This is the continuation of my dear friend’s journey to motherhood. You can read the first part here. In her life I see her mothering with gratitude and love. Read on and see how God prepared her heart to mother in that way:
When you have struggled with infertility, you think that once you get pregnant the worst is over. But that is not always the case. The day my pregnancy was confirmed, I started to spot. My doctor said not to worry, that this happens often during pregnancy. By the seventh week of my pregnancy (I know many women do not even know they are pregnant at that time), I was put on modified bed rest at home. I had to take it easy. We knew my cervix was not what it should be, but we hoped that, as long as I stayed off my feet, all would be fine.
At 16 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital. My husband was traveling. I was having lots of bleeding and I need to have a procedure to sew my cervix closed. The hospital gave me the best chance for keeping my babies. I was blessed to be in a hospital across the street from my church, so I had frequent visits from my Sunday school class and my pastor, as well as co-workers, friends and neighbors. Unfortunately my family was 5 1/2 hours away.
I had to stay in bed 24/7. It was probably the scariest time of my life. I had prayed so hard for these babies for years. Now I was pregnant and very afraid that I was going to lose them. When I had imagined getting pregnant, I had all these great fantasies of shopping for fun baby items, wearing maternity clothes, planning and decorating the nursery…well, my situation was not what I’d had thought it would be, but once again as I did during the fertility treatments, I claimed Jeremiah 29:11. I knew God had a plan for us; I just had to believe that these sweet babies I was carrying were going to be part of it.
As days turned into weeks, my sweet husband made me a count down calendar to reach our different goals in the pregnancy. And each week a NICU team came into my room to explain what would be wrong with my children, if they were born that week. First they told us our first goal was to reach viability, as they would not try to save them if they had not reached that point. Then we worked toward 28 weeks, then 31 weeks, etc. On each day of the calendar, there was a verse that gave one of God’s promises. Each morning, my nurses came in to my room to open my blinds and tear off a sheet on my calendar. I believe those nurses were just as blessed by the verses as I was. One of the scriptures our pastor reminded me of often during his visits was from Psalm 139.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14).
It reminded me that God had created these children. I knew that He had a plan for them too.
At twenty two weeks, I had to have a second procedure to sew my cervix closed once again, and it was really scary. I just never felt like I could relax. I had a scrap book, and a pregnancy journal, but I was too afraid to write in both. In my heart, I knew God had brought us this far and I felt He wouldn’t possibly let us lose them now. Yet, while I was there, there were other women in the hospital who had lost twins or triplets pretty far into their pregnancy, so I still struggled with fear.
As the days went on throughout my pregnancy, I passed my time by crocheting baby blankets for my babies. I made a green one, a blue one, and a pink one. I was so nervous when I finished the last one. I was 31 weeks along in my pregnancy. My goal was 33 weeks. A friend of mine had triplets at 33 weeks and they were healthy – so I was praying for the same.
During week 31, I was on the telephone with a friend and I noticed my face didn’t look right quite right. I got very worried. Thankfully my friend was a physician’s assistant and told me that I must have had Bell’s Palsy. Bell’s palsy is a form of facial paralysis resulting from a dysfunction of the facial nerve that results in the inability to control facial muscles on the affected side. I pressed my nurse call button, and within minutes my doctor was in my room, and I was seeing a neurologist. I have to say it was not fun having Bell’s Palsy! My food fell out of my mouth, I looked different etc.; however I wouldn’t change it for the world. One of the treatments the doctor gave me was steroids. I had been given steroid shots earlier in my pregnancy, at 25 weeks, to develop the babies’ lungs if born early, but they had worn off by that point.
I had an emergency c-section 1 week and 6 days later, and I delivered a 4lb 6oz. boy, 3 lb 14oz. girl, and a 3lb 9 oz baby boy. They were alive! I didn’t realize how scared I had been all those months in the hospital, until I heard the medical staff say, “They are alive!” God’s plan for me was at work the whole time. Even my Bell’s Palsy was a blessing. As a result of the steroid shots, my babies’ lungs were basically healthy. They were preemies but my daughter was on a ventilator for just five days, one of my boys was on room air, and my other son was on a c-pap machine for only 10 hours. Praise the Lord I had healthy children.
And finally after four months in the hospital for mommy and five weeks for my precious babies, our family was together, and home from the hospital, for good.
Eight and a half years later, do I have stressful days as a Mommy? Of course! Do I spend so much time on my knees praying that I need knee pads? Absolutely! However, I will never stop thanking God for the precious gifts we were given. Do I wish my story were normal, easier, maybe with less drama? Sometimes yes, but mostly no, because through all the impossibilities, God showed Himself to be the Maker of Miracles we read about it the Bible. I am so thankful for my three miracle babies. I just think back 12 years ago, to where this story began, to realize how special their beginning was and how full of purpose their lives are – and because of them I have come to know God in a very personal way.