Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A story about Miracles

Meet my good friends Katy, Micah and their two beautiful children (Madison and Graysen).Katy was my neighbor for a short while (too short if you ask me) and we became dear friends... and then they moved to Texas for work. Sad, sad day for me. Katy has the most tender, sweet, sweet soul. The light of Christ radiates through her. I wish all of you could know her. 
She is a remarkable woman. 
The following story of Katy and the birth story of her little boy Graysen is very, very moving. I can't believe the things she went through... and still has to go through... but her faith in her savior Jesus Christ and the love of her husband and family is what pulls her through. She is amazing. 
Go grab a tissue or two and keep reading: 

The Story.

This is a very happy story.
This is also a sad story.
But mostly, this is a story about miracles. 

It all started late Saturday night when I went into labor.  Just like that, after two weeks of non-eventful bed rest and only days before our scheduled delivery, I started contracting regularly every few minutes.  I couldn't feel a thing, but my nurse saw the contractions on my monitor and came in to check on me.  "Trust me, it won't be very long before you start to feel it, Sweetie," she said. "Time to call your husband!"  By the time Micah arrived 20 minutes later, I was feeling every single one of those contractions, a minute and a half apart.  I was moved to a labor and delivery room, and there I cried and breathed and squeezed the feeling out of Micah's hand until 1 a.m., when I was wheeled into an operating room down the hall and rolled onto a steel bed. The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal to numb me from the chest down, my arms were stretched out to either side of me, and a curtain went up. Micah came in, dressed in a white paper jumpsuit and blue cap, and he sat down by my head and held my hand and started making jokes because he knew I was scared to death.

Twenty minutes later, our baby boy was born (I will spare you all the gory details of what it feels like to be fully cognizant while you are cut into, muscles are torn apart, and organs are moved around...).  Because I couldn't see anything past the big blue curtain at my chest, all I could do was listen.  As soon as I heard my baby's lusty little cry, I immediately felt overwhelming relief-- at least I knew his lungs were strong. I caught a glimpse of him as he was carried to a table to be cleaned-- so tiny!-- and in a few minutes a nurse brought him over and held him close to me, all bundled up with bright pink skin and squinty little eyes.  I was able to reach up and touch the back of his head for a few seconds before he was whisked away to the NICU for testing.

And then things got scary.

Dr. Jacobs leaned over the blue curtain and before she said a word I knew something was wrong.  She said, "Kathryn, I need to talk to you about your surgery."  She proceeded to tell us that during the course of the pregnancy, the placenta had become deeply embedded in my uterus (a condition called Placenta Accreta)-- so much so that to try to remove it would cause severe damage to the uterus and possibly other organs, and potentially cause life threatening hemorrhaging.  The only option, for my safety-- and Dr. Jacobs made it clear that I didn't have a choice in the matter-- was to remove my uterus along with the placenta.  It took a few seconds for the implications of this to sink in, and when it did, I started to cry.  And then Micah started to cry, which made me cry harder because in the eleven years I've known him, I've only seen him cry once.  Then they sent him out of the operating room.  At that point I was given a sedative and quickly fell asleep, but Micah told me later that he had been taken back to my labor and delivery room and left alone for the remainder of the surgery.  For the next 45 minutes, he told me, he was left to wonder how everything was going and even tried to prepare himself in case I didn't make it through the operation.  Looking back on the whole experience, that's by far one of the hardest parts of it all-- knowing he had to go through that.

But the operation was successful, and when I came to I was back in my room with Micah right by my bed.  A nurse started to explain what had taken place and what was left of my anatomy and what to expect.  Dr. Jacobs had been able to leave my ovaries intact, so I would still have hormone regulation and monthly ovulation.  However, no more periods, and no need for birth control.  She told me she could go get my uterus if I wanted to see it (Really?! Ew.).  As she talked, though, all I could think was, I can't have any more kids.  And then I would start to cry again.

Even with all the shock and hurting, when Micah was finally able to visit the NICU and bring back pictures of our perfect little boy-- healthy and whole despite being early and so small-- I honestly couldn't feel anything but overwhelming joy and gratitude.  Because he is a little miracle, in every sense of the word.  Thinking back on the entire pregnancy, and every event leading up to delivery, we realize now how everything happened for a specific reason.  We can't help but see so many tender mercies of the Lord in the whole experience.

From the very beginning, I had an unexplainable feeling that I needed to opt for a repeat C-section, rather than attempt a VBAC delivery.  I kept telling my doctor that I wasn't sure why, only that I wanted to deliver this baby in the safest way possible, even though the risks of problems with a VBAC are usually minuscule.  So all along, I prepared myself for a C-section.  And it's a darn good thing, because had we attempted a vaginal delivery with the placenta attached to the uterus, things could have been really nasty.  The doctors also told us that had the pregnancy progressed any further, the placenta most likely would have grown into other organs besides the uterus, and even onto the baby, causing much much scarier problems.  How lucky I was to have delivered as early as I did.  Coincidence that my water broke eight weeks early?  We're pretty sure it wasn't.  Coincidence that I was able to be in the hospital for two weeks prior to delivery, where I could get the antibiotics and steroids our baby needed to finish developing early? Nope.  Coincidence that we were able to have two beautiful children- a daughter and a son- before an emergency hysterectomy? Not a chance.  Some of my friends and family members have asked if we feel upset or angry at the way things happened.  Absolutely not.
We feel blessed beyond words. 

Any disappointment we've experienced is far, far outweighed by feelings of complete gratitude and indebtedness to the Lord.  He has taken our little family in the palm of His hand and given us more than we can ever understand.  He has blessed us with two beautiful little miracle babies, and protected my life as well (Madison's delivery was nearly as scary and complicated).  Apparently my body just isn't cut out for any more pregnancies.  We know that we want more kids, and we know the Lord will provide other ways for us to welcome more of His children into our family.  We are very excited about the prospect of adoption, or foster care, etc.  Who knows what He has in the works for us?  We just know that we can trust Him completely.  He's definitely proved that to us.

Meanwhile. I am home and healing, slowly but surely. Graysen is doing well in the NICU and making remarkable progress every day.  He doesn't need any oxygen support, he's finally off antibiotics and IV fluids, and is no longer under phototherapy lights for jaundice.  We're not sure when we'll be able to bring him home, but hope it will be sooner than later!

To read more from Katy's blog click HERE

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us.