Friday, September 25, 2009

Day Nineteen - Still muggy in South Louisiana

It's almost October and our air-conditioner is still going full steam ahead. There is little relief in sight. My hair is frizzy beyond recognition. I look like a person who stuck their finger in an electrical socket. Yikes!! People beware out there.

I shared with you my experience about the Impatient plant on my last post. God continued to show his faithfulness in our marriage and our lives in many different ways. Our third child and second son was born in November of 1992. He was a source of many happy and delightful days. I was working part time by now and by the end of January of 1995, my husband and I agreed that it was time for me to stay home with the kids.

Right out of college I went to work for CocaCola USA in the Southwest District office in Dallas, Texas. I was the Marketing Planner and worked with statistics and primarily market share for our region. I traveled a little bit in the region. I really liked that job. After Dallas we moved to Austin, TX for a few months and then to Tenneesee where my husband began his career job. For a few years after our first two children were born, I worked in the computer industry selling CADD or Computer Aided Drafting and Design systems to local architects and engineering firms. I actually sold the first AutoCAD - PC based system in our area. That was just when PC's were entering into the marketplace. Prior to that most firms had large mainframes and used either Intergraph systems or other engineering based systems. I later went to work for Johnson and Johnson as a Baby Product rep, which was a part time job, only 25 hours per week. This allowed me to be home in the afternoons with my kids. It was a good job. When summer began looming in the future and the thought of paying for three children's childcare, we realized it was better for the kids and for our finances for me to stay at home.

I loved being at home with the kids. It became evident that they really needed me, too. My oldest son was struggling with concentration issues and consequently behavior issues. His first eight years in school were filled with constant problems. It was good for me to be home. Also, it gave me time to spend with our daughter and our other son. In 1995, our forth and last child was born. I had problems with this pregnancy from day one which was rather strange because all my other pregnancies had been fairly uneventful.

Early on in the pregnancy I had some minor issues that could have become bigger but didn't. At some point in the first to second trimester my doctor did a series of standard tests and one came back with a strong indicator that this child might have Downs Syndrome. At the request of our doctor, we did an amniocentesis to either confirm or dispel this possibility. We didn't think about the possibility to abort, however, my doctor said there were things they could do to help along the way if he tested positive. After two grueling but God focused weeks - God was faithful to grant us peace during this time - we got the tests back and it had just been a scare.

When I was five months pregnant I got sick and stayed sick for about a month. After being on several weeks of antibiotics my entire body started hurting. I felt like a knife was stabbing me in the back. It just so happened that this particular day was a Saturday. Have you ever called in to the doctor's office when you are pregnant to tell them your back is killing you? Well, don't. Evidently, I didn't tell the answering service the correct information because I never got a call back. She was probably thinking, "A pregnant woman is calling in because her back is killing her? Give me a break." Finally, later in the morning when I realized no body was going to call me back I called back again and described my pain. The on-call doctor finally called back and told me to go to the emergency room. My husband was gone to an event for his brother so I drove myself to the hospital and went through triage. The triage nurse listened to my lungs and my breathing and said, "There's nothing wrong with you but since you are here we have to let the doctor see you." The doctor comes in and listens to my lungs and breathing and says, "There's nothing wrong with you but just in case, let's do an x-ray."

I had double pneumonia. They checked me into the hospital and I stayed on medication and fluids for several days. I just wish doctor's would listen to the patient sometimes.

My due date was around May 15, 1995. My first three children had been two weeks early so as the end of April came around, we started thinking we were going to have a baby soon. One afternoon, the sun was high in the sky and the day was warm so I decided to lay out and let my big belly get some exposure to the sun. I had done this several times and was developing quite a nice tan. Funny looking, yes, but not as funny looking as a big white belly. As I was laying out in the sun a wasp or hornet started circling above me. I laid very still, hoping it would fly away. Just when it took a nose dive for my belly I jerked to keep it from landing on me. Right after I jerked and a sharp pain permeated my body. About that time the phone rang and a very good friend was calling to check on me. As I was talking to her, I felt what I thought was my water breaking. She encouraged me to call the doctor and my husband and got off the phone. I proceeded to do both but then noticed what appeared to me to be an extraordinary amount of blood. My friend called back to see how I was doing and I described this problem to her. She suggested I call the doctor back and I did. They told me to call 911 and I did.

First to arrive was the fire truck, then the ambulance with the paramedics. My husband and children were behind them. When the paramedics arrived they got me down on the foyer and began attempting to find a vein for an IV. They also had some antiquated machine to get the baby's heartbeat. I kept on asking, "How is the baby? Don't worry about me, how is the baby?" After this I became somewhat euphoric and calm. I was told later that it was because of the tremendous amount of blood I lost. They couldn't find a vein so they got me into the ambulance and began working on me all the way to the hospital. When my husband arrived with the children and saw the fire truck and ambulance he told them to stay in the car. He says he walked into the foyer with paramedics all around and saw all the blood and thought we were having the baby at home. It wasn't until a few minutes later that he realized we were in a critical place.

Those paramedics were unbelievable. They treated me with utmost care. To this day I will be the first person to pull over for an ambulance. They drove me from Brentwood to downtown Nashville's Baptist Hospital in record time and got me into the hospital in time for the doctors to take over and put me under. This was the only c-section I had and it was quite scary. Later we were told that I had an abruption of the placenta. We also found out that our baby had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Had I delivered naturally there was a good possibility that he would have died during childbirth.

Several things took place during this time that I should make note of. One was that my third child was taking a nap upstairs during this entire fiasco. My neighbors all came over to see what was going on and they proceeded to take care of cleaning up my mess, talking care of my then 2 1/2 year old sleeping upstairs and doing whatever else we needed. They were incredible. My oldest was excited when he saw the fire truck and ambulance and yelled, "Are we going to be on 9-1-1?" As I mentioned, the paramedics were great. And our church. What can I say about being a part of the body of Christ? We had food and other things for one entire month. I think our grocery bill was $50 that month. My friend who talked to me on the phone came over for the first two weeks everyday and took care of me, washed my clothes, cleaned the house and made cookies for my kids. It was amazing to see people come together to help my family during this difficult time. My daughter wrote an essay in her class remembering how the paramedics saved her mom's life. We delivered it to them one day with some goodies and a big thank you. God is good, all the time. Or is he?

Our forth child was born on April 28, 1995. The week after his birth many different things happened to the Calcote nuclear family.

We went from the height of joy to the depth of despair in just one week.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.

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