Sometimes in life you go through a terrible, horrific crisis, like a bad nightmare that never seems to end, in fact the situation only gets worse ......this was one of those times and yet now it's just faded memories.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
The year was 1990 and life was busy with two children under the age of 5, yet my clucky thermometer had a high reading and I wanted another baby. We lived on a small farm in Healesville, Australia and had an assortment of family pets, so it was a idyllic place to raise children. Unfortunately falling pregnant had proven hard for me in the past and I had just had my fifth miscarriage, however the next month I fell pregnant with another little blessing. After a careful first three months, it was an uneventful pregnancy, however financial hard times had us quickly facing the loss of the farm to avoid bankruptcy. We had just joined the church and become Christians and I remember them bringing food parcels to help us save money for bills. By the time our baby was born, we were moving into a small rented cottage in town, a big step back in our life and with a lot of debt to be paid off.
I usually had no trouble choosing baby names but because I wanted the middle name to be Kylie, if the baby was a girl, and it was proving hard. Kylie had been a friend of mine, like a little sister, who had passed away at the young age of 15 years from an asthma attack, so it was important to me to have a special name to compliment it. So with only six weeks to go till my due date, I picked up a newspaper and on the back page saw a girl called Janelle. Later that night we agreed that would be our sweet baby girl's name...Janelle Kylie Bartlett. It would not be until three years later, that I would discover the significance of choosing that particular name.
Janelle came into the world around about midday on the 15.12.1990. She should have been born earlier but she had her arm around her neck with her elbow sticking out. The answer is yes, it was very painful and that last stage where they say 'one more push' lasted over an hour. But nevertheless our little princess was born to add to our growing collection of gorgeous little munchkins and the intense labour had been worth it, as she was absolutely perfect.
On visiting the hospital's baby nursery during the following days I noticed a newborn baby boy, whose face was very disfigured. He looked like he had been punched in the eye and the right side of his face was bruised and swollen. My heart was saddened as I took in his tiny features and my curiosity grew wanting to know what was wrong with him. I asked the nurse what had happened and she explained that he had just come out the wrong way, bumped his little face and all that swelling and bruising would soon disappear. I felt sorry for the parents having their little boy look like that for his first photos, but was pleased to find out he would soon look normal again.... but then again, what defines 'normal?'. However looking back now, I believe this encounter was not coincidental, it was God preparing me for what I would soon have to face and He was letting me know things would eventually be alright. As I went back to the ward and held my adorable newborn baby girl, swaddled safely in a pink blanket sleeping peacefully, I was blissfully unaware that I had just hopped on a huge rollercoaster ride!
Go to PART TWO: Has hope left