Monday, June 28, 2010
Go with your Gut
Sometimes we get an instinct that overrides all other advice, even medical advice. Sometimes we know better than even doctors (who I have found are really guessing many times based on their limited experience and what we are articulating to them our own gut is saying to us anyways.) Danica wouldn’t be alive today if I hadn’t listened to my gut.
The first days of my pregnancy with her have been played over in my head thousands of times. Dan and I had been trying to get pregnant. We thought this was perfect timing since by the time the baby was born the children would be five years apart. My career in real estate marketing was established. Dan had just restarted his career in IT. It just seemed like nothing could go wrong. I bought a pregnancy test on my way to work at the Walgreens on Rockville Pike after I dropped Delaney at Montessori. I had my own private bathroom off my office at the condo community where I worked and the answer was obvious immediately. I knew it was early. I called Dan and told him and we planned to meet for lunch at our favorite diner in the Kentlands to hug and just celebrate a little. I had box seats at the Verizon Center for the circus that night and we were taking Delaney and Steve and Amy and their kids. Delaney still remembers me whispering to her during all the excitement, “There’s a baby in mommy’s tummy.” This was Wednesday, March 23, 2007.
On Friday, the 25th I began having horrible flu like symptoms. I hadn’t been sick in a long time, and it really frightened me how high my fever was and how ill I felt. I was planning to host a birthday party for my dear friend, Michelle, at a wine bar in DC the next day. As the night wore on it became apparent I could not go anywhere. I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom of our master I was so weak. I was also supposed to fly to Phoenix, AZ the next week for a week long business trip for some properties we had there. So much money had already been spent on tickets and so many meetings were set up because I would be there. I just HAD to get well. Sunday I began to bleed. I was devastated. I then realized I needed to stay in bed and get this flu out of my body. I wasn’t about to lose this baby. Lots of other things ruled my heart and life at this point. Beginning that Sunday EVERYTHING became replaced in my priorities. My singular focus was to stay pregnant. I was at a strange and disconnected point in my faith then, but I will tell you I began to pray and pray fervently. My doctor said on the phone if I was miscarrying it would happen regardless. Take it easy and come in and see him Monday. I cancelled my trip. On Monday they did an ultrasound to find a very large subchorionic bleed threatening my sac. I was very early on, maybe 4-5 weeks. They told me the chances of losing the pregnancy were 80% and to go home and rest. Wednesday morning I thought I could go in to the office for a little while. Dan drove me and as I began walking up the steps I began to gush blood. Dan drove me straight to Shady Grove. The ultrasound showed what I had feared. They told me I had miscarried and asked me to go over to the actual hospital and have a DNC.
Enter first gut reaction–No way. I was hysterical. I asked if I could wait a few days and just try to pass everything on my own and then check. My doctor agreed and prescribed Methergen pills to help aid in this process and sent me home. When I got home I took one Methergen pill. Later that day I passed what I thought was the baby and sac. Enter second gut reaction–don’t take any more of these pills. I stayed in bed the rest of the week mourning. I had some conference calls with the people in Arizona for work but something inside me had profoundly changed. Sunday I made up my mind I would not try to have another baby. I could never go through this again. I had my beautiful Delaney Jayne and a recommitted marriage, and I loved my work. I had so much to be thankful for. Monday morning I went by Dr. Apgar’s office to have a quick scan on my way to work. He wasn’t there but was at opening day for the Phillies so a strange doctor saw me for a minute and then sent me for the scan. The ultrasound tech stuck the wand in and as loud as could be we both heard it. I felt like I yelled, but I know it was a whispered cry, “WHAT IS THAT??? IS THAT A HEARTBEAT???” She ran to get someone else. After confirming the tiniest heartbeat she began to cry and said, “You have a miracle baby, Mrs. Snyder. There was no baby left last week.” (She was the same tech who had confirmed my miscarriage.) She ran to call Dr. Apgar at the game. No one had ever seen anything like it.
Two things I know for sure–If I had gone over to the hospital and had that DNC they would have scraped Danica out of my womb. If I had taken a second, third and fourth Methergen pill, the amount prescribed, I would have truly miscarried her. My gut reaction (Divine guidance) in both cases saved this precious life. Do you see why I don’t use the word “miracle” loosely EVER? Do you understand why Danica’s verses from Psalm 119:13-16 are so dear? “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
As we head to Cincinnati for Friday’s appointment about fusion please pray that my gut will be speaking clearly to me as we try to take in all the details of this dangerous surgery. All weekend I have been feeling we should decompress Danica’s brain soon and wait to fuse. I believe her neurological symptoms may be relieved like after the first decompression and this will buy us more time before having to fuse her. Several of the neurosurgeons agree. I know the guidance for the ultimate decision may come in the middle of a hard and painful night and not like a flash of light or a definitive opinion from a doctor I trust. Danica’s story is so remarkable from the very first weeks she was being formed inside me. The same weeks they tell us these malformations were taking place I was listening to my gut, and it saved her life. I need to hear that voice now and rest in it.
Written Monday, June 14th, 2010
Posted by Monica Kaye at 10:12 AM