Welcome to Fearless Fridays, where everyday people like you share their stories on a moment they faced their fears! #fearlessfridays
Last Call to Hope – By Faith Hazell
“I can’t kill my baby.” My voice was a tiny wisp of wind. I looked away so the doctor couldn’t see tears pooling in my eyes. “Pardon?” said the doctor as he leaned in peering over his glasses. He straightened up and tapped his clipboard. “Let me look at my schedule and we will make an appointment to terminate the pregnancy,” he repeated. I stared hard out the window and said again, “But…But I can’t kill my baby.” My voice sounded small – like I was almost too small to be carrying a child.
The doctor pressed further. “You might need to. You might die if you keep this baby.” He sounded impatient and annoyed that I didn’t take his advice immediately. I didn’t answer. I didn’t even turn to look at him. My strength was completely drained out of my body. He turned and walked away.
I was alone in the room. Alone in my thoughts. I so felt the aloneness of the moment. Utterly, completely and desperately alone. That afternoon, my family doctor quietly walked into the room and sat softly on my bed, taking my hand in his. He began hesitantly. “Faith, I am so sorry. I am told that the OB, wanted to make an appointment with you for an abortion?” I looked at him, my tired eyes, wet with tears. “I can’t kill my baby, Dr Hiller.” It was all I could say. I had a million things to say locked inside my heart but I was too weary, too broken to even begin to form the words.He looked at me with kind eyes. “I understand. I don’t believe in abortion either. But this is different. This isn’t the time to be a hero. You would be dead and so would your baby. You have a beautiful baby boy at home. You would be leaving him motherless. This is something you have to think about. I am going to talk to the OB and I will be here in the next few days to talk to you again. It’s something to seriously think about.”
When he left, I looked out the massive window beside my bed at the mountains in the distance. What a cruel turn of fate that this was. What a devastating world to live in. How could I choose between my babies? The doctor was right. I couldn’t leave my baby boy behind. But how could I live with myself if I killed the child growing within me. Was this going to be my life? Was this what I was here for – to die at age 24 and leave my beautiful blonde boy without a mother?
My mind went back to the very first time I found out that I was pregnant. The doctor had examined me and then said that I was either pregnant or had a tumour. My heart jumped. A baby?! I didn’t know that was possible considering I had been bleeding for over a month. But my joy in the possibility was short-lived as the doctor stared at
me through the mirror above his sink. “I am very sorry, Faith,” he sighed as he shook his head thoughtfully. “I don’t think that this baby stands a chance. You have lost so much blood.”
A few days later, I was found laying in a hospital bed because of a hemorrhage due to Placenta Previa. A young doctor peered down at me casually. His curly blonde hair was disheveled – probably from working long hours.
He carelessly tossed words up into the air like a fistful of dried leaves. “You aren’t gonna get a kid out of all this. I hope you know that. You aren’t losing it now but you will lose it. It doesn’t have a chance. If you got a kid, it would be a bonus. But I can’t see it being possible. Please don’t get your heart set on it. If you delivered this baby it would be amazing.” With those horrible words, he was gone.
I was bolted to the present as I thought about my doctors words. No time to be a hero. I looked down at my hands. Three doctors, now have said, this baby won’t live.
Placenta previa is always very serious. But when you find out you have it in the first trimester, it’s almost impossible for the baby to survive.
That night, I prayed the most heart wrenching prayer that I have ever prayed in my entire life. Laying my hand on my stomach, tears streaming down my face, through my hoarse whispers I pleaded in anguish, “Lord, take my little baby from me tonight. I need to have a miscarriage. I can’t kill this baby.” With that I fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake until dawn. When I awoke I looked around me. Reaching up to touch my cheek, I felt the dried tears and wondered with irony how I had fallen asleep.
I stared out the window of my hospital room and suddenly breathed in sharply. I saw it!! As I looked out the window at the beautiful snow capped mountains I saw a picture in my heart. I saw my husband and I with my little boy and the baby in my arms as we stood in the front of the church dedicating our baby to the One who created her. I looked away. I couldn’t. I couldn’t get my hopes up. I couldn’t think thoughts like that when it was all so impossible. But every time I looked at those mountains, I saw the same picture. The same leap in my heart, the same quickening of hope!
The next few days were filled with dread and confusion. I had stopped bleeding as I lay there. I was on complete bed rest.
