June 19, 2012

part 3: Expect the unexpected

Part 3
After hanging up the phone with my sister Jessica, my first instinct was to drop to the floor and pray for God's mercy on our family. I prayed like never before. And I remember crying. I take comfort in the fact that God was with us the whole entire time. He never left us.

My house was still a little chaotic because I had 4 boys running around, 2 of them having skipped naps.
So I took solace in my bedroom closet, for whatever reason. It became my little hideaway, or prayer closet, if you will.

I just sat down amongst all the laundry and prayed and prayed and prayed. I was in a bit of shock.  I could NOT believe what was happening. This was the last thing on earth that I expected. I had been so concerned about the babies the past few months, that it did not even occur to me to worry about my sister Lindsay.

Dear sweet Lindsay. At this point in time, all I could think of was that my sweet blond-haired blue-eyed baby sister might be flying with the angels. I missed her terribly already and could not imagine life without her. I looked at my cell phone and saw her last text to me...wondering if it was the last text I would ever get from her.  Of course I held out hope for the very best, but I had absolutely NO CLUE what on earth was going on in that hospital room.

Jessica and her 4 girls didn't know.
My parents didn't know.
Jim's parents didn't know.

Tough tough time for the whole family.

I don't think any of us knew one thing for at least an hour. It could have even been longer. I just looked at my phone record for that day and from deductive reasoning, I can infer that I knew nothing from 4:30-6:26???? How can that be? 2 hours? Not sure. It's not important.

I just know it felt like eternity in that closet. At first I sat there praying and folding dirty laundry, of all things.

And then I started texting or calling my fellow prayer warriors, depending on their typical method of communication.

On the phone, some people prayed and cried with me.(1Cor 12:26 "If one part suffers, ever part suffers with it". ) I will never ever forget this.  Other people texted and showed their love and support in their own special way--and this is one of the coolest things about being in the body of Christ. Every member is unique and special in their own way. You cannot say to your toe that you don't need it, ya know? We all need each other.

And as scary as the whole situation was, I felt "the peace of God that transcends all understanding"(Philippians 4:7) come over me. I've often heard that God gives grace exactly when needed. Just at the right time. And I believe this to be true.

This feeling of calm...it does not mean that I was not upset. I was extremely upset. This was one of the scariest moments of my life. But I knew God was right there, holding me together.

And finally. Jessica calls me at 6:26. I hold my breath and tentatively say "Hello?" and Jess says "A nurse just snuck out to tell us that Lindsay is stable!! We don't really know what is going on, but Lindsay is alive and Jim is with her!!"

Ahhhhhhh. Thank you Lord!!!! Thankfulness flooded over me. I can not stop thanking Jesus. I'm still overcome with immense gratitude.

My mom called me a little while later and started filling me in on what REALLY happened. Because folks? There was a lot of misinformation that night. In fact, days later I was still finding out new details.

So here's the scoop, to the best of my knowledge. Around an hour after the babies were born, Lindsay got a splitting headache and her bp started to rise. She was alone in the room with the twins and one nurse. And then she had a seizure. She was awake for part of the seizure and could not talk or tell anyone what was happening. Scary scary. My heart is sick that she had to go through that. And then she went unconscious. The nurse was all alone and wanted to get help IMMEDIATELY so she issued the code blue to get doctors in there, stat. Welp, that's one way of doing it. Scared the pants off of us.

SO. Lindsay was never in a code blue situation...not the way I had imagined it in my prayer closet. Her heart never stopped beating and she never needed resuscitation. She had a seizure and that was the result of postpartum eclampsia--this is rare and only happens to 1/3000 people. (Most people get eclampsia before the babies are born). Even though it's rare, it does happen enough that is should have been anticipated...especially since she's a first time mom with twins, where there was extra blood flow.

But Lindsay literally had no prior symptoms and so she does not think her treatment had been lacking in any way. In fact, she believes that her doctors have been overly cautious with every aspect of her pregnancy. After the seizure, they ordered a cat scan and everything appeared normal.

