Waiting for Baby Taeh – A Look at the Providence of God During a Premature Pregnancy
Mrs. Ellen Kuber, Volunteer at Christian Life Resources
When my daughter, Johanna, suspected that she was pregnant, she went to a newly-degreed medical doctor. The doctor performed an ultrasound to determine how far along she was in the pregnancy. After detecting the amniotic sac, Johanna was told it appeared to be empty.
The doctor recommended that Johanna come back in two weeks to confirm her suspicions that the pregnancy was invalid. Or, if Johanna were too nervous to wait, she could immediately perform a vacuum aspiration. Johanna chose to talk to me before making a decision.
I advised her that she should certainly wait. The baby could simply be too small to detect at that point. If she went for an aspiration, she might actually be aborting her baby. Johanna went back several weeks later, and the doctor discovered that her baby, indeed, was living and growing! When she returned home from that appointment, the full impact of what could have happened hit Johanna. She called her doctor, explaining that she could have aborted her baby if she had chosen the doctor’s option not to wait. She announced that she wanted to see a different doctor for the remainder of her pregnancy.
Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.(Psalm 86:2)
I told Johanna about a pro-life OB/GYN I knew. Johanna became his patient.
In her 16th week of pregnancy, Johanna’s amniotic sack ruptured. At the hospital she was told she would soon miscarry. She didn’t.
Johanna was advised by her doctor that the only hope of keeping the baby until viability would be complete bed rest. She could get up only for bathroom use and one timed five-minute shower per week.
Johanna came to stay at my house so I could bring meals to her and keep her company. In addition, we arranged for weekly care by a health nurse. The doctor followed up by phone.
When the nurse first came to see Johanna, she seemed somewhat distant and unfriendly. She told us weeks later that she was under the impression Johanna was a single teen mom who hoped she would miscarry.We set her straight on the fact that Johanna was a 20-year-old married mother, happy to be expecting a baby and anxious for a healthy pregnancy. The nurse’s demeanor changed at that point as she began to take a cautious, yet friendlier, approach. I believed she was afraid to become attached to us, fearing an unhappy ending.
The doctor made his follow-up calls but always ended with a gentle reminder, “Don’t get your hopes up too much.” Finally one week Johanna challenged him on his advice. She told him the whole reason she was on bed rest was because she DID have hope – and that was all she had. The doctor then ended his weekly call on a more upbeat note, “I’ll talk to you next week!”
He will have no fear of bad news; his heart issteadfast, trusting in the LORD. (Psalm 112:7)
After six weeks of home bed rest, Johanna’s baby reached her 22nd week. Johanna was admitted into the hospital’s perinatal center and spent the next six weeks with other mothers with high-risk pregnancies. It was a very quiet ward with little visitor activity. Nurses were sometimes startled to hear laughter coming from Johanna’s room when I visited. Anxious, they would come in to check on her – probably because they were not used to patients with high spirits on that floor. Somber visitors entering Johanna’s room would leave comforted, learning we were hopeful that Taeh would reach viability.
At 28 weeks Johanna started to have contractions. The doctor made the decision to deliver Taeh, after having first consulted his volumes of textbooks and case studies. On June 10th Taeh entered the outside world at 2 pounds, 8 ounces.
Taeh remained at the hospital’s NICU for several months. I would take Johanna to visit Taeh during the day. Once, when talking softly to Taeh, I became aware that her blanket was actually a washcloth. Her perfect little hand was the size of my thumbnail!
Despite her size, she had already taught her doctors, home health nurse, multiple nurses from the perinatal center, and many relatives and friends great lessons on hope and humanity. And prayer.
Today Taeh is 11 years old and in the 50th percentile for height and weight. She wears glasses (as does her younger brother who was full-term.) She has inherited her grandmother’s weird sense of humor and is full of spunk and energy. And she is still teaching us great lessons.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)
Ellen Kuber is a volunteer in the national office of Christian Life Resources and has volunteered for the fran O’Meara Pregnancy Helpline. she lives with her family in Richfield, Wisconsin.
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