The Day the Wee Guy was Born

Just over eight years ago, this wee fella was born.

On that day, in April of 2003, we were given our fouth child. Our second son. I also almost lost my life.

I was in Week 33 of my pregnancy. Bearing in mind that I was a whole two weeks late with my other three pregnancies, in my own mind I had eight or nine weeks to go. At the time, I certainly did not feel organised. Then again, I wouldn't have been organised at forty-two weeks either, knowing me!

My sister and I had been in Inverness for a couple of days. I remember we had a mad rush driving from Inverness to Ullapool, but caught the ferry just in time. We laughed so much whilst shopping, and on our mad dash to the ferry. How little we knew of what was just around the corner.

This was to be the first of our children born in Lewis: we'd been living in Glasgow when the other three were born. We were now living 25 miles from the hospital, and because I'd always had very quick labours, we used to joke about this baby being born in the moor on the way to town! We knew that we'd have to head off once I began contractions.

On that Sunday morning, my waters breaking woke me (I'm sorry, I don't want to be graphic, but the story can't really be told without some general labour details!). I sat up in bed, woke hubby and went into my normal panic mode: I sat and did nothing! 

A short while later, we were off. My sister-in-law stayed with our other children, and we began our journey to town. We arrived at the hospital half an hour later, still totally unaware of the situation we were in. This baby was six weeks early - eight weeks earlier than I'd planned on! We were in shock, but apart from that, I wasn't unduly worried. 

When we arrived at the hospital, the midwife we met led me - not to the labour suite - but to the ward. Because we'd had our other children in Glasgow, the midwives in Stornoway weren't to know that my babies normally made quick appearances into this world! I seemed, to her, in the very early stages of labour, but when I hesitated, she agreed to take me straight to the labour room. 

Let's just say it was just as well! The Wee Guy was born very shortly after this, and everything seemed normal at that stage. After the midwife had cleaned the baby up, she handed him to me. This was when I realised I felt odd. I nodded to her to give the baby to daddy. I felt so weak, but couldn't even say it to her. I remember she looked at me, realised I looked 'odd', took a look at my hands and said to another member of staff: 'Her peripheries are going purple!'. She pressed the emergency button, and it seemed that within seconds the room was filled with doctors and other medical staff. 

I was aware of everything that was going on. I was especially aware of the looks on the doctors' faces. I was seriously ill. I knew it by their expressions. The truth was written all over their faces: I was dying, and they didn't think they were going to be able to save my life.

They were mentioning clots, pre-eclampsia, blood pressure. A couple of times, I saw a look of resignation on the doctor's face. 

I knew I was at death's door. The room was full of people. They were busy, but it all seemed quiet. I lay back and thought of the time. It was late morning. Sunday morning. The morning of the Lord's Day. I thought: 'By afternoon of this Lord's Day, I will be with my Lord. What a Lord's Day it will be for me! I will see Him face to face.'

I thought of my children. I prayed for each one of them individually, and handed them over to my Heavenly Father. I remember thinking that no matter how much I loved them, He was able to take better care of them than I ever could.

I realised I would be in Heaven because - and only because - of Christ's saving work in my soul. I had done nothing to earn my salvation. I deserved none of God's grace, yet here I was, on the threshold of heaven. God gave me total peace at that moment. Only His grace would have allowed me to feel that way because, humanly speaking, I would never have 'let go' of my children in that way. 

If you are a mother and you're reading this, you will know that there is nothing - nothing - that your mother's heart will hold on to like it will to your children. My instinct is to protect them, nurture them, be with them. And, of course, I think nobody can do what they need but me - their mother. To have had that peace, then, that Sunday morning, was nothing short of miraculous. I praise God for the peace He gave me. Humanly speaking, my blood pressure was so high, the doctors were waiting for my organs to fail, and for me, ultimately, to die. Any additional anxiety, surely, would have made things even worse.
But I thank God especially for that peace, because I understand that His grace can take us to places we would think impossible. The bond I have (and all you mothers will know what I mean) with my children seems too strong for me to be able to let go of it. But God showed me that day, that He is able to draw us to Himself with bands of love that are stronger than anything this world knows of.

