Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Another Perspective on the Tender Mercies and Miracles

I got an email from Julianne, one of the women in the cast of Oklahoma last Tuesday.  It was so beautiful and gave me more insight on what happened last Monday night. 

Hi Melanie,
I am Julianne Loftus, ensemble, from the Riverview ward in Lebanon.  I have never met you before last night.  I was there assisting you from the moment you entered the hallway.  I just wanted to let you know, if you already didn't, that there were many LDS Angels directly assisting you last night.  I fully believe the Holy Ghost prompted us all to be there at the right time and in the right place to help you during this trial.  There were 8 of us directly involved in your care and another 13 at least, available in the building.

There are many details I could go into, but one in particular is that Kelly, whose lap you were in, delivered her baby at 28 weeks.  She was particularly and perfectly suited to your cause.

I myself have had 6 babies, my last one being very high risk.  I delivered him in Springfield too.  Their NICU is amazing for preemies.  I feel very blessed to have had a hand in saving your life last night.

I don't even know you or that you were LDS too, but I learned your first name last night.  This morning I wondered to myself who you were and what ward you were from, (as I saw your garments during the EMT exam while I held the blanket).  The craziest thing happened and 'Van der ...aff" popped into my head.  Thinking that to be weird, I checked the Stake Directory and obviously here you are!

I believe the Lord wanted me to testify to you.  I know this trial is hard on you, but you were in amazing hands last night to protect you.  Of all the places this tragedy could have happened, you were placed among at least 21 angels!  I am truly grateful that I could help and I hope you get well soon.


I really felt she was inspired to write that letter. Every time I read it through the week, tears sprang to my eyes because I really felt that all the people that were around me that night were supposed to be there.  I felt and feel so grateful still.  Then a few days later she sent me a more detailed email (and permission to publish it).

The little girl you saw was my daughter Libby.  I was the third person who saw you because I was near her and Kelley.  I told you to sit down as well and that we would get you an ambulance.  I didn't realize Kelley had her phone, but I ran into the theater to tell Terri that we needed an ambulance NOW, that the pregnant lady was bleeding badly.  I ran back to you and saw Kelley on the phone.  I heard you tell me to get Terri and Stephanie.  I said I already told Terri and I went back in to find Stephanie.  I scanned the audience without luck and then discovered Stephanie filming beside me.  I told her that you NEEDED her, but she didn't realize how urgent it was.

My adrenaline had been on fire from the moment I saw the blood on your pants.  I thought your water had broken and that you needed to get to the hospital.  My smile at the thought of you having your baby, quickly turned into terror when I saw all the blood.  I am not a runner in any means, but I only recently began working out at the gym.  That was my miracle, because I had the strength and endurance to keep madly running around the place to help you.

Back in the hallway, they called for a blanket.  I looked frantically around and quickly considered removing my heavy dress to cover you.  But I held out on last hope as not to ruin the borrowed costume.  I contacted Alyson, LDS, stage manager for a blanket and she went into the theater to grab one from the set.

We put the blanket on you, and I asked Alyson in the front doors were open, unlocked.  She said yes, but I wanted to check nonetheless.  I ran like the wind in my 41 year old, plump body.  Grateful I had bought sensible shoes to perform in.  I ran and ran and ran like lightning to ensure the ambulance could get to you.

The doors were locked!  It was so fortunate that I had come!  I propped the door open and ran out to see if they were near.  They weren't.  So I ran all the way back to you to see what else I could do.  I don't remember what I did, but then I ran back to the door like lightning, no pain or shin splints at all!  This time I heard the sirens from far away.  I ran out to the street to guide them in.

I ran with them down the hall back to you.  When we arrived, it was Doug Prince, LDS Albany, and Tracy Krebs who were finishing your blessing.  I don't know about the Allens.  David, Brandon, Mark McAllister and Adam Mah were all there as Priesthood on the premises who could have given you a blessing too.  That's what I find so miraculous.  So many Priesthood available.

Clearly, the EMT, a female, was able to get you squared away while I held the stage prop blanket to shield you.  Soon you were loaded up and taken to the hospital.

There was quite a mess to clean up and 5 of us ladies worked together to at least clear the hallway, and left the bathroom to the janitor.  There are certain protocols to follow in bodily fluids, but we couldn't wait for a janitor to clear the hallway.  It would cause too many questions from the cast!  Terri actually kept them all on stage for a very long time.  Just enough to get the red out of site by the time they came back.

My daughter had gone back on stage shortly after seeing you.  All she had noticed was the blood on your hand.  It was time to get back on stage, but I didn't dream of it.  Your life was in the balance and nothing else mattered.  Me running like s madwoman in my costume and makeup was surreal, but I wouldn't  have thought to do anything else.  Even if it had been a performance.

Thankfully, I hadn't screamed "FIRE" to the world or anyone else.  I kept your complete confidence and haven't spoken ANY details except to my children, two of whom had been there.

I don't know when, but Libby told me that Terri did stop the show and immediately loudly called to Tracy and Doug Prince that someone in the lobby needed a blessing.  She told everyone to stop and just stay there on stage quietly.  I guess they did.

Later, the show did go on.  I hadn't said a word, but I think she might have told everyone that you were going into labor.  I only saw a Facebook post later that night saying she and Sarah had stopped to see you, the bleeding stopped, and that you were headed to Springfield.

The LDS people I counted were, Libby, Kelley, Me, Terri, Stephanie, Alyson, Tracy, and Doug.  We were the ones in your direct circle playing the more important roles.  And with so many more in the building, it's just not possible to deny it was a miracle.

When I was in Springfield, I had Dr. K.  He is supposed to be one of the best in the nation.  I don't know who your doctor is.  But mine used dissolvable staples, which was cool.  They also have a technology that inflates your mattress to transfer easily like a hovercraft from table to bed.  At least that's what it felt like.

I'm not sure if you've toured the NICU yet, but it is amazing.  Like a grand hotel for babies with at least three hallways with private rooms.  I felt so blessed to have been able to deliver there.

It's clear that everything is working according to God's plan.  With as difficult as my last pregnancy had been, I just assumed I'd be the mother to a baby that died.  I hadn't even picked out a name.  Boy, was I wrong!  He fought very hard to be here, even from the day of his conception, and really even months before that to get me off of Ambien which would have harmed him.

He is a fighter even today, not willing to give up on his freedom and zest for life.  I'm sure your baby is a fighter too.  Especially if you've seen the Angels literally guarding you and him.

What an exciting chapter to your life!  You'll definitely be in my testimony on Sunday.  So glad you are doing well!

Miracles and tender mercies are real!  I keep on feeling like this little fellow in me has a divine plan and is needed on this earth.  Isn't God amazing?!  I love Him and His plan for me and my family and yes, for you.