A year ago today was a very difficult day for me. And I've found myself lost in the memory on multiple occasions in the last week, so perhaps getting it out will help me to deal with it a bit better.
The day began much like many of the days leading up to it had started. I once again was scheduled to go see the pregnancy specialist for another sonogram. Had the placenta moved out of the way? Could I finally look forward to the natural birth that I'd longed for since Vince had been born 2 years previously? Or was I still looking at a 36 week c-section (just to make sure I didn't go into labor with U3)? Stupid placenta previa.
But I was confident. I had been praying and praying to St. Girard and St. Therese and St. Gianna. It was almost my 30th birthday! I just KNEW that the placenta was finally going to be moving on up. So when the kiddos ended up sick and Andrew couldn't come with me to the appointment, I wasn't terribly disturbed by the news.
I continued drinking the insane amount of water required for a sonogram as I drove down to the office near the hospital. I prayed as I drove. I talked to Mary and all my Saint friends as I parked in the large parking garage and began waddling my pregnant self across the walkway and into the building where the specialist's office was.
I got called back and laid down for the sonogram. I could see it when she pulled the picture up. Crap. No movement. Same stupid placenta in the same stupid place - right over the baby's exit. Oh well... I guess I wasn't terribly surprised. Just disappointed again. But we still had 5 more weeks before the scheduled surgery. Maybe it would move! It still could move! Then, as per every other appointment, I had to go sit in the room and wait for doc to come tell me "officially" that the placenta hadn't moved. What was the point of this waiting anyways? I had already seen it on the sono even if the sonographer wasn't allowed to tell me anything.
But then Doc walked in the room. Something was different. She sat down across from me. She touched my knee. And she said, "Kristi... I think it's an accreta." I stared at her blankly. I knew what an accreta was -- I was the queen of internet research after all. And I knew what it meant. It was serious. Way more serious than placenta previa. I began to cry. "Look, every time I've seen an accreta on a sonogram, I've been right," she continued, "but maybe this time I'm wrong. I'm bound to be wrong some time." "You'll have to have a c-section at 34 weeks. And we'll do a hysterectomy at the same time to stop the bleeding." "I know it's early, but the most recent study shows that 34 weeks gives the best chance for you and for baby."
I don't know what I said. I asked some questions. I stared blankly at her. I cried uncontrollably. It just didn't make sense. I'd never had a c-section before. I'd never had a d&c or a uterine surgery. I didn't take drugs. I'd never had an abortion. There was NO reason why I should have accreta. "These things just happen sometimes," she said.
Why wasn't Andrew here? WHY DIDN'T I FIND A BABY SITTER FOR MY SICK KIDS?!!!
The doc wanted to take me back to the sono room to show me what she was seeing. She and the sonographer and the PA were pointing out all of my veins showing up on the monitor. The blood flow seemed to be going through my uterine wall instead of just in the placenta. "Wow," they commented, "look at the blood flow. Just amazing." Amazing??! Seriously?!! I'm still crying. I'm scared out of my mind. "We'll schedule and MRI to see if we can confirm the accreta."
My sobs were more than audible. Doc said, "How many kids do you have at home?" I told her two... this was our third. "Well three is a good number. How many more did you want?" I was aghast at the question. Was it supposed to make me feel better?? But I politely said I didn't know and just agreed that I was blessed to have the three I had. She told me she liked my headband. She continued with some other small talk trying to calm me down and make me feel better. "I probably don't need to see you again, Kristi, until the surgery. But you're welcome to make an appointment in four weeks if you just want to ask questions. We'll deliver you one week after that."
Sigh... I made my way out to the receptionist's desk and booked the appointment. I tried hiding my puffy eyes and face as I made my way through the waiting room and out the door. I'd seen so many other extremely upset pregnant women in that waiting room. I didn't want to alarm any of the ones that were waiting today.
I made it out to the car, opened the door, sat down, and began sobbing. The only person I could think to call was Sister Sophia Grace. The poor sister that answered the phone sounded so much like her that I just started sobbing my story to her. Finally she stopped me and told me that she was so sorry, but I must think she's the wrong person. She gave me Sister's voicemail. Then I had to call Andrew and my mom. They told me to calm down so I could drive home.
By the grace of God... and that's the only thing it could have come from... on my drive home I had the thought, "Well, we've always said that we would have as many babies as God would give us. Maybe He only wants to give us three. Or maybe he needs us to adopt a kiddo and the only way he can show us that is by removing my fertility now." It was so strange feeling acceptance, and anger, and fear all at the same time.
I finally made my way to the house and fell into Andrew's arms. What are we going to do? Are we going to be okay? What if we can't have any more kids? What if this is it?
The rest of the day was basically a blur. I think I went into work and muddled through a couple of hours in tears before they finally just sent me home. I emailed our closest friends and had Andrew call his family. We needed everyone to pray... and we would keep praying.
I think I called my regular OB and went to see her as soon as possible to ask questions... none of which she would answer until we saw what the MRI said.
This emotional day... burned into my memory... was just the beginning of the hardest month of my life thus far. So many fears. So many hopes. So many prayers. So many tears. But they would all lead up to a miracle. A miracle surgery. A miracle baby boy. And a year after all of these events, I still get lost in the sea of emotions that they caused. They say that time heals everything... and I'm sure it does. And I have a feeling that the next month is going to be full of healing.