January 25, 2011

Losing my Omentum: The Unexpected and Faith 3

My dear dear friend,

I can't believe you're sticking with me through this. My flood of probably nonsense words. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I know your life is demanding and you're already pulled in a million directions. That you stop to listen is worth so much...

So where was I? I'll pick up where I left off yesterday... (I was going to wait and post this tomorrow but don't want to leave any more questions up in the air).

So I hadn't felt really well for awhile, then this sharp pain had started right at the start of my much anticipated girl's weekend. Blech. Go figure right? So after the twelve hours in the Emergency Room (during which the girls offered to name our baby Kwan among other things), we were delirious and finally pulling into my own driveway.


Jacob knew I felt bad, but I don't think was prepared for me to barely be able to stand up or get out of the car by myself.

We quickly said goodbye to the girls and left for the Emergency Room here.

Oh friend. I'll try to keep this short. The ER. I learned a valuable lesson there. If you're calm and talking for yourself, and rate your pain a 9 on a 1-10 scale, they will not believe you and a girl with a bloody nose and a man with an ear pimple will get called back HOURS before you... Apparently writhing, tears and exaggeration are expected and I didn't play the part well.

After three hours, around midnight, we got called back, with an older native American woman, shuffling with the help of who seemed to be her daughter and grandaughter, all with plaited black hair and serious faces, and with a young screaming girl in the company of her poor quiet bedraggled mother. This girl seemed to have fallen off of a house or into an empty pool (I'm thinking some illegal substance was involved) and had apparently "Broken  her neck!" according to her. For the next hour we would intermittently hear the older native American woman moan, and from another side the young woman yell, "...Think they'd give me a better bed what with my BROKEN BACK!" and "I can walk, I don't need no wheel chair, I broke my back NOT MY LEGS!"

If laughing didn't hurt so bad and we weren't exhausted it might have been funny.

When they saw me and actually pressed my abodmen the nurse actually said, "Oh we didn't know you were hurting THAT bad." I won't discuss the inflated pain scale I had apparently misunderstood.  My exhaustion, hunger, fear and pain kicked in. My kind asian doctor quietly shuffled in and looked at me with concern and asked, "This your second pregnancy? You have one baby at home?"

"No," I whispered, "this will be my first baby..."  I lost it. The pain, the fear, the unknown.... I began to cry and couldn't calm myself. He nodded quietly and sadly and said.. "I see..."

In my tears my abdomen began to spasm and the pain was unbearable.

It was all so surreal. After many more hours, and tests, and worried looks we were admitted. The quiet hospital room was a paradise to us after the twelve long hours in the emergency room.

Monday I did not eat. Liquids only. A surgeon came. A third abdominal ultrasound was done. And we waited. And the pain stayed.

Tuesday I was NPO, no food or liquids by mouth. And we waited. And were on schedule for surgery on Wednesday to remove my gallbladder though they were still unsure.  By now I was on intravaneous pain meds... With each injection I feared, and prayed and gave my baby over to God. Then slipped away.

Wednesday morning was of course NPO again. My poor baby. At every ultrasound up until that point, our little baby lay still until the ultrasound progressed then he would begin to wave his arms and jump around like a frog... I loved it. At the last one, after I was sedated, the poor little thing didn't move... The stenographer comforted me that it's fine. This is normal. He's sleeping.

And I prayed to God. And gave my baby over to God.  Then slipped away.

Through this all Jacob never left my side. He slept by my bed, and helped me to sit up, go to the bathroom, drink. I could barely talk. It seemed that breathing deep or talking too much was like running a marathon. I was so weak.

Wednesday morning I first went to a GI doctor and wheeled back for endoscopy. They of course told me the dangers of general anesthesia for baby etc. I held Jacob's hand, closed my eyes and prayed unceasingly to God to save my baby.. Then slipped away.

When I woke up and the world took shape again, they said the baby was fine, and the endoscopy looked great. They wheeled me to my room where soon after they came to wheel me to surgery.

I cried. How could I not cry? I clung to Jacob's hand and pleaded, "I don't want to lose this baby...." We cried together and I begged him to read me another Psalm.

As they wheeled me away, I cried to God alone Psalm 121... This had been my prayer during the painful and fearful moments.. from laying in the ER in New Mexico with uncertainty dripping in my veins to being wheeled down the long hall....

 "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth"

The woman wheeling me back tried to comfort me, "Oh Honey, surgery isn't that bad. You'll be fine." I had no doubts about me.. so I cried and turned my head...

" He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep."

