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Expecting Mother Fights for Unborn Son’s Life

“I absolutely was terrified that I was going to lose my son, and all I can think is that in that moment, I was thinking that I was going to die,” says Rebekah. Ever since she was a little girl, Rebekah Bischoff wanted to be a mother.

“I grew up with the most amazing mom who made every day special," Rebekah says. “She would leave notes of encouragement and would bake the best food and I'd always have friends over, and she just made everything very special.”

Shortly after she married, she discovered she had health issues that would make pregnancy almost impossible.

“I had an exploratory laparoscopy that diagnosed me with a pretty aggressive form of endometriosis,” she says. “It was the day before my birthday and that doctor told me, based on the images and on the history of two previous surgeries before, that I would not be able to get pregnant without a lot of intervention. It was one of the darkest days of my life to hear that I might not ever be able to be a mom.”

At the advice of her doctor, Rebekah had surgery, and against the odds, she and her husband Joe were able to conceive and deliver their daughter, Addie.

“I suffered from mild preeclampsia but nothing that was cause for great alarm. After having my daughter, I knew that should my husband and I want to expand our family that we would need to begin trying relatively quickly

Preeclampsia is a complication characterized by high blood pressure, and can also damage other organs, such as the liver and kidneys. When Beka became pregnant with her second child, Henry, things began to spiral down quickly at 36 weeks.

“I had seen my doctor because I just didn't feel well. She had an intuition, that I firmly believe is from the Lord, to just run some labs on me. The next morning, I was not feeling well and I remember praying for the Lord to give me intuition to decipher what was fear and what was Him wanting me to do something. And so when I called the office, the receptionist answered the phone and said, ‘Baby, you need to get here now, it's not good.’"

Bekah was rushed to the E.R. she had developed a related, life-threatening complication.

“When my husband and I arrived at the hospital we were greeted by a high-risk OB E.R. doctor and I knew then that this was very serious. And I personally was not told that I had what's called HELLP Syndrome, which is where your liver enzymes are extremely high, your blood platelets are extremely low.”

Dr. Paula Peyton, a P.A. at UK Medical Center, says, “We did have a discussion about a C-section. But I did tell her that because her platelets counts are very low and your blood count was very low, so if possible, we really need to try to deliver this baby vaginally if possible.”

“I do remember when my water broke that it was all blood,” Rebekah says. “Immediately my mom called my grandmother, who is a strong prayer warrior who then reached out to her church, who then reached out to all of their contacts and it is no question that there were hundreds of people praying for me that day. As horrible as I felt, I fought with everything that I had within me, with the help of many people praying to bring him into this world safely.”

Her friends and family continued to pray as Bekah began to lose consciousness. “When I look back on that day when I didn't have a lot of fight left in me, the Lord was fighting for me and He was giving me the strength to be able to endure this,” she says. 

The next thing Rebekah remembers is holding her son Henry in her arms. Baby and mom were both going to make it.  

“We have patients that don’t have the outcome that she had,” Dr. Peyton adds. “But she was very much in tune with her body. And she got the help she needed very quickly.”

“There were hundreds of people praying for me that day,” says Rebekah. “And I'm confident that their prayers that surrounded me and the Lord are why I'm here today.” 

Rebekah still has some lingering effects as a result of HELLP syndrome, but has made it her purpose to raise awareness about the illness.  

“I've been able to speak to hospitals, to providers, to EMTs, first responders, to share my story,” she adds. “And so it's been amazing to share some of the deepest and darkest parts of my story to maybe save someone else one day.”

“God is using this for His glory,” Dr. Peyton says. “She is on the podium and she is out there and her sole purpose in life right now is to make sure women are aware of this, and that other women and other babies don’t have to go through this.”

“This experience showed me that God is who He says He is,” Rebekah says. “And that He can move mountains and that even in the darkest of times when we cannot imagine or understand what we're going through, that He is still on His throne and He will make all things beautiful in His time.”

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