I was at my nieces gymnastics event this weekend when I saw the doctor who had a hand in saving my life seven years ago this summer. (Her daughter also is a gymnast.)
I didn’t actually speak with her. I don’t know if she would recognize me, even if I presented myself as “Hey, I’m the girl who almost died!” If I did talk to her, it would be my inclination to hug her because thankfulness fleshes itself out in me like that but that might not go over very well either.
Anyway, I have testified of God’s hand on my life at that time but it’s been years ago and I have never written about it here. So, I thought today I would memorialize His faithfulness and miracle-working power!
It was May of 2005 and I was at home with my little ones who were seven and six years old at the time. I was standing in the doorway between my kitchen and living room when I distinctly heard God say, “You’re going to have another baby.” I was not pregnant (or at least didn’t know it yet and wasn’t even trying to be). But true to His word, I missed my next cycle and was completely thrilled at the prospect of another little one to love!
I couldn’t wait for the round belly, flutters and tumbles of pregnancy and even more than that, the moment when the waiting was over and I could meet this one God had given me.
Everything was going well that first month and I had a new doctor because my previous doctor had retired. You know how you have a gut feeling when you meet someone? That can’t explain it, don’t feel right about this feeling? Well, I had that but I thought, Dr. V put this guy in charge, so he must be capable. And, bonus, Sheri, was still the nurse and I loved her. (Still do!)
At the end of July, I was at my in-laws house and began to have some spotting. I called the doctor and they brought me in for a ultrasound. The baby was still intact and they sent me home to rest. I was the perfect patient. I did everything I was supposed to do.
A few days passed and it was still spots here and there but one night, the bleeding just wouldn’t quit. I remember laying on the couch and calling Sheri in the middle of the night and she was the voice of calm. I prayed with all my might that the baby would be OK but it wasn’t and when I had gone to the doctor, it was confirmed that my little Kate Marie had gone. (That’s also that name that God gave me, so I’ll take His Word on that too.)
In the days that followed, the pain continued and the bleeding did not slow down. Several calls to the doctor were to no avail.
I was standing in my kitchen and was listening to Focus on the Family and they just happened to be talking about ectopic pregnancies and I heard it in my spirit. Again, the gut feeling but because it was a “bad” report, I ignored it, disregarding it as God.
A few days later, on a Friday, I had gotten out of bed and got right into cleaning. There was chili in the crock pot and I was climbing up on the chair to get some dishes down when the most revolting pain I have ever experienced hit me so hard, I knew I was going to die. I seriously could not stand on my feet, nor could I sit down, it was devastatingly bad. I called my mom, who lived nearby but got no answer. I tried my grandparents. Nothing. I called my husbands work and he left to come home immediately but he had about a 40 minute drive home.
I lay on my bed weeping, the kids coming to me with fear in their eyes. I sent them back to the living room to put in a movie and I closed my eyes. That’s when I saw her, my baby and I felt it… the pull to go to her and hold her and the thought came. “I can just go to heaven and be with my baby.” And that’s when it hit like a jolt of lightning! The voice of a protective, jealous God who would not allow my life to be snuffed out. He said, “Life and death are in the power of your tongue. Say it! I will live and not die!” At the same time, He took me to the living room (while I was still laying on my bed) and I saw my sweet little faces there, gazing at the television and I felt angry. Like momma bear angry! “How dare he come and try to take me from them? They need me!!”
I screamed it! “I WILL LIVE AND NOT DIE TO DECLARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD!”
Moments later it seemed, John came through the back door and into the bedroom and almost simultaneously my mother came through the front door, into my little ones. John put me in the car, laying down because I could not sit and drove me to the doctor’s office.
While examining me, and after hearing my screams, the doctor rudely said, “I am leaving today to go out-of-town, golfing. I’m going to be late because you must have a DNC.”
Again, the pain was so repulsive, I was relieved to hear he would do something. Anything, please.
They did the procedure and I remember when I was coming out of it and still very groggy, I could still feel the immense pain and asked the nurse, “Why does it still hurt?” And she said, “You’ll feel better soon.”
