“Will you die for him?” Those words stayed with me long after seeing the movie The 7th Sign. Demi Moore’s character is pregnant and she discovers through many twists and turns that there are no more souls in the “Guf” and her baby will not survive unless she offers up her own for him. She dies to save him and of course, the world. Well, I have yet to be in a position to save the world (maybe someday) but I have heard those words.
In a previous post I told my teen mom story but my pro-life story does not end there. Nearly 10 years later I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I was unable to eat anything, vomiting at even the sight of food. Nothing, not even water would stay down. I lost pound after pound and could barely function. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum or HG. I was put on IV feedings in order to keep me alive. After 8 weeks I was taken off the IV’s to see if it had passed but it had not and nothing I tried would allow me to keep food down.
At 18 weeks I went in for my regular doctor’s appointment. As usual my key tone test lit up like a Christmas tree. I had lost yet more weight and was nothing but a walking skeleton. I was ushered into a conference room and in a few minutes the 2 doctors in the practice, the mid-wife, and 3 nurses came in and surrounded me. They began to explain that I was dying and that I needed to end the pregnancy in order to survive. I said I could not do that but they each continued adamantly insisting that the baby would die anyway or at the very least be mentally and physically disabled and that I was being unfair to the two young boys I already had. That choosing to die was cruel to my sons and that I could always try for another baby in the future.
I was numb, I was alone and scared. They seemed angry at me, disgusted by my ridiculous decision to continue this pregnancy, in their eyes my selfish death wish. I wanted only to run, to get out of there but they said they were not allowed to let me leave in my condition as I could easily lose consciousness at any minute. They wanted to call my husband (at the time) but I knew he was done with all this illness and had told me he was very prolife unless the life of the mother was at stake. I could not count on his support in this fight.
I allowed them to call my mother-in law on the agreement that she would be told only that I was too sick to drive myself. They instructed her to take me directly to the ER. While there they performed an ultrasound and I saw him. He was perfect to me and whatever they said didn’t matter. We were fighting; both of us.
I stabilized and was released the next morning. I went back on IV feedings at home. A home nurse came every other day, a nutritionist came once a week, and another nurse arrived every 3 days to change out my IV although I hate needles so much that I would often lock her out. Until my port would back up and cause my hand to swell 3x its size then I would beg her to make it stop.
It was such a lonely and frustrating time spent on the couch dragging my IV pole around whenever I had the strength to get up and feeling guilt over not being able to properly care for my older sons. I knew friends and family were praying for me, there was even a healing prayer meeting held with a stand in just for me. I trusted that I would at least be able to give this baby boy a chance and I prayed every day for strength and for just one more day.
One day about 4 weeks later I awoke and realized I was hungry. I wanted to eat and I did and it stayed down. From then on I grew stronger and he grew too. Things were looking up until in my 7th month when my kidneys just started to shut down. All those weeks had taken its toll. I was rushed back to the ER and admitted.
Labor was starting but he was just too small so they put me on meds to stop it and more meds for my kidneys. I was so scared that I would lose him after all we had been through. Surely God would not take him from me now. After only a week all was under control and the doctors told me he must not come before April 21st. So on April 22nd I started talking to him and telling him that he was now welcome any time. He had his own plan and he decided to come in his own time. Which was to wait until 4 days AFTER his due date.
It was May 29th, 1998 when Cole Theodore came into this world weighing 7lbs 2oz with all his parts and pieces in the right place. He hit all his milestones early and today is a healthy, sweet, smart, and wonderful young man. He is my reassuring hugger and biggest supporter. He is a good student, is involved in marching band, concert band, Youth Group, scouts, and ROTC. He keeps us very busy!
The doctors were wrong, dead wrong and if I had listened to them my amazing “awesome” Cole would never have had the chance to change this world. Who knows maybe when it is all said and done he (we) will.