Consider it a sheer gift when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. –James 1:2
I never quite expected to be faced with the types of challenges my wife, Kameilia, and I would face at the onset of learning we were pregnant with our third child. We always spoke of having three children, and happily anticipated all the exciting aspects of pregnancy (aside from the nausea) – hearing the baby’s heart beat for the first time, feeling them kick and move, preparing a new little nest. Needless to say, we were excited.
I had March 7 circled on my calendar, as this was the date of our first ultrasound. While we were both anxious, there was a pending sense of relief in knowing that, after the appointment, we’d have confirmation that all was well. Frankly, I didn’t really prepare myself to accept the possibility that something would be wrong; but, as we eagerly gazed upon the ultrasound screen waiting to see our little peanut, all we heard was silence. I reasoned that there must have been something wrong with the machine, or perhaps our baby was just sitting at an odd angle. But the sad truth was that there was no heartbeat. We were devastated.
As a man, my natural instinct is to fix things. While I knew there was nothing that I could do to fix what had happened, I encouraged my wife that we could just keeping trying. But, even I knew that recovering from this loss would be a process; especially considering that Kameilia had not started the miscarriage process. Wanting to avoid surgery, we opted to patiently wait the necessary amount of time for things to happen naturally. To be honest, the longer we waited the more concerned I became.. Two weeks later, Kameilia started experiencing severe pain in her abdomen. As she lay curled up on the bathroom floor I did my best to comfort her, but there really wasn’t much I could do to relieve the pain. That night was the second-most difficult night I’ve ever experienced. Kameilia was experiencing severe symptoms of miscarriage, and the next day, she didn’t fare any better. In fact, she was growing much worse.
Wednesday, March 23 is forever burned into my memory. My concern for Kameilia’s health was growing exponentially, but in all honesty I didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard that having a miscarriage was similar to giving birth, but both of our children were delivered through cesarean, so I wasn’t fully sure of what to expect. We’d been in contact with Kameilia’s doctor for part of the day, but things just kept getting worse. Literally, at one point, Kameilia flew off the bed in a faint and landed on the ground. As I ran over to her she stared up at me, but it was as if no one was there. It was at that moment I knew that something was severely wrong.
After calling Kameilia’s doctor we left for the emergency room. Even after we arrived, and after all that we had already been through, I still didn’t fully realize to what extent Kameilia’s life was in danger. After a series of tests we learned that Kameilia’s abdomen was filling with fluid, and that if they didn’t operate soon it was likely that she would die. We learned later that she was bleeding internally. Having to stand by your wife while she is laying in agony, knowing that there’s nothing you can do, and knowing that the outlook doesn’t look promising is the most heart-wrenching feeling I’ve ever experienced. Yet, even in that moment, something arose within me and I declared over my wife that she would make it through. I thank God that His ways are higher than mine, and that we can have a peace that surpasses all human understanding even in life’s most difficult moments.
After about three hours, Kameilia’s doctor came out and told me that the surgery was successful and that Kameilia was out of danger, but that a hysterectomy was required. Apparently, the placenta had grown into Kameilia’s uterus causing it to rupture. While the surgery was successful, this meant that Kameilia would no longer be physically able to carry children. As devastating as that was, I was so overjoyed to hear that Kameilia was ok.
While the journey of recovery is still on-going, and is at times difficult, I know without any shadow of doubt that God saved Kameilia’s life that day. If it’s one thing I learned through all of this is that there is power in the spoken word. Speaking life over Kameilia in the few moments before surgery, I believe, carried great spiritual significance. Even more so, I learned how important it is to have a prayer strategy – to carry God’s word in one’s heart. We don’t often know what challenges we will face in our lifetime, but in those moments, it’s essential that we recall the words that God has spoken over us. It’s for this reason that I ordered a Prayerful Sign for Kameilia. Not only do the words on the sign serve as a prayer guide, but they also serve as a reminder of what God can accomplish in and through us when we pray.