I feel that God has a plan and purpose for our lives. When we go through our trials, we sometimes can't see that plan and purpose. At the age of 20 while pursing my associate's degree in nursing, I became pregnant with my first son. It was exciting and scary knowing I was expecting a child. I was in my second semester of nursing school with two semesters left. The pregnancy went well but took a turn for the worst at 25 weeks. I remember being at my grandmother's house laying in bed with severe back pain. I had my sister rub my back not knowing I was having back labor at the time. The pain of course did not go away so, I went to the hospital where I was diagnosed with preterm labor. I only remember major pieces from that experience. I remember being placed on oxygen and my physician discussing with my family the need for me to be transferred because the hospital where I was wasn't capable of caring for a preterm infant at that age. I remember being given a shot of steroids to mature my son's lungs. I remember being placed in the ambulance. My mom rode with me in the ambulance, and I remember it being a very rough ride. It was so rough in fact, I remember the other ambulance worker asking the driver to slow down. I remember telling my mom I had the most intense feeling to urinate. She kept telling me I had a foley catheter and it was causing that feeling. The next thing I know I felt my water break and my son was born in the ambulance. I remember seeing his little arms stretch out below me. The ambulance had stopped and the ambulance worker grabbed my son and hopped out of the ambulance. We did not make it to the hospital that was equipped to take care of my premature son.
My son Christian McIntosh was born July 25, 2007 at 25 weeks weighing 1 lb 7 oz. The hospital personnel at the community hospital tried their best but unfortunately they were not able to save my son. I did not attend his service in our family cemetery. It was still too fresh. It's a devastating feeling to come to the hospital pregnant and leave without your little one. I had my followup appointment with my ob-gyn, and she told me my premature labor was caused by chorioamniotis, which is from what I've read, a pretty bad bacterial infection affecting the amniotic fluid. I was asked if I needed antidepressants, and I declined. It took the love of family and friends to help me navigate through that terrible time. I can honestly say only those that have experienced premature birth and loss of a child are the ones that can truly relate. You cannot believe some of the things people told me as a means to make me feel better. Many people will give their condolences, but they do not mean as much as those that have gone through the experience.
I did not see it then, but God knew my life needed to take a different route. I finished nursing school the next May and learned I was pregnant with my second son that following June. My son Chase was born March 12, 2009. He is now my 8 year old super smart athlete. Do I still think about Christian? Of course I do. I still have my days where I wonder how he would've looked and the relationship he could've had with his brother. Fast forward to years later, I did not try again for any more kids until my husband and I married. I had Mirena inserted August 2014 and had it removed November 2015. I had done my research and knew for some people it was difficult to become pregnant after having it removed. I also learned there was a higher chance of miscarriage after the first few months of removal. We became pregnant March 2016 but sadly I had a miscarriage at 4 weeks. The loss of that pregnancy hit me hard as well. I kept wanting to blame myself for my loss. Through prayer and the love of family and friends I was able to cope with my second loss. A month later I was reminded of an awesome God I serve and was blessed to become pregnant with my daughter. I was placed on progesterone early to increase the chances of my egg staying attached to my uterus. After about four months, I was taken off of that medication. Around 7 months, I was placed on medication to prevent preterm labor. I was taken off of that medication 6 weeks later. My healthy baby girl Charlotte Grace was born January 17, 2017. She is now our 6 month old bucking baby with loads of personality.
I say this all to be a reminder that God has a plan and purpose. He has a plan and purpose for us as mommies and daddies and a plan and purpose for our children. Premature birth and loss is often seen as a time of sadness; however, if we keep pushing forward, I know first hand that God can reveal something amazing. I have two angel babies in heaven watching over me, and two sweet babies on earth that keep me on my toes. My experiences are my reminder that God is in control. We may not always see that in the beginning but just remember in the end everything will be okay.
Keri Barron resides in Alabama and is a proud wife and mother of an 8 year old boy, 6 month old girl, and two angel babies. She holds a doctorate in nursing research with an emphasis in leadership. Keri has been a nurse for 9 years, and in August she will start full-time as a Nursing Instructor at the University of Alabama. If she’s not running around with sports-related activities for her son, Keri loves to watch movies with her family and read suspense and romance books. She also has two new hobbies of hand lettering and making macaroons; however, they are a work in progress.