I am writing to share how Jesus turns Water into Wine. By, Jake Wells
On Wednesday November 4th my wife was called in by her OB doctor to receive some test results. Being 27 weeks pregnant the doctor decided to conduct a quick check up since she was already there. He started searching for the babies heart beat with a fetal doppler but couldn't seem to find it.
My wife's name is Jaclyn and my name is Jake, we live in Big Bear California about 6900 feet above sea level. In an attempt to comfort Jaclyn he told her that it may have something to do with the altitude. The doc immediately had the medical assistant get the ultrasound machine. In a few long moments the nurse found the baby's tiny heart beating normally. They also noticed something else, there was very little amniotic fluid surrounding the body of our daughter.This was the same assistant who had done Jacie's in office ultrasounds 3 other times previous to this one, but never found the low fluid suspicious or the babies folded positioning that Jacie had noticed (Jacie later found out the assistant was new).
I was at home with our other children when I received a text,
"Come get me, no fluid around baby, they want to send me to the hospital in an ambulance."
I grabbed the kids neglecting to strap on their shoes and drove the mile to pick Jacie up. She met me in the small lobby and I started machine gunning questions at her. What, when, where, how? She replied,"I don't know, we have to go to the ER. They have a better ultrasound machine."
Up here where we are, we have a rural clinic. Then we have a small hospital about two miles away from that. Neither location has the capability of delivering a baby. In an emergency a woman in labor has to be flown off the mountain by helicopter to their hospital of insurance acceptability.
I dropped Jacie off at the ER and took our three and four year old home. During the short drive we agreed that I would take the kids back home and pack a bag, bathe the kids, cook some dinner, and wait for her as impatiently as I could.
They immediately put her on an IV drip. Three bags and two hours later I received a text,"Come get me, they want to fly me off the mountain, still no fluid." I picked her up and brought her back home for a quick shower and some food. It's not smart to neglect a pregnant woman's appetite, especially after receiving any sort of upsetting news.
We called her mom and arranged to meet at Arrowhead Regional. Her mom and brother met us and took the little ones back to grandma's for some late night happy meals and Nanner spoiling.
We checked in and headed on up to labor and delivery. They placed Jacie on another IV and we waited. Jacie and I are heavily tattooed, we can be the recipients of judgment from time to time. The doctor asked what seemed to be a bit excessive.
"Do you do any drugs?"
"No meth? No drugs at all?"
"You don't do ice?" (At this point I could see momma bear tensing for her attack, but she kept her cool.) "Nope! No drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes, nothing!"
I attempted to comfort her by saying,"Well babe, look at us." Thus began the road of forgiving this particular doctor who accused Jacie of causing this problem with our baby before the diagnosis was known.
After completing two IV bags this doctor took Jacie out to do another ultrasound. The nurse asked me to stay put but left the door open. I could hear small talk about tattoos and my wife trying to lighten the mood.
Then I heard the doctor ask my wife how much water she drinks? Jacie, feeling like maybe this was caused by her, answered with a trembling voice "Not enough, I suppose..." Then I heard the doctor say in a voice so evil, it was no doubt the work of Satan.
"Do you want your baby to be born unable to breathe? You need to drink lots of fluids! The baby needs to be surrounded by fluid so that it can practice breathing in the womb." (Relax momma bear, vengeance is His.)
My door was then shut.
Jacie was brought back into the room with a look on her face that showed she was scared, and that she was affected by the enemies lie that maybe this could be her fault. But more than that, she looked flat out ticked off at the way she was just talked to by the Doctor. She was put on another IV. Still no increase in amniotic fluid. We, and I say, "we" only because I slept there too. "We" were then admitted to the hospital.
Jacie was extremely hydrated at this point and visiting the restroom quite frequently, every 20 to 30 minutes to be exact. In the morning she was still hooked up to the never ending intravenous drip.
I was starting to realize something was seriously wrong.
I had been praying constantly and knew the Lord Jesus was with us but I really didn't see what was coming. At 10am they took Jacie to another, more technical ultrasound.
I waited in the room and began to pray alone. Praying constantly in thought with the Lord while other people are around is a bit different than praying aloud in private. The second I finished talking to Jesus a soft knock came through the door. In walked a petite woman wearing a lanyard around her neck. As I read the word Chaplain printed over and around the lanyard, my eyes began to leak.