Three days after his first visit, my family doctor walked in. He seemed a little more cheerful today. I wondered why?… “Well,” he said as he sat down at the foot of my bed.” I talked to the OB and we came to a decision. A compromise of sorts. If you are willing to stay here your entire pregnancy, then lets play it by ear. You have stopped bleeding. Let’s see how long you can keep this baby in. But this is the deal. As soon as you start bleeding again, even if the baby is not viable, then we need to take it. It would be your life. You can bleed to death in 15 minutes. That’s option number one. And you already know what option number two is. You think about it and choose.” I looked up at him. I didn’t need to think about it at all. A glimmer of hope. I will take it!!!!!
My mind was packed with jumbled and crazy emotions. I kept looking out the window; looking out at the mountains. Again and again I saw the picture – me and my family holding a tiny baby in front of the church. I knew it was almost an impossibility. Most of the doctors still thought I wouldn’t carry the baby to a viable stage. And even if the baby lived, there was a large chance that it would be mentally challenged in some way. Only my family doctor was quiet about his opinion.
Each day my faith built up more and more. Every night, I would lay my hand on my tummy and say these words, “If God be for us, who could be against us.” Every morning, I would say the same thing. And a million times in between. I was forming this love connection to this beautiful child within me. One that would never be broken.
A month passed and I hadn’t bled. They made a decision to release me from the hospital. Because I lived close to the hospital, I could get there in time, should I start bleeding. I wasn’t allowed to be alone for a minute. Someone was to be with me at all times, whether they were church friends, neighbours or government provided house keepers. I took up cross-stitch and knitting. I read and got hopelessly bored. My only outings were visiting my doctor weekly and I had to be carted around in a wheelchair.
Then one day, the unthinkable happened…
There was blood. Not a ton of it. But enough. The doctor had stressed every week when I visited him that the second I started bleed, no matter when it was or how much it was, to call the ambulance immediately. It would definitely be a sign of what was to come immediately and my life was in immediate danger.
This is a day I rehearsed over and over in my mind. This is the day that I had prayed about, talked about, and been desperately frightened about. It had come. I laid down near the door and called for my husband to come and to call the ambulance. Rushing from the other room, he grabbed the phone to call the ambulance, he too, had rehearsed in his brain. I tried to be calm as I waited. I wasn’t bleeding anymore. But I was terrified. As calm as I tried to be – as I had rehearsed in my brain- my body was shaking like a leaf in the wind. I knew the next moments would change my life forever.
The ambulance came and rushed around me as Jeremy told them the scenario. They whipped me into the ambulance in one swift and smooth swoop. On the way to the hospital, Jeremy noticed that they were going the wrong way. Panicked, he told them that they were going to the wrong hospital. No, they were going to the hospital with the open beds. Jeremy argued with them. they had to take me to the right hospital. My doctor worked out of the other one. The other one is where we registered. This was an important piece of the journey because of my complications. We had heard so many horror stories of the hospital that they were rapidly bringing me to. They would hear none of it and soon I was being wheeled into the hospital that I was not only terrified of, I was not even remotely familiar with.
The nurse put an IV in my arm. I didn’t think that she got it in right, but she assured me, she knew what she was doing.
My hand started to swell. I called my nurse in but she didn’t even come around my bed to look at my hand. She assured me that she had done it right. I called her in a few minutes later to insist that she look at my hand. Again, she didn’t look at my hand. Only assured me impatiently that I was fine.
Meanwhile, my husband made some irate phone calls to get me to the right hospital and later we found out that the hospital never turns away pregnant people no matter how full the beds were. The ambulance drivers had misunderstood the situation. As I was being transported to the hospital I showed the ambulance driver my IV and my hand that I could now hardly move. He looked down at it and swore as he tore the IV out of my body.
I breathed a sigh of relief. But not for long. When we reached the right hospital we learned that both my family doctor and my OB were on vacation! No one really even understood what my situation was. The doctor on call didn’t want to deliver the baby. He said something about it being unethical to deliver another doctor’s baby. I pleaded with him, telling him what my doctor told me every week – that it was that serious and please take the baby before it became a serious emergency!! He would have none of it. He was annoyed with my insistence. And insistent, I was. I called the nurse in several times a day to explain my plight again. Why wasn’t anything on my files? Why didn’t they have a way to tell other doctors what needed to be done had I gone back into the hospital. I was 36 weeks – only a month before the baby was due. I had passed the critical stage but at that time many years ago, that was still quite risky and could mean the difference between health difficulties and a normal life.
