like i said....some people like to talk during these times. i don't. i prefer to be alone. i'm an odd combination of a public figure (big fish, small pond) built into a very private individual. but on wednesday when this roller coaster started clanking up the steep climb, i was talking with my friend dorothy and she told me to let people serve us. "...let people help because it gives them an outlet for their love for your family." i was remembering those words as i saw a few texts come through on my phone signaling the arrival of friends to be with me at the hospital while i waited for sharon to get out of surgery. i wanted to tell them not to come. i wanted to crawl into a hole. but i kept hearing dorothy's words, "let people serve you".
after wandering for a bit down on the street in front of the hospital and getting a hold of myself, i made my way up to the waiting room on the 15th floor where my sister in law amanda and our friends steve and michelle were waiting for me. amanda brought me some food. i had forgotten until i ate the first bite that i hadn't eaten since first thing in the morning. we sat in that really small waiting room with the sun baking down through the window, listening to the spanish soap opera playing on the tv in the background along with the hum from the vending machines. i remember thinking that they looked uncomfortable. i've been in their spot. wanting to show my support, but not knowing what to say. in fact....i don't think there's anything that you can say. when life and death hang in the balance, there's nothing you can say. you can just be there...and they were.
i shared with them what had happened in the last couple of days. how we got to this place. we talked about LOST. about $799 iphone apps. i went in and out of being sad and afraid. sometimes we were all quiet only to have the silence broken by the opening of the door or the chime of the hospital paging system. 6:30pm. i got up to get a sprite from the vending machine when michelle said that my phone was buzzing. i moved quickly to get it, but missed the call. i sat there with my phone in my hand waiting for the voicemail to come through...minutes seemed like hours. then...my phone buzzed again. i answered, "hello". it was the nurse from sharon's surgery...."uh....mr. sossaman?" "yes!" i replied. "hi, i just wanted to let you know that sharon is out of surgery and everything went great!"
i smiled. gave everyone around me the thumbs up and said "thank you" to the nurse.
7:15pm. one of the surgeons comes in the waiting room to find me. he looks right at me and shakes my hand. "everything went perfect. we saw all the blood vessels, and we were able to burn them all with the laser. we also removed 5 liters of amniotic fluid from the larger sack. sharon should be much more comfortable now....she's in recovery...you can see her if you want." i hopped right up and followed him to the recovery room. when i opened the door sharon looked at me and smiled. "HI!!!!" she said. almost running i came to her bed and kissed her. it had only been a few hours, but it had seemed like an eternity. she was so much smaller! we had grown accustomed to her large pregnant belly assuming she grew so quickly because there were two babies inside of her. she could lay on her back without pain. we laughed about how excited we were that she was going to get such a great night sleep tonight. release.
as we chatted in the recovery room, we watched the sun go down over the beautiful city that we love. her room had the most gorgeous view of the golden gate bridge, golden gate park, and the bay. it was perfect! we couldn't really wrap our brains around all that had happened in the last 24 hours. a new nurse came in at one point and asked us where we were from. that was probably the 10th time someone had asked us that. we didn't really put anything together, but when we responded this time, the nurse said, "you know, people fly in from all over the country to have this procedure done here at the hospital. and here you guys are in your back yard." what a blessing indeed! the day had been such a whirlwind. but now that we were on the other side, we were starting to get a little perspective on that absolute miracle that we had been a part of that day. most of it we still couldn't verbalize, but we knew in that moment that God had mercy on us. the right place, the right time. we are still unpacking how grateful we feel.
our amazing friends nicky, jeanette, dave, danielle and cole all stopped by to check in us. they all stayed till late. we laughed. told our amazing story. laughed more...and felt so grateful. at one point our nurse janet said that she had never seen so many people come to visit someone who had just arrived. i told janet that sharon was special. janet agreed. after everyone left we slept like worn out kids on christmas night.
the next day we met with more doctors. had more tests. it was another long day. but, everyone seemed very hopeful in the success of the surgery. reality is that it will take some time before we know for sure if the babies are growing on their own. we will have many more follow up appointments. but for now, the worst is behind us. and we'll take that.
when we got home on friday evening our kids were so excited to see us....and us them. it's amazing how attached we are to those little buggers. we all hugged and laughed. even got right into a little parenting. it doesn't take long huh? while we were gone, not only did our good friends kimmi and eva watch over our kids, which is amazing enough, but they also cleaned our house along with our other amazing friends michela and ethel. i'm not kidding. bathrooms, bedrooms. they cleaned stuff you typically wouldn't let people other then yourself clean. they did it because they love us and they wanted to serve us. i remembered dorothy's words..."let people serve you." it was so amazing! we got a miraculous meal that night from our good friends tim and lori all the way from north carolina. i'm still trying to figure that one out. we felt so lucky. so blessed. so taken care of.
9:45pm. after the kids were put to bed and i picked up our dishes from dinner...i hopped in the shower for the first time in almost 2 days. as the warm water fell over my head i felt the stress and fear from the day wash over me. release. emotional...physical....it was over. and we were ok.
so many played a part in our miracle. i know that we probably won't see most of them ever again....but we know and will always remember them. thank you to all of the amazing staff at UCSF.
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