Tuesday, July 10, 2012

June 19, 2012

Today marks three weeks since Claire’s birth, and I finally feel like I have enough energy to type down some of the events from that day.

June 19, 2012 we woke up early to make it to the University of Utah hospital at 9:30am for an 11:30am cut time. Just as we were getting things together Dr. Draper called to see if we could be there to start the csection two hours earlier. We grabbed the essentials (video camera and phones) dropped Drew off and headed to the hospital. I didn’t even pack extra clothes. Suddenly our scheduled csection felt like real (unplanned) labor as we scrambled to get to the hospital. 
 Doctors, residents, anesthesiologists and nurses filed in and out of the room as I was prepped for delivery. Something I really like about the University of Utah is that it is a learning hospital. All the medical students were intrigued with the idea of an abdominal cerclage and enjoyed the actual thickness and history of my medical chart.

When the time came Spencer and I split ways and I waddled down the hall wearing a hospital gown holding a bag of IV fluid. I moved my (nearly 200lb) body onto the cold operating table and dangled my legs over the edge ready to receive the spinal anesthetic. Following the spinal the surgtechs rubbed  Betadine all over my bulbous stomach and all of the sudden I looked like someone from Jersey Shore. Just then the wonderful Dr. Draper walked into the operating room to have me answer questions he already knew the answer to. Yes I would like to leave the abdominal cerclage in and yes we want to have more kids. Sometime during the conversation I grabbed his hand to which he smiled and told a surgical tech “I’m going to need a new gown and gloves…” --- I can’t believe I touched the sterile doctor, how embarrassing. 20 minutes had passed and I could still feel every little prick from the little toothpick test. I ended up having to have the blue drape removed, sitting up, getting another spinal block, and being reBetadined. 

Finally it was go time. 

Spencer walked in a little later with the smell of cauterized blood filling the air and said something like “It smells like burnt popcorn…”  to which the anesthesiologist sitting by my head replied “What kind of popcorn do you eat?”
Just as the last few cuts were made they told us it was just about time for Claire to make her debut. At 11:41am she came out crying (and peeing). When Drew was born he never made a peep and was whisked off to the NICU for Oxygen, and CPAP. Hearing Claire cry was such a relief. Dr. Draper brought her around the blue curtain before they wiped her up to bring her to us. As Spencer watched her get cleaned up and have her vitals taken the room grew quiet. Claire’s cry was silenced as the doctors on the other side of the blue curtain whispered. Phrases like “Doesn’t look normal” “Can’t be safe” and “Grab a camera” were just a few of the things I heard. 
 Dr. Draper came around the curtain again, this time covered in blood, and asked Spencer to join my strapped-in self by my head. Dr. Draper explained that he could see his gloves through the paper-thin uterine wall and that it was covered in huge vessels. The pictures I was emailed came from one of the resident doctors iPhones (thank goodness for technology)

My first thought was, “How could it have changed so much in the two years since Drew was born…”
But that thought was cut off when Dr. Draper said, “It’s not safe for us to remove the placenta without you bleeding out in a few minutes. We’re going to have to remove your uterus…”

A HYSTERECTOMY AT 24 YEARS OLD?

A little general anesthesia and over 3 hours later, I emerged from surgery. After a time in recovery I was finally able to meet beautiful little Claire. 

For the next few days and over the last few weeks I have had a lot of different thoughts. 

Do I still invest in the Double City-Mini stroller I wanted if I only have 2 kids?
Am I going to grow a mustache?
What do I do with all the maternity clothes I finally bought for this pregnancy?
What about the need for hormone replacements? What about weight gain?
How could I get the go ahead for future pregnancies then need a hysterectomy?
Should I have done more bedrest?
I left New York with a uterus and will go back without one.
June 19th will not only be Claire’s birthday but the day I lost my womanhood.
Will the lack of a uterus make my stomach appear ultra-flat and thin?

