It seems forever since I wrote, but I have to pause today from the busyness of life to reflect on today – March 19th! Thirteen years ago, we welcomed into our lives a beautiful baby girl – a pure miracle! She was a lesson in FAITH, hope, and love!!!
This is our story (a brief version)… and I think it is important to stop and remember the stories of our lives, to put them in writing, to put them in perspective, to remind us of how far we have come, to encourage us on how far we have to go, to honor and celebrate those in our lives, etc. Through Mary God taught me to PREPARE to have FAITH!
Jim and I dated 5 years before marrying in 1992. I had graduated from nursing school and he was working inMorgantown(his still current employer). We had talked about having a large family, 4-6 children, and started trying within months after getting married. We became pregnant but had a miscarriage at 12 weeks and were devastated and heart broken. And then, we were no longer able to get pregnant. We did 2 ½ years of infertility treatments. For those who endure that situation, it is emotionally and physically exhausting and tries every piece of a marriage. The injections I had to give myself, the timing of everything, the temperatures, the medications, the multiple doctor appointments, the invasive testing, the lab work – it consumes you. And every month, you hold on and pray that this will be the one — only to discover another month passes without any success. It also tests you spiritually! How can God give children to people who abuse them, who do not want them, who do not believe in Him – BUT, will not give US a child? After 2 ½ years we stopped treatments and were told we would never have children of our own. I still cry thinking about that. So, we went on for a few years and resolved we would either be childless or would adopt and began doing research… Then something was different and I decided to pull out a pregnancy test from days of infertility treatment (p.s. you buy them by the case because every month you test a couple times because you are sure the first one is always wrong when it says you are not pregnant). Anyway, it said I was pregnant – so I did another one and another one… all positive. So, I went to the doctors and they said it is a true miracle (because my body no longer ovulated)!!!
MIRACLE #1 – pregnant!!! So, I signed up for a research study (thinking it couldn’t be worse than infertility treatment) and free baby ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy. So at 13 weeks I go in for the first exam for the study – the faces of the people changed around me, more physicians are called in, and I knew – something was wrong. I was assured the baby was fine and they should me all the organs, the fingers, the spine, etc… but they explained the problem was ME!! I had already started to dilate and would loose the child without emergency surgery. They placed me on flat bedrest, I had to do a course of antibiotics for a few days because the baby was already at risk for an infection due to leaking of fluid, and they did surgery in 3 days to basically sew the cervix closed to increase any chance to carry the child. At 13 weeks, I was placed on strict bedrest for the duration of the pregnancy. Our goal was to make it to 25 weeks pregnancy, but they did not have high hopes that I would even make it that far and if we did, no guarantees the physical harm to the baby. My “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” book was replaced with my high risk obstetrics books and my Neonatology ICU book. I ordered magazine subscriptions and the TV guide to fill my days… Days I spent in prayer… Jim was in EMT training so most days I was home alone all day and evenings… I prayed and prayed and prayed… I made arrangements to get to the doctors twice a week and every time I heard the heart beat, it was a reminder… JUST HAVE FAITH, JUST HAVE FAITH, JUST HAVE FAITH!! I developed diabetes so started insulin injections, had to take routine steroid injections in hopes to develop the lungs for an early delivery, the steroids caused my diabetes to go out of control so we continued to adjust the insulin. Every day pregnant was an answer to prayers! I had a few bleeding scares and since I am Rh- and Jim Rh+ – more injections to prevent complications… at 25 weeks I began bedrest with legs elevated high – anything to increase our chances. Every visit, the doctor’s are amazed that no infection had developed and that I was still pregnant – MIRACLE #2 – still pregnant and baby looked okay (I refused all the chromosomal tests, the amniocentesis, etc.. as had resolved God gave us this miracle and I would love the child NO matter what – plus if it was a positive for something I would dwell on that constantly on bedrest).
Around 36 weeks, something changed, the baby stopped moving – this couldn’t be happening. I remember crying out, Lord I have listened, I have prayed, I have obeyed every order… NOT NOW, NOT our baby!! So I get to the doctor’s and we do our normal non-stress test – the M&Ms and Grape Juice sugar rush don’t even make the baby move! We are all scared… We repeated it… and still no movement or response. There is a heartbeat but slowed and no baby activity… we head to the hospital! March 18, 1999 – induction is started, heartbeat is good, still little movement… PRAYERS upon PRAYERS upon PRAYERS!!! I wasn’t supposed to get pregnant… I wasn’t suppose to carry past 25 weeks… we defied those odds… and now we may still loose the baby. We needed another miracle…
MIRACLE #3 – MARY FAITH born at 2:47 am on March 19, 1999. We didn’t know we were having a girl, it didn’t matter. Our lives would forever be changed! She was tiny at 5 lb 13 oz (especially since I was diabetic throughout the pregnancy. She came home at 5 lb and in little preemie clothes because she was so small.
Her name –
MARY is after my mother who passed away in 1997. I truly believe that God took her home first to give me time to care for our daughter. My mom always said after my miscarriage it would be too hard to care for her and a child. I also tell Mary that Grandma Mary died and went to Heaven and asked God for a child for us and then hand selected her just for us! My mom would be so proud of her – Mary is beautiful from the inside out…
FAITH was the only fitting middle name for her. My faith was tested and strengthened throughout the pregnancy.
Now 13 years have passed… it seems like yesterday… HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY FAITH!!!