Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Humbly Broken

November 24, 2008
And so, I like many other mamas, seem to think that I can bear the world on my shoulders and that everyone and everything else should come first.   Thinking I can handle all things and acting as if I don't really need help when I do.

This is a little warning that this post will be long as I am so very grateful for all that God has done to heal and protect me and my family during this roller coaster of a ride that we've been through.

So my day was to begin, with a very messy house, no shower for myself until after we finished school (which is typical), the girls were dressed and ready to go have breakfast (which is not typical since they run around in their chonies until school is over and we all get ready together-Thank God they were ready!).  As I walked around I noticed an unbearable pain on my left side right below my belly and towards the top of my leg, the pain was so intense that little pressure could be put on my leg and I felt as if I needed a cane.  Hmm...strange, but that's how pregnancy goes, lots of weird little aches and pains, so I thought.  As I made my way down the stairs I was fine, I went into the kitchen to make the girls their breakfast, and whoa, I totally lost my breath.  Not only did I lose my breath, but I thought I was going to pass out and hit the floor because I was unable to get any air into my lungs.  I tried my hardest to just let it pass, as I have been having little fits like this throughout my last trimester, with the explanation of it being the baby sitting high on my diapraghm.  I knew I would pass out if I didn't get to the couch quickly, but I had no strength to get there, and somehow managed to get there and I quickly laid down.  I remember putting my glasses on so the girls couldn't see me crying as I panicked about what was happening.  I had Symph get me the phone and immediately called Dom to get home and help me out.  He left work at that moment and flew home, dialing 911 on the way.  I got a quick call from him and he told me that he had dialed 911 and to have Symph open the door.  Again I started crying, asking him "why would you do this to me?" There was a knock at the door and sure enough Symph opened it as my rescuers came to help. Immediately I was given oxygen, and I realized that things weren't looking so good.

As they took my vitals I remember asking if my hubby could take me to the hospital when he got home.  My first thought was my girls were seeing all that was going on with me, and that there was no one right there to take care of them and comfort them.  My next thought was how embarrassed I was of my messy house, the fact that I hadn't even showered or brushed my teeth, and that I was in pajamas with no bra and crazy hair sticking up in the air!  Nice!

I wanted Dom to take me to the hospital and not be taken by ambulance with and asked if I could just wait until Dom got home.  I even called to see how close he was and told the medics he was right down the street and that I would be fine!  My question was calmly answered by a firefighter as he explained that what was happening to me was happening to my baby too.  The Paramedics are supposed to take you to the nearest hospital, which is Kaiser right here in Fontana, but I wanted to be at my hospital.  They agreed to take me there, and God 's hand was just seen from here on out.  My neighbor happened to notice what was going on and took the girls while the paramedics wheeled me off, and distracted my girls from the chaos.  Dom arrived in time to see me leave, then immediately got the girls and was off to follow me to the hospital.

In the ambulance I was given a breathing treatment, my blood sugar level was checked, and an IV was instantly put in place (not fun while driving on a road filled with pot holes!).  My mind was turning as I thought about what could possibly be happening.

As I was put into the emergency room a familiar face came by to check on me.  It was this doctor that I had in the ER in the past that I thought was a total quack, but who happened to be right on with my diagnosis back then.   As he talked to me and tried to diagnose me I looked at my mom who was sitting with me and just gave her a look that he was crazy.  He said that he thought I had blood clots in my lungs and was going to send me over for a CT scan.  All I could think was this guy is crazy, I'm pregnant and my baby is high on my diapraghm.  
I guess he knew just a bit more that I did (after all, he did go to medical school for a reason, right?).  As time passed I was greeted by another doctor (Pulmonary Specialist) and was told that I was one of the lucky ones and that only 4 out of 10 actually make it in to the hospital.  Here I am thinking I'm going to be released and thank God He got me here in time for them to check me out. I heard the dreaded "admitting her" and was upset, but where I was being admitted was a different story.  Not only was I being admitted, but I was going to the CCU.  I thought I felt perfectly fine just bit hard to breathe, my solution was to just send me home with some oxygen. I think our roller coaster of a ride had just begun.

I was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit with the most amazing nurses, and wondering why in the world I was here.  The doctors had pretty much kept everything hush hush from me, but Dom and my parents were clear on the severity of my condition. Had I known some of what I do now (which I'm sure isn't everything yet),  I'm sure my vitals would have been in much worse of a state.

In the CCU a Labor and Delivery nurse was assigned to monitor the baby until I delivered, mind you I couldn't leave the hospital until the baby was born, due to the state of my lungs (all I could think was how uncomfortable it would be, again, not even knowing that what was going on could be fatal).  I was immediately put on blood thinners and now I would remember why I hated being in the hospital so much, no rest!

