Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sorrow, Grattitude and Healing

By Lacey Gunter

This was the day I was planning to announce some exciting news to all my lovely ladies on MMW.  My husband and I have been trying for another child for nearly four years. I was so surprised when I got that first positive pregnancy test that I really didn't trust it. I trusted that for the moment my body was in the process of pregnancy, but I scarcely trusted it would stay that way. I was just getting close to letting myself believe in it before I found myself being rushed to the ER, fighting off the first symptoms of traumatic shock.

I am not writing this blog post to elicit sympathy, quite the contrary. I am ready to move on from sympathy, to find hope and healing.  I am writing this post first and foremost because I think it will be cathartic.  Writing out in physical form the experiences and emotions that beset us can often give us a source of power and freedom over them. I am also writing this post in hopes that maybe even one person out there can benefit from hearing my experience and find greater healing.

I have been remarkably blessed with three beautiful children. My heart goes out so much to my fellow sisters who are on the harrowing road of fighting to bring even one child into this world. I acutely recognize my over abundance of blessings in this arena. I also recognize that most people in our Westernized cultured believe that having three children is already too much. I fully acknowledge both of these viewpoints as I try to share my experience without offending.


My husband and I had come to a point of acceptance. So I was pretty reluctant to take that first pregnancy test. Why dig up hope only to have it crushed again? But my monthly cycle was nowhere to be found and I couldn't very well contact my doctor to inquire about the problem without having checked first. So I took the test, and to say I had mixed emotions at the result would be an understatement. My husband's reaction was much the same.  We agreed not to tell anyone else yet.

The next month was like a slow roller coaster ride. Some of the symptoms that were usually present with previous pregnancies were diminished or slower to develop. We tried to stay on guard with our emotions, but the days ticked on. So I conceded on some levels, like getting an OB lined up. Then there were the episodes of pain. I thought my digestive track was just acting up and I didn't want to be that naive kind of pregnant woman who thinks pregnancy should be pain free and effortless. So I just sucked it up and tried to bear them gracefully. After all, I didn't want God to think I wasn't grateful for this potential gift he seemed to be dangling in front of me. Yet, they were painful enough to incapacitate me for hours at a time. Still, I seemed to remain pregnant and we both started to hope that maybe this would work out.

During my 9th week, I had a particularly bad Sunday. The morning had started out okay, but a little  after breakfast I was laid out in bed again with a lot of pain. I vowed never to eat that breakfast again as I mustered the strength to beat it and drag myself to church with my kids.  I made it through most of church when the pain began to return. This was new. I had never had more than one episode of pain in a day. It had both me and my husband more than a little concerned. I laid in bed for a long while trying to get a handle on it when I started to have some light spotting.  This is what I had figured we had been waiting for all month, so I resigned myself to an imminent miscarriage, glad that at least the physical pain would be over soon. Apparently my husband had already committed to this pregnancy and was much more reluctant to think so negatively.

We debated much of the rest of the day about whether to go somewhere or call some one, but I didn't really want to be told I was just having a miscarriage and should just go home and try to relax. After a few hours the pain seemed to subside again and the spotting had only been minimal, so we contacted no one and I decided to just do some light chores to try and get my mind off things.

Around 10 pm the pain came back with a vengence.  I could scarcely manage and our debate about what to do started again. We both went back and forth until my husband finally told me he would leave the decision up to me and support me on whatever I decided.  I tried to get up too see if there was more spotting and quickly realized this pain was too serious to ignore. So my husband got all the kids out of bed and loaded them up as I waddled to the car and we sped off to the ER.

We got checked in quick, as I figured we would be. Both the ER staff and I were convinced this was probably an ectopic pregnancy. I thought everything else would go quick as well; quick examination, quick ultrasound, quick rush to the OR and quick surgery.  It did not.

Every step in the process was controlled, deliberate and thorough. No one wanted to make any mistakes. Multiple people had to look over the ultrasound evidence and agree on the same diagnosis. I was interviewed extensively about my past medical history and current symptoms.  Several other tests were conducted. Finally they were convinced it was a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. They took their time prepping me for surgery. Then they were compelled to take their time correcting the problem during  surgery due to some unforeseen complications of a prior cesarean section.

All in all, they were able to get things sewed up sufficiently, but l lost my right tube and a lot of blood in the process. I was given 3 blood transfusions, which helped stabilized my vitals, but lead to a lot of swelling all over my body.

The recovery was very slow and very difficult at first. I couldn't even lay down to sleep because it caused so much pain and difficulty breathing. I remember early on thinking how painful and challenging all this was with no baby to show for it.  Eventually, though, my pain and swelling did go down and I am surprised and grateful for how well I am doing now. The only symptom that seems to be lingering is that I am tired all the time. The doctor said I would feel more energetic once I had built up the blood they didn't replace.

I wish I could say the sorrow goes away as quickly, but it's not quite that way. Sometimes I just want to sleep all day. I could tell myself it was simply from exhaustion,  but I know some of it is wanting to avoid the emotional reality of what I am going through. It is hard to escape thinking about it a good portion of my waking hours.

Every now and then, though, I experience moments of deep gratitude and hope. I am grateful that medical technology could save me and help me to heal so quickly. I am grateful that people were willing to donate blood to save my life. I am grateful for the service and kindness of others during this difficult time. And I am grateful for the beautiful smiling faces of my children and our tender moments together.

I am hopeful that maybe we can get pregnant again. It happened once, so maybe it will happen again. Either way, I hope I can learn what God wants me to learn from this experience and become a better person.

For anyone else out there experiencing this or something similar, I pray that you may also find hope and healing. You are not alone. God bless.


  1. Thank you for sharing such a personal is surely relatable...and could perhaps save someone's life in the future. So glad you pulled through Lacey. In a few years hopefully you'll be able to reflect back and see why this may have happened? In the mean time hang in there!!!!

  2. I'm so sorry for this loss, Lacey. Writing helps me grieve a bit too...and move past things. I'm sending prayers for a complete recovery and peace of mind that yes, God is still in control and He has a plan for your family. Thank you for sharing.



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