it was the strangest experience i've ever had being in that operating room. though i couldn't feel any pain, i could definitely feel "sensation" so i knew when my poor leg was being cleaned out with what felt like the force from a fire hose! i was seriously scanning the ceiling, looking for bits of bone flying through the air. i felt them hammer that rod into my bone, and could hear their staple gun working overtime near the end. i decided not to count how many staples were holding my leg together. amidst all of the chaotic noise and medical jargon, i chose to focus my attention on the most beautiful sound: samuel's tiny heartbeat rhythmically pattering away on a machine that one nurse was holding. it was her sole responsibility to keep my baby's heart beat monitored during the entire surgery. the anesthesiologist was also there, answering the questions i threw at her now and then, and the other nurse near my head was busy for awhile removing the glass from my left hand with tweezers. i confess that i also asked her a couple of times to scratch my nose for me since my hands were tied down!
just before surgery began, the surgeon asked if i'd like to see my leg. even though the nurse shook her head at me, i still said "okay". they lifted my numb leg up just enough for me to get a good look at it. right above my ankle was a gaping hole, about the size of my fist and out of that hole i could see my two broken bones protruding. lovely. glad i was already laying down! once the blue curtain went up obscuring my view, i lay back, enjoying being pain free. suddenly i felt my throat begin to constrict. "i can't breathe!" i tried to yell, but my voice came out so hoarse that no one understood me. i attempted to take a breath, barely got any oxygen and again shouted " i can't BREATHE!" this time my voice resembled that of piglet from winnie the pooh. thankfully, it was loud enough that everyone paid attention and one of the nurses quickly stopped the flow of gentomyacin, an antibiotic that was being administered via IV. now i know that i'm allergic to it!
the surgery took a total of 2 1/2 hours. my sense of time must have been completely warped because it seemed like i was only in there for half an hour. during that time, i literally felt awash in peace. at the time, i attributed it to the spinal allowing me to feel no pain, but later on, once the pain returned, i came to realize that the peace i continued to feel was so supernatural it could only be attributed to God's peace that passes all understanding. as the hours passed, news of my accident spread and more and more people from all over began to pray for me and for the baby. God knows that i tend to be a bit of a worrier, that i sometimes suffer from anxiety and He knew that i'd need an extra strong dose of His perfect peace, which is how He chose to answer so many prayers. even as they wheeled me from the OR into a sort of recovery/holding room full of people in pain, unable to see my husband for another half hour, i maintained such a calm exterior that more than a few nurses commented on how relaxed i was. one nurse, coming in from the waiting room told me that i had quite the "fan club" out there waiting for me. "oh, those are probably people from my Bible study come to see me!" i said. she winked at me and said "THAT'S why you you look so good. you've got lots of prayers going up for you today."
once my hospital room was ready, i was wheeled down the hall past the waiting room and i got to see, through teary eyes all of the friends who had come to see me and wish me well. when all of the various tubes and machines were properly hooked up to me, in they came to chat with me, share treats and to pray over me. it was so encouraging to feel that kind of love and support so early on in my hospital stay.
soon visiting hours were over. josh also left to go home and try to get a good nights sleep (he was battling pneumonia at the time) while tristan spent the night at my in-law's house. apart from my regular nurse, i was also assigned a special nurse who was to spend the entire night in the room with me monitoring the baby's heart beat as well as the contractions that had started to become more regular. an obstetrician came in to examine me a few times and i couldn't help but notice his growing concern. at around 9:30pm he came in to check my cervix once more and, with a deep sigh told me that things were not looking so good.
he said that my contractions were every 1.5-2.5 minutes apart and had been going on for hours now. i could feel my uterus tightening, but so far they were not painful for me. he also told me that my cervix was not dilating, but it was shortening--another sign that my body was going into pre-term labor. my blood work had just come back from the lab and the results showed that there were some fetal cells in my blood, which meant that the trauma from the crash has caused part of my placenta to break away from the uterus wall. all of these factors together gave the doctor cause for concern. he said that i had about a 20-30% chance of delivering my baby very soon. he wanted me to be taken to another hospital in san diego where the facilities are better able to handle such a young infant at 27 weeks gestation.
despite all of this scary news, that cloud of peace never left me. i called josh and calmly informed him of the situation. then i said goodbye to the sweet nurses i had just been getting to know and, at around midnight, i was in another cold ambulance traveling even further away from my home, but closer to place where my little samuel would have the best care possible.