I had so many visitors that day as the news was passed around about my condition.  As my visitors left, my mom said goodnight and I cried and cried because I didn't say goodbye to my babies.  I asked my mom to say goodbye to them and she told me she would say goodnight, but not goodbye.  I think it struck me then that something was really wrong and I wasn't being given all the info like Dom and my parents were getting.

November 25, 2008
The doctors had wanted me to have a solid 4 days of recovering and the blood thinners working before I went into labor so that my body was stable and so that I could actually handle the labor.  At 3AM, I began having contractions and knew the little one was on his way.  

My whole entire fear for this pregnancy was that I wouldn't have any one to get me to the hospital in time to get an epidural, but hey I was here and I wouldn't miss the window for the epidural! Wrong!  The nurse told me that I couldn't have the epidural because of my condition, so immediately panic kicked in as I thought about the "ring of fire" I was told about.  I never had to experience this with my girls, but with baby Dom I would.  My contractions became stronger and stronger at around 6AM and at 9AM I told the nurse that he was coming, I knew it.  I began to scream, and I felt so bad for the patients in the CCU as they had to hear me in this crazy pain.  The nurses rolled my bed out of the CCU and took me down to maternity and I had the baby 8 minutes after they took me down!  Good thing I didn't deliver in the elevator.

I remember being so out of it and screaming and a nurse telling me to look at her and nothing else, and to breathe.  I remember thinking where the heck am I, this looks like a room from Lost, and I remember saying I had to poop and that I had to push RIGHT NOW!  I remember the doctor being somewhat flustered, and I remember Dom holding my hand and just being so calm.  Little did I know that I could hemorrhage and die, or we could lose the baby. Had I known the information he did, I don't think I would have been nearly as calm. I am just broken as I think back about all of this and how God's hand was in it all to guard me and keep me.  My hubby was so very strong through all of this and I am so very thankful that God has blessed me with him, my rock.

So, baby Dom was born at 9:20AM, he weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. and was 19 inches long.  He is perfectly healthy, handsome, sweet, and so very loved!

Although it was impossible to be the mama I wanted to be at the moment, the maternity ward tried very hard to accommodate me by bringing him to me to nurse him while I was up in the CCU. Recovery seemed to be going well as far as I knew, but what did I really know?  I knew that God had brought us through this and that I was thankful to have our new little bundle of joy waiting for me to get better.

November 26, 2008
I was completely humbled at this point, not only with all the going-ons of having a baby and how the nurses in the CCU check on you and all that you do, but having nurses that wouldn't even let me use the bathroom and offered a bed pan instead.  Talk about being humbled!  Speaking of bathroom, there aren't any in the CCU.  All I could think of was wanting a shower, since it had been 4 days without one and how I can't go a single day without one, and that there wasn't a bathroom in the room.  Where in the world do people in the CCU shower?  Well, people in the CCU/ICU aren't well enough to do that, and if they are, they get sponge baths.  My sweet hubby helped me take a sponge bath at midnight (what a trooper he was, being so tired and all), but I still didn't get to wash my greasy hair.  Again, humbly broken that I couldn't do for myself what I have easily taken for granted.

November 27, 2008

We spent a quiet day in the CCU with no visitors until the afternoon when Thanksgiving dinner arrived from my parents and Dom's sister and husband.  It was thoughtful and sweet of them to cheer us up and bring us a Thanksgiving meal to celebrate.

On this day I was so very thankful that:

  • I had a hubby who was on top of it and dialed 911 despite my pleas not to
  • I had two beautiful little girls who were being brave and strong without getting to see me (due to the CCU visitor rules)
  • I had a perfectly healthy baby boy that would be spoiled immediately once I regained my strength to do so
  • We had family and friends that cared so much, and were at the hospital night and day
  • Loved ones were quick to pray for us and add us to lots and lots of prayer chains across the US, as well as those praying for us overseas
  • For God's healing hand over my body, His strength to keep on when I was just distraught with all that I was facing
  • For Dom's constant encouragement, love, and compassion as I continued to get poked and prodded
  • God's strength and the encouragement of family and friends which kept Dom calm and able to care for me
  • That each breath is given by God, and how easily I've taken it for granted until I was put into a situation such as this.
  • so much more can be added!

I was supposed to be able to leave the CCU on this day and go down to the observation unit, but that wasn't going to happen.  I learned that there was a toilet in the CCU, it's under the cabinet and swings out to be used.  I got to use the ca mode a couple of times that day, but my heart rate would sky rocket when I went to get back into bed, mind you the ca mode was only about 3 feet away.  I used the ca mode later in the evening and my heart rate went up to 175 and I was told I would be staying in the CCU.  Ah, I was a bit bummed, I really thought I was making progress.  Once again, little did I know about the state I was in.

