Sometime after my third child was born, someone told me please not to have any more children because it seemed there was always some trauma. I have told you about the events surrounding the births of my first and third daughters.
The trauma that happened around the time of Joy’s (my second child) birth actually was only indirectly related to my pregnancy. She was due on July 4th, but we decided to induce a few days early so that my mom and dad could come be with us and keep Faith for us while we would be in the hospital. My mom is a teacher and was to start summer school on the 8th of July, so having my baby a few days early was the only way to make sure my parents could be there. Well, our plans are not always God’s plans.
My sister Sara decided to come with her three children for a visit the week before my parents were to come. So my mom went ahead and came with her and stayed with me after Sara left. My dad was to drive there on June 28th.
That evening the phone rang as we were eating supper. A man identified himself as a doctor and asked to speak to my mom. He told her that my dad had had a heart attack and was in the hospital in Alice, Texas, half way between where my parents lived and my home. My dad had begun having stomach pains on the way to our house. He stopped a couple of times and took antacids, thinking it was heartburn, but the pain got worse. Finally, just when it was unbearable, he realized he was right by the Alice hospital. He drove straight in and parked, and was able to get help before there was much damage to his heart. He had actually considered driving another route, and the doctor told us that if he had chosen a different road to my house, he probably wouldn’t have made it. It was thrilling to see that even in such horrible circumstances the Lord was taking care of all the details.
After receiving the news, and of course before we knew that he was going to be okay, I remember consciously thinking that I had to breathe. I had heard of shocking news sending women into labor, sometimes with ominous results. I prayed for my dad, but did not let myself grieve the way I would have had I not been concerned about the life within me.
The doctor told my mom on the phone that they were taking Dad in an ambulance to the heart hospital in Corpus Christi. They were going to operate on his heart the next morning and wanted a family member to be there before the operation. My Uncle Dave was able to drive to our house from Dallas that very night. (We lived in East Texas at the time.) He picked up Mom and drove her all night to Corpus Christi, and she was able to see him for a few minutes before he went into surgery. One of the main arteries to his heart was 98% blocked. They put in a stint and he didn’t have to have bypass surgery.
I went ahead with the planned induction because that gave Jason the most time to be with me. Since it was a holiday weekend, he had Monday off too. It was such a blessing that even though my parents couldn’t be there to help me, people from our church really stepped in and helped. One family kept Faith for me while we were in the hospital. Another friend checked on us several times at the hospital and took care of details for us there. She also came and took Faith out for several hours after Jason went back to work. Many sent us meals, and lots of people let us know they were praying.
There was no trauma surrounding the birth of my fourth child, so we hope and pray that the trauma pattern is broken and that all will go smoothly with our fifth child that is due in December!