I believe in the power of faith – which is funny because I’m a lawyer – so I spend my work life, and unfortunately for my husband much of my personal life, trying to amass facts to support my positions. And still, my faith has done more for me than anything I have learned from books, from my parents, and even from my girlfriends. My faith doesn’t stem from my religion, it just stems from me – and it kicks into gear whenever I need it.
My six year old son Jack, my first child, was born ten weeks early and weighed only three pounds, six ounces. I went into labor at 25 weeks and my doctor, whom I trusted because of her knowledge of facts and provable theories, could not tell me why. All she could tell me was that Jack needed more time. Actually, she needed time to do the things she knew, for a fact, would give Jack a chance. She needed to give me steroid shots so his lungs would develop, she needed to give me horrible medication to control my contractions, and she needed me to stay in bed, in the hospital, without even bathroom privileges, for as long as I could.
I was in the hospital for 33 days before Jack was born. I was there for Christmas, for New Years, for the time it took me to read three novels and watch way too much television. During that time I got to take two showers and get out of bed four times for ultrasounds. I had to wear vinyl pulsating boots on my legs so my blood wouldn’t clot because my doctor was afraid that even the slightest bit of physical therapy would send me into labor. I gained more weight than I wanted to and lost most of the muscle strength in my calves – but I got Jack!
Whenever anyone asks me, as they always do, how I was able to do it without going crazy, I tell them that I just had faith that everything would be okay. From the moment I entered the emergency room and was shocked to learn that I was in labor, that my son likely would not survive if he was born then, and that I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, I just knew that everything was going to be fine. That was my faith and it stayed with me in the hospital from day one to day thirty-three. And, every time I look at my handsome, funny, smart, healthy son, I am reminded of the gift of my faith. The question for me is not how I can believe in something so imprecise and indefinable, but how can I not?
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.