Sense of Life. Articles in English. He Won’t Let You Down.
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He Won’t Let You Down

In my twenty-third week of pregnancy, I discovered I had preeclampsia, one of the most serious forms of toxemia occurring in the later stages of pregnancy. The condition is very dangerous for both the mother and the child. When fluid retention reaches a certain point, the person is past help. The condition develops very quickly, usually in a matter of days.

The doctors gave us three choices: the first was to induce birth, which obviously, at this still early stage, offered the child almost no chance of survival. The second was to wait until my condition became critical (but I had just about reached that point). The third was to “terminate” the pregnancy. The doctors urged strongly in favor of abortion. In their view it was the best solution. I should add that we were then living in England, where abortion is legal until the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy.

We chose to wait. We were told that in my case it could only be a matter of days, at best a week — which would not greatly increase the child’s chances. Nevertheless, we put our trust in God and placed everything in His hands. He was our only hope; and so our “storming of heaven” began. My husband and I prayed together, along with our whole family, friends, nuns, priests, prayer groups — half of London and Poland (indeed, it seemed like the whole world!) All this time we felt the power of prayer; we knew that our Lord would not abandon us. We prayed the Holy Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We also prayed to the saints, especially St. Joseph, St. Philemon, St. Pio, and St. Faustina, to whom I promised that, if I should give birth to a girl, I would name her Faustina.

This was a very special time. John Paul II was dying (in a week we would be praying for his intercession as well) and Easter was upon us. On the Thursday before Divine Mercy Sunday, I went in for an ultrasound. The doctor told us in her assured and business-like manner that the child was weak, small, and very sick; meanwhile, my condition had reached a critical point. In her opinion it was best to terminate the pregnancy. “You are both young” she observed. “In a year’s time you can have another child.” She added: “I give this child three days at the most, and if it should by some miracle survive, which I personally don’t believe, there is the risk the child will be mentally retarded.”  She asked us how much longer we were prepared to wait.

God must have given us so much strength, for we never stopped trusting in Him. We felt a great peace in our hearts and prayed even harder. I returned for another ultrasound right after Divine Mercy Sunday. To my surprise, the same doctor said to me, “You know, I honestly didn’t think I’d see you again. The child looks much better. It seems to be more active, and you seem to be doing better as well.” Somewhat embarrassed, she added, “Well, we shall wait.” We could not have expected to hear anything better. Every day after that was a gift from God — “good news,” as my gynecologist called it, since every additional day in the womb increased our little one’s chances.

With God’s help I made it to the twenty-sixth week, i.e. three whole weeks past the date of my diagnosis. I gave birth to a tiny, beautiful baby girl — Faustina. She weighed 574 grams. The birth came off without a hitch, but then, soon afterwards, just as it seemed that everything was going to be all right, my blood pressure shot up dramatically. All night it stayed at around 180/125. That morning the entire staff gathered around me — all quite helpless, as it seemed to me. They hooked me up to a cardioelectric machine. I felt I was on the point of death. Looking at the picture of Jesus, which I always kept by me, I prayed: “Jesus, if it is Your will, give me another chance and I promise I will tell the whole world of Your great mercy. I promise to look after Faustina to the end of my days, no matter what kind of a child she turns out to be.”

The doctors gave me an intravenous injection on the slim chance that it would lower my blood pressure. A few hours later my pressure began to fall. The next day, my doctor came in to congratulate me. “It’s a miracle that you are alive” he said. “Do you realize that if we had waited two more days, neither you nor the child would have survived?” It was only then that I realized what God in His mercy had achieved.

Meanwhile, the specialists in charge of Faustina held out little hope. They said our child’s condition was serious and critical. She was hemorrhaging in the brain, had ductus arteriosis, a low birth weight, and organs that were not fully formed. But after everything that Christ had already achieved, our faith was even greater. We confided Faustina to His care, and ourselves to His will. Above all, we never stopped praying. Our child spent four months in hospital. For over a month she remained on a respirator. She underwent a laser operation for her eyes and suffered many infections, including toxaemia. I shall never forget the day we were called in to the hospital  because the doctors thought they were losing her. But the Lord wanted her to live.

At last, after all those months of battling for Faustina’s life, the doctor said to us, “You can take your daughter home.” What a wonderful day that was! As we were leaving, one of the nurses said, “It’s wonderful to see that child going home. We came so close to losing her several times.” Another nurse, with tears in her eyes, said, “And we told you to abort her…”

Faustina turned one year old just under a month ago. She is a marvelous, cheerful child, and is developing well. On returning to Poland, we consulted several specialists and had an ultrasound done of her head. It turned out that she had suffered no brain damage whatsoever, despite that bleeding that had alarmed the doctors so much. Nor were there any signs of a stroke or hydrocephalus. The ophthalmologist, a specialist in eye problems of premature babies, tells us that Faustina’s eyesight has been badly affected and that she will have to wear glasses. But, considering the fact that she might never have been able to see at all, this is nothing; and so her case belongs to the category of miracles.

Dear God, how can we thank You for all that You have done? Lord, I cannot find the words. I want to thank You for the rest of my life. We asked for a little, and You gave us so much. Glory to You! Hallowed be Your name! Jesus, I trust in You! And also in You, O Mother of Splendid Love! All this time You were with us. You pressed Faustina close to Your heart, while I was still unable to do so.

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