Nurses advised me to prepare for the loss of my baby, but I couldn’t give up hope.

It began on a Tuesday morning a few days before Easter. We had managed to assemble the cast for a rehearsal of the road show I was directing. I was tired and felt unwell, but I attributed it to my being three months pregnant and having two young children to care for.

However, on the way home I realized that something was seriously wrong. By the time I reached the house, I knew I was threatening miscarriage. Feeling alone and frightened, I went to my neighbor and explained. She responded without hesitation, “Leave the children with me and go straight to bed. I’ll contact the doctor and your husband, and I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”

I had scarcely climbed into bed when she appeared at the bedroom door with an armful of books.

“Your husband is on his way home, and the doctor will be in touch soon. In the meantime, you’re to have complete bed rest. I’ve been told to raise the end of your bed. That’s why I’ve brought the books.”

She made sure I was comfortable and then went to make lunch for the children. Left alone, I began to pray aloud for the safety of my unborn baby. A door slammed downstairs, and moments later Glyn, my husband, hurried into the bedroom. He put his arms around me, trying to assure me.

We heard voices downstairs. It was the bishop. Glyn asked him to assist in administering to me. I don’t remember now what was said, but I do know that all my faith and hope was added to that prayer. Now came the waiting.

For more than twenty-four hours, my condition remained unchanged. But on Wednesday evening, it suddenly worsened. Glyn telephoned for an ambulance, and I was rushed to the hospital and put on a saline intravenous drip. I still hadn’t lost the baby.

The following day my condition seemed to stabilize. Nevertheless, the nursing staff was not optimistic.

“You must prepare yourself for the fact that you will probably lose this baby,” one nurse told me.

“But I can’t give up,” I replied. “You have to give me hope.”

She shook her head. She didn’t understand. At the time, I don’t think I did, either. I couldn’t give up hope until all reason for hope was gone. It was something I owed to my unborn child.

So Thursday passed, and Friday, too. On Saturday afternoon, the pain began. When it finally ebbed away, one of the doctors examined me. “It’s over, Mrs. Evans. The baby is gone.”

For one long moment, I felt nothing. Then a profound feeling of peace flowed through me. With the peace came understanding. I knew now why I couldn’t give up hope in spite of all the circumstances: you either live in hope or you live in despair. Without hope, you cannot endure to the end. I had looked for an answer to prayers and was not disappointed; I was healed in body and rewarded with a spirit of peace. Never before had I felt so close to my Heavenly Father, never before had I felt such peace. I had prayed for the baby’s safety, and now I knew that all was well.

I had much to be thankful for: my family, the Church, good neighbors, the gift of the Holy Ghost. And I truly wanted another child.

The miracle of peace was not the only blessing to come from this experience. Some weeks later, I fell to thinking about the child I had lost. The Spirit brought to my mind the words from Genesis 4:25 [Gen. 4:25]: “And she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed. …”

A few months later, I became pregnant again. When my son was born, he was declared to be “perfect.” He is now a bright, healthy thirteen-year-old, and his name is Evan Seth.

[illustration] Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett

Joyce Audrey Evans is ward music director and a Relief Society instructor in the Lisburn Ward, Belfast Northern Ireland Stake.