In 1982, after our first son was born I had an IUD implanted. Less than 18 months later, I realized I might be having miscarriages. On the way to a woman’s retreat, I confessed my feelings to some friends. One lady spoke up and asked, “What are you going to do about it?!” I realized I could do something and when we got back home I called the doctor as soon as I could, I knew I was pregnant.
When I saw Dr. C, the OB/GYN, he and I argued over whether or not I could be pregnant. His thinking was that the CU-7 would prevent any pregnancy so it was impossible. I finally told him that I wasn’t leaving until he did a pregnancy test. He relented and after a long wait for the lab, came back and said I was right. Then he said, “We have to get that thing out of there!” He did not know whether the baby would survive the IUD removal and was honest with me. I asked him when I should come back if the baby lived.
Two weeks later, I called the doctor back and made an appointment.
Fast forward to 7 or 8 months, I am big with child. A man knocked me to the dairy barn floor and began beating and kicking me with his steel toed milk boots. I began praying as I curled around my belly as best I could to protect the baby. Some time later, I walked to the house. I could not stand up straight for the cramps. When I went to the bathroom there was spotting. I laid in the bed and stayed there all the next day praying. Someone came to the door and when I didn’t answer, they came to the bedroom window to see if I was still alive. They asked me if I could get up and I said, “I think I better not.”
Fast forward. My husband woke me up, told me that I had been moaning in my sleep for some time, and that we should probably get to the hospital 30 miles or so away. As soon as we got there, they put a fetal heart monitor on the baby. I had learned how to read one when one of the older two came so I asked the nurse to show me how this one worked and she did, then she left. That training came from the Lord, I know because the very next contraction came and as I watched the monitor I saw my baby’s heart rate fall to 5. That’s 5 beats a minute. When it recovered, it only went back up to about 15. I punched the nurse call button and told her what I saw. She returned and watched through one more contraction. Then it was code blue. The doctor flew in with some orderlies and they tried moving the cord by flipping me back and forth. It didn’t work. They tried a couple of other things and then we all flew down the hall to surgery. I had an emergency caesarean.
I remember getting to see the baby as he was wheeled one way and I another. His APGAR was a 2. Later, the pediatrician – Dr. E C, came to see me. He gently explained that lack of oxygen causes brain death and that while the baby was alive, we would not know how brain damaged he was until he was older. I told the doctor all that had happened and said, “I’m going to keep praying.” Dr. C (Ped) said he would, too, and that he would come back in the morning and try the test again.
I remembered from television shows that when people face bleak circumstances they get a Bible and read the 24th Psalm (at least that’s what I thought!). I also remembered that hospitals also have Gideon Bibles, so I asked the nurse to look in the drawers I could not reach until she found the Bible. I opened it and quickly learned I had the address wrong but no matter. I began reading and praying: ” yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” and so much more. I did not understand how they were supposed to be a comfort, but I did believe God does not bring us a little of the way to let go.
The next day, Dr. C (Ped) returned and almost jumped into my room! “The baby’s APGAR is an 8!”
That baby is now a young man, alive and well as we speak. His last IQ test measured at 138.
I was actually looking for the 23rd Psalm.