The doctors then put her on magnesium sulfate, which is an anti-siezure medication among other things. And also makes you feel really sick. I was "magged" once when having preterm labor with Finn and I have blocked the whole thing out of my memory.

Mom told me not to come down that wednesday night. Lindsay was in ICU and I would not be able to see the babies. "Come tomorrow!", she ordered.

Yes ma'am.

Jessica texted me some photos of the babies. I was absolutely mesmerized by their "twin-ness". I cried whenever I looked at them. And for the life of me, I could not tell them apart because they wore the same hat.

Thursday morning, I grabbed some blue beanies out of my stash, and went to Target to purchase my FIRST EVER pink beanie. I felt like it was absolutely imperative that everyone know which baby was which!

I drove for 2 hours to the hospital, giddy with joy and excitement.  Um. I don't really know what I was expecting. A cheerful Lindsay holding 2 babies, grinning ear-to-ear?

Well that was really unrealistic of me, considering all that happened.

Lindsay was stuck on the 1st floor in a dungeon-like ICU, waiting  until a room opened back up on the 3rd floor in Labor and Delivery. She was on the first floor, her babies were on the 3rd floor...this was a tough sitch for any new mama. Not too mention Lindsay felt completely drugged and out-of-it on the magnesium. 

Jim took me upstairs to meet my new nephew and niece. Oh my. They were medicine to my soul.

I could not stop hugging and kissing them. I could cry just looking at these precious angels.

Meet James Wittmer the 4th. 

You can't tell from the pic, but he's very alert and always looking around. And he always tells us when he wants something. Ahem.

And Savannah Adele. Adele is my mom's name!!(Not to be confused with the singer, Adele) 

She is the perfect little peach--she always has this pristine little expression on her face.

And new daddy Jim is a natural. When Twain was born, Jim held him all the time. It makes me so happy to see him hold his own.

My heart would feel complete when I got to see these 2 babies in the arms of their mama!

That thursday, things were still just plain old difficult. Lindsay was still recovering from the seizure and dealing with some lingering eclampsia symptoms. She was in no condition for pictures and such. I would just have to wait and pray that she would get better soon.

That night, I said goodbye, with the hopes of returning that Sunday(I had no clue that Sunday was Father's Day. Dates and times had lost all meaning at this point).

All day Friday and Saturday I thought about Lindsay and the babies. I kept checking on them and praying for things to get better soon. Things were still tough, but slowly Lindsay was improving.

On Saturday night we went to church and part of the sermon was on trials...and how christians should EXPECT suffering. Tough stuff.

When I got to the hospital on Sunday, Lindsay was doing much better, thankfully. She looked great to me. I even tried to fuss with her hair.

But we decided that nobody would recognize her with her bangs swooped to the side. So back to a pony{tail} it was. You know. These are the important things to record in one's blog. Ha.

Proud proud grandparents. My mom and dad.

But. The moment I had been waiting for all these months...

My joy is complete!

So so giddy.

Mom snuck into the picture, haha. Hi mom! *waves wildly*

And of course Auntie Davi kept sneaking into pictures too. I can not get enough of these two! It's almost like having my own.

Auntie Jessica was there too, but we were not always there at the same time. Hence no pictures of her. Sorry everyone. 

I'm already driving myself nuts, trying to make sure I give equal attention to each baby. 

Holding James while mommy was feeding Savannah.

Seriously, it's a 3-ring-circus feeding frenzy up in there. You parents of twins. I get you. We're practically the same now, riiiight? Haha. Just kidding. Don't shoot me. But I really did get a glimpse of the madness. And I have no words. Just immense respect.

So Lindsay, if you ever get around to reading blogs on the computer ever again in the next 18 years...

I am so proud of you.

And so thankful to the Lord for you and these babies.

And I love "you guys" more than you will ever know.

Love, Auntie Davi.

p.s. Lindsay got to go home with her babies yesterday! And they are getting along just fine. But prayers are welcome as they learn the ropes. Steep learning curve.