The last thing I remember before going under is saying to the nurse, “Please, save my baby!”
Tears rolled down both of our faces.
When I woke up, I had no idea if my baby was alive or dead. I had no idea if the baby was a boy or girl, in those days we liked to be surprised.
Four feet of snow surrounded our home on January of 1990. Scared and shocked, I woke up, hemorrhaging.
My husband packed up our two sleepy sons, and I managed to follow them to our 4-wheel drive truck on wobbly legs. We drove an hour to the nearest hospital in Colville, WA. Doctors could not stop the hemorrhaging, so they decided to fly me to Spokane instead of making another hour drive.
My tears began as I kissed my family good-bye and was lifted into the helicopter.
Flying terrified me.
It wasn’t the first time in a helicopter, but so far, I had not learned to enjoy time in the air. My body shook. It shook from thoughts of a lost baby, it shook from thinking I may bleed out, it shook from having to leave my babied behind, it shook from my fear of being off the ground and in the air with no control whatsoever.
I did the only thing I knew….prayed.
I prayed my way to Spokane, glancing out the chopper window from time to time. Thankfully, it was a quick ride. Quick and noisy.
Once at Sacred Heart Medical Center, nurses admitted me. After some time, my doctor stopped the bleeding and gave me a sonogram. He told I had placenta previa.
Placenta Previa is a condition where the placenta lies low in the uterus and partially or completely covers the cervix.
My thoughts ran wild: how did this happen? What did I do to cause it? With my other two sons, I was high risk due to preeclampsia. I had a trace of it with this pregnancy and now I had placenta issues? I felt like I could explode.
Doctors explained to me this happens to 1 in 200 women and I was not the cause. I sighed with relief. Then they told me I was to remain at bed rest in the hospital until the baby came. It was January. My due date was April 15. Anxiety quickly replaced that sigh of calm. Who would care for my two boys at home? One was in kindergarten. The other in diapers. I’d never been away from them for more than a day or two.
With prayer and petition, I buckled down and settled in.
Until one day. A month later I hemorrhaged. Again. The doctor came in and said he stopped the bleeding but my baby’s heartbeat was diminishing. I could hear the monitor. The beat had slowed considerably. Mine sped up.
The night before, my husband and five-year-old spent the night. It was early morning, so my husband moved my sleeping son to the room I’d have after surgery.
They whisked me away to the operating room, rushing around and prepping me. At the last minute, a mask covered my nose. It felt claustrophobic. It felt final. That’s when I began to cry, begging the nurse to save my baby.
When I woke up, the first thing I asked was if my baby was alive.
Indeed he was. They brought me a picture of an under-developed baby with a doll-sized oxygen cannula up his nose. When awake and stable, we rolled out, making a pit stop in NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, to meet my son. I lay on the gurney, feeling huge amongst such tiny humans. I could not touch my son. I could not hold him. But knowing he was alive was good enough.
Tears once again flowed as I studied the monitors, tubes, and my son, nestled in his incubator like a freshly hatched chick.
But they were tears of joy because he survived. He survived because of bed rest and wonderful doctors. He survived and thrived due to outstanding medical treatment and nurses. He thrived because God has a plan for him.
My son remained in the hospital for six weeks. I was discharged after one week. Again, I cried. This time tears flowed because my arms were empty. It felt like a loss, but I choose to put my faith in the nurses who were in charge of his life and well-being and his Creator. It worked because today he thrives.
This month this two and a half pound baby is twenty-seven. He is a middle school science teacher. He is married and this summer will have his first child. A boy.
I do believe he survived for a reason. It has been a blessing watching God’s plan and purpose bloom in front of me.
All because my baby survived.