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Miracles do Happen

Ingrid Laederach steven

A Story of Hope, Faith, and Love

      We all have dreams and hopes as we grow up. We dream of becoming a dancer, a singer, a policeman… ah, how wonderful it is to dream when you are young when our dreams are so strong and full of optimism. My dream, however, was very simple, or so I thought. I just want to meet a great man, get married, and have a family.

      The first part worked out beautifully. I met Tom, a man who had integrity, wisdom, was kind and honest, and good-looking to boot. I was so young then, naive, and just in love with love and over the moon happy to have met the man of my dreams. We got married and life was good.

      There was never a period where we said now is the time to start a family. We just enjoyed our life and I assumed that I would get pregnant when the time was right. And then pregnant I became. We were ecstatic! I had morning sickness but other than that, no problems. I could hardly wait to share our good news with everyone. Then in my 5th month, I started spotting. My doctor was concerned, but said that it can happen. Considering I was so far along already, there was no real problem. But it was not meant to be. In my 7th month, I started to hemorrhage. Tom rushed me to the hospital whereby the time we got there it was too late and we lost our baby. I was devastated. How could this happen? I had passed the critical 3-month period. What went wrong? There were no answers. Only tears. But then we were also very determined.

      Soon after I became pregnant again… and as before, there was total euphoria. Then tragedy. Again, history repeated itself. Then after becoming pregnant again and again and then losing a sixth baby, I became totally numb. There was so much heartbreak, and the sad fact was that we could not adopt — the reason being people who could not conceive were first in line, which I could understand. So we tried again. This time I was placed in the hospital where I was given needles every four hours, which were to help me carry the baby to term. It got to be a bit of a joke because they had to circle the spots where the needles were inserted with different colours because there were so many needle holes. And then sure enough, at seven months, I delivered a beautiful little girl. Sadly, her lungs were not fully developed and three days later, we lost her. My world collapsed and the tears just kept on rolling. Through my tears, I saw Tom whose crouched body was in unbearable pain. We tend to forget how very much the man suffers too — only his pain tends to be silent as he is expected to be at his wife’s side without question with as they so nicely put in English: “With a stiff upper lip.” But I decided then and there that we couldn’t continue to do this — seven times unlucky.

      Time passed. We carried on as good as we possibly could. Then one day, while looking out of the window, choking back tears, from somewhere a feeling of strength engulfed me and I sat down with a pen in hand and wrote the following words:

First You Cry

First you cry and then some more, 
until you think you can no more.

Your heart feels empty, your mind, it’s bare,
and still that numbness lingers there.

You hurt, you scream, you shout out loud,
you tear your feelings inside out.

Your anger never sets to rest,
the huge regrets, you can’t forget.

That ray of sunshine has turned to rain, 
somehow things will never be the same.

Time you say will heal all wound,
but these blows have been much too cruel.

Time will come and time will go,
hope will come and hope will go.

Until one day you stop and say,
God has been with you in every way. 

He guides you, leads and comforts you,
there’s never been a day He’s forsaken you.

And then a calmness re-appears,
a quietness, peace, and no more tears.

And finally you’ve reached the part
where understanding fills your heart,
and you cry no more.

      Pouring out my feelings like this helped ease my pain somewhat. No, I did not entirely stop the tears because even now there are times when out of nowhere my mind goes back to the past and I have to take a deep breath while I wipe away tears. Putting these feelings down on paper did help me to regain my emotional and physical strengths. I then tried to be very positive. So time went on. Tom continues to research everything and anything to find out how and why this all happened.

      Then one day, he rushed home all excited with the news he had found a possible answer. Maybe I just could not hold on to the baby when it reached a certain weight. That made absolutely no sense to me at all. But we found a wonderful older doctor who confirmed this. In fact, he said that what they do is to suture the cervix — or the baby cradle as he so beautifully put it — and this would keep the baby safe until the baby was strong enough to be born. This all seemed much to simple to me. How is this possible? Why was this not something I was told, say, 3 or 4 miscarriages earlier?

      The doctor continued to say that this procedure is usually done in the 5th month of pregnancy but because of my history, they wanted to try something totally new — suture before conception. I looked at him totally perplexed and said “How would I then get pregnant?” Well he said kindly, we will leave just enough space so that those little spermies can slip through.

      We went ahead with this new medical procedure, which because a first and ended up in medical books. However, getting pregnant this time proved to be somewhat difficult. Month after month — and nothing. My friends gave all sorts of wonderful suggestions such as having a nice dinner with some wine — which I did and in trying to make sure that this would work, I overindulged in the wine only to pass out. Needless to say there was no trying that night. Another friend encouraged me to go to a sleazy motel because this always works. But this definitely was not a good idea — maybe because the motel we picked was just too sleazy. So with good advice, hope, and optimism, we kept on trying. And then I got pregnant again! In my 7th month, I was admitted to the hospital where I was pampered and looked after beautifully until I was in my 8th month. At that time, the doctors removed the sutures and I went into labor.

      The day before my birthday, the best present I could wish for was presented to me when Jasmin, a beautiful 8 lbs. girl, came into our world. Words cannot possibly describe how one feels at a time like that. We finally were a family, a real family. I would put Jasmin to bed at night and lie outside of her room blissfully happy listening to her breathing, her gurgles, her crying. Every little sound made my heart fill with joy. We loved every second, every minute, every hour that each day brought with it bringing new adventures and happiness beyond compare.

      When Jasmin was two years old, I started to hear this inner voice telling me that she deserved to have a sibling, a little brother or sister whom she would be able to share things throughout her life, the way only siblings can. So despite all the doctors’ adamant disapproval, I went through the whole trauma again.

      Unfortunately, at 11 weeks, despite having had the sutures in place before the conception, I started to bleed, was rushed to the hospital and this time, put on complete bed rest. I was hooked up on intravenous containing an alcohol drip, muscle relaxer, and other medications. In my 5th month, a team of doctors came to my room, stood at the bottom of my bed ad said: “We have some good news and some bad news.” It is not a phrase I like, so, I said: “O.K. let’s hear the bad news first.” Well they said: “Due to all the medications that have been given to you, we cannot honestly say how this may have affected you or the baby.” “So, what is the good news?” I asked. 

“Well the good news is that we had to get and received permission to so an abortion. The reason for the permission is because you are so far along already but for us to go ahead, we would need your answer within 24 hours.”

      I went totally numb. I thanked them but said an emphatic “NO.” They were very sympathetic and they understood.

      I was barely seven months when the doctors felt that it was time to bring this baby into the world. I was informed that the whole delivery would be filmed for medical research. Quite honestly, I did feel rather uneasy about all this but then after almost 12 hours of heavy labor, none of the cameras phased me anymore. And then this bundle from heaven arrived screaming loudly. Yes, she already had a mind of her own even then. She was so skinny with long arms and long legs and as I looked at her, all I could think of is that she looked like a little spider — and so I lovingly gave her the nickname “Muschkie” which means little spider and to this day, I call her this even though we named her Jaclyn.

      My two beautiful miracles are now grown; they are married and have children of their own. Not only have we been blessed with two amazing children, but we also now have two great sons-in-law, and we have four terrific grandchildren. Now my tears flow from happiness. I wake up each morning, look at my wonderful husband beside me, who gave up so much in his career to be with me every step of the way, and I thank God to have been so blessed.

Yes, miracles really do happen,

they really do!