Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My rock in a storm

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the ends of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:1-2
I am weathered. I am scared. I am hurt. I am storm tossed. I am tired. I am weak. I am thankful.
God is power. He is a rock. He is glory. He is steady. He is true. He is strong. He is faithful.
I have had a very tough week. It all start with a restless, sleepless night last Wednesday. Hannah was restless and inconsolable at bed time. I couldn't figure out how to get her settled and calm. She was crying, "I want mommy!" "I want mommy!" I rocked her to sleep several times and decided to give her some Tylenol to help her settle. Thankfully, after several hours of tears and rocking and crying out the Lord, she settled around midnight.
The next morning, I wasn't feeling well. I was feeling cramping, back ache and having some contractions. I laid Tabitha down for a nap, put a movie on for my older two and went to drink some water and lay down to see if my symptoms would diminish. After they didn't diminish, I called my OB to let them know about my symptoms. They wanted me to come in for a non-stress test. A neighbor friend watched my girls, one of the many blessings of the week. My girls were thrilled - a surprise play date!
The non-stress test came back normal, but they discovered that I was 1cm dilated and had a shortened cervical length of 2.89cm. They took some cultures to help rule out preterm labor and sent me home to rest and wait on the results. My dad happened to be in town and put the girls to bed (no easy feat since Tabitha cried and gave him grief for well over an hour -- she was grumpy too...). My neighbor sent us home with dinner, another blessing. And my mother in-law was on her way down from Rockford to spend the night and help until Rodney arrived home from his business trip. Another blessing. Thank you, God who provides. And so thankful that my mother in-law lives close enough to be such a wonderful helper.
The cultures all came back negative, so we had a relatively quiet and stress free weekend, thankful to have the extra help through Saturday. We enjoyed a day of worship on Sunday, and I continued to focus on resting.
Sunday night we decided to fry some zucchini, a first using the fry daddy that we've had all of our marriage of 8 years (we celebrate our anniversary next week!). I was prepping the batter and looking for a spice in the cupboard, literally the last thing needed of the flour, egg, and breadcumb mixtures.
In a moment, I accidentally knocked a glass jar that fell directly into the hot oil on the countertop. Oil flew into my face, down my neck and onto my stomach. I immediately started screaming and trying to get my clothes off of my burning skin. Thankfully, the girls were all in the living room, watching Daniel's Tiger Neighborhood after naptime. Rodney rushed back into the kitchen and helped me take off of my clothes. With adrenaline pumping, I ran down to our room, took the rest of my clothes off and jumped into a cold shower. I was fearful that my eye was burned and knew I needed to rinse the oil off of my face.
I stood in the cold shower for probably 20 minutes while Rodney called for a friend to come and watch the girls. He had to get Tabitha calmed down; she was rather scared to hear mommy screaming. He checked on my every couple of minutes, and brought me a bucket of ice water and clean washcloths. After my initial shock started to wear off, I started feeling nauseated and got out of the shower to lay on the bathroom floor, covering my extensive burns on my stomach, hands and face as best as I could. Rodney came and covered me with towels to keep the rest of me warm and helped me get dressed when our friend arrived to watch our girls. I am so thankful for dear friends who are only a phone call away!

In the ER, they were most concerned about my eye (as I was). After an acuity test, they put a dye into my eye to look for abrasions. Thankfully. the Lord's perfect design of my body (reflexes) and His hand in my life protected my eye. I am SO thankful that my eye was not burned. Immediately following the accident and well into the night, my hand and face were the most painful, but my stomach sustained the worst of the burns and is going to take a long time to heal.

Rodney and I picked up chicken nuggets at McDonalds while waiting on my prescriptions. We tend to share chicken nuggets in the wee hours of the morning - after our wedding, in strange airports traveling for a mission trip, during long treks from Texas for coffee and sustenance and now during middle of the night trips to the ER when nothing else is open!

Now fast forward to Tuesday. At this point, Hannah has had a strange rash a couple of days on her face. On Sunday, it just looked like irritated bug bites. I passed on sensitive skin to my children, so this wasn't entirely a far fetched notion. But on Thursday morning, she was complaining of the rash spreading to her torso, arms and hands. My mother in law had a strange rash while she was here helping after my preterm labor incident, and I had a recovering strange rash that two medical professionals had been baffled by. So I called and took her in. It ended up being a strange case of hand foot and mouth disease, very different from when Abigail had it two years ago. But thinking back, it made sense. She had been grumpy and inconsolable at night the week before, probably the first stages of the virus.

Now fast forward to Tuesday afternoon. I felt miserable - crampy, contractions, low back ache - sure signs of preterm labor. I drank a whole bunch of water, took my bath, cleaned my burns on my stomach, redressed my wounds, and went to bed. But I startled out of sleep at 2am, having contractions every 4-5 minutes. I drank some more water, then woke Rodney up to tell him I think I needed to go to the hospital. I had just turned 30 weeks, still too early to have a baby. I called a friend in the middle of the night, who immediately and coherently answered her phone and was over at our house in about a half hour. Thank you, Kari! (Side note - my kids didn't even ask where we were in the morning. That's how comfortable they are with Kari. So thankful for friends who love us and our children!).

Six hours in Labor and Delivery triage later, they sent me home. My cervix was still thick and I was still 1cm dilated. I did not have an even close to perfect attitude while in triage. My caregivers were not particularly gentle, attentive or compassionate, which didn't help my attitude. I was reminded that I need to be joyful in all circumstances many a time and I am so thankful for a gracious husband and a gracious God whose mercies are new every morning.

They put me on near full bed rest, so we ended up hiring help for Thursday, Friday and Monday. A trauma specialist saw me on Wednesday, and my burns were healing (she drained one of the largest blisters - yuck - it was running down my stomach - double yuck). I probably still have another week or two of keeping my burn wounds clean, slathered with goop, and covered by a really big bandaid. Hannah thinks my big bandaid is cool and likes peeking at it underneath my clothes several times a day.

Tabitha did end up coming down with hand foot and mouth, which also makes sense. She was super grumpy.  But....she never had a fever and her rash wasn't as bad as it could have been. Trust me, Abigail had a pretty severe reaction to the virus. I KNOW what bad hand foot and mouth is. So all that said, there were still many things to be thankful for.

On Monday - now I am 31 weeks (!!!) - I got the all clear to be off of bed rest. My cervix has lengthened to normal levels. I am finding, however, that any activity makes me achy and have contractions. I had a really tough afternoon and evening last night - lots of contractions. It's rather frustrating, to be quite honest with you. But for now, the Lord is making it very clear to me that I need to rest. A friend said it really well yesterday, as she was sitting with me after dropping off a meal, we do what the Lord has called us to and need to be content where the Lord has us. I can't physically be a super mom right now. I limit how much I hold my children and pick them up. We don't go out on adventures and errands. I spend a lot of time lying on the couch or in bed. ... But that's okay. It's where the Lord has me. And in the mean time I'm praying that my littlest one with be make it to full term. I am truly thankful for each day that I get to be pregnant.

This has been a very long blog post. I am hoping that it will help you better know how to pray for me. And I'm looking forward to re-reading this post in a couple of months and even years, praising God for his faithfulness in a short season of my life.
O God, you are my God; earnestly
I seek you;
my soul thirst for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where
there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love
is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 64 1-4

1 comment:

M & M said...

Praying for you tonight! His mercies are new every morning!