CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Do you believe in miracles?
A young mother I know was convinced that miracles are possible when she gave birth to a son and was told by doctors that his chances of survival were slim. She wrote a moving account of the experience. With her permission, I share Jolita Raine's story:
On July 1, four years ago, my son was born in Cincinnati. I don't remember much about that morning because of the complications I was having with Mirror Syndrome. That's when the mother's symptoms mirror those of her newborn child. He had a condition known as hydrops, a life-threatening problem of severe edema in a fetus or newborn.
I desperately wanted to see my son, but I only got to see him in the pod as they wheeled him out. The doctor came to see me and gave me an update of his condition, which was not good. He said they didn't expect him to make it through the night. He also said I could have him baptized if I wanted and that, later, they'd wrap him up and let us say our "goodbyes."
That was it! That's all they had planned: just to wait until he died.
So I had my son baptized. And I prayed to God. "There is nothing we can do here, Lord," I said, tears streaming down my cheeks, "He is completely in Your hands."
They took me back to my room and, as I lay there waiting to say my goodbyes, I talked to God again. "I may not understand it now, Lord, if you take my child, but someday I will. Just please don't let him suffer."
The minister who had baptized him came to see me, and a nurse came to tell me my child was "still kicking." We didn't have to say goodbye just yet.
He made it through the first night. Then he made it through the second night. And many more. I visited him in the NICU. I will never forget the thumping noises of the oscillator or the beeping alarms of the monitors attached to him. I wasn't allowed to hold him; I could only touch him. It was heartbreaking!
The doctors said there was no surgery to correct the hydrops. It was up to him to correct it himself.
When he began to improve daily, I started to think every day he was alive was a miracle! He eventually came off the oscillator and onto the nasal cannula. The time finally came, after he learned to eat a certain amount and was at a low oxygen level, that we were able to bring him home.
When the doctors and nurses sat down with us to explain what to expect, one doctor said, "He'll run out of energy faster because his lungs and heart are not one hundred percent. That may cause delays in his daily life." The thing I remember most is the doctor saying, "Keep doing what you're doing." My reply was, "We're praying and we have a number of prayer groups praying for him as well." He looked at me and repeated, "Keep doing what you're doing."