Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bretton: Part 1

I missed a good portion of my first semester of my Senior year of High School as I was severely ill 24/7.  I went to the doctor a few times, but no one was able to tell me what was wrong.  I couldn't stand the smell of hotdogs, I could barely keep food down, and I lost well over 40 pounds in less than 5 months.  And despite these "symptoms", I still didn't know what was about to hit me...

On February 12, 1999 I was sitting in the main lobby of my High School, waiting for the bell to ring for the next period to begin.  (As a Senior, I didn't have a full course load and often come to school only when I had classes or sat in the library reading while waiting for my classes to begin.)  It was the last day of school before winter break, and I had only been back to school full time for a month or so. I loved school, but was ready for a the break and looking forward to actually being able to do things with my friends without  feeling so ill.  Then, out of no where a sharp shooting pain hit my right lower abdomen.  I doubled over in pain.  I tried to breathe through it, to walk it off, but nothing worked.  It got so intense I ended up literally crawling 150 feet or so to the nurse's office.  Through gritted teeth and loss of breath, I did my best to explain to them what was wrong.  The nurse's secretary quickly got help and I was basically carried to her car and driven to the ED.

What seemed like forever passed, then an ED doctor came in.  He looked over the results of some tests they had me do (urine and blood) and then felt around my abdomen, asking me questions regarding my pain.  He stopped, looked at the chart again, then poked me some more.  I could tell by the look on his face that something was going on.  When he finally spoke he said he didn't believe I had appendicitis (which is what we were thinking at first).  Great!  What was the pain from then? He explained to me that my uterus was expanded, telling him that I was 20-22 weeks along in pregnancy.  He asked if I knew that.  Heck no! Wouldn't I have said something?!  He went on to explain that my pain could be due to an ectopic pregnancy and he needed to get me into an ultrasound right away.

My head was reeling and I felt dazed and confused at what I was just told.  Not once did I get a positive HPT, and I was having periods-- and for the first time in my life they were regular!  How could I be carrying a child and not know it?  I certainly didn't show, with the weight loss I had experienced my stomach was almost concave.  I didn't feel movement, or did I and just not know what it was?  So many things were going through my mind.

As I was taken to radiology for the ultrasound I tried to forget about everything and focus on relieving the pain I was still feeling.  That lasted about 30 seconds.  The ultrasound technician wouldn't stop talking about what she was going to be looking for, how exciting it was, and so on.  Um, not really exciting lady-- I didn't plan on having a baby at 19!  Actually, I never planned on having any children.

I remained fairly quiet during the ultrasound.  I don't remember much of it other than the technician saying the baby was healthy, it was a boy, and that my due date was July 3rd, 1999.  I watched and listened, yet wasn't fully aware of what was going on or being said. I was trying to wrap my head around the idea of a human being growing inside of me-- and all from a one time sexual encounter!  I was blown away. 

After what seemed like hours, and lots of paper work and visitors (some wanted, some not-- but that's another story), they finally released me.  I went home (to the place I had been living since October of '98, with a wonderful older couple from my church).  I was stunned still, yet gaining some perspective and even some feelings of contentment.  I knew it was going to be long journey if I kept the baby, but there was no way I was giving him up!  I myself was adopted.  I know what foster care is like, and that not all adoptive parents are what they seem.  I felt I was the only one who could give my baby the life he deserved and I was bound and determined to do what I needed to in order to give him a great life, loving home, and all the things he could want. 

I'm going to leave it as this for now.  I will write the next part within the next week.

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