My Story of Faith, Chance, and Divine Intervention

Have you ever experienced a situation in your life that you felt had been guided by some kind of inner intuition, a sixth sense, or divine intervention? This is exactly what I experienced with my fourth pregnancy and birth of my son Chance. From the very beginning I knew this pregnancy was different, and something deep inside of me guided my actions throughout those months and ensured that both my son and I came through this experience alive. However, it took a lot of faith to get us there.

It all began quite routinely. I had visited my doctor’s office for my annual female exam, a completely routine procedure. I had previously switched to my general practitioner’s office for my annual exam because my preferred OB/GYN had moved his practice from my hometown to a neighboring city that would have required me to use another hospital if one was ever needed. I figured for the time being this would work out okay, as I currently had not been planning another pregnancy. A higher power had other plans for me as I would soon learn.

During my exam, I was told that everything appeared to be normal. I had been expecting my monthly period anytime at this point and was told from my examination it looked as if that should happen any day. Several days passed, and nothing happened. I began to get suspicious that I might be pregnant, so I took a home pregnancy test which turned out negative. I called my doctor’s office and they confirmed that nothing during my exam indicated any possibility of pregnancy, and suggested I wait it out a few more days and see what happened. Several days later, still nothing, so I decide to re-test. Sure enough, I was pregnant. Shocked, and pregnant. This was unlike any other pregnancy where I had obvious symptoms that had led me to believe I could be with child. This time, no such symptoms yet, coupled with the unusual circumstances of having had a pap and annual exam, and a negative pregnancy test. This set me on edge a bit, wondering if something was wrong.

When I returned to my doctor’s office, a new physician had taken over for my former doctor who had only weeks before given me my exam. She had recently left the area and a new doctor was taking over the practice. This was an office of a general practitioner who also still delivered babies. My previous pregnancies had all been handled by an actual OB/GYN as opposed to a general practitioner, so I was a bit wary of this situation. Now I had an actual reason to really consider the situation of using my hometown hospital. All of my other babies had been delivered there, and I wanted this child to be as well, although I was feeling uneasy about using a general practitioner. However, I decided to go through with that first prenatal appointment with the new doctor.

At the first visit, no red flags or bells and whistles sounded, so I went ahead and made a second appointment. Upon listening to this doctor speak and hearing several contradictions to what he had told me at my previous prenatal visit, I was starting to get nervous. He was totally contradicting what he had previously told me about the safety of the asthma medications I was on and about their use during pregnancy. A few other things he said made me doubt his competence, and when I returned home that afternoon, I had the strangest feeling. Not usually an alarmist, I found myself lying on my bed crying, in a panicked state. My husband came in to see what was wrong and I sobbed to him, nearly hysterical, that the baby and I were both going to die if I stayed with this doctor.My husband tried to calm me down, reassuring me that we would be fine, but I told him I absolutely had to switch back to my former OB/GYN or else something very bad was going to happen. I cannot tell you what possessed me to act in such a way, but it was as if I knew what I had to do.

I ended up switching back to my former OB/GYN, reluctant as I was to give birth in a strange hospital. Still, I felt more secure knowing my old doctor was on the job now, and much of the fear subsided .Things went along fairly routinely during this pregnancy, except near the end when I developed pregnancy induced hypertension, or Toxemia. My blood pressures were becoming consistently higher and my doctor decided we needed to induce my labor twelve days before my due date. Plans were made at the hospital for my husband and my totally pregnant self to arrive early the morning of April 11 to begin the induction.

After a few hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful 7 pound, 11 ounce boy who we named Chance. His father and I had heard this unique name from a very short lived television series called Strange Luck that aired during my pregnancy. The main character’s name was Chance, and the storylines revolved around the fact that he was a child who had survived a terrible accident that had killed both his parents. Whatever catastrophe was going on around him, this character named Chance always came out unscathed. I really liked the name and the whole idea behind the name in the program, so Chance was the name we decided on. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known what a truly perfect name this was for this precious baby boy of mine.

