I don’t talk about it often but I shouldn’t be here. If it were not for the grace of God and some very important friends you would not be reading this post today. I decided that I should commemorate today this year—and express my gratefulness and thankfulness that I am here to write about it.
It was one of those bizarre things. It was a one in a million event. But then I am a one in a million person, right? 🙂 Micah had made his entrance into the world 3 weeks earlier—poor little dude got stuck coming out so after hours and hours and hours of labor the docs decided a C section was in order. I was just ready. Beyond ready. One doctor kept Chris out of the room so not only was I a scared 24 year old, I was alone during delivery which kind of stunk. One doctor out of a room full of medical staff. Grrrrr. Micah was healthy and cried and even though I did not get to hold him then (this was 1985 and a Navy hospital…..) he and I were fine and that was all that mattered.
I had told everyone that I didn’t want any family there–Chris was enough and I wanted to have our little family get started without anybody else. And we did just great! We were surrounded by a loving community of Navy friends and church family and had settled into our little life with three. And then it happened.
I was feeling so good and one of my friends called to see if I wanted to go for a walk with our boys. I was reluctant because Micah was sleeping and she said “he can sleep in the stroller, too, can’t he?” Well, duh. Yea. So off we went. We walked and walked. And then I started feeling a little weird. We walked back to my house and she came in to talk a bit since both the boys were asleep. I asked her to watch Micah while I went to the bathroom. I am not sure how much time had passed but she came back to check on me and I asked her to come in. The expression on her face told me that this was not normal what was happening. Donna took charge and called our friend Mary Ellen (who just happened to be my roommate in the hospital three weeks earlier when she had Michael!) because of the 3 of us she was the only one with a car. We were all just starting out and most of us shared one car in our families.
Time kind of rushed by after that and without going into a lot of details, Donna watched the 3 babies at my house and Mary Ellen took me to the clinic on the base annex where for some reason they were intent on getting my weight! Must have been a procedure thing but by that time I was a little loopy and Mary Ellen came to my aid and told them I needed to see Dr. Corbett NOW! Dr. Corbett was such a great guy and as soon as he saw me I felt better and of course it could have been that IV that he started immediately. He told me that he was not sure what was going on and why I was bleeding but he was going to have them transport me to the hospital and was going to call Chris. I will never forget hearing him in the other room calling Chris. He had to interrupt a line to get through. Weird how I remember that. He was very calm but told Chris he needed to be at the ER on the main base to meet me and that he needed to get there now.
I will never forget how glad I was to see Chris as they rolled me out of the ambulance. After 2 more pelvic exams (&^%#@!^#) they decided a D & C was in order (you think?) and whisked me off to surgery. Chris was left wondering if I was going to come out. And all I could think about was that I had my contacts in! Seriously! I was clueless as to what was happening to me and that was what I was thinking about! I had iv’s in both arms and it was tricky getting contacts out but doggone it—that was what mattered at that point! The ever thoughtful corpsman told Chris that I would need to get checked for HIV / AIDS / Hepatitis later since I was getting units of blood.
So what happened? Remaining products of conception. Apparently there was another lobe on the placenta that was left inside me after the surgery. Pretty much unheard of but it happened. Scary? Yes. Very. I tear up when I think about it. And that is why I am thankful today. Thankful that I took that walk with Donna and was not alone and that she was able to watch the boys. Thankful that Mary Ellen had a car. Thankful that Virginia helped fill my freezer with food and offered me whatever she could offer. Thankful that my mom came down THEN to help me and that I had not asked her to come before. Thankful that I had a doctor who started an IV. Thankful for the ambulance drivers who calmed me down. Thankful that I was able to see Micah grow up. Thankful that I was later able to have Aaron. Thankful for all of the days that I have had. Thankful that God’s Hand was in the details that day.
So you see—I realize that I could very well not be here today writing this. I think that that is why I have some of the attributes that I have today because I know how precious life is. I did not realize fully how bad it was until my mother in law who was a nurse read my medical records and told me how close I was to not making it. I don’t take life for granted. I take relationships seriously. I try to live each day to the fullest. I tell people that I love them. And I am thankful. Every single day. Life is such a gift and we have such a short time as it is that I don’t want to waste a minute of it.
Last day for the Gadanke journal giveaway—go check out this post and leave a comment to be in the drawing. Winner announced TOMORROW!