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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You Have Three Choices

     She laid there uncertain and afraid on the operating table as she was being prepped for an emergency cesarean.  The room was buzzing with activity but it might as well have been utter silence when she heard the doctor say;

“You have three choices:

Number one, you can just let the baby die. 

Number two, you can let the nurse anesthetist put you under but by doing so you are greatly risking your own life.  You may die. 

Number three, you can wait for the anesthesiologist to get here so he can safely put you under and then maybe we can save your baby.”

Why did she have to answer this question? Why couldn’t someone else make this decision?  Her husband was in her room, unaware that she was being forced to make a life or death decision for herself and her unborn child.  Why couldn’t they ask him? 

“GOD, what do I do !”         This was the cry of her heart.

Choice one was out of the picture.  Whatever was going on didn't matter, it wasn't going to be OK to just lay there and wait and let the baby die.

Choice two … she wanted them to save the baby but could she really risk having the nurse put her under?  They said she would be greatly risking her life… she could really die!  She had three kids under the age of four at home waiting for mommy to come home.   What if she didn't make it through?  What if she did die? Her husband would be left to raise three young children and possibly a newborn baby on his own.  Could she really do that to him?  But wasn't the babies life worth the risk? 

“I don’t want to die but I want you to save my baby !”

Choice three was the only option.  She would wait just long enough for the anesthesiologist to get there and safely put her under then maybe just maybe they could save her child.

Waking up was a little disorienting.  All she wanted to know was “did they save my baby?” 

This is not a work of fiction…
this is my story and I’d like you to meet my child.
1993 9-27 sarah11picnikd

I don't really know why I felt I needed to revisit this subject. I've already written about this in What Would You Do With 10 Days?  I guess I can only pray that as I write God will bring out what needs to be said.

This is Sarah Jane. 
     During my labor, they realized she was going into distress and that I had an issue with Placenta Previa  which ended up causing oxygen deprivation in Sarah and the risk of death for me.  Sarah was delivered via emergency cesarean.  After she was delivered,  the neonatal physician had to work to resuscitate her.  The picture above shows the first time I was able to hold her in the neonatal ICU.  She was perfect.  She had all her fingers and toes…. there was nothing wrong… except that she never made a sound… not the first peep and she never opened her eyes.  When she was three days old we heard the worst possible news.  The physician came to let us know that all brain functions had ceased and now the only thing keeping her alive were the machines.  Needless to say, we eventually took her off life-support.

     After Sarah’s brain function ceased, that’s when my real battle began.  When we took her off life-support and held her till she took her last breath… my blame, my guilt was sealed. 

How could I have made the choice to save my own life over hers?  If I’d been willing to die for her then she would have lived.  The pain and anguish my family, my husband was enduring….. I was the cause… I was to blame.

I fought that battle for years and lost that battle every time.  Each time I revisited it, I walked away with more scars.  I had to finally come to a place where I realized I was again faced with three choices.
Choice one… I could continue to blame myself for her death and for causing everyone so much pain… and relive that one event in my life over and over and over again till it consumed me.

Choice two… I could stubbornly ignore how I felt and try to stuff all my feelings, my loss, my guilt, so far down inside of me…. I could shut it up in a room and padlock the door so it couldn't get out.  And when I’m good and ready (which would be never), I’ll deal with it.

Choice three… I could let it out.  I could cry and grieve my loss.  I could confess the guilt and blame I felt was rightly on my shoulders.  I could forgive myself for guilt and blame I carried whether real or imagined.   

Choice three was my answer.  It was time to truly come to terms with what happened.  It was time I forgave myself for something that had been out of my hands the whole time.  It was time I really grieved.  

I miss my daughter but I've been blessed since her death with two other children who have been a blessing and a joy to me.  All my children deserved to have me.   

1 awesome comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful story and testimony.


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