Tuesday, December 4, 2012

and ?

November 21st. The evening before Thanksgiving we were at my in-laws spending the night. I had a feeling that day that I may be "late" for a reason other than my cycle adjusting as it is sometimes prone to do. I snuck out of the house for a quick trip to the pharmacy. Within 5 minutes of my return I knew I was right. There were two lines on the stick. But they were faint so I needed to reassure myself by taking another test.

I spent the evening texting HH trying to use my super human powers to get him to check his phone that was most likely in his locker, which is where he's supposed to keep it while at work. He did end up calling on his break in the wee hours of the morning and I told him to stop and get another test before he came to his parents the next morning. Morning pee is always better. Every woman knows that!

I met him at the door and without so much as a "hello" or greeting kiss snatched the paper bad out of his hands and was on my way to the bathroom. Once again, two lines.

We were a bit surprised. We always know it's a possibility because we do the calendar method and sometimes a person's  math can be a bit off. Even though we'd had many discussions about whether four was our number or if we wanted to have more and hadn't come up with an answer I was excited. And at peace. I just kept looking at my other babies and thinking, "I just love them so much! Why not have another one!"

We told our parents and siblings but decided to keep it a secret from everyone else. I had a plan. I don' usually wait to say something. To me, as soon as there are two lines I want to tell everyone. That baby, as small as it may be, is a life and I want to celebrate it!

This time, however, I wanted to announce it with a Christmas card. In our almost 8 years of marriage I don't know that I've ever got Christmas cards out in the mail. Every year I plan to. I know that there were even a few years where I wrote letters and they sat for months after the New Year not being mailed. This year was going to be different and now I had a good incentive!

November 27th. I order cards from Costco. I picked out a picture of each of the kids and one of me and HH together, arranged them on the card. I already knew what I wanted to say on the card. I just hoped there is room. There is and it reads:

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we!
Let all within us praise His holy name!
Nathan, Shiree, Abiah,
Hazel, Amelia, Jackson, and ?

The first two lines are from the third verse of my favorite Christmas carol, O Holy Night. They speak of joy that we feel and the praise we raise. And then there are the names. Mine scratched with those of  my favorite people on this spinning ball. And we are praising and rejoicing in the gift He has given this year. We talk about the future and the kids debate: girl or boy.

Three days later I wake with what feels like the worst gas pain in the universe. It's a half hour before HH is due to be home but I call him anyways because something inside me says this isn't right. He assures me he's on his way home. I try to go to the bathroom and end up in the shower letting the hot water run down my back. By the time HH does get home the pain has subsided. 

The whole ordeal lasted around 45 minutes and I assume that my original suspicions are correct. Gas. Of the "makes you wanna gouge your eyes out" variety.

The next day. Saturday, December 1st. The kids and I wake and prepare for our monthly grocery shopping expedition including shopping for all the Christmas goodies we plan to make for friends and family. We are taking my MIL along with us. We get to her house around 10:15 and begin the crazy adventure right away.

Fred Meyers
Goodwill drop-off

When we get to Safeway I start to feel hungry. I push it aside knowing that we will eat after this stop. By the time we leave about and hour and a half later I'm having pain in my stomach. I assume it's because I've waited to long to eat. We pick up some food and head back to my MIL's to put cold food in her fridge. When we leave there I'm still in pain and it's getting worse, but I still think it's gas. In fact I think it's gas all the way through the rest of our shopping day:

Dave's Killer Bread
Bob's Red Mill
Trader Joe's
Party City
Winco (because Party City didn't have what we needed)
And finally Costco.

When we get back to my MIL's she has wisely suggested I stay at her house until HH gets off work so he can follow me home and help me with the groceries and the kids. In the meantime I head to her guest room to rest and try to get relief from what I'm still thinking is gas. My MIL had recommended calling the advice nurse and why I hadn't thought of that I don't know. 

The midwife on call and I both are now worried it may be appendicitis or a tubal pregnancy and she says to head to the ER right away. My FIL insists on driving me since HH is still at work and will have to meet me there. FIL and I leave joking around and telling fart stories and jokes on the drive and while waiting in the ER. Thankfully the initial wait isn't long. But the night did turn long. 

Because I was pregnant the first test they do is an ultra sound. They think they see a possible cyst on my right side ovary but it's too early in my pregnancy to expect to see anything in the uterus so they aren't surprised when they don't see anything there. They can't see my appendix with an ultra sound so they wanna to a CT. But they can't since I'm pregnant, so they wanna do an MRI. 

