Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 4/18/2013

Anna Wilcoxson   
Anna Wilcoxson at 14 when we filmed this testimony!
(c)Mary TV 2011 

April 18, 2013

Dear Family of Mary!
"...The rosary, little children, is especially dear to me. Through the rosary open your heart to me and I am able to help you..." (August 25, 1997)

The rest of the story! Sherry Wilcoxson shares the power of the Rosary, and faith in Our Lady of Medjugorje from "Fruit of Medjugorje Episode 62!)

So they told us about the procedure they wanted to do to save her life. What they would do, which is ironic considering that I had refused the amniocentesis at the beginning of the pregnancy, is take an amniocentesis needle and go through my abdomen and try to get into her tiny blood vessel, the size of a pencil lead. They needed to give her a blood transfusion because the condition was causing anemia which in turn caused the fluid that was taking her life. So they needed to give her a blood transfusion. We were scared to death. They talked about the risks. They could accidentally stab her, how the procedure itself could kill her. She had very little chance. But Ron and I felt that any chance, any chance in the world, we would do it. If it meant my life, I was going to try to get this baby here safely. What the other doctors had suggested, that we start over, was not an option. We loved her so much.

So we went back down to IU, carrying our Rosary, and they strapped me down to the table. They let Ron come with me, because they told him they did not expect the baby to make it. They wanted him to hold her as she died. That was their expectation as we went in to the operating room.

The whole time they were not able to give me much anesthesia. They gave me little bits of local when they were sticking in the amniocentesis needle, and they expected from the outset that it would take about 20 minutes. That they would only have to do it once. But the procedure actually took 3 hours. They had to stick her 13 times. The reason being, the first time they tried to put the needle in she felt it coming, and she quickly turned over and put herself in the fetal position, to protect herself. They tried and tried. Two physicians tried to turn her so they could put the blood into the umbilical cord, but they couldn't because she just fought and fought those needles, trying to protect herself.

I didn't know any of this, I just held my breath because I knew that any movement I made could have affected the outcome, and Ron, the whole time, squeezed my hand. I didn't know at the time that he was watching the ultrasound of the baby and every time he squeezed my hand was when they tried to stick her with the needle and she fought. He was just so emotionally devastated. And each time he squeezed my hand I thought he did it to support me, and it was, but he was also watching what looked like torture trying to save this babies life.

So finally after about 3 hours of this, they decided to give it one last shot, and one of the physicians who was 8 months pregnant herself, got up on a step and pushed my abdomen really hard and they were able to flip the baby long enough. They couldn't get the blood into the cord, but they put it into her abdomen. It scared us so much because we didn't know it was possible. But they said no, it would absorb and be "OK".

When I first learned about having her, I though all the time about just holding her, with the smell of a new baby, rubbing my cheek against her, her little face...and all I kept thinking was that I will never have that. The procedure was over and they took me to the regular maternity ward, and they wheeled me through and I looked in the rooms as we went by, and I could see all the other moms, the babies, and the little teddy bears. Everybody was so joyous. And they put me in a room by our selves, so we could be alone, and all we could think about was how much we loved her. How much we wanted her to be in our life. It was just the most devastating time.

I remember going home and being sick to my stomach for an entire day, lying on the bathroom floor. The grief of losing her was just beyond comprehension to me. After the procedure we went back to our doctor and the news was worse. The condition had actually gotten worse, and they said they would have to try the procedure again. They didn't know if she could survive it a second time. They sent us home and said they would check the baby in three days. So we prayed the Rosary and prayed the Rosary and prayed the Rosary....and even our son, her older brother was so helpful. He was praying and his friends were praying and we had such a wide circle of love in this time of pain and tragedy. So we prayed the Rosary and that is all we did was pray. We pleaded with Our Blessed Mother to help us, show us the way, what should we do.

So three days later we went back to our doctor's office, and they put us on the ultrasound table again, and we had the Rosary beads between us, and again he started the ultrasound. Then he turned the machine off, and we thought our baby was gone. He called in his staff, and we thought they were coming in to help us grieve the loss of our baby. They gathered around and we were holding our Rosary waiting for the news, and he turned the ultrasound machine on and he said, "I want you all to witness a miracle." A man of medicine said, "I want you to witness a miracle." The fluid that was taking her life was gone. It was gone. And she looked at us, and she was moving, moving her hands and her feet and she looked at us and she moved her little hand, and made a little sign that looked like an 'OK' sign! And we knew from that moment that our miracle had come true. And that God had blessed us and she was going to be all right.

