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.