Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Believe in Miracles

* Warning: Extra long post, with a few pictures in between . . .

It was 3:00pm on Thursday, August 4th, 2011 that the miracles began.  I held my girls in my arms, kissed them goodbye, and said “pretty soon you’ll see mommy again and we’ll have our baby brother.”  I didn’t realize the girls wouldn’t see me for a couple days, but I’m glad I had a wonderful goodbye to hold them over.


Our good friend, Scott Moore, came over right before we left for the hospital to help Nathan give me a blessing.  I always get a blessing before giving birth, as it calms me down, and reassures me that all will be ok.  However, this blessing stressed the fact that the doctors would know what to do, and that I would be strong and healthy to recover.  I had this same blessing right before Natalie was born, and she ended up being an emergency c-section.  I didn’t really think anything of it at the time, but looking back, I’m grateful for blessing the doctors with knowledge of what to do, and myself for the strength to recover quickly.

At 3:30pm, I was checked into the hospital, and was getting prepped for my planned c-section.  Being that this was my 3rd c-section, I wasn’t scared, but felt mostly at peace.  I got a little anxious here and there, but reminded myself that I had been through this before and it would all be ok. 


Shortly after the nurses checked me in, my Doctor (Dr. Gulinson) came to check up and went over the days plan.  Nothing special, just directions on how we would soon head to the operating room, then I’d receive the spinal tap, and then the procedure would begin. 


Shortly after this meeting, the anesthesiologist (Dr. Reid), came in to review my medical chart and go over the spinal tap procedure.  It was a quick overview of what to expect, and reassurances that it wouldn’t hurt too bad, and that all would be well.  However, as Dr. Reid was about to leave the room, he turned around and said “any history of anemia in your family?”  I told him that I was slightly anemic, and had low blood pressure, and that my mom was anemic.  He turned to the nurse and said, “I don’t know that we’ll need it, but I think we should prepare 2 units of blood for the operating room – just in case.”  Then he turned to me and said, “There’s about a 2% chance we’ll need that blood, but I just think we need to be prepared.”  I don’t think he realized he was being led by the spirit at that time, but I am grateful that he listened and acted upon it.

At 5:00pm, Dr. Reid and the nurse took me to the operating room, and I was given the spinal tap (which didn’t hurt at all).  At about 5:15pm, my Doctor came in, all instruments were counted and nurses were instructed.  Then, about 5:40pm the procedure began.  At 5:51pm, Parker John Larson was born.




After Parker was cleaned up, I was able to see Parker for the first time.  He was gorgeous, and I remember thinking “oh, he looks like my hubby.” I was so excited.


Shortly after (less than 2 minutes) I said “oh, I’m freezing.”  Dr. Reid asked if I was ok and said I was losing a little color in my face.


Less than a minute after this picture was taken, I started to freeze more than ever, and started to shake – a lot.  I remember the nurse asking Nathan to help her take Parker to the nursery.  Then I remember Dr. Reid quickly giving me a shot in my shoulder.  About 5 seconds after that, they tilted my head almost upside down – and then I was out.


I am so grateful the nurse took Nathan out to the hallway, and led him to the nursery so he didn’t have to see or hear what was going on.  Apparently, the placenta had grown into the uterine wall, and when the doctor tried to un-attach it, I started bleeding a lot.  The shot that was given to me earlier was petocin, to make my uterus contract.  That was supposed to help stop the bleeding, but it didn’t do anything.

The Dr. and the nurses were working hard to stop the bleeding.

Meanwhile, Nathan was in the waiting room.  I don’t think anything could have prepared him for the next 5 hours.  He sat there, alone, not knowing if I was going to make it or not.  He later told me he couldn’t talk to anyone without tearing up, so he started texting instead.  At this point, all my family (immediate, in-laws, extended, friends, ward, etc) started praying for me.  I know their prayers were heard, and the Lord blessed all of us with comfort.

Now, remember those 2 units of blood that were prepared?  Well, they were used immediately, and then the nurse called for 2 more units of blood.  This was my life-saver and I am now an advocate for blood donating.  I wouldn’t be here without it.

The Doctor tried to cauterize the arteries, tried tying my uterus in a tight ball, tried another shot of some form, tried holding the uterus, etc.  Nothing was working.  And, I was still losing a lot of blood.  So, Dr. Gulinson called in a 2nd surgeon, and then went to talk to Nathan.  Dr. Gulinson explained what they had tried, what was going on, and how there was nothing left to do but to take my uterus out.  Nathan gave the Dr. permission to do what was necessary.

About 10:30pm my uterus was removed, the remaining arteries were cauterized, and I was stitched/stapled, and closed up – with a drain inserted.  I was put on a ventilator, and moved to the ICU for monitoring.  I was also given 2 more units of blood at this time (a total of 6 units).


The following day, I started to wake up, and had no clue what had happened.  I couldn’t talk because of the ventilator, my hands were strapped to the bed (to prevent me from tearing out my tubes while I was out), and everyone was whispering to Nathan.  At this time, Nathan’s brother, Tristan, arrived from Las Vegas to give support to Nathan.  I am so grateful for Tristan!  Nathan needed someone.

While I was out, my friend Ashley, brought the girls to see their new brother, Parker.  Nathan told Scott and Ashley what had happened, and I was given another blessing.


