‘I got the news my ‘first love’ passed away. I grabbed my phone. ‘I’m bleeding and it won’t stop.’ I also felt an overwhelming presence beside me.’: Woman finds faith after near-death experience, ‘I’m living proof of the power of prayer’

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“One year ago, I asked for prayers for the first time. I had never asked for help, not even in person, really. I thought I could take on this crazy world alone.

I had always known God, but never knew I needed Him. I always believed. I went to Sunday school as a kid and I prayed every now and then. I became closer with God after almost dying from taking too much tainted Molly, or MDMA, at an outdoor paint rave on my 20th birthday. I thought I knew Him then… but I had never felt Him.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

When I was 25, I got married to my high school sweetheart. God was the center of the ceremony. I felt the love surround us, but I still did not feel God.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

When I was 26, I gave birth to my daughter, Sadie Lynn, on October 21st, 2018. It was a Sunday morning. I lost a third of the blood in my body during an induced vaginal delivery. I received blood transfusions, and as a result, wound up with a pulmonary embolism in my right lung. This was the scariest and most challenging time in my life. My husband, Taylor, tried his best to be there for me while trying to feel the joy of becoming a father.

We were in and out of the hospital for a month after Sadie’s birth. The women’s floor at the hospital was my baby’s first home. I was in my hospital bed, Taylor on the pull-out sofa, and baby Sadie in the hospital-provided glass crib. Most of the time, I didn’t have the energy to hold her. I just laid and looked at my precious baby through the glass and imagined we were elsewhere.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

I was on medications to keep my heart rate under control, to keep my blood pressure under control, and to prevent my blood clot from moving or growing. I was dealing with normal postpartum issues on top of it all. I was a mess.

I didn’t want much to do with my husband. I didn’t want much to do with my daughter. I didn’t want much to do with God. I was angry. ‘Why me? Why can all these other women have babies and be up walking around the neighborhood the next week? Why do some women feel an instant connection with their baby and I don’t? Why am I going through this when I should be relaxing at home drinking coffee on the couch and rocking my baby girl?’

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

I began to lose my faith. I began to lose hope.

I was further shot down when I got the news an old friend of mine had passed away. We had been extremely close as teenagers. He was my first ‘love.’ He was the one who taught me so much about life and rescued me from my teenage abusive relationship. Zach was my angel. I fought so hard for him and wanted so badly for him to change his ways. I thought he had when I heard the news of him having children, joining a church, becoming a realtor, and getting sober. I messaged him one day to tell him how proud I was of him for where he was in life compared to where he’d been. He came such a long way. I was so very happy for him.

A month after I wrote that message and 13 days after I gave birth, Zach died. My world was literally turned upside down. I didn’t expect it to be. I hadn’t seen Zach in years, but I was feeling everything as if he was still the most important thing in my life. I was devastated to a point where I didn’t even understand why.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

A few days later, my husband went deer hunting with my little brother on some property not far away. This was the first time he had left me alone since we returned from the hospital for my pulmonary embolism stay. My mom brought me lunch. My grandma came over to see me and hold Sadie. Everyone left. Sadie fell asleep and I laid her in her crib so I could go to the bathroom really quickly. As I stood up from the toilet, blood poured out. It kept pouring, all over my sweats, all over the floor. I had never seen so much blood. I grabbed a towel off the towel rack and tried to soak some up. I took a few steps. It just kept pouring.

I was on a blood thinner medication after I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. Because of this, if ever I were to bleed, it would be much more than usual. I was always terrified of cutting myself. I lived in constant fear each day, I would cut myself or fall and hit my head. I panicked each week when I had to have my finger pricked to test my blood levels. Just seeing blood made me terrified.

But in my bathroom, there was more blood than I had ever seen in my life. I grabbed my phone off the counter and called my mom. ‘I’m bleeding and it won’t stop.’

My mom said she was on her way. I asked if I should call an ambulance. My mom said yes. I wrapped a towel around me and stepped out into the hallway. I dialed 911 for the first time in my life. I called Taylor, who was sitting in a deer stand waiting on the sun to set. My mom raced to my house and beat the ambulance. The ambulance showed up. Taylor pulled up right behind them with my brother. It was dark by this time. It was freezing outside.

We went back and forth on what everyone would do, who would go with me and who would stay to watch Sadie, who was sleeping through this whole nightmare in her room. I was able to throw some pants on over my towel. My mom stayed with Sadie. Taylor helped me put my coat and slippers on and put his arm around me as he helped me walk to the ambulance.

I will never forget walking down my driveway in the dark as the ambulance lights flashed. It flashes back into my memory quite often. I can feel the cold, I can see my breath, I can remember exactly where Taylor’s arms were around me. They wouldn’t let anyone ride in the back of the ambulance with me. I was frantic. Taylor rode upfront with the driver and the EMT stayed back with me. She held my hand and told me stories of all the drug overdoses she’d picked up on her shifts lately. It was the last thing I wanted to hear, especially because of Zach’s recent death.

I was dizzy, scared, nauseous, and out of it as I rode in the back of the ambulance for what seemed like an eternity. I kept looking at the clock right in front of me. It wasn’t digital. The second hand ticking away. It was wrong. The time was wrong! I knew what time it was when we left home. I knew what time the EMT was telling the hospital we’d arrive. The clock must not have been set back an hour when the time changed for ‘fall back.’ This made me sick. All I could wonder was if they knew the clock was wrong. I know that was the clock they used to determine the time of death if people were to pass away en route to the hospital. Were they giving people the wrong time of death? I stared at the clock the whole way.

