And with the pastor's instructions to remember all that our Lord has done for us, my mind went back 7½ years ago to the night this precious child beside me joined our family.
* * * * *
It had been a difficult pregnancy, to say the least. Around the 30-week point, my blood pressure became dangerously high, and I found myself on complete bed rest. Despite the precautionary measures, I began having stroke-like symptoms. Each time I felt one side began to numb and my speech became garbled, it became a little more difficult to have faith that this pregnancy was going to have a happy ending.
The baby and I finally made it to the 36-week mark, and my obstetrician decided that was as far as he could allow us to go. On October 29, 1999, by emergency C-section, he delivered to us a very healthy, 4-pound, 13-ounce baby girl. Still emerging from the general anesthesia in the wee hours of the next morning, I hadn't yet held my tiny daughter when I became aware that something was terribly wrong. Slipping in and out of consciousness, I wasn't even able to alert my sleeping husband to the fact that my life was in danger. I had survived the pregnancy, now a postpartum hemorrhage was about to claim me.
Incredible peace filled me, and I somehow knew that whatever happened, it would be for the best.
Some amount of time passed, although I have no idea how much. I became aware of female voices in the room. Concerned. Placing a middle-of-the-night call to my doctor to alert him of my rapidly deteriorating condition. There was talk of a rapid transfer to the ICU. More drugs given. Transfusion begun.
"I'm not going to make it, am I?" I asked the pretty nurse, when I could finally muster the strength to open my eyes.
There was a pause, as she looked at my vitals. "No. I think you're going to be just fine," she answered.
"How can you tell?" I slurred, convinced that the next time I opened my eyes it would be God's face I saw.
"Because your blood pressure is coming up," she replied.
As much as I could, I turned my head to look at the monitor to my right and was shocked to see that I had nearly bottomed out. Of course it was coming up ... it sure couldn't go any lower.
* * * * *
As we held the elements, I opened an eye and looked at my oldest snuggled close to her daddy, and contemplated for a moment what could have been. It could be just the two of them making it through life on their own right now, the younger two having never been born.
I don't fully understand all the reasons God spared my life, but I'm thankful that He did. And I'm not only filled that gratitude that He saved my physical life, but even more that He saved my soul as well.
Remembering and reflecting. As we journey through this Holy Week in anticipation of the celebration of our Lord's resurrection, let us think back on ALL He has done for us. And let us be filled to overflowing with thankfulness for ALL His blessings.