But, that's not the end of my story!
Ok so I arrived at my 15 year old daughter's (now 19) high school and pulled into a parking spot with my 3 youngest kiddos ages 2, 4 and 6 at the time. I volunteered to help get the marching band ready for the football game. I was supposed to help with my daughter and the rest of the color guard's hair. It was a super stinking cute hair style too! But well, as soon as I got out of the truck, I collapsed instead! I have absolutely no memory of that day...or even that week! I got the gist though...from my daughter and 3 littlest, fellow band parents and band kids that were all there. A couple (my daughter's best friend's parents...also band parents) ran right over to me and the kids and called 911. Then I'm told another woman ran over...a parent of some sports kid maybe? Maybe even an ICU nurse or something? Anyway, she started performing CPR. I'm told she could only get my heart to flutter but she stayed with me and wouldn't give up. Eventually two police officers got to the scene and had to use a defibrillator which got things jump started...and then once the paramedics got there, they had to hit me again...Ugh! Ya, sounds not so fun...Thank God I was out and have no recollection of any of it! Anyway, long story short...This maybe nurse and her quick actions ultimately saved my life, I hear!
After recovering from all that went on with that event...Coma, Arctic Sun, waking up in complete confusion, fear, memory loss, sooo many tests, an implanted defibrillator and so much more...I really wanted to find this nurse. I asked my doctor if I could possibly get any information. There was really nothing and it seemed like maybe she either didn't work anywhere local, no one knew anything about her...or maybe she didn't even exist! My daughter kept saying that maybe she was really an angel...Haha!
I was able to meet and thank the police officers who were there that day, but I always wondered about this nurse. I prayed and thanked God for her...I was so comforted that He sovereignly placed her at the right place at the right time! She was my hero that I would never meet, but who I was so incredibly grateful for!
Fast forward almost 3 years later...August 10, 2016...
3:30 am...Ahhh...Sooo much pain...Oh crap...My water just broke!!!
Hold on...Wait...Let me give that back story...Haha!
So obviously, I was pregnant. Now, I really wasn't even supposed to be pregnant. You know with the whole heart stuff going on. This was definitely considered a high risk pregnancy because of my heart, but then also because I just recently lost a previous pregnancy. (That story is here, in case you'd like to read about him) Well, I was REALLY freaking out! I was worried about this baby's life and also really worried about my own life! Would this baby be ok? Would I be ok? Would my other kiddos lose their mom? Would my husband lose his wife? Very early into the pregnancy I started seeing a specialist high risk dr. She was awesome! I felt very safe and comfortable...I felt confident that we were in the right hands. I trusted her completely! We even waited to tell anyone about the pregnancy until we felt confident...With baby's health and also my heart health. We wanted to make sure that our loved ones felt at ease and wanted them to share in our joy instead of having fear. (You can read that announcement here) I was a bit nervous on the distance though. It took us almost an hour to get there and most of my labors were fairly quick...one was less than 35 minutes! But, we discussed that with her and planned on just making sure I paid close attention to my body (haha...or as best as I possibly could). I felt comfortable knowing she'd be with me and help me through the whole birthing process. Weeell, then at one of my appointments in my 7th month I learn that I was wrong...She would NOT be the birthing dr. like I thought. She was just the high risk dr...GASP...What?! There went my total confidence! But, she quickly made sure to tell me that the other dr's were completely wonderful and fully capable to handle this...heart problems and all. Ugh...I pretended to feel confident as I flashed a half smile. I soon after had scheduled a meeting with nursing staff, ob dr's, heart dr's, anesthesiologists, etc... for a birthing plan. Not one of them was convincing that they were able to handle my needs! My husband and I started feeling very nervous. I had nightmares almost every night...I was beyond nervous...I was terrified! I prayed so hard...God please take care of this...Please protect this baby...Please protect me! All of a sudden I felt at peace...I trusted Him.
Days later I get a call from the hospital...They are not comfortable with me giving birth in their facility with my heart conditions and all that would need to go along with that. Long Sigh...VERY long sigh...I prayed...
