Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Adventure

Let's be done with this story, shall we? It was meant to be a one post thing and here I'm dragging it all through the Christmas season. Sheesh. The story begins two posts ago. (I've just come back after writing this and it's full of far more detail than I meant to include, but I'm leaving it. We'll call this one of those journal type entries that you are very welcome to ignore)
We explained my travel plans to the doctor. He helped us figure out our options. I could have a D&C and after spending a day in the hospital, I might be okay to travel. This almost sounded like the only way to make it work. As it turned out, Greg didn't feel comfortable with this procedure (it didn't sound very comfortable to me, either, really) since the doctor said there was an itty bitty chance that the embryo could still be alive (he said maybe a 1% chance). Greg really wanted to let things happen naturally for that reason, and I definitely wouldn't be comfortable doing something that Greg wasn't comfortable with. I would miscarry within two or three days.

Now to figure out if I could travel! My doctor advised against it. He did see the dilemma, though, and said it could be done. We decided to get a second opinion, just in case, and ran to the nearest big city (an hour away) to visit a very well respected doctor there. He confirmed everything my doctor had said. He was very kind and talked me through what might happen if I decided to travel. He also talked about what complications may arise that would cause me to need medical attention in America. Here was something new to think about.

I went home and called my sister and my mom and told them I had been pregnant. They were so excited because they hadn't known and sort of thought we weren't having more kids. Once they got over the excitement/disappointment they helped make plans. One sister found out that if anything happened while I was in the states that would cause me to need a D&C, my only option would be to go to the ER and pay $1800 at the very least. I figured that our non-refundable tickets cost a fair deal more than that, so it was worth the risk. Most likely I wouldn't need any medical help at all.

I was ready. I spent the next day getting everything ready and we set out on our four hour drive at 1 am the next morning(that night). On the drive I could tell that the closer we got to the airport in Warsaw, the closer I came to my other big moment. We had decided that if it happened before we got to the airport we would just head back home and I would stay home and rest.

Everything seemed okay. I was praying that I would make it the 10 or so hours it would take for us to make it to my sister's house in Maryland. We crossed the border in the airport, waving good bye to daddy as we went. As soon as we were out of sight of him I broke down a little. I couldn't really believe I was doing this. I sort of needed him right now! What was I thinking?

We waited for our plane, my mind racing as I tried to keep myself calm and talk to the kids, so I couldn't think too much. The bus that would shuttle us out to our little plane arrived(which would take us to our connecting flight in France) and we climbed on and rode through the snow. We stepped out of the bus and it was time for me to shepherd the children through the wind and snow and up the stairs with the crowd of anxious (and therefore pushy) Poles. It was our turn to start up the stairs. I stepped onto the first stair, and the moment came. I was so nervous and my heart was racing. I needed a bathroom! I found our seats and sat the kids down. I told them that there was something very important that I had to do and I would be in the bathroom and not to worry about anything at all and to push the button and ask a stewardess if they needed anything (they had already had plenty of airplane experience even though they were only 4 and 6 years old).

I ran to the bathroom and lock myself in. (leaving out all the details, of course) I waited until the very last second and then raced back to my seat for take-off. I was shaking, and trying not to cry. Of course there was a row of young men right next to us, way too close for comfort, but I tried not to care. I NEEDED GREG. I asked Evie for a hug and gave a half explanation of what was happening (based on what she already knew of menstruation) and told her that I was a little worried and that I needed a hug. She gave me the best hug anyone ever received while buckled into tiny airplane seats and I just started bawling. She was the sweetest little helper and David kept looking at me and giving me smiles of encouragement, too. I love those kids. Also, if I ever accidentally made eye contact with the guy sitting right next to me across the aisle, he always gave me a very sympathetic look, almost like he knew what I was going through, an not at all like he thought I was a psyco lady for leaving her kids alone for a long time and crying off and on.

As soon as the fasten seat belt light went off I ran back to the bathroom and stayed there for the whole flight, checking up on the kids once. I realized that this pretty much happened at the latest possible moment for me to be able to still take this trip. Any earlier and we would have been heading back home right now. I was sort of glad. And sort of sad. Home sounded really good right now.

I dreaded running with the kids through the Charles de Gaulle airport in my weakened state. I decided to talk to a stewardess about having some help getting my kids and myself to our connecting flight. She was super sympathetic and said that all they could do was have me pushed in a wheelchair. I'd been hoping to travel on one of those little carts you always see driving through the airport. Oh well.