I was in the ICU for 2 days (I think, I don’t really remember).  I wasn’t able to see Parker, but was told he was doing just fine.  I prayed and prayed that Parker would be ok.  I hated being in ICU, and didn’t know what was going on.  No one was telling me yet.  So, I comforted myself by singing in my head songs of peace.  My favorite was “Jesus once of humble birth” with the line “once He suffered grief and pain.”  It helped me feel at peace to know that I wasn’t alone. 

Finally, they removed the ventilator, and I was able to talk a little.  The nurses told Nathan they would give him some time to talk to me.  Alone in that room, Nathan told me what had happened and how they had to remove my uterus.  It has been my dream to have 6 children.  My entire life, I have been set on 6 and I felt whole heartedly that the Lord wanted me to have 6 children.  I couldn’t help but cry.  We both did.  I couldn’t understand how something that seemed so sure for me wasn’t so sure any more.  I couldn’t understand why I had to go through this after everything that I’ve been through already in my life. 


As I talked to Nathan, and as we discussed everything that had happened, I started to realize that I was blessed to be here.  That I was blessed to have the babies that I do have.  And, Nathan told me that we could always foster or adopt if I felt the desire to do so.  I have always had a soft spot in my heart for children that suffer, and when Nathan said that, I felt that maybe this was the Lord’s way of helping me have the opportunity to help children who need a loving home.  I don’t know if we will adopt, or foster, but I know it is an idea I have fallen in love with, and am comfortable with.

Eventually, I was able to stop crying, and turned my focus to healing so I could see my new baby.  However, I ended up getting pneumonia, and an infection in my intestines.  I was given A LOT of antibiotics and IV’s, got chest x-rays done every 6 hours, and had blood drawn to check my blood levels.  Finally, the x-rays came back clear, my infection started to clear up, and I was released from ICU and transferred to the maternity ward to see Parker.


And my – oh, my – he is beautiful.  Absolutely perfect in every way, and so handsome (just like his daddy).  I was also able to see the girls, and they were able to hold Parker.  It was such a great day, and I was eventually able to get out of bed and walk.  I recovered quickly (faster than my Doctor expected) and was released from the hospital. 

I am so grateful to the Hansen’s and Scott and Ashley for taking such good care of my girls.  I am extremely grateful for my Mom-in-law for her sacrifices to come and stay with us for 10 days, to help with the girls while I was in the hospital and when I first got home.  Thank you to Tristan for making a special trip to support Nathan and I, and for his family and Pete and Alison for their visit.  It helped boost my spirits and helped speed up my recovery.  And thanks too all my other in-laws that prayed for me.  I married into a wonderful family!

I am so grateful to my family for their prayers, their comforting words to Nathan, and for the many phone calls.  I loved hearing from everyone, especially my mom.  Sometimes, a girl just needs her mommy!  I really love knowing that my siblings love me so much.  Scotty was quite upset that he wasn’t told until after he got off work what was going on.  Jason wanted to get on a plane, and Shelly offered to come stay with me even though she had a newborn herself.  But, with Grandma Larson here, we were in good hands.

I am forever grateful to the Lord for his hand in my life, and in this delivery.  And, I am so very much in love with my sweet hubby who never left my side, who slept every night on a very uncomfortable cot just to be with me, and who continues to support me on my emotional days.

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I am healing, and my blood levels are better than they were before I even got pregnant.

Parker John Larson is healthy, strong, alert, and so much fun!  The girls adore him, and I can’t seem to get enough baby kisses.  I now know why I felt so humbled when I was pregnant with Parker (see this post).  At the time it seemed like others who were suffering were teaching me to be humble. But, now I realize it was that and so much more. It was the Lord preparing me for my last pregnancy.  I so love being pregnant.  But, I was able to really ponder this pregnancy, be humbled, and fall in love with Parker before he was even born.  I was so scared I would resent Parker after what happened.  I was kind of scared to see him.  But, I immediately felt that our bond while in the womb was only  strengthened through our trial together.  And, regardless of not seeing his mom for 3 days, he knew me, and I think he loved me right away!  I am blessed.  And – once again – I know that with my family, friends, and the Lord, I Can Do Hard Things!


Parker John Larson

August 4, 2011

8 lbs, 0 oz

21” long

A Family of 4

Right before Parker was born, I decided that we needed one last outing as a family of 4.  So at noon (3 hours before I was to check in for my scheduled c-section), we loaded up the girls and took them swimming.  It was so much fun, and really helped me relax.

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Oh what do you do in the Summertime?

SWIM!!!  That’s about the only way to survive the Arizona summers.  It was quite hot this summer, with temps reaching 118 degrees on some days.  Mostly, it was 110-115 degrees.  And yeah, it’s a dry heat -  but it’s still hot.  So there!

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The girls really like going down the slide.


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Maejae LOVES playing with balls, so she spends her entire time trying to get others to play catch with her and telling the dogs “no” when they try to steal her ball.

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Best way to survive the last week of pregnancy in Arizona?  Water!

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Parker’s 1st time Swimming

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Little Natalie is a fish when it comes to swimming.  She would swim for hours if we let her, and she always finds someone to play with.  I think Kylee is her new swimming buddy!

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And – Boys will be Boys!

Slide Rock

My sister-in-law, Amy, and her 2 girls came to visit us in Arizona.  Nathan had to work all day, so we decided to take a girls trip to Sedona.  While we were there we went to slide rock, and had so much fun.  It was hot out, the water was cold, and the food was yummy!

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