North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

November 20, 2013

Danielle Cater: Remembering the power of prayer

Danielle Cater: Remembering the power of prayer

AN NJN EDITORIAL — Next week my youngest daughter will be celebrating her fifth birthday, and these are the times when you reflect on your life and how the presence of a child can really change who you are and what you do with yourself.

We were like any other family when we welcomed little Anna Cadence Pelkey to the world five years ago. Her arrival was quite a surprise to her parents, but we were happy that God saw fit to let us have another baby in the home.

If I’m being completely honest, I was a little upset that God threw another baby my way when I felt like I was struggling to raise the 1-year-old who never slept. It was a scary moment when we found out we were pregnant and as a mom, after the first five minutes of speechless stares at the pregnancy test, I went right into momma mode and was excited to welcome the new baby.

When Anna was two months old, she started having trouble breathing one night. I was concerned, but her older sister had asthma and since she had already been diagnosed with the same, I chalked it up to asthma and stayed up with her that night. The next morning she was getting worse, and by the time I made it to the doctor’s office that morning, my baby was struggling to breathe.

When our doctor saw us waiting to see him in the waiting room he immediately stopped what he was doing and ordered an oxygen test on her right then and there. Her oxygen levels weren’t dangerously low, but every breath she took showed her ribs and collar bones from the force of her inhaling. He sent me to Children’s Hospital and informed me that I shouldn’t even take the time to get a diaper bag from the house — just get her to the hospital.

Of course I went into panic mode and drove like a mad woman all the way there. When we got there, the ER was filled with sick kids and she was just another number to them at the time. They did an oxygen test on her, and after giving her a breathing treatment, they sent me home to watch her. They told me to call her doctor again if she was still struggling later that night.

Relieved that the ER didn’t see the severity in the situation that the general practitioner had, I went home watching every breath Anna took. A couple of hours later I couldn’t handle the fight my baby was going through for every breath of air, and we made our way back to the doctor’s office. As soon as we came through the door the doctor saw that it was us and took her oxygen reading. I told him what the ER had said, and after a very low oxygen level reading, he again sent us straight to the ER and called them to make sure they understood the stress she was under with every breath she took.

It was a much different reception when I arrived this time. The nurses were waiting to take us back to a room.

In times like these, you really just want your family there with you, but my parents had driven across the nation to Arizona on vacation and my oldest daughter had a virus, so her dad couldn’t be there either. I sat in that hospital room just staring at this infant in my arms — my mind kept racing back to the moment I found out I was going to have another baby and my immediate reaction of ungratefulness. Now I was holding that miracle and begging my God not to let me lose the baby I loved so deeply.

I found out after four days in the hospital that she had RSV, and it was very serious. I told them that I needed to call my parents to get them to come to the hospital. The nurse asked how long it would take them to get there. I told her it would be two days before they could be there and her response was, “Then there is no reason to call them for this. She can’t make it that long at this rate. She is struggling too hard for every breath and an infant at that age doesn’t have enough fight in them to make it two more days.”

That nurse had just told me that I had less than 48 hours left with my baby, and I can’t even express the emotions that flowed through my body. I was furious that she had been so cold in telling me this heart-wrenching news. I didn’t know how to tell the family. I didn’t know how to react and all I could do was pray and cry and hold my baby as close to me as humanly possible.

Sobbing, I called my parents and told them and the prayers went up immediately. Anna couldn’t even open her eyes at this point, but my God began to move in that hospital room.

Within two days from the announcement that she wouldn’t live past 48 hours, we were getting ready to pack our bags to leave. She made an “amazing recovery,” according to the doctor, who said he expected our visit to end very differently.

During that time in the hospital I learned quite a few things about life. I figured out who would be there for me in tough times, and who wouldn’t care enough to visit. I found out who to call on for prayers. I found out the healing power of God. And I found out just how strong my little Anna bug really was. When the world had given up hope on that little angel, she stepped it up and fought to live. She hasn’t quit fighting since.

She is my most outgoing and loving baby in the bunch, and I can’t help but to go back to that hospital visit in my mind when her birthday rolls around every year.

We may forget a lot of things in our lives, but don’t forget to continue to thank God for answered prayers. He saved my baby’s life that day, and I know that He has great things in store for this little, talkative 5-year-old girl.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014