When my son was born, I experienced a difficult labor and delivery. After my baby was born, my blood pressure dropped so low the nurses were barely able to get a reading. I had to be hospitalized for several days longer than originally expected.
That first night I was in severe pain. I asked a nurse to give me something, but my doctor had not given the order because of my drop in blood pressure. As the night slowly advanced, the pain grew much worse and I was unable to sleep or get comfortable. As the pain swept over my entire body, I buzzed the nurse’s station several times, hoping that someone would contact my doctor. No one came to my room.
Finally, at around three in the morning, a nun wearing a white habit trimmed in blue appeared at my doorway. As she stood in the hall, with the dim hospital lights shining around her and outlining her long white habit, I remember she had the sweetest countenance.
“What’s wrong, child?” she asked.
“Sister, I am in tremendous pain. Can you help me?” I raised my head from the pillows.
“Have you asked your nurse?”
“Yes,” I replied, “but my doctor forgot to order pain medicine and she says I’ll have to wait until morning. Now the nurses aren’t answering my buzzer.” My head fell back down on the pillows.
“Just a moment,” she said. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Please don’t leave me,” I cried out. “You are the first person that I have seen in several hours!”
“Don’t worry,” she reassured in a soft voice. “I’ll be back in just a moment. I promise.”
I wondered if she would return, but then I felt a strange peace in my heart that made me believe that she would honor her word. About five minutes passed and she returned, carrying a medication tray. Rolling up the sleeve of my nightgown, she gave me an injection.
“Oh thank you so much!” I exclaimed, as she placed a bandage over the injected area on my arm.
She smiled, pulled the covers up high around my chin, and placed her cool and comforting hand on my forehead.
“You have a beautiful baby boy,” she said.
“Yes,” I smiled.
“May you both be blessed,” she added.
I immediately fell into a deep sleep.
The following morning, when the day nurse arrived to check vital signs, my blood pressure had returned to normal. I told her about the wonderful nun who came to me in the night. She did not look up from her notes while I spoke.
“There is nothing in your chart about medications administered during the last shift,” she said. “Do you think that you might have been dreaming?”
“No,” I said. “She wore a solid white habit trimmed in blue."
For a moment, the nurse stopped scribbling as I pushed up the sleeve of my night gown to reveal the small round band-aid the nun had placed on my arm after the injection.
“Hmm,” the nurse said , returning to her notes.
A couple of days later, when I was discharged, a nurse’s aid wheeled my baby and me out of the hospital. As we waited for the elevator, I noticed a large, life-size statue of the Madonna in white flowing garments trimmed in blue. The statue had a sweet face that reminded me very much of the nun who came to my room. In front of the statue was a sign that read: Our Lady of Mercy.
“I didn’t notice that statue when I was admitted,” I said. “She’s beautiful!”
“Yes, she is,” the aid replied.
“There was a nun who came to my room one night,” I said, as she wheeled me down to the car. "She was dressed exactly the same. White trimmed in blue. It must be a special order of nuns who wear that color because I’ve never seen habits like that before,” I added.
“Really? Now that’s odd.”
“Why do you think it is odd?” I asked.
“Because all of the Hospital Sisters are away on Sabbatical. You couldn’t have seen a nun. Not during the day or in the middle of the night, so it must have been a regular nurse you saw."
Suddenly, I realized that I had experienced an angelic visitation or a visit from the Madonna herself. A warm feeling spread over me as I got into the car with my husband and baby--a feeling of being cared for by a power much greater than myself. As we drove away from the hospital, a lovely statue of the Madonna stood at the exit and just below her feet were the words: May you be blessed.