23: A Mother’s Vision

23: A Mother’s Vision

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

A Mother’s Vision

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.

~Henri Poincaré

One of the most exciting times of a woman’s life is the day she finds out she is going to have a baby. I was no exception to this, and I was not new to this amazing miracle of life, as I had already had my son three years earlier. However, from the time I entered into my second trimester, I felt anxious, and it was different from the anxiety I had felt during my first pregnancy.

I pushed it away as I prepared for my second child, who I was certain was a girl. But the feeling persisted so much that I finally expressed this to my obstetrician, who was very quick to reassure me. After all, the ultrasounds had confirmed a perfectly healthy pregnancy, and I had no health issues that would compromise the pregnancy or the baby.

As the pregnancy progressed, I was eventually able to let go of that feeling of foreboding. I focused on our new house, decorated the nursery, and prepared my excited son, Daniel, for the arrival of his little sister.

The rest of the pregnancy went very smoothly, and I went into labor one very cold January morning almost exactly on my due date. Alexandra was born during one of the worst snowstorms that winter.

We settled into life as a family of four and all was well for about two weeks. Then, suddenly, the dreadful feeling came back. I simply could not shake it. I knew that something very serious and life threatening was going to happen to my baby.

One night, as I was nursing Allie by the dim light of the hallway outside our bedroom, I caught a glimpse of myself holding her in the mirror facing my bed. I could see myself holding her in my arms in the reflection, but she appeared to have a white gauzy sheet covering her. From the time I was a child, I had always experienced visions and premonitions, but this one alarmed me so much that I jumped out of bed to turn on all the lights. I told my husband that we had to take her to a hospital. I was certain that something was very wrong and that time was of the essence.

We took Allie to the emergency room of a local children’s hospital. The staff admitted her for observation and then sent us home, assuring me that she was perfectly healthy.

I should have been relieved at that point in time, but I was not. The feeling only intensified, as did my fear that the doctors were missing something very important that could cost my daughter her life. I took Allie to the emergency room of another hospital. They ran a new panel of blood work on her and compared it to the results at the first hospital. Everything checked out as perfectly normal. Nevertheless, they agreed to admit her for twenty-four hours for observation.

The next day, they brought me her discharge papers to sign. I refused. My family tried to convince me. One of the doctors came in to speak with me and suggested they order a psychiatric consult for me. At this point they were certain that I was having a postpartum psychotic episode. I agreed, as I figured it would buy me more time in the hospital for my daughter! As we waited for the psychiatrist to come, they called on one more doctor to come and examine Allie. However, when this doctor arrived, he only wanted to speak to me, asking me questions about my pregnancy and delivery, and ultimately where this persistent feeling was coming from.

I’ll never forget the moment he said to me, “You’re so sure there is something wrong with your daughter that I want you to tell me what it is.” In that moment, I looked at Allie and simply knew the problem was in her abdomen. We needed to do a CT scan right away. Surprisingly, this doctor listened to me and ordered the scan.

Within an hour and a half of that scan, Allie was in surgery. The scan indicated she had peritonitis, a bacterial infection and build-up of toxic fluid in the abdominal cavity that can be fatal if left untreated. She’d had no symptoms at all, and the blood work never revealed any kind of infection anywhere.

Allie had to have a portion of her colon removed during that surgery, but I knew in that moment that she was going to be all right. Almost as intensely as this foreboding feeling had taken over my entire being, it left me in that moment. And following a lengthy hospital stay and recovery, I was finally able to take my baby home and be at peace.

~Lynn Darmon

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