There would be two anesthesiologists during this surgery and my OBGYN would be there as well. They of course had to repeat the danger of early labor and losing the baby. I closed my eyes as the tears continued to stream, warm, down into my ears and hair.

 "The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;  
the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night." 

The nurse prepping me said, "Normally we give nervous patients a shot before surgery to calm their nerves." I wanted to scream, "I'm not nervous about me!" I just whispered, "I only care about the baby."

Then with quiet eyes she just nodded and kept working, looking down. They then had to find a fetal heart tone, when they found it, it was lower than normal and my tears never slowed down.  A beautiful indian woman leaned in close over my bed after the surgeon walked away and she whispered what the doctors can't say, "Your baby will be fine... This will be okay. Your baby will be okay..."

They wheeled me into surgery. And as they explained what was happening, and people seemed to be moving everywhere, the mask slipped over my face and I continued to cry out to God alone,

 "The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore."

Please save my baby. Please save my baby. And I slipped away.

Post op was one of the worst moments. Waking up disillusioned with people all leaning over me, the pain medicine worn off, my abdomen screaming in pain as they pushed around. I think I screamed. I heard bits of "having to find fetal heart tone" and then "We've found it!" and cheers and all I could think of was the pain. The waiting lasted for what seemed ever for more pain meds to kick in. Before I slipped away I heard them say they hadn't taken the gallbladder and it wasn't the appendix and the pancreas looked fine. but I was still in pain and didn't understand and was scared.. and slipped away.

Thursday was clear liquids. I wanted to see no one. Jacob explained when I was up for it that while all those other things were fine, they had to remove something else. Something no one expected. Please don't google it friend. It's so weird. Apparently, my omentum (an apron of fat around your organs) had twisted and died. Or part of it anyway. This normally happens to children and elderly people. My OB had never seen it before. The surgeon had but never in a preganant woman. They even gave us pictures. You could see the angry looking omentum and the peaceful little appendix and gallbladder.  There was no explanation as to why it happened. So apparently my three little incisions had grown. Now there are the simple two incisions and then an angry blazing "seven" that crawls up towards to my belly button and snakes in.

But I still felt awful. The sharp pain was gone but my abdomen was screaming. "Incision pain" they called it. I had no frame of reference so I said, "yes." I was supposed to walk often. So I did. Slow shuffles that fatigued my legs and arms and got me winded. I was supposed to take pain meds by mouth, and though eager to drink, it wasn't comfortable and I felt every moment I may vomit.

Apparently an omentum wouldn't be a big problem if I weren't pregnant, and if the acute pain hadn't shut my system down days before.

So it became the waiting game of my system waking back up and then me being able to eat again, then going home. No problem.

But I still really hurt. And by Friday night my pain had intensified and I began to beg for more pain meds. Jacob prayed that my system would "open up" again, and only a few hours later, I began to have painful projectile vomit. I know this is gross. Skim it if you want. I won't be offended. But imagine how painful vomitting is much less with three incisions on your stomach. They heard me all down the halls, and after all was said and done I had vomitted more than a liter of straight black and green bile. They gave me morphine and I was still in pain and slipped away. I woke up only an hour and a half later vomitting again and they gave me more morphine.. and I slipped away.

Then the strangest thing happened friend,.... I woke up ten hours later. The nurses had all felt so bad after the vomitting that they hadn't even woken us for vitals or the fetal heart monitor. And when I came to.. Would you believe it?  I was pain free. 

Now I felt the incision pain. Sure uncomfortable, but a 2 on that ten scale. That was the last pain med I've taken.

Apparently if they say your system is shut down, your stomach will be the last to wake up. So everything I had put down it over the course of my week had stayed and was even up in my esophagus. Saturday morning everything  began to work. Let me be frank here, I farted. Nothing loud or fancy much to my chagrin.  It was the most painful and glorious passing of wind ever though.  I think I cried. My mom clapped and  Jacob wanted to run up and down the halls shouting that my bowels were alive. They hadn't made a peep in over a week.

This was the first sign we were on our way home.

Sunday night we did get to come home after me getting to eat my first food in over a week. Me shuffling but looking and feeling better. Jacob bedraggled and both of us blindsided. What just happened?

So this is the long story of how I lost my omentum. I don't understand. I'm still in pain and am still bloated and distended... Imagine a hairless Grinch.. It would be funny if it didn't hurt so bad or look so bad. Getting around hurts, I can't cough, or blow my nose or laugh and I definitely can't get in and out of bed on my own. Yesterday, Monday, I slowly ventured, in my pink jammies, down to the end of the driveway, clinging desperately to Jacob's hand. Then weak and panting, came home.

