Updated: Apr 4, 2021
When I first learned I was pregnant with our third child, I was elated! We already had two amazing little girls and had been trying for this sweet little addition. Everything seemed to be falling in line.
Photo by Aubrey Becker
As expected, my excitement steadily slid into anxiety. I’m a NICU nurse and a bereavement coordinator. I know things don’t always have a happy and healthy ending. I know that babies can die, even healthy babies can and do die. Most of the time we don’t know why, and no one is immune to it.
So, when the morning sickness didn’t come, I hoped it meant we had our first baby boy on the way and a few weeks later we confirmed that. For a moment some anxiety subsided. MIRACLE.
Then at 9 weeks when I felt like I had zero pregnancy symptoms I moved up my appointment preparing to hear “I’m sorry there is no heartbeat.” But we didn’t. His little heart was strong, and all looked good. MIRACLE.
At 20 weeks, we headed to our anatomy scan eager to see our baby and hear the ultrasound technician say how amazing he was and have the doctor go through the usual reassurances with me of “try not to worry, you’re healthy, your baby is healthy and your patients’ stories aren’t your story.”
But instead, we heard “IUGR, low fluid, echogenic bowel, unable to assess due to very little baby movement, no urine.”
We needed to make an appointment with the high-risk doctor. After being given the wrong phone number to call and using my work connections, my co-worker and friend found us an appointment slot the following day. MIRACLE.
We reached out to friends, family, and our church for prayers, and boy did we get prayers. Beautiful, bold, BIG prayers were said. Prayers for a miracle.
Our miracle was supposed to be that fluid would reaccumulate and he would just be little. We would plan to monitor his growth, maybe deliver a little early and have a short NICU stay. Instead a few minutes into the scan, when it was time to check the structures of his heart she paused and said, “this is his heart.” I followed by saying “and it’s not beating.” She confirmed with “it’s not” and the room fell silent. NO miracle.
What do you do when the miracle you were expecting doesn’t come? For me? A lot of the same things I did when I did get a miracle:
Cry—Instead of tears of relief and joy they were of confusion and heartbreak.
Pray—Instead of thankfulness it was for strength and wisdom
Plan—I’m a Type A person who has a Plan A, B, C & D usually. This didn’t change that.
Prepare—Instead of preemie clothes and NICU stays it was delivery options and
We spent 45 hours in the hospital, 18 of those with our precious and oh so tiny baby, Lawson. Looking back over the 10 days from diagnosis, to delivery, to discharge and the week preparing for his funeral I know that we did get our miracle—we got many miracles—they just changed.
When my induction and labor went on for hours, we prayed that his delicate skin would be protected. He was born with just a few and very tiny skin tears. MIRACLE.
When we tried for an amniocentesis but failed to get fluid we prayed he would be born en caul and that fluid could be obtained before we held him. (This would also take the place of an autopsy for him.) He was born en caul and fluid obtained. MIRACLE
I can quickly rattle off 7 more miracles, too.
Photo by Aubrey Becker
When we think of miracles, or at least what I thought as being a miracle, was the idea of living, surviving. In a way, that miracle still came about, only it was for us instead of our baby. We’re surviving and learning to live each day the best we know how. MIRACLE.
And when Lawson gave us the opportunity to talk with his sisters about God’s love and our names being registered in Heaven, and that we will see him again and have the most beautiful reunion? MIRACLE.
I don’t know why some people get miracles and some don’t or why some hearts keep beating while others stop. There are so many things I won’t know or understand this side of Heaven, but one thing I do know is that we’ll keep praying and looking for miracles.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Albert Einstein
Thank you Aubrey Becker for sharing your story. Shared with permission.