Disclaimer: There is no way to fit everything into this post without it being long.
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For the weeks leading up to Sunday February 21st I was feeling miserable. My legs, ankles and feet suddenly became very swollen and it was getting hard to move around. I was having a hard time breathing and it felt like my heart was beating fast but my Doctor reassured me the swelling was fine and the baby was just leaving little room for me to be able to breathe. I trusted and went on being miserable, longing for the day I could hold my sweet girl!
We threw Garrett a Birthday party that Saturday and I could hardly move. My family came over and as I sat surrounded by Avenger decorations I quietly wondered how I was going to make it another month. I felt horrible for Garrett that his mommy couldn’t be bustling around like her normal self. He was distracted having a blast.
Then Sunday came and near the end of the day my head throbbed and throbbed and my back continued to contract up my spine and the pain would spread out through my back. I decided to call in. They told me to come in so they could look me over.
When I arrived I was in severe pain. I could hardly lay on the bed. They took my blood pressure and then the loud dings rang through the room. I looked up and saw 170/100 something. The sweet nurse Ronnie was totally calm as she stepped out of the room. Then the doctor came in.
He said I had preeclampsia. My blood pressure was very high, there was significant protein in my urine, the labs that came back weren’t good, and so they would need to induce labor. I was relieved to know I wasn’t crazy or reading too much into all the pain. So they started cervidil. I wondered in that moment why they weren’t giving me magnesium as this is something all my friends with preeclampsia went on and my case seemed pretty severe. But I trusted my Doctor.
The following morning they removed the cervidil and started the pitocin. Things moved along fast and a little before 11:41 I began to push as both her and I weren’t doing well. I pushed through 5 contractions for a total of 9 minutes! She was out and I was so happy to see her.
She weighed 4lbs 13oz. 19inches. I heard the weight and waited for them to rush her away but they never did. She was healthy and we were grateful!
Then we moved to an observation room because my blood pressure. They started me on labetalol a BP medicine. As the days went on I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so miserable and sick. I thought the pitocin?
They discharged us Wednesday, even though my BP was rising. They had both Evelyn and I follow up with our doctors the next morning.
My sisters came Wednesday night and made dinner and later my sister would tell me she thought something wasn’t okay with me, I was just in a lot of pain.
Thursday morning we went in and as I walked to my appointment in a world of pain I began to tear up because the fluid was so terrible in my legs, ankles and feet. I could hardly move. We arrived at my appointment and my blood pressure was pretty high. He seemed concerned. I told him I had to pick up the labatolol still and he said, great! I was told to go pick up the BP cuff to check at home. When we came to prosthetics they said it would be mailed to me in two weeks. I said kindly how I think that I needed it soon but that would be okay. Then I was being measured for compression socks that would also be mailed to me. As we left the man came back and handed us one saying the other person didn’t need it as bad as I. Boy was he right!
Thursday afternoon I took Garrett out to get my medicine and to get him a special birthday lunch. The pharmacy at the VA Hospital couldn’t fill the labetalol for some reason (A GOD MOMENT) and I would need to get it elsewhere. We stood in walgreens and they said they didn’t take Tricare insurance but walmart did. Okay I thought I will have Darren pick that up. Then we started walking down the aisle and I stopped, feeling like I was going to pass out from all the pain. I came home and my mom called. When we were talking I said ‘mom I am seeing shooting stars’. Something wasn’t right but I knew the medicine would help. Darren went to get it.
So we came home. I sat on the couch worked on nursing. My good friend Courtney came over to help with nursing. She assured me about everything in the world of nursing and I felt confident and happy that my milk supply was rocking! We decided to take my blood pressure and it was 170/106 or 109. I didn’t know what could have happened at blood pressure this high, thankfully. Courtney being a nurse said I needed to go to the ER right then. Darren got back I took the labetalol and my friend Wendy rushed over to be with Garrett. We took Evelyn because I believed we would be re-admitted.
In the ER everything moved along fast. I was immediately put on 2 drip bags of Magnesium. They gave me another dose of Labetalol. We were there for a really long time. I was relieved to be in their care. The ER doctor was livid that they discharged us Wednesday when my BP was climbing and how they wanted us to see our doctors ASAP. Then they let me know I would be transferred to Internal medicine and Evelyn would not be able to be there at all. No children under 7. I started to cry and then this happened. The ER crew believed it was because I started to cry.
The room was cold looking and I cried again, heartbroken and terrified. I felt like I was floating (from the magnesium). They continued to give me labetalol. About mid-day Friday my tongue was tingling and felt fat, my lips were huge, and my face felt awful. It began to go back into my throat and then I had this sense. CALL YOUR NURSE.
So I pressed the button and it just so happened the three doctors were standing right outside my room. (GOD MOMENT) They came in and we talked and they looked me over and realized this was not from crying and they rushed the Benadryl and something else in my IV and the nurse smiled at me and said, ‘You’re going to be going to sleep now. She was really sweet and correct. I laid back feeling relief rush around my body.
I was allergic to the medicine my doctor thought would help. He didn’t know. Preeclampsia was gone on delivery but the BP needed to be worked out. They didn’t use Magnesium and that still has to be communicated about in time but for today I can’t deal with it. The strange thing started to happen though. My internal medicine doctors weren’t getting clear answers from my OB doctors. They were not sure how to treat me because they never had a patient like me. The OB doctors were in avoidance mode and covering their behinds. But they made the other doctors believe I never had preeclampsia. What a mess! The Internal Doctors were amazing though, I have never loved a set of doctors as much as I did about them. They tried a new medicine in the meantime. My BP was just too high and they had to keep me overnight Friday. Then Saturday they started another medicine. They wanted me to stay one more night to make sure they had figured out the right meds. I was sad but at peace that I was in the right place and that a few days in the hospital healing was right where God needed me to be. I couldn’t think about my babies or it would overwhelm me with sadness.