I thought about Zach. I wondered if he saw the clock in the back of his ambulance. I wondered if the time was right or wrong on his ambulance’s clock. I thought how awful it was that the last thing people see on this side of life could potentially be this damn clock with the incorrect time.

When I got to the hospital, I met back up with Taylor. They threw multiple pads and diapers at me, tested everything, put a catheter in to test more things, sent three different doctors in to give me an exam, and sent me for an emergency sonogram of my uterus. By this time, my bleeding had slowed down. It gave me hope it was over and I’d be fine. The doctors came in to tell me the sonogram showed fragments of the placenta left in my uterus. I was shocked. I was angry at my gynecologist for not getting it all out during Sadie’s birth.

We were admitted to the hospital that night. I got to go back to the women’s floor I had frequented lately. Being wheeled into the hospital room on the fourth floor felt more like home to me than my own house. The nurses remembered me. They felt like family and I was so happy to see them, even under these circumstances.

I stood up to change into a gown and blood started pouring out again, the same amount as at home in the bathroom. Nurses rushed in, sat me down, and cleaned everything up. I was terrified. I was told the doctors were going to monitor the bleeding overnight and if it was still happening, I would need to have an emergent D&C in the morning to remove the placenta left in my uterus because they believe my bleeding will not stop unless they went in and removed it.

A D&C is a fairly simple and routine procedure for women. But for me, there was a huge risk. I wouldn’t have time to wean off my blood thinners for a week and allow my blood to go back to its normal thickness. I couldn’t stop taking my blood thinner medication for even a day because the risk of another blood clot occurring in my heart or lungs was too great. This meant my blood would be extremely thin during this surgery. I would bleed more than normal. Plus, my uterus had been destroyed during labor and childbirth. I almost bled out while birthing Sadie. It was guaranteed if the doctor went back into my uterus for any reason, I was going to bleed. A lot.

They tried to calm me down by saying they would have bags of my blood type on hand for an immediate transfusion, if necessary. But there was no telling when and if I would stop bleeding during the surgery. When I birthed Sadie, the doctor had no idea what caused my bleeding and had no idea how it miraculously stopped in time to save my life. His only explanation was I had a ‘bad uterus.’

My options were to have the D&C surgery, bleed, and hope the bleeding stops OR refuse the surgery and basically wait to bleed out on my own. I had never been so scared in my life. I agreed to have the surgery in the morning. At that moment, I was convinced the next morning would be the day I died. It would be Veteran’s Day, my friend Sarah’s birthday, my dog Copper’s birthday, a lucky day to the superstitious with 11-11 as the numerical date, and the day Jordyn Elizabeth Helms passed away.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

I turned on the Hallmark channel to see the Christmas movies. I walked over and sat next to Taylor and cried. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was saying my goodbyes. We stared into the darkness of the hospital room together, sitting on the couch that folded into a bed Taylor had spent entirely too much time on in the past month. Then Taylor went to sleep.

I sat in my hospital bed looking at the TV, not watching. I had suddenly reached this eerie, unexpected level of calmness. My mind was clear. I was going to see Jesus tomorrow. I was going to be free. I was going to see Zach. I had just given birth, almost dying. I had a blood clot in my lung, almost dying. I was destined to go to Heaven now. It was my time. I kept escaping it, but now it was time. Do you know the Final Destination movies? You can’t outrun it if it’s meant to be. I wasn’t running anymore. I accepted it. I wasn’t scared anymore at this point in the night.

I prayed to God for maybe one of the first times in my life. I prayed everyone I left behind would be okay. I prayed my daughter would always know who I was and I loved her very much. I talked to Zach. I asked him if he could show me around Heaven like he showed me around his town when I was 15. I was excited.

I could FEEL God and I could FEEL Zach’s presence. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for or given me any indication of what this would feel like. It is something I find incredibly hard to explain. It is something many don’t believe. But I felt it. I will never ever deny this happening.

I felt God’s presence surround me. I also felt an overwhelming presence beside me. It was like the feeling you get when you’re in the same room with someone and your back is turned away from them. You know someone is there without seeing them. Sight becomes your least dominant sense and you’re suddenly hearing, feeling, breathing it all in.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

It was the most comforting feeling I have ever experienced.

I somehow fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning, it was so bright in my room. The sun was shining through the hospital windows. Taylor smiled at me and I smiled back. My bleeding had suddenly stopped. There was no reason as to why or explanation.

When I tell the story of the night and how I thought was my last, some people say I was exaggerating. Some understand the presence I felt. Most people just think I’m crazy.

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

I finally understood martyrs. Those who would rather die than renounce their beliefs always baffled me. ‘Just say you don’t believe it, even if you do! Just admit you didn’t really see angels, even if you did! Just pretend that what you felt wasn’t something of the divine!’ These were the thoughts I had. These were the thoughts I had until my night when I felt God. These were the thoughts I had until I felt the presence of my old friend in my hospital room.

Now I would be willing to die before I ever renounce what happened in my hospital room on the night when I needed help the most.

I was saved that night. I was able to go home to my baby girl and continue this crazy, beautiful life. I became a lifelong believer in our savior. I will forever tell the story of the night I felt God surround me with comfort. I’ll raise my babies to know angels do exist. I’m living proof of the power of prayer.

Always believe. God is so good.”

Courtesy of Jordyn Helms

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jordyn Helms, 27, from Mapleton, Illinois. Yout can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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