Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Reason

Teagan and I spent some time alone together this morning. She woke up early, I was awake. And as I watched her brushing her teeth- doing the entire process with no help from me- I thought to myself... "She's the reason. She's the first." We very purposefully added Teagan to our family. We wanted to be pregnant. We wanted a baby. We wanted to grow our family and become parents. Teagan was an extra special addition to our family because we had miscarried our first pregnancy at 10 weeks. It was the most awful thing Jeff and I had gone through together in our relationship. It probably still is. What it taught us was just how badly we really did want to have a baby. As soon as we had the go ahead from my OB to try again, we did. And we got pregnant right away. I spent a lot of time worrying during my first trimester. Approaching certain milestones relating to the miscarriage were emotionally difficult. But my pregnancy with Teagan was mostly ideal. Nausea but not big time sickness. No major body issues, no major complaints. We did have a scare at the start of my third trimester. My heart went out of rhythm. This is apparently a somewhat normal condition when dealing with heart conditions. However, I'd never had any heart trouble, no history of heart trouble in my family, and it isn't a typical condition in pregnancy. I spent 3 days in the hospital. I was in the heart unit but had a Labor and Delivery nurse assigned to my bedside at all times. I was on an IV of some sort of medicine that was supposed to help my heart get back to normal. But I couldn't be on it longer than 12 hours out of concern for Teagan. After 12 hours, the monitors showed that Teagan was fine and my heart was still out of whack. I'd just sent Jeff home to get a shower when the doc came in and explained that we needed to proceed with plan B right away. They were going to knock me out, stop my heart, and shock it back into rhythm. I called Jeff in a panic. He rushed back to the hospital and spent quite a bit of time searching for me. They'd moved me from my room to the heart unit procedure room. While there, my heart doc consulted with my OB. There was concern that "something" could happen and this little heart procedure room wouldn't be prepared to handle an emergency C-section. The decision was made to transfer me to the L&D unit. So off we went to the other side of the hospital. At one point on the journey, as I am sitting on the gurney/bed, with monitors strapped around my belly, wires stuck all over my chest, fear in my heart... we paused in a hallway. I heard a voice say my name and I turned towards it. I was sitting at the end of an empty little hallway. The only thing in that hallway was a sign noting an office. "Chaplain" I took a deep breath. I think I cried a little. But I let the fear go. I said a prayer. I turned my fears over to God. We proceeded on to the L&D emergency C-section room. I still hadn't seen Jeff. The anesthesiologist came in and was going to start my knock out... but got called into what sounded like a very urgent emergency c-section in the next room. 2 nurses, the heart doctor and I waited for a minute. A nurse came in and reported that Jeff had found us and was waiting just outside. More relief flooded my heart. The heart doctor decides we should go ahead and get all the monitors re-hooked up while we waited for the anesthesiologist. They busily starting plugging things in and hooking things up. He then turns on the power. "Wait a minute!" I braced myself, scared of what was coming next. "She's back in rhythm!" I spontaneously went back into rhythm on the journey from the heart unit to the L&D unit. At what point on that journey do you think it happened?

15 comments:

Alix said...

WOW!

Wow, wow, wow!

What an amazing story Liz, and you told it with such grace. That must have been the scariest moment of your life - and just in the nick of time, peaceful reassurance and Jeff's arrival. I'm so glad you didn't have to go through the stop/shock procedure!

PS: You were a pretty pregnant lady.

Vodka Mom said...

that was truly amazing!!

Mary Ellen said...

What a powerful story, and so beautifully told.

God bless you and your beautiful family, and Happy Mother's Day to you.

darsden said...

Oh my I couldn't imagine the pressure but I agree with all above. You told it with grace and what a beautiful outcome. She looks like you the cutie pootootie. Miracles and Blessings and beautiful told.

Lynn Freeman said...

Liz,

I remember you writing about this on your bulletin board but, compared to this account, you were so nonchalant about it - I don't recall these details (I could be wrong...ageing memory and all LOL). Anyways, I'd be inclined to believe that once you let go of your fear and put your faith in God that's when things started to turn around. As someone who suffers from arrhythmia on a daily ongoing basis I know how absolutely terrified you must have been for yourself and for Teagan. One thing I did want to know - did they ever find out the cause or do any follow up testing with you?

Joanie M said...

Wow! What an amazing story! Your heart has been working properly since? Wow!

Isabella said...

What an amazing story. I'm all teary over here (while watching Elmo's World...I'm sure Peanut thinks I'm nuts). I'm glad you didn't have to go through the procedure.

(I love that photo of Teagan hugging your pregnant belly. So beautiful. :) )

Eternal Lizdom said...

I never had another problem with my heart. Went through follow up visits, stayed on medication for the rest of the pregnancy. There were, apparently, many meetings held with many docs to discuss my case. No one had answers. They hesitated to chalk it up to the pregnancy... but that was the only explanation. And I haven't had a problem since, either.

Jim and Garret said...

I was thinking they scared the hell outta ya making you skip a beat. But for the religious folks, we'll go with the God scenario.

Garret

Jeff said...

The hard part for me was getting the call from Liz to come back to the hospital quickly. I had stayed at the hospital with her over night and was worried the whole time for Liz and my little T. I got a little sleep. The doctor had said if Liz needed to get the defib procedure there was nothing to worry about, they do it all the time and T would be fine. But then Liz calls and says she's going to have it done quickly and I needed to get there fast. After I found her I was sent into an ER room, I think, by myself and the doctor or nurse told me what was going on and there was some worry for T. What? I was told earlier not to worry at all. So, I just had to sit by myself wondering what was going on. I didn't know about the doctor having to go to another situation, I'm just thinking why is this taking so long and what could be wrong? I was thinking back to our mis-carriage and how that felt for us and how much worse this would be. I was numb and trying to think of anything else I could. Then the nurse comes in and tells me Liz's heart has gone back into rhythm on its own. I think I almost passed out with the relief. Well, that's enough of me.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you wrote this, Liz. Thanks for sharing it with the world; it was a great read. And thanks for commenting on your experience, Jeff. Happy Mother's Day!
-ML

Sam said...

Liz, as the title of your blog says, this is the touch of The Eternal. I find these stories so powerful. Thanks for writing and encouraging me!

King of New York Hacks said...

Excellent post...One difference which I always chuckle at in hospitals is the word "chaplain"...I always think of Charlie Chaplain and not religion LOL ! Great post !!

Amy said...

How scary that must of been! How lucky (Blessed!) you were to receive that spontaneous healing.

Heather said...

That is so incredible! I believe in God, I think he took good care of you that day!

Happy Mothers Day!