"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Friday, June 5, 2015

The baby I wouldn't have

Disclaimer: I kind of spoil one of the [minor] character lines in the fictional book, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. It actually doesn't have anything to do with the main plot - civil rights - but there is an element of surprise. So if you haven't read the book and plan to, and don't want to know why a certain character is the way she is before the author reveals it…don't read this post. Or just read it and don't get mad at me if you decide to read the book. :)

In the book The Help, which takes place in the 1960s, there is a character - a woman - who acts really strange...staying in bed a lot, not wanting to do any work, etc. She's actually kind of strange in general but that doesn't have anything to do with the point I want to make.

About halfway through the book (SPOILER ALERT!!!), her maid finds her in the bathroom. The woman looks pale and there's a lot of blood in the toilet...as well as something else. It turns out to be her baby. After the maid asks how far along she was, the woman guesses she was around 5 months pregnant.

She also admits that this was the fourth time it happened. Four babies lost. So heart-breaking. Especially when she said she thought hiring a maid would help her keep this baby since she wouldn't have to clean or cook anymore.

Although they never say it, I'm guessing she lost her babies because she had an incompetent cervix.

Even though I tend to be naturally minded, I am SO thankful for modern medicine. Because without it, I probably wouldn't have this boy:

After I lost Levi, the doctors weren't sure exactly what happened, but they had some theories - one being an incompetent cervix. So when I got pregnant with Landon, my doctor said that he might put in a cerclage (a stitch to hold my cervix closed), but he kind of wanted to wait and see if I really needed one. I saw a high-risk doctor too and she did frequent ultrasounds to check my cervix.

Well. When I was 11 weeks pregnant, an ultrasound showed that my cervix was starting to open so I was put on strict bedrest. Like, no getting up except to use the bathroom. (Which is not fun, in case you were wondering.) So my doctor put in a cerclage at 13 weeks - they wait until the second trimester when the baby is fully formed and the chances of miscarriage go down.

Things seemed to go well after that until I hit 22 weeks, which is the same point I lost Levi. My cervix was starting to open AGAIN. With a cerclage, there are 2 stitches placed, and one of my stitches had already popped because of my cervix dilating. But thankfully, the second stitch kept my cervix from dilating anymore (which is why they put 2 stitches in!).

I can't help but think about what would have happened without that life-saving cerclage. And to think about losing another baby in the same way as Levi still terrifies me to this day. 

Cerclages weren't introduced until the late 1950s, so they probably weren't common practice just yet during the time The Help took place. So if I lived during that time or earlier, I probably would have been just like the character in the book - unable to carry a child to term. And that's just so crazy to me.

This boy turns 3 years old today. Without modern medicine, he's the baby I wouldn't have. The strong-willed but goofy little boy that both drives me crazy and makes my heart melt on a daily basis. He is just like his daddy...which can be kind of annoying but is also pretty cute. :)

Thanks to ultrasounds, a cerclage, and medicine to keep the contractions at bay, I have him with me every single day. And I don't for one second take that for granted.

Happy birthday, Landon! We love you!


  1. Happy Birthday, Landon Gerard! So many prayed for you and we are thrilled for the joy you bring your family each and every day. :)


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