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Many of you will remember the story my sister-in-law wrote here on the blog about almost losing her baby to PPROM and the miracle that took place. If you have not read the first part of this story, you can read it here: PPROM, Faith, and A Miracle: Elaina’s Story.
Now, 9 months later, I have her back on the blog to tell the rest of her amazing story. I hope it encourages you today.
At my 19 week appointment with my MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) specialist, we began discussing the possibility of going to visit my toddler, Hollie.
Her birthday was in a few weeks, and I desperately wanted to be there for it. Surprisingly, my doctor saw no issue with it. And at the end of the conversation she was actually urging me to go! After all, I was not going to be put on hospital bedrest, and there was nothing she was doing for me there that a normal OB couldn’t. I was so excited, and my husband began to pack my bags for me that very night.
A few days later I was able to hug my sweet girl again! It was such a bittersweet moment. She had grown so much since last I had seen her and her speech had vastly grown. I was sad I had missed out on so much of her day-to-day learning, but happy that she had been well taken care of and loved at her Papa and Nana’s.
The first couple of weeks were hard on me. Hollie was accustomed to not having me around so when she was hurt or sad, she would go to her grandparents instead of me. I tried not to be jealous or let it hurt my feelings. After all, she wasn’t even 2 years old yet and her world had been turned upside-down.
Slowly, but surely she got used to having her momma back. With sticky fingers to wash and boo-boos to kiss, I stepped back into the role of motherhood, and I loved every second of it!
All too soon my husband, Michael had to go back to Ohio to work, and the weeks passed without much excitement. I kept going to the doctor’s office every two weeks, receiving good news each time, but we missed Michael terribly. It was so hard to face something so serious as PPROM states away from my sweetheart. I wouldn’t have been able to handle any of it without the strength that God gave me each day to face this trial.
Things quickly started looking up once I moved in with my in-laws. Even though things were getting better physically for my little lady I was still emotionally shaken. It was all too easy to let Satan bring back the fear and memory of what happened and what still could so easily go wrong.
Oh, and he loved to rub it in that I was “alone” in this and that my husband wasn’t there. Sometimes it got to be so much I would find it hard just to breathe from all the fear surrounding me.
But God is a God of mercy, and He is my Heavenly Father. He knew His child needed more help, and so He worked out another miracle so Michael could move in with Hollie and I! I was ecstatic and Hollie was overflowing with joy. For days she would see her daddy come home from work and run in circles while squealing from pure delight that we were once again a family.
Could things get any better? In fact, they could.
By the time I reached 30 weeks, I was put on moderate bedrest. It felt great to do little things here and there. And the walking! Walking! Who knew you could miss such a simple task so much. At first, I would tire out easily. Just a few minutes of walking would leave me shaking. But it didn’t take too long for me to get used to it once again.
Along came week 34 – the week I was originally praying to make it to. The week they would have induced me and I would meet my baby – ready or not. The week I would plunge head first into the world of NICU for the long haul. But now everything was so different. Instead of tubes and IVs and sleepless nights in a hospital, my bedrest was completely lifted! I could take a bath or walk as much as I liked.
I felt like jumping for joy! But that’s usually not a good idea for any pregnant lady to do. So Instead we praised the Lord for the safety He provided and the miracle He preformed.
At this point, it was crunch time. I had anywhere from 4-6 weeks to try to prepare for labor. With my first pregnancy, I walked 1-2 miles, exercised almost daily, and ate healthy. My all-natural labor was a breeze and was over in just two hours! This go-round I didn’t get many walks (she was due in January in a snow state) and comfort food was my friend during bedrest, so I knew I wasn’t in the best physical shape for labor.
Then one night it finally happened. The oh-so-annoying Braxton Hicks wouldn’t stop. It was about midnight when I finally gave up on trying to get some sleep. Michael was already asleep so I snuck out of bed, grabbed my water, and hit those halls at a fast pace! If I wasn’t going to get any sleep that night then I might as well have a baby!
By the time my contractions were three minutes apart, a snow storm had hit. Even though I wasn’t in any pain, I decided to wake my hubby and see if he thought we should start the 30 minute trek to the hospital. At 3 a.m., we packed up the bags, woke my mother-in-law to let her know, and left to go meet our miracle baby!
Talk about disappointing. I just couldn’t believe it. By the time we made it to the town the hospital was in, my contractions had slowed to 5-7 minutes apart. I fought back tears. I was so ready for this scary pregnancy to be over. I didn’t want labor to stop!
