I went through what was the scariest moment of my life last Tuesday when Karen, who is pregnant with our first baby, had to go through what the doctors and nurses said was just routine surgery. Now I have lived a very blessed life where there have not been that many scary moments.
My top three scariest moments up until last Tuesday were, and this is not in any particular order; the time I totaled my parents car when I was in high school. I was driving down a dirt road heading home after a baseball scrimmage and I was about to be sick. I was heading over a steep hill when a large farm truck was heading towards me in the middle of the dirt road. I swerved to miss them and got into the loose gravel and rolled the vehicle. Another top moment was when I was on a church youth group trip in Colorado and the charter bus lost its breaks heading down a mountain. Our driver had no idea what they were doing and burned up the breaks, but somehow some way we were able to make it down. My last scary moment came a few years ago when I ended up with pneumonia and was too stubborn to go to the doctor or stop teaching and coaching and it got so bad one morning I could not get out of bed. I ended up going to the doctor twice and the emergency room another time. All of those things pale in comparison to what I was feeling when I saw Karen wheeled out of the room and heading to surgery.
Karen had an ultrasound on Friday and the baby was perfectly healthy, but Karen’s cervix was not cooperating the way the doctors thought was in their normal range. So, they set us up an appointment with another place, on Tuesday, that had a more “high-tech” ultrasound machine. All weekend we were kind of biting our nails and of course we did the thing that we probably should not have done and Googled the situation. Luckily, all the stuff we reading sounded way worse than where Karen was at so we started feeling good about our situation and were hoping that things were just working out naturally. Our happy feeling ended Tuesday morning when her cervix was shorter than it was before.
The doctor gave us three options that we could choose from and the third and final option was surgery to place stitches called a cerclage. He gave us the pros and cons of each one and after hearing everything we looked at each other for a split second and we elected to go with surgery. If we did not elect to have the surgery there was a good chance that Karen was going to have preterm labor, and at this point in the pregnancy it seemed to risky to see if things were just naturally going to get better. He quickly reassured us that we picked the best option and then ordered Karen to go directly to the hospital and Karen would go in for surgery around 6:00.
So, now we had to wait all day, and I will have to say that Karen handled everything like a champ. I tried not show that I was nervous for her, but I think that she easily saw through the façade. We tried to joke around and watch whatever we could that was funny on television to lighten the mood, but the time just moved slowly. I am sure it was extra slow for her because she could not eat or drink anything until after the surgery.
Finally the nurses, who were all wonderful by the way, came in and said it was time to go. I kissed Karen and told her that I loved her and said everything was going to fine. She was my brave little trooper, and before I knew it she was out of the room. I called her parents and then mine to let them know that Karen was now in surgery. I thought it would help reassure them, but I probably sounded very nervous which probably made them worry even more. After getting off the phone time seemed to completely stop. The nurses told me before they took Karen that it would take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. In my reality it seemed to take hours, fortunately for Karen she said it seemed to be over in a matter of minutes.
I was so happy to see her come back into the room and she smiled at me, and I knew that everything was going to be alright. The nurses came back into the room periodically to check on her, and Karen’s parents stopped by to give her flowers which were pink carnations for our baby girl. Eventually, close to midnight the hospital said that we could go home.
Karen has been taking it very easy over the last week and has been sticking to her strict bed rest and we are soon going to be back at the doctors for a follow up appointment. She is feeling good and keeps telling me that baby is squirming all over the place, now we are just praying that we hear some good news from the doctor. We would sure appreciate your prayers too.
Pictures via http://christainnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/time-management.jpg