Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Answer, It's Death Knocking

Let's pretend you had the opportunity to look through a peephole and see how and when you were going to die, would you??

If you had have asked me that question before July 17th, 2006, I would have boldly said, "yes" and without even the slightest hesitation. So, why did that very date change my answer? Well, that was the day that I was given that particular opportunity and I wish I had never taken it:

I woke up around 7 am that morning to sneak in a quick shower before my 4 day old newborn and 2 year old awoke. I had just gotten home from the hospital the day before and the last 24 hours had worn me completely out. I remember thinking how good it was to finally be back in my own surroundings and the hot steamy water felt so good against my battered and no longer pregnant body. Then, I shivered. How could I be shivering in July in Florida in a very hot shower??? Hmm, weird, but it did not concern me until an ever so slight twinge of pain followed about a minute later. However, I shook it off as nothing and convinced myself that it was normal considering all that I had just been through.
Now, at this point, I must admit that I am a master at hiding pain. I don't know why I feel the need to, but, I do, and, I do it quite well. Therefore, I will RARELY acknowledge or admit it when it is overcoming me, but, that day was different....completely and undeniably different. Remember that shiver and slight twinge I started my day with? Well, they had decided that neither of them were going to be ignored. Nope, they grew stronger and angrier, and, by that afternoon, they had declared an all out war deep inside of me.
The only way I can explain it is like this: Imagine it is a really nice day outside. There is a clear blue sky above you except for one little nonthreatening grey cloud in the distance. It does not seem to be enough to pose a threat to your day, BUT, it seems to have a little determination to hang around just close enough that you can't forget it. Then, that same little grey cloud begins to shift and slowly move closer. The bright sun begins to fade until there is no recognizable bit of blue sky left. You are totally taken off guard and did not expect this sudden and disappointing change of weather at all. So, you annoyingly begin to watch that cloud and try to determine it's next move.
Suddenly, and to every one's surprise, it begins to slowly twist. That somewhat innocent grey cloud is now darker and moving! A slight turn and another twist! Then, it slyly repeats itself,
but, it is clearly getting faster and bigger. Could anyone have predicted that this bright and peaceful sky would have been attacked and overpowered by a tornado? No. No one, not even me, could have forecast this....That build up of pain and fear I was feeling over a period of a few short hours was more than I had EVER experienced before or since then.
So, it was time to do something that I rarely do. I had to admit defeat and give in to the silent battle I was fighting and tell someone there was a problem, but, in the end, I didn't even have to. My observant husband knew something was wrong, REALLY REALLY wrong, by the way I was acting.
We rushed into the closest E.R. and my mind began to race. I pulled out every ounce of nursing experience I had in me and searched for an obvious answer as to what was happening to me before the doctor even examined me. Was it my gallbladder? Did he leave something inside of me during the surgery? What was happening to me?
The doctor appeared and he calmly ran a couple of scenarios by us. I remember feeling a little more at ease after meeting him and not seeing an overly concerned reaction from him. I was immediately taken into another area of the hospital for a scan, feeling determined that it was nothing serious. Then, it happened. That unexpected moment when life throws a nasty monkey wrench really hard at you and you NEVER EVER see it coming.
That routine scan became the star of the show. It smugly announced itself to us as my "peephole" and that calm doctor's comforting demeanor had changed too.
I very unexpectedly found myself in a situation I could have never imagined. I was helplessly laying there and felt like I was being led by the grim reaper himself to look into that peephole with my name on it.
So, I ask you this one more time. If you could find out before hand, how and when you were going to die, would you want to know? Could you suddenly be prepared to hear very grim words come out of a doctor's mouth and stay composed and focused as your shocked ears relayed an incredibly terrifying message to your brain? A message that chillingly questioned,
"Are you ready, at this exact moment, to find out how you are going to die today?"

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Without a Hitch...Then, the Hitch!

So, as the old saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"..........
I went through 8 1/2 months of pregnancy with my second child,literally,without a hitch....Then, the hitch!
At 36 weeks, my little one decided he didn't want to come out and turned around. Of course, the medical term for this is "breech" but I just called it pure stubborness. So, my first obstacle, when I was so close to the finish line! Now, many women, I'm sure, would have been happy to be scheduled for a c-section, but, I didn't see it as a convenient way of getting out of that awful workout, known as, labor. I saw it as going under the knife and a longer recovery. I was not thrilled about the decision but I knew the baby wouldn't get out any other way. So, cut me open and get him out!
The night before the c-section, I laid out my favorite maternity mumu and my best flip flops (it was July in Florida) and tried to mentally prepare myself for the surgery while the anxiousness of getting to finally see my baby set in. I awkwardly rolled into bed with the mindset that I wouldn't get much sleep, and, then,"you have got be kidding me!," I thought to my surprise!
BIG HITCH!! Obstacle #2!! This warm sensation running down my leg and all over my sheets can't actually be my water breaking 6 1/2 hours before my scheduled c-section?? Yes, it sure was! I yelled my husband's name, threw on the mumu and flip flops, and shuffled carefully out the door and to the hospital.
The labor & delivery nurses informed me I was 6 hours early. I informed them my water broke. They said, "Oh!" and I was admitted while they called my doctor and I was prepped for the surgery.
About fifteen minutes later, my doctor walked in. I could tell by the way that half his hair was standing up on the side of his head that he had just rolled out of bed and he smurked at me and said, "Well, I picked the right day just the wrong time!"
One easy pregnancy, one stubborn and breech baby, and a wacky night of going into labor and getting a c-section to get to the finish line. It was quite a journey, but, well worth it when that sweet boy let out his first cry and I was able to see him and kiss his little forehead.
He was 9 lbs 5 oz and perfect.....
I had a permanent but beautiful battle scar to mark his incredible arrival.....
My proud husband had another child that looked just like him.....
My oldest son made the transition from the baby to the big brother.....
Our lives had all changed and our new baby's had only just begun. It was another amazing moment for all of us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Congratulations....It's a Boy!" (Again)

I must admit I have always been a little leery of the unknown. I was never totally at ease with either of my pregnancies until the ultrasound phase. For my husband, it was the ultimate moment of finding out if we were having a boy or a girl. For me, however, it was a piece of mind hearing that there was one head, two arms, two legs and all of the organs were where they were supposed to be. Either way, it was just as exciting the second time around finding out that the baby was healthy, and, oh yes, the "'s a boy!" (again)
So, fate had spoken and our baby boy at home was about to become a big brother to our next son. Immediately, the visions of frilly dresses and tea parties went out the window and we chattered about our inevitable future of them wrestling and breaking things, tossing the ball in the yard, riding four wheelers, and, being mommy's boys! We were also happy that they were going to be 26 months apart and close enough in age to live out adventures together.
"Two boys!" I spent the remainder of my pregnancy repeating those two words with lots of enthusiasm and a little disbelief. I had come from a family of all girls, so, having boys was going a be a new experience for me, but, I loved and embraced the idea. Life was good and only getting better and we were truly blessed!