January 25, 2011

Losing my Omentum: The Unexpected and Faith 2

Dear friend,
Where were we? After such a long hiatus I'm sure you're laughing at my current influx of letters. Sorry for that!

Back to the pink jammies... that I am still wearing by the way... and I'm still sitting in the same chair...

So yesterday I told you about our pregnancy, excitement and fears and my "grand plans" to ring in the second trimester: cabin then beach etc.

I'll pick up right there, with the Friday afternoon of leaving for the cabin.

As I said, my morning sickness was really letting up (Praise Jesus!) and I was so excited to be with the girls and not worry about school. It had been a hectic day. Class all day, a meeting during my conference period and during lunch, all while trying to prep for a sub for my first two periods back Tuesday (You'll recall Monday was a holiday). I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the day we got back from the cabin which made everything even better because I hoped to find out the gender of the baby.

In the midst of all of this, the 3:30 bell rang, I was still organizing my room for the substitute and time was ticking away. You see, I have a 30 minute commute to my house and the girls were going to pick me up at 4. I knew it would be very tight but that I could manage. Some unforseen things came up and I felt my stress level rising. My stomach had felt sour and was hurting which was pretty typical, especially so many hours after a meal.

I jumped in my car and sped (yes.. me the granny driver) to meet the girls. The entire time I was so sad that the pain I had experienced in December seemed to have come back. "Bloating". That's what I thought it was. Very painful bloating. The girls were patiently waiting at my house and we all got on the road expecting my pains to end soon.

They didn't.

That night we stayed at a hotel in New Mexico and ate at an adorable little Italian restaurant. I didn't eat, I held my stomach and tried not to vomit and look miserable. We still had fun and chatted until past midnight. That night I barely slept from the pain and at 5 am my roommate and I were both wide awake because of me. I wasn't overly concerned because this had happened several times over Christmas break too. It was just bloating... I thought.

That morning, after some vomiting, my friend said, "Georgia, I think you should call your doctor... This isn't normal."

I had comforted myself those short four months with the idea that this was the painful gas I had heard of with some pregnancies. But when she said it wasn't normal I called the hotline for my doctor and the nurse on call said it was likely gallbladder and to go to the Emergency Room only if I was in excruciating pain. But what is considered excruciating? I wasn't thrilled with the prognosis, but I was thrilled to have an answer and it seemed to all make sense.

One girl's friend had the same issue in her pregnancy and she called her and got ideas and info. and another friend's sister had this with all four of her pregnancies. She called her and armed with even more info. we confidently left for the mountains.

By the time we reached the cabin my pain was unbearable. I couldn't stand up straight or take a deep breath and I definitely couldn't bear being touched on my abdomen. My only growing concern was that with both other girls with this issue, their "attacks" lasted from 3- 12 hours.. This had been a solid 24 hours and the pain was now more focused on my upper right side by my ribs.

Only a few hours into being at the cabin, the girls called a doctor at our church. The doctor had me poke myself in a few places and suggested I go to the emergency room. This was horrible news for me. I was ruining the girls' weekend... Ruining it. How often do mommies get to go away with girlfriends for a weekend completely baby free for nights of uninterrupted sleep? Me, the child-free one who had months of good night's rest, was ruining it for them.

The girls were supportive and we left immediately from the mountain to go the nearest town that had a hospital and an emergency room.

Oh Emergency Rooms. They're the same the world over aren't they? Horrible by their very nature.

It felt surreal.

Twelve hours later we were all a little loopy and slap happy, it was four am and we had been in this tiny ER for almost twelve hours. My pain had not subsided and the blood tests and abdominal ultrasound all looked fine. The pain however was not fine and the doctor wanted to do emergency surgery. What to do?

You have to know that I had tried to avoid even taking tylenol during this pregnancy and now they were giving me Class C pain killers intravaneously. It may not seem like a big deal, but after I consented, and as I lay letting the medicine drip into my veins, not knowing how it would effect my baby, all I could think of was letting this baby go already to God. This baby isn't my own. Yet praying over and over dear God please save my baby.. please save my baby.

The doctor gave it 30 minutes. If the pain killer dulled the pain, I was free to return to Texas and my own doctor. If not, he would call the surgeon. My friends were wonderful. I lay silently, tears sliding down my cheeks, pleading with God and counting the seconds, as they prayed. We've all started a Bible Reading Plan together at the new year and they began to read the Psalm for that new day. You must know how perfect this is for me... I have always taken such comfort in the Psalms and especially in David. He is such a favorite for me. I feel like I identify with his heart more than anyone else in the Bible.

As I lay pleading, this is what my friend began to quietly read from Psalm 16:

"Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing."
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
"They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight."
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips."

As she began to cry, another friend began to quietly read where she left off...

"LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

The thirty minutes had passed... even forty five. The doctor came back in and I knew that my pain had not subsided. He pressed my abdomen and the pain was excruciating. He left to call the surgeon and we waited...

He came back with a seeming change of heart. I think it was also very evident that I did not want to consent to surgery so far from home and in such a rush. They had agreed that if I went home and to my own doctor/emergency room with some narcotics to manage the pain for me and baby they would let me leave.

We were relieved.

I took the pain killers and we thought I could manage the next day and perhaps go in to see my doctor Monday morning.

The next day was Sunday and was a blur of sleeping just long enough to manage the trip back home (about five hours) while I tried to manage not vomiting in the car. At this point eating hurt and since Friday at lunch I had eaten very little. My poor little baby! We neared home after dark had fallen and we had decided that waiting until that next morning wasn't an option.  Jacob was prepared to meet me and head straight to the emergency room here.

And my saga continues.... I never expected this to be this long. Good thing for your the next week for me was mainly a blur so it should go much more quickly.

I hope your family is well. Give them all a hug and look down at your body and thank it for working the way it does. I know I will for as long as I have good health.

I'll close this off and give your head a rest.

Thanks for wading through this with me.

Much love,
Georgia

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