Tuesday, September 13, 2011

my second chance

*I began writing this post last Friday, but haven't gotten it posted until now.  It's been really hard for me to put everything into words.  I have lots more I need to record, but it might take me a while to get it out.  It is now  Tuesday evening and we are happy to report I cam home last night!  After considering sending me to a rehab for a while, it was decided that since I have a newborn at home, it would be best for us to be together.  It is so good to be home and be a family again.  I'm getting around with the help of a walker, and my stamina is very short.  To put it lightly, I have lots of work to do to get back to the physical me that we are used to.  While I can't wait to be able to get around like I am used to, I hope that in many ways, I will never be the same

Well, I don't know what to say. 

The past week's happenings were definitely not in my plan.  Not in Courtney's plan, or the girls.  We had no idea what was coming.

But Heavenly Father did.  I'm sure of that. 

One week ago today  (it is Friday, isn't it?) I came pretty close to leaving this life.  At least that's what they keep trying to help me understand.  I guess I knew it at the time, but it's one of those things that's a little hard to wrap your mind around.  A week later, I'm still trying to.  I'm thinking it's going to take a while to process everything. 

Last Friday, we had been home with Samuel for almost four days and I was feeling like we were getting settled in a bit.  While in the hospital, he had spent five days in the NICU, and so I was so ready to get home where I could hold him whenever I wished and have him to myself.  The girls were loving him!  That morning as I sat in bed feeding him, I had a thought that I would be going to the hospital that day.  It seemed out of the blue, because I had been feeling so well.  I thought of when I had to be hospitalized with pleurisy a week or two after Claire was born and figured that I might have the same thing happen again.  This time though, would be simple, because I knew what to expect and what would resolve the problem, and so I tried not to worry about it. 

The rest of the afternoon went by with me feeling great.  Courtney had gone to work and Emmy, Kate, and Claire were away for the afternoon.  Shortly after Ryenne got home from school, I saw Courtney drive in with his brother Nate.  He poked in his head to let me know they would be out at his desk working for a while.  It was about 4:30.  Almost immediately after he walked out I started feeling painful cramps.  I started bleeding and was barely able to make it to the bathroom and back to my bed, where I curled up in a ball.  I hadn't ever felt cramps like that.  Ryenne came in about this time and went running for her dad, but I told her to wait.  I didn't want Nate to come in and see me like that, which everyone laughs at no, but it seemed like a big deal at the time.  When everything continued to get worse, I texted Courtney and asked him to come in ASAP as soon as Nate left.  Later I found out he never got the text until I sent a second one about ten minutes later that said, "HURRY PLEASE!"  At that point he came running in and got everything rolling.  He called my ob's office, and began arranging for someone to come and stay with Samuel and Ryenne.  I was having a hard time deciding whether I should really go or not.  I kept telling Courtney I didn't want to overreact and be a drama queen!  About the time I changed my mind, the heavy bleeding turned to gushing and we knew we didn't have a choice.

We headed to Logan, and checked into the ER, where we were given a room and were blessed with a super nurse.   As the hours progressed, so did my bleeding.   Before long realized I was in pretty big trouble.  I could see it in the nurses eyes, and I definitely saw the panic in Courtney's eyes as he watched everything unfold.  I tried to calm myself by asking a nurse, "This is probably pretty common, isn't it", but she told us that no one had ever seen anything like this before.  As scared as I was, I think the hardest part was watching Courtney.  I''ll never forget his eyes. The ER brought in the on-call OBGYN, who I really feel was the perfect one to handle my situation.  She tried several different medicines (giving me 10 times the regular dose of one of them) to try to stop the bleeding.  Although they were hoping the medicines would work and spoke of the possibility of doing a D&C, I knew at this time that I would end up getting a hysterectomy.  This is a comfort to me now, because I feel like my earlier impression that day, in addition to this understanding prepared me for what would happen and helps me have faith that Heavenly Father's hand was involved with everything that was happening.  When my bleeding continued, I developed a life threatening condition called DIC.  Courtney says I ought to put a WEB MD link to explain it, but basically I have been told over and over that DIC is any doctor or nurse's worse nightmare, as very few survive it.   Everyday we understand a little more about what a serious condition this is and how difficult it is to reverse.  Fortunately our doctor acted quickly and decided to do an emergency hysterectomy.  

Not that the past few hours had been easy, but this is where it gets hard for me. I've put off writing it down, but Courtney's mom encouraged me to start writing, as it seems to help me process things and find understanding. I know she's right, but it's still hard for me to put that night into words.

The next little while was pretty scary.  The doctor had told me that the surgery was an effort to save my life.  That's a pretty hard thing to face.  At this point, some of the nurses were in tears and of course, we were too.  As they prepped everything for the surgery, Courtney and I had a few minutes to talk. He gave me a last minute blessing, which helped ease my fears and, we believe saved my life. 

