My daughter was born three years ago on July 23, 2012.
We found out that I was pregnant on a Thursday and like any excited, expectant parents we started musing about names. The current trend was to give your child a unique name, and that is exactly what I wanted. What I didn’t know was that her name would come to us from God and it would define my pregnancy.
We were in church the Sunday after we found out we were pregnant and listened joyously as our (then) pastor announced they were also expecting. The sermon series that we were listening to was on the Gospel of Mark called The Confounding Christ. In this section of Mark 5 Jesus is asked to come to Jairus’ home, a leader of local synagogue, to heal his sick daughter. On the way there a servant comes to tell Jairus that his daughter has died so there is no use for Jesus to come. Jesus tells Jairus, “Do not fear. Only believe.” When Jesus gets there, he goes in, takes the little girl’s hand and says, “Talitha cumi” (which is translated little girl, get up).
It is Jim and I’s habit to rehash the sermon on the way home after church, but this time when we got in the car, I immediately said, “Did you hear that name?”
His response was emphatically yes. We knew then, that we were having a little girl and that her name was Talitha.
In the first trimester of my pregnancy I had two grand mal seizures. There were two more sometime during that pregnancy; I don’t remember exactly when, but four seizures are dangerous for me, let alone a growing baby that is depending on my body for oxygen, nutrition, and safety. She lived through them all.
When I was twenty weeks pregnant, which is the second trimester, Jim and I were in a car accident. A black SUV t-boned us on my side. My door was caved in, so I had to get out on Jim’s side. I wasn’t bleeding or in pain, but I went to the hospital to check that the baby was ok. They found her heartbeat on the monitor. Did I feel the contractions that were showing on the fetal monitor?
No! What? What do they feel like? I knew from having a best friend who worked in the NICU that if Talitha was born now she would not make it. We waited several hours, nothing happened, I felt nothing, and we were sent home.
The third trimester rolled around and at 29 weeks, I found myself again in the hospital being admitted for premature labor. I was admitted at 3 centimeters and dilated to six centimeters overnight. Twenty-nine weeks was surely better than twenty weeks, but she still had lungs that needed to grow. Again, I didn’t feel the contractions. It was only because of an extra ultrasound that I had, because of a research study, that the technician found I was dilated. The dilation stopped, but I was put on strict bed rest.
After three weeks in the hospital, at 32 weeks, I was sent home. I was still to stay on bed rest.
Five weeks later after my childhood best friend’s wedding shower, there was some slight spotting. I was told to come in. Less than twenty four hours later I was delivering a healthy baby girl. My husband tells me that she came out gray and lifeless. She drew in a breath and cried. She was alive!
She could have and should have died in any of those situations, medically at least she should have some disability. Each trimester Jesus said the same thing to me, “Do not fear. Only believe.” Admittedly, I didn’t do that, but her life is a testimony to the fact that God is sovereign over life and death; Talitha Rose. 7 pounds, 3 ounces, 20 inches.