“I Knew My Baby Would Be OK,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 62–63
From the day I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child, I knew something was different about this pregnancy. I almost miscarried, but the baby survived. As time passed I thought maybe we would have twins, but in the ultrasound tests, the doctor reassured me that the baby was alone, healthy, and normal.
My husband, Don, and I went to general conference a week before the baby was due. Elder James E. Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk about resurrection that seemed incredibly powerful. He quoted Alma 11:44: “And even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame.”
I had no idea at the time why those words were filled with a spirit of promise for me. But a week later I went into labor and soon found out.
Because my labor started slowly, Don and an elder from the ward were able to give me a blessing. During the blessing my husband said I would be blessed to know that Heavenly Father was pleased that I was bringing this special child into the world.
The baby came shortly after we made it to the labor room. As she was delivered I heard the doctor say: “Wait! She’s missing something—she’s missing an arm!” I’ll never forget those words.
I began to cry, but my husband was there, leaning close to me and whispering, “It’s OK; it’s OK.” I felt a peaceful sensation as if Heavenly Father were whispering words of comfort to me.
When I called my parents, my mother asked if we were all right. I said yes and then began to cry, telling her that our little Jennifer had been born without an arm. She echoed Don’s words, “It’s OK; it’s OK.”
A week later I was sitting at home pondering about Jennifer. She was perfectly healthy and strong and beautiful; she was just missing her arm. I remembered the promise in Alma, the one Elder Faust had reiterated during conference, and I knew in my heart that everything was going to work out.
The doctor stopped by to check on Jennifer and me. He was still upset from the surprise during the delivery and said, “I’m so sorry.” Now I found myself echoing the words of comfort to him, “It’s OK; she’s fine.”
The bishop came by to greet the newest addition to the ward, and he was surprised at the missing arm. “I’m sorry,” he said. But I interrupted him with, “Bishop, it’s OK, really.”
Everyone who held Jennifer could feel her powerful spirit. They knew she was special and determined to be here.
As the years have advanced, I can see how Heavenly Father has helped her during her life, opening doors of opportunity everywhere. She was even able to get an artificial arm and learn to use it with great skill.
Jennifer never shows any fear. When she was three she decided she wanted to jump off the high dive at the city pool—no amount of bargaining or convincing could talk her out of it. She had a little trouble going up the ladder, but once at the top she marched to the end of the diving board and jumped right off, then dog-paddled to the side of the pool.
Today Jennifer is 14, and she is beautiful. She can easily keep up with all the other children her age, and in volleyball and basketball she is often teaching others how to master the techniques that have made her a standout player. She’s been playing the French horn for four years and plans to continue throughout high school. We have learned so much from her, and though I know she will always struggle in certain things, she has been incredibly blessed with the drive to work harder in spite of trials. I hold fast to that first whispered comfort, “It’s OK,” and it really is.