It was a beautiful life. My son was almost two, I had one on the way, a wonderful job and incredible home. I had it ALL and knew exactly who I was at 28 years old. My fairytale life quickly became a nightmare on December 4th, 2015. I went for my scheduled Sonogram to find out the sex of the baby. While I was there, I found out that I was pregnant with Monoamniotic or mono/mono twin baby girls, and one had Anencephaly. The baby with Anecephaly wouldn’t live long after birth, and it was a mystery if the other twin would be healthy. I also learned that I’d have to be hospitalized for two months because there was a high-risk that the umbilical cords would tie, and cut off the blood supply to the healthy twin because both twins shared one amniotic sac. If it couldn’t get any worse, I had to be hospitalized on my son’s birthday. How was this happening to me? I was a kind-hearted girl that did everything right, and bad things like this didn’t to happen to good people. This wasn’t part of MY plan, and I wasn’t in control of what was happening. This lead me to start questioning God.
While I was hospitalized, everyday I had 3 twenty-minute heartbeat tracking tests, constant shots in the stomach to avoid bloodclots, and a picline flush in the arm (precautionary in case of early delivery). My brain quickly became numb, I had no control over my own health let alone my amazing son’s. I felt completely depressed and worthless. The only luxury I had in the hospital was taking a shower, and going to the Main Floor to Starbucks (which I avoided because I didn’t want to see HAPPY people). I felt as though I was a prisoner and was serving a crime that I was being wrongfully accused of, and it was unfair. At a high-risk/trauma hospital they tend to inform you about ALL the things that could go wrong and possible outcomes. The bad things definitely dominated the good things. It was difficult to hang on to a tiny glimmer of hope, for a healthy baby girl, when I had doctors repeating that they’ve NEVER seen a mono-mono pregnancy where both babies aren’t affected (especially if one’s severely sick).
During my stay, I had an incredible amount of visitors. It occurred quite frequently that family members came to visit, and would just cry because they felt remorseful. I would often cry with them. My Sister was my cheerleader and as a Nurse herself, made sure I knew all the scientific terms of what was happening, and how there was still hope. She helped boost my spirits by providing me with scheduled massages, Taziki take-out, pedicures, and even popped in an occasional pregnancy workout video. A close friend came to visit me about two weeks into my hospital stay, and I truly feel her advice, along with my Sister’s motivation, is what got me through that tragic time. This beautiful friend brought me a journal,and shared a spiritual game plan. She informed me that each day I needed to write down ALL of my blessings, even if they were small, and reflect upon them. She advised that I focus on these written blessings everyday,all day, and by doing this, God would direct me to HIS word. Each time I received scary/bad news, it was imperative that I study my journal of blessings. I thought in my heart that it was sweet advice, but a little cookie-cutter and probably wouldn’t work. I was desperate though to try anything! I wasn’t doing anything or going anywhere, so why not?
When I began my blessings plan, I wrote bulleted points that the drink lady brought me an extra soda, and smiled at me. The next time I added a couple more blessings that someone from home sent food, and a stranger prayed with me in my room. By the end of the week, I had full pages of blessings written. When I left the hospital, on March 10th, I had an ENTIRE journal filled with blessings. This very simple task helped me to become happy and hopeful again. I started joking and formed a close relationship with the medical staff, prayed with other patients going through similar situations, and became closer to God than ever before. That tiny glimmer of hope for my healthy twin started to become a DEFINITE precursor of what was to come. I KNEW in my heart that God was going to bless me with a healthy baby girl, despite what the doctors and medical staff prepared me for in the delivery room.
On March 7th at 9:30 A.M., Martina Grace was born HEALTHY with a fierce and ferocious cry. She surprised and shocked the doctors, and everyone in the delivery room that day. She stayed in the NICU for three weeks where doctors ran every test imaginable. Interestingly, the doctors couldn’t find ANYTHING wrong, and were stunned because scientifically it didn’t add up to their expectations. I quickly informed them that it was all GOD, and part of HIS plan for Martina Grace. The blessings list got me through the next hard phase of Martina’s stay in the NICU. I continued to use it when she came home from the hospital, and still use it today, three years later. It’s pretty remarkable that the common cliche, “Count your blessings” turned out to be my saving grace and key to happiness.
If you know ANYONE facing trauma please buy them a journal, and share my story with them. We often feel that it’s best to give our distance and privacy to those facing trauma because we don’t want to say, or do the wrong thing. If it weren’t my Sister and this amazing friend’s advice, I wouldn’t have gotten through what I did, or been able to share my story. It’s our call and duty on this Earth to reach out to those that need us no matter how small or great the need.
” Love one another. As I have loved you.”-John 13:34
Let’s change the world one smile at a time!