(I’ve had this post written for awhile sitting in the draft box. For some reason, I haven’t felt ready to post it till now. It takes a long time to process something like this, and I wanted to make sure I was sharing exactly what the Lord wanted me to. One day, I hope to document the process and emotions after a year like we endured. I didn’t even realize how much I needed to heal. Thank you to all my friends and family who have given me grace while I have recovered and healed emotionally over the past 9 months. Just because you have a miracle doesn’t always mean you recover immediately from the anxiety of the journey we were on. I know so many people wanted to hear the end of the story so thanks for bearing with me as I processed it.
I started blogging this story for the main purpose to help others. I wanted to give others hope. I just didn’t realize how much hope the Lord would use us to spread. He is such a good Father!)
Mike and my nurse sat me up in the bed and helped me navigate my way to the wheelchair attached to all my IVs and cords. The nurse began wheeling me to delivery but stopped to ask for directions since delivering on the main OR is so rare. We stopped again so I could hug my mom and dad. I remember wishing they could just take away my anxiety and fear just like they always did as a kid but knowing TODAY I had to be an adult and face this. Even though, I really felt like that scared little girl who always looked to her Daddy to comfort her.
We turned the corner down the cold white corridor. My teeth were chattering. What were they storing in here? Meat?! I remember turning around making sure Mike was still following us.
“Is everything ok?” the nurse asked.
“My husband. Where is he?”
“He is right here, honey.”
I turned around and saw Mike wave and connected with his eyes. I was so thankful for his strength and prayers I could see him chattering underneath his breath. I knew he was talking to Jesus. But I was scared after the morning events, they were going to pull him aside when I wasn’t looking and not allow him in the OR. So with each turn we made around those hospital corridors, I looked back to make sure he was still there.
I felt like I was in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It took forever to get to that room as we passed OR after OR and I saw people being operated on and choked by tubes. “Would that be me in an hour?” my thoughts were racing.
We finally reached the OR. They asked Mike to stay outside, and they’d call him in after I had my epidural. The anesthesiologist started telling me stories of her kids, and we began exchanging conversations as my voice just shook. I was thankful for kind, lighthearted conversation but the realization of the next hour ahead of me weighed on me like a ton of bricks. The hour I’d been dreaming and agonizing over for the past 7 months. My precious little girl was coming but I didn’t know what I’d be facing.
I thought many times of the little smiles of Luke and Elle and the sweet prayers they’d pray at night for their sister and mommy. “Oh, please, God! Hear their prayers. Hear our prayers. Hear the prayers of all your children. I plead with you. I trust you. You are good. You are good. You are good.” I muttered those words, “You are good,” under my breath for the next hour.
I remember looking at the clock and it was almost 11. Things were behind. Then I glanced out the door and saw Mike. He was pacing back and forth with his scrubs on and wringing the hat in his hands. He saw me and tried to grin. But nothing moved. The corners of his mouth just couldn’t make it up. All he could give me was a thumbs up. I’ll never forget the fear I saw in his eyes. I’d never seen that look before. And I hope I never do again.
In the meantime, one of my favorite doctors came in and talked to me. I don’t even remember what we talked about. I was just so thankful he was there to make small talk.
Finally, the needle was in. They laid me down and placed a warm, inflatable plastic collar around my shoulders and neck.
“I’m going to puke! The heat is suffocating me.”
My nerves were so tense by that point that I was so glad the room felt like an ice box. My body was producing enough heat and didn’t need any extra.
She removed it immediately.
Mike came in. He held my hand and said a prayer. And a few minutes later I felt pulling and tugging. It was here.
I quietly sang a few worship songs. Mike and I talked about our little girl. We couldn’t wait to see her!
After a little while, the tugging and pulling got stronger.
“I can see her, Erin!” Then I hear, “Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Denny!” Then followed a long, loud squeal. She was here. Thank you Jesus. I told Mike to follow her to the other side of the room.
I kept my eyes on her. I stared. I gazed. Our miracle had been completed. She was here- full term and healthy!
I was wrestling celebrating the birth of my baby with an overload of happy emotions and the suffocating anxiety about the next few minutes, hours, days, and months that I had been prepared to face. My thoughts were racing….
“She’s here! She looks perfect!”
‘”You could have cancer? Your life could be over.”
“Oh, she is the perfect mix of Luke and Elle. God, you are so so good.”
