My “Unplanned” Story Almost Cost Me My Life But I Fought For Us Both

Reprint from Wedefendlifeblog.blogspot.com

I must start this story out by saying this is a story of a pregnancy that was very much planned, but turned out not being what I had planned, hence why I call this my “Unplanned Story." After seeing the movie “Unplanned," it got me to thinking why not write my own story so others may see there is hope. I am living proof that when your baby decides to come earlier than expected and your life is in danger that there is never a need to abort your child.

There is always a way to save the life of the mother and the child too. I was only 19 and I had lost twins at 6 months due to an underlying infection. They were identical and absolutely perfect. I remember actually delivering one before the doctor could make it into the room and held that tiny little baby that used to have life but no longer did. I was young and so very scared. It took me many years and lots of healing to get past that loss.

Fast forward several years, I found out we were pregnant again. I was ecstatic but at 3 months pregnant I lost that baby too. I was so broken and didn’t think I would ever be able to have a baby! When I got pregnant for the third time 6 months later, I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum and no heartbeat was detected.

Again another loss, another heartbreak.  I truly didn’t think it was in the cards for me to have children at all. In 1990 I got pregnant yet again and prayed to the Lord that this child would be fine because I truly don’t think I can go through another loss.  

Well 2-18-91 my gorgeous little boy was born and he was perfect. I felt in awe at such a beautiful gift that I was blessed with. I was finally a mother to a child I could watch grow up. I would pinch myself and think is this really real? I would just stare at him for hours. In 1992 I became pregnant again. Little did I know the ride I would be faced with when it came to this pregnancy and that it would put my trust, faith, strength and hope to the test.  

If there was ever a time I held onto the scripture it was, Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

That scripture kept going over and over in my mind as I prayed for guidance. Then came my 3rd month check up and they found a spot on my cervix. My pap came back abnormal showing the beginning of cancer cells! I must say my grandmother had cervical cancer so this was scary for me to hear that.

The doctor told me “Well we will keep a close check on this and see if it progresses and will address it at that time if it is needed."

I agreed. My 5th month rolled around and I was able to finally find out the sex of my baby. We were so excited to see this time we were having a girl.  

But the doctor came in and told me that my pap smear was abnormal and what first started out to be a pencil dot now more than doubled in size. The cells were starting to grow rapidly and the doctor was wanting to do a biopsy to see what we were dealing with.

I firmly said “NO, Absolutely not! I don’t want anything that could cause me to go into labor early considering my history."

The doctor replied “But with the growth and how fast these cells are growing it could mean by the time you have your daughter the cancer cells will have spread.”

I was adamant I didn’t care and NO ONE was doing anything to manipulate my cervix even with a biopsy. I seriously was that fearful of losing this baby too.  

At 5 1/2 months was the first of several trips to the emergency room. I started having contractions and they were consistent so I immediately went in and my doctor met me there. Thank goodness after several hours there they were successful in stopping my labor.

At 7 months I was feeling excellent and relieved that I was in the homestretch. My 3rd trimester. But little to my surprise my baby girl was being anxious and wanting to see the world way too early. Back to the emergency room I go and again, another round of shots and bags of meds to stop my labor.

I thanked God that the doctors and nurses were successful in stopping my labor and this time they admitted me to monitor me overnight. They released me the next day to what turned out to be treacherous blizzard conditions in Georgia. What normally would have taken us 30 minutes seemed to take hours. Our car even got stuck 1/4 of a mile from our house and here I was just getting out of the hospital walking in snow up to my knees and my first husband is carrying our son. It was a crazy, nerve wrecking time.

That was just the beginning. It was April 9th and I woke up like any other normal day and I was 34 weeks pregnant and only had 6 more weeks to go. I rolled out of bed and no sooner did I get down the hall and a contraction hit me like I had been punched in the gut. My son is standing there saying “You ok mommy?”  I remember calling my best friend telling her what was going on and said I think I better get to the hospital. I was at home without a car and back then we didn’t have cell phones so there was no way to call my first husband either. So back to the hospital I go praying that this will be just like the others right? They will give me more meds and be able to stop everything. But I remember I told my best friend this time it felt different and the contractions were a lot harder.  

They got me admitted and immediately went to work. I was greeted by my doctor, Dr. Cano, and a birage of nurses.  This time unlike the times before was indeed different, I was 1 1/2 cm dilated. My doctor reassured me, like before, everything would be okay. I trusted God and him too. When you are in that position what other alternative [is there]? That’s when your faith, trust, hope and strength are put to test like you never thought possible. After having a shot in each arm for 12 hours to stop my labor, hooked up to an IV bag, and also shots given to me to help my daughters lungs in the event she was born, my doctor came in and said, “Lori I have tried everything and I have no choice but to let you have her."

He reassured me he would not be leaving and would be right next door. My first husband stayed in the room with me and I was so exhausted from the day that I just drifted off to sleep. Around 4 am I was awoken with what I thought was my water breaking. I told my first husband to turn on the light and call the nurse. As soon as he flipped on the light to my horror it wasn’t just my water breaking, but I was hemmoraghing profusely. It was running off of the bed onto the floor and as soon as the nurses came in along with my doctor that is when it all started! Unbeknownst to the doctors or me, I had developed a bleeding disorder called D.I.C. (which stands for Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation). This is a very rare condition that affects the bloods ability to clot and stop bleeding. Fewer than 20,000 cases a year are reported and there I was one of those cases!

As soon as they got me into the OR I never saw doctors, nurses, staff and those from the NICU work so quick in all my life. They barely gave me time for the spinal to take affect before they started the c-section. It seemed to take forever to get my daughter out but know was a matter of minutes. He finally pulled her out and all I heard was a faint whimper and that was it. I heard “Code Blue, Code Blue we need oxygen STAT." That was for my baby girl who had stopped breathing several times and had to be resuscitated. I kept asking what is wrong with my baby and they kept telling me she’s fine they are helping her. My heart sank and it was at that moment I passed out from so much loss of blood.

When I finally woke up back in my room they wasted no time with starting me on my first blood transfusion. I ended up having two and my baby did as well. My doctor finally came into my room after it was all said and done to talk with me. He basically told me that I was very lucky to be alive! He also had to break the news to me that due to what had happened to me I could no longer have children. It would be too risky and if I did ever get pregnant again I would either lose my baby or die trying to have another one.

My heart sank but I knew I had to focus all of my energy on my daughter.  She was the most important precious thing to me. At that moment my daughter had a 50% chance of survival. She came into this world at 4:43 am weighing 4lbs and was 21 in. Long. After 1 week she dropped down to 3lbs and that is when it got very scary because she had only a 40% chance to live at this point.

One month after having my daughter, I had to have surgery to remove the cancer cells that were detected early on in my pregnancy. By this point it had covered the whole outer part of my cervix and 1/4 in deep.  As of today I am still fine and no sign of that returning.

The point and reason for me finally writing my story down for all to read is simply this: we have such a major pro-life movement going on in this nation today like we have never seen the likes of.  I keep seeing places like New York and others saying that there is a reason for women to abort their babies in the 3rd trimester for medical reasons to save the life of the mother. Well guess what I am living proof and so is my daughter that is not the case and certainly not the answer. My hope and prayer is that if even one person reading this can have a change of heart then it was all worth it. This is my testimony and I feel this is one of the reasons God spared us so that we may be able to share our story with the world.