I spent the next week in High Dependency. I remember on Day 3, a nurse saying to the doctor that my 'bottom line pressure was down to 124'. It was down to 124, and that was seen as an achievement!  

In all, I spent three weeks in hospital. The medical staff never really understood what went wrong. There were more questions than answers. I ended up, apparently, with  pneumonia in both lungs, but some doctors disagreed with the diagnoses, and believed it was fluid in my lungs; I had a heart condition that may have been the result of the extreme blood pressure, a clot, pre-eclampsia, or a combination of some of these conditions and/or others. Every day the Builder drove over to see me at the hospital. He made the journey filled with dread each day, not knowing what new discovery they'd made or what new symptom I displayed. He was beside himself with worry! 

During the second week, when my lungs were filling with fluid (though that hadn't been realised quite yet), and breathing was becoming increasingly difficult, I remember sitting up in bed, propped by pillows. I couldn't lie down because of lack of breath, and I couldn't sleep. I hadn't slept for about thirty-six hours and I was desperately tired. As I sat there, I couldn't even pray. I just wanted to sleep! I remember such an assurance coming into my soul that although I was unable to pray, I was being upheld by the prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ. It was the first time ever I was made truly aware of the blessing we have when others pray for us. 

It's a lesson I've never forgotten, and I know it affected the way - to this day - in which I pray for others. 

God does hear prayer. And those who were praying for me that night (and I know there were many) were more of a blessing to me than they can ever know.

So, why am I telling you all this just now? Well, I guess there are a number of reasons:

I'd planned to tell the story at some stage of my blogging life, and I'd thought of the Wee Guy's birthday. However, that passed in a blur of busyness, and I hadn't managed to write it.

A good friend of ours had a major health scare this week - another healthy, young parent, who became seriously ill 'out of the blue' and who, like me, is a sinner saved by grace, and who, like me, was given wonderful peace when he thought his life here on earth truly may have been coming to an end.

I actually had the beginning of it in my Drafts folder for the past two weeks and eventually I sat down and put the words 'on paper' last night.

Why have I not written the story before now?

Well, I was reluctant to post the story in case, in some way, it seems to draw attention to me. I want the attention only to be on God's grace, but in telling the story, there seems to be 'I - I - I' all the way through. I want it to be 'God-God-God' all the way.

When I decided a couple of weeks ago to actually sit and write it, I found it was much more difficult than I'd anticipated. When we experience times of God dealing very personally with us, it can be difficult to bring these jewels out into the open. This is not because there's anything I want to hide. It's just not such an easy thing to do, and I cannot really explain why.

Before this illness, I'd never had more than a cough or a cold. I was as healthy as could be, and the truth was that I never, ever expected illness could hit me. Oh, I know I would acknowledge that my health was a gift, and that we don't know what a day might bring.... But really? Did I mean this? I'm not sure that it was any more than idle words. I lived as though I were invincible.

I'd had three children before this. Having them was as easy for me as going to Tesco for my weekly shop. I went into labour, had a baby, stayed in hospital for the obligatory eight hours, went home, and resumed life as though I'd done no more than go to Tesco. No kidding! It didn't occur to me that this kind of thing could happen to me. 

But God showed me - really showed me - that we have nothing....nothing.... but what He gives us. Every day we have on mercy's ground is an undeserved gift. Every day of health and strength is a blessing for which we ought to give thanks. God was good to us as a family: He left me with my family, and for that I am so thankful. I wish my life was one of greater service to Him, but I know the experience changed me forever. 

I know that life is fleeting. However long we have - it will pass in a blink. 

I know that nothing in this life really matters other than having Christ as my Saviour, and that my children would have Christ as their Saviour. Nothing compares with this in importance. 

Now, eight years on, I have no health issues whatsoever as a result of what occurred at that time. When the doctor finally discharged me a year after Calum's birth, he admitted that he had no idea how I'd survived. When I told him that God hears prayer - it was His will for me - the doctor sighed and simply said, 'Well, something bigger than us saved you, because I have no idea how you're here'.

