The day I was asked to write about hope I went to bed with Isaiah 40 on my mind as well as singing the Aaron Shust song,” My Hope is in You”; which is one of my favorite songs, and one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.
My story shows how God used one life event to give me the strength to hold on to hope and let fear subside during another.
In the fall of 2012, I found myself crying for three weeks straight. I found out I was pregnant with our second child, and an overwhelming fear had set in as I went to my appointment to confirm this pregnancy.
The confirmation of this pregnancy was the first time the events of my FIRST pregnancy became “real.”
In April of 2010 I was going into my 27th week of pregnancy with our son Brooks Clem. My husband and I were leaving for St. Lucia that Friday so I had a doctors’ appointment to get a note for the airlines saying I was ok to fly. During this appointment, I found myself being admitted to the hospital for signs of preeclampsia, high blood pressure off and on, and high protein levels.
The next morning, I was told that I needed to be sent to Duke or UNC, because the hospital was not equipped to care for a baby younger than 30 weeks gestation in their NICU.
I chose to go to Duke and I spent three weeks there with doctors and nurses waiting for the “next shoe to drop” as the only consistent sign of preeclampsia was that my protein was through the roof. My doctors wanted to keep Brooks growing for as long as possible so they did blood work daily as my organs were slowly showing signs that they were shutting down.
I had HELLP syndrome.
Throughout these three weeks of living in the hospital, my nurses and visitors would come in and make comments on how calm and quiet I was and I would tell them God is seeing us through. I didn’t feel as though I was sick, but I knew I was.
However, I also knew that God was giving me every bit of strength I needed to see the two of us through this pregnancy.
On a Wednesday morning, the doctor called my room and asked if I was ready to have a baby. My blood tests showed my levels had taken a turn for the worse – we had made it to exactly 30 weeks, and our 2 lb. 9 oz. baby boy arrived full speed ahead.
The doctors at Duke saw that he was doing well, so he was moved to a NICU closer to home. Through a ten week NICU journey that was full of multiple trips to the hospital I held on to hope and the strength God provided.
Brooks came home on his “due date”, but not without complications. He was diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease. Thankfully, he outgrew this around 9 months of age. An overwhelming feeling of peace stayed with me for the next three years…
Now back to the start of my second pregnancy…
Sitting on the exam table I cried as the doctor showed no empathy. I was scared to go through another pregnancy similar to what Brooks and I went through. I struggled with the fact that my husband and I left it to God to decide if we were going to have another child, and when He provided I felt guilty and ashamed that I was so scared to be pregnant again.
I knew God was in control, and through the support of friends and family as well as a couple of wonderful doctors, I began to feel hopeful.
My husband would always tell me “it’s ok we are going to get through this together”. God had given him the peace from the beginning this time around. The doctors were not as concerned with preeclampsia and HELLP setting in again, though there is always a chance; however, studies are showing that mothers who have it with one child and then have another child by the same father, the risk is very low. When one of my wonderful doctors gave me this information, I could feel the fear melting and hope coming alive.
This pregnancy wasn’t carefree either due to having a severely septate uterus and having Factor V Leiden. Yet, with God on our side, many prayers, and my hope being restored, we were able to make it through without any complications.
At 37 weeks, our baby girl Jordan Faith (who was going to be named Jordan Hope, but my brother had a little girl 5 months earlier and used Hope) was born healthy.
God gives us events in life to help us through others.
We serve an awesome God who always provides. We may not see it at first, but we have to keep hope alive and put all of our Trust in Him.