Then I had more thoughts of gratitude…

How did I get so blessed to have two living children
Blessed to have one boy and one girl (and one daughter in the bank)
What a blessing to be at such a great medical facility.
What a tender mercy that the doctor that started this process and knew my medical history was also there to operate and make the decision to end my journey with pregnancies.
How lucky I am that my uterus didn’t rupture any time before delivery, and that I am here to raise my children.
At my two week postop appointment the pathology report stated that there was no cervical tissue found and that the abdominal cerclage had indeed grown through the uterine wall. One ovary has been described as a “streak of tissue” and the other one radiated with appearance “similar to a raisin." With all these pieces of information it reiterates what I already believed: What a miracle all three pregnancies have been.

We have been blessed with three children we were told we would never have.
And we are so grateful to have Drew and Claire in our lives.
I know we have been so blessed in our 4 short years of marriage.

35 comments:

Rachelle said...

Oh.my.gosh. Sara!

(that sums up my feelings about this post in the best way I know how)

You are such an example to me of seeing the bright side of everything. I'm so glad that you were able to have baby Sara, Drew, and Claire.

**I think we shop at the same place for clothes. Jackson has the same blue onesie Drew is wearing.

Jena said...

Oh my goodness, I am so glad that you wrote this. I have been thinking about you a lot, and I cannot wait to see little Claire. You are a warrior, and I am so proud of you.

Lana Dawn said...

I love you! I am so glad for your miracles and the way you are always able to a) laugh and b) be grateful.

YOu are such a great example and I am so glad that you have the children you have and can't wait to see you later this week!

Stacey Salmon said...

We are so happy that we were able to meet Claire. I'm so happy you two are healthy and safe. Your kids are miracles and I love them!!!
SS

Anonymous said...

the BIG BONUS is no more menstruation. Not bad.

Erika said...

You have such a beautiful and perfect little family! Glad to hear you are all doing well!!!

Lindsey Hicks said...

This was beautiful. You are a such a gifted writer. I laughed and I cried. We miss you and your family.

Trina said...

We are so happy for the safe arrival of your sweet new daughter! It is so wonderful that she was delivered when she was and in a way that the Dr. knew exactly what he needed to do to save your life!
I'll say what I've said before....you are supposed to be here! What an amazing story! You are amazing! Can't wait for you sweet family to return.

Wilkerson Weekly said...

There are a lot of things I want to say, but how do you type them in a comment box? I can't wait to see you for Grammy's party!

P.S. Get the stroller!

Casey said...

Crying. Beautifully and emotionally depicted Sara. Love you.

Amesbury said...

If you only get three, it's a good thing that you've got the most amazing and beautiful ones!

Love you lots.

byufish said...

Ha....LOVE...."Am I going to grow a mustache?". BUT more than that.... I LOVE LOVE LOVE that the doctor who knew your medical history....who knew YOU....who gained your trust and confidence was able to help you make the decision that would keep you alive for Drew and Claire!! Yay for Dr. Drew!!!! Blessings on your head.....

Nicole Hudson said...

Sara. Your post made me bawl my eyes out and I haven't even seen you in years. How amazing is that?

And the best part is that I think only a few of my tears were in sadness for you, and the rest were for how amazing of a woman you are. Yes, a WOMAN. Uterus or not, you're an amazing woman.

How blessed are you to have two healthy beautiful kids and a healthy husband. Plus one more little girl waiting for you above.

Does this mean your post partum is naturally less? If you don't have a uterus going crazy with hormones?

I still remember when you never thought you'd be able to have kids. And now you have TWO (plus one) and I am SOOO happy. Plus, a boy AND a girl. That's even better. True story I know a family who the mama wanted a girl SOOOO bad she kept having kids, and had 4 manly boys. Finally she thought she'd have ONE more - guess what it was? TRIPLET BOYS. I realize it's a blessing to have so many kids, but one boy and one girl are perfect. Plus there's always adoption.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I am happy for Drew and Claire. They have the best mama in the world!

Love, Nicole

Emily Hales said...

If I didn't know you, but had heard your life story, you'd be on my "interesting people I want to have dinner with" list. I think you're amazing. And I love your attitude and honesty in all your experiences. Can't wait to see you next month!