I called the nurse in one last time and when I repeated my plight to her, she got angry with me. “Listen, the doctor is getting upset with you. He has made his decision and he won’t change it. he won’t take the baby out today. He will wait for your doctor to come back tomorrow.”
I looked away – her words stinging my heart. I felt trapped in a pregnant body and scared that I would die in this hospital of uncaring people. My husband held my hand and comforted me. We talked about it and decided that he could go to work because I wasn’t having the baby anytime soon. He had a job cleaning an office and he needed to get it done. The only complication was that we didn’t have cellphones back then. it was hard to get a hold of him should an emergency occur. We decided that it would be okay since this doctor wasn’t going to move and I wasn’t bleeding anymore.
A few hours later, slowly I got up to go to the washroom. I made my movements slow and intentional in order not to cause anything worse to happen to me. My body felt like a time bomb ready to explode. Suddenly, I felt something strange as I sat down at the toilet. I looked down at the floor and there on the floor was a blood clot the size of a baseball. I groaned. Oh dear. I stepped over it to go back to bed and promptly called the nurse who told me not to call anymore. I told her about the blood clot needing to be cleaned up in the bathroom.. I apologized for not cleaning it up as I thought I probably shouldn’t. Begrudgingly she went in there to clean it up and I heard “Oh wow!” escape from her lips. Immediately she called the doctor.
Suddenly, the room was a whir of activity. Doctors, nurses, everyone all around me prepping me for surgery!! The tension in the room was mounting. Someone call my husband! Please! I don’t want to be alone!! Before I knew it, my bed was being briskly wheeled into an operating room with my husband by my side. Fear gripped. It was finally happening and I was terrified. Terrified because no one was really being very communicative but I could feel the seriousness of the situation. There was a tornado of activity and motion around me. Everyone knew their jobs and did them quickly and efficiently.
My husband was by my side when they finally lifted my beautiful baby girl to my chest and let me stroke her beautiful face before they whisked her to the ICU. Then the tension mounted again. Quietly and quickly they ushered Jeremy out of the room. I had started to hemorrhage and they could not stop the bleeding. They started to give blood to me as quickly as they could. The doctor quietly and urgently gave orders to nurses as they ran around trying to stop the bleeding. My body felt woozy. The room was spinning. I was elated that my daughter was born but oh so sleepy. The room continued to spin as I felt my body lifting, lifting, lifting up to the ceiling. I looked down at the team of nurses and doctors working on my body and knew that this is what it felt like to be in a dangerous situation. But I also thought that the epidural they gave me must be why I was viewing everything from overhead. I was at total peace.
They couldn’t stop the bleeding and the blood wasn’t coming into my body quickly enough.
Gradually, I began to feel more normal and the heaving on my placenta hurt as they were trying to release it from my body. Suddenly I heard an eruption from the many people in the room. They were crying, clapping and cheering. It was a sound I had never heard before – especially from a team of professionals. “What happened?” I asked weakly. The kind doctor looked in my face and said, “We just stopped your bleeding.”
My little baby girl, was only in the ICU for a couple of days, before they booted her out with the “big kids.” Much to the doctors complete surprise, they couldn’t find a thing wrong with her.
A few weeks later, I found myself in front of the Church, tears streaming down my face, with the congregation before me laughing, and crying tears of joy. I looked down at my lovely baby girl, wearing a long flowing white dress, and sporting the tiniest pink bow you ever did see. I remembered the young doctor’s words, “don’t count on getting a baby out of all this….. If you do, it would be amazing.” Suddenly, through my tears, my face broke out into a huge smile. It WAS amazing, indeed!
“Faith Hazell has a passion for people. Her blog “Through Eyes Of Faith” and artwork have been an inspiration to many.
She recently published “Faith Untangled”,a lovely book of line drawings to colour, interspersed with inspirational writings. You can purchase it online Here. Her desire is to love as Jesus loved – to make an impact on the world around her. Born and raised in Japan, she learned what it was like to live on little and appreciate much. At a young age she learned that God uses mysterious ways and beautiful people to provide food and finances. Her heart is to always be that person for others.As an adult she has been in the ministry for 30 years, serving as youth group leader, various leadership roles, traveling minister, assisting a missions school and pastoring with her husband. She has a family of four children living on earth, 1 in heaven, 5 grandchildren and one on the way. Her family brings her joy and comfort as she sees Gods hand at work in their lives every day. She currently works at a kindergarten preschool ,lovingly teaching the children entrusted to her – a job she has undoubtedly found total fulfillment in.