Saturday, April 19, 2014

Megan's Pregnancy and Simon's Birth

    I was not a fan of pregnancy. I know there are a lot of women who love being pregnant, who thrive while they are with child, I however was not one of them. I had a very unique and complicated pregnancy, which added to the typical discomforts of a “normal” pregnancy (if there is such a thing). 
    A little background history… I was born with Biliary Atresia. I was the 1 out of every 15,000 children born with it. What is Biliary Atresia? Well, long story short I was born without any bile ducts connecting from my liver to my small intestine. This left the bile with nowhere to go. Most Biliary Atresia children are born with blocked ducts but I was one of the babies who didn’t have any. This is where my hero Dr. Nagaraj stepped in and performed the Kasai procedure (attaching a piece of my small intestine to my liver) on my fragile 9 day old body, which would give me roughly another 2 years of life, if I even lived through the surgery. The chances of my body returning to a normal state were less than 30%. Back then this wasn’t a procedure done that often and well, here I am 29 years later, off the transplant list, no sign of my disease, and still baffling doctors. Really the only difference in me is that I have a very low platelet count. This means my blood doesn’t clot as fast as most peoples. The normal platelet count for a person is roughly 150,000-400,000. Mine hold pretty steady somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000. 
    Back to the pregnancy. When I first told my OB about my medical history she freaked. I mean, people with this disease don’t typically live to a reproductive stage, let alone have babies. I was immediately under the microscope of all my doctors, and let me tell you they did NOT take this lightly. I can really tell that they THRIVE on cases like mine! I was very closely monitored by my OB, my gastrointerologist, and my hematologist. I mean, with a platelet count as low as mine the chances of my bleeding internally or bleeding out during delivery were pretty great. My GI doctor kept a close watch on my liver, which meant getting a few scopes done, as well as seeing him bi-weekly, my Hematologist kept a close eye on my blood count bi-weekly, and my OB saw me bi-weekly. Basically I LIVED at the hospital. When cases like mine come through they always prepare for the worst, and they also prepare YOU for the worst. You know, it’s really scary when you are told the chances of your survival rate during delivery. Those 9 months were the most trying 9 months of my life physically, spiritually, and mentally. How do you stay excited or joyous when people are preparing you for some scary truths? Every time I heard the statistics I felt like I was walking towards the gates of death. 
    After a group meeting with my OB doctors every thing became a blur. It was a unanimous decision that I needed to deliver cesarean, but not only cesarean, I would need to be put to sleep. And not only cesarean and knocked out, I would be sent downtown to deliver with doctors that I had never met before. This was all decided roughly a month before my due date. The next week i went downtown for routine ultrasounds and was told I needed to deliver early at 37 weeks, which was NEXT WEEK. I knew the name of the doctor who would be deliver my sweet boy but I still had never met her. 
    Fast forward to next week, my husband and I are walking into the hospital at 8:00am on Halloween morning knowing that at 10:30am our lives would be different. I am immediately swept so that the show can begin. When you have a million doctors around you poking you, giving you instructions, sharing the details of what they are doing, asking for blood transfusion permission, making you sign a ton of papers, you really can’t do anything but silently panic. But let me tell you, there was one person there who I really felt was sent there by the Lord to be with me during all this. It was my anesthesiologist. I never would have thought that a person like him would be my rock. My husband was not allowed to be with me during any of my prep or any of my delivery and I know that the Lord knew I needed someone. I hate that I cannot remember his name but this man is responsible for keeping me together. He took the initiative to stay with me not only for emotional support but he did more prep on me than any of the nurses put together. Did I mention that I still hadn’t met my delivery doctor?
    Once prepped, i was wheeled into the delivery room. If I thought I was scared before, wow, I had no idea. There’s nothing like florescent lights, a million doctors, and a laying naked on a stainless steel table, and the thought of never waking up, to get the tears flowing. There she was, my doctor. She was very sweet and I knew she was good at this. I was sent specifically to her. Everything was so fast paced, I was shaking horribly, everything hurt, I was strapped down, naked, and freezing. But that’s when my anesthesiologist gently grabbed my head and started whispering in my ear that I was going to be okay and that he was going to take care of me. Then he told me to keep my eyes on him while the doctors did their work. I kind of felt like I was in a factory. I was the product and they were the assembly line. Anybody been there? Next thing I know he tells me I will soon be asleep, which I am glad for but also scared to death that maybe I wouldn’t wake up. I have been put to sleep more times than probably most people and it has never bothered me. If anything I find it very peaceful. This however, was different. But you can’t just not go to sleep so off I went, to dream land…
    Guess what! 1 hour later I woke up and was immediately holding a beautiful baby boy in my arms. The love i felt for him outweighed any fear of death. It was worth it. He was worth it, and I will do it again with the Lord’s blessing. Recovery was super painful and definitely the worst part of my experience. Just when I think it couldn’t get any worse! I was in the hospital for I think 4 days? I longed for daylight. I longed for no pain. I longed to be able to walk down the hall by myself. I am not one that likes to sit around, let alone lay around in a super uncomfortable hospital bed! But you know what, at the end of the day God was glorified through my pregnancy, He showed himself to the doctors, to me, He used my circumstance to glorify himself and I am honored I could be a part of it. I have never publicly shared this story because it’s not always what people wanna read when they are pregnant. I am also very private person. I never think people want to know the details of my life. I always think pregnant women want to laugh about all the silly food cravings, giggle over the belly kicks, relate to all the back pains and swollen ankles. My story is different. It’s not something most people relate to. But here I am and I hope this was in some way encouraging. Pregnancy is beautiful and it looks so different to so many people. Thank you for letting me share my experience. 

~Shared by Megan B.

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