NOT An April Fools

Last year’s post resulted in a lot of angry people. Some of them still haven’t forgiven me.

This year I’m really not in a joking mood. It seems as if I only post when the awards are happening or when something is happening in my personal life. Today is the latter.

I write this as I sit by Alisha’s hospital bed. This is entirely serious although some of this may seem like a really bad joke, it isn’t.

A few weeks ago we were delighted to learn that Alisha was expecting our fifth child. She had a sonogram at 8 weeks and everything was fine. She’d had some raised blood pressure and so was referred to a cardiologist. As it turns out she has a previously undiagnosed heart murmur.

Last Tuesday I went with Alisha for her 12 week check. As soon as the ultrasound began I knew that something was wrong. I’ve seen enough of these before that I’ve learned where to look and for what. I was right, there was no heartbeat. Alisha had miscarried.

The doctor immediately scheduled a D&C for the following day. Alisha was distraught. Not only had we lost the baby but the doctor told us that, because of Alisha’s newly-discovered, we shouldn’t have any more children. This was all very difficult for her to take at once.

The next day the procedure was an apparent success. I took Alisha home where she spent most of the rest of the day sleeping. She awoke around 6pm and was experiencing some complications. After a quick call with her doctor, he told her to get to the emergency room as soon as possible. I’ll spare you the gory details but, suffice to say, the D&C didn’t get everything and more work was required. The doctors also kept Alisha in hospital overnight for observation. Throughout all of this she was not only enduring the physical pain, but also the significant emotional loss from losing the baby and the realization that she won’t be able to bear any more children.

She was released on Thursday and, once again, spent a good chunk of the day resting.

We spent a few days away and got home yesterday. All day Alisha had been saying that her head hurt and that her body was aching from swelling. This evening Alisha took her blood pressure and it was high, dangerously high. We thought maybe the trace was bad so she took it again and it was even higher. Alisha then went to the local Albertsons and took her blood pressure using their machine, it was even higher, 222 over 110.

Back to the emergency room.

Here’s my take-away from this experience:

  • If we hadn’t gotten pregnant in the first place we might never have learned about Alisha’s heart murmur. Now we know and can deal with that.
  • My employer has been nothing short of amazing. When I told them what was happening my boss just said to take care of my family and they’ll take care of the rest. They also have bought food for us so we had one less stress.
  • My fellow employees have been incredibly understanding and have stepped up to do the work in my absence. We are at one of the busiest times in our history and they’ve all been fantastic.
  • Our friends are some of the best people in the world. We’ve been the recipients of so much kindness. We’ve had dinners delivered. We’ve had people come and take our two youngest girls for a few hours. We’ve had people come and talk to Alisha. We’ve had people come to our house in the middle of the night to watch our kids so I can take Alisha to the hospital. We’ve had flowers delivered. We’ve had people reach out and extend messages of kindness. And, perhaps most importantly, Alisha has a lot of irons in the fire. She is heavily involved in Spencer’s school, she is on the HOA board and plans their activities, and she has several other responsibilities and tasks that she’s taken on. People have come in and simply taken these things away so that she doesn’t have the stress of dealing with them. This is difficult as Alisha likes to help others and to not be the recipient of help. They’ve not taken no for an answer.

All-in-all, I couldn’t ask for better people around me to help my family at this difficult time. It just goes to show that moving to this area was the greatest blessing and the best decision we could have made. Thanks to everyone that has done anything to help us over the last few days.

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