“Please don’t let me die, let me raise my own children.”
Why are my arms and legs shaking?
Where’s my baby?
I will never forget the words my nurse kept repeating as I asked those questions, “We’re doing everything we can for you.”
It was 5 in the morning, and I had delivered my third child, a girl at 3 am. But something just wasn’t right. My husband, Harry had just left to go home to sleep after the sleepless night. It was a relatively short labor, about three hours, but my head was throbbing the whole time and the light was hurting my eyes. The nurse had given me Tylenol for my headache and told me to rest.
I was restless and grew concerned as I watched my arms and legs begin trembling. I called the nurse and when she walked into the room, I asked her why my arms and legs were shaking uncontrollably. She looked at me and said, “Oh my God!” and immediately picked up the phone, pressed some buttons and frantically said, “Get the doctor in this room, stat.”
Now I knew that something was wrong. I asked to see my baby, but she kept telling me that the baby was fine and they were doing everything they could for me. My room was starting to fill up with people I had never seen before. Everything was happening so quickly. They started tying my arms to the hospital bed and when I asked why they were doing that, one nurse replied, “It’s so you don’t hurt yourself.” Now I was really confused. Why would I hurt myself?
I asked the nurse to call my husband and she surprised me when she asked me what the phone number was. I gave her our home phone number and as soon as Harry walked into the house, the phone rang. The nurse told him that there was a complication, and he should come back to the hospital right away. This all took place in my room where I could hear her, but no one was explaining what was happening to me.
A man came in and introduced himself as the doctor on call and explained that he was going to inject something into my IV and it was going to “burn like hell”. He was right, it did. As the medication went into my body I started praying, “Please God, don’t let me die. Let me raise my own children.” They started putting ice packs on my body to cool me down and then everything changed. I felt myself go limp.
I was now looking down at myself on a hospital bed with a room full of medical providers working on me. It was instantaneous. Then I felt my body moving through a large tunnel towards a bright light. It wasn’t a very dark tunnel and there were shiny objects floating around but they didn’t bump into me while I was going through. I heard voices and a sound like the wind blowing. I heard myself praying, “Please don’t let me die, let me raise my own children.” As soon as I spoke these words, I found myself in the hospital room and I was now on the hospital bed looking up at the doctors and nurses.
Everything was so blurry. I had double vision but I could still make out Harry’s face. He told me that he was there with me so I asked him if I could see our baby. They brought my newborn daughter into the room and held her near me so that I could see her. She was blurry, but she was there, safe and sound. I asked the nurse to lay her on me so they untied my arms and I held her and my hormones took over as I sobbed.
I knew it was going to be ok now. God had answered my prayer. The doctor that had delivered my baby was now in the room. He looked at me and asked me, “What happened?”
I didn’t know what to tell him. I explained what I had experienced, and he told me that I had a condition called toxemia and the uncontrollable trembling was because of a seizure from a pregnancy related condition called eclampsia. I had lost consciousness and later found out from one of the nurses that she thought they had lost me. I was so grateful to God to be given another chance to live. I was grateful that I was going to be able to see my baby, her three-year-old brother and one and a half year old sister grow up.
The blurred double vision went away after a couple of days and my throbbing headache got better too. I had a different outlook on life though, one of gratitude. There hasn’t been a day since then that I don’t get up and thank God for another day of life.
I am writing this on my birthday as I reflected on how grateful I am to be alive and the beautiful blessings that God has given me. There are no guarantees that we will be given another chance in life, but I’m just grateful that I was one of the lucky ones.