It was March of 1979, and I was expecting our first child.
My pregnancy had been uneventful except, of course, for the tiredness and nausea. My unborn child was quite a kicker. I often wondered if I had bruises inside!
But I began to worry. It had been three days without any movement or kicking. I was two weeks away from being full term. I had read that babies slow down their movement towards the end, and I had an appointment scheduled in a couple of days.
I tried to put bad thoughts out of my mind.
I was not yet born again which happened in 1983. As a Jew, I knew there was a God, but I knew nothing about His great love for us and how He showed that through His Son Yeshua.
I drove myself to the appointment. I had found my doctor by myself, and I trusted him. Little did I know that he was not using up-to-date technology. At each appointment, he used a stethoscope to listen to my baby’s heartbeat. Doctors had the doppler machine by then (I did not know this), but this doctor would listen with the stethoscope and say to the nurse “Fetal heartbeat is fine.”
The doctor actually said that same thing at this appointment until I told him that I was concerned because I had not felt movement in three days. He opened another drawer and brought out a different stethoscope. I thought to myself “This must be more powerful.”
Then he said words to me that are forever engraved in my mind:
“Your baby may be dead, but you are scheduled to come in next week, so try not to think about it.”
TRY NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT???
I remember struggling to see as I was driving home because of the tears. I was in shock and could not stop crying. When I got home, I called my mother. She wanted the number of my doctor. She called his office, only to find out that he went on vacation and left no doctor’s name in case of an emergency.
Then my mother called my sister. My sister came and drove me to her obstetrician’s office. There, the doctor listened with the doppler for a very long time. Then he called us both into his office.
He told me that my baby was gone.
He said that I would go into labor at any time. He said to call him and he would meet me at the hospital. That night the labor began.
For almost a week, they would take me down to the maternity ward where they would shoot Pitocin into my veins. This is a substance which is supposed to bring on labor. At the end of the day, they would wheel me to another ward to sleep. They didn’t want me to be around mothers with their babies.
Finally, after almost a week of this torture, I pleaded with the doctor to do a C-Section. He did one the next morning. I became very sick – sepsis had set in. I had a high fever and was delirious.
They gave me blood transfusions for two days. Finally, I was on the mend – at least physically.
They never let me see my baby (Michael). Because I had become so sick, my parents and my husband were making decisions for me. They gave Michael’s body to the hospital. Back then they did not know how important it was for the mom to see her deceased baby.
It is all part of the grieving process.
Fast forward to December 1999
My daughter was having her first child. It was almost Christmas. She was in labor and wanted me to be with her. Her doctor told us to walk slowly around the hallway because this would bring on labor. So we walked, we talked, and of course, we laughed.
A nurse then approached us as we were walking. She said that there was a woman in one of the labor rooms who had just delivered a stillborn baby. She asked us to keep any laughing quieter out of respect for this woman. We agreed.
Everything was perfect with my daughter’s labor, and she delivered a beautiful baby boy – Ethan, who has always brought our family such joy.
The Holy Spirit
Having been born again in 1983, I was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I kept feeling that the Lord wanted me to connect in some way with the woman who had lost her child. I had so much to tell her which could encourage her.
I asked at the nurses’ station if they had a piece of paper which I could write on. They gave me one. I prayed that the Lord would give me the right words to say to this woman. I poured out my heart in the letter – telling her what had happened to me so many years before. I spoke of the sadness and disbelief.
I wrote about going on to have three beautiful children. I wrote about what the Lord had done in my life. I gave her my phone number and urged her to call me if she wanted to talk after she got home.
When I was finished, I asked the nurse if this note could be given to the woman. The nurse told me that she would let the mother of the woman read it first, and that she had to make the choice to give it to her or not.
I prayed so hard.
Our daughter was leaving the hospital, so I was leaving as well. I did not know if the note had reached the woman, but I trusted God that His will would be done.
Two weeks later, the phone rang. It was the woman! Through tears, she told me that she didn’t know how she was going to get through the tragedy until her mother gave her my note. She said that God used me to bring hope to her – especially about having children in the future.
We talked about Jesus. We both cried. I realized that it truly was the Holy Spirit Who encouraged me to write to this grieving woman!
I did not hear from her again. I kept wondering if I should call. But I felt that if she wanted to talk, she knew my number. And I kept thinking that this very special connection between us was so perfect and God-sent, that if He wanted me to call, I surely would know.
Whenever I think of this woman and that day which would connect us forever, I think of this passage of Scripture:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2nd Corinthians 3-4).
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