She read my shirt and said," Hello, wait, what does this say?" My shirt had the words,"I love Jesus of Nazareth - Repent -Submit - Serve - Suffer."
A smile came over her face and she said,"Tell me about this." I couldn't talk, I was sobbing. I knew the Lord had sent her in. She literally hit her knees on the floor and said,"Oh, let's pray." She thanked God for me and asked for His blessing. It was so awesome. I shared as much as I could of my testimony with her, and then my wife was brought back in. I looked into Jacie's face and knew something was really wrong. Chaplin Fabi asked if she could pray with us before she left us alone. We prayed again, this time on each side of my wife as she laid in her bed still hooked to the useless IV bag. Chaplin Fabi gave me her number and made it very clear that she wanted me to call her. She then excused herself.
I looked at Jacie as the door shut and she said,"It's bad, I heard them say that the baby doesn't have kidneys or a liver or a bladder."
My heart sank.
Have you ever felt helpless?
I'm not talking like you're gonna be late for work for the third time and your stuck in traffic hopeless. I'm talking, there's nothing, nothing, nothing you can do to help the woman you love and the little baby inside her. I say I thank Jesus for being there for me, and with me. I know a lot of people use this as an expression when they say "Thank God", but He was there, He's always there and I was calmed by Him.
I knew I would never see our baby girl alive. I knew she was going to die before I ever heard a doctor say the words. Jacie knew it too.
We know that God can do anything. If it's in His plan He Will. We asked God for His Will to be done, we asked that He fill Jacie's womb with amniotic fluid and heal the baby. After all, it would only take rearranging a few billions atoms on His part. He could do it, but it wasn't the plan. We received comfort from Him and it was amazing.
The waiting game was still being played out. We waited and waited and waited for the doctors to come in and give us the news. At 2pm our first doctor came in. She said that no they couldn't see any vital organs during the ultrasound. But, this could be because of the lack of fluid in the womb. So they told us that the director of the ward was going to perform an amnio fusion. In tattooed guy terms this means,"Stick a big needle in Jacie's stomach and fill her womb up with artificial amniotic fluid." Needless to say Jacie wasn't very keen about that plan. They scheduled the fusion for 10am the next day, Jacie let them leave, turned to me and said," I'm not doing that." I kept praying. The waiting continued.
10am came and went. By 1 they came in and apologized for being late. By 2 they all came in with the ultrasound machine. Jacie announced to them that she didn't want to do the fusion. The director was very understanding and immediately said that it was fine. Which gave me the understanding that he knew it was hopeless to try anything. So I asked him,"Have you looked at the ultrasound pictures?" He said he had and said that he didn't see any vital organs. I asked if they were going to do another ultrasound to see if maybe a miracle had happened. After all, Jacie had received so many IV bags her womb easily could have been overflowing. But it wasn't. As the doctor was performing the ultrasound, he said that there actually wasn't even enough fluid to attempt a fusion. I wanted to look at the screen to see for myself. As I rounded the corner, I could see her little heart beating. I lost it. I left the room in tears. As I walked out into the hall another nurse was standing there. She cracked a smile and I tried wiping my eyes. Our nurse, Amy, came out of the room and asked if I was ok. She then pointed at the other nurse and said "She's the one you can pray with." In a 13 year old pubescent boy's voice, I crackled,"what about you? You don't pray? You don't believe in God?" She shook her head and all I could say was,"Jesus is real."
I came back into the room and my tough as nails wife asked if I was ok. They were discharging her and sending her home to wait until she was full term. The baby had no chance of survival outside of the womb, she was diagnosed with Potter Syndrome. She would die within minutes or hours of being delivered. Basically without kidney's she couldn't urinate. Urine is where the amniotic fluid is produced. Without amniotic fluid she couldn't practice breathing the fluid to build up her lung muscles. So outside of the womb she would suffocate. If she didn't suffocate she would die because she didn't have any kidneys, liver, bladder, etc. She had a heart, but as many of us know, having a heart just isn't enough to live in this broken world.
