The first sign that something was wrong was seen in the face of the woman who was giving me an ultrasound for my 6-month checkup. Her expression went from confusion to cold. “Hmm,” she said.
I knew that wasn’t good.
When I asked the problem, she couldn’t tell me what she suspected, and that’s when she quickly left the room to get the doctor and when my feet went a little numb. In time, with more ultrasounds given and tests run, my doctor was able to confirm that my baby boy had Edward’s Syndrome, or Trisomy 18, which meant his vital organs were not developing correctly due to a chromosomal abnormality. My boy was “incompatible with life.” He would likely die at birth, and if he happened to survive, would live his entire life being hooked up to machines until he died minutes later.
“We recommend that you abort the baby,” my doctor said, “and spare him all of what he is about to go through.”
For six months, my husband and I had been so happy to know that we had a little boy on the way, a little brother for his older sister who awaited his arrival with bated breath. Jeremiah, as we were going to name him, had been an answer to prayer and the motivation behind much fantasizing about the future. How exciting it was to picture our growing family so beautifully completed with a little boy among us.
Suddenly, it was all coming to a close.
And so, we did what anyone would do. We freaked out, became overcome with terror, and prayed on bended knee that God would prove our doctors wrong or provide a healing hand upon my womb and clear this syndrome away—our God is a miracle maker after all. “I’m not going to abort,” I told the doctor. “I’m going to step out of the way and let God do what He does. Jeremiah is His.”
And so, we did what anyone would do. We freaked out, became overcome with terror, and prayed on bended knee that God would prove our doctors wrong.
As the birth date was approaching, and it appeared that none of our prayers were coming to pass, it was time to step into the miracle of life differently. No longer would we be pushing against the current prognosis, but we would celebrate the baby in my belly, his life and dignity, his value, and his soul. My beloved friends, who I came into the presence of as often as I could, threw me a shower of sorts—a party to thank God for all that He was doing through Jeremiah. Yes, it was a little odd that we had gathered to celebrate a boy that would likely never come, but sometimes life necessitates an elevated perspective. This life and all our ideas of happiness are not always all there is.
The day of the C-section arrived, and when it was time to deliver Jeremiah, the staff allowed me to play music of my choosing in the delivery room. And so I did. In a busy room full of strangers in medical gowns, lyrics rang out about God so that all would hear that He was not just a part of the moment, but was the moment:
Let faith arise
In spite of what I see
Lord, I believe,
But help my unbelief
I choose to trust You
No matter what I feel
Let faith arise...
Let faith arise
For my Champion's not dead
He is alive
Oh, and He already knows
My every need
Surely He will come and rescue me
God of miracles come
We need Your supernatural love
To break through
You're the God of miracles
God of Miracles
© Nick Herbert / Eoghan Heaslip, CCLI
As they pulled Jeremiah from my body, I listened for his sweet little voice, but it was not to come. He died just as the doctor said he would, somewhere in the passing from inside to outside the womb. His underdeveloped heart couldn’t take it, and God welcomed his spirit to come alongside His own.
“God is still on His throne,” I heard my husband say through sniffles as Jeremiah was placed in his arms. “God is still on His throne.” Tears streamed down my face.
Some may question a God who allows such things to happen, but I do not. Yes, I would rather have Jeremiah here with me now, and sadness still comes over me. But I don’t have to look very far to see how faithful God was in allowing us to have this experience. During the last three months of my pregnancy, many family and friends came to be with me to offer support and in so doing, saw my reliance on Him and gave their lives to Jesus as well. Without Jeremiah, that would not have happened.
Without Jeremiah, that would not have happened.
But there is more. Jeremiah was delivered at 1:11 pm. Pastor Travis, who was there along with many other praying family and friends, reminded me of the significance of the number one throughout scripture. “Oneness and divine appointment,” he said. “And you got three of them! Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
I would have been happy with that alone, but it took on a different meaning when one year later, I gave birth to a little boy, Kairo Chisholm. The time—1:11 pm.
God is our faithful Redeemer. I am so grateful that He has fulfilled His promise to give me a son. I had to trust Him through the storm to end up with His promised blessing even when it didn’t seem probable.