I almost didn’t make it…

In honor of the 23rd, which is my boys’ birthday number, only they were born in June, not April. Haha!

I am writing about what happened that day for the first time.

I had been in the hospital for about a week on mandated bedrest from severe pre-eclampsia. They measured my liver enzymes daily to see how far we could go before I had to deliver them. I was 32 weeks at the time. I knew other babies younger than mine made it just fine, but these were my babies and I was nervous. No, I was terrified. I didn’t know how much assistance they would need in the NICU. How was I going to breastfeed two babies at once? Heck, how was I going to hold them and pick them up at the same time over and over? Little did I know that I would master those things in due time! What I didn’t know was how scary it was going to be for me right after delivery.

The day came. 33 weeks.

My enzymes reached a level that was too high to keep me and the boys safe, so it was the 23rd of June that was to be the day I would deliver these boys. They take me to the Operating Room and Oh. My. Goodness…… there were so many people! Two NICU delivery teams; One for each baby. My team and me and Roger. Here we go, let’s do this. My regular OB was out of town so he wasn’t able to do my c-section, so another doctor in the practice performed it. It started out fine. After I was numbed up from the spinal, they began. Soon enough I heard the cry of not one, but TWO sweet baby boys. I saw them for a split second and watched as they worked with both babies, not knowing who to watch! My eyes darted back and forth trying to see my Jameson Robert and my Anthony William. Then, they brought those beautiful babies to my face and I got to snuggle them at the same time. I was in heaven. They were ok enough to not need oxygen, just a c-pap later in the NICU. But, all too soon, they were wheeled away from me and Roger went down to take care of them and get them settled in the NICU.

My doctor told me not long after they left that he had accidentally nicked my bladder during my surgery because of scar tissue. We waited, and waited, and waited on the urologist to come and repair my bladder. All the while, I’m not really concerned with that repair. After all, I just had TWINS!!! And they were healthy!! He comes in and repairs my bladder, and they get me all sewn back up. I knew that part of the yuck of that was that I’d need to wear a catheter for 1 week. But, I was ok, only mildly inconvenienced. After all, I had healthy babies and I would heal just fine, right?

….Right???

I get wheeled back to my room and I was ready to pump. If I couldn’t nurse them right away, I could pump. I needed to. It was all I could do at the time. So, I raised myself up to pump and then became very very nauseated. Before long I was, (hold on to your seats) vomiting uncontrollably for hours. I’d fall asleep and think I was over the worst of it. But, alas, I kept vomiting. I don’t know how long this went on.

Fast forward to a few hours later….

My nurse comes in to my room to do my normal checks and takes my blood pressure. It was so low, she couldn’t even get a proper reading. She tried and tried to wake me and finally I would awake and look at her like she was crazy! Let the woman who just had 2 babies rest, right!?! Well, I wasn’t just tired. I was fading. They brought in the doctor on call and she performed an ultrasound and found “fluid” in my abdominal cavity. In other words, I was bleeding out. I remember very little as time went on but them waking me up over and over. Yelling at me to wake up.

What was wrong with these people?? I was just trying to sleep. Little did I know I didn’t have long to live without emergency surgery. I remember seeing in black and white. Yes, clear vision, but no color. Black and white. Clearly, my body was needing support in other areas and my vision wasn’t one of them. They rush me down the hall and I remember looking at Roger’s face. Sigh. It wasn’t until I saw his face could I comprehend in my state of mind that this was grave. I may not make it. Roger may be a single dad with four, count them…..four kids to care for alone. I will never ever forget the look on his face. I saw terror and uncertainty and fear. My strong husband was terrified. I kissed him(I remember that!) and they wheeled me off to the OR less than 12 hours after giving birth. I don’t know how long I was in there, but Roger went to be with the boys because there was nothing he could do. He was all alone. It was the middle of the night. But in the hospital, no one sleeps. I remember screaming in pain when they laid me flat on the hard OR table. It hurt so badly and I couldn’t breathe properly. I begged for them to hurry and knock me out because then, I could breathe.

Hours pass…

I wake up with blurry eyes as my contacts were removed before the emergency surgery. The first thing I do see is an iv bag, or at least that’s what it should’ve been. Only, it was not saline, it was blood.

