Do you ever stop and think about a time when you were pregnant in the hot and sticky month of August when it is 90 degrees in the shade and say to yourself, “I just want to get this baby out because I am uncomfortable in this heat?” Many times we have all said this I am sure. Harmless remark right? Well, it depends on who is listening to that. You see, there is a population of about 15 million babies born each year prematurely for numerous causes. All of those moms wish they could say in the heat of August, I wish I was pregnant until full term, despite how uncomfortable that is.
My son was born at 27 weeks (13 weeks early). He weighed 1lb 10oz and was given a 5% chance of survival at birth. When I was pregnant with him my blood pressure went up to 220/110, labeled silent stroke level because there were no symptoms. My blood and urine tests, as well as the physical appearance of my legs, hands, and body all, gave the appearance of a perfect pregnancy progressing. One unsuspecting day, I had an ultrasound and was told by the sonographer that I had extremely high blood pressure and needed immediate hospitalization. This went on for several weeks 3 admissions in and out of the high-risk unit at the hospital. My doctor could no longer take care of me and he transferred me to a high-risk perinatologist who specialized in high-risk pregnancies.
When I went to see the high-risk doctor, he said, “you have a reverse flow and need to be hospitalized for the remainder of the pregnancy.” He hospitalized me on the spot. He said, “I am in fear for both of your lives.” I asked the doctor if I was to stay for 13 weeks and he indicated that he was giving me 2 weeks before the baby would be born. He reassured me that he would do everything possible to keep the baby inside as long as he and I were safe. There was a reverse flow in my placenta that was not providing nutrients to the baby. When my blood pressure was controlled, it prevented the blood to flow freely to the baby, when it was high he was receiving all that he needed. Quite a dilemma to face for a doctor. The doctor indicated that we were both in danger if he saved me the baby could die, if he saved the baby, I could die.
One unsuspecting morning it happened, the baby had a drop in his heart rate and was crashing fast, his heart rate went into the 60’s all alarms at the nurse’s station went off and this time they could not get his heart rate up. An emergency C-section had to be done to save him. He was given a 5% chance of survival. He overcame a few critical moments over the next few weeks, only to find out that one kidney was failing. It had shriveled up and was not functioning, but the doctor said the other one was taking over, so he should be okay. However another setback came, he had three tumors on the only kidney he had left. They were inoperable and without a kidney, he could not live. He was too young for dialysis and too fragile for a transplant. They watched the tumors and they were just there, his kidney functioned and the tumors were not growing.
Five months later he was sent home on multiple medications, tube feedings, breathing treatments, therapy and numerous doctor’s appointments. A week after discharge, we saw the kidney doctor. Before he went home, an ultrasound and scan revealed the tumors were still there. The doctor ordered a new ultrasound to be done. This was done 7 days after he came home. We received a call immediately after arriving from the ultrasound that we needed to go back the next day and have the test repeated and come to his office after that. We prayed as we thought that he was not doing well. When we saw the doctor, he showed us all three scans, the one in the hospital from birth through discharge showed the tumors; the two taken after he went home did not have a sign of the tumors. The doctor was baffled, he said, “this is impossible, how can this be?” My husband and I looked at each other and smiled as my husband said, “it is a miracle from God, he has been healed.” We explained to the doctor that we had trouble getting pregnant for several years and God gave us this child, so we had faith that if He gave him to us, He would not take him away. When this problem arose with his kidney we started a prayer chain and everyone prayed for him. The doctor was amazed. So the next time that you hear about someone wanting to deliver early because they are tired of being pregnant, remember this story and those countless other stories that bring 15 million births every year born early.
So today this is how I count my miracles, my son is 7 years old, full of energy and healthy. I counted my miracles by starting a nonprofit organization called The Gift of Life to help support parents of premature babies. Watch the video to learn more.