Thursday, April 14, 2011

My yearly walk...

Fourteen years ago tonight was super scary for me, Wade and our little crew. I was on bed rest at the University of Chicago women's hospital where I had been for more than eight weeks. Wade was in our apartment because we were dorm parents for the undergrads and one of us HAD to be there. The morning had been celebratory...the day we finally reached the 28-week mark of our first pregnancy. At this point, at the University of Chicago, 28-weekers had an almost perfect record for survival. It was a huge milestone. Huge.

I had been in labor for nine weeks. At 19 weeks, I was in the middle of a board meeting when I felt the first contractions begin. I have no idea what I said to my precious board -- or if I said anything. All I know is I had been warned that with triplets, I could never underestimate any contractions. I was soon on the phone with my doctor telling me to "get horizontal and get hydrated." I filled the largest container I could find with water and went straight to my car to drive home. I was admitted to the hospital within a couple of days.

At 22 weeks, the doctors realized that my body was in full labor. I was not allowed to even get off the examining table, they scooted me over to a wheeled bed and moved me to the room. I did not stand again until after the babies were born.

So the 28-week mark was a huge victory. I knew God had brought us that far. And honestly, I believed with all my heart that I would go much further than that.

But on the night of April 14th, long after Wade had gone home. I felt what I feared was my water breaking. (And yes, my belly was so enormous that I could not for the life of me have seen beyond it to verify....) I simultaneously hit the call button for the nurse while dialing the phone to my husband.

Our apartment was 14 blocks away but I think Wade arrived before the medical staff. Maybe that's just how I remember it because his face was the one I desperately needed to see.

When the staff arrived, they each began to turn pale. Staring at me. Barking orders to change meds, page my OB...the works. Wade had to gently tell me that what I had felt was not my water breaking but rather  a hemorrhaging that did not seem to be stopping.

For weeks we had been worried about these little ones getting to a safe delivery date; checking their heart rate multiple times a day to ensure their strength. And now, on that fateful night, it seemed -- at least to me -- that I was failing in the worst possible way. I could not prevent the labor and worse my own health was now going to take precedence over my beloved trio.

I was scared to death.

When the residents paged my doctor, I learned that he had been called out of the country for the death of his mother. I was heartbroken for him and devastated for me. But when his partner arrived, she looked at me with determination and made the decision to attempt to keep me pregnant as long as possible -- she had promised Dr. Moawad she said. She changed my medications and though she had the operating room on stand-by, she decided to monitor my vitals hour by hour to see if we could prolong delivery even by that much.

By the time my mother arrived on her emergency flight, the danger had subsided. I was stable. The babies were back to status quo and we were hoping to keep them that way for weeks yet.

April 14. I remember. I don't remember to force myself to get emotional. I remember because I never want my beautiful, amazing three to forget what an absolute gift they are to me. I never want them to forget how many people around the world were praying for them that night and the months prior and the YEARS since. I remember because I know how absolutely blessed I am and want to share it with the world so that God can receive the honor, the glory and the praise!


GreenGirl said...

Awesome story!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

As always, amazing and tearful at the same time. Love you. Love you all!

Claire's Calico Corner said...

YOU are such a gift to US!! Thank you for enduring all that for us.
We love you more than anything!