Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Even though some of you already know...

I took this test two days after Christmas while we were staying in my sister's basement in Utah. I didn't believe it because we hadn't met with any doctors, or spent thousands of dollars trying to get pregnant. So I didn't tell the husband. But he kept bugging me about how my period should have started. So two days later I took another one, same result, and shared it with him.

Excited! Thrilled! Scared! Still a little unbelieving, so I took five more over the next week. And found an ob-gyn once I got home. We weren't sure when we'd tell everyone but we knew we at least wanted to wait until we were sure that it wasn't just vacation-diet induced nausea.

I met with my doctor on Thursday, she confirmed and sent me for a sonogram. The tech wasn't available that night so I scheduled it for a week out, when they had evening hours since I had just missed a lot of work and wanted to go after work hours. I didn't want anyone at work to suspect yet.

Sunday evening while making my famous chicken parm I felt some cramps, got a little worried but since there was not bleeding I thought I'd just wait it out. I'd never been pregnant before and thought this might be normal. After the pain got worse I realized that this couldn't be normal, had the husband call my dr, get her answering service, and she called me back. She happened to be at the hospital that day, working already, and suggested that we come to the ER to get it checked out.

By the time we got to the ER I was in a lot more pain, which only got worse while we waited for our turn. And I puked. Several times. Finally they take me back, get me all hospital-gowned and start examining me. While all the medical personnel are out of the room, I decide to use the bathroom. Before I make it very far, I pass out, totally, hitting my head on a table on my way down. Husband panics, rightfully, and calls for help. We find that this is the most effective way to get attention in a hospital. Noted.

Sonogram and ultrasounds later, my doctor has joined us and they've alerted the OR to get ready for me. Turns out it's a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, pretty severe. At this point the pain is bad enough that I cannot wait for them to knock me out and cut me open so they can fix me. The iv in my arm missed my vein, my arm swells up and hurts like a son of a gun. A man who was having a routine appendectomy gets bumped because I'm in a worse way. Doctor tells Stewart that she plans on going in with a scope, should be done and in recovery in about an hour.

While scoping out my belly, doctor finds out that I have a lot of blood in my body cavity. A lot. So doctor has to open me up to get all the blood out. And to remove the burst fallopian tube, and it turns out, ovary. This ends up taking much longer than the hour that husband was expecting. Meanwhile he spends what I can only imagine is a horrible amount of time in the ICU waiting room. He calls our parents. And I understand he cried some.

I wake up in the ICU three hours later with a lot of people around. I think I lost about 40% of my blood, hence the passing out. I received three units of donated blood and some plasma to boot. And I have a nice long scar on my belly. And no more fallopian tube or ovary on my left side. And I hurt. A lot. It was a busy night in the ICU, Stewart and I slept when we could but I was hooked up to all sorts of machines and nurses came to take my vitals every few hours. Stewart and a friend of ours gave me a blessing Monday evening, before they moved me from the ICU to the normal ob-gyn floor.

The past few days have been filled with tests of all sorts, hospital food, visits and calls/texts from wonderful people, flowers and tears. And even hugs. Wonderful hugs. I wouldn't have traded spaces with Stewart for anything. I much prefer being the one cut open to the one who was left waiting, possibly being widowed.

I am healing, the physical scars will be healed very soon. The emotional scars will last for the rest of my life. But it will be ok. Really and truly. I am still happy, with moments of sadness. I have been so grateful that the hospital we came to is the Catholic one in town. I highly recommend both my doctor (Doctor Julie Gavin) and Sisters of Charity Hospital if you ever need medical care in Buffalo. I've received cards and flowers from people that I never expected. Stewart and I will be a stronger couple because of this, I will be a stronger, more worthy person because of this. And I've even smiled this week. And laughed.

I've left out a lot. But I'm more than happy to share on a more personal level if it will ever help. I am so happy to be alive and to be able to move forward. I am excited to see my mom who is coming to help for the next few days. I am grateful to feel the love and prayers from so many people. You make this much easier than it otherwise would be.

I've been reading General Conference talks for my scripture study these last few nights in the hospital. Tonight I read Elder Hale's talk. Last night I read Elder Uchtdorf's talk where I found my new favorite quote ever, "We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it." It's true. It's all true. And I intend to reach it. With Stewart.