Thursday, February 8, 2007


Well, it's been one year since my ankles began to balloon as I was teaching. I spent most of that day and the next sitting down while reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham with my eighth grade language arts students. I felt like some swelling was normal at 24 weeks pregnant, and I wasn't concerned, but when the swelling didn't go down overnight I decided I'd better call the doctor. When I did that on Friday morning, she asked about my blood pressure--which I had already checked--it was fine. She told me to keep a watch on it over the weekend and come in for my scheduled appointment on Monday. I did a scrapbook workshop Friday night and got on the scales at the church while I was there. Boy! I had gained about 18 pounds since my last weigh-in at the doctor (I don't keep scales at my house).

On Saturday I began to notice some swelling in my face, so I e-mailed my dear friends who were travel-nursing, in ALASKA, at the time. They had given me advice on other occasions and were following my progress. Nurse R. e-mailed me back on Sunday morning and told me to call my doctor immediately. I decided to check my blood pressure again first, and when it was normal, I went on to church. I got prayed for there, and had a long talk with Pastor J about how to handle the situation if indeed it turned out to be a problem.

I can't remember exactly how this story goes, but Pastor J told me about a pregnant woman he and his wife knew who discovered that she had a life-threatening heart condition after she became pregnant. As a result of it, she had to stay flat on her back the whole pregnancy--otherwise she would risk her life and the life of her baby. She came to a place of not questioning God about it but accepted it and kept a beautiful attitude throughout. Once the baby was delivered, the heart condition disappeared, but there was something (this is the part I can't remember) about the pregnancy that if she had not been on her back the whole time, the baby would have died. The lesson was that God is BIGGER than I am, and to have faith for healing but to accept His ultimate decision. I didn't get it completely at the time, but the lesson came clear to me later.

We went to Wal-Mart Sunday afternoon and I checked my BP again--still normal. Sunday night, however, was miserable. I felt like I couldn't breathe lying down and spent much of the night sitting up, dozing, on the sofa. I thought I would get one of those wedge pillows to sleep on before bedtime Monday. Little did I know that this was to be my last night in my own bed for three weeks.

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