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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

My Journey: A Mother’s Heartbeat

By Caryn Bell
Jan. 19, 2014

I will never forget Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012.

But let me back up to Friday, Nov. 16. On that day, during our eight-week ultrasound, my husband, Curt, and I learned our baby we were expecting did not have a heartbeat. I was scheduled the following week for a procedure to remove the dead embryo. On Tuesday, I was supposed to have a final ultrasound before the embryo was removed on Wednesday.

Tuesday started with a text from Curt: “Carrie, I woke this morning and God had given me a Scripture for you.” It was Isaiah 61:3 — “To all who mourn ... he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair” (NLT).

Although I believed I would be at peace after Wednesday’s operation, replacing mourning with joy seemed far-fetched. I had made a commitment to praise God in the storm, but to say the despair would be completely eradicated ... that was a little much.

Yet, I was grateful for the comfort of God’s promise, and I trusted my husband had heard from God. I texted back to Curt what God had placed in my heart: “Thank you,” it read in part. “This is a great Scripture for me today. I have spent the morning in prayer and the Word, and it is a blessing to find this from you.”

Even though I knew our pregnancy could not last, I wanted to acknowledge our baby. “If it’s OK with you,” I texted, “I want his name to be Jeremiah, for God has fashioned him in my womb.”

My mother arrived a little after 8 a.m. to take me to the 9 a.m. ultrasound. At the doctor’s office, I learned the nurse had tried to call the previous night to inform me my ultrasound had been moved to 7:30 because the doctor had a cancellation. With an earlier ultrasound, they thought, I could move the operation up to Tuesday and have another day to heal before Thanksgiving.

Healed? I knew my healing would take so much longer than a couple days.

When the nurses asked me if I had eaten anything or had anything to drink, I wanted to laugh. I hadn’t eaten anything since Friday when we were given the devastating news about our baby.

Everything accelerated, and the final procedure would now take place at noon. I called Curt so he could make it in time.

When I was called back for the final ultrasound, I was thankful it was not the same room used on Friday, nor was it the same ultrasound technician. When she left the room for a moment, I offered a final prayer: “God, if You say yes, no man can say no, and if You say no, no man can say yes.”

I was at complete peace when the technician returned. As she turned off the lights and turned on the monitor, I saw the exact same picture from Friday’s ultrasound and did not hear a heartbeat. I waited for her confirmation there had been no new development in our baby.

As she zoomed in, she said something I never expected to hear. “Look closely, do you see that little flicker? That’s a heartbeat.”

When she turned up the volume, I could hear the most beautiful sound in the world: a rapid heartbeat that was a perfect reflection of how my own heart came to life in that moment.

It seemed too good to be true. “Does this mean we will be postponing the procedure?” I asked hesitantly.

“No, sweetie,” she replied. “This means we won’t be having a procedure. The heartbeat is a perfect 145 beats per minute.”

Still in shock, I looked her in the eye. “Do you believe in miracles?” I asked.

She began to cry. “I do now,” she said.

When the doctor came in, he confirmed the ultrasound findings and called the finding a miracle.

“It’s not that we missed the heartbeat on Friday,” he insisted. “There was no heartbeat to be found. That’s why I told you I was 98 percent sure you were having a miscarriage. We like to do one final ultrasound because every heartbeat has to start somewhere.”

I told him I knew where ours had started. God is the Author of life.

It has now been a little more than a year since that marvelous day. My pregnancy went to full term with no further crises. Jeremiah Walker Bell was born July 1, 2013, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. He was 21 inches long, weighed 8 pounds, and has been the picture of health.

We had been a mere two hours away from an inconceivable error. I am thankful God is able to do exceedingly above anything we could hope or think.

CARYN BELL attends True Worship Assembly of God in Jay, Fla.



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