11 Jun Pre-eclampsia & Prayer
Has it really been a year since I gave birth to my son? It’s hard to believe most times, but when I look back at old pictures, I am surprised at how much my kids have grown. Insert crying emoji here! Surprisingly, I was much less of a soupy mixture of emotions when we celebrated Mateo’s birthday two Mondays ago. There was definitely more joy and less of a bittersweet taste than when we celebrated Vera’s first birthday. Perhaps I had the luxury of more time in my hands to “feel all the feels” or, in proper English, to overthink then.
I often forget where my heart was back when Vera was our only child. And I hope my little story of how we went from one to two kids can be of worth to to you.
Baby Vera in 2013
When Vera was born, I was kept in the recovery room for double the prescribed time because during delivery, my blood pressure shot up. I knew something was wrong because when I woke up from the recovery room–I was the only one there–I heard a nurse ask another nurse, “Humihingi ng update yung asawa.” (The husband is asking for an update.) Uh-oh. That’s me. I didn’t know what was going on and I could not ask because I was groggy and tired, but after four hours in the recover room, I was finally cleared to return to my room and I saw my husband’s I’m-worried-but-I’m-trying-not-to-show-you look.
My blood pressure stabilized right after but on certain occasions throughout my post-delivery stay at the hospital, it would shoot up (Bojo says it went up to something like 180/100). Just when we were about to be discharged to go home, four days after delivery, my papers were held because of my blood pressure. Eventually, after a week in the hospital, I was discharged and written off as having mild pre-eclampsia. The term pre-eclampsia scared me because of what it could lead to. I was so worried about my blood pressure, trying to figure out breastfeeding, and learning caring for a baby that I would often find myself afraid and sad.
Vera’s first few days at home. She was a chub chub.
My OB and cardiologist (I had a cardiologist at 27! What?!) said that if my blood pressure did not return to normal within the six-weeks post partum period, I may be hypertensive. I was assured often that hypertension occurs earlier these days due to lifestyle but I could not accept it. I was only at child 1 and in my 20’s. How could I be hypertensive? I pictured scenarios in my head, when my husband would be carrying Vera, what would happen if my condition would not normalize? Would they be left alone? Maybe it was the post-pregnancy hormones too, but I was never more scared for my life.
Thankfully, within three or four weeks of delivery, my blood pressure began to go back to normal, without the heart maintenance medicine. I was ecstatic, and I thanked God, but I was still worried. There is one in every three chances that pre-eclampsia returns in the next pregnancies if has already occurred. Did that mean I couldn’t get pregnant anymore? I did not tell Bojo, though of course it is not required that a spouse tells his or her other half for them to know, but I was hesitant to get pregnant again because I was scared that I would develop pre-eclampsia again. Even when we were ready to try for another baby, deep down, I think I was afraid. Until one afternoon, when we were given the opportunity to be prayed for by a well-experienced pastor. He mostly prayed a lot of great things for Bojo and just when I thought he was about to end, he stopped himself and said:
“I just send the angels of healing over your body, over your life, I don’t know what’s going on. I just come against fear, fear of dying young, fear of dying before your time, fear of something tragic thing happening to you, I break a curse of fear of cancer, fear of disease and sickness. I break it in the name of Jesus. Lord I just thank you that she’s going to hold her great, great grand babies. Lord I thank you right now that she’s going to break free, so she can run. ‘Cause you’re fast. So I thank you for that Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen!”
Now if you know my husband and I personally, you know that praying for other people is something we both like to do. My husband does it way more than I get to, so it should come by no surprise to me to hear something that accurate prayed for me. But no. I was shocked when I heard him say “fear of dying before your time, fear of something tragic thing happening to you,” because he was able to verbalize what even I could not say in my own mind. I should not have been surprised that God knew about the great fear that I was hiding. But I was. Yet while he was praying for me, I could not help but be thankful that the Lord knows me too well, and that even that fear I did not know how to pray for nor address, He didn’t just reveal, he also healed. When the pastor prayed that I would “hold her great, great grand babies,” it was as if I felt a release—I am free to say aloud that I desire for a long life and to birth generations. I didn’t realise that for over a year, I let fear cripple my decisions, my actions, and even my dreams. I let it steal the vision God had placed in my heart.
Mateo’s first few minutes of life in the operating room
We received that prayer in August 2014, almost a year and a half after giving birth to Vera. In October, less than two months after, I found out I was pregnant again, with Mateo. Perhaps the Lord wanted to remind me first that He holds me in the palm of His hand, even when I no longer care to notice. Especially since I became a mother.
Vera and Mateo’s first meeting When I gave birth to Mateo, I heard the nurses talking in the recovery room, yet again. “Tinatanong nung asawa ni Bonifacio kamusta yung blood pressure niya.” (Bonifacio’s husband is asking how is her blood pressure.) It was stable. There was no hint whatsoever of elevated or spiking blood pressure. Of course I had taken every medical precaution during my pregnancy, but I also knew that it was because the Lord had healed me.
So when I look at Mateo and when I celebrate his birthday, I am also reminded of God’s healing and kindness. I pray that if you have experienced the same situation or anything similar, you would believe God to heal and rescue you.
It’s been a year, Lord. Thank You!