Monday, May 19, 2014

Ultrasound, Incompetent Cervix and Cerclage Talk

            Dr. Landry finally snapped off the ultrasound unit and slowly turned to face me.
            “I think what you have,” he seemed reluctant to even utter it, “is an incompetent cervix.”
            Well,…isn’t that just one big surprise! I thought, disdain prowling angrily around my cerebral cortex.
            Dr. Landry then launched into an explanation of the cerclage surgical procedure I needed, and then called to check on operating room availability for the following day. After that, he ordered me catheterized and confined to bed in that wonderful—and so-familiar—head-tilted-down, feet-tilted-up position, so my innards, and, most especially the baby, would slide toward my ribcage and alleviate cervical pressure.
            Then he prescribed a relaxant to be injected through my IV “on demand.” The nurses busied themselves with the task of having me officially admitted, since I’d been donning temporary bands since arrival. The medication was rapidly effective, easing me into a pleasant euphoria and relatively stress-free state. Chris laughed outright at my slurred speech as I attempted to maintain an intelligent conversation with him. The nurses encouraged him to spend the night in the corner reclining chair—I was in a labor-delivery room—and he contacted my parents to let them know he’d be staying with me.
            Because I had experienced some contractions, the fetal monitor remained strapped around my swollen midsection so the nurses would know if I suddenly went into labor. With all details accounted for, those round-the-clock, mandatory vital statistics checks began.
            Dr. Landry waved goodbye, after assuring me that he’d call in the morning, and that the nurses would contact him immediately if anything changed.
            We settled in for the night. Chris slept fitfully, his six-foot-one-inch frame bunched into the less-than-comfortable chair, while I teeter-tottered between artificially induced sleep and staring at the ceiling.
            Another ceiling. Another hospital. Another doctor.
            And the old, all-to-familiar heartache.
            Will I be able to hang onto this baby? It was a waiting game now. I’d been so certain that God had put His blessings on our decision to have another child. Had I made a gross error in discernment, or was it yet another trial? A test? Would I make it through the night, only to have the amniotic sac rupture after surgery? Or would I make it through surgery, only to go into labor they wouldn’t be able to arrest? I asked myself questions I knew couldn’t, or wouldn’t be answered—to my satisfaction, in my time frame, at least.
            While Chris had been out of the room making his call, one of my nurses, a kind and compassionate woman named Vera, told me about a young woman who had bled to death from a placenta previa because she hadn’t arrived at the hospital in time to be helped. Her doctor had warned her of the problem, but she had either ignored the danger or misunderstood its gravity.
            The story re-freshened my awareness that by God’s mercy alone, I had been saved from physical death during my previa with Victoria. And it was by God’s grace working through Chris and his wisdom that had thus saved the baby now languishing in my womb, ready to make its too-early entry into the world.
            Vera stayed with me while Chris was gone, and we had talked about faith, and God, and His promises. Finally, Vera stopped talking to silently and intensely observe me. In her eyes, I saw an uncanny depth of perception and gentle peace. She seemed to ingest, quickly assess and deeply contemplate—with wisdom, understanding and discernment—what she saw in front of her.  
            Then she leaned close to me and softly, compassionately uttered her carefully selected words.
            “I have a good feeling about this. I think everything is going to be fine.” My gaze adhered fiercely to hers.
            In that moment, I truly believed her. I wanted to believe her. Ached to believe her. Maybe the torment was temporary and would soon be a memory. Maybe Vera was right. Maybe I wouldn’t have to relive another nightmare.
            Dear God, may it be so!


NEXT WEEK: The cerclage surgery, and God uses Vera to intervene...

Thanks for joining me!

Until next week…