Be Brave

In a few weeks time we are going celebrate our first born’s 8th birthday! WOW! We are so thankful to God for our beautiful, funny little boy, and we believe he is an absolute miracle from God, like all children, but here’s our story and you will realise just how precious he is to us.

(I’m sharing my story because we totally believe God is a God of miracles and we give Him all the glory & hope our story will encourage you to hold on to him or trust in him for the first time. Also something to look out for when your going through pregnancy, it is very rare, hence why it wasn’t picked up sooner.)

Anyway here I go!

We had found out in November 2014 that we were expecting, at this stage I was just going through the normal pregnancy things, feeling nauseous & tired. Our 12 week scan went well, all seemed to be fine. This all very suddenly changed on Sunday 8th February when we were at a friends for dinner after church. After lunch I had visited the bathroom thinking I needed to pee, but nothing happened, I tried again later & same, nothing! I started to get uncomfortable, but thinking maybe this is normal for pregnancy. Later that evening, I knew something was wrong, so rang the maternity ward, sorry we can’t help you, you need to go to A&E. We decided not to that night as I managed to go, not the conventional way but I did go. The next morning the same symptoms continued and I was in quite a bit of pain so we headed to A&E, they gave me 3 glasses of water & I managed to give a very small sample. I remember I couldn’t even sit down because I needed to pee so badly. But after a few hours they sent us on our way saying I was suffering from a UTI. The symptoms continued, in-fact they got worse, my stomach was growing bigger & bigger each day and now I couldn’t go to the bathroom at all. We were visiting the doctors every other day at this point (maternity still saying it wasn’t pregnancy related), never seeing the same doctor, but always being sent away with laxatives or something for the UTI. I kept asking if my baby was okay, and everyone kept saying o yes, this is nothing to do with baby. We spent valentines in a&e, and again sent away with another misdiagnosis, drink plenty of fluids. I couldn’t sleep, I now couldn’t eat as everything made me sick, I was so uncomfortable, I was getting a bath 4/5 times through the night in order to help me. Dave had a lot of work on so he couldn’t take time off, so my mother in law took the morning shift & my mum looked after me in the afternoon. We did everything the Drs told us but I just wasn’t getting any better.

It was now 7 days since it started, I was in agony, I kept crying out to God, why is no one helping us, why am I in so much pain, I just couldn’t cope. I couldn’t lie down so I sat on the sofa & walked about, I watched tv through the night, I was just keeping going. Back to the Drs we went, and I was sent away with another laxative. Finally after 9 days of suffering, I lay on our living room floor & begged God to end it all, I couldn’t go on. I just gave up. I couldn’t fight the pain any longer. I wanted God to just take me. Dave quickly decided to take me to the out of hours, we prayed frantically that God would intervene and he did. We were introduced to a Dr who reacted straight away to the size of my tummy. I was 17 weeks pregnant & he said my stomach was the size of someone who was 33 weeks or more, but he knew something was wrong. He sent us immediately to the Royal Maternity, where everyone reacted quickly, seeing how much pain I was in. They immediately took a scan of my tummy, and noticed that my bladder was so full that they couldn’t even see the baby. A catheter was put in, and within 10 minutes, they drained 4 litres of urine. Your bladder holds roughly between 500 & 800 mls, mine was over 5 times the size it should be. Equivalent to two 2 litre cartons of milk.

They kept the scanner on my tummy as they drained my bladder, my husband and I glued to the screen to see our baby. You could literally see my stomach deflate as it was emptied. The midwife told us to look quickly at the screen, our little baby was moving, infact his legs were kicking about like mad. As tears streamed down our faces we were so thankful that God heard us & brought us to this point. As we waited for a consultant to come see us, we were so thankful and happy our baby was okay, we didn’t think beyond that. The Dr came and told us, he had never seen a bladder so full and it will most likely be damaged but we will have to see what condition it is in, but it will need to be retrained. We were happy with that, my bladder was damaged but it sounds like it can be fixed.

I spoke with another consultant the next day, my positive attitude was soon to be brought down. She talked about a tilted uterus, bladder retention & long term use of a catheter. I heard very little of what she said, apart from your bladder is severely damaged & it may not function again. I had to get the midwife to tell me all over again what she had said, I was so in shock. But the guy last night it made it sound like it could be simply fixed. I spent a few nights in hospital, and I would go to see the same consultant on Friday.

So at Friday’s appointment it was decided to keep the catheter in for 1 week to see how things would go. Again the Dr clarified that the muscle of my bladder would have been extremely stretched and therefore damaged, but only time would tell. We left this appointment very upset, we could not believe how things unfolded. As I waited that afternoon to see the midwife I asked myself, could God heal me? Do I believe he could? I had seen Him do it before in my nephew so I know he can. We sent a prayer request to our church family, I thought if God is to work a miracle, I need people to ask Him for one. So as people prayed & as we begged God to heal we waited until our next appointment. Our appointment arrived, I was getting the catheter out & my bladder was going to be tested.

