Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Thousand times a bunch...

Jonah is snuggled at my hip.
"Miss you, mama.  Dove you, mama."
"I love you too, sweetie."
He says this a lot now.  Every day since I came home from the hospital.  That first day he said "miss you" about 25 times.  I missed him, too.
If you are beginning this story today, go down to read the previous post first.  You definitely need to get caught up.
I was given a shot.  It was to stop my blood from clotting and to keep the clot from growing.  Donna said I would learn to give myself this shot and would do so every 12 hours from now on (later told it would be for 10 months,  but by the time we were clear on details, we learned it would be only till the baby comes, then I will go on pills.).
We were taken to Postpartum, where we were settled in a room right out in front of the nurse's station.  Over the next several hours many doctors came in.  The first, we call him Dr. Roto-Rooter, came in like a whirlwind.  He stood at the doorway and told us that the clot was very dangerous.  It could break off and go to my lung, causing a pulmonary embolism, which could be fatal.  The treatment for a PE was very dangerous for baby.  He said a surgery could be done, right away if we wanted it, where they would use an ex ray for 2-3 hours to insert a catheter up into the length of the blood clot while I lay on my belly.  They would then place me in ICU over night while they sprayed a chemical called TPA into the clot for 10 hours.  Next morning they would remove the cath and suction out the blood clot.  If I didn't do it, the damage to my leg would be permanent.  The blood clot, we were told, was not affected by the blood thinner, and may or may not go away on its own, but not for months and not in time to save me from damage.  If we wanted to do the procedure, it would only be effective if done in the first 14 days. 
 Oh, and by the way the clot extends from mid calf all the way up to the area in the pelvis behind the baby.
"What about the risk to the baby?" I asked.
Yes, he stated rather nonchalantly, the risks of ex ray include cancer and tissue damage, and the risk of the medicine to the baby and to me was internal bleeding.  I told him that all sounded out of the question.  I pictured the baby, it's tiny brain happily developing, with a sudden uncontrolled bleed, damaging it forever.  And cancer?  In our little child, all so that my leg wouldn't be damaged?  We asked questions that the doctor kept deferring, "This isn't really my area of specialty.  You'll have to ask the Radiologist"
He left.  I told Guy that I felt like he had just come in and dumped a wheelbarrow full of barn-droppings at the foot of the bed and left.
15 minutes later, Dr. P reappeared to explain that I needed a filter put into the vein below my heart to keep chunks of the blood clot from going to my heart and lungs.  There were risks, 10 minutes or so of direct radiation to the baby.  We had questions, he said he would find out the answers from the radiologist.
Our nurses came and went, tending to us carefully and sweetly.  Lori, who stayed and listened to what the docs were saying, tried to comfort us.  They had seen blood clots before, "but like this," Nurse Kim said, holding up her fingers like she was holding a bean.  "None of us can even remember hearing about one this big back in nursing school."
A while, a century later, a new doctor came in.  He was the Interventional Radiologist.  He let us know he had trained at Stanford under the "Guru of this field of medicine".  He re-explained both the filter and clot procedures, and fielded our very concerned questions.  He understood that I wouldn't expose the baby to such extreme risks.  He said that, looking at my leg, he felt like there was a good chance my leg could fair pretty well if we just left the clot and hoped for the best.  But if the leg didn't respond to the blood thinner he said I could loose it, and the surgery would save it.  "Are you a praying man?" I teased.  "If you two are, then I don't have to be."  He said.
"Oh, even more so!" I smiled
He stayed a while and answered more questions.  The filter, he felt, was redundant with the blood thinners now started.  He said it was old school to do both.  It was a comfort to know that he heard my concerns and was not pushing the procedures.
That day is a blur.  Sweet angel nurses focused heavily on my lungs, making sure I didn't have a pulmonary embolism.  They each brought some new comfort and kindness that was needed at each moment.   Guy had to leave to tend to the kids who had been alone all day.  I cried as I watched him step behind the curtain, allowing myself to think for just a moment about what could happen while he was gone.   Kathy came with flowers and listening ears.  Calls came.  I learned to deal with mother nature's calls without moving my leg. 
Later that night, the Stake President (the person in charge of the group of eight local congregations of our church), his counselor and our bishop came to administer to me.  President Fisher uttered a sweet blessing on my behalf, calling on miracles, and blessing my doctors and nurses.  The room was filled with peace and beautiful warmth, and tears, of course.
We knew that something huge and potentially life threatening was happening, but something even bigger was happening in the four walls of that little room. 
There was a peace that said, "all is well".
Guy and I sat in the alone in the dark that night and spoke words of gratitude and held each other.  This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to us.  I am so glad God is the one in charge.  This is way too big for tiny mortals like us.
I went to sleep.
We would learn a lot more about the risks of not addressing the clot in the next few days.  For that reason (as many of you already know) this story comes a little out of order here.  Tomorrow morning (March 1st at 7:30 AM)  I am going in for a procedure on my vein.  It is a "mini" version of the first one offered.  There will be no ex ray near the baby.  It will be 1 1/2 hours as opposed to 14 hours.  They will only do the thigh, and leave the clot in the pelvis till after baby is born.  They will use a teeny dose of the medication only in the clot, which does not cross the placenta, and then manually remove the clot.  If you pray, pray for us tomorrow.  If you don't pray, go ahead and send one up anyway, for me, please :)

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