We talked it over and decided to “borrow” the staircase at the local hotel. If you want to get a funny look from someone, go ask a hotel desk worker if you can march up and down their staircase at 3:30 a.m.! The poor young lady was so confused, but kindly gave us permission.
Up and down that staircase I went with a mini-lunge after each step. After about an hour, things were back to being consistent and were actually a little more intense. We shuffled through the snow and back to our car. We grabbed a quick bite to eat since the hospital wouldn’t let me eat once admitted and checked in.
It was after hours, so we had to go through the E.R. Things still didn’t hurt and apart from being tired, I was just peachy. Because I wasn’t screaming and writhing in pain, the gentleman at the E.R. desk had to ask me what I thought was wrong. I explained that I was in labor and needed to check into the maternity ward. He just stared at us in confusion. I insisted I really was in labor, checked in, and heard him whisper to his co-worker as we walked to the elevators, “She’s really not in labor. There’s no way.”
My husband and I smiled and shared a laugh as we got onto the elevator.
Once to the room, the nurse checked me. I was at 4 cm and 100% effaced. It was show time. By 6 a.m., though, nothing had changed. We walked the halls for almost the entire time. I had tried several different positions and I was still stuck at 4 cm. I was getting tired and ready to be done. The doctor stopped in to check my progress and once again offered me sad news. He advised that I should go home. He figured it was false labor since I wasn’t progressing and if I stopped moving, contractions slowed. I was so bummed!
We decided to give it a few more hours. So with an aching back, throbbing feet, and Jell-O for legs, we hit that hallway at double time! We were doing laps around other couples. I was determined to have this baby! Fast forward two more hours and I had reached a whopping 5 cm.
I had been praying the entire time that I would be at 8 cm when they checked next, but God is not a magic genie that grants our every wish. The doctor came in again and the nurse updated him on my progress. This time he offered to break my water.
We hesitated. If he broke my water and I still wasn’t progressing, a C-section would be inevitable. I desperately DID NOT want surgery. Yes, I would do it in a heartbeat if the baby was in danger, but I didn’t want to put her in that position either. We thought and prayed about the pros and cons and opted for a little help.
Oh, the irony! God has a sense of humor for sure. At first my water broke on its own too early and now it had to be ruptured for me.
Immediately after my water broke, the contractions were intense and increasingly painful. I began to wish they could somehow put the amniotic fluid back in! OUCH! Those contractions killed! With my firstborn things hurt, but never THIS bad. I tried breathing techniques, laboring in the shower, exercise ball, and different positions, but nothing touched the pain.
Even in this, the Lord is was so merciful to me. Only 30 minutes of agonizing labor and all of a sudden I was pushing at the next contraction. I all but sprinted to the bed and clamored in. Quickly the nurse left the room to get the doctor. He came in and did the final check, and I was at that glorious number – 10 cm! And she was already crowning.
A little after lunchtime, just 15 minutes later, I was actually holding the child that so many thought would not live. The sweet miracle child was in her momma’s arms. Our earnest prayers had been answered in the most precious way… life. Our daughter lived. Not only did she live, but she was perfectly healthy and average in every way.
Some of you may be wondering if we are done having children. We aren’t. Well, not unless the Lord decides we are done, but we are praying for more. Even with such a previously scary pregnancy, we want more children.
Some doctors have told us that once you have PPROM there is a 30% chance of it recurring. Others say there is a 15% chance, and some say there is an increased risk because they don’t know what caused my water to break in the first place. To us, it doesn’t really matter. Our God is bigger than statistics and he can preform another miracle!
I don’t know why PPROM happened to me. And I can honestly say that even though God worked a miracle and my daughter survived, I wish it hadn’t happened. All the tears and late nights wondering if she would die or if she would be on oxygen for the rest of her life was no fun. But by God’s grace, I came through that trial and am now able to encourage others facing PPROM. I believe that’s why it happened – so that God could use our terrifying circumstance for His glory and to save other babies’ lives.
I desperately wish all the people reading this today had such a happy ending. Unfortunately, in this fallen world it is not always the case. Why? I don’t know. All I do know is no matter what God is good.
I do not say these things lightheartedly. My life is not untouched by the cares and pains of this world. I pray you find the miracle God worked for my daughter reassuring and with the belief that God is good and still can preform a miracle. Here are some verses that I hope will encourage you in this as they did me.
- “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. “ – Psalms 27:13
- “Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” – John 13:7
- “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
- “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7