It's funny how God works in some strange ways. When the cardiologist told us that I shouldn't ever get pregnant we decided that I would have a tubal ligation and just eliminate the risks entirely. The problem was that my insurance didn't cover tubals until you'd carried their insurance for 10 months, and that put us to September with a wedding in June. Hmmm...that wasn't going to work. So we saw some more specialists who agreed with the cardiologist that the risk was too high for me to get pregnant and they wrote letters to our insurance company.
It was emotionally wrenching to be fighting for something that blocked what I had always wanted. But we wanted to preserve my life most of all so we wrote letters and spent hours on the phone with the insurance company. And in the end, they wouldn't be persuaded, they wouldn't cover a tubal until September, we would have to use other methods until then.
At the same time I worked with a nurse named Martha, she was nice, she worked nights and I worked evenings and we knew each other from report and the occasional night when I worked a double. Martha also worked at University of Washington Hospital in labor and delivery. She came in to work one evening and told me that she had been working at the U over the weekend and a woman with Marfan Syndrome had delivered and she was fine and baby was fine. I said cool and blew it off. She was persistent though and told me that this woman had even had surgery already on her heart and she was still able to deliver successfully. She suggested that I go see Dr. Benedetti since he had taken care of this woman and see what he had to say. I thanked her and told her that we had already seen specialists and that our decision had been difficult but it was made.
I was so angry. I hated the decision we had been forced to make but I didn't see any other choice and I didn't feel like Martha knew me well enough to speak into my life in this way. So I told my husband about it and then just let it go. A few days later Martha approached me again and said, "I talked to Dr. Benedetti about you. He would love to talk with you and assess your risk factors." I thanked her and inside seethed that she was being so pushy. I went home and Rick and I talked more and I cried because I didn't want to revisit this decision, it had been too hard in the first place.
My whole family was right with me in what I was feeling with the exception of my sister Diana. She said "go talk to him, what can it hurt? If there's a way to be pregnant with low risk, do it." But even with that encouragement I didn't think I could open this wound again. Enter Martha for the 3rd time when I got to work about a week later, "I talked to Dr. Benedetti's patient care coordinator, she has your name and she's waiting for you to call and schedule an appointment." Man, this woman just couldn't stay out of my business! But this time, when I talked to Rick I said "what if this is God? What if God is trying to give us a message through Martha?"
So we scheduled an appointment for 2 weeks after our wedding and Dr. Benedetti was wonderful. He had cared for women with Marfan's successfully through pregnancy and delivery and he felt that I would be on the low end of high risk. But he wanted to do more tests before I got pregnant, another echocardiogram etc and for that we had to wait until September when insurance would cover my pre-existing condition.
We went home that night and talked and cried. I told Rick "I can't make this decision." I could picture 2 scenarios, I decided to get pregnant, dissected and died during pregnancy and when I got to heaven God would say "why did you get pregnant? I sent you to experts who showed you that you shouldn't." Or I would decide not to get pregnant, die at an old age and when I got to heaven God would say "why didn't you trust that I would take care of you during pregnancy? Why did you block that blessing?" (I know this is theologically inaccurate.) So for the first time we really prayed together--we had prayed together at meals and church--but not like this. Rick said, "God, we can't make this decision. We need to know what you would have us do." And I chimed in and said, "yeah, and God, we need a sign. And not just some easy to miss sign but a flashing, neon, unmistakable sign."
And 2 weeks later, we did a home pregnancy test and it was positive. We think, based on timing, that we got pregnant the night we prayed. How's that for an unmistakable, flashing neon sign? I'm so thankful that Martha was persistent. She became a wonderful friend who I've learned isn't normally pushy like that. I know God used Martha to help guide us to an amazing blessing. Want to hear more about that pregnancy and blessing? That'll be my next post.