I am here to update anyone out there who hasn’t yet heard our most recent news. Right around the beginning of June I began miscarrying our baby. Because our ultrasound at 8 weeks was semi-inconclusive, and because shortly following the ultrasound all pregnancy symptoms abruptly stopped, I had suspected a miscarriage several weeks before.
The bleeding began uneventfully. However, since I live in a village with no doctors or hospitals nearby, I immediately emailed the two clinics run by the two major missions organizations here – New Tribes and SIL. My questions were basically all centered around what a normal miscarriage looks like and in what situations would I need to fly out to see a doctor. Both clinics replied and gave me parameters for miscarrying naturally.
A few days later, Sunday night June 4th, I was enjoying a movie with our family and started noticing that I was having increasing pain in my abdomen. After the movie, I laid down in bed while Zach put our kids in bed. Over the next hour my pain was so intense I just laid in the fetal position and prayed.
I will spare the general public all the details, but suffice it to say, over the next 5 hours, I lost a lot of blood. I tried to handle it myself for a little bit, but it became impossible and I needed Zach. Zach called the doctor at the SIL clinic and discussed all of the symptoms with them several times as it progressed from bad to worse. A medical evacuation was scheduled, but the helicopter could not fly to our location until the morning. At one point, around midnight, I started to feel dizzy (something the doctor told Zach to look out for) and a little bit later I threw up and passed out.
Once I woke up, Zach took my blood pressure and it read 76/35. It was 1:00am and he was strongly encouraged to try and start an IV. We called our trusty friend Jacob Hantla (he works as a nurse anesthetist) and he walked us through starting an IV and by God’s grace Zach got the IV started (because he is awesome)!
By 3:00am the bleeding was slowing, my blood pressure was 106/65, I was stable, and I fell asleep. In the morning, we left the village to be near the clinic for the remainder of the miscarriage. Mainly, we just didn’t want to go through another night like that without doctors nearby.
All in all, we are well in the Lord. At several points that night Zach wasn’t sure if I was going to die – he had never seen that much blood and had never seen someone go downhill so fast – especially when that someone’s health was in his own hands!
One little blessing to share: That morning as we awaited the helicopter, Zach went into the village to tell everyone that we had lost the baby (we hadn’t shared that news with anyone yet) and that I lost a lot of blood that night before and so the heli was coming to take me to the doctor. Right away, three older ladies I am close to and one of my closest friends came to “look after” me. They sat with me and told me their stories – two of them had gone through the same thing. What sweet bonding happened as they told me that they have had the same experiences and that I will be okay. In the midst of suffering, it is encouraging to see at least one or two of the things God is accomplishing through it.
We are thankful for the SIL clinic and the doctors and nurses there who stayed up that night to walk through this over the phone with us. We are thankful they were there when we arrived and monitored the rest of the miscarriage. We are thankful for the Jeremy and Lorie Lehman who helped all the calls and flight plans happen – Jeremy was up most of the night on the phone with Zach so we could get the right calls placed with SIL doctors. We’re thankful for Zach’s sister, Carolyn, who is a nurse and was able to encourage Zach as we waited for the sun to rise so the helicopter could come and get us. We are thankful our kids were asleep through the entire thing. We are thankful that our kids love going to the SIL base in Ukarumpa – when we woke them in the morning, Jude said, “I’m sorry you are sick, but I am glad we get to go to Ukarumpa!” Most of all, I am thankful that my biggest problem, which is my sin against a holy God, has already been paid for by Jesus my Savior. If I were to die that day, or tonight, or in 50 years, I know that my Redeemer lives and I will see Him and praise Him forever and ever for saving me.
Below are some pictures – mostly of flying out and then some of the kids enjoying Ukarumpa (which in their minds, Ukarumpa = ice cream and the playground).
Zach’s IV work:TJ our pilot helping me to the heli:
Ukarumpa playground:Playing with the Jones’ kids:First ice cream cone of the trip:Oliver and I came down with chest colds while there. That, paired with recovery from blood loss, meant several naps:Heading back to the village: