When Pain is the Answer to Prayers
Many of you know my family and I have been praying to get pregnant for a few years. That prayer was answered this past February. We were of course over the moon about the news, but my due date came fairly close to a Time Out for Women event in Phoenix (which we had been scheduled for several months before the positive pregnancy test). Nevertheless, I trusted in the Lord’s timing. He knew my schedule. He knew I wanted to attend that event. As the event drew closer I often asked the Lord if I should go or stay home. My answer was never clear, so I decided to just move ahead. “I’m going to Phoenix," I would tell Him, but then always added, “But PLEASE stop me if it’s not safe for my baby.” The Tuesday morning before our Phoenix event I woke up with some pain in my abdomen. I tried to brush it off but as I hurried my kids out the door for school it continued to get worse. My doctor advised me to head to the hospital to be monitored.
Truth be told, I was a little bugged.
With the Phoenix event on Saturday and my nice, scheduled C-section the week after, my to-do list was rather long. My house was a disaster, my hospital bags were not packed. My 4 year old was still in PJs, and I was in my usual morning attire of sweats.
As I lay on the hospital bed the pains began to get worse. The nurses were initially baffled, and concluded I had been overdoing it and maybe torn some ligaments, which sort of increased my antsy-ness to get out of there. After 2 hours they were about to send me home, but decided to wait a little longer to get the OK from my doctor.
I was alone in the room, hoping the Tylenol I just took would kick in and release me from this inconvenience. But then I started getting worse. The pain was starting to take my breath away. After 2 extremely painful episodes the head L&D nurse came in and told me they would be doing the C section that day. I started sobbing. But my list! My ridiculous, unimportant list of things to do! And what about Phoenix? How would Whitney and Soni perform without me? I worried over the insane amount of work they would have to do to adjust because of the position I was putting them in. I quickly (and tearfully) called my husband to tell him we would be having a baby that day and to hurry to the hospital. My doctor was finishing up a delivery at another hospital but would come as soon as he could. The nurse spoke calmly--assuring me that they would both make it, and this was a happy time! (“Yes it is," I sobbed.) As she was prepping me for an IV I had another spasm of pain, far worse than anything else I had experienced. And at the same time, my baby’s heart rate dropped.
This inspired nurse stopped what she was doing, grabbed the baby’s heart monitor, and then started calling for the other nurses. She started to give orders, then turned to me and said, “We need to get her out now. I’m so sorry, your husband won’t make it.” The following 5 minutes were a blur. Here and there I would catch phrases like, “Her uterus has completely ruptured," and, "We’re losing the baby." Being strapped to a bed as they ran me down the hall, all I could do was pray out loud. “Please Heavenly Father. Please help my baby.” Repeated over and over.
I have never been more terrified. With no time for epidurals or spinal blocks, the only option was to be put under. The thought of being alone and not knowing if she would be OK or not was almost too much.
The next thing I knew I was waking up in a room with my husband, parents, and sister. Our baby had made it, and was doing great. Over the next few days I would hear multiple stories--similar experiences with much more heartbreaking outcomes. Babies losing lives, even mothers losing lives. Nurses and doctors were constantly reminding me that my baby and I were both miracles. By the time we were able to finally bring her home from the NICU she had earned the nickname “the miracle baby.” And as I write this post she is happily snoring in the swing next to me.
I’ve thought about the many prayers I said during this entire experience, and the one that sticks out the most is my plea to, "Stop me if it’s not safe for my baby.” The answer to that prayer came in the form of pain. A literal physical pain that would take me to the hospital, putting me in the right spot at the right time. It most definitely stopped me from going to the Phoenix event, but even more it kept my baby safe. Had that rupture happened anywhere but the hospital we would have lost her.
I was reminded that oftentimes the Lord use our pain to answer our prayers. He uses the pain (what we don't want) to put us in the right place to be blessed (what we DO want). More than ever, I understand the lyrics from our song Blessings:
What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near? What if trials of this life- the rain, the storm, the darkest nights- are your mercies in disguise?
(To purchase Blessings, click here.)
How grateful I am for a wise Heavenly Father who loves me enough to answer my prayers- even when it hurts a little.
Get your Christmas Concert tickets here!Salt Lake City, Dec. 11th: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/mercy-river-8648902467?s=48492233 Sandy, Dec. 12th: https://sandy.utah.gov/government/community-events/christmas-concerts.html