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Hope in a sea of darkness

JamieNovember 16, 2016 - Experiencing multiple health issues during her pregnancy, Brandi Ness was advised to terminate her pregnancy. She chose life, however, and at 20 weeks she experienced a miracle that led to a healthy, adorable baby girl.

A few years ago, Brandi’s daughter was diagnosed with a genetic disorder inherited from her father that causes blindness. Brandi said she and her husband decided then not to have any more children because of this genetic disorder. A few months after that, however, they discovered Brandi was pregnant. She said doubts started creeping into her mind before her first doctor’s appointment. She thought she may have had a miscarriage. However, abortion was never an option for Brandi.

“There was no doubt about that even though it wasn’t convenient,” she said.

At 12 weeks, the doctors noticed Brandi wasn’t producing the proper hormones due to her thyroid removal. They recommended abortion since the baby could be born with physical or mental disabilities. Rather than an end, this was just the beginning of a truly abnormal pregnancy.

“We’ll deal with the circumstances as they come,” Brandi said.

At Brandi’s 14-week appointment, the doctor discovered she had a low-lying placenta. She was told she would have to be on bed rest for final weeks of her pregnancy. The doctors constantly asked Brandi if she was prepared to handle a high-risk pregnancy and a special needs child.

“I have faith,” Brandi said. “I know this child has a plan and a purpose.”

Despite the concerns, Brandi said she and her husband were excited for their 16-week appointment to figure out if they were having a boy or a girl. During their ultrasound, the staff started whispering and suddenly left the room. Returning, they shifted their weight uncomfortably. Brandi instantly knew something was seriously wrong. The diagnosis was placenta accreta, a rare and serious risk that could lead to uncontrolled bleeding during the birth. The placenta was stuck too deeply into the wall of her uterus.

Brandi said this was only the second case of placenta accreta the staff had witnessed. The other woman who developed this barely survived her pregnancy, and her baby died. They urged Brandi to have an abortion, but she firmly told them that she was keeping her baby. She then had to begin travelling more than four hours every other week to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for specialized care.

To Brandi it seemed like every single thing in this pregnancy was going wrong. She said she wondered how she would be able to handle this pregnancy and take care of a disabled child, if her baby even survived.

While she was supposed to be on bed rest, Brandi still traveled in her car. The day before her 20-week appointment she was driving in the Upper Peninsula. The road was icy and her car began to slide off of the highway going 65 miles per hour. Knowing that if she started bleeding at all, she could easily bleed out completely with no immediate access to a hospital, Brandi said she started to pray.

“I put everything in God’s hands and had the faith He would get me through,” Brandi said.

While hurtling toward the ditch, Brandi said she felt movement inside of her. Brandi said she has a sense that it was God protecting her baby but didn’t know what it meant. She slowed to a stop off the side of the highway, safe and sound with no bleeding.

During her ultrasound the next day, the staff asked Brandi what happened to her the day before. Brandi said she did not want to admit ignoring their strict rules about bed rest, and she said nothing. Instead of another problem to add to her pregnancy, the staff said her placenta accreta had resolved itself. Brandi said they were astounded and didn’t think it was medically possible.

“I chuckled,” Brandi said. “That’s what that movement was yesterday.”

From then on, the pregnancy had no more problems. Brandi delivered a healthy baby girl at 40 weeks with no physical or mental disabilities. A story that began in tragedy and fear ended in peace.

“We have an amazing support system,” Brandi said. “God had a plan and a purpose in this.”

If you have received an adverse medical diagnosis or are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, there are support systems available to you. Visit our website listings of pregnancy help centers to find one near you, or call 1-800-57-WOMAN, day or night.

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