Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Angel Babies

If you following my blog for sewing inspiration, crafty ideas, or family friendly recipes you might want to skip this post.  It gets serious.

I'm writing this down for a few reasons.  I'm hoping it will serve as some sort of therapy just by getting it out.  Like a huge weight lifted off my shoulder.  Secondly, I want to share how God has moved in me throughout the past few weeks.  I don't think God has called us to convince people to believe in or follow Him.   I'm sure I have come across this in the past.  Like "I am right and you have to believe in Him."  I don't ever want to do that again in the future.  But I do think God has called us to share our experience and relationship with him and let other's take from that what they will.  Let God do the rest of the work.  And lastly, if there is anyone out there that might be going through something similar to this.  Who might be struggling with the same things that I have struggled with.  If there's any chance that they might read this and find some relief or peace, then it will have been worth it for me to write it down.

A few weeks before Christmas, J and I found out were were pregnant.  We had "pulled the goalie"  quite sometime ago and this was a long awaited event.  The excitement was short lived and 2-3 weeks into the pregnancy we began to show signs that we were losing the pregnancy.  J was out of school which was a blessing because there were many trips to the hospital for lab work.  In the meantime, his grandmother passed.  It was hard to know how to help him deal with the grief with losing his grandmother when we're dealing with another loss at the same time.  Not to mention in the midst of all this the entire family (and by entire, I mean cousins, brothers, sisters and grand parents on both sides of our family and us) got a stomach virus.  Thus ensued hours spent face first on the ivory thrown.

We made it through Christmas somehow and after 24 hr whirlwind trip 6 hrs down the road and 6 hrs back to San Antonino, it happened.  again.  sudden onset abdominal pain, a trip to the ER followed by emergency life saving surgery.  What would follow, in my opinion, is an example of God's grace in my life.

I had had my second ruptured tubal pregnancy.   Five years prior, the exact same thing happened to me and I had surgery to remove a rupture tubal pregnancy from my left fallopian tube.  When I came out of surgery the doctor told me she only removed the part of the tube that was damage and left the remaining tube and ovary.  This would turn out to be vital 5 years later.  During this ER visit I had a sonogram to confirm the tubal pregnancy and rule out any other causes like appendicitis, etc.  The doctor returned saying that they could see nothing in my uterus and the right ovary was not visible and was completely surrounded by fluid which the presumed was blood which was causing my pain.  I knew what was coming next.  I would need to have surgery again, followed by days of more pain and recovery.

I would have been devastated had it not been for the unbearable pain followed by the narcotics and nausea medications.  The right side was my last good, working side for baby making and after the surgery it would take thousands of dollars for IVF to have a biological baby.  Not life ending b/c we have talked about adoption in the future whether we have bio babies or not.  But, it's still a lot to take in all at one time.  The ObGyn decided to wait till the am to do the surgery to see if it would clear itself which would be our only chance of saving the right side.  This is were things get weird and I don't have any other way to explain them than it was by God's grace.

My Dad had come to the hospital to help with L.  She ended up coming back to our house with her Grammy and my Dad stayed with me and J in the hospital.  I was in and out of awareness throughout the night d/t fatigue and pain meds but looking back I don't really remember him getting much sleep that night.  He prayed with me in the very beginning while I was in the ER.  And I'm not exactly sure why but I think he spent a lot time that night in prayer for me.  While we're on this topic, I have to say that in my experience as a child, the best thing that you can do as a Christian parent is to pray for your child.  I am 100% positive that if it were not for my Dad's prayers for me, that I would not be where I am today.  When I think about those hours and what happened while I was in surgery I can't explain and I don't have proof or evidence but I have an overwhelming feeling when I think about my Dad sitting in my hospital room.

When I awoke from surgery, I had the usual post op grogginess.  Then they told me something I still can't believe.  When they got inside my abdomen in surgery they found that the ruptured tubal pregnancy was on the LEFT side.   remember the sono? blood and fluid on the R side?  nobody thought it was possible for it to be the left side b/c that side was supposed to have been taken out five years ago with no way for swimmers to get to the egg to cause conception over there.  I was stunned and asked over and over again.  They assured me it was on the left side and that my right side was still intact.  I don't know how to explain it.  Maybe I'm just emotional and there's some logical explanation out there.   All, I know is that for me it is by God's grace that I still have the possibility to conceive on my own one day.

The first few days that followed are blurred by tears of pain and narcotics.  Losing blood into your abdomen is extremely painful then during surgery to fix it they pump your abdomen full of air so they can see everything which causes pain after the surgery every time you breathe.  Throughout the whole ordeal they pumped me full of 6 liters of saline and 3 units of blood.  Needless to say, the full effect of what had happened did not hit until I had been home from the hospital for a few days.

I'm not sure I've ever been that sad.  I told J at one point that I felt overwhelmed because I didn't know how to handle being that sad.  Those that know me well, know I don't do sad.  It's not always a health coping strategy, just how I deal with things.  I was honest with God about my sadness, but other thoughts and feelings began to creep.  Like "Why would He let this happen to me again?"  We have people in our lives who are very verbal about their opinions on children being a gift from God.  (which I 100% agree)  The devil likes to use their opinions a lot to gnaw at my walk with God.  In my head, "Children are a gift from God" turns into "God must be punishing you since he let this happen to you twice"

I struggled with this a lot while in prayer for probably over a week.  I couldn't sleep at night b/c when I laid down and got still I was no longer distracted and able to hide from it.  I drove J nuts, waking him up to talk at all hours of the night.   Our first trip back to church after this happened the lesson in class was out of Luke and was about Jesus reprimanding some of his followers for being judgmental of people when bad things happened.  He was saying that who are they to judge what someone deserves and that just because bad things happen doesn't mean it's a sign of God's punishment for something in their lives.  Maybe this was just a coincidence that this lesson would be taught our first day back but for me it was exactly what I needed to hear.  And it gave me an overwhelming feeling of God's hand in my life.  Like he was hugging me.

I know that in some ways what I have gone through could be considered pretty minor when compared to the suffering that other people endure throughout the world.  All I can say is that these days have been some of the hardest and saddest I have ever been through and that on more than one occasion God has provided for me during this time of grief either through scripture or lessons at church or ipod cast sermons.  You can read about some of the things that have helped me here.

It has been over two weeks since it has happened.  In some ways it feels much longer than that.  Some days are better than others.  I still struggle with God a lot, wanting to know why it happened.  again.  so far, I don't have an answer to that.  But I feel my relationship with L has grown and this experience has given me perspective and helped me to appreciate every second I have with her.

If you know anyone who is going through something like this, please feel free to pass this along if you think it will help.  But, please remember this is still painful for me to talk about it.

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