Last night during Tahu, it became obvious that something was terribly wrong in my body and that our baby's life was threatened. We rushed back to our home to call Shirley (our midwife) and the seriousness with which she directed us to get to the hospital only confirmed our feelings of fear and heartbreak.
I cried, and Richard prayed, most of the drive and we were both grateful and surprised to realize that Shirley had come to meet us there. While we waited for the doctor, she asked questions to get a better idea of what might be happening, and finally concluded that things looked pretty serious. She prayed for and with us in the triage room before getting her Doppler out. "I don't want to give you false hope," she cautioned, "because there is a very good chance that you may lose your baby tonight, but I have seen miracles in worse situations." I don't think my heart was very open to a fragile beam of hope at that moment. She turned her Doppler on and a strong little heartbeat sounded on it - I don't know which of the three of us was the most amazed. I was also baffled. It actually seemed impossible. A little hope took hold firmly in my heart.
The doctor was able to use ultrasound to let us see what was going on. Again, impossibly baffled, I watched my baby happily flipping, wiggling and spinning around, oblivious to the drama on the outside. Twenty minutes prior, I was sure - beyond a doubt - that this child was lost to me.
The conclusion, based on the scan, was that a part of the placenta was tearing or detaching. The doctor cautioned us that either the site would heal and our baby would continue to grow (in which case we would be watching for adequate growth) or that the damage would become more extensive and the entire placenta would detach. She said our chances were about 50/50.
We're asking for prayers. We are hopeful and peaceful - even joyful - the child that was dead to us is alive again and there is tremendous hope. To go from that kind of abrupt heartache to instant proof of life was nothing short of astonishing. We're also taking the doctor's caution seriously and Richard has not so much as permitted me to sit up straight all day. So our prayer is for grace and peace and hope - and for the ability to completely surrender to God's plan. If the Lord's will is that this child lives, we pray that his life may glorify God. If the Lord wills to take him directly to Himself, we pray that his departure may serve the purposes of the One who loves him best. Our hope is for life.
On a sidenote, since these events unfolded during a Tahu evening, Bernadette was sleeping and Maria was delighting in the company of her absolute favorite New Zealander, Katie, who kindly babysits for us once a week. So our children's well-being was completely remembered by Divine Providence. However (and about this I really would like to have a word with God at some point) I was arrayed for a skit, with my hair spray painted neon orange, thick layers of makeup and facepaint caked on my skin, and a ridiculous assortment of Maria's dress-up clothes, play jewelry and silly accessories covering my body. Even in the state I was in, I absolutely refused to go to the hospital like that and took the fastest shower in recorded history before we left. While it seemed like the most egregious, incongruous, unthinkable anomaly at the time, this bit of the story did provide excellent comic relief for us, Shirley and the nurses, once we had ample proof that our baby was ok.