“Can I give you a hug?”
The question, coming from my masked OB/GYN caused hot tears to well up in my eyes and run down my cheeks.
Her hug was a true embrace-not just a halfway “it’s gonna be okay” sentiment. It was genuine. And human. And made me feel not only validated, but valued as her patient and a friend.
When I chose WOMEN OB for my women’s health and pregnancy journey several years ago, I had no idea how much the office would eventually mean to me. After my miscarriage, and the lack of sympathy and concern that I felt I received from the previous practice I attended, I decided to seek out a new office all on my own. I chose WOMEN after reading an Instagram post about the support groups and they offered for women suffering pregnancy and infant loss. It just felt right. I began seeing a CNM (Midwife), Kayleigh Holthaus, and instantly fell in love with not only the office itself (super high end) but Kayleigh herself. She was warm and supportive and very realistic. She treated me like a person and apologized for what I had recently experienced. I recommend her to any and everyone seeking a natural or non medicated birth (my original plan), because she’s truly wonderful.
When I found out I was having twins, and a cesarean would be involved, I had to start seeing an OB. Kayleigh assured I would be in the best of hands with Dr. Shaun Samples. Dr. Samples went on to deliver my boys, and is currently the doctor I am seeing during this pregnancy as well. I don’t know that I could pick out a better doctor if I tried. She is calm, thorough, and so very smart; yet she feels like a sorority sister and longtime friend. She has the sweetest demeanor and everyone that knows her seems to love her. She held me during my spinal, has talked me off of the ledge more times than I can count, and literally stood and talked to me like we were sisters while I was naked in the hospital shower (looking like a literal rat). I don’t know that I have ever met another soul that has exemplified the word “care” like Dr. Samples. Despite all that’s going on in my body and with Banks, she remains concerned but calm, professional but caring, and above all realistic….but extremely hopeful in tomorrow. As much as I could be afraid of all that is coming my way, part of me feels extremely confident because I know if she’s in the room, I will be taken care of-regardless of outcomes.
(Side note: Dr. Donna Crowe was also part of my delivery team for the twins and though she probably doesn’t remember who I am, she was incredible as well and oh so kind)
I literally look forward to every appointment at Dr. Sample’s office, and that not only has to do with her, but her nurse Emily as well who I honestly consider a friend. Any and everyone who ever aspires to be a nurse of any sort should have to intern under her guidance. She’s truly extraordinary. She, too, cares for me so well and has pledged to every step of the way during this daunting journey ahead. She knows me. She knows my chart. She knows everything going on. She welcomes any question and always, always has my back. I never worry if my medication is called in-or if she’s asked Dr. Samples a question for me-or that she’s giving me the wrong advice. She genuinely cares and is truly acting out her calling.
I say all of this to say-at the end of the day-despite everything-I have the best of teams caring for me and that hug today solidified it for me. These doctors and nurses have my true best interest, and my child’s best interest in mind, and are working to provide me with the best high risk doctors, surgeons and teams in the business.
But….that doesn’t mean I’m still not afraid. And, who wouldn’t be?
I didn’t receive any “new” news today really. We mainly had a discussion over the notes from the maternal fetal team. However, I asked several questions and received several hard-to-swallow answers. Some “high points”:
- I will be asleep for the birth and Jon will not be in the room but will be updated. He will also accompany baby to the NICU (for this I am thankful).
- I will have lots of wires and IVs to ensure I am receiving enough blood, medicine, etc.
- Recovery will be longer, and far more exhausting than a typical c-section.
- The damage to my bladder is unknown and damage could be quite extensive. I could have to wear a catheter for an undetermined amount of time and it could possibly be permanent depending on the extent of the damage.
- I will be admitted on or around the first week of January and will stay hospitalized until 7-10 days post birth.
- I start iron infusions on Thursday and will continue the infusions until delivery as I am anemic.
- No visitors at the hospital except for Jon who can come and go as he pleases.
There were lots of other things discussed as well including upcoming tests for Banks and what post delivery will look like for him. We will be meeting with a pediatric surgeon (at some point) as one of his ultrasound findings will require surgery soon (within days) after birth. Still no “diagnosis” as of now and possibly will not have anything concrete until closer or after birth. But-he’s currently moving all around my belly as I type this-and I am so thankful he’s alive, and relatively, well.
Everyone is asking me what they can do….and honestly, at the moment, nothing really. My aunt, cousins and best friend Sara are throwing me a small shower to celebrate this sweet baby’s birth. I am having maternity pictures done. I am making steps to choose joy right now as best I can. Because the fact still remains that this baby is coming-and is a life so worth celebrating-regardless of how messy he enters this messy, fallen world.
But, if you feel compelled to do something tangible, I sincerely ask for your prayers. I’m scared. I’m overwhelmed. And at times, I am really sad about it all. But I also genuinely believe the prayers are what are not only holding me up, but serving as a hedge of protection around me during such a frightening time. If you want specifics to pray about, please pray for the following:
- Pray for sweet Banks. In the midst of all that is going on, my heart hurts at the thought that his birth is being overshadowed and not celebrated as it deserves to be. Pray for his medical conditions. Pray for his precious, fearfully-and-wonderfully-made body to thrive. Pray he continues to remain safe throughout all that is happening around him.
- Pray for my bladder. Fervently pray for my bladder. (I need to stop here and say first of all how ridiculous and far-fetched it is I am even typing that statement-not even mentioning the fact that it’s just awkward for everyone involved because it’s just an awkward organ. I get it. But seriously, it’s in a lot of danger at the moment and I really would like to continue to pee like a normal person.). Pray though the risk to the bladder is high, the damage is small, if any. Pray I don’t have to wear a catheter for life. Pray that any sort of healing would be temporary and that one day, I can function throughout life as normal again.
- Pray that the transfusions go well, and that a central line does not have to be inserted. (Which is a possibility). Also, please pray that I avoid the ICU, which is also a possibility.
- Pray for my sanity during this hospital stay with no visitors and no leaving.
- Pray for overall healing. Please, please pray for healing. Knowing my body will be incapable of caring for my newborn, with several complications of his own, not to mention my two other boys, is very overwhelming for a mama.
I wish I had more positive news, and that these updates were full of “ah-ha” or “just kidding” moments, but this is my reality right now. And honestly? As overwhelming as it all is, it’s all grace. It’s grace to have a team of doctors so well equipped and also so kind. It’s grace to know about medical conditions affecting Banks so that he receives proper care. It’s grace to be loved on and prayed for by such a sweet community of friends and family. It’s grace to be in no pain. It’s all just grace right now. Terrifying….but full of sweet grace. And God doesn’t feel near as far across the water. In fact, he feels closer and kinder than I possibly have ever experienced Him.