Stories of Faith | Desarae Fowler
I love children! I loved babysitting as a youth. My jobs as a teenager and young adult were spent working at an autistic preschool and working with handicap people. I did my undergraduate work in parenting, family and home life. As a young married couple, my husband and I worked and lived at a family support and treatment center where we cared for children who were at risk and lived in situations no child should be in. Ok, now that you know that about me I want to tell you this...
When I was 13, I became very sick and was diagnosed with Lupus (SLE). When I was diagnosed, my disease had progressed so much that I was almost to a point of no recovery. The disease had rampaged most of my major organs, blood, skin, heart, liver, lungs, kidneys….I had so many things going wrong that the doctors were not very optimistic. My local doctors didn’t know how to treat me, so my mom and I traveled to the nearest hospital that did have the capabilities to treat me. These specialists told me I was the worst case they had ever seen. I would have to go through a lot more pain before I was going to heal. As you can imagine, during this time- being so close to death I felt very close to God. Several miracles were performed on my behalf. I wish I could write about every single one of them here, because of what happened to me and the hand of God in my life there is no denying that He lives, that He knows each and every one of us, and He witnessed this to me by personally caring and healing me over this time in my life. You can read about them here.
After three years of treatment with one of the oldest and harshest chemos, and many, many medications to treat my lupus, my doctors told me I likely would not be able to have children. The chances were that my reproductive organs would be fried. Then they told me that even if I could get pregnant, I shouldn’t. Lupus flares are often caused by hormonal changes- my lupus flared because I entered puberty. When you are pregnant hormones are going all over the place, right? With such a violent flare during my pubescent years, why would I do that to myself to have a child?
You can imagine for a 17-year-old who loves children that I was sad. I wanted to grow up and be a Mama. I didn’t want to run a company, or be a successful person in the business world—my dreams were to have a family.
A few years later, I did meet the love of my life and marry. Two years later we were anxious to start a family. My lupus had not flared or even dared to show its ugly face in all those years since my chemo. So (with the support of medical professionals) we decided we would try to have a child. It took about eight months to get pregnant. I know, eight months might seem like nothing to many many women, but after being told that pregnancy would probably never happen for me, those eight months were long and emotional. Finally being pregnant was another miracle to me.
Of course, pregnancy was hard (for pretty much everyone!) and because of my lupus the doctors took a lot of precautions. I take a lot of expensive medications and had to start injections. Overall, my first three pregnancies were bittersweet. Sweet because my lupus did not flare, but man between the medications, the many doctors’ appointments (between 3 doctors), the Non-Stress Tests (where they monitor you and the baby, and check the fluidat least 2 a week) and just plain feeling crappy—it was hard! SO HARD. But having each one of those babies was so worth it.
Four weeks ago, I delivered my fourth baby. And while I finished my fourth miracle pregnancy, this baby did a number on me. It was almost like the minute that I became pregnant I became very sick—and not with the typical “morning sickness.” For a while we didn’t know what was making me feel so sick. I had a hard time breathing, my heart was having palpitations, I was light headed and dizzy, I was so scared that one night my heart would just give out in my sleep. I prayed to find an answer and to be healed. The doctors didn’t couldn’t figure out what was wrong, they did numerous blood tests, x-rays, and ultrasounds. I felt strongly that it was my iron. I had had iron problems when I was young, and I knew my iron was very low. After praying I felt strongly that it was my iron causing me to feel like this I talked to my doctor, strongly suggesting that my problems were stemming from my iron. It took several conversations, and even emails but finally she ordered an iron infusion. I was a little nervous that after all my pushing for this iron infusion that it would not make a bit a difference—that I’d be wrong and embarrassed—but I couldn’t help but feel that this was the answer to my prayers. No I didn’t have a medical degree, but Heavenly Fathers knows how to help me.
After one iron infusion, I felt like a whole new person. Holy cow. It was like someone had lit a little fire inside me. I received 2 more iron infusions to help me get through the pregnancy, along with a lot of prayers. It took a lot to get this last baby here, but when they laid this sweet baby boy on my chest, I felt an overwhelming love for him. After so much sacrificing and pain that I went through just bring this little child to this earth, it was all worth it. All of the pain was forgotten. My miracle was here, safe, and healthy.
While what I went through cannot even be compared to what Christ went through, I think I can see a glimpse of it from my experiences as a mother now. Christ sacrificed so much for each one of us. He knows each one of us, and loves us in an incomprehensible way. And because of His love and sacrifice, I know that these four babies, my family and everyone I love will always be together.
I feel so much love and gratitude to my Heavenly Father. I KNOW that the only way I was able to have these children and remain healthy enough to be their mama is through Him. Heavenly Father is real and supreme. Despite what science and modern medicine may claim in your life, He can make anything possible. Everyday I am reminded of this and my faith in God is strengthened. I and my family are living proof of God’s miracles.