Its a matter of perspective…

Many of you know about the events of the last few weeks, but for those who don’t, I’ll give you a quick summary.  On Tuesday, March 13, I was admitted to the hospital to induce labor and have the twins.  After laboring through the night, our beautiful (and perfect!) baby boys were born at 1:09 and 1:20pm on Wednesday, March 14.

Shortly after having the babies we realized that I couldn’t stop bleeding.  Apparently, my blood wouldn’t clot the way its supposed to.  After several attempts to remedy the situation (pitocin to cause more contractions, abdominal ultrasound to identify the problem, and “exploring” my insides), it was decided that I should have a DNC to find the source of the bleeding and stop it.  Because of some medication I had been given, I was largely unaware of what was happening or even that I was headed into the operating room.  As my doctor began the DNC, she realized that the problem was that my body wouldn’t stop bleeding.  I’m told that in that operating room that night, I bled so much that they had to replace every bit of my blood.  At one point, my doctor had the terrible responsibility of telling  my husband that they had done all they could do and if something didn’t change, I wouldn’t survive the 45 minutes it would take for plasma and clotting agents to arrive from the blood bank.

When she returned to the operating room, she and another doctor were finally able to stop the bleeding by trying a relatively new procedure… what a miracle!!!  I woke up in the Recovery Room, surprised to discover that I had almost died and that so many people had seen Reece’s post on facebook and started praying.  I was amazed to hear that so many people had showed up at the hospital to pray for us.  I was moved to the ICU and went to sleep that night thinking all was well.

Thank God for doctors who are a little obsessive 😉  My doctor was suspicious of all that had happened and stayed up all night ordering lab work and checking results.  Her suspicions were confirmed when blood work revealed that I had developed DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation), a typically fatal condition which causes the body to form lots of blood clots in the blood vessels, often leading to organ failure and death in at least 50% of patients.  Because my (amazing and awesome) doctor identified this, I was given plasma, platelets, and other clotting agents all night long.  By morning, I felt pretty good, but my blood work showed we were not out of the woods.  As the day continued, my body began doing what it was supposed to and within 24 hours, I no longer had DIC.  What a miracle!!!!  I will spare you the details (for now) of the next few days, but I’ll just say that each day was filled with answered prayers about my health and the health of the babies 🙂

As I have reflected back on these events I have really struggled with a few things.  First of all, March 14 was a beautifully fantastic day… and then it was an absolutely horrible day… how do I look back on that day and not hate it?  How do I celebrate the birth of our baby boys every year and not let it be overshadowed in my heart by the fact that it was almost the day that Reece became a single dad?

I gave birth to the boys in an operating room at South Lake Hospital and less than 7 hours later I almost died on the table in that same operating room.  How do I not hate that room?  I have such fond memories of “LD-2” where Gavin and Kate were born… I don’t want to hate the room where Luke and Wyatt joined our family.

There is a part of me that would like to erase March 14 from the calendar… maybe it could be like leap day and only come around every few years.   There’s a part of me that thinks the easiest way to work through all that’s happened it to simply ignore it… erase it from my memory and pretend it never happened… but that would be a tragedy.  It would be tragic to ignore all the miraculous things that happened that day.  When I think through the story, the timeline of that day is littered with example after example of God’s hand at work.  There are so many things that, if altered the slightest bit, could have been so devastating.

On March 14, 2012, God literally reached into my body and gave me the gift of my own life.  He gave me the gift of being able to hold my children again, of being able to tell my husband again how desperately I love him, of being able to see my friends and family again.  The truth is, my joy is greater because of the suffering.  Sweet is sweeter because of the Bitter.  Sometimes we just want the good stuff.  We just want everything to go the way we think it should.  We’d like to skip past all of life’s challenges and difficulties.  But the reality is that we sell ourselves short when we do that.  Would I have chosen that near-death experience on the day our twins were born?  No way.  Is life somehow sweeter now because of that experience?  Absolutely.

It’s all a matter of perspective, I think.  We take things (and people) for granted when we assume they’ll always be there.  It’s easy to do and we’re all guilty of it.

So, I could think of March 14 as a terrible day… or I could thank God that on that day, he gave our entire family new life.  And that operating room?  How amazing is it that God saved my life in the very room where he had, just hours before, given life to our new babies?!?!