Wilcox Family said...

oh MY Sara!! I say MY because you belong to ME!!! I love everything about you and your family and your story! see you soon, NOT soon enough! LOVES !!

likeschocolate said...

Hugs! So sorry you have had to go through all of this. I am happy that you are OK though in the end and that you haven another lovely baby.

Meagan Cooper said...

wow, what an amazing post. After wiping away tears, I was finally able to focus on the picture of you in the hospital bed with your two darling babes, you are so cute! Congrats on a beautiful new addition!

Annmarie Pipa said...

wow. this is an amazing and inspiring post. I love your perspective.

Meg said...

I love you are the only words I can come up with the last part of the post. Claire is beautiful and you look amazing.

Diane Lee said...

Love you Sara.

Berioska said...

You seriously made me cry with this post. You are so wonderful!! and such a great example of always being positive no matter what!...You also give me hope, courage and motivation to hopefully someday be a mom and that it is all up to God. You are truly amazing! I know you are going to bless many people because of your beautiful family and example and because you are going to reach out to many women out there who are going through this type of experiences.

Lyndel said...

You have an amazing perspective! Congratulations on your new baby girl! Your little family is perfect :)

Kay said...

You have had 3 miracles when it did not appear that you would ever have had the opportunity just once in your life! Your family does not have to be complete just yet-- it's only that future children will have to take another path to find you! I am so very happy that you and your baby are healthy!

Lindsey said...

Sara you are amazing! I am totally in tears right now thinking about all you have had to go through. I am so impressed with how well you handle all of this and go through life with such a positive attitude. You are like one of my absolute favorite people and I really hope I see you and your cute family again really soon! You better be making a stop in Toledo in the near future!

Lindsey said...

I'm sitting here crying too !! I love you and am so sorry for this loss, but so much more happy for you and spencer for the amazing blessings :) I miss you! You make me feel braver to be a mom!

Kaiti Klara said...

Sara, you are amazing!! Your attitude and gratitude is very inspiring! You are such a good example to me. You are so strong and always so positive about challenges and always come out even stronger. I love you so much!! I love your 3 little ones. I am SO happy you were able to have them and will be with them together forever:)

Cindy said...

I love you! We miss you guys. Maybe we'll come to New York next year?

Dallas and Carissa said...

Hello, this is probably super awkward, but I am your friend Emily Clark's sister-in-law. I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and I feel a bit of a kinship with you. I've got two kids, and about 6 months ago I was diagnosed with cancer. Radiation, chemo, lost hair later, I am cancer-free, but the odds of us having children are about 50/50 and will probably be very complicated (right now my ovaries are in my ribcage--ha!) I just wanted to say I am very sorry about your sad news. Not knowing if we will be able to have more kids is hard, but I think knowing for sure you can't is much harder. The dreams of a minivan, a big family all two years apart, carrying more children, etc. is hard to give up. Thank you for being an example to me in sharing your joy in the children you have been blessed with. Thoughts and prayers and congratulations on your new baby--she is beautiful!

Unknown said...

Sara my love!

WOW.

Claire is a beautiful miracle. I mean seriously she is amazing. I adore the little hat she is wearing when you are first holding her. And I LOVE the name Claire so much.

You are truly one of the most amazing people I have ever met. It is so obvious reading this post how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Like for reals.

Thank you for sharing this special and life changing day. I laughed and cried. I Love you so freaking much!

Unknown said...

That was Keali btw. xoxo

Whittney and Ryan said...

Wow Sara you are truly such an amazing person! I am so happy your Caire is here safe and sound!!!

Whittney and Ryan said...

Wow Sara you are truly such an amazing person! I am so happy your Caire is here safe and sound!!!

Whittney and Ryan said...

Wow Sara you are truly such an amazing person! I am so happy your Caire is here safe and sound!!!

Whittney and Ryan said...

Wow Sara you are truly such an amazing person! I am so happy your Caire is here safe and sound!!!

Erin said...

Oh my gosh I am totally crying! Sara, you are so awesome and brave and I just love you. Spencer too, but he didn't birth any babies or have surgery, so--you know. Your babies are beautiful and I am so happy that you guys got to have the miracles you thought you never would.