My mum sent my husband a message with a verse she felt God wanted us to hear: Psalm 50:5 “Call on me in times of trouble, I will deliver you & you shall glorify me”, a verse I feel we clung to & rang true in the outcome of our situation.

We sat in the waiting room, I was introduced to a lovely sister on the ward, I felt she was saved, there was something lovely & Godly about her. She took care of us bringing us tea & toast and checking in on me. The catheter had been removed & when I felt the need to pee I was to tell them & they would go through a process of scanning my bladder before and after I went. I tried with all of my might to go, I just couldn’t, nothing was happening. I sat for ages, crying please God please, but no response. I came out of the toilet & the nurse said well? I just shook my head and cried. They scanned my bladder and it had 1 litre in it and I couldn’t feel a thing. The rest of that day involved lots of crying but also lots of learning. I learnt to self catheterise, as wearing a bag was not an option, how would I fit into my skinny jeans?? After 2 attempts, I learnt how to do it, I found a strength & willingness to learn, totally of God. I had asked the Dr if there was possibility that my bladder would work again, she said there’s always a possibility but with what your bladder has gone through it could be a long time before it works if it works at all.

This was my foreseeable future. We had asked God for a miracle but He hadn’t give it to us. Did I not believe enough, all of these thoughts were racing through my mind.

We spent the night researching self catheterising, I had seen videos of girls my age doing this & I drew comfort from that but it still broke my heart that my life was going to be different. The birth of my baby was also going to be planned, I would have to have a c-section because of my bladder & baby would be born at 36 weeks as my tummy would restrict me from catheterising. The day after I could hardly get out of bed, what was the point, I felt so let down by all the doctors I had visited & sought for help. I actually said to my husband, some people deserve for this to happen but I’m not one of them. I felt so angry, it overwhelmed me. I went from blaming the Drs to questioning God, why did he make me like this. As I lay in bed, I heard from God. Honestly I heard him whisper to me, “be patient my daughter”.

We had an appointment the next morning to check on the baby & to see how I was getting on. All was well. I was now 19 weeks pregnant & baby was doing good. I was coping better. I had went to bed the night before accepting of what had happened & decided I was just going to get on with it.

The Dr had asked me if I had tried to pee on my own again & I said no, I thought that was a strange question, sure she had told me a few days before that my bladder wouldn’t work. Anyway that afternoon I got back to doing some work, dave was off & was tidying in the kitchen. I needed to empty my bowels ( the only polite when I can put this). I sat on the toilet & the next minute I started to pee, I’m not even joking when I say this but I squealed my head off, squealing for Dave to come quick. He came running, dropping a mug in the process. He was wondering what was wrong, I was crying & shouting I can pee! I can pee! The two of us crying, hugging & thanking God, as I sat on the toilet. It sounds hilarious to be so thankful for that but going to the toilet is something we all take for granted and until it’s taken away from you, you’ll never realise how thankful you are to be able to pee. Had God just healed me? We didn’t really know what to do. That evening after it had happened 3 times, we rang the Dr, she was so nice, I think she was so devastated by what happened to me, she had given me her personal mobile to ring day or night. When I told her, she was so shocked, she kept saying I can’t believe it. After a few more check ups & consultations, I was given the all clear, with no medical explanation. God had worked a miracle on my bladder. He healed me.

Psalm 33:20
We wait in hope for the Lord, he is our help and our shield.

We had to & have to trust & put our hope in God alone. What happened to me was a very rare medical case, one that was so unheard of and why I was misdiagnosed by every medical person I encountered. But God knew, after all He created me, He knew that I would suffer for 9 days, He knew that’s all I could bare and I believe He had a purpose for it. He strengthened Dave and I in our marriage & He showed us that nothing is impossible with Him. God is sovereign over all our problems.

Whatever you are going through, I just want to encourage you to choose daily to trust in God. Trust that He knows the road ahead, He knows exactly what you will face tomorrow & He tells us He’ll never give us more than we can handle. Remember Gods power is made perfect in our weakness.

“When God is all you have, you’ll find God is all you need”.

On Wednesday 5th August 2015, at 11:20am, I met that little baby who had blocked my bladder all those months ago, I thanked God that he was perfect, I had worried a lot that my bladder issues would have impacted him in some ways but we embraced him with thankfulness to the God who can do more than we could ever begin to imagine.

Be encouraged & blessed!

Ali xo

1 Comment
  • Reply
    July 20, 2023, 9:15 pm

    Woaw, I was gripped reading, Lois forwarded it to me but I thought I wouldn’t find it interesting! Thanks for sharing. Just finished reading Joni, after hearing the serial story at church, epic, recommend it if you haven’t read it, reading her story too. Blessings!

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