I apologize for the long breaks with no blogging, our computer is still at the computer doctor, so I have to go somewhere else to blog when I find the time.
So, I told you about teaching, nursing school, and my nursing career at Shriners, but I didn't really fill you in on all the other little details. I was having yearly liver biopsies to see how my liver was progressing. I stayed pretty much the same, Stage 4 Cirrhosis, Stage 3 inflammation. At one of my doctor appts in February of 2008, my doctor said, "If you ever want to have a baby, you better do it sooner, than later." I was still dating and loving Paul, but I had huge commitment issues due to few things, but mainly a fear of not being able to give him a child. So, two weeks later, we were married on March 7th. Only our immediate family was there, which I later found out hurt some peoples' feelings, which I never intended. Someday, I would love to have the wedding of my dreams to renew my vows with Paul. I was on a mission ( I don't know if Paul knew about my mission), but I wanted a baby more than I had wanted anything else before. My heart longed to be a mother. After more than a year of trying to get pregnant, I went to the doctor and asked for help. The problem was, I was not ovulating regularly and I had only had 3 cycles in the past year. Strange, I was suddenly praying for a period. The things we do to have a baby. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed the following prayer, pay attention to it- "Lord, please let me have a baby, but if you choose not to allow me to get pregnant, God I can handle that, but I absolutely cannot handle getting pregnant and then losing my baby. Oh, and can it please have red hair?"
So, when those two little lines appeared, I had total faith that God would only answer my prayer if He was going to allow them to make it, so I forged ahead with full confidence that God had blessed me with a baby. I shouted from the rooftops about the "blessing" He had placed in my belly. Paul and I told our parents by sending each of them flowers telling them they would soon be grandparents. I was so excited to go to the doctor to see my little baby on the sonogram. And then, there were two, two little turtles is what I called them. I later felt foolish for this next statement, but I exclaimed, "God has given us a double blessing." I clung to my favorite Bible verse, Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." I have since learned not to tell God what I can handle. I've also learned not to tell others things that I cannot guarantee, like "everything will be fine." I can't really tell anyone that things will be okay, face it, sometimes everything is not okay. Until very recently, I could not tell you one good thing that has come from the death of my babies, honestly I didn't want anything good to come from it. I wanted my babies instead. I know, it sounds selfish, but I'm being honest here.
GUILT, what a yucky word, but I have so much of it. Guilt for everyday that I complained that I was going stir crazy on bedrest, guilt that I wouldn't let the lady who painted a mural in their nursery paint their names on the wall (I guess I wasn't so faithful), guilt that I didn't take it easier at work, guilt that I didn't always sleep on my side, sometimes I slept on my back, guilt that I drank some caffeine while pregnant, guilt that I complained about all the nosebleeds, guilt that I complained about nausea, guilt that I complained at all, and especially guilt that I didn't insist on the nurse calling my doctor Saturday night when I felt worse than I have ever felt in my entire life. I advocate for everyone else, WHY didn't I advocate for myself.
My Jacob was dead Sunday morning, I should have raised a fuss, but no, I never want to hurt anyone's feelings. I had no idea I would be fighting for my life and my son Ben's life on Sunday. I wasn't prepared, how do you prepare for this? Sunday morning, the nurse couldn't find two heartbeats, only one. Positive me, I kept telling her how everyone else had the same problem, I was so sure everything was okay. Dr. Rowe came in and did an ultrasound, and then without warning he said, "we lost Jacob," I said, "what?". He said, "Katrinia, Jacob doesn't have a heartbeat." I started crying and I told Dr. Rowe he was wrong, he would see, he had to be wrong. He would take me to surgery and when they did the C-section, he would see that Jacob was really alive. He was wrong, he was wrong, he was wrong. This is all I kept telling myself. My mom helped me take a shower while Paul called family and our church. My sister, aunts, and cousins had to call a ton of peopel because ironically, I was having a baby shower at the hospital on this very day given by a wonderful friend Marilyn Tackaberry. It is weird, but I even have guilt that she planned a baby shower and put all this work and effort into my shower and I let her down.
He was wrong, he was wrong, I was going to prove him wrong. God raised Lazarus, He would raise my son too. God you have to, please, God, take me. These are the thoughts I was having, I never once thought about what my body was going through and that I literally hadn't been able to breath for the past 5 days. I only saw pictures of Dr. Rowe after my C-section, but he was covered in sweat. He had worked hard to save Ben and then to save me. I had lost a lot of blood and I had ascites in my abdomen from my liver. I was yellow, jaundiced because my liver was failing me. This was more than it could handle.
(I am having to take a break, I have never told this story in writing and it is very hard for me)
As a nurse, I woke-up to all kinds of blood products being infused into me, 5 ivs in my arms, pain all over, but no pain that compared to the pain in my heart and the fear inside me. Where were my babies? I needed my doctor to come talk to me. My doctor cried, this man of God cried and told me how worried he was about me and how he thought he had lost me. Later, I would wish that he had lost me for a while in my dark times. I never wanted to commit suicide, I just wanted to be with my boys. I didn't really want to hear all of this, so he told Paul to get a copy of my OR report and let me read it later. He told me Benjamin was upstairs, but he was not in the best shape. It was twin to twin transfusion and Jacob had taken all the blood, so BenBen was born with very little blood supply. This is the part that tears me up inside when I think about what an amazing man Dr. Rowe is. He must have told my ICU nurse that he didn't know if Ben would make it through the night, so my awesome nurse called the NICU, had them move all the babies beds around so that they could bring me up in my bed. My nurse stayed way past 7pm to take care of me, she went above and beyond. I got to see my Ben. His chest was going up and down, even if it was being controlled my a machine and he had a heartbeat, he was alive. I loved him instantly, but the nurse inside of me looked at all the meds, the monitors, the labs, the vent settings, I saw it all. My baby was on life-sustaining drugs, drugs I never wanted a baby of mine on, drugs that had serious side-effects, drugs that I was grateful for all at the same time. I spent time telling Ben how much I loved him and that he needed to be strong for his momma because I needed him. After a while, we had to go back, but I will forever be grateful for those wonderful nurses that gave me that special time with my son. Little did I know, he would only be here two more days.
Back in my ICU room, my baby Jacob had arrived and I was able to hold him and love him and kiss him, snuggle him, tell him how sorry I was that I had lost him. I am pretty much an open book if you know me, so I wanted to share even this terrible experience with the people that I love. My family and friends filled up three waiting rooms and everyone came in to visit and I wanted everyone to hold Jacob, love him, see him, and never forget him. I was still one proud Momma. All of these people would have been a part of his life, I wanted them to see my precious baby. We sang worship songs in my room with people all around, I cried, I prayed, I grieved. It wasn't until about 2 am that next morning that I realized my baby was really dead, strange, I know. Paul was at my bedside and I called my mom and sister. They came down in about 5 minutes and I became that mother, the one that lets out that awful wailing, deepfromhersoul, cry. My nurse sat outside my door and cried too. She was an ICU nurse, not a labor and delivery nurse, so she wasn't used to this. My mom, sister, and husband held me and let me cry, yell at God, ask why, they let me grieve. We never bring this up, it is too sacred to us all, but for the first time in my life I was helpless and unable to grasp this thing called "my life." What was in store? I just knew that God was going to perform a miracle in Ben's life, He had to, right?
Okay, I am emotionally exhausted, I will tell the rest of the story next time, but let me tell you, Satan didn't keep me down long, and I only got stronger working my way out of the valley.