Friday, January 16, 2015

Emergency Surgery

Monday morning I began to feel intense abdominal pain.  I knew I was almost 10 weeks pregnant, so my first thought was I must be miscarrying the baby.  About 6 months ago, I miscarried our 2nd child at 10 when I found out I was pregnant this time, the possibility of miscarrying again was always in the back of my mind.

I knew I needed to go to the hospital when I couldn't sit or stand without feeling like I was going to pass out.  I called my dear friend, Gail, to take me to the hospital.  I immediately went to see Dr Bill, the only other person on station who knew I was pregnant.  He did a quick ultrasound and said I was bleeding into my abdomen, and assumed the pregnancy was ectopic (when the baby begins to develop in the fallopian tube) and had ruptured.  Bill had such a sense of urgency, it made me thankful I had come to hospital when I had.

I was immediately taken to the ER and prepped for surgery (and asked many many times what my blood type which I did not know the answer.  Now, I'll never forget!).  Someone found Jordan, who quickly joined my side...along with several other missionaries and staff who showed up to tell me they were praying for me.  Dr. Jim, our surgeon, calmly explained what was going to happen, and I was wheeled into the OR.

I remember having an amazing sense of calm and peace.  Hymns and worship songs came easily to my mind and I would quietly hum them to myself while they got the OR ready.  I fell asleep thinking about two much I loved Jesus, and that they were going to see my bubbly yellow fat layer when they cut me open (how embarrassing!).  ;)

While I was out, my heros: Dr. Jim, Dr. Bill, and Gail found that our tiny baby was right in the uterus where it should be and that the cause of the 1-2 units of blood in my abdomen was a ruptured ovarian cyst.  They removed the cyst, cleaned up the bleeding, very thoroughly checked for any other cause of the bleeding (I can attest to the thoroughness by the amount of soreness I experienced later), and closed me up.

Once I was awake and they got my pain under control, I was on the road to recovery.  Jim explained what they had found, but was also clear that our tiny baby had undergone an incredible amount of trauma, disturbance, and strong medicines, and they were unable to do an ultrasound right away because of the location of my incision.

The next day...or maybe the day after that (it's kind of a blur), Bill did an ultrasound and found a wiggly little baby.  It was a miracle that our little baby had survived!

Since the surgery, I've been humbled to tears with the thoughtfulness, hospitality, and compassion of my fellow missionaries and PNG friends.  Every meal has been provided for us, never once did I worry about Miles being taken care of, and Jordan has done an amazing job taking care of me.  I've heard stories of people all over station stopping whatever they were doing to pray for me, of my friends and students immediately offering to give blood for me, and of people all over the world lifting me and our baby up in prayer.  Just saying I'm THANKFUL isn't enough...but I'm not a writer and I can't think of a better way to say it.

Just overwhelmingly thankful!

Please keep our tiny baby in your prayers.  It's still only 10 weeks old and still has a lot of growing to do.  No matter what, we are trusting God's perfect will and timing.
I think of one of the songs I was humming on the operating table...

"Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be your name"