The day after the surgery the surgeon leaned in and said, "Well, now you can tell people you're unique!" Very funny. The one thing in my life I don't need help with is feeling a little different. You know that.

But here I am. And Praise the Lord the baby is okay. My fear now, and my request of you to pray, is that I won't develop a hernia as I remain swollen for a few weeks and maybe months, and as my baby, naturally, grows.

I find myself easily slipping back into fear. 

Despite it being an awful week and a blur, the most precious moments to me were found in the deepest fear, when I shut out the world, closed my eyes and cried and talked to God alone....

 "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth."

Isn't it true?  There is no other help then Him. There is no other hope than Him.

He is our only help and our only hope.

I do not know what tomorrow holds.

I do not know why this happened or what it means.

I can't hold onto my baby even now. But I do know where my help comes from...

And in that, all the rest can slip away.

I love you and pray that when you look to the mountains you find the same thing...



Stace said...

Thank you so much for finishing your story today and not waiting until tomorrow. I was going to have to start making phone calls to find out the end. Glad you and baby are okay! How scary. I'll be praying for a safe and uneventful rest of the pregnancy. Did I read correctly, "it" is a HE?

The Reeds said...

Thanks so much Stacey. Technically we still don't know. With all the ultrasounds (three last week alone) we heard conflicting reports. As long as it's healthy... That really is all I care about now!

Brandon and April said...

I'm sobbing.
What a beautiful, yet horrific, story.
Praying for this baby!!

Lindsey said...

Wow. I'll be praying for you. What a time you've had.

Abby said...

Oh friend. You're a writer. You know that, right?
So glad you're better. Praying for you and sweet baby to keep healing. Love you.

Jackson4 said...

Oh George...glad everything is ok, praying for your recovery! So sorry you are in pain; I can't imagine having to go through that while being pregnant. Maybe the silver lining is going to be that the delivery will seem like a breeze, cuz surely that pain and the amount of time you were in pain can't compare! Love you!

Kerri said...

Big hugs to you!! As Abby said, you are a writer. You have such a talent with that.

I pray for you and for that little baby as well as for Jacob.

God will bless you even through each event you go through -- the good and the bad.

Big hugs to you and remember that you have a lot of people out there praying for you, Jacob and your baby.

The Reeds said...

Thank you so much guys.. Your comments and prayers mean a lot.... :)

Leslie said...

Wow, Georgia. Thanks for sharing such a beautifully terrifying testimony of faith in our faithful and unfathomable God. Praying for you, Jacob, and baby Reed.

Mike and Emily said...

Praying for you today! And that sweet kickin' baby!

Jennifer Mykytiuk said...

Georgia! I am weeping only as a postpartum still hormone new mom can! And I thought I had fear during my pregnancy. It is such a scary time and I too struggled with fear and putting my trust in God. I am praying for you dear friend and mom. You are going to be a great mom! Please take it easy. I worry about you with you stressful job and busy life. Love you!

Jay and Amy said...

I had been concerned about you with your absence, so I have, as I missed your posts, said prayers for you. Gald to know you are all better, and baby is doing good.
It's amazing how God built our bodies to protect that little one, even in the most traumatic of times.
I'm so sorry you had to endure through that, but I know that God uses these times to draw us closer to Him, and I'm so glad to know that is exactly what He has done with you.
We will be praying!

Christi said...

Oh my! I'm crying for you...can't imagine that fear and pain.

What beautiful words, and you're right, all we can do is trust the One who holds us in his hands.

Praying for you and your little precious one!

Rachel said...

You sweet, precious girl.

Feel better...

Amber Schrock said...

Oh Nakiru! Like all these other friends, I'm so so sorry you had to go through this and we're praying for your recovery. I agree that the flipside of this might be an easier delivery...although that probably doesn't sound too encouraging right now. I don't know what this all means but I know you've overcome and you're a better person for it. We love you!

Patti said...

I came across this while researching what the loss of my omentum would mean for me. I am also pregant and after 4 days of pain went to the doctor. They suspected appendicitis and were amazed to find a dead omentum. We are both unique!! I hope the rest of your pregnancy went well. This is my 5th :)

The Reeds said...

Patti, I'm so shocked that there is someone else! I'm sooo excited (but not happy) that this happened to you also. I hope your pregnancy moves along smoothly and I would really love to hear how everything goes for you!
Thanks for stopping by~

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