The really horrible, terrible, very bad day
Romans 5:3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
The day I went to see Betty in hospital, I had just had my 12 week baby scan so I was able to show her the scan photo of baby bean rubbing her eyes. Little did I know that was the last time I would see either of them.
At 17 weeks pregnant I started to get slight spotting and cramping pains. I prayed like mad and left it a day, and then unable to ignore it any further I went to the triage department at the maternity wing of the hospital. I prayed all the way there. I got people I knew to pray. I declared promises from the Bible, I thanked God, I prayed every kind of prayer I could think of. I pleaded with God to let Baby be okay for my other children’s sake who were so desperate for a baby brother or sister.
At the hospital they asked questions, they did tests, they took samples, they looked at my notes. “I’m sure everything’s fine” they said, “but we’ll take a listen to baby’s heart to put your mind at rest”. When they couldn’t find it using the manual method, the midwife found a radiographer with a mobile scanning unit to come down and take a look. After a few moments, she looked at me and said, “I really didn’t expect to be giving you this news. We were really doing this just to put your mind at rest as we were sure everything was fine. I think you know what I’m going to say…… there is no heart beat…..”
I wept heart-broken tears, but even then I didn’t give up hope. I texted a couple of people, “Baby has no heart beat. They’re going to do another scan to check. Pray it comes back to life”.
I laid hands on my womb and prayed and begged and pleaded for the baby to come back to life before the next scan.
The next scan showed that baby wasn’t the right size for 17 weeks, so it must have died at some point earlier.
I cried till my eyes swelled. My mum came to hospital and we cried together. Joe came to hospital and we cried some more. I cried thinking about how on earth I was going to tell Isaac my 10 year old what had happened.
Not only were all those prayers unanswered, but it seemed like hundreds of other prayers had been ignored too.
The reason I was at home and able to go to hospital for a check up was that I was waiting in for a boiler repairman to come and fix the boiler. This would have been the 7th time they came out to try and stop the leak and in the meantime the kitchen floor had got completely ruined. A man from the insurance company was also coming to assess the floor. The short story is that the boiler repairman came 6 hours late and did nothing on the boiler and the insurance company rejected our claim for the floor.
It was a really horrible, terrible, very bad day!
When that thing happens that we know we couldn’t cope with and we know we couldn’t survive – but we do
I didn’t think I’d sleep that night, but amazingly I did.
Before I left hospital they gave me a tablet to start labour and I had to go back into hospital on the Sunday morning to ‘deliver’ the baby.
That day loomed like a spectre in a graveyard over my mind that weekend. I have never dreaded anything quite so much. It was that thing that I never thought I could cope with, happening to me. We all have those things that we think, ‘if that happened to me, I couldn’t cope’.
Well here it was. It was happening and I couldn’t stop it happening and my faith hadn’t stopped it from happening.
Saturday passed in a mushy blur of numbness and tears. Aware that I had a dead baby in my womb that could be causing infection, which was making me paranoid and feel poorly at the thought of it. But I survived another day.
Sunday morning dawned early for me as I woke at 5am with severe cramping pains. By 6am I was in full blown labour and had to get everyone up to get to hospital. I would have most definitely given birth at home, but for the lack of a key medicine I hadn’t yet been given. I got into hospital around 7.30am and the baby was ‘born’ very soon after.
Then another day of unanswered prayer. The placenta didn’t come away as it should have done, so several hours later I was prepped for surgery. Because I had been given toast a few hours earlier, I couldn’t be put to sleep so had to have the operation awake with a spinal anesthetic. It was so traumatic and I was shaking uncontrollably all the way through and for quite some time afterwards.
As a woman we can cope with these things when we know there is a little bundle of life to hold and love afterwards, but to go through all this for no reward at the end is just inexplicably painful.
Were my prayers answered? NO. most definitely not. Certainly not in the way I wanted.
Did I survive? Yes. Have I coped? Yes.
Do I still love and trust God? Yes.
I heard a voice on the Monday as I prayed saying to me, ‘are you still talking to him then?’.
Straight away my spirit answered, ‘yes. Who else has the words of eternal life? To who else would I turn?’
I don’t know why my prayers throughout the whole of this month seem to have gone unanswered, but I know this. I have survived what I thought would be too much to bear, but I have borne it. I have been uplifted in prayer by many many people, as a family we have had unbelievable support and care from church friends, work friends, other friends and family. Relationships have been restored, friendships have been re-kindled. We are closer as a family and as a couple than ever before.
Although I have no idea what the future holds, I still have hope in my heart.
I know that God loves me and has a plan for my life. I know that the Holy Spirit has been my comforter and strengthened me through this whole period.
I know above all else that God is love, God is good and He will never leave me nor forsake me.