Friday, February 09, 2007

Seeing Red

What can be more shocking for a pregnant woman than to see red? Not the Valentine's box kind of red, but the bloody type? Despite our painful past (3 pregnancies traumatically ending at or around 24 weeks) I wasn't ready for red. Not even kinda. I had surgery three weeks ago to correct a shortening cervix so, I knew there would be bleeding for a few days after that and, as expected, it went away. But a week later, it reappeared. When I went to the doctor, I lay like a dead woman in the exam room.

It was the day before my 24th week and my heart couldn't forget what happened the last time I went in for a 24 week appointment. I couldn't forget the time before that, or the time before that either. I was in such a zone I couldn't even hear the nurse's pre-admission questions.

At this particular hospital, the staff on the labor and delivery floor knows me very well because I work so closely with their grieving patients and my book, Stolen Angels, is a part of their bereavement package.

My husband was sending me "I love you" vibes from his seat by the bed. The nurse nervously fiddled with everything in the room. The doctor tried to engage us in comforting banter, but everyone was really just waiting to find out what the exam would reveal.

Well, it turns out the bleeding had nothing to do with my surgery or the baby. It was just some old blood that had collected under the placenta and finally decided to drain out. Can you imagine my relief? Probably not, so I'll just say it was beyond any euphoria I can describe.

I learned so much about myself after this experience.

First, I have to emphasize that if you have experienced a previous loss, please -PLEASE - PLEASE - achieve some level of true healing before trying again. It is so much easier said than done, but peace of mind may be a thing of the past if you haven't allowed time for emotional and spiritual healing.

Second, faith truly is an action verb. As a believer, if I tell myself and others that I trust God to heal my body, I must speak it, walk it and live it. To ask for healing then continue to worry and speak as if I’m not healed says a lot about what's in my heart. I have to sometimes block out what my senses tell me, what the doctor says and what friends say and cling to that which I cannot see. That’s how I know I’m walking by faith. Also, it’s important to use spiritual wisdom as my guide, not fear.

Third, just because I experience human reactions throughout my pregnancy doesn't mean I don't have faith. When I do experience fear, what do I do next? Do I pray or do I worry? Do I speak the Word over my body and situation? What types of messages do I tell myself? ("I am healed"; "Help me have faith, Lord"; or "Oh my goodness, my baby is going to die!") At times, I feel completely discouraged, I'm reminded of the past and I break down and cry, but I won't allow myself to stay broken.

Fourth, if I ask God and believe, I will receive - If it is God's will. I'm in a place where I don't keep trying to figure out if it is God's will for me to have this baby before I'll start believing. I won't let the past dictate whether I'm going to trust God with this pregnancy. Besides, I want God's will for my life. Don't get me wrong ... I don't want or like the accompanying pain that can come with God's way, so I have to continuously renew my mind through prayer and study.

Finally, faith is hard work, and I found I can't always do it alone. I have the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer partners that help me when the strength to believe is no where to be found (or so I think).

If you are experiencing a complicated pregnancy after loss, stay encouraged and empowered ... your hope, faith, joy and peace are truly worth working and fighting for.


Anonymous said...

Sounds terrifying! I'm glad the baby is doing okay ... I just don't know if I could react the same way after so many disappointments. It seems like you are taking a lot from the things that have happened in your life. I'm going to try to get some sort of life lesson from my loss, too. Thanks for sharing and I am impressed by the book, too.

Willie :)
GMU 2002

Blue said...

Oh I am so glad everything is Ok. 24 weeks and counting. I continue to wish you well and remain in awe of your faith and strength.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that this child will be healthy and born at 37 weeks. What a relief to know you are ok, and the baby is doing well.