Worship, Lead, Grow
This blog is about a journey we are all on. It’s my experiences, ideas, passions, victories and failures as a Worship Pastor, Husband, Christian and artist. My hope is to encourage and motivate those on the same journey and hopefully have some fun along the way.
A Dream Lost...
Just five short weeks ago Natalie and I were excited to announce to our friends, family, and church family that we were going to have a baby. We were ecstatic to say the least! We had always been unsure if Natalie could get pregnant because she had cancer as a child. The doctors have always been unsure about the possibility of Natalie’s body carrying a child. The fact that she got pregnant was a miracle and proof of God’s healing of her body. We have dreamed about one day being parents and starting a family. Unfortunately, this last week that dream was temporarily broken. To process, we wanted to share our story. I will warn that this is a little long and somewhat graphic...
Every Thursday night we have a small group we attend with six couples from our church and their children. They are pretty much family and are very special to us. This last Thursday we went to small group and were excited to see our friends and discuss the past week’s sermon. While we were eating and talking, Natalie got up to use the restroom...and a few minutes later I heard her call my name.
She usually does that when I forget to re-stock the toilet paper so I assumed she was going to send me on a t.p. mission. When I opened the door Natalie had a look of horror on her face, just then one of my worst nightmares came to life. She was bleeding very badly and I had no Idea what to do. Thankfully, one of the guys in our small group is a paramedic and he assessed the situation and said we need to get her to the hospital. That was my cue to put the pedal to the medal and get there fast.
She kept saying, “We are going to be ok” and all I wanted to do was get her to the doctor. We got to the emergency room, checked in with the triage nurse and were asked to take a seat and wait. I was growing increasingly impatient while waiting. I kept seeing patient after patient get called back and Natalie and I were sitting there waiting as she continued to bleed heavily. Natalie went to the bathroom at one point and I had an “emotionally driven” conversation with the nurse and asked if the doctors knew she was bleeding and this was serious. He assured me they did and they would get us back as soon as possible. I was furious. But mostly just scared I think.
Finally a nurse came and called our name! A nurse came in to take Natalie’s blood pressure and ask questions. She had asked Natalie to change into a gown about 30 seconds prior and already she saw the need for Natalie to change into another one. The situation became a lot more serious after that. The nurse told us our worst nightmare. She said, “ I’ll be honest with you, this pregnancy is most likely no longer viable”. We were silent, shocked, scared, and didn’t know what to do.
Around this time Natalie’s mom, Julie, came into the room and I could tell that Natalie was glad to see her. As the doctors began to get Natalie set up on heart monitors and change her gown for the millionth time, Natalie said she felt like she was going to faint! Her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell down on her pillow fighting to stay conscious. Her blood pressure dropped to 56/38. That is very low. They gave her a wet towel and oxygen and she seemed to come to a little more.
That scared me to death and I lost it.
For the first time that night I just let go and started to cry my eyes out. A few doctors came in with a cart and asked if we would wait outside while they did an initial exam on Natalie. Julie and I stepped outside and just stood there in shock, wondering why this was happening. Why did God give us this miracle only to allow us to lose it? The doctors spent about 20 minuets working on Natalie and when we were finally able to go back in I saw on Natalie’s face that we lost it. Our child, our dream, our miracle.
Natalie then went for an ultrasound to make sure the doctors got everything out and to find out where her bleeding was coming from because she was still hemorrhaging. Once she returned from the ultrasound the doctor came in and said that they wanted to keep us over night because Natalie had lost over a liter of blood since we had been there. They were also considering doing a D and C surgery in the morning to stop the bleeding and make sure nothing was left in her. We really didn’t want to have to stay. We just wanted to go home and cry but the night was not over yet.
STAYING OVERNIGHT and FAINTING #2
We were moved to a beautiful room on the 4th floor that was private and really nice for a hospital room. Natalie was feeling really gross and was still bleeding so she asked the nurse if she could take a shower. The nurse said that she could try but I needed to be with her in case she fainted.
Now, if you know me, you know that just talking about blood could send me to the floor, and if Natalie passed out I would be sure to follow! But I tried to be strong and told her I would watch her and help if she wanted to take a shower. I turned on the water to warm it up and helped Natalie get in. She seemed to be doing fine. I went out to the room to grab a towel and when I came back in Natalie told me she felt like she was going to faint. I looked down and saw part of the reason why she was feeling this way. I tried to stomach it and grabbed Natalie’s arm and asked her to sit down; she was just fighting the blackout and was standing half way up just shaking. I asked her if she could hear me and she didn’t respond so I picked her up like a sack of potatoes and ran her back to her bed. She became more lucid but began to shake like she was cold and couldn’t stop. I wrapped her in my arms and prayed that God would come and put peace and love into Natalie’s body and to help her. He did.
SURGERY AND GOING HOME
At 2 a.m. we went to bed. I slept in a convertible chair and Natalie slept hooked up to I.V.’s. At 5 a.m. they took Natalie’s blood and found that her hemoglobin levels were at a 7 and needed to be at 11. At 8 a.m. our wonderful OBGYN came in and helped us process and told us what to do. She recommended that Natalie get 2 units of blood and get the D and C surgery. We decided to go ahead with it after weighing the pros and cons.
After surgery at 1 p.m., Natalie came back very groggy but was able to eat for the first time since dinner the night before. Let’s just say spaghetti and coming off of general anesthesia can be a really funny thing to watch. :) After that, they took Natalie’s blood levels again and found that they had jumped to 12 which was wonderful and we were allowed to go home.
WHAT WE HAVE REALIZED
Natalie and I have never experienced anything to this magnitude in our married life. This situation shook and scared us, but it didn’t break us. The doctor said we can try again, and we will. We realized that this was truly “in sickness and in health, for better or for worse” personified. This is something that has brought us closer together in so many ways.
We realize that this delays our dream of becoming parents and for those around us to become grandparents, aunts and uncles, and designated aunts and uncles :). It makes us very sad that this has been such a roller coaster of emotions and that we could start that ride again someday but we will try again.
We don’t understand why this happened yet, and we may never find out. We’ve been very encouraged by the verse in Deuteronomy 29:29 that talks about how God knows the secret things that we may not understand, and we’re ok with that. We’ve also been encouraged by the song “Give Me Faith” by Elevation Worship. The bridge reads,
“I may be weak, but Your spirit’s strong in me. My flesh may fail, but My God, you never will.”
We don’t blame God for this. We realize that our bodies, our flesh, are weak things that break down and don’t always work how they are supposed to. That’s life. God has always been faithful to us throughout our lives, and this one situation doesn’t mean he stopped. He was the same yesterday and he is today and will be tomorrow. We are confident that God will be with us as we continue on this journey.
We have been so overwhelmed and blessed by the kind phone calls, emails, texts, and HUGS from our friends and family. Thank you for encouraging us and for praying for us.
To our church: Thank you for helping us today. We cannot get over the wonderful support and love we feel from you. We are so thankful for your influence in our lives and for your prayers and stories today.
To our small group: You all are truly our second family. Thank you for visiting us, bringing meals, and for loving on us. You were brought into our lives for such time as this! We are so thankful to have best friends exemplify what being a Christian means.
To our family: We will see you all soon and cry a lot...so be prepared :) We love you to pieces.
Julie, Don, Chelsea, Linda and Joel: Thank you for helping us. We couldn’t have gone through that experience without you. Thanks for helping us not fall apart and for bringing Natalie clothes and me a McGriddle and that little angel figurine that made us fall apart. :)