Sminu Joseph and Reeba share their experience of having their baby Rose during December 2018, with all its joy and sufferings

Last Christmas was a profound and memorable journey for us, a journey which reiterated in our hearts and in our lives, the immeasurable and unfathomable love of our God. We, Reeba and myself have been waiting and praying for a baby, ever since Reeba had a miscarriage in 2014. And faithful as he is, God heard our prayers and at the opportune time – our first baby born on 2 December, 2018 and we named her Rose.

After the delivery we were discharged from the hospital and came home on December 5, and thought everything was going to be alright. But God had different plans for us. During childbirth, a few blood vessels in Reeba’s abdomen had broken, with blood oozing to the nearby tissues and getting clotted there. Medical professionals might know this as haematoma. However, we didn’t know this until it became infectious. Reeba got very ill and had to be admitted to the hospital again. The haematoma became extremely painful for Reeba – much more than her pain at childbirth.

We trusted God and in His perfect plans for us. We made sure that these sufferings would not go in vain, and held it close to the Holy Cross for the souls in Purgatory. The doctors decided to give Reeba antibiotics and see how the infection would respond, but in a few days, it went from bad to worse causing Reeba profound pain and agony. Her blood pressure dropped very low, heart rate went up to 150 and she had extremely high temperature during the night. We all got very scared, and in our anguish cried out to the Lord. Our God is a loving God and He never forsakes us.

I kept asking God, ‘what is happening?’ and He kept on telling me right in my ear, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). The doctors decided to take Reeba to the theatre for surgery, and the infected pus was removed immediately. She was finally relieved from all the pain, but the wound was so deep that they said it would need three to four months to heal completely. We were still at the hospital, with Rose and Reeba’s mother even a fortnight after the delivery. After all the antibiotics and medications, we finally got discharged on December 22nd.

Relieved, we came back home and thought the worst was behind us. However, Reeba started having temperature spikes again on December 24th. We didn’t know if this was because of another infection or because the first one hadn’t subsided properly. We went back to the hospital again and Reeba was admitted once more for another round of antibiotics. Eventually we were discharged on the night of December 31st and praise be to God, she has felt much better since.

he wounds still need to be dressed every day until things get better, and it might take a good few months to fully recover. Yet, in and through all this, we thank and praise our Lord Jesus for holding us so close to His heart during all our struggles and trials. Satan for sure wanted us to blame God for allowing these sufferings in our life, but we knew that this was an opportunity for us to get closer to God and we made good use of it.

We also witnessed and received the selfless service of so many people around us during this time, in terms of prayers, food, support and transportation. We could really see God sending some wonderful doctors and nurses to take good care of us. Words cannot adequately explain the love and protection of God that we felt and experienced.

Often, we asked God why our baby’s first Christmas was like this – without any celebration or good food or wishes from friends, or visits from any near and dear ones! We stayed home with baby Rose hardly for three days after her birth until the new year. I remember being on my knees on Christmas day asking Jesus all these questions and Jesus gave me a beautiful answer. He said “I want you all to spend this Christmas with me, you don’t need anyone else, you don’t need good food, you don’t need any wishes from others – but ME and My grace is sufficient for you. Be with me in my presence for this Christmas”. It filled our hearts with an overwhelming sense of joy and peace, even in the midst of all the sufferings we were going through. And I am sure, this Christmas was an experience for us – a true Christ experience.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,    and the flame shall not consume you.”Isaiah 43:2