Gratitude, Miracles and Hail Marys

saint_gerard_abbottFor better or worse, my pregnancies have always been classified as high risk. How we came by that is one of those funny ways God works. The only reason I began seeing a high risk doctor early on the first time around was because I never received the rH shot following my miscarriage. In being abundantly cautious on that front, we discovered the much larger issues of low fluid, growth restriction gestational hypertension and eventually severe pre-eclampsia/HELLP syndrome. Thanks be to God, someone made a mistake after the loss of Noah.

Every single time I walk through the doors at the perinatal office, see the staff and visit with the doctor I am struck by how fortunate we were with our first pregnancy. And our second. I continue to pray for our third.

As the mother, I am astounded and amazed by Silas. How troubled his pregnancy was, how early his birth was, how precarious his first months were and how healthy he is now. Born at just 33 weeks, at 3 pounds and 4 ounces, he cried immediately and scored an Apgar of 8/9. He stayed just 19 days in the NICU. He never once returned to the hospital in his first year. He never fell behind on any of his developmental milestones. I remember feeling so proud of him before he even left the NICU as I sang, “We are the Champions” to him. And, that is exactly as it should be. Yes, Silas’ situation was unique to say the least, but mothers are always impressed with their children.

We now have the chance to work with this phenomenal staff and doctor through our third pregnancy. I can’t remember what I said to him in my last visit but he responded with, “Oh, I could never forget you. Your case was so severe and then your second was amazingly perfect. I don’t use your name but I do refer to your case often with my patients.” Wow. There is something about hearing someone who’s very job is dealing with high risk pregnancies, who sees hundreds such cases every year, specifically noting how remarkable your case is… And then using it to give hope to other mothers.

My doctor then said what happened with me simply does not happen. According to research, I am an anomaly. Subsequent scientific research has said the vitamin regimen he put me on based upon a report showing limited success does not actually prove effective . Yet, after the stunning difference in my first and second pregnancies he has prescribed that regimen to every pre-eclampsia patient he has had and absolutely none have had a relapse. Not one.

I suppose there could be a placebo effect. So I ask myself what else I did. Obviously, I was not on bed rest so I was able to get exercise throughout the second pregnancy but I was getting exercise the first time around and was on bed rest by 26 weeks. The resounding answer for me is prayer. I wore a Saint Gerard medal throughout each pregnancy. I prayed to God over that medal every morning and night. I thanked God at night for each additional day of healthy development. I thanked God for another night of healthy development every morning. I was open about what we were going through as well so there were literally legions of prayer going up for health. Rivers of faith. Floods of love.

I always knew things were bad during Silas’ pregnancy but I truly never realized how close to death both Silas and I were. I have been reminded, once again, of just how very lucky I am to be here loving my happy, healthy boys (with another on the way). I am grateful for my many miracles, the doctor with his Hail Mary regimen of care and the love of all those who surround us.

The specific mechanism is not all that important to me. I know it is God working through all of them and I am grateful.