Finally Saturday night the OB called to my room. She wouldn’t let me talk. She thought I was telling my doctors that I still had preeclampsia and that I wanted magnesium. I was simply asking my doctors why I wasn’t given magnesium in the beginning like everyone else in my situation. I finally spoke up and said I know that I do not have preeclampsia anymore, that it was resolved on delivery. I could feel everything in me rising and I pulled the phone away and said to the nurse and my sister I couldn’t do this with her. I pulled the phone back and the Dr. proceeded to tell me she didn’t know I was there in the hospital and thought I was at home…..please let that sink in for a moment. She said she would have stopped by. Covering their behind again.
If you know me, you know i’m not a vicious ‘i’m going to sue you!’ kind of person. I just wanted an explanation for peace of mind and clarity that I did have preeclampsia in the first place because this woman made my other doctors so confused on this. I will have to talk with them in 5 weeks again. I think that it’s important that I explain at least two areas they did make a mistake that they should be aware of in case they run into this again with someone else. They aren’t perfect and are practicing medicine. They make mistakes and there’s grace for that. But they shouldn’t stiffen their necks over mistakes being presented. They should, I hope learn from them.
After the Dr. and I hung up my internal medicine doctors understood for the first time how to really care for me. From then out I knew I was going to be okay with their help and time.I understood it would be a matter of time and the doctors working out the medicine. I laid back and let my body heal. I would lose a total of about 30lbs of water retention over the days to follow. Isn’t that crazy?! That all came on in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Sunday morning my favorite Dr. came in and said I would be released. He talked with me for awhile and I thanked him for everything. We laughed about how everyone there would comment each day on how I looked like a completely different person from when I first entered their floor. You don’t have a face like that from crying!
There were so many moments I wondered if I would ever see the sky again. At one moment when I was next to death I heard God clearly. ‘I’m taking you Home’ I was high on magnesium but I thought well, wow I guess that at least I know where I’m going and who I’m about to see. Later I would laugh and say maybe he was just telling me He was going to bring me home to my house. The nearness of God in that entire week was incredible. He left no doubt in my mind how loved I was.
I’m not angry over what happened when I think about how God worked in it and what He is doing through it all in my heart. It must have been according to His great plan for my life and since it’s made me closer to God I think that’s a good thing too.
I know there are dark days ahead. The other night I woke from a nightmare where I was suffocating. I have to give those moments to God and trade them with the understanding that I have nothing to fear.
I’ve decided it’s okay to fear how we will die but there’s nothing to fear in where we are going when we die to those who know the Lord. To be in His presence will always be better than to remain here.
God taught me so much already but there’s one verse I wanted to share with you about numbering our days.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom
For all of us death is a reality. There’s something unique that happens when you start living moment by moment, day by day. Certain things are a non issue, and you can see the goodness of God much better. It just gives you a heart of gratitude.
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God gave me a gift in keeping me from full knowledge. I was not aware of a lot and I think that was a way God protected me. It would be later moments that things would sink in and I would be blown away by what was about to happen if this or that wouldn’t have taken place. Miracle after Miracle.
It’s been wonderful to be with my babies. I love them both so much. We are entering into the hard days of adjusting from life with one to life two children. Garrett is riding the waves of emotion that comes with a new sister and also dealing with his mom’s absence for that long.
The adjusting is also happening while my body continues to heal.
I can do very little these days without feeling it. I know it won’t always be like this and i’m taking serious the Doctor’s orders to ease back into life and give it time.. God has brought person after person to help and i’ve had some peace about our home not being what it usually is. Organization? What’s that!?
The last thing I wanted to write was about was all the people who have loved on me. I can’t find the words, and probably never will. But this is what I know. God’s church loves well and I am loved by so many.
My dear friend Wendy sat with me multiple days in the hospital, brought me great books to read, has orchestrated a wonderful plan for those who wanted to help but didn’t know how. She went with me through a scary experience and i’m thankful for her. Drove me to the Doctor and has watched out for me and helped me remember to take it slow. I can’t even count the number of trips she took to carry the milk from the hospital to Darren.
God decided to make me a milk machine and I thank him for that because Evelyn was given what was the best for her and I’m glad to have been able to do that for her in the hospital.
My sister Melissa who each step of the way has walked me through. As a nurse her understanding of what was going on was very valuable but the way she loved and kept me calm was wonderful. She drove back and forth to be with me. She was an advocate in the hospital in kindly walking doctors through what was confusing them and I. She was respectful about it too which was probably not easy!
My wonderful military spouse friend Courtney, who God placed in the right moment. She had come over to help with nursing and little did she know she would be telling me it was time to go to the ER. I would have kept believing I was reading too much into the pain. She cared for me in the hospital and has provided so much for Evelyn’s care.
My church family and mops groups who were immediately concerned and stepped right in and spent themselves on my family. I had one friend who I know from mops and we’ve probably had two conversations but she brought over a ton of meals and a bag of goodies. That same day my sweet friend Megan sent me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.
My mentor mom Ann, from Mops picked me up from the hospital and has loved me more than I can say. She said she wanted to be my grocery person and she picked up my medicine for me too. She’s pretty wonderful! Ann helped me come up with ideas for healthy meals and a diet of protein, veggies, and fruit.
On the way home she looked over at me and said, ‘Laura, you’ve grown up.’
Thank you to the number of people who prayed for me. This was huge and God answered them! God kept me at perfect peace and I believe because people were asking that of Him. <3 You all mean so much to me. There are of course more people to thank and I hope they each know how dear to me it has been to be cared for.
Here is the song I had on repeat for three days.. I hope you believe this message!