Our Judah Story-Part 7-Recovery

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It’s hard to say how long my actual recovery took. Even after the memorial service and burial, even after my release from the hospital, I still had to be watched. My placenta had been a poison to my body, and though it was no longer a part of me, there was still a chance that I would develop some serious side effects. For one, we had to make sure that none of the placenta had broken off and remained in my body. I don’t know how much you know about placentas, but normally they come out spongelike-you can pick them up. Mine was in no way, shape, or form, solid. It was basically a gooey mess. My doctor who has been  doing his job for over 30 years said he had never seen anything like it. For another thing, we had to make sure I didn’t develop cancer. I had lots of follow up appointments, x-rays, blood work and the like done. It seemed like forever until I was released from bed rest.

I delivered Judah on May 2, 2012. The entire rest of our summer I was still really weak. I couldn’t do normal things, and taking care of Lane took about everything out of me. Thankfully, my parents had bought a camper that year, and we went camping almost every weekend. There is just something about being outside, relaxing around a campfire. It’s good for the soul. Normally, I’m the type of person who almost never gets sick. I couldn’t even count how many times I got sick that year. My body was still so weak, it couldn’t fight off any sickness. I love to sing, and was on the worship team at church, but singing literally hurt my lungs-in fact, it was physically difficult to sing. To say it was a long road to recovery would be an understatement. And that was just my body. I haven’t even talked about my heart.

One thing that helped hold me together was a phone call I had received from Dr. Harry the day after I delivered Judah. He heard that I had delivered the baby and wanted to know how I was doing. “I can’t believe you delivered the baby so quickly” he told me. “The medicine simply doesn’t work that way. You know, we see miracles everyday, but the fact that you delivered your baby so quickly is truly a miracle.” He said I probably miscarried on my own and my body simply passed Judah-he didn’t think it had anything to do with the medicine. Even when things are terrible, God is still good. I kept reminding myself of this moment, because it helped me to remember that God still remembered me

Friends, this was the worst time in my life. I have seen some really, really hard times since, but this trumps them all. Losing my first baby boy. Almost losing my life. Having to relinquish my motherly duties to somebody else. Not to mention the impact that losing our baby had on our marriage. I have yet to see a darker time in my life. But dear ones, I can also say with total confidence that I felt the Presence of my Sweet Jesus so fully during that hard season. I have never had more peace than I did in that wretched time. You see, even amidst all the pain, and the ugliness, and the disparity, there is still beauty. Jesus is telling a story in my life, through my life. Jesus is using me. He’s using my story. He is using Judah. One friend had to explain death to his little boy when we lost our son, and it resulted in his salvation. That was only one victory. And I know there will be others. I know my Judah’s life was not in vain. I know there is more to the story and I am excited to see what is to come.

Jesus held me during that time. He held me in that hospital room. He held me through the labor, through the delivery, through the sickness, and the pain, and the loneliness and the confusion. He held tightly onto me. He was holding me together. I easily could have died. I know I was close to it. But my Lord and my God kept me here for a reason. For such a time as this. I can’t take that lightly. I can’t just let that sit on the shelf and collect dust. He gave me a reason and a purpose. And I am here to tell you that He loves you too! He has a plan for you. A purpose. There is a reason you are here. There is a reason for the painful things in your life. There will be beauty, there will be peace, there will be redemption. I’ve seen it. I know it. And it is just as true for you as it is for me. So take heart, beloved. For your Savior is near.

I won’t lie to you. This path is not easy. Yes, I have healed, but there is still healing yet to come. I still don’t understand why my son was ripped away from me. This side of heaven I may never know. I still have hard days. There are still times when Blake finds me crying on the shower floor. There are still days where it’s hard to pass by the boy clothes in the baby section. It still hits me like a ton of bricks every time I meet a little boy named Judah. It will always be hard to visit his gravesite and physically see him apart from me. I don’t think those things will ever go away. I don’t think a day will ever pass where I don’t think of him. But even still, my God is good. And He is on my side. And He is guiding me through. I promise you, He will guide you too.

Thankfully, I never did develop that cancer. My body eventually returned to normal. And right around November-December, I got pregnant with our sweet Raegan. I had a great pregnancy, and an awesome delivery. Rae was a perfect little baby. A sign of hope for today and for the future. All of this is only the beginning of our Judah story. I know there is so much more to come. Judah: praised. Let His Name be praised above all other names. Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. May His Name be praised. Joseph: He will add. He is not done with our family yet. He will add joy. He will add babies. He will add life. He will add…He is not finished with me yet.