The doctor came in and patted me and said, “There was nothing. Everything looks fine but I am suspicious.”
He left to go golfing. The end.
On Monday, I got a call from the nurse who called to see how I was doing. She told me that my pregnancy hormone levels were still very high after the DNC, indicating that I still had a pregnancy. She said that those numbers would need to be monitored and that they would like me to come in next Monday to have blood work done to see if there were any changes.
I went and had the blood work. The numbers were a little lower but still too high. I was still bleeding. Shouldn’t have been so.
And then, the niggling feeling. Something isn’t right. Again, the voice of Dr. James Dobson was ringing in my ears, ectopic pregnancy.
My dear friend Robbin had called to pray with me one day about mid-August and said, “Stacey, I really think you should find another doctor.” So, I did.
This time, Dr. C came on the scene and she was my knight in shining armor. She did some blood work, but no ultrasound. She asked where my pain was during the miscarriage and helped me understand that any pain on the right or the left is dangerous when miscarrying. She was the first doctor to say, “You had an ectopic pregnancy.” But she also assured me that my numbers were coming down nicely and she felt my body was taking care of itself.
Weeks passed and I was still bleeding but finally nearing the end of August, I was feeling almost myself. We had taken the kids to an amusement park before school started and while there, I felt some very sharp pains from my womb to my chest. I also had to stop on several occasions because I wasn’t feeling right.
The next day, my husband and I visited his aunt and when we left, I had a terrible pain again. I remember saying to him, this isn’t right. So I called to make an appointment and the mid-wife saw me that day and reported that my numbers were nearly normal but that we should have an ultrasound just to be safe. My mom had given me a ride and I didn’t want to make her late so I scheduled for the next morning.
When I got out of bed, I hesitated to go and almost cancelled but thankfully didn’t.
When I had the ultrasound done, the screen showed black on my entire left side. The technician did not know what she was looking at. She called for the doctor who also did not know what he was looking at but he made me wait in the waiting room so that he could personally hand me my films and results and urged me to go straight to my doctor immediately. He even called Dr. C’s office for me.
My legs were jelly. I don’t know how I even made it to the office. I was alone and scared. I called the church and someone prayed for me and after that, there was strength and peace.
The doctor didn’t know what to make of it but she knew she needed to go in there. It was near the end of her day and she said, ‘How about tomorrow morning?” I said, “Ok.” but inside it wasn’t ok. All this time, I was walking around with this but the fear came that one more night was all it would take and I’d be gone.
So, I prayed, “God, please. If you want to wait for tomorrow, I will but right now I feel like death is coming for me. Can you make it sooner?”
Almost right away, there was a knock at my door and the doctor said, “How about let’s do it tonight? How’s 5 PM? Meet me at the hospital with an overnight bag. I’m going to keep you probably for one night.”
Talk about elated!! Faith was living so big in me that I was beaming! I could literally feel the light of God in my being. There is no other way to describe it. My pastor came before the surgery to pray for me but I didn’t need her. That is not pride speaking either. She could probably tell you that herself. I was at such peace.
I remember coming out of anesthesia and hearing the nurse saying, “Just look at that. I don’t know how she was walking around. She should have been dead. It’s a miracle.”
When the doctor came in, she told me that my tube measured 9 cm. That didn’t mean a thing to me but then she explained that a fallopian tube will rupture at between 4-5 cm and mine measured 9!!?!!? It had begun to rupture and then somehow twisted on itself, not releasing the full throttle gush that would have caused me to bleed to death. It was like a balloon with a tear in it and then twisted to keep the flow, slow and steady. My entire stomach cavity was filled with blood (which would be the cause for pain in my stomach every time I took a step.) and they had to scrape everything and remove the tube.
It was a small price to pay in return for my life. It was a miracle. My miracle and only one of many in my life. This I know.
I know my God had His hand on me. I know my God is faithful and today, I choose to take this time to just remember and be thankful and to tell all the world how I love Him!! I am blessed beyond measure!