D&C 35:17 ". . . and in weakness have I blessed him."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Valley of the Shadow of Death (Part 2)

          Sometime later I opened my eyes. My throat burned, it was raw and tender. A wall of impenetrable pain invaded my abdomen. I hurt too badly to move, or cough, or swallow. A heavy grogginess filled my head. I tried to make sense of my surroundings. I was in a different room with a grey curtain drawn around my bed.
           “You’re in Intensive Care,” a voice gently informed me. I turned my head to the left and looked upward. My eyes connected with Rob’s. It felt good to have him back at my side. His parents stood next to him, their faces etched with grave concern.
Where was the baby? How was he doing?
Reading my thoughts Rob explained, “The baby’s also in Intensive Care.” He hesitated then continued, “There are some problems.” This news pierced my core with a bolt of stabbing pain.
Speech was incredibly difficult, but I managed to ask, “Can you go give him a blessing?”
“What about you, don’t you want a blessing?” Rob responded.
“No, the baby first.”  
Rob and his dad left the room. A small measure of relief flushed over me. God’s healing power was about to be invoked.
I closed my eyes. The effects of general anesthesia lingered in my head, clouding it with a heavy fog. I struggled to think clearly and I desperately wanted to sleep. What problems did the baby have? Why was he in ICU?

In the days that followed I pieced together what had happened as I earnestly searched for answers. During labor the placenta unexpectedly tore away from the uterus, resulting in sudden, heavy bleeding. When this happened the baby was cut off from his oxygen supply. Deprived of oxygen, the systems of his body had started to shut down.
Further complications arose when my airway closed up during attempts to anesthetize me. For no known medical reason my throat sealed up in a laryngeal spasm and I stopped breathing. Efforts to stabilize my breathing delayed delivery of the baby.
Dr. S. reported it had taken him only seven minutes to reach the hospital. When he arrived, the surgeon was standing by, scalpel in hand, waiting to cut. Donning two gowns and two pairs of gloves, Dr. S. chose not to spend time scrubbing. According to his report, I was foaming at the mouth and convulsing violently. With my oxygen level dropping, he decided to cut, even though I hadn’t yet been anesthetized. He gave the orders for a large dose of morphine and made the incision, unsure if I would feel the pain.
David was delivered with an Apgar score of zero. He was deathly pale, with no heartbeat. He wasn’t breathing.
My baby passed directly from Dr. S’s hands to the doctor from the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With intense medical intervention he was revived and placed on life support.
After delivering the baby, Dr. S. stood by and waited for my breathing to be stabilized before stitching me back up. My oxygen level continued to drop as the medical team struggled to intubate me. At one point Dr. S. was sure I’d passed away. In 25 years of medical practice he’d never lost a mother. He feared I might be the first. 

Day five of David’s life brought a grim prognosis. “His condition appears to be coma-like and I’m concerned about the decisions you might have to make regarding his future,” the neonatologist informed us.
An MRI revealed he’d suffered a stroke. Blood flow to the right middle cerebral artery had been cut off by a blood clot. A large portion of the right cortex of his brain had been injured. Seizure activity had also been detected.
His kidneys weren’t functioning and if they didn’t improve, he’d need a transplant. His liver was also compromised and transfusions were required to maintain the platelet levels in his blood. He wasn’t even able to breathe on his own. This was accomplished with the aid of a machine.
How could such a small body recover from so many problems?
There were too many miracles to ask for. Too many at one time.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I can't even imagine the emotions that were involved. He's such a beautiful boy!