Two young (I'd be surprised if they were working legally, really) guys came and I got in the wheel chair. They did not offer to help with the luggage. Evie and David dragged our carry-ons behind them as they raced to keep up with my wheel chair. Seriously the kids were behind us the whole time. I kept telling the guys that I need to be able to see the kids and that they (the kids) couldn't run the whole time, but I was still looking over my shoulder to see how they were managing the whole time while one guy pushed me and the other chatted with him as we went. Poor Evie and David! Finally we came to the entrance/exit. Apparently we would have to take a shuttle to another terminal. Oh great.

Our shuttle came late and the wheel chair guys left us there. I had to ask one of the passengers to help get our luggage into the van. I'm sure I could have done it myself, but I was supposed to be taking things as easy as I could. At the next terminal a nicer guy met me with a wheel chair, but saw that I could walk and asked if I wouldn't mind walking to the gate, since it would be hard to make it through the crowds in the chair. I agreed. Little did I know that it was FAR away and the crowds were awful. The guy was racing through as fast as he could and I was trying to keep tabs on both Evie and David and keep them moving fast enough. I lost sight of our guide once or twice, he was so far ahead of us. I felt like I was going to pass out. I really, really hated it. I was fighting back tears (again). But we did finally make it to our gate. Everyone else had boarded already, so maybe the rush was necessary, but of course we got on the plane and waited 10 minutes until we shoved off. (do airplanes shove off or just boats?)

This was the longer flight on the bigger, nicer airplane for the transatlantic leg of our journey. It was comfortable. I was surrounded by laughing Americans. I felt a little at home. This flight wasn't nearly so bad. And at the end of it, was my sister! Well, actually, it was her husband who came to pick us up and I told him that it had happened on the plane and that was really all the detail I shared with him on our hour long drive, besides assuring him that I was doing alright.

I was so happy to be at my sister's house. She took such wonderful care of me! They all did. My brother in law kept coming home with new treats that he knew I missed. "Look, Lisa! It's sour cream and cheddar potato chips! Eat up!" and "You just have to try these Krispy Kreme donut holes warmed up in the microwave!" etc. etc. I gained five pounds in the week or so that I stayed with them. (I broke all my dietary rules and pigged out. Between my sister's amazing cooking and the brother in-law's constant shoving of delicious stuff in my face, I couldn't help myself.)

I didn't have any real complications, just a few concerns after a few days, which I called my doctor about. Everything went okay.

The next week I was in California, and at our family get together, instead of announcing my pregnancy as I'd been planning only days before flying out of Poland, I just mentioned it to one of my sisters in-law briefly on the way out the door. I was literally in the doorway and someone had been saying something about pregnancy or something, and I sort of mumbled to her that I had been pregnant last week. That was sort of dumb. Okay, very dumb. She was surprised so I just told her that I had miscarried on the plane on the way over and she did a little, "Oh my! That must have been fun!" and then we each got whisked away in our separate directions.

That's my story. I was starting to feel bad about how long this post got, but I think I at least like it better than the version I gave my sister in-law.

Within six months I was pregnant again (without having lost the five pounds I gained on our trip). We told the kids early on and then told everyone else. This one was for real, and we knew it. Nine months later, on Easter morning, we had our little Aaron.
The End.

32 comments:

Kaylynn said...

Thanks for sharing. I like journal posts!

Kazzy said...

OK, that was tense! That must have been so hard to have no real privacy and to be worried about your little darlings during the trip and the sprint through the airport. I can't imagine.

But you quickly ended up with Aaron, which is a miracle. I am always amazed at the body's ability to heal itself in so many instances. Especially the way women can bleed and bleed and then be ok.

Thanks for opening up in your post. It was interesting to learn more about you. :)

Annette Lyon said...

Talk about a memorable plane ride. Phew.

JustRandi said...

Honestly, I can not even imagine miscarrying on an airplane. You might possibly be the bravest person I have ever met!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Ah! Little Aaron on Easter morning! How cool is that? This was a very dramatic miscarriage story! You are amazing!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Other than a hostage/hijack situation, I cannot possibly imagine a more difficult circumstance for traveling on the plane. I am amazed, seriously, what we (you) are able to survive. So happy that in your case, there was a happy The End.

Dave said...

Aren't those sweet hugs, smiles, and kisses from our kids the best?

They can help us through so much.

Erin said...

The part about you waving good bye to your husband just made my heart ache. How difficult to go through that without him. I am so glad your wonderful kids helped you through it. And I just want to smack those boys pushing the wheel chair and not helping with the luggage.

Beeswax said...

Wow. Really. Wow.

Erin said...

I can't imagine the stress of flying with two kids without your spouse and miscarrying! Wow. I'm so glad you had a family to love and take care of you when you got to the States.

Heather of the EO said...

I just don't think I could have handled this the way you did. You're amazing. I would have freaked out and freaked my kids out and freaked out the people on the plane. I'm a bit tightly wound.
The part about Evie's hug got me crying. I just love how kids can understand their parent's needs at such a young age.
Thank you for sharing your story.