I got up and decide to call my electrophysiologist's office. When I am transferred to his assistant I tell her, through many tears, my situation. See, their office is located at the hospital which is less than 10 minutes away from my home. And at this very same hospital just downstairs from my heart dr is an obgyn group that I also went to for my previous pregnancies. I'm just grasping at anything and hoping I can maybe get my heart dr to say he'll help the ob dr if there's an emergency with me if the ob dr would pretty please just accept me back as a patient cause I'm totally lost and all out of options! Well there was some hoops to jump through but it totally worked and they all agreed...Praise God!!!
Ok, whew! Now that you're up to speed...Ahhh...My water just broke!!!
I spring out of bed and in a sleepy exhausted daze start barking orders to my shaken awake husband. We rush to the hospital...This is it...This is totally it! We are nervous...but excited. Maybe more nervous. I faked bravery the whole pregnancy...I had nightmares of this moment and here it finally was. I trusted God though...I knew no matter what happened, He was good to me! I knew my baby would be ok and my heart was at peace and so grateful. The nurses are checking to see how far I am dilated and putting in one of those super awesome IV's...Ugh...all fun stuff! We are then moved to our birthing room to just wait...contract, breathe and wait. Ugh...with every contraction my heart rate rises and I am getting scared. If my heart rate rises to high, things can happen not so good for me...my defibrillator may deliver a shock...Or, worse. This is awful! My other births weren't like this. I was always able to work with my body and use the contractions to move things along. I felt like I was fighting against my body each time I had a contraction because I was so terrified each time my heart rate would go up! Instead of using the pain I was fighting against it! I was miserable...not that birth is a piece of cake...Haha...but this was excruciatingly difficult! My nurses were so awesome and so encouraging! The very best I have ever ever had in my history of birthing babies...Haha! I was totally dependent on them...and then they had to do a shift change...No! I needed them!
In comes my new nurses. They both seem super wonderful too...Oh thank you God! One of them keeps looking at me weird though...Hmmm...Maybe she's nervous about all my heart history.
The nurse who keeps looking at me funny then says to me, "Hey I need to ask you something...Well, I have to tell you something." I am feeling a bit nervous now. I worry that there may be something wrong with the baby. She then says, "Do you remember in the high school parking lot when you fell?I..." and then she stopped, she couldn't even finish. Her eyes were tearing up and she covered her mouth. She didn't even have to finish her sentence...I already knew. My husband and I both gasped...and I just grabbed her and hugged her! I cried as I finally got to thank the mystery nurse who saved my life! I told her that I looked for her for almost 3 years! I guess because of privacy laws I wasn't able to get her info or she couldn't get mine, I don't know. She told me what happened that day in the parking lot. It was hard to hear, but I was so thankful to finally meet her! I asked how in the world did she end up in labor and delivery and she said that she needed a change of scenery from the ICU and had just started that week! Some may say what a coincidence...But no, I say how awesome God works! My contractions continued and got more and more intense...as they do. My heart rate would rise and eventually the staff started becoming nervous as well. They advised for an epidural and I gave in and had my first ever epidural! I was terrified as they were getting it started and then really freaked out because my husband couldn't be in there with me. My hero nurse held my hand and told me she'd talk me through it and then asked me if I trusted her. Oh my goodness...Of course I did! I never felt so safe! There was some pretty scary moments, but she was always right there by my side. It was all very intense and I will remember those moments forever! But, I will also remember my nurse...my hero...encouraging me and keeping me feeling safe and brave! There were so many times I felt like things were out of control and like I just couldn't do this! She remained steadfast and was my calm in the storm! She truly was my pillar of strength. You know, honestly, as soon as she introduced herself to us, it was like God was saying, "Christina, I got this!" All of a sudden I became very aware of God's sovereign hand over this whole thing.
After our little guy was born and we were rested up and getting ready to move into our new room, our nurse asked if she could hold the baby once more. She snuggled him closely and with teary eyes said, "You be good to your mama little John. You are a little miracle. You were never supposed to be here because neither was she, and yet here you both are! I have a feeling there are big, wonderful and great things in store for you!"
I am so incredibly thankful to have had the blessed opportunity to meet a real life superhero! Things like that just don't happen everyday! I truly believe that God postponed me meeting her...He saved that meeting for when He knew I would need it most! What a wonderful gift! I will be eternally grateful for my second chance at life and I will always hold a very special place in my heart for nurse, Amy Bennet.