The surgery lasted three and half hours.  I now have another incision, which runs up and down above my c-section incision.  (Courtney and Aunt Kelsey have some really cool tattoo ideas!)   I received ten units of blood, and have received two since.  (The doctors tell me I've had a complete oil change!)  Shortly after surgery, I was taken via LifeFlight to Salt Lake City and admitted into the Shock/Trauma ICU unit.  I've learned a few things over the past week, one being that there is a fast helicopter for LifeFlight and an even faster one.  I got a moonlight ride on the even faster version.  It took only 20 minutes to get me from Logan to Salt Lake City.  Needless to say, I don't remember a whole lot about that flight. I spent two days in ICU, and have spent the past week in the mother/baby unit where I'm still trying to recover.  I've had a really hard time getting back on my feet- literally!  My legs aren't working very well, and I pass out easily.  It's slowly getting better though, and I'm trying to be positive. 

The kids are in great care, thanks to great grandparents and aunts and uncles.  We miss them so much, but have been able to have a few visits.  Courtney is my rock, as always, and has hardly left my side in the past week. Everyone keeps trying to talk him into leaving, and I know it will come, but we are both feeling like we need each other right now.

We are so blessed to be to this point.  I am sometimes discouraged at the slow progress,, but realize that this whole experience is part of a greater plan and I have much to learn.  I'm so thankful to have another chance to grow and become the person and mom I would like to be. 

I'll continue to write more about our latest adventure.  We're hoping to get home soon, and get back to our kiddos. 

And, of course, we would love any prayers you could send our way.


Darcie said...

Kelly, I had a big long comment written, but it just didn't feel right for this post, and I just didn't like it. What I really want to say is just thank you. Thank you for surviving, thank you for being such a great friend, thank you for being an inspiration, and thank you for having such great faith... it was your faith that kept you alive, I'm sure of it.

I know you say you got your second chance, but this experience has really given me so much perspective too. I feel like I've been given a second chance as well... there's so many things I need to improve on. I'm just sad it took a friend almost dying for me to realize it. :(

Please rest up and continue to get better Kelly. We all love you and need you. Very much.

Sam and Kathryn Rose said...

Thank you for sharing your tender thoughts....You are such an example to me. I love to read your blog...you inspire me to be better... I am so happy that you are doing better..I know that you have a way to go...so grateful that you are still here with us..Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you and your sweet family..Samuel is so precious as well as the girls...We continue to pray for you, Courtney and your sweet family...May Heavenly Fathers continue to bless you and heal you.

Nicole said...

Kelly, I am having trouble thinking of anything to write that seems adequate enough. Thank you for sharing your story! We have thought of you non-stop since learning what had happened.

You are an amazing person, full of light and goodness. This light radiates on all of us that get to call you our friend. I look up to your faith and example more than you will ever know. I am so grateful for the blessings that have unfolded over the past few weeks and that you are safe, home, and healing! I am sure that you survived this not because you had anything to learn, but because the rest of us need you! We learn from your example and couldn't live without you!

Our family loves you and your wonderful family! Please let us know if there is anything you need.

Trisha said...

Kelly...You are such an amazing person. Thank you for sharing so much with so many people. I check you blog almost daily because your inspiring words are so, well... inspiring. If my memory serves me correctly there was a time a couple of years ago that you decided to make your blog public rather than private. I recall you saying something about there maybe being someone out there that could benefit from your blog. I feel that I am definitely one of those people. You are an inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Heather W. said...

I agree with what everyone has said, you are an inspiration to all of us, I've always looked up to you Kelly and think what a wonderful, kind person you are. I'm so glad that I moved into the ward and have been able to get to know you better.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've told you before that I just LOVE reading your blog and I would always look forward to your posts.
I've been thinking about you alot since I heard that you were in the hospital and I would drive past your house and felt sad not seeing your car parked in the driveway,your kids playing outside, or you mowing the lawn.:) I'm so happy to see your car parked there now. I know that you probably have alot of help coming in, but please to hesitate to ask me for ANYTHING. Even if your Mom needs a break, I'd gladly take Claire for awhile when your kids are in school. Or if you need anything from town, PLEASE PLEASE call me.
We having been praying for you and will continue to pray for you and your family.

4whlgrl said...

Kelly, We have been thinking about you since I heard what had happened. I am so thankful that you are healing and on your way to getting better! I love to read your blog. Like everyone else has said, You are so inspiring and I always feel uplifted after reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your sweet spirit with us all. You make me want to be a better person. Please let us know if you need any help or anything at all. We will continue to pray for you. Get the rest that you need and get better soon!