I woke up to the familiar pain in my abdomen, giving it a perfunctory moment of my limited time. I started getting ready with the tiny hope that I wouldn't be giving the thought of my breakfast to the pregnancy gods that morning. Alas, it was not to be. After two or three vomiting sessions, I finally succumbed to the inevitable: A hurried pony tail, a Pop Tart for the road, and a skirt that wouldn't bother my stomach.
The day went as usual. Classes, homework, and the omnipresent nausea interrupting all coherent thoughts.
At 4, Ben and I were ready to go home. We walked hand in hand discussing the day. When we were halfway home, the abdominal pain became unbearable. Clutching my stomach, I gasped and told Ben I had to sit down. He worriedly looked at me. He told me to stay put while he ran home to fetch the car. It only took him a few minutes, but time seemed to freeze as the pain threatened to consume my whole body.
Immediately upon our return home, I went to bed. I tried everything: deep breathing, hypnosis relaxation, and prayer but the pain remained. Finally, around 11, Ben came in to the room to find me in the fetal position sobbing uncontrollably..
He rushed me to the hospital.
Over the next 15 hours, the doctors administered myriad tests on my aching body. After an MRI, they finally found the culprit: appendicitis. Within 20 minutes, I was being prepped for surgery.
The whirlwind of activity did not stop my dutiful husband from holding my hand. He offered comforting words and many prayers. If it weren't for him, I would have been paralyzed by fear.
During the few moments before surgery, the doctors had to ask me the usual questions: What should we do if you go into labor? Would you like us to do everything to save the baby?
This question brought fear and tears. I told them that if that did happen, they were to do everything for my little Emily.
I spent a couple of days in the hospital recovering. An appendectomy while 6 months pregnant is not the easiest thing to recover from. Still, I was grateful that my little baby was safely ensconced inside my womb.
Eventually the pain subsided and the memory of the event faded. The scar, though, will never fully disappear.
When I think about what I have sacrificed for my little Emily, I think about my appendectomy. I not only gave my body for her, I gave my appendix (even if an appendix is virtually useless).
I have never looked at myself as being courageous during this whole experience. Yet, courage was evident--it took courage go to the ER, it took courage to tell the doctors to save my baby if she decided to come early, and it took courage to go home.
I have learned many lessons from that day, but one of the most important is that no sacrifice goes unanswered. And this little girl was worth the indescribable pain.
This post is in connection with Momalom's Five for Ten event. Click over to see all other entries for "courage."
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