The other day I was asked why I was telling this story. I had to think of a way to explain. It's just something that I have to get off my chest. You see I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes, you read that right. I have PTSD. When I was told this is what was going on with me I immediately thought of soldiers who fight in wars. How could this be what was happening to me? In order to understand how we got to this you have to first understand what all I went through. You can read part one here and part two here.
After arriving at the hospital that would become my temporary home I met with one of the doctors that would be taking my case. His name is Dr. D. Because my original OB did not have privileges at my new hospital I was just randomly assigned to a group of six OBs that would rotate as my doctors and then a new perinatologist.
Dr. D discussed my current condition, looked at my ultra sound and begin describing what I would be facing. Luckily at this time I was not having contractions. I was observed for a couple of hours before moving to the room that would be become my residence for the next 63 days.
The next couple of days are a bit of a blur. I was in a constant state of shock and fear. It was a constant stream of doctors and nurses. I will never forget the conversation we had with the neonatologist that came to see us.
I had been in the hospital a couple of days at this point and I was still in a fog. The neonatologist was a big burly man but for the life of me I cannot remember his name. I tend to think that my mind has blocked it out. I also can't remember exactly what he said. It was one of those moments where I felt like I was watching what was happening to me. Clayton was in the room as well as my aunt.
I remember him talking on and on about the different complications that would happen if the babies were born at different time periods. He also talked survival rates and I remember feeling like my throat was closing up. I was trying to hard to focus on what he was saying but all I could think about was the possibility of loosing my babies. I remember him using the term "viability" and I wanted to throw up. He reminded us that a baby is not viable until around 24 weeks. At this time I was just barely 23 weeks pregnant. Every time he used that word it felt like a knife was stabbed in my heart.
After he talked about everything he told us we had a decision to make. I wasn't in any capacity to make decisions but I continued to listen to him talk. He asked us to think about how we wanted the babies to be treated. I was confused by what this man was asking. He told us that if the babies were born before I turned 24 weeks what measures did we want to be taken. Even the thought of this conversation makes me want to throw up. My heart starts racing and I remember those feelings like they are happening right this very second.
He went on to tell us we had three options when it came to the babies being born before a certain point. We could have them do every thing they could to keep the babies alive, we could have them do no extraordinary measures or we could do a trial of life. I can't imagine being asked how you want your child's life to be handled yet I lived it. He asked us to think about it. I remember feeling like even thinking about it I was somehow betraying these two little people that I had come to love.
Clayton and I took a day to think about it. I was having such mixed feelings. I wanted nothing more than for them to do everything in their power to save these babies but I also didn't want to torture them with extraordinary measures if it wasn't meant to be. I prayed and prayed a lot ultimately we decided we wanted to wait and see. I know its not rational but I hate that Dr. I hate that he made me have those feelings and that he made us have to think about that stuff.
Luckily that week passed and I continued to be pregnant. You can read about that week and the awful magnesium treatment here and here.
This is one of the things that sticks in my mind and haunts me to this day. It has contributed to all of fears and feelings. I am beyond blessed with what ultimately happened with the healthy birth of my babies. PTSD is not rational, it is not discriminating, it is powerful and grips you by your throat.
I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words I have received on this story. I decided to share because if I can reach even one woman who is going through the same thing then it has been worth it. God has brought me to the other side and I want to help others too!