrific car ride to the hospital. We called my OB and he talked to the ER doctors and told them whatever they needed to do, they needed to find my left ovary on the Sono. One of the worst things they did in the hospital was trying to find my baby's heartbeat with their doppler. They must not do it often. First, it's super painful since they are pressing down where all the pain is originating from and second, it took them way too long to find it. Every second was excruciating. Tolerance was low during this whole ordeal and all I wanted to do was grab the doppler and do it myself since I have my own at home and do it all the time. After they finally did that, the Sono lady wheeled her machine in and found the problem fairly quickly. My left ovary was four times the size it should have been and had little blood flow. They suspected torsion and admitted me about 2 AM or so.
The next day was a blur and my OB said I would probably have surgery around 6 pm since the blood thinner shots I take needed to wear off. They did schedule an MRI to try and get a better look. I was on a lot of pain medications and Chris was, unfortunately, a victim. At one point, I blurted out that I hated his shirt. Then I told him he could never be a doctor because his bedside manner would be horrible. Oops. I finally made it to the MRI. One of the worst positions to be in is sitting, so the wheelchair rides were horrific. The MRI was nothing short of pure torture. It was 45 minutes of not moving while enduring loud noises and some contraption over my pelvis that intensified the pain. Sometime during the test, the pain meds wore off. I was so relieved when they pulled me out. Then my heart sank when they decided they didn't get everything they needed and I went right back in. I couldn't fight the tears any longer. They streamed down my face for the rest of the test. I was wheeled back upstairs to get ready for surgery. I was so uncomfortable, I really thought I would die before surgery. I found out later that the radiologist who read the MRI didn't even believe the ovary was twisted. And advised my doctor to cancel surgery. My OB decided to go ahead and operate based on how I "presented". They moved me down to pre-op and I wasn't even anxious about surgery because I saw it as my only solution. I was only worried for my baby. Before I knew it, it was time and my eyes were fluttering closed. When I started to wake up I was shaking violently because of the pain. I heard loud moans and asked the nurse if that was me. She said no. They immediately listened for heart tones on the baby and that familiar beat made me relax. I only saw the clock and it said almost 8:30 at night. I said, "My husband has to get home to my kids! He needs to take care of our kids!" They let him back to see me. I assured him I was fine and he could go. I was still in an unreal amount of pain, but it was a different kind of pain. Later, I learned the doctors were astonished at what they found. My ovary was twisted twice and tucked under my round ligament. There was 10 ounces of blood in my abdomen. Apparently even a drop of blood in your abdomen can cause a large amount of pain. The ovary had twisted because of a large cyst. No one can explain the chain of events or why or how this really happened. The condition was just so rare that no one expected it or was looking for it. My OB said he has delivered around 13,000 babies and has never had this happen to a pregnant woman. It was all so unreal. I spent 2 1/2 more days in the hospital to have my blood monitored because of the blood thinner. I was scared to come home. I was still in so much recovery pain that I was afraid I couldn't do anything. I couldn't lift over 15 pounds. Both of the boys are a tad heftier than that. My amazing mom took the boys every day for two weeks. I felt lost and in a time warp. How did this happen? Why did this happen? I am so grateful the Lord protected our baby girl. My doctor admitted to downplaying the risk to our baby. With all the medication and surgery, it was riskier than I knew. However, it was God's hand at work in timing, because I was out of the first trimester but baby was small enough so they could move my uterus out of the way to operate.
I am starting to finally mentally and physically move on. The toll the whole ordeal has taken on me has surprised me. But, while I continue to struggle with why all this happened, the only evidence left is three small scars. Henley likes to occasionally run his fingers along them after he has "kissed baby sister" and look up at me with his big, blue eyes and ask, "Hospital?". I answer yes and he looks off for a few moments. Strangely, even though the times in the hospital, especially this time, have been the most trying times of my life, I cherish them the most. That is when I felt that God was nearest to me. One of my favorite verses says, "...if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." (Psalm 138:8) He was there.
While I hope this is the only excitement we experience this pregnancy, we can't deny I am a high risk pregnancy until the end. With my condition, we could lose the baby at any time. The only thing I can do is trust. So, if you have made it this far in reading and you think of us, please pray! Pray for our precious baby. We know He can do all things!