Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Story of my Heart: Part 2

(Same trigger warning. Hospital environment, pregnancy trauma; there might be some angels in this one.)

I don't know if you're familiar with adenosene. It's potent stuff. Doctors have used it successfully in treating Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT.) In simple terms, it gives the body's electrical system a bit of a jolt. Sort of like pressing the "reset" button, if you will. Normally.

Apparently I was one of the anomalies. As they inserted it into my veins, someone lowered an oxygen mask over my face to help me catch my breath.

What happened next cannot really be explained by science.

My consciousness was not inside my body anymore. I was looking down from the top of the room at myself and my ashen-faced husband hovering over me. His arms encircled me as best they could with all the machines, wires, and tubes that surrounded us. He was my rock and the reason I wanted so badly to come back. That, and a will to give life to that little one within my womb.

Time was suspended, for I know this all happened in seconds, maybe milliseconds, as the heart block only causes a brief stoppage. Suddenly, I was back, gasping for air and mentally shrieking in terror. I was pretty sure they had killed me for a minute, and I was powerless to stop whatever they might try next.

There is nothing worse in all my human experience than being completely powerless and utterly at the mercy of others whom I had no trust relationship with. But a calm presence descended upon me. It was not inward, for it would be a long time before I could process this and experience inner peace. But it was tangible and comforting. Josh hugged me closer and comforted me as I tried to fathom this present reality.

Now, as a general rule, I have a great respect for E.R. experts functioning under duress. Emergency response takes brains, guts, discipline and split second decisions. Unfortunately, it seems that at times, standard medical practice has this motto of "if at first you don't succeed, try using the exact same method or drug again."

I can't even express what was going through my mind as they administered a second dose. I felt the cold liquid enter my veins. It was sharp, foreign and my body wanted to reject and eject it as quickly as possible. But it was not to be.

This time, I was caught up in an everlasting sea of utter darkness. No white light experience for me. Though this eternity lasted only about a human 5 seconds, it was the most disturbing and led to many future doubts as I questioned the meaning. It is still a mystery but I do not fear it any longer. Neither can I explain it. I'm just going to have to leave you hanging on that one. But I will leave you with this:

Many people experience times of darkness in their lives that cannot be explained or shrugged off. It is faith, I believe, that carries us through these hard times. And not always our own. Sometimes, we must rest while others carry us. That is the beauty of the family of Christ. We are there for each other.

From the midwife who had the grace to point out that I needed to get help (and then sent a timely refund.)

A sacrificial friend who indefinitely watched our children while we waited for answers.

Merciful parents who didn't even hesitate to hop in the car (along with my youngest brother,) and drive 800 miles because I needed their support.

Siblings who waited in prayerful suspense.

Supervisors who told my husband "take as much time as you need." And then came to the ICU to pray for me. And then sent me flowers.

A pastor who came to pray over us.

A church that rallied to our aid, whether in prayer or food.

A global network of friends and family who stopped what they were doing to make intercession for us.

The presence of heavenly beings hovered over our little cubicle.

And I was given hope.

(to be continued...)

Part 3
Part 4


  1. Dear sweet Jamie! This time you really stirred my emotions. I knew about the experience because you had mentioned it to me before. But the way you expressed it today really made me feel to a little degree what you must have gone through. Even before I even knew about it, I knew that I had to come be with you. Even though Robert and I would be separated from the rest of the family God gave us all a peace that we needed to be with you for a time and He gave us all the grace and strength that we needed. We love you! And we would do it all again!

    1. Thanks for living it with me. I love you, Mommy!


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