We decided not to participate in the Heparin treatment. A few days later Melanie experienced preeclampsia in the middle of the night. This causes a pregnant woman to develop high blood pressure. Hers was fatally high. Her ankles were severely swollen and she was vomiting. The only cure for preeclampsia is delivery. I took her to the hospital at 3:00 in the morning, and she had an emergency caesarean section.
My daughter, Samantha was born ten weeks early. Due to her insufficient development in the womb, she was smaller than a typical ten week premature baby. She weighed only 1 pound and 15 ounces at birth. She fit inside the palm of one of my hands. I still have a picture of her wearing my wedding ring as a bracelet. She was really small.
Melanie was extremely dehydrated when she came into the hospital (due to the vomiting). They had to push several bags of intravenous fluid into her, using a blood pressure cuff, before they could start the caesarean section. This caused her body to experience a rapid temperature drop. After the surgery, they had to put her in a vinyl suit filled with hot air to restore her body temperature. There were no post-delivery rooms available at first, so she was placed in a pre-delivery holding room (with two other women) and then in the delivery hallway. We weren't in a stable, but I could relate to Mary and Joseph when they were told that there was no room in the Inn. Melanie was still shivering in that silver hot air suit while I was blocking people from bumping into her bed in the hallway. I wanted to visit the neonatal intensive care unit and see my daughter, but I couldn't leave my wife shivering in the hallway.
Eventually Melanie's body temperature normalized, and a room became available. I visited Samantha. She was in an incubator. She had a respirator tube down her throat, monitor sensors stuck all over her body, patches on her eyes and a phototherapy light shining on her (to alleviate jaundice). I couldn't hold her. I had to wait until the day that they removed the respirator tube. That was the least of my worries, though. While I stood there, looking at my daughter through a plastic box, the doctor had more bad news for me.
He said that an exam revealed that she had several severe heart issues. It looked like they were going to have to perform heart surgery on my 10 week early, 1 pound and 15 ounce baby girl. That was it! That was the breaking point for me. My wife was still lying in a hospital room recovering from surgery. What would I tell her? She still hadn't even seen her daughter yet. She still had high blood pressure. The doctor explained that it takes some time after delivery for the mother's body to return to normal. I almost didn't want to tell her, but I couldn't avoid it. She had so many questions for me when I came back to her room. Plus, she could see on my face that something was wrong.
Late that night, when the hospital kicked me out, I went home and went straight to my knees. I didn't sleep at all, even though I had been up since 1:00 that morning. I had reached the limit of what was acceptable without receiving an answer from God. I was determined to pray a miracle into my daughter's life. I can honestly say, I have never experienced a deeper or more fervent time of prayer than that night. Romans 8:26 says, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words (ESV)." This is what I experienced.
The next morning the doctor told me that something had happened that he did not understand. Almost all of Samantha's heart complications were gone. There was still one heart murmur, but it was insignificant. There was no need for surgery. I almost jumped through the ceiling! I couldn't wait to tell Melanie.
We weren't out of the woods yet. I framed a picture of Samantha for Melanie to keep at her bedside. We continued to pray. Eventually Melanie was strong enough to visit Samantha. Then she became well enough to be discharged from the hospital. However, Samantha was still at the hospital in that plastic box. We kept praying.
We prayed through each struggle and victory. The breathing tube in her throat was traded for a nasal tube. Eventually she was breathing on her own. The doctors struggled to insert a special long term intravenous called a PICC line. Samantha started to look like a pin cushion, and I strongly reasoned with the doctor that it was more advantageous to just use a normal intravenous. We were able to hold her, and eventually feed her. Then finally, two months later, we took her home. Now, Samantha is a beautiful and healthy seven-year-old.