It was not my time. But one day, it will be.


  1. Isn't it weird how something that should be so natural, like pregnancy, can be so terrifying. How scary! Glad all ended well. Happy birthday to your son!

  2. To God be the glory, great things He has done! What a wonderful testimony of His grace and the power of prayer. Thank you for encouraging me this morning.

  3. oh wow, this brought tears to my eyes. I love that you shared this and your expression of how difficult it is to communicate a time of God dealing with us personally.

    I'm glad it's God's will that you're still here and that He is BIG, BIG, BIG and mighty to save, not just from physical death, but also from the eternal grave. Praise the Lord.

    Happy Birthday, big man!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. Unlike you, I had a roller coaster of difficulties when pregnant, except with the last one. My only problem then was being old and tired! I'm glad that God blessed not only your family, but all of us when he kept you here.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing us such uplifting words!

  6. I like you have had the a number of babies Tesco style, didn't even have to go to hospital, never even had a days ill health!!! But I have had friends who have been desperately ill, and I have helped and supported their children through the loss of their parents... and it is something I have dreaded for my children to go through. This week you and your friendly blogger friend have both addressed this fear head on... and I hope when the time comes I will have the strength and peace to let go of my kids. Of course I know God has a plan and of course I know All things work for His good and of course I know that He is in control and they are His children after all, to love and cherish so much better than anything I can ever do... What can I say, that is a hard lesson to learn, but you are blessed to have learnt it. Really it is only by grace that we have our kids and only by grace that we get to hold onto them... and by grace they sure do fill our mothering hearts to the brim.

  7. Thank you for sharing what had to be an incredibly difficult time in your life. But when situations seem overwhelming, our God shows up and reminds us what a MIGHTY GOD HE IS. He has a plan for all our lives and though at times we may not understand, we trust. You DO have a life of service to Him. Sharing what He has done in YOUR life is a reminder to each of us as to just how powerful prayer is. May you have a wonderfully blessed day today!

  8. Thank you for sharing your story....God is so good... : )

  9. Praise the LORD for his mercy in your life! To be that close to death and to have such a peace - only God could give that! What a wonderful testimony.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story. It is very comforting to think of His peace with you at that time; It is His peace I feel even in these difficult days on the earth, and it gives me strength, hope and joy to keep going.... recollection of His goodness is part of "the testimony" that enables us to overcome.

    I can't imagine how "The Builder" was feeling... or yes maybe I can. But it is a wonderful story of the Lord's faithfulness to us, and how He hears our prayers. It was a great story. Happy late birthday to the "Wee Guy" by the way.

  11. i love it. i love how God works. i love what he teaches us {those that are open to learning}. i love that you shared your story. and what a story it is! wow, amazing!!!

    thank you for sharing!

  12. Wow! A great testimony of our awesome God! Thank you for allowing Him to use your life as a beautiful picture of Who HE is!

  13. What an absolutely beautiful testimony of God's love and "peace." I needed this today, thanks!

  14. What a beautiful way of giving GOD the glory through your blog! I am glad HE let you live and that we are sisters in the LORD!

  15. I understand you wanting to make sure God receives all the glory in the telling of this, you did what you intended and He IS glorified in this story! This blessed me so much, such an incredible testimony to our dependency upon our God, in all that comes our way. I am so thankful for this story of His mercy and grace in your life dear one. So thankful for you too! God bless you!

  16. I remember when this happened, and praying for you. I remember also, when you had Donald Ross, and how quick it was! I, too, have experienced a peace like that - I had to have a very emergency c-section with Abigail (number 5), and I was filled with a great sense of peace as I was wheeled in for the general anaesthetic. I learnt a lot going through the experience. And, since the passing of Margaret McKenzie, it has reminded me that you can't take anything for granted. Thank-you for sharing with us about god's goodness in your life. x

  17. Wow! Thanks for sharing this amazing story!


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