Widgets Magazine

May 29, 2011

Princess's Miracle

I squinted at the gray screen, trying to make out the tiny arms and legs as the doctor expertly pointed to each appendage. The year was 1997 and I was only 8 weeks pregnant, so determining the sex was out of the question, but I was thrilled to see the tiny heart pounding out a snappy rendition of Jingle Bells. ‘How appropriate,’ I thought. It was Christmas Eve, and I could think of no better gift than seeing the gift of life on my doctor’s computer screen. As my sweetie and I hurried from the doctor’s office, the cold clear air sent us quickly to the car. We had a little last minute shopping to do, so we headed into the heavy traffic of downtown Salt Lake City.

Not any of my babies.

We drove several blocks to the nearest strip mall. We wanted to get home to the kids so that we could spend the afternoon together. Bossy was 13 and certainly capable of babysitting her five siblings, but still, we didn’t like to be away too long, especially on Christmas Eve. We made our way through the store, looking for something to fill the blanks on our shopping list. Before we had time to find anything suitable, my cell phone rang. I pulled it from my pocket and punched the button. "Hi," I began. I knew it was the kids, because no one else had that number.

My eleven-year-old Gym Rat was hysterical. "Calm down," I nearly shouted. "What’s wrong?" I heard Bossy grab the phone. She was sobbing, "I’m so sorry, Mom…Princess was in the tub…she turned blue…she wasn’t breathing…." What was she telling me? My sweet, blond 15-month-old girl was where? My hands were shaking so badly I nearly dropped the phone.

Suddenly, a soothing voice of one of South Jordan’s finest came on the phone. "Ma’am? Listen to me." I tried to calm down. How could I be calm when they were telling me I’d just lost my baby? "Are you alone?" "No," I managed to choke out. "My husband is with me." "We want the two of you to drive carefully to Primary Children’s Hospital. Where are you?" he questioned. "We’re downtown," I managed. "We could be there in just a few minutes." "Settle down and drive slowly. We’re bringing your baby in on Life Flight. You’ll get there before we will."

That trip to the hospital was the longest one I have ever taken. I screamed, I cried, I tore my hair. Why did we leave her home? When we finally arrived, I was in total meltdown. Princess was not at the hospital yet, and no one knew anything of her condition. We waited for about 30 minutes before we heard the helicopter.

Moments later, we were allowed in the emergency room. Our little Princess was bloated and covered with wires and tubes. She was ice-cold, but she was breathing. Yes, she was still breathing. Our next-door neighbor showed up about the same time we did and he gave her the most beautiful priesthood blessing. Like her ancestor I told you about yesterday, that blessing appeared to make all the difference. She was transferred quickly to the pediatric ICU and hooked to all kinds of monitors. The doctors sat down with us and told us to be realistic. They didn’t think she would die at this point as long as they could warm her up carefully. The first 24 hours were critical, but if she made it through, we still had the possibility of brain damage or even physical damage. I didn’t care, I hugged her as carefully as I could, kissed her, and sobbed her name. She was still alive, and I could think of no better gift than to see the gift of life on the PICU’s monitors.

We sat with her most of the night. We couldn’t touch her because it modified her temperature. I’d never felt so helpless in my life. My grandmother came to stay with our other children. They all agreed that Christmas would wait until our little Princess could come home and share it with us. The morning’s trip to the doctor and our wonderful news of the successful ultrasound for our seventh child seemed a lifetime away.

Christmas morning dawned beautifully, even for us in the PICU. Other parents were there, sharing Christmas morning with their sick and dying little ones. Santa Claus came and brought some gifts and candy, and I couldn’t help wondering if our Princess would ever be able to play with the little stuffed animals or eat the gingerbread. Toward noon, our doctor came in to check on her. We were all exhausted and hoping for good news.

She was still under anesthesia and full of tubes and wires. Her tiny face was swollen from the IV, a respirator covered her mouth and nose, and the heart monitors dotted her little chest. The doctor picked her up and stood her right up on her feet. She moaned and opened her eyes. The doctor paused for only a moment, then he said with conviction, "She’s going to be fine, but plan on her being here at least a week." We were thrilled. No one knew how long she was under water, and with the risk of infection, she could have stayed at the hospital for weeks with respiratory problems or pneumonia.

We are all glad she is around.
Forty-eight hours later, Princess was ready to go home. It was nothing short of a miracle. Christmas morning dawned bright and early for us on December 27, 1997. The sounds of paper tearing and happy voices were never more appreciated. Princess sat weakly on my lap and carefully opened her packages. I gave her a little squeeze and blinked back the tears. I could think of no better gift than to see the gift of life…our little Princess, wrapped in her warm quilt from the hospital, snuggled in my lap on Christmas Day.

**Editor's Note: I'd just like to add that it is because my mother believes in scouting that Princess is here today. If I had not been through the CPR/first aid certification I wouldn't have known what to do when the Gym Rat pulled Princess from the tub. I had him call 911 while I started CPR. It wasn't until the paramedics were sending us to the neighbors house and I knew I had to call Mom that I became hysterical. Scouting is an excellent program and I strongly encourage anyone who babysits to become CPR certified.** 


PRINCESS said...

I've heard the story so many times but it still scares me. The thought of myself on an iv, that's actually the scariest part. Man i'm a wimp. iv's are just... so gross!

p.s. i actually like that picture:) so thanks for thinking up a good one Bossy

Heather said...

Oh my. Warn a girl before a story like that. My husband can't figure out why i am in front of the computer ready to burst into tears.

I am SO GLAD everything was ok.

Ruth said...

I know! Me too -- almost crying over here! What a terrible, but happy story. I know this is morbid, but one thing about having a large family is that there are that many more chances of losing a child. And that TERRIFIES me! So glad God protected your Princess!

MormonGirl123 said...

That's the best thing about friends and neighbors and home teachers with the priesthood. You get to get any type of blessing whenever you need it!

Kiykiy said...

oh poor princess,shes sounds lik an amazing girl though, very pretty ;)

Saimi said...

Wow, What a remarkable story. I'm so glad everything worked out, this is one of those times you KNOW the Lord was watching over you!

Michelle Hoad said...

That brings back scary memories for me. Not nearly as scary as yours, though. When my oldest daughter was three, she fell in the pool. Luckily, my son saw her and he dove in and managed to get her up on the edge of the pool. He's a lifeguard today, so I think he knew at 7 what he would be one day.

He & Me + 3 said...

Wow what a scary story with an amazing ending. So glad that everything is great today. Princess sounds like a wonderful girl and I love her comment above. Cute.

Stacey said...

This made me cry. I could imagine a life without Princess in it!

Thought now I know why she is the way she is... There must be some kind of brain damaged right? jk


Laura said...

Wow! What an amazing story! Even though I knew it would end well (since Princess is still with you) I was still on the edge of my seat and crying all the way through! What a blessing to have the Priesthood and also that Bossy knew what to do on instinct (thanks to Scouting)! Thanks for sharing!

Amanda said...

I cannot imagine the heart wrenching pain you must have felt receiving that phone call. Your kids are amazing. I will def. be having Jake in scouts, I firmly believe that they provide the best survival skill set out there for young men and women!

Emmy said...

Okay this brought tears to my eyes! How incredibly scary that must have been, but what a wonderful miracle. Wow.


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