Here panic mode set in and I had to make myself do something I never wanted to do. Thankfully HH was able to stand right next to my head and hold my hand. And through the fluster of my anxiety I was able to know exactly what I needed to get through that 20 minute test: No socks. No blanket on my legs. Arms above my head. Holding HH's hand and staring into his milk chocolate eyes.

The test showed that it wasn't my appendix and showed more clearly that there was indeed something wrong with my right ovary. The OB Dr's apprehension was that it could have been a cyst that would just go away and I would have a normal pregnancy or it could be a tubal pregnancy. There were risks to doing surgery and there were risks to waiting. 

Due to the amount of pain I was I in new we just needed to do the surgery and trust that God would direct the Dr. By 4 am Sunday, December 2nd I was in surgery. Two hours later I woke up in recovery and the nurse confirmed our suspicions  Tubal pregnancy. The Dr had to remove the lower portion of my right Fallopian tube where the egg had attached itself.

This story is long. But I feel like it's not even over. I write it down because I need to. For me. I know as you read through it may have seemed hopeless and maybe a downer of a post. But through it all I've felt a sense of peace. And I've been able to see my prayers answered.

Our Christmas cards speak of the joy we feel and the praise we raise. And though initially we meant that for something else, we still are rejoicing and praising. Because even in the hard and sad times you can. And I must.

I am thankful for and rejoicing that:

My MIL was able to help me on Saturday and for the wisdom she spoke

My FIL humor and gentleness 

HH. Even after being up for over 24 hours, sat up with me all night and reassured me when I was scared, helped me through one of my worst fears, cried with me when we knew our dreams were shattering, and has always, ALWAYS, loved me unconditionally.

My beautiful babies. I miss them. They are such good kids. The are the greatest blessing.

An OB Dr who was sensitive to us and acknowledged the life growing within me but knew to take the danger seriously.

The wisdom and clarity that the Dr had during the surgery.

Coming out of anesthesia wasn't hard this time. It was peaceful and easy.

Fantastic nursing staff.

My mom and sister visiting us in the hospital. Whenever I'm hurt or sad, instinctively I want to be surrounded by three people: HH, my Mom, and my PinDin. 

The beautiful shiny bird my sister gave me in remembrance of our tiny. Put a bird on it. Makes it better.

My in-laws bringing our van load of groceries home and putting them all away. They truly are the best.

My mom coming over and cooking and organizing all the groceries I bought so they don't go to waste while I'm on two weeks of bed rest.

The friends and family who have shown an overwhelming amount of love and support with notes, texts, meals, childcare, and love.

My Jesus, who loves me so intimately that He would give me wisdom during an anxiety inducing experience, give me peace about the loss of our tiny, and gives me the reassurance that He is loving that baby for us right now. I have to believe.


Steadyongal said...

I love you SO much. Thank you for your openness and reliance for strength being on the Lord.


Nicole SIL said...

WE all love you guys so much and will keep praying for you during this time. Our God is so good no matter what is going on in our lives.Praising Him through this time is the best thing to do. Love you and as always proud to be your sister!! :)

The Davis Family said...

I cried about your lost "birdie." So glad you are surrounded by God's love through friends, family and others.

rockswith6 said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Shiree. We had no idea. Sorry for your loss, I agree you have a really special husband ---and family. I'm thankful you have so much love and support. If you ever need us we are there for you too. Love you guys!<3

Shannon said...

Oh Shiree I am so sorry!! What a brave author you are! I am so thankful that you know the Lord in this time. Stay close to Him! He knows exactly what you need. You are right to rest in Him. What a blessing you are to others and I am so glad that you have support from a caring and lovely family. I will see you fairly soon!! Bringing a meal your way. Much love to you...


joettafort said...

I'm sorry to hear about this, Shiree, but so glad you have such wonderful family surrounding you. I wondered what was up with the Christmas cards, but if it still comes printed with the '?' I will use that reminder to say another prayer for you and your family.

Cora Merritt said...

It was such a thrill to meet you at the beach gathering from Connection Ministries and felt such peace while I was reading this today. The bird is wonderful, I now have a bird house we bring out over the Holidays to celebrate God's amazing love. My prayers continue to be with you and sending a gift card for a meal of your choice while you are resting. Cora

pistolsnprincesses said...

Thank you all for your overwhelming love and prayers. We feel them all!

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry, Shiree!!

I just got your Christmas Card in the mail, and I had no idea (I've been behind on my reading, unfortunately).

I will definitely be praying for you - I know this could not have been easy. But what a beautiful attitude you have!