Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Placenta Previa Turns Deadly

For the beginning of this section of the story, when my placenta previa first ruptures, read the December 17 post. 


             For several minutes Chris stood in the driveway, watching the firemen leave in their trucks and cars. Bewildered and shaken, he walked slowly into the house and wandered around aimlessly upstairs, murmuring to himself. “What am I supposed to do now; what if she’s not alive when I get to the hospital?”
            The paramedic’s succinct, sober comment to my husband, before swiftly closing the ambulance door, was: “I don’t know if we’re going to make it in time.”
            That comment shocked Chris into reality and forced him to consider the possibility of being a thirty-one-year-old widower with a little boy – a little boy who'd be three in twenty-nine hours.       
            For fifteen minutes Chris dragged himself around the upstairs, and then stopped to gaze at our peacefully sleeping son. Reluctantly, he returned to our bedroom to stare at the blood puddles soaking into the carpet, recoiling at the idea of staying in the house but terrified to go to the hospital. Knowing he couldn’t allow Parker to see the blood, he labored to remove all physical evidence of the catastrophe.
            After what seemed to him an eternity of wandering and cleaning, he awakened Parker, placed him in his car seat in the car, and drove the ten miles to the hospital. Parker questioned him repeatedly as to my whereabouts, and Chris struggled to maintain his calm while explaining to Parker that they were going to see me, quietly fearful of what might confront them upon arrival.
            My ride to the hospital was uneventful, apart from the increasing discomfort, escalating fear and deteriorating physical state. The aggravating elbow pain intensified and kept me awake, yet my fear intensified as I silently wondered whether our small village hospital could care for me.  
            My regular obstetrician practiced at a hospital fifteen miles north of our home, in another county. Since patients aren’t transported across county lines in California, I’d automatically be taken to the closest hospital in San Diego County where we lived. We’d heard plenty of negative rumors about our local hospital’s reputation. To suggest that I was terrified of going to a hospital where the quality of care was in doubt, and where I knew no medical staff, would be an understatement.
            Meditating on God’s care and control didn’t cross my mind since my ingrained, fighting survival mode had kicked in. But meditating on anything became increasingly difficult. Everything seemed to be spiraling frightfully out of control. My control.
            In an instant the pretty, pristine blueprint I’d hastily fashioned for my destiny slipped from my hands. If I were powerless to save my unborn baby, who else could intervene? Pride, habit, a weak faith, and a significant lack of oxygen restrained me from seeking God and the peace He could provide.
            I did what came naturally: I lapsed into a stoic state of mind, and, predictably, emerged a woman harboring scant hope.
            I had volumes to learn about God and His perfect ways, and He was about to begin the lesson.

            Next Week: The hospital arrival – the pain, the fear, the humiliation.

Note: I will have a special New Year post on Monday, December 31. My regular post will be up on Wednesday, January 2.

Thanks for joining me!