 

Our Judah Story-Part 4

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Honestly, so much of everything turned into a blur at this point. I felt as though I got sicker by the moment. I remember lying in bed every night, wondering if I was even going to wake up the next morning. Or, if I did wake up, would it be in a hospital bed? Would I wake up paralyzed? Was I going to stroke or seize as I slept? It was completely and utterly terrifying. I really think what kept me going was the thought that Lane needed her mommy. I couldn’t die, because my 10 month old daughter couldn’t grow up without her mom.

At my MFM appointment, they told me that I also had preeclampsia. But, the thing was, in order to “technically” have preeclampsia, you have to be 20 weeks along, which I was not. They said the earliest case of preeclampsia they had ever seen was 18 weeks. I still wasn’t that far along. But sure enough, I had preeclampsia. I cannot even tell you how many times I heard “This is so rare, we’ve never seen this before, this is a case for the books, etc…” I kept thinking about that medical show that used to be on T.V. where weird things happen to people and they get really sick and then it’s usually some really weird form of some rare something or other. I don’t even remember what it was called. But I felt like I would be a perfect candidate for that show.

I don’t know how much time had passed, not much, but we went in to get a second opinion. As it turns out, my brother and his wife go to church with an MFM. My sister-in-law has known him her entire life. He’s a good family friend. They gave us his contact info and gave him a heads up as to what was going on. We got in touch with him, and really just wanted to ask him a few questions. We didn’t think going in to see him was a possibility. But God is good, and Dr. Harry talked to my husband and told him he would open up his office early so that we could get an appointment in with him-it was even covered by insurance. Better yet, he and my doctor had done their residencies together. They knew and respected each other-they were simply in different networks. He was truly a Godsend.

The morning came to see Dr. Harry. We went into his office and met the ultrasound tech. She got everything started and told us our baby was a little girl (more on that later). I was SHOCKED as I had spent my entire pregnancy knowing my baby was a boy. When the doctor came in, we did a crazy in-depth ultrasound. I didn’t even know it was possible to go so in-depth. We looked at baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, etc. His heart was too small, I think, he had fluid on his brain, he was missing some organs. I don’t even remember everything that my sweet baby had wrong with him-there was so much. And then Dr. Harry turned to me, looked me straight in the eye, and said something along the lines of, “I don’t know what you usually look like. But I can tell you right now, you don’t look good at all. You have to deliver this baby. You cannot stay pregnant any longer. I know we serve the same God. And all life is sacred, and all life is precious. But Lindsay, this baby has a 0% chance of survival. This baby is not going to live. And if you don’t deliver-and soon-I mean you need to start the process today, as soon as possible-you WILL end up in the hospital. And it won’t be because of something small like high blood pressure. You WILL end up in the intensive care unit because of kidney failure, or a heart attack, or stroke, or a lung collapsing, or something MAJOR like that and it will be a long, tedious recovery-if you even recover at all. Doctors make up reasons for women to deliver their babies early all the time, but this is truly one of those rare cases where your pregnancy will kill you-and baby-if you don’t deliver in time.” And then he grabbed our hands, bowed his head, and prayed with us.

Before he let us leave, he made us go back to another room so that they could take my blood pressure and monitor me a little bit. He told us over and over again that we needed to call my doctor THAT DAY so that I could be admitted. I was ready to go, I knew how badly I felt, and I knew the whole time that I was never going to have that baby. But for Blake, he was still in shock-entirely and completely overwhelmed. He wasn’t quite sure he was ready for me to deliver. Everything was happening so quickly. We decided we could probably wait just a little bit longer. Dr. Harry must have seen our hesitancy, because he went ahead and called my doctor on his own. He told him how sick I looked and that I needed to come in as soon as possible to have an emergency delivery.

A couple of hours later, we received the call from my doctor that it was time. We needed to come in so that, at the very least, they could monitor me. He told us we could take a little bit of time, but no more than a couple of hours-the sooner I was there, the better. I don’t remember what we did in that time or even how much time we took. I only remember that driving to the hospital felt like we were driving to Death Row.