November 28, 2008

This day was a much better day although the news of my condition wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear.  I wanted to be released from the hospital on Saturday as planned, but my hemoglobin levels were low due to the amount of blood they were drawing as well as what I lost during labor.  I did have good news, I was going to be taken down to the "tellie" unit because I was doing better and didn't need to have the constant care and attention that I needed previously in the CCU.  God totally had his hand over us because there were no rooms available, and my nurses in the CCU were going to pull strings to get me a private room so that I could have baby Dominique with me.  It was very thoughtful of them, and I was in a rush to get out the CCU where my day started at 3:30AM with breathing treatments, blood work, vital checks, my Lovinox shot, and the list goes on.  I couldn't wait to have my vitals checked every 4 hours in the "tellie" unit instead of each hour as it was in the CCU.  

I ended up being transferred late at night and was thankful that I hadn't been transferred earlier because the room was really a step down.  At the time, I didn't realize why the nurses were talking somewhat badly about the "tellie" unit, but when I arrived, I knew exactly why.  The room was just awful and not taken care of at all.  In fact, I fell asleep and woke up to see Dom cleaning my room down with the medical grade wipes and gloves on his hands at 2AM!  He had all the things I wasn't using packed up and was ready to take them all to the car.  It was so awful to him that he couldn't sleep and felt the need to clean it up.  I tell you he is more than wonderful!

Although this night was an adjustment, and being in this unit of the hospital was a step down (the nurses weren't on top of it!), I was actually able to rest a bit and feel as if I was recovering.  

The Pulmonary Specialist that was following me closely came in and said that things were looking good, and that my hemoglobin count from my blood work was looking okay, a bit low, but not in need for a blood transfusion.  I was so relieved because I was told that it was likely that I would have one if the levels weren't higher.  About an hour later I received a call from her just to let me know that my level had dropped a bit more and that the transfusion was going to take place within a couple of hours.  I was in disbelief and thinking about having someone else's blood in my body and somewhat panicked at the thought of it.  I called my mom and asked her to please come and stay with me since it would e a 5 hour process.  Dom was wasted and I wanted him to have a break and go sleep at home on our bed, and take a shower (poor guy, he hadn't changed in three days!).  My mom and dad came by the hospital and Dom left for a good few hours of rest that he desperately needed.  

The transfusion was taking place and as my dad and Dom had left I asked them to please call everyone and let them know that I wouldn't have any visitors today because it was a time that I just wanted to be alone without company in case something were to happen.  I was really afraid of my IV's and having another infiltration, yet with the blood this time instead of medication.

It was just me and my mom and it was comforting to have her with me all to myself.  She was so encouraging and strong through this whole ordeal, and I am so very grateful for her. 

Later, my mom's close friend Rita stopped by and my mom told her immediately that I wasn't having any visitors.  I knew that not only would it be nice to have Rita there for my mom, but that she would bring some laughter for me too.  I told my mom it was fine for her to be there, and her company helped make the time go by quickly.  

Once the transfusion was done, my mom was insistent on me taking a shower because I wouldn't quit whining about feeling so gross, not to mention that my release wasn't going to be Saturday after all, but now it was moved to Monday! She had the nurse get approval from the doctor for me to shower, because apparently no one in this unit was allowed to take showers (even though there's a shower in each room?).  My mom is a trooper, she got all my stuff together to take a shower and waited in the bathroom constantly asking if I was ok while I showered.  You better believe I was ok, as much as I felt like I was going to pass out, I held onto that little metal bar in the shower and finished my shower.  I got out, got ready, and went into my room to find my babies waiting for me ready to be loved.  It was such a blessing to see them and just love on them.  

Bella was so inquisitive about everything.  She wanted to know why I had IV's, why I had bruises (I told her the doctors colored on me), why I had a heart monitor, why I was in the hospital, and so on and so on.  Symph just took in all the surroundings and knew that what I had were bruises and was just trying to figure all that was going on out on her own.  

We called maternity and asked them to bring the baby up, and it was such a beautiful time with the girls.  They were in love with the baby and just consumed with him.  They both held him, kissed him, and just adored our newest addition to the family.  I honestly didn't want this time to end because I missed them so much, and this was not how I pictured us all welcoming a new baby.  It was beautiful, but I was also saddened that I couldn't be with them to care for them (they were sick on top of everything else!).  I love my babies!

It was time for the girls to leave, as well as the rest of our company (my family), and I just sat and cried as they left.  I felt so defeated (even though I was getting better) and as though I wasn't going to heal the way I needed to in order to care for my family.

November 28, 2008

Today was a new day and I finally felt as if I could fight and make this work after all.  I got out of bed and took a few trips walking up and down the hall (which if you asked me before, I thought it would be impossible to walk 25 ft), and I was ready to leave the instant they told me I could, but I still had til Monday.  

