9: Flooded with Blessings

9: Flooded with Blessings

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings

Flooded with Blessings

If pregnancy were a book they would cut the last two chapters.
~Nora Ephron, Heartburn, 1983

We began 1983 as a young couple full of happiness. We had just purchased a new home after learning that we had a baby on the way and were excited to be moving and starting a family. The baby was due in September and we thought we had plenty of time to move into the new house and set up a nursery. Our new home was completed toward the end of March and we were completely moved in by the end of the month.

It was a fun and exciting time. We had rented previously and were looking forward to having lots more space. Our excitement came to a halt the following month when extreme weather brought a flood to the area. We were located near the Amite River and we woke up one morning to find water covering the floor throughout our new home.

We soon learned that the river had overflowed its banks, and the water had crossed a highway and coursed through the woods to our subdivision and into our new home and those of our neighbors. I was four months pregnant and still going through the “very tired” phase of pregnancy. There wasn’t much that I could do to help clean up the mess.

Damage to our home was minimal, and we counted our blessings that it wasn’t worse. There was just enough water to thoroughly saturate the carpet, but not to damage the baseboards and walls.

Since we had just moved in, our contractor was gracious enough to help us out. He sent someone over with a commercial vacuum to start drying out the carpet. He also hired a professional to come in and chemically treat the carpets so that they would not mold or mildew. When this job was completed, the carpet looked brand new and you couldn’t tell that it had been saturated and under water the day before.

We counted our blessings, added flood insurance to our insurance policy and went on with life. After all, we were expecting our first baby!

Several months later, in August, we were again fighting a flood. This time we had excessive rain for several days and nights and the drainage system just couldn’t keep up with the amount of rainfall. We hoped and prayed that our home would be spared, but it wasn’t. This time we had about a foot of water in our home. I can remember watching water being pumped out of a low window in the den with a sump pump.

I was only a month away from my due date this time, had the nursery all ready for the baby and was not in any physical or emotional condition to deal with a house with one foot of water in it. We had a long road ahead of us concerning repairs. The carpets all needed to be ripped out, furniture needed to be moved around, ruined belongings thrown away and the walls repaired. We would not only be starting over on so many levels, but we were now without a nursery and only a month away from delivery!

My parents brought their travel trailer over for us to stay in while getting the house back in order and cleaned up. We had all the basics that we needed in the trailer and were adjusting to the cramped quarters fairly well. It was quite cozy!

Toward the end of August, I woke up having pretty strong labor pains. We waited to see if this was a false alarm, but they continued so we headed to the hospital. Of course, after being admitted to the hospital the pains disappeared and we were sent home to our little travel trailer.

The following week I developed a pinched nerve which made walking very difficult and painful. I was beyond ready to have this baby at this point. Finally the big day arrived and we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. She was completely healthy and once again I thanked God for my blessings. We brought our new baby home from the hospital and back to our house. My husband had gotten the essential things like our bedroom, kitchen and nursery back in place. We just didn’t have any flooring since the carpet had been ripped out and the insurance settlement had not yet arrived.

This was a very trying time for us, especially for me since I was pregnant and had to go through the house flooding not once, but twice. My emotions went up and down like a roller coaster during my first pregnancy with all the excitement and added trauma. I learned that my faith in God would help me through trying times and that he also doesn’t give you more than you can handle. We survived!

~Karen H. Gros

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