I wanted to share my experience of Bailee coming to our family 5 weeks early. Even though it was not at all what we had planned, the experience enabled me to feel the love of my Heavenly Father and the support of my Savior during a difficult time. This experience would have been much harder had I not felt that love and support during this time. As I have reflected on how everything worked out, I have no doubt that Heavenly Father played His hand in this.
Bailee was born on Monday, November 10th--5 weeks before her actual due date. That Monday started out as a normal day. I was just getting ready to leave work to pick up Brielle when I started experiencing a strong pain throughout my entire middle--front to back. Initially, I thought maybe it was gallbladder pain, as I have had that quite frequently the past few weeks. However, no matter how I tried to reposition myself, the pain got stronger, lasting for nearly an hour. I had poor Brook in the car with me, and I was trying not to show how much pain I was really in. Finally, I decided to go to the hospital. Of course, when I got there, the pain stopped, but I decided to get checked out anyway. At first, it looked like I wasn't in labor and we would be going home in a couple of hours. However, when they checked me again almost 2 hours later, I had dilated almost to a 4 and was completely effaced. At that point, they scheduled the c-section. I honestly don't think I would have known for sure I was in labor for another couple of hours because I barely even felt the contractions, even though they were showing up on the monitor. I had the thought that maybe I had experienced that pain initially so that I would get to the hospital in time.
When Bailee was born, her lungs were under developed. Before being transported to the UVRMC NICU, Jeff had the opportunity to give her a blessing of healing, with the help of the respiratory therapist who was there with Bailee. He blessed her that she would respond to the treatments given to her. Thankfully, we saw the fruits of that rather quickly, as she only had to be on the ventilator for 12 hours.
Over the next few days as I was forced to wait patiently in the hospital to be released, I constantly felt the companionship of my Savior. I felt so much love from the many prayers that were offered on our behalf. I had forgotten what a strengthening influence that can be, and I truly believe in the power of prayer. I have had so many fears and worries about Bailee, about my girls, and about my body healing. At every turn, Heavenly Father has been alleviating those burdens through people who have dropped everything to help us, and through helping Bailee to gain strength everyday and quickly learning what she needed to do to be able to eat successfully.
I have felt so grateful as something has happened everyday that has reminded me that my Heavenly Father is aware of us and of our needs at this time. Even something as simple as allowing me the opportunity to read a conference talk that spoke to my heart and reminded me of things I had forgotten. Satan has also tried to discourage us during this time, but in the talk I read today, I was reminded to humble myself and to rely on and acknowledge the hand of my Savior in my life. Because I have been so busy over the past several months, I have forgotten to take time to ponder on the life and love of our Savior, and I have felt an emptiness where I have neglected that. It has been so incredible to be reminded of just how amazing it feels to be filled with the love and support of our Savior when I feel so limited in what I am capable of doing. Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. He wants us to be successful. He wants us to turn to Him. Our Savior is ready and waiting to help us whenever we need, if we but humbly ask. I am truly grateful for that reminder.