The Accidental Blessing
The dictionary defines accident as “1. An unintentional and unfortunate happening. 2. Something that happens unexpectedly. 3. Chance, fortune.”
I have a different definition for a certain accident in my life and my definition is “an unexpected blessing from God.” Let me explain.
Before we married we talked about having kids—that’s a good thing to discuss before you get married. From the time I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a mom when I grew up, and hopefully to at least 3 or 4 children. My fiance was in agreement; we both wanted children.
After marriage, we quickly added two precious little girls to our family, but I wanted more. Unfortunately there was a problem. Because Robert and I had different types of blood, we had known there was a chance of an Rh incompatibility. Kathy was born with severe jaundice, an obvious sign that the Rh antibodies in my blood stream had poisoned her. There was a strong possibility that she would need a total blood exchange. If her titer readings reached 20, they would need to exchange her blood for healthier blood. For several days it hovered at 19. I went home from the hospital after her birth with devastatingly empty arms. She needed careful watching and that required her to stay in the hospital for a week.
When I returned to the obstetrician for follow-up, he minced no words as he cautioned me against having any additional children. “You’ve got two healthy babies, you should quit while you’re ahead. This Rh incompatibility gets worse with each baby you have. Another pregnancy could end with blindness, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or even a still birth. I strongly advise against having more children.”
We took the doctor’s words seriously. Who wouldn’t? We determined to be content with our two girls. However, in spite of our intentions, six years later I found myself pregnant again. Most would say it was an accident, and to us the pregnancy was unexpected and definitely not something we had planned. But God was not taken by surprise, and He had a precious miracle in the making.
My initial visit to the obstetrician was not met with great enthusiasm. In fact, he was a bit grim. He explained that it would be necessary to do extra blood work to monitor the Rh antibodies in my blood. If they reached a dangerous level, he would deliver the baby early. They would probably need to do an amniocentesis to check on the health of the baby while still in my womb.
My excitement over the pregnancy was tempered with a horrible sense of fear. I had already fallen in love with the child I was carrying. How would I handle it if I lost the baby or if this little one was born with severe handicaps? I was in a small church that had seen two babies born in the previous eighteen months with severe mental and physical handicaps. I knew both of the mothers well, and I knew the grief they had experienced. At times my fears were overwhelming.
One day a close friend invited me to go to the park with her. She was volunteering at a mental health facility and was taking one of the residents for an outing. It was a little boy with Down’s syndrome. By the end of the day, I was a basket case. All the fears and all the worries about my baby climaxed that afternoon. I came home a tearful mess. After a good cry, I prayed, “Lord, I give you control over this pregnancy. Give me the strength to be a good mother to this child no matter what problems it may have.” When I released my baby’s future totally to God, a strange sense of peace came over me. I knew with God’s help, I could handle whatever challenges came.
When I was about six months pregnant, the doctor began the blood work to check the level of my Rh antibodies. To his great surprise and to my great delight, there were none—zero Rh antibodies. At seven months I was tested again with the same incredible results. At eight months, still no trace of Rh antibodies in my blood.
Very early one March morning, I went into labor. It was the day of the NCAA championship and my husband teasingly told me, “Let’s get this done quickly so I can watch the game.” I was blessed with short labors, and at 10:03 a.m., my precious baby boy came into the world, without any trace of Rh incompatibility. He was perfectly healthy and I was deliriously happy. Over, and over, and over, I praised God for giving me a healthy son.
That day I gave my son to God. I promised God I would do everything in my power to raise my baby to love and honor Him. Just hours after his birth, as I held this precious gift in my arms, I dedicated my son to the Lord.
The doctor had no explanation as to what happened to remove the Rh antibodies from my blood. He thought perhaps Kathy’s condition had been caused by an ABO incompatibility instead of the Rh factor.
I have quite a different explanation. I believe God wanted us to have this child and He knew how to remove Rh antibodies from my blood. My son was never an accident in God’s eyes. He was planned all along and this “accident” has truly been a tremendous blessing.