Our Anxieties Were Swept Away

    “Our Anxieties Were Swept Away,” Ensign, July 1991, 41–42

    “Our Anxieties Were Swept Away”

    I should have known that something was wrong. I had been a nurse for almost twenty years, and I should have sensed that it was more than “shortness of breath.”

    I had gone to a production at Brigham Young University with my parents, my sister, and my husband, Art. I had some difficulty in breathing but didn’t pay much attention to it. As I was climbing a flight of stairs after the performance, though, I became frightened; I now had slight chest pain along with the awful sensation of not being able to breathe.

    It was the summer of 1980. I was two months pregnant—and so happy about it. Art and I had four children—four wonderful girls—and were eager to have more children. When we learned that we were expecting a baby, our whole family rejoiced.

    But after I felt that pain in my chest, I knew something was wrong. I went to the doctor on July 14, a Monday. No specific problem was evident, and I returned home. But the symptoms continued, so I went back to his office on Thursday. This time it was evident that I had a blood clot in my lung, and I was admitted to the hospital, having suffered a pulmonary embolism—a serious and life-threatening situation.

    It was necessary that I receive anticoagulants to make my blood thinner. There was, however, the crucial question about the effect this might have on the tiny fetus that was just developing; it was likely there might be significant damage to that little body.

    Art and I were advised to consider an abortion. It would be as much for my health and safety as to prevent serious damage to our unborn child.

    We wrestled with the thought. We tried to obtain more information, but there was little available. The decision was ours.

    On Sunday, July 20, we fasted with our families. A few family members gathered in my hospital room that day, and my father gave me a priesthood blessing I shall never forget.

    There have not been many times in my life when I have felt the presence of the Spirit as I did at that particular moment. The Spirit promised me, through my father, that the baby would be born healthy and that there would not be any serious problems during the pregnancy or the delivery.

    On July 27 I began receiving injections of heparin, a medication that helps prevent clots from forming in the blood. I was released from the hospital on July 29, and I continued with the heparin injections for the next four months. I had to give myself three injections every twenty-four hours.

    September 12 was a great day for me—that day I felt the first movement of the baby growing within me.

    On October 20, Art went with me to my appointment with the doctor. I was still feeling life, and the baby was becoming very active. On November 3, we talked seriously with the doctor about going to full term, without inducing labor or making anything more difficult for the baby. Everything seemed to be going well.

    Then, as the “finale” of what has been a miracle in our lives, Holly was born on Friday, February 13! She was perfect in every way. All our anxieties were swept away in the joy of the arrival of our healthy baby, here on earth to experience her second estate as part of our family.