At one point during the surgery, my blood pressure bottomed out and my oxygen levels dropped below 50 percent. After they pumped 12 units of "new" blood (twelve units) into me, my condition began to improve.


When I finally came out of the anesthesia, my chances had gone from slim to much improved.


A Miracle


Our son also improved gradually. While he rode in the ambulance to the other hospital, they told us his breathing improved and he even opened his eyes for the first time. They were able to reduce the ventilator to 60 percent. Every report from then on was positive as God multiplied His blessings to us.


After five days I was able to go home, but home is not where I went. I went to the bedside of my son, Bryan. I had to wait an hour and a half before I could hold him. He nursed right away, and we were able to take him home the next day. It didn't appear that he had any brain damage.


I believe that the Lord had been preparing me for this almost my entire pregnancy. It was a miserable pregnancy. It was the first time I was questioning if I really wanted to go through having another baby, but in my heart, I knew I could not do anything to prevent a pregnancy. Steve and I felt convicted that we should let God be in control of our family size. We knew God was the Creator of life. Children were blessings to be desired.


At one point during my pregnancy, I told the Lord in prayer that if I were not to have any more children it would have to be by His hand, not by ours. I don't believe that God caused the hysterectomy, but I do believe that He helped prepare my heart not to have any more children.


I did not know when I went to bed on Feb 11, 1998, as I lovingly touched my round belly that that would be the last time I would ever feel a baby kick within my body. I was 33 when Bryan, my eighth child, was born. I figured I could possibly have another eight before I was through. It is so easy to take fertility for granted.


Since that night, my life has changed dramatically. The little things don't seem to matter anymore. My children could have been without a mommy. My husband could have been without a wife. I would have been in heaven, so I probably wouldn't have cared too much.


The Lord has given me a new life. I really thought when I came home from the hospital that I would be perfect. For some reason I felt that I had almost touched the hand of God, so somehow that would make me a perfect mommy. Right away, I blew it. So, I'm not going to get to be perfect-yet! But I won't stop trying!


I'm enjoying my life more, enjoying my children more, and enjoying my husband more. So many things seem to get in the way of what is really important. I hope that I never get to a point again when I cannot marvel at God for saving the life of my son and myself. I hope that I will not forget to marvel at the blue sky, the snow-covered grass, the intoxicating smell of a newborn baby, the sparkle in the eyes of a child when you throw all abandon to the wind and say, "Let's have soda-pop for lunch!"