Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Close Calls

Last Saturday, we had a close call with our one-year-old kitty, Kenji. He had a bad reaction to receiving his first full set of adult vaccines, and shortly afterward, he started going into shock and was unable to breathe. It was scary, but thankfully, he survived and is now back to his old mischief.

That incident, along with some discussions Scott and I have been having about bio-ethics, made me think about some close calls in my life.

As he and I discussed advances in medicine and the plethora of choices we have today to extend our lives by using medicines and treatments to combat disease, he touched upon the fact that so many women in childbirth died in previous generations. And the babies often died as well. This, of course, I knew, but in the context of our discussion, it had never really settled in for me that I could have died giving birth to Jacob. He was delivered by "emergency" c-section, which meant that they didn't have time to numb me up with a spinal anesthetic before Jacob would need to be delivered. He was breach--foot first. So, they gave me general anesthesia and I was out for the count. Twenty minutes later, Scott got to see our little bundle of joy wheeled out of the operating area.

I've always sort of resented the fact that for my only child, I was not conscious for the delivery. And then as Scott and I were talking about it last week, I realized how lucky I was to have an attentive team of nurses and doctors who took good care of me so that I was able to deliver a healthy baby and come out of the procedure relatively unscathed. In previous generations, I may have had no option but to deliver the baby naturally and might have potentially died in childbirth. And Jacob could have been in distress during an abnormal delivery. Yes, I agree that c-sections are sometimes unnecessary, and perhaps, if I was omniscient, I would know that my c-section was not necessary either.

But it just made me stop and count my blessings. Maybe all these years, I've looked at it the wrong way. Instead of being grumpy about "missing" the delivery, I should be thankful that God spared me and my son from an untimely death. Yes, it's a bit morbid to consider, but it reminds me of all of those close calls we may have--near-miss car accidents, bronchitis that's knocked out by an anti-biotic, cancer treatments that slow down or eradicate the growth of diseased cells. We have God's angels protecting us, and God, in His mercy, to thank.

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