Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's the Little Things

Years ago I was pregnant with twins, but about midway through the pregnancy one of the twins died which signaled my body to end the pregnancy and I began to hemorrhage. For the next two months I was on bed rest trying to save my baby, but on January 31st, 1983, I went into labor and despite efforts made to stop labor, the baby continued to come. She was early, but babies her size had lived so I wasn’t too worried until suddenly my heart rate shot to 300, every muscle in my body began to shake uncontrollably, my temperature hit 106 degrees, and my white blood count 25,000. While all this was happening to me, my baby’s heart stopped beating.

My husband was sitting in a chair next to my bed–only inches away from me, his head in his hands. As I looked at him in that distressed pose the thought came to me that I was also going to die. Immediately I thought, "There’s no way he can raise eight daughters alone!" and I began fighting to stay alive. There are no words to describe what happened to me in the next few moments, but while I fought they delivered Sonoma stillborn, and whisked me to another floor of the hospital where I wouldn’t hear other babies crying and mothers cooing over their babies. More doctors came, hooking me to machines, injecting me with four different antibiotics that clanged against an IV pole near my bed and whispering about what to do next. For the next twenty-four hours, a nurse came in every fifteen minutes to check my vital signs and make sure everything was all right. At about the two o’clock checking time the nurse pulled back the covers over me and discovered that the entire white sheet was soaked in blood, turning it red without a single spot of white left showing anywhere. Quickly doctors were recalled and packets of blood replaced the bottles of antibiotics on the pole.  I was vaguely aware of what was going on but too sick to really comprehend. However, with the transfusion and the antibiotics I began to pull out of danger , stabilized, and ten days later returned home.

As we just past the 29th anniversary of that experience, I’ve thought a lot about it. I wrote once before about how that experience taught me that like the nurse monitored me we need to monitor our lives, stopping to evaluate how we are doing and what we need to do more. But I’ve also come to realize that little things can make a huge difference in our lives. The cause of Sonoma’s death was microscopic bacteria that passed through the uterine wall and killed her and then began to attack me.

Likewise in life it is often a tiny germ of a thought that something is unfair or taking offense at something said or done that seeps into our souls and like bacteria infects our spirits. When we Live in Truth we watch for the little things and keep them from infecting us. In that way we stay spiritually healthy.


Wendi said...

Wow! I'm thankful that you survived that ordeal.

Mike and Julie said...

Thank you for sharing this. That is an extrordinary experience. I am learning so much from you. I so appreciate your perspectives and attitude. Thank you. Love, Julie