Thursday, July 15, 2010

Angel Baby, Miracle Baby

Over the past 30 years I have acquired quite a few nicknames. Some I have kept and some fell by the way side. Since I became a parent, I thought it only right that my children learn this tradition from me. I call both my boys Bubba, I think I got it from my friend, but as soon as I used it on my children, it just felt right. They have also acquired recent nicknames from me. Zach my almost 3 year old is my Angel baby, while Kadin, my 5 month old is my Miracle baby. The story behind these names ultimately makes sense. Don't get me wrong. all children are miracles, some just earn the name doing great things or being great. Both of my children received these names from me when I remembered in ICU. I remember February 24, 2010 just as if it was yesterday. I don't want to go back and live through the past few months again, but i do have that day permanently embedded into my brain. Hence the names! You see that day started like any other. I fed Zach his breakfast, gobbled something down with a Dr. Pepper and some advil for my splitting headache. They boys and I sat down on the couch so that I could feed Kadin. About an hour and a half after feeding Kadin, I tried to move but a horrible pain shot up my back and I was unable to unfold my legs. I thought it was a fluke and that I must have been sitting wrong. As time passed on, the pain got worse and I set Kadin down on the couch while I climbed onto the floor. Before I knew it, pain shot all over my body and my head throbbed. I couldn't move at all. I had never been so scared in my life. With tears running down my face I asked my son Zach to go to my diaper bag, which was hanging in the mudroom. and grab my cell phone. He was so diligent and courageous as he tried his hardest to find what I was asking for. Because he couldn't find it, he instead drug his brother's car seat over asking where we were going. In the midst of my agony all I could do was hug my little boy and tell him "it's gonna be okay." Unfortunately, I didn't know if it was or not. I asked him to try again to get my cell phone. About this time Kadin started crying as it was time to eat. It took all my strength to crawl to the couch and lift him to me (remember he only weighed about 8 lbs now). I desperately tried to nurse him while Zach dug through my bag. I was unable to get Kadin to successfully feed so he began crying. I laid him down next to me an apologized to him. Zach saw the fear in my eyes and heard his brother crying and got the pacifier for him. He stood over the baby and said, "it's gonna be okay baby." The ever steady stream of tears came down ever faster and harder than before. I knew that I needed to call Darren so I drug myself across the floor and over to the counter in the kitchen. I slowly reached up the cabinets and felt for the phone. I called Darren and before he could finish his greeting, I uttered, "you need to come home now and you need to call your mom to watch the boys, something isn't right." After hanging up with him, I desperately tried my mom at work, no answer. After the third attempt without any luck, I tried my sister at work. By God's grace she had just moments earlier walked into her office. She answered the phone and heard me sob. "something's not right, call Mom and tell her we are going to the ER." She hung up and immediately called my Mom and Dad. Darren arrived home and then his mother followed right behind him. She quickly scooped up the babies while I quickly told her that Kadin would need to eat. Darren asked if he could drive me to the ER and asked me to stand. My legs wouldn't work at all. I said, "no, call 9-1-1." He did and moments later they were there hoovering over me. My blood pressure was off the roof and they decided that I needed to go in. They helped me try and stand and helped me walk out to the awaiting ambulance. Because I didn't seem incredibly sick, I got no sirens or lights (if they had only known :0). The EMT in the back of the ambulance had been there a few weeks earlier taking care of Darren when he broke his leg during a men's hockey game. We chatted about this and I felt normal. I even apologized for waisting their time by having to come get me. I think I thought that the ER was going to agree with me that I had migraines, put me on a stronger medication, not let me breastfeed for a few days, and then I would be fine. Well we all know now, that isn't what happened. We arrived at the ER shortly before noon and the EMT's escorted me to the room I would be in. The last thing I remember is one of the EMT's saying to me, "how do you feel?' to which I replied, "i don't feel so good." Then I apparently had my first grand mal seizure. They rushed me to a CAT scan where they noticed a mass inside my head. Due to this discovery, a MRI was ordered. I had another seizure during the MRI. They also confirmed that I had a tumor inside my brain right onto of the brain stem. Meanwhile, my family sat in the waiting room of the ER, huddled together. My oldest sister, Wendy, is an OBGYN in town and she cut through the ER to get my status and was told of the seizures, as the mass hadn't been discovered yet. She came out to the waiting room and tried to console my husband and family stating that it was probably preeccamplsia from my pregnancy with Kadin and relatively easy to treat. Once the tumor was discovered, all bets were off. I was moved to ICU and an operation was scheduled for the next day due to the extreme hydrocephalus. Dr. Kralick, an amazing brain surgeon, performed the resection. It is now clear to me how much God held onto that situation to make sure that I was gonna be okay. I don't remember those first few days well, but I do remember a lot from ICU/CCU, all of my time in PCU, and all my time in Rehab. You see Zach was my angel that day. If it wasn't for him and God, I may have seized on the floor and no one would have known. The ironic thing was that I had an MRI scheduled from my neurologist for the very next day because of my headings, unsteady gait (walk), and constant vertigo. They certainly would have found the tumor but the likely hood that Dr. Kralick would have operated on me in certainly unknown. I just continually praise God for His awesome power and grace that day. I am LUCKY to be alive, and I am not just saying that for show. Many of you do not clearly understand how close I really was to dying, not just that day, but some that followed. Thank you to many of you who kept me in constant prayer, it is because your willingness to ask the Lord that He granted my healing. Don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go to heal, but as many have stated to me, I am a WALKING MIRACLE. Praise God!

So now that you know why I call Zach my Angel baby, I call Kadin my Miracle baby because that is what he truly is. Doctors are still unsure of how long I had the tumor, but they can tell me that it fed off of my pregnancy, the extra blood, allowed it to grow strong and healthy. Because of my pregnancy, I also got vertigo (since October 2009) because of the hydrocephalus. He is a miracle because I made it through delivery. The day I delivered Kadin, I had another horrible headache and as I pushed him out the pain grew more intense. I was told that the pressure of pushing him out could have killed me because of the additional pressure on the brain. Praise God Again. I am alive and I have a super cute kid to prove it.

Hopefully, this shed a little light into my son's newest nicknames. I feel they are quite fitting. My only wish is that I will always remember God's hand in this situation instead of the fear that I felt and saw on my children's faces. Plus as Zach says it, "it was cool that Mommy got to ride in an Ambby Car (ambulance)."


1 comment:

  1. Hi Jessica,
    So happy to hear things are getting better. Scott and I had been getting updates from Larry but the blog is great! We're thinking about you guys...our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Stephanie (and Scott) Pohlman