May 8th brings so many memories for me.
May 8, 2014 started off like any other day. Our basement was under construction. Harper’s bedroom and a second bathroom were being built. We were nearing the end of the project. Two wonderful men had been working tirelessly- 5 days a week from 9-5 (or earlier). Their only pay was lunch with my crazy family. Truly, they are heroes in my book. They always cleaned up after themselves. They made my girls laugh and feel special. They made me laugh. Never has a construction project been so fun for the “homeowner”.
Anyway, I took the girls outside this day after nap time. It was sunny and beautiful. It was a little on the hot side, but only because I was 30 weeks pregnant and would have been hot in 30 degree weather. I was playing with the girls. They were swinging and picking “flowers” for me. Scott came home to mow the huge piece of land that was the church property. I was standing next to the kiddie slide and Addi started playing on it.
I started to feel.. off. I had these weird spells all the time; they just became more frequent during pregnancy. I would have this weird sensation wash over me. Then, my ears would start ringing and I’d feel really hot and dizzy. If it got really bad, I would start to black out. Usually, I would pop right out of it. Sometimes, when I would start to black out, I would literally feel like I was going to die. I really cannot explain it because it sounds so dramatic. But, it was terrifying. This time, I reached the “blacking out” phase and I started truly believing that I was dying. I was praying that God would spare me. Please, God. Please!
The next thing that I remember was a paramedic in my face asking me if I knew where I was. I apparently did not know, but kept claiming that I did. I couldn’t ever answer him. He finally asked if I knew my name. Thankfully, I was able to answer that question. The two paramedics started loading me onto a gurney and hauled me off to the hospital. I saw my girls playing. I answered all of the paramedic’s questions. I had an IV stuck into my hand because I was so dehydrated that finding a vein was difficult. They asked me if I felt the baby moving. It finally hit me how bad this all could be. Thankfully, I think Harper heard him, because she gave me a big thump and reassured me that she was ok.
It appeared that I had a seizure, but they were unsure since I didn’t have any known history of seizures. No one was believing what Scott saw; the doctor’s, my parents.. no one. “It was probably just dehydration.” Scott kept saying over and over to me “I know what I saw.” I felt so bad for him. I cannot imagine what he saw, and how he kept his head on straight through it all. I am so blessed to have him..
I ended up BEGGING for them to move my IV because it hurt so bad.. if you know me, you know how much I HATE needles! haha!
They ran every test in the book since they weren’t sure exactly what had happened.
May 9th the results started coming in. The ECHO revealed that I had a Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), or a hole in between the atria of my heart. It wasn’t the cause, but good to know. Heart Disease took me down as soon as I was born, which is so frustrating to me. The EEG showed that I did, in fact, have a seizure. All of those “spells” that I had been having for YEARS ended up being partial seizures. Answers. Finally answers.
I was no longer allowed to drive for at least the next 6 months. My once-healthy pregnancy was now deemed high-risk and I had to have non-stress tests done twice a week. I had to see my OB once a week. I had to follow up with a cardiologist and neurologist. Did I mention that I was not allowed to drive? All of this crummy news, and the thing that brought me to tears was not being allowed to drive. How was I supposed to get to all of these appointments?! My husband had a job. I had no family around.
God was IN this though. He was SO COMPLETELY in it all. Had Scott not been at home, I would have been laying in my yard unconscious while my girls ran free. We lived on a busy parking lot that people flew through all the time. I was unconscious until after paramedics arrived. I am not sure exactly how long that was, but I think somewhere around 5 minutes. I fell forward, onto my pregnant belly. Had I not been next to the kiddie slide and.. well, slid down it on my stomach.. I could have seriously hurt or killed Harper. Scott’s boss was 100% understanding and allowed Scott to take the time off to drive me to all of those appointments.. all without having him make up the time.
Ironically, my favorite birthday was two days after all of this. My parents hopped into their car and drove up to the hospital. They arrived in the middle of the night. My mom spent a lot of time at home with the girls so that Scott could be with me. He would trade off with her so she could come up. They finally released me on my birthday. I came home to signs and cards made by my mom and the girls. I had a wonderful cake made by them. It just really felt like a celebration. Things could have ended so differently. To come home with only bruises and a healthy baby still in my belly was truly the greatest gift.
Life forever changed that day. I now have an incurable disease that leaves me taking pills every day. Epilepsy has changed me. I can no longer have children, unless God chooses to give me a miracle. I used to never go to the doctor, and now I have frequent visits. If I start to feel at all off, I worry. My girls tell pretty much everyone they meet about how “mommy passed out.” and then I have to explain so that people will stop looking so concerned. However, epilepsy is NOT a death sentence. My life is not over. I am different, but I am stronger. I have been able to help others because of it. I give God ALL of the glory for his protection of not only myself, but all three of my children.
I don’t know why this all happened. But, I do know that God is good. He is going to use it in ways that I may never know.