Not long ago, my youngest daughter, Stephanie, was diagnosed with hemochromatosis the same week she found out that she was pregnant with her second child. All throughout her pregnancy, she couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that something was wrong. Her doctor listened to her fears and sent her to maternal-fetal medicine for further testing, yet nothing was ever found to suggest that there might be a problem with the baby.
“It’s probably just the hemochromatosis. You’re fine and the baby is fine”, they would tell her when she would voice these fears, so she would walk away feeling just a little bit crazy and wondering why she was so uneasy. The result of these seemingly contradictory findings was that she was beginning to lose faith in herself and in her ability to trust her own instincts.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me”, she would often lament.
When the baby was born at full term, parents and grandparents were hovering excitedly, eager to welcome this new little girl into our family. Within moments of birth, the room became a flurry of activity as it was becoming increasingly apparent that something was wrong. Not breathing well on her own, little baby Ellie was whisked away to the NICU for lifesaving measures.
After the initial shock wore off, I looked at my daughter and noticed she was handling it a little better than I expected her to be. Giving her a hug and silently praying for her to receive strength from on high, she looked at me with tears and said, “I knew something was wrong”.
Modern medicine is a wonder. Even 50 years ago, Ellie would not have survived the day. We are all extremely grateful for the technological advances and the competency of medical staff that made it possible to save her life, yet we don’t know everything.
But our Father in Heaven does and He had been gently preparing my daughter for a crisis at birth. Had she not have felt all those times that something was not quite right, the experience of those days in the NICU sitting beside her infant daughter, would have been a crushing blow. It was a tender mercy from God that she was somewhat prepared.
Ellie is home now, still on oxygen and an apnea monitor but her parents are taking things in stride with faith in a better tomorrow.
Stephanie has regained her confidence and trust in herself, knowing that she really does have ears to hear…and she is listening!