Barbaloot said...

Wow-that was intense. I'm sorry you had to have such a crazy experience...and glad you got Aaron.

Lara said...

Even though you didn't have your husband, I'm sure glad you had Evie. Her hug was needed.

What a story! Thanks for sharing it.

Anne said...

Why did I think it happened BEFORE you got on the plane? The story is so much worse than I imagined!

Melanie J said...

I'm glad you were able to keep such a good sense of perspective on everything.

Becky said...

Holy smokes. You're a rock! They would have had to escort me out of the airport in a straight jacket...

Kimberly said...

And what a lovely end!

I echo Becky...I would've gone loopy. You're amazing!

Carlynn said...

Wow you are one tuff cookie! I couln't have done it.

It is amazing to know just how many people misscarry. Even after working at an OBGYN clinic for 2 years I had no real idea.

I lost my last pregnancy at 17 weeks. People from the ward came out of the woodworks with stories of their own experiances with miscarriage. I was amazed at just how many people this touches.

I wish I had had your strength to try again but I am a wimp and never got up the nerve.

Alison Wonderland said...

It's amazing the things we go through isn't it? We think of life as just being about laundry and dinner and scrubbing toilets etc... but I think we all have amazing stories like that one. (I in no way mean to diminish your experience by saying that, you know that right? You're amazing!)

Moody said...

Wow, I miscarried at home and it was so painful and well, you know...and I was so dizzy and weak, I can't even imagine going through that on an airplane and then sprinting through airports. Wow, that's amazing.

Susan said...

I don't remember the part about the french airport, geez! You are awesome. I mostly remember trying to make you eat beef for your iron count when you got here. And, of course being in awe that you handled it all so well. And still tried to help clean, cook, take care of my babies, etc, when you were supposed to be resting!!

Tom Draper said...

I still remember being shocked when you said you had miscarried on the flight. You are an iron woman! We still had a great time with you and your sweet kids.

charrette said...

Wow. Amazing story. Intense experience. I can't believe you lived through all that IN AN AIRPLANE BATHROOM! The part about Evie is precious, and priceless.

I have a post you should read, here:http://divergentpathways.blogspot.com/2008/06/fathers-shaping-life-and-death.html (from before we started reading each other's blogs).

It's about one of the two I lost.

pam at beyondjustmom said...

It's so great of you to share your story, and such a dramatic one! I'm amazed by your bravery, your composure on the airplane, and your precious daughter. I shed crocodile tears all the way through.
Thanks!

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Just wanted to stop by and wish you a blessed and very Merry Christmas! ♥ Hugs :) Shauna

kitchenditcher said...

Just wanted to wish you a wonderful time with your family and ♥Merry Christmas!♥

Abra said...

Wow! That's an intense trip! Good thing your kids were seasoned travelers :)
It's always nice to be home too!
I'm glad you were able to have little Aaron!

Me plus 3 Hecks said...

You really are a very amazing person.

Sometimes I think the Lord forces us into key situations so that we simply CAN NOT dwell on the crappy things that are happening to us. I have miscarried twice. Both over Mother's Day Weekend. Which also happens to be my husband's birthday weekend. Which, the first time, also happened to be his Graduation Day from College. And I had planned a big party for that night. I still attended everything and no one but my husband and our moms were the wiser (I had wanted to tell them the happy news for Mother's Day...). Which seemed really wrong--how do these people swirling around you not know the drama you are going through?!--but must have been what I needed to cope, I guess. And you too...? I knew we were friends for a reason. :)

Jen said...

Good thing your kids are good travelers! But I'm with you on this one - I would have made the same choice exactly. And I'm sure looking back, you're probably glad you went.

And now I want potato chips. Thanks.

Brandon & Sheena said...

Thanks for sharing that! I myself have had 2 miscarriages and know how hard they are. Looking back now I know that the timing was never right. The Lord works in mysterious ways! I am now so thankful for my little Sawyer. Children are such blessings!

Rebecca said...

Wow. You are now officially one of my heroes. Thank you for sharing your story.

With this little one so far, it's been so different. The other ones, I knew it would be ok. For the longest time with this one, I haven't known and for a while even felt like it wouldn't be ok. I'm only 8 weeks, so for now I'm just going on faith that whatever happens is meant to happen.

You're amazing.

The Cole Family said...

Wow, Lisa, such an intense, crazy story! Thank you for sharing. I am grateful for you that you were still able to go on your trip! (I miscarried once and tried to do it at home--I lost so much blood I had to go to the ER.) I can just imagine how wonderful it was after you arrived, to be surrounded by family, eating all the things you never get to, and I agree with Erin -- those guys should have helped you with the luggage!