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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life is precious

Today is my fifth child's birthday.  When you have gone through pregnancy and childbirth four times already, you're familiar with what's going on and don't expect any surprises.  This particular birth seemed especially easy...only four hours of labor, a healthy baby boy and I felt great.  We went home the same day and settled in to life with five kids under the age of eight. Thanksgiving was two days later and my husband made the entire Thanksgiving dinner (except the pies - I made those).  Everything was going smoothly.  The next few days were spent preparing talks for church on Sunday for my three oldest children and myself.  Why I didn't decline the opportunity to speak that Sunday I'll never know.  I had a five day old baby!  Anyway, the talks went fine and everything was going smoothly.

Then came Monday.  We had to take our baby into the city (about 40 miles away) to get him circumcised.  An odd thing happened while I was sitting in the waiting room at the hospital.  I got a splitting headache and started getting chills and a feverish feeling.  It came on suddenly.  Fine one minute and horrible headache the next.  Odd.  After leaving the hospital, we drove to my husband's work, where I dropped him off and went on home.  I still felt sick.  I took some Tylenol but that didn't seem to help so I gave my midwife a call.  She heard my symptoms and told me to get my husband home immediately and get to the emergency room at the hospital.  If he wasn't home in 30 minutes, I was to call an ambulance to take me.   That got my attention!  Hey, it was just a fever and headache.  However, I did what she told me and we went to the hospital.  I figured the doctor would look at me, maybe give me some antibiotics and send me home.  Wrong.  Somehow, I had developed septic shock from childbirth and my organs were in danger of shutting down.  I was seriously sick.  I had never been sick before!  My husband took our new son home with him and I was stuck in the hospital, hooked up to tubes and crying miserably.  I spent nearly a week in the hospital, alternating between feeling sorry for myself and feeling totally grateful to be alive.   I missed my kids.  I was supposed to be bonding with my new baby and I couldn't even see him.  One of the highlights of that stay though was a card my six year old son made for me.  It said, "Violets are blue.  Roses are red.  How's your head?  We're glad you're not dead."  :)   Oh, how I love that boy!

Well, the story ended well.  I came home.  Everyone survived.  I developed a new appreciation for life and a new respect for healthcare providers.

Key learning - If something seems out of the ordinary concerning your health, check with your doctor, especially concerning pregnancy and childbirth.  Don't delay.  If I had waited, the consequences might have ended differently.  Life is precious.


  1. Wow...I was an annoying pain in the butt back then!

  2. WOW! What a scary thing to go through! I'm so glad you did go to the hospital and took care of yourself! Love the card your son made! Sounds like a 'boy' card to me! he he!!

    1. His first and only poem, as far as I know :) And I'm glad I listened to my midwife too!