I remember the day of Chance’s birth being unseasonably warm for April in Illinois, near 80 degrees. I also remember the nurse opening a window in my labor room and running a fan because it was so stuffy in the hospital that day due to the unusual temperature outside. I recall starting to feel like I was coming down with something, wondering if I was getting sick or if my allergies had been flared by the open window. I mentioned it to the medical staff, but they thought it was just a cold or sinus problem at that point. I had never gotten sick during a labor and delivery before, so this was something else unusual.

When my husband and I were getting ready to take Chance home the following day, the baby had developed a low grade fever. I had never experienced this with any of my other babies, so yet another unusual occurrence. We had to wait around for several hours while they tested him for Group B Streph, which can be very dangerous to newborns and can be contracted from their mothers at birth. Luckily, my baby tested negative, so they allowed us to take him home that afternoon, provided I monitored his temperature often and brought him back to the hospital if it persisted or got any higher. Thankfully, the fever subsided later that day and did not return.

About twelve days passed with no real indication of a problem, other than the fact that I felt as if I was getting a sinus infection. Then, on the twelfth day after Chance’s birth, his actual due date, something alarming happened…I coughed up blood. Knowing this could not be a good thing, I coughed into a baby wipe, which happened to be the only thing I had readily available. I called my parents to stay with the kids while I headed out to the Urgent Care center at the hospital. After my examination, I was put on antibiotics for a sinus infection. It was thought the blood must have come from my coughing so hard, and they were unable to run a test on the sample that I brought with me to the hospital, due to the fact it was contaminated with “baby wipe juice”. I was also unable to produce a sputum sample on command at the hospital, but since I was started on antibiotics, I figured all would be okay. I had been prescribed a medication that was safe to use while breastfeeding, and went home and began my course of antibiotics.

Little did I know this was only the beginning of an illness that almost took my life. Unknown to the doctor or myself I had developed streph pneumonia, a form of bacterial pneumonia, which can be quite deadly and can cause death within 24 hours. After completing my course of antibiotics, I actually got sicker, developing a fever of 105.7, but dismissing it as an inaccurate reading since I had just used a new ear scan type of thermometer given to us after the birth of the baby. I just assumed it was defective…until I got a bit delirious from the fever. Eventually the fever subsided and I thought I was on the mend, though not for long. As it turned out, the antibiotic I was prescribed was not effective on streph bacteria.

I tried to go on with life as usual,even planning to take the baby out to have professional photos taken the afternoon following my postpartum checkup. Everything checked out okay as far as my gynecological exam went, but as I was preparing to leave the office, I felt something very odd, almost as if something had burst inside of me. I felt lightheaded and felt as if I might faint, but I continued to go on as normal. I told my husband I was feeling very strange and didn’t think I was up to taking the kids out for pictures that afternoon as planned. We stopped by my parent’s house, as they were babysitting my two year old during my appointment. While I was there, I had a terrible coughing fit, which is not unusual for me since I have asthma. Upon coughing, I got the worst taste in my mouth, which was the most revolting thing I have ever tasted to this day. After visiting for awhile, we took the two youngest home, the older two boys being at school.

I just didn’t feel right that afternoon and needed to lie down. As time passed, I felt as if I wasn’t breathing correctly, but yet it didn’t feel like my usual asthma type of breathing difficulty. I tried to rest since my husband was home for the day and could look after the boys. Hour by hour, my symptoms worsened and I told my husband that I felt like I wasn’t getting air on my right side, as if my lung had collapsed, which unknown to me at this point, was exactly what had happened. At some point during the evening I knew something was drastically wrong, and prayed to ask God if He would watch over me. I will never know if the voice was audible to anyone but me since I was alone in the room, but actually, for the first time in my life,I heard a reply saying “Haven’t I always?” This was very significant to me since I had experienced several nearly fatal asthma attacks over the years that God had seen me through. This was a very moving moment in my life. I tried to make it through the night and eventually broke down and told my husband it was time to go to the emergency room. He had tried to get me to go earlier, but I assumed whatever it was would pass. He wanted to call an ambulance because at this point I was so bad, but I instinctively told him that I felt if anyone tried to lift me up, that it would kill me.