What in the world was happening to me??”

I looked further and I saw my sweet, handsome, exhausted husband sitting there waiting for me to wake up. He explained everything to me. I look over and there’s a nurse sitting right beside me. I was in the OB ICU. She said she would stay by my side until all of my transfusions were completed. Transfusions??? What was she talking about??

I learned that I had lost half of my blood during those 12 hours from another nick on my bladder that was accidentally not repaired. I required 3 bags of blood and 2 bags of platelets. Roger told me he wasn’t leaving my side. That he was so afraid he was going to lose me.

Little did I know that not one, but, two of my friends had dreams that I died and bled out in surgery. They began to pray and enlist others to pray over me not knowing what was going on. I believe…strike that. I know their prayers to My Savior saved my life! God used them and their prayers to be part of Him sparing me and allowing me to mother these new babies, my two older girls, and later a new baby girl. He allowed me to live to love my husband and feel him love me like God loves me.

I’ve been incredibly blessed to have made it through that frightening time in my life. I know I have purpose. I know God has plans for me and is using me to bring my family and others closer to Him.

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This is the Greatest Marriage?

Recently, my oldest has become obsessed with musicals. In particular, The Greatest Showman! In turn, the entire family loves it as well.

Have you seen it yet?

It’s about embracing what makes us different and celebrating what we all have in common. The soundtrack is also fabulous. Literally, all the day long, one of us is singing a song!

One song that I related to was Tightrope. It’s about a husband and wife walking a tightrope together. Not sure if they’ll fall. Seeking adventure and partnership.

“Hand in my hand and we promised to never let go. We’re walking the tightrope

High in the sky

We can see the whole world down below

We’re walking the tightrope

Never sure, never know how far we could fall

But it’s all an adventure

That comes with a breathtaking view

Walking the tightrope with you.”

In the movie, it eventually points to an absent husband who slowly left the wife walking the tightrope alone. I felt for her. There are times when things get busy and I feel like I’m walking that tightrope alone, even though I know Roger hasn’t left me.

But, as I listened to just the song, I realized the lyrics never said he left her alone on the tightrope.

“Mountains and valleys, and all that will come in between

Desert and ocean

You pulled me in and together we’re lost in a dream

Always in motion

So I risk it all just to be with you

And I risk it all for this life we choose”

Marriage is hard work. For any couple. I relate to the previous lyrics because I feel like because of Roger’s job, we risk our privacy, our time, our comfort, our finances…for this life we choose. The life of ministry is a family affair. We risk our kids making great friends only to move to a different church and uproot our family. We risk it for ourselves as well.

“Hand in my hand and you promised to never let go

We’re walking the tightrope

High in the sky

We can see the whole world down below

We’re walking the tightrope

Never sure, will you catch me if I should fall?”

The line, “Never sure, will you catch me if I should fall?” brings about many points of view. Is she referring to her husband? I thought they were walking the tightrope together. Since I am a Christian, I personally see this line of the song a bit differently. I see a woman, like myself, who has gone through some heartache and uncertainty who is unsure who will catch her/them if she/they should fall. I believe it’s a normal reaction as a believer to wonder if God will really be there to catch us if we should fall. And the reality is….we will fall, but He will always catch us.

And the reminder that it is an adventure that comes with a breathtaking view. We see some hard things in ministry. We see hard things in the life of kids our children go to school with. We see divisiveness in many areas. We see ugly battles between families. We feel hurt from church members past and present. We see brokenness from the tightrope, but we also see a breathtaking view!! We see lives transformed. We see our children sharing Jesus without us poking and prodding them because of the difference He’s made in their lives. We see marriages and families restored and hearts mended.

I’ve found that all breathtaking views require a bit of work. You have to climb a mountain to see the views of the mountaintop. You have to get on that airplane you may be terrified to get in to ride in the clouds! You have to hike and peer down an enormous hole to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon.

But, I promise you, Roger….hand in my hand and I promise to never let go….walking this tightrope with you.

What’s your tightrope looking like? Could it use some mending? Or are you in a really good place and have great confidence that things will be ok? Wherever you find yourself on the pendulum of the journey, just know you’re not alone.

Here’s the song on Spotify if you’d like to hear it. It’s beautiful!