Monday, September 25, 2006

April And Everything After: Chapter One

Mid-March, 2006

"I'm having some really sharp pains here in my lower right side. Could it be inflammation? Do you think it could appendix?"

"No, it's just
round ligament pain..."

"And are these Braxton Hicks contractions supposed to hurt so much?"

A nod and a smile.

I let out a sigh. Oh well, I thought. It's not like I have to endure this too much longer, right?
This wasn't the first time I had asked my obstetrician if my appendix could be inflamed. For several years now, I had felt occasional twinges of pain in my lower right side. It made sense to me that, since I have an auto-immune disorder, my growing uterus could irritate the appendix and cause it to be inflamed. But I wanted to trust my doctor, and I didn't push the issue again. I didn't get the chance.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006, approximately 9:30 p.m.

I was standing at the bathroom mirror, getting ready for bed. I was uncomfortable these days, being that I was 33 weeks pregnant with our first child. Nevertheless, I enjoy making my husband laugh, and so I did a funny dance for him. Anytime a pregnant woman dances around, it is going to look funny. Casey laughed.

An hour later, neither one of us was laughing. I was having what I was sure were more Braxton Hicks contractions. I say 'more' because they had been coming on stronger each night. But this night was different. They were too painful. Too strong.

"We need to do something!" I told Casey. At midnight, he called our doctor's answering service. His partner was on call that night, and when he rang us 15 or 20 minutes later, I told him what was wrong.

"You need to go ahead and go to the ER, make sure you're not going into labor."

The last thing I wanted to do was take a car ride over bumpy roads, but I had no choice. We gathered up a few things and headed to the hospital. I can't be having this baby already! was the thought that raced over and over in my head. By the time we arrived at the entrance to the ER, my contractions weren't as strong anymore. Casey pushed me up to the desk in a wheelchair. We were checked in soon enough and taken to the maternity ward, into a room that I immediately disliked. It probably wasn't the room...I'm sure it was just because I was in a lot of pain and was just associating the space with my experience.

Before I knew it, I was being strapped to fetal monitors that made far too much noise and were far too tight around my stomach. The night was mostly a sleepless one, for both of us. The next day I was put through several tests to find out what might be happening. My appendix was ruled out, much to my dismay. I had still been thinking that had to be it, and I would have it taken out and all would be back to normal. No such luck.

The next morning, which was a Friday, the doctor who'd had me admitted to the hospital came into the room and told us something we really did not want to hear.

"There is a possibility that you have an infection in your uterus. If that is the case, you'll need to have your baby delivered, and because it would be considered premature we need to transfer you to ___________, because we do not have a NICU in this hospital."

The ambulance would be ready to transport me in about an hour, he told us, and Casey decided he would go home and pack a suitcase, which meant he wouldn't be riding with me. I knew that was what had to be done, but I really hated the thought of taking that ambulance ride without him by my side. I was scared -- scared for me, scared for us...and especially scared for our baby.


Lori F said...

And then what?!?!? Don't leave us haning. I mean, we all know how this story ends (happily) but still... This must have been so very scary for you both!

melo-jo said...

Oh, Tracey!!! My heart trembles as I read your 1st chapter. At 32 weeks, I went into preterm labour with Kaylene because of a stomach viral infection. I had to stay in the hospital for 2 nights. Kevin was with me the first night, but on the second night he was at home with Caleb. I was soooo scared and lonely. But then, I got well fast and never had a Chapter 2 until Kaylene's amazing birth.

Bless your heart for sharing this amazing testimony with us, dear.

Sarah said...

Is it hard to write this out, Tracey? Thank you for sharing. I'm glad I know the end of the story because I'm not sure I could read it if I didn't. This will make an amazing story for Miles to hear someday.

tracey said...

You'll hear more soon enough, Lori!

Thanks, Jolene. I'm glad you had a very short 'Chapter One' as well!

Sarah -- it is very hard to write about all of this. I think that's why it's taken me so long, but I feel like it will be very cathartic for me to share. Some of it I look forward to sharing very much, though. There will be some bright moments, and also some dark moments. I'm glad I have friends who want to re-live this with me!

joy said...

Tracey, please continue on with your story when you can. Like everyone else, I thank the Lord you & little Miles are ok,and would love to know more about what you have been through. I love you girl!

Sally-Anne said...

More story, but also...more photos!! :)

James said...

Chapter one?

w00t! I love blog novels.

This one looks like a good one.

tracey said...

Hey S-A, I'm with ya...I just got my camera back from being fixed, so I'm workin' on more photos! =)

Thanks James! Yeah, I didn't really know I would be writing a 'blovel' (I think I just coined a word) until the moment I began.

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