Upon evaluation at the emergency room, they at first thought I was experiencing some issue with my kidneys, perhaps trying to pass a kidney stone. Further testing proved that was not the issue, but my kidneys were starting to shut down. The ER staff called in a pulmonary specialist who admitted me after I was taken to x-ray, and by this time could barely move. After an excruciating x-ray session, it was determined that my right lung had collapsed and was filled with infection, and that I had a potentially deadly strain of pneumonia. During the next 28 days, I experienced the worst pain of my entire life due to a medial-stinal shift in which all of my vital organs were shoved out of place, resulting in my back going out of place. I would experience a thorocentesis in which the doctor drained an entire quart of pus from my lung. I would undergo a cat scan of my lung which exposed still more damage, resulting in major surgery in the form of a lobectomy, removing the lower lobe of my right lung. My heart was racing and my pulse was dipping throughout the ordeal, and I was on a heart monitor much of the time, at one time feeling as if I were experiencing a heart attack which prompted the staff to give me a pill that helps stop heart attacks.

I was kept in reverse isolation part of the time, meaning no one was allowed into my room without full cap and gown and hand washing , so that there was no chance of me getting any exposure to any more germs , which could prove fatal at this stage. Meanwhile, I spent my first Mother’s Day with my newborn in the hospital and was only allowed to see my four children occasionally, only two at a time, for short intervals. I was also frantically worried that my son Chance may have been directly exposed to something deadly from my body or breastmilk , but our long time pediatrician said he checked out fine. Meanwhile, my poor mother was back home trying to help my husband with the kids and a new baby who had to stop nursing cold turkey and begin bottle feeding with formula, which he proved to be allergic to. Needless to say, tit was stressful on everyone, and my husband had taken all of his available days off for the year to be there for me and the kids.

My body was so tired, and I was retaining so much water that I gained an unbelievable 22 pounds…overnight. My legs were so swollen that when I would walk, all the excess water would accumulate around my ankles , making me look like like I had the legs of an elephant. The water also gathered in my very recent stretch marks, having just had a baby. They were filled with fluid and protruding for about a month, which resulted in some serious scarring all over my stomach. My son Chance suffered no ill effects from the experience, as is today a healthy 15 year old boy.

Aside from all the horrible events that transpired during this ordeal, I also had a near death experience. My husband’s grandmother had recently passed away while I was pregnant with Chance. One night, thoroughly exhausted while fighting to stay alive, I drifted away and could feel myself being pulled back into the bed, spinning through a tunnel. Suddenly, there was a white light and I could make out some fuzzy shapes, which appeared to be humans , all dressed in pure white. There was garbled speaking, nothing I could distinguish at first, then one particular voice became clear to me. It was my husband’s recently deceased grandmother’s distinctive laugh. I suddenly became aware that I was surrounded by those who had passed on previously, and I recall saying ” I can’t stay here. I have to go home now.” Then, I could feel myself spinning again, backwards this time, back up into the bed, and I awoke, startled and in a cold sweat. It was at that moment that I truly felt I had been given the choice to either let this body go and be in Heaven, or choose to stay here with my children. Needless to say, it was a life changing experience for me.

No situation in my life has ever brought me closer to death, or closer to God. By actually having heard His voice, and having all of the premonitions and sixth sense experiences I did during this entire pregnancy, I feel as if my destiny was guided by a higher power, who still gave me the choice to choose this life here on Earth, or elsewhere. I’d like to think that when the real day comes, I will see that light again, but for now, I’m here to watch my five children grow up, and I thank God for that opportunity. My body has healed and gone on to birth yet another child after this incident, even while missing part of a lung. To be honest, I don’t really even notice it’s missing, but am reminded by the large scar which helps me realize the things that are truly important in this life.

I hope this story will inspire at least one person to believe in their inner intuition, keep their faith, and follow the lead when you feel God is doing something important with your life.

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