I’m sure I still have a ways to go in terms of really processing and working through the events of the last 2 weeks.  Its pretty heavy and I think I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of how God will use it to help me continue to grow into the woman I’m supposed to be.  But, I couldn’t be more thankful to be here on the journey.  I’m beyond grateful for each prayer that was said on my behalf, by family, friends, and people I’ve never even met.  And I will live the rest of my life knowing that God heard those prayers and in His infinite mercy and grace, chose to give me life.

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9 responses

  1. I dont know if you remember me or not. I’m Lily’s mom from Gavin’s class last year. I’ve read about you through facebook as we have a few friends in common. I just want to tell you that your story has touched my heart and as soon as I read about your situation my family and I prayed for you. I did not explain to Lily what was wrong other than you were sick but she said many prayers for you and your family. I pray you continue on a wonderful path of healing and wonderful memories with your beautiful family. The boys are gorgeous! Please tell Gavin that Lily is thinking of him! Take care.

  2. Dean and Ferri (son and daughter in law) have kept us informed of your progress and the miracle that the Lord blessed you and your family.We are so happy to have shared your journey and may God continue to bless yo and yours.

  3. Thank you for sharing these very intimate thoughts and feelings. This testimony will only continue to touch people as you share it and give God all the glory He is due.

  4. thank you for sharing.. I too had the same condition, but mine happened 20 years ago on the same day.
    my daughter ashley was born march 13, 1992. in that year that happened to be a Friday the 13th!!
    only difference in my story is I did go flatline for over a min.. I don’t remember much.
    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful sons!!! God bless.

  5. Beautiful post. Congratulations on your twins! My twin boys are now three, and I consider every moment of their lives from conception on a complete miracle. You are blessed! I will be praying for you in these early, sleepless nights and tired days. Enjoy the miracle of new life…for all of you!

  6. As I was re-reading this tonight, I was struck by the paragraph where you feared that every birthday would bring back those memories. And it reminded me of how Mike and I had those fears regarding our wedding and 9/11. I’m not sure if you remember, but we were married 9/15/2001. That was the worst week of my life. We didn’t know if family would even make it in for the wedding (Mike’s parents and brother did, thank God, but many extended family members, including grandparents, did not), much less bridesmaids and groomsmen. Three groomsmen didn’t make it. But the hardest part was figuring out how to celebrate in the midst of such loss. I mean, remember how it felt like the world was ending that week? I couldn’t stop crying watching what was going on in NY, yet somehow I was supposed to get married in the middle of all that?! Anyway, a marred wedding day in no way compares to the potential loss of a wife, mother, and friend, but I just wanted to let you know that even though Mike and I feared that when we and other people thought of our wedding, we’d all only think of the tragedy, over time we realized it was the opposite. Our wedding became the bright spot for everyone – not just that week or month, but anytime we all thought back on that awful time. We can remember that HOPE lived, that evil did not win, that LOVE always does win. Not to minimize the loss in any way of those who did lose so much on that day, but I’m just saying, having something to celebrate in the midst of such sadness reminded all of us how temporal life is, and how every joyful moment that can be grasped and clung to, must be. For you, that will be those precious baby boys. Every year you celebrate their life, you’ll be celebrating yours too. Love you, friend!!

  7. Dear Erin,

    You are such an inspiration to other women who have and could possibly have this condition. I know the sharing of your experience will help others in many ways. Having 4 children myself, I never heard of the condition and was totally shocked when I heard of your experience. God blessed you with 2 beautiful boys and the joy of celebrating their birthdays will overshadow that date. Paul and I are so blessed to have been sent by the Lord to The Church of South Lake and to have met you and Reece, your family and all the other special people in our church. By the way, I have 2 family members born on that date and they are both wonderful people as I’m sure your beautiful boys will grow up to be with you and Reece as their parents. With love, Bev

  8. I’ve never meet you but saw the prayer request for you on Angela Thomas’ Facebook page. Facebook led me to you and I check on you and your family from time to time. I’m so thrilled to know you are doing great. Your family is beautiful.

    I too had the same horrible experience after the birth of my son. Almost 6 years later, we are healthy. While we chose not to have more children as a result, and I’m still unsure of a lot of the events, I know God was with me and knew I needed to stay on earth. My only lingering question is how will I ever tell my son what happened? To this day the section of his baby book for birth day is still empty. One day, I hope to find the words. Your faith is amazing and I find myself grateful to have come across you and your beautiful family. May God continue to bless you and your family.

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