Monday, February 21, 2005

I have been stewing all day with a number of jumbled thoughts and trying to figure out how to organize them into a post. It would have been a crabby one, as it hasn't been the greatest day. Then I read something on a message board that changed my perspective, if only for a moment. I'll link to the article, but I don't know how long it will stay active. This links to a Quad City Times article about a 25-year-old woman who died from HELLP syndrome at University Hospitals January 16. Her baby lived, but she and Will were dying at the same time.

And so, for a little while anyway, instead of feeling crabby I feel lucky. I didn't fully understand it at the time, but it didn't take me too long after Will was born to realize just how sick I was and that I could have died. The whole week before he was born, I was at home feeling sick but thinking it was a weird, lingering stomach virus. The pain that woke me up every night, searing in my abdomen, was in fact my inflamed liver. By the time I was admitted to the hospital my blood pressure was skyrocketing and my kidneys were not functioning properly. My platelet count was so low that there was significant risk in using either general or spinal anesthetic for the C-section, though with medicines the level came up to a safer range before the surgery.

Everything returned to normal after they delivered Will. Everything, that is, inside my body. Everything else required a whole new definition of 'normal.' And it still does, but even in the darkest moments of my grief, I can be thankful that I lived to know Will.

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