So they said we probably didn't have to go down to IU. We could wait for her to be born in the normal way. The situation began when I was 24 weeks pregnant. She weighed about 13 ounces at the time it started. They said to let her grow in the normal way. So we did! And on her due date the doctor said, "Let's not take any chances. I have to legally wait for the due date, but then I can induce the baby."

We went in at 6:00 pm and we had been told that even though the baby would survive, she would probably not have a good quality of life, she would need to be on oxygen, she would have a muscular skeletal disease, she would have sagging skin from where the fluid had been that would probably never heal. But we said we don't care about any of that, we are blessed, we want her no matter what and we are just so blessed.

So we went in and the doctor did the induction at 6:00 pm and he stayed with us because he wanted to be there for us as he had been throughout our pregnancy. And it is always fun to see a man of medicine talk about faith, and the fact that miracles do happen. So at about 3:15 in the morning, Anna Mary Elizabeth was born, she weighed about 8 pounds, and she came into the world with her eyes open. We all literally held our breath. While we were, she looked around and made a little pucker and took her first breath, and I have never never heard the first sound of a baby cry be so beautiful!

I held her and I felt her little face on my cheek, and all my dreams had come true. It took me a long time holding her, to realize that it was not a dream, that she was really here. And the miracle was that she was perfectly healthy, she never had one ailment as a result, and today she is just a beautiful, wonderful, and sometimes difficult 14 year old. Which we love!! It is challenging but wonderful. She is a very special little girl to us. We have felt that she has been our miracle all along. Someone mentioned to us once that miracles are not just for the individuals who experience them, they are for all of us. God sends us miracles for the beauty and blessing of all of us!

She is a blessing for all who come in contact with her. She has an amazing smile, she is always smiling. I think it is because of the blessings she has been given, the life she has been given. She is a special little girl, as you would imagine!

Living with a miracle every day reminds us of how much God loves us. I thank God, Our Lord, the Blessed Mother every day, several times a day. And I will see her with her father, and she is quite an athlete. And she will be out playing golf, or doing her sports, and I just look at them and so often I just say, "Thank you, thank you Lord, thank you Blessed Mother, thank you for this gift of deep faith." To me with what we have lived through, faith to me is a knowledge. I know of God's love. I know of Jesus' love. I know the Blessed Mother's love. It's beyond faith, it's a knowledge. I know that they are there, watching out for us all the time. I know how much they love us. Because, just us, simple people in South Bend, Indiana, who never have even been blessed to go to Medjugorje yet, Medjugorje and the blessings came to us through our friend, Liz. And a simple little wooden Rosary started this amazing journey. And to think that in our little town of South Bend, the miracles of Medjugorje can reach here, to us! it is the most amazing story and blessing that you can imagine. We feel beyond blessed. And we want to share that with everyone we come in contact with.

We want the Blessed Mother to teach us now what we should do, how we can share what we know with others, the knowledge that through faith and through prayer anything is possible. Anything, even the life of a little girl who had less than 1 percent chance of living. And to have this beautiful 14 year old daughter, so full of love and joy! I think people lose hope and then they lose their faith. When we were going through this situation with Anna, we never lost hope, because that was all we had. All we had was hope. It led us on this journey because we wouldn't give up.

What people suggested, what if...What if we would have been a couple who would have accepted abortion (which we never would) but what if...and now you look at this young lady, look at what we would have missed. And look at what all those who know her and love her would have missed. (Sherry Wilcoxson, "Fruit of Medjugorje - episode 62" )

Notice the intense prayer that grew in Ron and Sherry's life as they fought for their little girl's life. I can feel the intensity. They were given a very strong faith, the kind of faith that never gives in.The were also given a very strong love, the kind of love that loves to the end!  I believe that their story is important for us in these days. Our Lady needs us to develop a very intense prayer life, a life that clings to the Rosary as a lifeline. She needs us to pray constantly with great love, because her plan is nearing completion and prayer is the means to accomplish it. The Rosary is the defensive weapon, the weapon that will vanquish the enemy and give Our Lady the means to help us.

Thanks again to Sherry for her courage and her generosity in sharing this story with us. Tomorrow I will conclude with Ron's "two cents!"

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013