Monday, August 25, 2014


Miracles aren't easy and they don't come cheap. Even with modern medicine, miracles still happen. Miracles are necessary to teach us there is more to learn, more to believe, and more to have.

Miracle-- it's not a word that I use often or take lightly.

Traditionally, a c-section takes place at the bottom of the uterus, having a transverse incision made about the length of an open hand. This is the modern way- the safe way- the planned way- the normal way. The transverse incision is easier to heal and involves less blood loss. But, when the c-section is emergent, when the doctor has to "get in there" or things are not going well- they, instead- make a vertical incision, running from below the diaphragm down... down... down past the belly button.

Disclaimer: This is my knowledge, I have not consulted Husband on this information (or even Dr. Wikipedia); this c-section information is more to paint the picture of Thursday. 

Mama Bits on the operating table, splayed open- they determined a hysterectomy was not necessary. That being said, she still had a large vertical incision that had to be dealt with. Warrior delivered and off to the NICU, the doctors set in to handle the repairing and the closing.

After hearing the good news and rejoicing- there was a blip. A second. Just a glimmer of a moment when I remembered that "up and down" incision instead of the "left and right" incision. In my head and out of my head it went. The news was too good to not focus my whole heart on. Tears of joy, relief, and exhaustion- our tribe continued to call and text in disbelief.

But then the radio silence set in. News was sporadic and sketchy at best. It was not purposeful, rather there was a lot going on in that hospital. And they had a lot to do. The word "intubation" trickled our way.

Mama Bits hemorrhaged in the recovery room. Fortunately, the doctors had physically prepared her for a high-risk hysterectomy and flipped the switch on her arterial catheters to curb the massive bleeding. How bad was the hemorrhage? Bad.

Stabilized, they gingerly relocate her to the Traumatic ICU for the evening. More hemorrhaging and passing of clots. The doctors contemplated that hysterectomy and intubated her.

"Mama, what's in-tah-bait?"
Just a second, LMC, let me finish talking to Daddy and I will tell you.

Fifteen units of blood and blood products later-- read: that's two oil changes-- Mama Bits was stable, safe, and out of the woods. As her anesthesiologist extubated her, he looked at her as she awoke and said, "You are a miracle. It is 100% a miracle you are alive and survived last night."

"Mama, what's X-tah-bait?"
We are almost done, LMC, thank you for being patient.

Since moving out of the TICU, she is back in her old room. Not only has she laid her eyes on Warrior in his little incubator, she has held him- kissed him and loved him in only the way a mother can. She might still have her womb, but her birthing days are over. Warrior will be held a little longer, kissed a little more, and snuggled by three older siblings. And why not? After the war he fought to get here, he deserves it.

They are discussing discharge dates- sooner, rather than later. I am humbled. Eternally, I am humbled by this woman, my friend, and her ability to fight, to love, and to live.

Sorry, honey. Okay- intubate: Somebody like Daddy takes a long tube and sticks it down Mama Bits' throat into her lungs so her body can have a rest. The tube attaches to a machine and breaths for her until she can do it on her own. When they extubate, it's just a fancy word for taking out the tube. 
"Like a snorkel?"
Yep, kinda like a snorkel.

Again, I send my thanks to you and am constantly amazed at the good in people. Adding this stranger to your church's prayer list in North Carolina, sending words up to your Higher Power, crying with me as you read my words, doing all those little things add up. They add up to miracles.

And that is not a word I use often.


Mary Louis Quinn said...

I have been so thankful for your updates! (As a stranger who just has a mutual friend with Elizabeth.) Truly miraculous indeed!

Cacky Oztekin said...

Beautifully written. I hope to meet you one day. You are a treasure to us all. "Aunt Cacky"

Anonymous said...

So glad you are willing to share updates with us--many of us have never met "Mama Bits" except through your blog--but all of us do care. A lot. --nbb

Anonymous said...

I am inviting my family members to visit your blog to read this as it is so well written! You are such a dear friend to Elizabeth!
Julie (Jacob's mother)