I took Jacie home that day. I can't imagine the thoughts she had running through her head. Just waiting around until she would go into pre-term labor. Not knowing if this would be the day the baby would die from no fluid, or from being smashed and folded up against the womb with no cushion. It was horrible. We drove down to Temecula to pick up the kids from Grandma and went back up the mountain.
We prayed for God's Will for the baby, again. If this is how it was going to be then we needed to be strong and accept it. It was hard to accept. It was hard not to be mad at the doctor up here. It was really hard for me not to go into his office grab him by the throat and choke him till he explained to me why he didn't look at the anatomy ultrasound pictures and see that my little baby girl didn't have any major organs? Especially since now, looking back on it, the ultrasound tech was very suspicious during the anatomy ultrasound and even said that she wanted to see us back in a couple weeks. It was very difficult. Before we knew Jesus, that guy would have had a hurting put on him and I would have been in jail for sure. But, God says that vengeance is His and to not hurt anyone. So I prayed for Him to give me strength and understanding, and of course, He did.
Jacie was trying her best to cope. She wanted to be strong and show the kids what it meant to lean on the Lord. She would accept the fact that the baby was not going to come into this world to be with us, and then our baby girl would kick. The process would start all over again for Jacie. I only had to control my anger and sadness. Jacie had to deal with anger, sadness, pain, discomfort, heartbreak, and darkness. By the end of the weekend she was a wreck.
I was given a huge amout of comfort from the Lord. He gave me strength and understanding. He explained to me how our flesh is just a broken infected vehicle for our soul and nothing more. He explained how the baby was not going to suffer. Jacie asked me what she was supposed to do, she asked me how they could just send her home while her baby was slowly suffocating inside her, taking away just that much more of the chance that she would be born alive, even if it were for only an hour. Jacie started leaning towards wanting a c-section so that she could see her baby alive. I finally told her to call the hospital and ask the doctor what they expected her to do, to tell them that she couldn't do this without having a nervous breakdown. A few days later she did, and they told us to come back in to talk.
On November 11th they started to induce Jacie at 2:00am by 6:00am she still had not dilated. All the doctors, nurses and assistants knew what was going on, you could see it on their faces. Most of them had never heard of Potter syndrome and the ones that had, had never seen an actual case. Despite our circumstances, we were given no privacy, and Jacie was hassled with questions over questions by students in training.
At 8:00am Jacie started to have severe pain. She was handling it but I could tell she was hurting bad. I remember just standing over her and feeling helpless. I couldn't do anything for her, I couldn't help her at all. I asked the nurse for the epidural and she said,"Ok let's check to see how dilated she is." She was still at a zero. They couldn't do an epidural until she was dilating and she hadn't even dilated to a one. The nurse left and Jacie continued in pain. The nurse returned with some pain medication which helped a little. She also gave Jacie more medication to help the induction along. Jacie would doze off and wake up in horrific pain. It was terrible.
Later they checked again to see if she had dilated and, yep you guessed it, zero. By now Jacie was in so much pain she was rolling back and forth on the bed moaning.This was no ordinary labor pain. Something was different. She looked up at me and said,"Help."
Then she cried out,"Jesus, please help me."
I had never heard her pray out loud before. It floored me. I put my hand on her forehead and started praying for her.
Most of the time when we as people pray, we tend to always ask for stuff. I've learned that God is constantly giving and wants to give. I am blessed to have gone through what I have, it has brought me a tremendous amount of understanding. So my silent prayer was this,"Thank you for everything, thank you for being here with us, thank you for helping us."
As I was praying Jacie stopped rolling and it seemed like she was being soothed. I prayed over her for an hour. While I was praying a previous experience came to mind. About a year earlier I was in the church nursery doing my "toddler watching duty" with a mother who told me a story. At the time I thought the story was kinda strange. As we were watching the toddlers she abruptly blurted out,"My daughter had an ear infection this week Jake, a couple days into it she asked me to pray for her." The mother said she laid hands on her daughter's ear and prayed that God would relieve the pain and heal her daughter. She was shocked and scared when her daughters ear drum ruptured almost immediately after her prayer, blood poured from her ear. She said she panicked and yelled for her husband but her daughter said, "Thank you mommy, it doesn't hurt anymore."
