Dear Family & Friends,
As you know these past few weeks have been filled with a roller coster of events and emotions for not only Mr. Dubs and I, but for everyone involved. I have prayed continuously the last few days that God would give me the exact words to share our story accurately without trivializing or exaggerating any particular event. I want to be able to share my testimony and to be able to express our gratitude for the constant prayers. I'm not sure how I would have made it through without them. The outpouring of love and kindness from all over the world have touched our lives forever and we couldn't be more grateful for each and everyone of you.
It all started on Thursday morning, Sept 3rd. I had a Dr. appointment with the OB that morning so that we could talk about our options, as Baby K was already a week over due. Knowing that we were going to talk about our options (and one of them was being sent to the hospital that day) Mr. Dubs and I loaded the car with everything we thought we would need for the hospital. I had packed everything well in advance so I knew we would be prepared. We got to the Dr and they performed a sonogram to evaluate the placenta and the fluid levels. The fluid levels were great but the Placenta, not so much. The placenta had begun to calcify, so much that it was not going to continue to function properly too much longer. After the sonogram we were moved into a room to talk with the Dr. The nurse took my blood pressure and realized that it was higher than normal. Up until this point I had no issues with blood pressure. When the Dr. came in with the results of the sonogram she made the decision to send us to the hospital to have my water broken. (Note: I was 4cm dilated and 100% effaced for 5 weeks). Her theory is: It's better to take the baby while it's strong and healthy and can endure the labor, vs. waiting until it's possible too weak and can result in an unnecessary C-Section. We agreed, so we headed for the hospital to have our son. The day could not have been more exciting.
Once to the hospital (11am) we were admitted to Labor and Delivery. I changed into my comfy clothes and got ready for the fun to begin. B Dubs and I were beside ourselves with excitement. We were finally going to get to meet our son. At noon the Dr. came in and broke my water. She said that my contractions would begin soon. Dubs and I hit the hallways... walking and waiting. We made it around the L&D floor 4-5 times before I needed to get back to the room. The contractions were coming every 10-15 seconds and they were lasting about 90 seconds each (and I wasn't even to the transition stage). They were not in my tummy or in my back, but rather in my tailbone area. With every contraction it felt as if my tailbone was going to break (keep in mind that Baby K was posterior- backwards). Mr. Dubs and I tried all of the relaxation techniques that we learned but they were not providing any relief. The contractions were coming too frequent and too strong. The Dr. couldn't figure out why my Uterus was being so "strange". After about 3 hours of continuous contractions I finally gave in to the epidural (3pm). After getting the epidural I dilated from 5cm to 7cm in an hour. Since the contractions were still very "abnormal" they wanted to put in an internal monitor. Not the kind they attached to the baby, but the kind that they sit next to the baby to monitor the contractions. The Dr. did an internal exam to make sure that everything was set to insert the monitor and realized that I was already 9cm dilated. Since that was the case, she was unable to insert the monitor (as it would not have stayed in place). I began pushing at 5:30pm. Everything went great, except for the fact that I ended up with a 4th degree tear, the worst you can get. Ouchy!
The best news: K Baby was born at 6:37pm. He weighed in at 10lbs and was 22 1/4 inches long.
They put him on my chest and Mr Dubs and I cried our tears of joy. It wasn't but a few minutes after I had Baby K that I began to feel "distant". I'm not sure that is the best word to describe the feeling, but I knew something was wrong. As the Dr. began sewing me up (which took about an hour and a half) I heard her talking to another Dr about blood loss. I am still not able to recall to much about this time but I do remember Daddy Dubs bringing Baby K over to me all bundled up, and laying him next to me. I fell asleep and never got to enjoy my baby. The Doctors were in and out of the room checking on me. I remember asking them when I was going to be moved to the recovery room and they told me they needed to monitor me for a while longer. I was confused. After a few hours of "monitoring" and Baby K laying next to me while I was resting, I was fading away and no one around me knew it.
My mother and B Dubs had remained in the room to look after me and Baby K and to make sure that all was well until we were moved to another room. Good thing they did. Around 10pm I mustered up enough energy to call out to B Dubs to come and get Baby K from my side. I then began calling out " Mommy, help me". My mom knew something was off because she said that I haven't called her 'mommy' since I was about 3 years old. I then started yelling to B Dubs and my mother that I was going to pass out. As B Dubs ran into the hallways to get help, my mother hit the Nurse Call button on the bed. Originally I thought that I pushed the button but they later told me I was seizing. When they answered I just remember whispering, "Help me, Help me, Help me" - my mother took over from there. I passed out about 3 seconds later. I later found out that 8-9 Doctors were in the room within 2-3 minutes after I called. They put oxygen on me and I woke up for a brief moment to pure chaos. My mother was asked to leave the room and they took Baby K to the Nursery.
