Thursday, August 25, 2011

God's faithfulness during tough pregnancy

During both of my pregnancies I have battled pre-eclampsia. Our son, was born around 35 weeks due to how severe the illness had become and the risk that I was under. During our second pregnancy with our daughter, we battled this again, but in more ways then one.
I am a military wife. Due to this, we have the blessing of having healthcare for free (although when you count the sacrifice military families make, it is hardly free). However, this limits us with our choice of doctors, treatments, and facilities. In the world of "free" healthcare, you do what you're told, don't question it, and if you do, you risk the military member of the family getting in trouble for not following orders. Having gone through pre-eclampsia before, I knew what to watch for, and I knew when it was starting. Although we are an Air Force family, we were assigned to the Naval Hospital due to us living away from the local Air Force base. The OB doctor that I was assigned to was someone I never would have chosen. He told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, that I was asking for useless tests, and that my requests for simple tests (bloodwork, urine tests) weren't "cost effective" for the military despite my knowledge and experience with the disease. He then told me that he didn't need tests, he would just induce me at 28 weeks. Of course, maternal instincts combined with pregnancy hormones overtook me, and I was filled with anger and bitterness. I knew that I did not want to be with a doctor that regarded costs over the welfare of our unborn child, and I just wanted as far away as possible.
My husband and I prayed about this, the military wouldn't let us go to another doctor or to a civilian doctor. I was becoming more concerned as things progressed with really no idea of what was happening because testing was not being completed. My anger and frustration at this point was turning into resignation as all the fight I had was producing nothing.
We ended up going to a friend's birthday party one evening. The whole family is an amazingly strong group of Christians. I spoke at length to my friend's mother who is not only pro-life- but actually gets out there and educates and spreads the word. An amazing person. I told her of my dilemma, and the problems we were having. She gave me some Bible verses to pray over, and specifically told me to ask the doctor if he was a Christian. After all of this, my heart felt lighter and we went to the next appointment.
At this appointment, I asked the doctor specifically if he was Christian. He was not. I then asked him if he was pro-life. He was not. With these responses, I knew that I did not want these hands to be the ones to bring our child into the world. I did not want hands that supported the pro-choice agenda touching my child which was a gift from God. At these responses, it was like a fire was renewed in me. I wasn't filled with the same anger, I was filled with a more constructive determination.
Through all of this, the pre-eclampsia was slowly and quietly sneaking in like it does. That is why it is so important to trust your body, your instincts, and God to lead you through this. We finally managed to get to another base doctor. He was a Christian, he listened, did the testing, and then sent me to a specialist off base at Sacred Heart. These specialists, also Christian, were amazing. They monitored me, listened to me, and cared for our unborn child like I was their only patient. Also, during this time and under their care, progression of the pre-eclampsia slowed down. Although some may say that this was because of proper medical care, I disagree. There is really nothing that can be done for this other then induction and monitoring. I know that this was God looking out for both me and our precious baby girl. I was able to go several weeks beyond the time that military doctor said, and allow our daughter to grow and mature more, greatly increasing her odds of survival.
I did have to be induced early, but at 34 weeks. Our little girl, at 4lbs 5 ounces, had to spend a week in the NICU, but she, and I, received the care we needed.
One night in the NICU I was sitting with our little girl. It was late, and I was one of the only Mom's around. Due to her body temperature regulation problems, I wasn't able to hold her, just stick my hand in the door of the incubator for a little while at a time and talk to her. I hadn't noticed it before, but they had a Christian radio station playing in the background. Amy Grant's song, "Better then a Hallelujah" came on. When I got back to my hospital room, I broke down. It was a mix and rush of emotions that I haven't felt before. I was so thankful that God had brought us this far and that our baby girl was doing as well as she was. However, I was terrified at the same time. I couldn't hold my child, I couldn't see her at the same time as my husband, I couldn't breast feed her. She sat there so tiny hooked up to so many tubes and monitors. I haven't been so scared in my life. I took that time and handed it all over to God. The fear, the thanks, everything. I put it all in his hands. I ended up praying until I fell asleep. At that point, I truly knew what that song was and why it played then to speak to my heart. God wants it all from us, not just the hallelujahs. I needed to stop trying to carry it all by myself.
The next morning when I went to the NICU, she had improved so much that she was able to downgrade a lower level in the NICU. I was so thankful. Eventually she was downgraded to level one. I was able to hold her, dress her, and give her the love that a mother longs to give her children. Her bassinet was close to the radio, and I took comfort that even during the times I could not be there, she was surrounded by words praising God.
I truly believe that God rewards us for our faithfulness and for not trusting our little ones to the hands of those that do and support such evil things. God showed me the time to fight, and God also showed me the time to give it up to him.
This is a true story. Visit the contributor's website. Also visit our gift shop for your maternity needs.

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