I was distraught and totally depressed. I had just had a second miscarriage and my physician informed me that a third pregnancy could endanger my life. At age 41 I had already lost one child, and though the specialists I had visited could not find a cause for my miscarriages, my doctor felt a third miscarriage could be fatal. Though my husband and I desperately wanted our own baby, after much prayer, we decided not to have children.
Except for the sadness over my miscarriage, I felt God had richly blessed me. I never blamed God for my inability to bring a pregnancy to term; rather I thanked him for my wonderful husband and happy marriage. My husband and I never felt desperate or anguished over our situation for we felt God was watching over us and our mission in life was to spread God's message to all those around us.
As a ministerial intern's wife, I felt content with my life. However, life constantly changes, and my husband was transferred to another location where he would take charge of a district. It was a hectic time in our lives; we were constantly running up and down stairs to finish our packing, hurrying to complete last minutes errands, and checking to make sure all the necessary tasks were done before our journey began. Little did I know I was pregnant at that time.
I had been told that if I ever did get pregnant again, I would have to remain in bed during the entire nine months. Since pregnancy never entered my mind, I was happily and busily getting ready for the move. After a long seven-hour drive in a truck, we reached our new destination in Cimitarra.
Though I had my period right before the move, I had not had one the previous month. I thought perhaps l was going though the beginning stages of menopause. Once we settled in, I found a doctor and went for a check-up. To my amazement, I was told I was pregnant. My new physician looked me in the eye and said, "Lady, according to your medical history, your pregnancy is not just a high risk, it is a VERY high risk. You are confined to bed until your child is born."
My husband and I were filled with various emotions. We were happy and fearful, excited and scared, exuberant and cautious. I remained in bed for the next several months. Though it was not an easy pregnancy, with each passing month, I felt more joyous as my baby continued to grow. Then, at one of my monthly check-ups, my doctor told me he was becoming more concerned about my pregnancy and felt a sonogram was needed to determine what was causing some of the difficulties I was having. Unfortunately his office was not equipped with a sonogram machine. The procedure had to done in another city that was six or seven hours away. My husba ad and I were in a dilemma. Such a trip could be fatal to my baby, but without the sonogram, we had no way of knowing what was causing me to have so many problems. After much prayer and thousands of precautions, we traveled to Bucaramanga.
Once we arrived, I had to wait three days before I was admitted into the hospital. Then I had to wait an additional three days before I got the results of the sonogram. The news was bad, I had two tumors (fibromas). One was 9 cm. in diameter and the other was 7.5 cm.
My next appointment was on January 2,1992. The purpose of this appointment was to determine if I had to be operated on or if the pregnancy should continue. My constant prayer was, "Lord, we did not ask you for this child, but you permitted it to happen. My husband and I did not insist, but happily accepted your will. The doctors advised us that this pregnancy would be fatal, so we arc now in your hands and I trust in you to decide what is best for your children." With much anxiety and after many, many tears, I went for my appointment.
Upon my arrival, I was surprised to learn that the physician who had previously taken care of me had completed his assignment with the Social Security Hospital and left. No one would give me advice on what I should do. Time was running out and my fears were quickly escalating. I requested an appointment with another doctor. After an examination, he said, "I am going to order anew sonogram because I cannot detect the baby."
Thankfully my sister was with me. She comforted me as I cried continuously about my plight. She made an appointment for another sonogram. Unfortunately, she was told I would have to wait another 20 days because the waiting list was so long. When she gave me the news I was filled with despair. I thought that if the baby was not dead by then it would surely die from my anguish and uncertainty.
During this time, my husband was able to visit me once a month. Thankfully the administrators of his district paid his travelling expenses. Unfortunately, the sonogram I needed cost $10,000 to $11, 000 (pesos), and I had only $5,000 (pesos). We called a number of Health centers but our dilemma was still unsolved. Finally we were advised to call the Red Cross. Our prayers were answered. We were told that the cost would be $5,000 (pesos) and the results would be given the day after the sonogram was taken.
Upon hearing the news, I cried with excitement, "I am ready, I am on my way." I arrived that evening at 5:00 p.m., and by 6:00 p.m. the sonogram had been completed. The next day, the doctor told me, "It's a boy." Though I had asked the Lord for a boy, the doctor's words did not move me. Noticing my indifference, the physician repeated louder, "Lady, it's a boy." I simply looked at him and murmured, "Thank the Lord, but is he alive?" "Yes," said the doctor, "Can't you see how he is jumping?" I looked at the screen, but I could not distinguish anything but a dim picture. However, the doctor had answered my question and tears sprung to my eyes. Now I had something beautiful to tell my husband.
After four and a half months, the head gynecologist took over my case. I could not help but wonder why he had not taken my case earlier. Perhaps he could have prevented some of my difficulties. It was only after I overheard him speaking to a nurse about my case that I realized how fortunate I was not to have had him as my physician. As he was looking at my chart, he told a nurse, "What a mistake. If I had taken care of this patient from the first time she came, I would not have permitted her pregnancy to continue. Now almost five weeks later I can do nothing else. Let it be what is to be." Even now, when I think about his comments, chills run through my body. How differently my life would have been had that head physician taken over my care.
About one month before the baby was due, the doctor told me I would have to have a cesarean section. Because of my health, my husband and I had decided not to have any more children, so I requested to have a hysterectomy done at the same time. My doctor refused because he said the operation was too delicate and I needed to have my husband's consent. I assured him my husband and I were in agreement, but the physician needed proof of my husband's decision. I called my husband by phone and asked him to come to town so he and I could meet with the doctor together.
At my last medical appointment, both my husband and I assured the doctor of our decision not to have more children. The physician responded by saying that the insurance covered only the delivery and the cesarean. Wewould be responsible for paying the cost of any further medical needs. However, the doctor was sympathetic to our case and at the end of the conversation he said, "I cannot promise you anything. To perform the two operations at the ame time is very dangerous and risky, and I am not sure the mother can survive it. I will only know after I have delivered the baby."
At 2:00 p.m., May 22, 1992, I entered the maternity ward. it was then that I was told the doctor would perform both the cesarean delivery and the hysterectomy. What an emotional time! Physically exhausted and emotionally drained, I drew strength from my husband. His love for me gave me the courage to face theoperation ahead. At3:10 p.m., as I was being anesthetized, I heard the nurse ask, "Doctor, will more blood be needed?" He answered, "I don't believe so." Those were the last words I heard until I woke up at 8:00 p.m.
As I was being wheeled from the operating room to my room, I saw my husband and sister. They were as anxious as I was to sec the baby, that precious miracle from God. My husband was able to see him first. He checked him over from head to toe and joyously pronounced he was complete and normal, everything we had asked God for, a healthy baby boy,
God responded to my prayers and needs. He showed His infinite love to me, His daughter, by giving me a miracle. Angel Ricardo is now two years and seven months old with parents who do not cease to repeat what the doctors said about his birth, "It is a miracle." Along with the baby, the doctors removed my uterus, which was filled with eight fibroid tumors. This uterus had miraculously nurtured my son for nearly nine months.
I believe with all my heart that my husband and I are the happiest parents in the world. We thank our God of love who cares for and never forgets any of His children. He is a worker of miracles.