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Great Expectations
part I
September, 2000

There are some things in life that just can’t be explained, no matter how hard you try. Every once in a while we are faced with situations that have us totally floored, but somehow God grants us the courage to get through and come out on top.

In September, 2000, we were surprised to discover that I was pregnant. Very soon we were all excited about the new addition to our family of already three girls. The next couple of months were like any other pregnancy, nausea, tiredness and discussions on baby names.

For the first time I was keen to have a boy, and on thinking about it one morning I figured I’d pray for one. Even though I knew that the baby’s gender was already determined – I figured that God could somehow bend time and hear my prayer before I even conceived. Well, it was worth a try anyway. That afternoon I was looking up baby name meanings, and looked up what we had chosen for a boy, Samuel, and it meant God Has Heard. From then on I knew we were having a boy, and as it turned out it was a good thing that God was listening, because we were about to find out how much we really did need Him.

We were looking forward to my routine 18 week ultrasound, it was exciting to have a peek and it always makes the whole pregnancy seem more real. We didn’t even discuss the possibility of complications, that only happens to other people.

As it turned out the radiographer spent an awful long time looking at the heart and said that there was something that she couldn’t quite see properly. It was most likely nothing to worry about, but she made an appointment for me with the Nelson Cardiologist a couple of days later, just to be safe. You can never be too careful you know.

We weren’t particularly worried, and I headed over to Nelson by myself as I had told Paul not to worry about coming, I was sure everything was fine. I will never forget being told that everything was not fine, and that our baby had a Congenital Heart Defect known as Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA). We would need to go up to Auckland to have him and he would need open heart surgery to correct the problem. In an instant life had dramatically changed, and my head was spinning. I drove home alone in the rain.

It didn’t take long for the word to spread and soon there were people praying all over the world. We spent the next few months in and out of appointments, where several times we were offered to ‘discontinue the pregnancy’, which of course was never an option. We spent a lot of time researching the condition, trying to be as prepared as we could. It seemed the odds were in our favour, the switch operation (to put the two main arteries back to where they should be) was apparently very successful in most cases and we should expect few complications.

 May, 2001

We traveled up to Auckland in our van two weeks before my due date, with the three girls and Paul’s mum to act as ‘nanny’ while we were in the Hospital. We did as many fun things with the girls as possible in those two weeks as we knew that things were going to change very soon.

I was scheduled to be induced the day before my due date if the baby didn’t come before that. Turns out he was far too comfortable in there and we made it to the induction.

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