Monday, February 6, 2012

The Day That Set it All in Motion

Do you believe that one decision leads to another? That one step leads to the next step and leads to the step after that? That things turn out differently depending on if you turn right or left? That one small choice we make today can change the path of our lives forever? I do, and I believe that everything you know about me as a reader of this blog started right here:

I remember telling my husband of seven months (I was a newlywed!) before I left for work that I would probably be coming back. I thought for sure that school would be cancelled based on the snowy weather, but I had to leave just in case because it took 35 minutes to get from Henderson, KY to Owensboro, KY where I worked. I remember walking out our apartment door and down the sidewalk to my car, getting in, and driving away. I remember being in a strange room and hearing my mom tell me I was in a car accident five days ago. That was nine years ago on February 6, 2003.

I was T-boned in the driver's door on the old Reed, KY curve before the expansion (My Kentucky readers know what I'm talking about). I was told it happened on an icy bridge. I don't remember anything, but I don't think I ever lost consciousness because the police reported to my husband that I wasn't wearing my seat belt (I must have taken it off after the wreck thinking I was going to get out of the car.) and that I fought them tooth and nail while they were rescuing me from the car with the Jaws of Life. The car was my brand new Sterling Blue Satin Glow Chrysler Sebring. (Yes, I remember the car's color name nine years later.). I had owned it only four months at the time of the accident. Without its side-curtain air bags, I wouldn't be telling this tale today.

To make a long story short (I'm holding Cassidy right now and she's hollering for a baba. I need to hurry up!), I suffered a concussion that landed me six staples in the head and blacked out five days of my life. I broke my pelvis in three places which had me using a walker for three months while living in an upstairs apartment, and I ruptured my spleen which led to an emergency spleenectomy and an exploratory surgery to find out that I had bruised lungs and kidneys and internal bleeding. The shattered glass tore up the skin on my left arm, but I didn't have a scratch on my face, which I probably guarded with my arm. I spent a total of 17 days in the hospital, including four days in ICU, nine days in the regular hospital, four days in rehab, my 24th birthday, my first Valentine's Day with my husband, and it eventually cost me three months of work during my first year of teaching at Owensboro Middle School in Owensboro, KY.

What does that have to do with my story, you ask? What does a car accident nine years ago from which I am fully recovered have anything to do with Gabriel, Tater Tot, and Cassidy? Everything. I believe it's the reason I have them.

I wrote about the importance of having an HSG in "Walking Down the Street Naked." I had an HSG after one failed attempt at an IUI in 2008. My fertility doctor told us that he typically has a woman do an HSG (an xray dye test) to test for a blockage in the fallopian tubes after three failed attempts. We told him we weren't waiting to fail three times before we checked to see if I had a blockage. I only knew there was a possibility of there being a blockage because of my 2003 abdominal surgery. With any abdominal surgery, there is a chance that scar tissue can form, leading to an obstruction in the fallopian tubes. If I hadn't had the surgery in 2003, I would have never known to insist on the HSG. Only later did I find out that research shows a significant increase in the chances of conception for up to three months after having the procedure because the dye flushes out debris. I didn't end up having a blockage, but those squeaky clean tubes helped me get a Gaby Baby.

It's possible that I could have gotten pregnant that month without having the HSG, but I doubt it, and would it have been with Gabriel? Under normal circumstances, there's only about a 20% chance of conception. Once I learned of the benefit of having an HSG, I insisted to the doctor that I wanted to have another. I got pregnant with Tater Tot right away. You know what happened next. Tater Tot was my bridge. She made it possible to get from Gabriel to Cassidy, who, by the way, I got pregnant with on the first try after having an HSG.

Once I got my marbles all together and started to know what was happening day to day, I remembered a visit from my dad in the hospital. "The good Lord saved you so you can be a mommy some day." I don't know why he said that, but I remember telling him that I had been thinking the same thing. Neither of us knew, of course, how true that was or how God planned to use me as a mommy, how He saved me from certain death to one day become the mother of angels . . . and one sweet girl who will walk this Earth with me.

 Cassidy Nicole, 4 months

Romans 8:28 (NIV): "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."