Chapter 4 : The Highs and the Lows

 Posted by on June 2, 2009  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Jun 022009

We returned from our honeymoon, hid out for awhile, and then decided to pursue our dream of having a child. A year and a half earlier (when we were dating), Heather had dreams about a little girl. In the first dream, there was a little girl sitting on a chair in Heather’s office. The little girl looked just like Bee, and was swinging her legs back and forth. In the second dream, the little girl ran up to Heather at a school playground and took her hand. Heather asked the little girl what her name was, and she said, “My name is (Bee’s name) and my Daddy is (DH).” We decided to consult with doctors to see if it could happen now. I think I was in a bigger hurry than she was, as I was in my 40s already. Due to Heather’s reproductive abnormalities and my vasectomy from ten years earlier, it would involve medical procedures, IVF, and (little did we know it) God’s miracle of creation to make it happen.

God blessed the doctors with the knowledge to bring about positive results. Unfortunately, Heather’s ovaries hyper-stimulated and she went into a downward spiral immediately upon the embryo transfer. In no time at all, Heather was in the hospital and retaining fluid. The problem is that her blood vessels had become porous from the hyper-stimulation and medications, and her body fluids started leaking out into her body. She immediately began bloating, and the doctors couldn’t seem to get it under control. I stayed with her in the hospital during each day and into the night. After midnight, when she was sleeping, I would take off for home and take care of any business that I could. We had E-Bay business going at that time, and there were customer situations and shipping to take care of. Bills had to be paid and faxes sent. About 4 am, I would head back to the hospital to be there when she woke up. There was a little bed by the window that I could doze off on while it was still dark (or any other time, for that matter).

By the third week, Heather had gained 55 pounds of fluid weight, despite them sticking a catheter in her chest and draining off one to two liters per day. Her blood oxygen level was running dangerously low. Even though she was puffed up like a marshmallow with fluid, she was actually dehydrating at an alarming rate. They constantly pumped fluids into her to battle dehydration, only to drain the fluids back off from around her lungs. Heather looked like a big potato, and could no longer care for herself. I helped her to the bathroom, and washed her down in the shower. She couldn’t reach to her side to wash, was miserable, and was starting to have great difficulty breathing. The fluid around her lungs was crushing them, suffocating her.

I remember the night that the doctors were close to panic. They brought in specialists from other areas of the hospital to help. At one time on the worst night, there were several doctors at once in the room. They were talking about aborting the pregnancy, as they had medical evidence that this would stop the problem. Heather was burning up with fever, couldn’t breathe, and her blood was so dried out that it probably looked more like molasses. Her heart was racing like an Indy race car, and her blood pressure was explosive. Her legs were firmly wrapped, to attempt to minimize blood clots that could easily be lethal. Finally, they gave her a diuretic drug that they had resisted giving her up to that point, because they worried that it would put her body into shock. Things began to turn around. Within days, Heather was showing signs that she would fully recuperate. The baby was still alive, probably totally unaware of the medical book history that had just been made. The doctors said it was the worst case they had ever seen, and this is a well known facility throughout the US.

Once we were finally back home, we walked into a house that was really not big enough for another person. We were soon to find out that the baby was thriving, and that it was a little girl. That summer, we made the best of it and painted and decorated a little room for Bee.

It was to be a difficult pregnancy, beginning with life threatening complications and ending with additional and painful problems late in the pregnancy. To top it off, Bee didn’t breathe upon delivery, while the doctors rushed her out of the delivery room to revive her. This all happened while Heather almost bled to death from delivery complications. We didn’t realize it at the time, but God stepped in and rescued us all from disaster again. The emotional trauma for Heather was more than I could imagine.

Heather struggled after we brought our little Bee home, and I was of little help. I was too focused on work, and didn’t take time off to be a Dad. This was a huge mistake. Heather needed me, and I wasn’t there for her. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t out horsing around with the guys or anything like that. I just went right back to work and left her home with Bee during the day. After all, it’s just a baby, right? How could that be so difficult, I thought. Heather was overwhelmed and depressed, and I was not sensitive to her needs. This was one of several times that I really let her down.

To make things even more difficult, a house came up that had more room for us. It was a 1923 bungalow, with nice original woodwork and a built-in china hutch in the dining room. It looked like an answer to some of our frustration. We bought the house, and Heather really liked it. Looking back, though, I think that tearing out old carpeting, getting a house ready, and moving was the last thing Heather needed right then. It was all just too much at one time for a new mom, whose physical and emotional wounds were still healing.

Heather had relied on me since we first dated, to be a supportive partner. It really hurt her when I didn’t measure up. I don’t think she knew where to turn, but God works in ways that we don’t always see. He consistently takes situations that I mess up, and makes good things happen. As humans, we don’t always do the right thing. Many times, we don’t even realize when we are getting it wrong. I guess that is why we are people, and He is God. Heather and I had not come to trust in Him at this point, but He was calling us (as we were soon to find out).

Til next time, Heather’s husband