Béa brought Beth K with her to assist in what we thought might have been pre-term labor. An internal exam revealed that her cervix was still closed, but this certainly looked as though it may be the beginning stages of labor. Bethany is only 34 weeks, so a home birth was out of the question (you need to be 37 weeks for a safe home birth) and a trip to the hospital was the obvious choice.
I called our friend Sherry and asked her to come help. She and her husband Rick were here in a flash, and while I went to start the truck, the gang helped Bethany down the driveway. Oh, did I mention that we just moved yesterday. So trying to pack a bag for her was a bit of a gong show. I didn't know where anything was. Truth be told, I was having trouble finding light switches, so I was groping in the dark. We had literally only been living in the house twelve hours.
Anyways, Beth offered to stay at the house while Promise continued to sleep unaware. Meanwhile, Sherry and Béa and I went to the hospital. Béa had already made arrangements with the doctor at this hospital a few months ago, just in case a home birth became a problem. The doctor that Béa had chosen was amazing. Amazing. She was so attentive. She was there very quickly, despite the 4:30am wakeup call. She stayed with Bethany for so long and made sure she was getting the best of care. She let the three of us go into the birth ward even though it was against hospital policy.
All of the staff in that ward are fantastic. Each of the doctors was very communicative, telling us exactly what was going on. They did a great job of listening to Bethany and meeting her needs. Her need was simple: Pain Relief. She was screaming bloody murder. The pain was unbearable. Job number one was to relieve the pain, job number two was to find the cause.
It took a while to find a strong enough drug to stop the screaming. Eventually they called in an anesthesiologist who got a tramadol IV drip going, with the occasional shot of morphine to battle the sudden onset of even greater pain. Meanwhile they were doing regular checks on the baby to make sure that he was not getting stressed. Each check confirmed that he was largely oblivious to his mother's agony.
The first suspected culprit was kidney stones. An ultrasound ruled that out. The next thing on the list was a possible blockage in her intestines. This hospital doesn't have an MRI machine, so we took an ambulance to the nearby hospital where they scanned Bethany for over 45 minutes. Of course, she was asked to remain as still as possible so they could get a clear picture. She did amazing. I sat with her in the room while Béa sat with the tech and saw some very cool pictures of my baby boy. After the scan we were told that it had not revealed any trouble.
This left us with only one other possibility, and that is where we are now. Bethany has been referred to a neurologist who will check for some sort of pinched nerve. She was signing the papers for that referral when I left this evening, so we expect to get some word later tonight.
I sat with Bethany while she slept for a couple hours this afternoon while Béa went home for a quick nap and a shower. She returned at 6pm to send me home so I could tuck Promise into bed. I can't tell you how excited I was to see Promise. Bethany and I really missed her today. What was she up to during our adventure? She was having fun with her friends!
Beth, who had arrived in the middle of the night, stayed for the entire day with the Bird. Kendra and Bethany W. were here as well. They had a great day with Promise, and I can't tell you how much they blessed me. I came home to a super happy kid who had already eaten dinner and was already bathed. After a big hug, we waved to the girls as they left and then we went to my bed to play.
What a privilege to play with my kid. We spent about 45 minutes together doing our regular evening activities of "horsey" and "woah". "Horsey" is the one where I lay on my back and Promise sits on my belly facing me while I jiggle up and down. "Woah" is a similar setup with her facing the other direction while I hold her arms and pull her in every direction before finally flopping her on the bed beside me.
We then read our nightly bible story and went to her room to read "Tiger Can't Sleep" and sing our songs. She went to bed perfectly happy. That, my friends, is the grace of God. Imagine, she awoke on her first day in a new house, to find that her parents were missing. She spent the day with the girls, got an hour with me, and then went to bed with a smile on her face, never having seen her mom. And she's not even two years old. God is good. He really is good to us.
I know I've said this dozens of times on these pages, but we have some incredible friends here. They helped us pack up and move house over the course of two days, and then on day three went the extra mile and took care of us in yet another crisis. Beth, Bethany and Kendra—thank you for being such awesome babysitters. Sherry, thanks for being there and loving on Bethany when I felt like I had nothing left to give. I don't know who was working to cover Béa's shift today, but thanks to all who arranged that. Rick, thanks for doing what needed to be done and taking care of those who were taking care of Bethany. And Béa, thanks for all that you do. I don't know how you can so graciously take such good care of Bethany and I when our world seems to be crumbling around us. Thanks for the wisdom and peace that you bring with you everywhere you go.
I'm gonna sleep at home tonight and Béa will stay the night at the hospital. She has a shift in the morning, so the girls have offered to watch Promise at the orange house while I go see Bethany first thing. I hope to bring the Bird with me for another visit later in the morning. I'll try to update this blog late tomorrow when I have more news for you.
In the meantime, if you'd like to pass on a little message for Bethany, leave a comment on this blog. I'll be brining a computer to the hospital tomorrow so she has some tv shows to watch or something. I'll be sure to open up the comments window before I leave with the computer so she can read your get well wishes. I know that would really bless her.
It feels awful to hear her in such agony. I feel so helpless. Please continue to pray that the doctors will find the cause of her pain and find a solution. Thanks for all your prayers.
PS. I was texting Darrell about the silly little shoes that I had to wear in the hospital room today, and he suggested I take a photo. I had my phone, so I leaned over and took a snap shot.