Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Desert Disaster

I had been looking forward to this Sunday outing all week long. A fun day for our family to get out and explore, take some photos of the boys, visit the cacti mart along the strip and meet up with friends for lunch before tagging along on whatever else it was they had in mind. Unfortunately, it was less than an hour before things turned ugly.

We pulled into to Joshua tree mid morning, blue skies and the regular desert wind cutting an otherwise perfectly beautiful day. We walked the flea market, found a couple treasures, had coffee and then met up with Denise and her crew for lunch at Pappy & Harriets. Within in minutes of sitting however, I felt something go wrong. A slight stabbing in the right side of my back that seemed to radiate down my stomach into my lower groin until it finally forced me out of me seat entirely. I walked around the restaurant, tried to shake it off but it only grew worse and more intense as the hour wore on. Finally we decided to leave the group and head even further into the desert where I figured I could rest at a friend's house  nearby, there in 29 palms. (A nap or warm bath is always my first thought remedy) Big mistake. By the time we got there I was immersed in a full blown attack, sweatting from the pain that kept growing. An attack which eventually brought on uncontrollable vomiting from the spasms in my back. I grabbed my things and called for Mike and the boys to get in the car. I knew I needed help. I also had a vague idea of just how far away from any "real" help we actually were.

At 23 weeks I knew there was no chance of survival if the baby was in fact coming. It was all I could figure, even though in the back of my head I knew none of my labors had been this violently painful. I was sure that I was having contractions so I started to talk myself through the worst case scenario. Falling in and out of focus because, at one point, the pain felt like it was going to rip me in half during that 30 mile stretch in search of a hospital. Somewhere along the drive it got to be too much, I called 911 for help and had delusional visions of a helicopter landing in the middle of the highway to help rescue me (immediately) from this God forsaken state I was in. Not the case. The operator told us we were better off driving the remainder of the distance ourselves rather than waiting on an ambulance to reach us.

To make a long story short (er) - the first hospital we made it to turned out to be a nightmare in itself. I had to beg for a wheelchair to get to me L & Delivery seeing that I could no longer walk steadily. Then left freezing on an exposed table in that shock of pain while the nurse consistently ignored me and my desperate pleas to please figure out if I was in fact dilating with the now increasingly intense contractions that kept coming. All and all, it came down to three hours of pure agony in that room, with that woman, before being sent homeward with a pain pill and a "you really shouldn't be this far from home" kick out the door. The rest of the ride I don't remember much. We eventually made it to to our local hospital where a fleet of familiar nurses took me in, hovering over me like a bunch of overprotective grandmothers, weilding IVs, heated blankets, socks, medication for the pain, and lots and lots of positive promises aimed at figuring out the source of pain. Once I was assured the baby was fine, and my cervix still closed, I knew I could get through whatever was in store for me the rest of the night. Luckily, with a few tests they were able to determine quite quickly that it was likely the cause of a kidney stone, or possibly even the baby sitting on one kidney too long, causing severe pain and swelling. Either way, all that matters is that it ended well. I spent two days recuperating in that room, gathering strength before moving to my mom's house to rest for the remainder of the week. I slept more in those three days than I have in years. Or so it felt . . .

As of yesterday, I am back at home.
In a clean bed, with a new book, feeling almost like myself again. From here on out I'll be retired to sticking around town. Resting more than I want to and hopefully enjoying the last trimester of this pregnancy by taking it slow. There are plans and trips I had in mind that will have to wait. And the desert, well . . . it will be a long while before that same urge strikes me again. Like anything, it's going to take some time.

Anyway, thanks for listening. I figure we are quick to share all the incredible highlights that pregnancy brings, but tend to shy away from some of the frights it can entail as well. I've known a few with each of my pregnancies, but this one, this one takes the cake.

The beauty of it all is how quickly that pain is forgotten. Once that baby is here that nightmare of a day will seem like only a shadow of itself. Just, like magic.


Or something better. . .

Xo
J

16 comments:

  1. Sorry jess! i was so tense reading that post and was so relieved that both you and the baby are ok. Damn kidney stones. Sending positive vibes your way. -josie

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  2. oh my goodness, ive only just found you and yet read that clutching my throat! so so glad all is ok now! i think that's heavens way of telling you to have a very very easy clam 3rd trimester! lovely to find your gorgeous blog today xxx

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  3. Gosh I was holding my breath the whole way through reading that. So glad things are okay now. I have just discovered your blog and has spent ages looking over your posts, its wonderful, honest and authentic. I am really enjoying it. Thank you for sharing and get well soon :)

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  4. Goodness, I am so so glad that everything is "okay"! And so very sorry that you suffered that pain and fear. I always think that with each one of my pregnancies (I've got three babes,) I was a little more aware of the scary things. Wishing you thoughts of health and healing.

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  5. Scary. There is nothing worse than people who are supposed to help you, don't. Sorry you had to go through that, but glad everything is ok.

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  6. As soon as you started to describe the intense, unrelenting pain, I was immediately reminded of the gallbladder attacks that I had very shortly after my last 2 babies. It was literally the worst thing I've ever gone through; so much worse than labor. I'm sorry you had such a scare, so far from home or help. I never thought I would make it the few short exits down the 91 to the ER, I can't imagine what driving through a seemingly endless desert enduring that pain, felt like. Glad you are ok now, and praying for no more attacks. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Except for maybe bad ER nurses.

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  7. Jess, I'm so sorry you had to go through that hellish experience! Glad it ended well, and I hope the home stretch is easy peasy!

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  8. How crap are some hospitals - honestly its terrifying that where you live so affects your care. What a horrible, terrifying experience that sounded for you all and with your littles there too. My mum said her kidney stones were way worse than labour, sounds like agony. Glad you are on the mend thank you for keeping us posted, so glad baby is good xx

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  9. Holy shit! I'm glad you're both all good! That was one suspenseful read even though I knew you wouldn't be posting about it if things had gone terrible. So happy you're okay and have support, lots of love to you and yours. Love.

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  10. Yikes! I'm so sorry to hear this Jessica but very glad to hear you and baby are ok. That must have been absolutely terrifying. Hang in there and take it easy.

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  11. sooooo glad your ok, get well soon! Love hearing about your families adventures. Sleep lots when you can and get the box sets out!

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  12. I'm so sorry, how scary that sounds! I had moments in both of my pregnancies where I realized how fragile the whole process is. I always imagined that I'd be the type to stay busy, hiking and camping until the day I delivered... but that's not how my body grows babies. Sometimes we need a big kick to get us to slow down, do less, be lazy. Sounds like you got that call! Take it easy, and wishing you a very easy and uneventful third trimester.

    xox Lilly

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  13. Oh boy!! Glad you and the baby are doing well. What an intense story! How did Mike and the boys handle it? I'm sure they were scare to death for you. Take care of yourself and take it easy.

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  14. oh jeez, thank goodness. my stomach dropped out as i read that first paragraph. i read your blog a lot, found it through my friend Anne's blog, but i've never posted a comment despite enjoying it very much. i just had to log in to post how very glad i am that the baby is okay. i know what you mean about once you know the baby is okay you can handle just about any kind of pain or drama. very glad everything is okay. take good care of yourself!

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  15. that was intense. i'm sure much, MUCH for you... i am very happy to hear that all is well. rest up, & take care of your mind, spirit, & body. xo

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  16. Oh, man. Reading this account actually made me nauseous. I am so sorry you had to go through that, what an excruciating and terrifying experience! I am so glad you and baby are okay!

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