Every family has their stories. You know the ones – the one about Great Aunt Edna hitting a stranger’s house with her car, the one about your toddler riding up and down on the garage door, the one about your mom getting locked in a chicken coop, the one about the time you got hit in the nose by a parking lot arm. (All of these are real stories from my family, by the way. Yes, we’re crazy.)
One of our family stories is the one about the doctor saying our son, Karter, was dead. My husband tells this story every year at Karter’s birthday party, right before Karter blows out the candles. We’ve told this story for over thirteen years now.
I was four months pregnant. On a Sunday night, after a long day working at the church, I didn’t feel very good, so I went to bed early. My husband was still awake, watching sports on television. I woke up and felt something wet next to me on the bed. I switched on the lamp on the nightstand and saw what it was.
The bed was filled with blood.
Kevin came running into the room and saw it. He helped me put on clean clothes and carried me to the car, praying the whole way. He got our two little boys in their dinosaur pajamas out of their beds and carried them to the car also. He called his parents and asked them to meet us at the hospital to take the boys...and he asked them to pray. He called my parents and asked them to pray. He prayed the entire drive to the hospital.
“What’s wrong, Mama?”, my sleepy three-year-old asked from the backseat.
“Nothing’s wrong, honey. We’ve just got to go to the doctor to make sure, and you get to see Grandma and Papa.”
At the hospital, after the boys had gone home with my husband’s parents, a nurse tried to find the baby’s heartbeat. There was none. My obstetrician was out of town, so the doctor on call checked me out and told me she wanted me to spend the night because I’d lost so much blood. That night Kevin sat in the chair next to my bed and prayed through the night. The next morning the doctor came into the room and tried to find a heartbeat again.
“I’m sorry to tell you this, but your baby has died. I’d like for you to undergo a dnc sometime soon so you don’t develop an infection,” she told us.
After she left the room, my husband and I talked about what we should do. We agreed that we should leave the hospital and keep praying. We decided to have faith that God was hearing our prayers, and to not speak negatively. The next day my obstetrician saw us at her office and could also not find a heartbeat and also advised a dnc. We refused and asked for a three dimensional ultrasound. She said I had to be on bed rest for two weeks and then go to the ultrasound.
For the whole two weeks we had to remind each other often to speak words of faith. It was difficult, but we remained positive. We believed our baby was alive.
The day finally came for the three dimensional ultrasound. The technician performed it and refused to tell us anything, saying the doctor had to read the results to us. After the ultrasound, a doctor came into the room with the pictures.
“The results show that your baby is alive. However, the ventricles to the baby’s brain appear to be abnormal, and this can be a serious issue. Your baby could be born and then only live a few minutes, or your baby might be born with severe birth defects.”
Kevin and I went home. We talked about seeing specialists, about doing more ultrasounds and tests. We prayed about it. We asked our family to pray about it. We ultimately felt like the Lord told us to just have peace about it and to trust in Him. We decided not to have any more tests.
The baby continued to grow. For the next few months things appeared to be normal. Doctor’s visits were good, and I felt great. Then, we had another setback. I lost a lot of blood again. Again I was put on bed rest. Again I was told the baby probably wouldn’t live. Again I was told the baby could have serious brain defects. Again we continued to pray.
Then, three and a half weeks before my due date, I went into labor. We went to the hospital with our three year old and two year old in tow. I know this sounds crazy, and people are going to think I’m a nut, but the childbirth was a joyful experience. I decided not to take any medication, and the pain was not unbearable and the labor was not overly long. Several hours later Karter Benjamin Fouts was born. He was six pounds and eleven ounces and perfectly healthy.
Coincidentally (not really, I know it was arranged by God), my doctor couldn’t be there the morning after Karter was born, so the doctor on call had to be the one to check on me, and – you guessed it – the doctor on call was the same one who had told us that our baby had died. When she walked into our room, her eyes bulged open, and her chin dropped.
“Is this...is this the same baby? But, it’s not possible,” she said in amazement.
“It is the same baby,” we told her, “and nothing is impossible with God.”
Now Karter is a thirteen-year-old who loves to play sports, talks all the time, and makes everyone laugh. That baby who the doctors predicted would have brain defects is a bright student in the gifted program and advanced math class and makes straight A’s. I add that information not to brag on my son, but to brag on my God. When God heals, He heals all the way!
Just one of those family stories . . . everyone’s got them. If God has performed a miracle in your family, if you have prayers that He has answered, weave that story into the tapestry of your family – tell it often. Tell it so much that your kids repeat it to their kids. When we do that we are creating a legacy of praise to the God who can do all things in our families!
Martha Fouts and her husband, Kevin, of 22 years have three boys, ages 16, 15 and 13. Her primary passion in ministry at Discovery Church (Yukon, OK), where the couple are lead pastors, is to serve wherever she is needed, from women's ministry to hospitality. But her personal passion is to write. With four books to her credit, as well as a blog, Martha has a wide variety of offerings for the female reader. When she manages to find free time between her taxi services to three active boys, Martha loves to go shopping or snuggle up with a good book. Looking for a new book to read? Find her works at Amazon or your favorite e-book retailer.