“Oh, Jesus, let this mass come out. What is going on? Why are they chattering? Come on. I just want this part over with.”
“Let me hold my baby.”
My thoughts were interrupted. All of the sudden I heard, “It’s very vascular.” My heart sunk. That is what we knew we didn’t want – a mass connected to tons of blood flow. The ultrasound and blood work were right. Jesus. Come. Then I saw lots of feet scurrying. I swallowed a lump in my throat. My mouth was dry.
A few seconds later, My doctor pulled down the curtain and exclaimed, “Erin, there is no mass. There is nothing in your uterus. I’ve looked everywhere.”
I said, “Huh? What do you mean? Did you take it out?”
“No. There is nothing here! It’s gone! All those prayers, girl! Crazy. Crazy.”
She went back over the curtain. I remember not knowing what to think. Its like my brain couldn’t process what just happened. As I was processing, I hear statements like “Hashtag miracle.” “Miracle on Peachtree street.” “Did the baby eat it?” “When was her last ultrasound?” “Did you look everywhere?” “Get her pictures!” Doctors, nurses, students were all like us…in utter shock. They were trying to figure it out.
I realize now when I heard “it’s vascular,” they were talking about my ultrasound pictures from 5 days before. Just five days before that mass was measuring 21 x 13 cm. That group of doctors thought it looked very vascular that day. Chemo plans, losing my hair, lymph node removals, a hysterectomy…you name it. It had been discussed 5 days earlier.
There it was. There was NO mass. That weird mass pictured above was gone! (I’ll spare you the picture of the actual placenta outside the uterus.)
It was a surreal experience I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. It took minutes to register.
My spirit was leaping but my mind wasn’t there yet.
I finally gathered myself, and it hit me. Whoa! We just received an INCREDIBLE miracle.
Mike was still on the other side of the room so I finally called to him and said, “Babe, did you hear? NO mass!”
“Huh? ” he replied.
“Dr. Davenport said there is no mass!” I exclaimed.
“That’s good, right?!?”
“Yes! There is no mass! Praise the Lord!”
He then couldn’t process this extraordinary miracle. We were praying for a benign mass that would just fall out but NO MASS?
Shock. Complete shock.
All these months of looking at a mass that had grown to 21 by 13 centimeters. All the tears. All the prayers. All the anxiety. All the doctors appointments. The days of sickness. The days of my heart breaking that my children were taking a back seat to me and our baby. Being poked and prodded every week…
But there is no mass! Tears began streaming down my face as I laid there. God had just given us a miracle above and beyond anything we could think of or ask for.
The ring of the OR phone interrupted my thoughts…a few minutes later I heard the nurse call from across the room, “Pathology said the placenta looks so grossly normal that they aren’t going to do a frozen sample.”
I heard one doctor say, “Well, if you don’t believe in God or a higher being then you will now!” Chatter like that was going on all over the room. I watched people dialing doctors on call explaining to them everything was so normal. This is just a routine c-section, and we won’t need you.
“Mike, can you flippin’ believe this?”
“Babe, this is just crazy.”
“Text our family. Tell them there is no mass!”
The doctor who was there thinking he was going to get some awesome pictures of a ginormous mass walked over to me. “Well, I’m so happy for ya’ll but I’m a little disappointed. I wanted some great pictures for my next class!” He then proceeded to show me pictures of my placenta telling me how completely normal it looked and he just couldn’t believe this!
I said, “I’ll just trust you.” Nothing about that placenta looked normal to me. Haha!
Then he said, “and good call on that bikini incision. I wouldn’t have let you do that!” (That’s right, Dr.! I wanted to say “Told you so.” But I used self-control.)
Our friends and family started texting back.
It took a few moments for it to register with them the incredible miracle we had all just witnessed.
The nurses brought Charis to Mike. He held her while I kissed her face, and we talked for the next hour while they put me back together.
“Babe, I thought marrying you was the greatest moment of my life and the birth of our other two babies. But this is now,” I said. “I love you all so much but don’t be offended this moment tops everything.” He agreed.
Over the next few days, we had nurse after nurse and doctor after doctor come in our room and tell us how much our miracle changed their life. I was humbled-so humbled. God gave us a miracle that touched so many people. It made this journey all worth it.
One thing was for sure. I’d never be the same. Never.
(There is audio somewhere of the doctor talking to my family telling her what a miracle just occurred. I hope to find that and post it.)