Around noon, the director of Labor & Delivery came in asking just "one question".  She wanted to know if there was anyone able to watch my baby at home while I stayed in the hospital because they had too many babies in the maternity ward.  My nurse was standing right next to her, and all I could think of was that this had been worked out and an agreement was made that my baby could stay until Monday.  I was so flustered and upset over this and told her that there wasn't anyone that could take care of my newborn at home.  She left somewhat irritated, and left me very irritated.  My nurse stayed behind and waited for her to leave and told us that it wasn't our problem and that they needed to deal with it.  She told us not to worry about it, but how couldn't I?  All I could think of was that they were now going to neglect my son since they didn't have anyone that could bring him up to me.  

I guess the Director's need to have him out of the nursery was a blessing in disguise because I was immediately scheduled for another CT scan and had the Pulmonary Specialist in my room within a few hours.  The results were amazing to us, the clots had shrunk by 60-70% and I was going home!  I was so excited to have the three IV's taken out, have my stuff packed up and taken to the car by Dom and my dad, and to finally take my baby home!

We walked into a clean house with candles lit and dinner in the oven.  My sweet brother and his wife, along with our wonderful friends/family Simon and Marisa cleaned our house while we were in the hospital!  My mom and dad were there waiting for us with dinner and the house open and ready for us to actually relax.

It was awesome to be home!  

I am completely humbled and broken to see what God has done to keep me and heal me.  So many things that I have taken for granted were magnified through all of this and I am so thankful for all that I have and all those who have just been a complete blessing to my life and my family's.  It's through times like these that it's made evident who your loved ones are and I am so very blessed to have been showered with so much love. 

We have been blessed continually with family and friends (which are really family).  My parents and my brother & Jess were great distractions for my girls as they took care of them and spoiled them rotten  :)  It was comforting to know that they were being loved on when we weren't able to do so.  

A big thank you to Jen for her support while I was at the hospital and even now that I'm home.  She's a sweetheart of a best friend, and is running a tight ship in having others help us out.  She's scheduled a full month of dinners for us and has been bringing them to us so that we aren't overwhelmed with company at this time, she knows me too well! 

I am so very blessed to be here writing this. I get overwhelmed and often cry when I think of what could have happened had I just tried to bear it on my own thinking it would pass. Not only am I thankful that Dom called 911, but that he is just beyond what I could ever want my husband to be. 

Throughout all of this and as I write, I am humbly broken to see God's hand upon my life and my family's.  His love, grace, and mercy are abundant and more than I deserve.


Alessandra said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I literally have tears streaming down my face. I CANNOT believe that happened to you!!! I guess it's a warning for all of the mommies who read this to slow down, life is too short!! Your boy is so freaking adorable! In the first pic with his eyes open, he looks A LOT like his sisters!
Your husband sounds like a fabulous and rare find of a man! You are so lucky to have each other and I'm just really grateful you are well.
I was wondering why there were no pics out yet! Wow. I'll be saying lots of prayers for you and your beautiful family!

Becky said...

Thank you so much! It's crazy to think of the things we so easily take for granted :) We are all so trily blessed!

Jessikah said...

You and your beautiful family are in my prayers!!! As I read this I just cried for you, I cant begin to imagine what all you have been through but Thank God He is mighty and Faithful!!
I saw last week a message on your myspace saying congrats on your baby boy, so I pretty much stalked your page and blog from this day forth waiting for pictures..... I always said a prayer for your recovery but little did I know what all that was really going on!!! I fell a little guilty for stalking now ;)
Praying for you!!!

Becky said...

Thanks Jessikah! No need to feel guilty, I'm the same way when a little one is expected. It's taken me a while just to be able to write this without being so emotional, as well as post his pics and announce his birth.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers, we really need it right now! :)

Rubyellen said...

God is so good. I was crying the whole time I was reading this!!! I see God's handiwork and I praise God that you are alright... and so is baby Dom. I can't wait to see you again, after you rest and are recovered but we are thinking and praying for you. Let us know if we are able to help in anyway... i am ready!

thank you for sharing how God has grown you... i am so encouraged!!!

foldreformer said...

Becky, I am so thankful to our God for delivering you and baby dom through this. Reading your detailed account brought tears to my eyes, sharing in the fear you felt and the thankfulness you expressed over your family and God's hand overy your life. God is good! May you and your children always have this as a reminder of that. May it point the way for their budding faith in God. I love you so much and am so thankful for your progressing health.
Love, Kellee

Clarissa said...

WOW! You are TRULY an amazing woman! I can barely breath right now from reading all that...I can not even imagine what you have been through...I was crying the entire time and trembling.

THANK GOD for your awesome Hubby and for your great support team and for your healthy son! {Who is totally adorable}

You are in my prayers!!