Jacie looked up at me after the hour and said, "I don't feel the pain anymore. I feel like I need to push." I called the nurse and told her, "Jacie thinks she needs to push." I was trying my best not to be argumentative, I mean how could she need to push she wasn't even dilated? Amy, our nurse who didn't pray, came in and said ok let's check her. She pulled up the gown and I saw blood. She said yep she's crowning. Jacie had gone from a zero to crowning during the hour. Going through the pain was the only way to get it to stop hurting. God brought her through it faster.
The babies body came out fast. There wasn't even a doctor in the room. She was born still in her sac, and in the placenta. Nothing detached and we wonder if this caused the excruciating pain.
Our baby was wrapped up and taken away. She never took a breath, never let out a cry.
The date was 11-9-11.
Later that night Jacie was discharged. We went home and really didn't know what to do. Jacie was so hurt and broken. She didn't know if we should name the baby anymore. We kinda wanted to pretend the whole thing didn't happen. It was rough.
A social worker called the next day and asked us what her name was for the death certificate. Not a call Jacie was in the mood for, or even prepared for. A death certificate? So, despite what many Doctors say about babies not counting as people when they are miscarried, aborted, before a certain week of gestation, or in our case - stillborn, they are giving our baby a death certificate? Without a birth certificate?
We didn't have a name so Jacie told the hospital she would call them later in the week and to please give her space to recover. We small talked about a name but couldn't come up with anything. Two days later we woke up in the morning and Jacie said,"I wanna name the baby." I said, "Ok, what do you want to name her?" I already knew she had stayed in heaven with God.
Jacie said,"I wanna name her Faith or Trust." I was elated, here this woman had just been through one of the toughest experiences of her life and she still had her faith and trust in Jesus. She never broke, no matter how much Satan beat on her she never broke. He killed her baby and she was still standing in the Lord. I said,"Ok cool, let's name her Faith." She thought that that was a little bit too "normal" of a name for us to use so she said,"I wish I knew how to say Faith or trust in Hebrew." Then she got up to take a shower.
Just to back pedal and fill you in. Our daughter is named Cipher. She had been calling the baby Munah Cupcake for the previous two months. She'd rub Jacie's belly and say, "Munah Cupcake, Munah Cupcake." Over and over. She's a character for sure. We thought it was funny and silly to say the least. Well, Jacie get's out of the shower and says, "Let's just name the baby, Munah Cupcake. It would be sweet for Cipher to have named her baby sister since she is aware of what has happened." Me, being a sometimes agreeable husband said, "sure, ok."
The first thought that popped into my head was,"People already think we're crazy for believing in Jesus now they're just gonna think we've lost it completely."
I called my dad and told him what we had decided and he kinda gave me a long pause and said,"Well, she's the one going through all this if that makes her feel better then so be it." I went out to run some errands. I got the mail later that day and dropped it of back at the house and left to get some groceries. I noticed that our new subscription to a Christian magazine had come in. I was looking forward to reading it when I was done running errands.
I was walking into the store when my phone rang. It was Jacie and she was crying.
I asked,"What's wrong."
"Do you know how to say Faith in Hebrew?"
"No, I told you I don't."
She said it's,"Emunah."
I was floored. There was an article in the Magazine titled "Blind Faith" And in the article was the translation for Faith and Trust. Yet again, another gift from our Lord. He had named the baby Faith in His chosen peoples language through our 4 year old before we even knew what was going on. It confirmed everything. Jacie was comforted more than words could describe. She had said her faith in Jesus was already growing during this rough time, but now after God naming our baby that literally meant "to have active trust in God" was something special for her and her personal walk with Jesus. It was such a beautiful thing to do for someone who was hurting so bad and so confused. We are so small and insignificant to each other but God cares about each and everyone of us. The planning and care that went into delivering us from this attack by the enemy couldn't have been executed any better. I can't explain to you how much I love Jesus.
Today is Jacie's 27th birthday and I hope and pray it is one she'll never forget. I love you Lady and I know God loves you more.
Update: Today is December 29th 2015. I'm siting on my couch with a sleeping 2 year old boy's head buried in my arm pit. Jacie and I have been blessed with two more children since Emunah. A boy we named Carbon Black and a precious little girl we named Hallow Snow.