At this point my blood pressure had dropped to 80/50. It was then that they realized I was hemorrhaging internally. One of the Doctors began kneading my stomach from the INSIDE and the OUSIDE. It was by far the most excruciating pain I have ever been through in my life. I remember asking to hold someone's hand and B Dub stepped up to the plate. The Doctors were amazing and allowed him to be by my side when I needed him most. They just worked around him when they could. Since the pain was so unbearable and my blood pressure was so low I fell in and out of consciousness for hours. Every time I woke I remember them talking about blood loss. When I was able to open my eyes I remember seeing them pull blood clots out the size of oranges. Blood was everywhere. I soaked all of the hospital towels they had on L&D and they were getting towels from other floors. (This is a HUGE hospital too). B Dubs was completely traumatized but stayed strong and stayed by my side the entire time. At one point they did have to make him sit down and eat/drink something. He was getting weak. After 2 hours of medication, 2 pints of blood and kneading the uterus to make it contract they had to rush me to the OR for emergency surgery. B Dubs gave the consent to remove my uterus, as that was the only thing that would save my life.
At the time they rushed me into the OR my blood pressure was progressively dropping. Even before they got me into the OR my blood pressure had dropped to 50/20. Unfortunately, because my blood pressure was dropping so rapidly and the blood loss was so significant they weren't able to give me much anesthesia and therefore I was awake during surgery. Obviously because the pain was so intense and I was so weak from blood loss, I was still falling in and out of consciousness during the surgery. I remember them moving me from one bed to another. I even remember them having to readjust me a few times. I remember them putting the drape across (just like you would see in a c-section). I then remember them inserting an IV in my left wrist. Because my veins had collapsed the IV inadvertently put the blood and fluids into my muscle and not into my bloodstream leaving me with a nice BIG bruise on my left arm.
I recall yelling at the Doctors that my arm was on fire and felt like it was burning. At that point I heard that doctor yell to another doctor that I should not be awake and to do something about it. After that I recall the incision being made on my abdomen and being held open with some sort of clamp device. I remember the tugging and pulling sensations as they removed my uterus. I was later told that had it not been for the epidural (which was still in place) I would have felt the whole thing.
During the surgery I was resuscitated a total of 3 times, each of them I remember. For days afterwards when I closed my eyes I would feel the sensation of the resuscitation (like my body was jolting). I had a Central Line put in (a tube in my neck that goes straight to my heart) and I received 12 pints of blood. 12 Pints of blood equals a 110% blood transfusion (meaning I even lost blood that I received). It was by far the scariest time of my life.
All this while Mr Dubs and our families were in the Family Waiting room waiting for an update. The surgery took approx. 3 hours to complete. I can't imagine the torture that my family had to endure...waiting to see if I lived (as they were told I probably wouldn't make it).
After Surgery I was put in ICU for 3 days and then moved to the Labor and Delivery Recovery floor. It was on this floor that I took a turn for the worse. Because of the surgery and mass blood loss my bowel system had gone to sleep. I began to get distended and was unable to hold down any food or fluid. In sparing personal details the bowel system had a mind of it's own and I had no control for approx 48 hours. I would vomit uncontrollably and suffered through endless hours of clean up. Because the nurses were not used to seeing a patient in this condition they weren't sure how to help me, as this was not their specialty. After much consideration the Doctors made the decision I needed an NG (Nasogastric) Tube. The tube went in through my noes and down to my stomach. The first attempt they missed my stomach and had to redo it. Again, this was a very painful procedure and if I ever needed again they would have to knock me out to put it in. I don't think that I could handle that pain again now that I know what it feels like. Once I had the NG Tube I was taken off of all fluids/foods. I couldn't even swallow a sip of water. Not one! For 5 days I starved physically, though I was being fed TPN through the IV for 2 of them. The TPN gave me the nutrients I needed to stay alive but he hunger pains were unbearable.
On day 7 I was able to get out of bed for the first time. My muscles had begun the process of deteriorating (it's amazing how quickly this occurs), therefore it was very difficult to stand, life my head, etc. They were slowly able to remove some of the IV's and on day 8 I had the NG tube removed. The Central Line was the last to go on day 9 and I was able to shower and clean up for the first time in what felt like months.
I had the will to walk, heal and get better and no one was going to stop me. I had a family that needed me to get better. K Baby needed his mommy and B Dubs needed his wife. Though we won't ever be able to have any more children, we are extremely thankful that God has blessed us with each other, K Baby and LIFE!
It was a long process to get to where I am today but by the Grace of God and the constant prayers I am healing quickly and the recovery has been extremely fast considering the turn of events. Mr. Dubs and I still have many years of healing and recovering ahead of us, more emotionally than physically, but we are so thankful for the outcome during this life changing experience. We have the most beautiful, well-behaved, healthy and loving son. He completed our family and we are looking forward to all of the fun filled years ahead. Thank you again for the prayers. God most definitely heard you. He has a plan for my life, that is very apparent and I can't wait to see how he uses me to glorify Him.
I will leave you with my scripture: Ezekial 16:6 (NIV translation)
"Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!"