Born at 28 Weeks!
My husband, Justin, and I have now been married for 13 years. We did not start out "the perfect Christian couple" in any way shape or form. I brought to our marriage my son, whom I had when I was 17 and my husband adopted him.
I decided to use Depo-Provera as my choice of birth control which caused suicidal thoughts and depression. It was a huge mistake. We both agreed to have a baby and our first was born two years later. From there it became, “pick my birth control” until God put it on my heart to have another baby. This was the process until we had our sixth. Justin said he thought we had enough children. Six was a lot!
We started attending a new church and learned that a cousin of Justin's also went there. In conversation one night with his wife, she told me how she had gotten her tubes tied and it was the biggest mistake of her life. She talked of living a life governed by God and having as many children as God gave you. I was blown away! I had never heard anyone say such things! Justin and I went home and talked about it and agreed that we were not living our lives to the fullest.
My next pregnancy, which came only a couple months after getting off birth control, ended at eight weeks. During my grief, the Lord encouraged me that He would restore my joy, but I did not think He could because the pain was too great. Then Alyssa was born. I looked at her and I exclaimed, "You did it! You did just as you said. You have restored my joy!" There was no stopping my faith!
When Alyssa was 11 months old I became pregnant again. I couldn't have been happier! At 12 weeks I started bleeding. The hospital staff had no idea what was going on and sent me home. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and went to bed early. Justin came in with a fire in his eyes I hadn't seen in awhile. He said he'd been praying and God told him that the enemy was trying to take our baby, but he would be okay." I slept better than I had in a long time. My husband and my God had it taken care of.
A few days later out of the blue, the name Isaiah came to my mind. It means "saved by God". Justin liked it too. I knew that was his name, but we hadn't yet see the worst.
Isaiah was born three months early at 28 weeks. I barely made it back to the hospital after being sent home only two hours earlier. It was the most painful, terrifying birth I've had. He was transferred immediately to a bigger hospital where, after several hours of waiting, a doctor told us, "He is in respiratory failure; his heart beat is over 220 beats per minute. We think he is going to die. You need to come back now."
As we approached his bedside, I first noticed that he looked gray. Thoughts flashed through my mind, “How am I going to tell the children? They barely handled it when we lost the baby. I don't know if they can handle this. I don't even know how to bury a baby. I guess we could bury him next to Grandma Great.” Then it was as if God smacked me with a 2x4. I looked at Justin, who had tears streaming down his face, and told him, "Go and tell our parents to start praying."
I started praying over this baby like I had never prayed before. Hebrews 11:1 came to my mind, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” What happened next was nothing less than a miracle. I watched our son go from gray to pink. His lifeless body began to work with the ventilator and his heartbeat slowed.
After 10 longs weeks at the NICU, while my children were passed from here to there, we came home. He was on a monitor and oxygen because of pulmonary hypertension. On December 13th, 2006 we got to call Tim (our oxygen guy!) and tell him to come get his tanks, it was nice knowing him, but hoped to never see him again under those circumstances!
As his birthday approached I began to have panic attacks as vivid accounts came rushing back to me. I threw the biggest party I could; just to have the celebration out-weigh my inner pain.
Isaiah is now 15 months old and, aside from his size, you'd never guess he was a micro-preemie. He still doesn't walk yet or even pull himself up to stand. But I know this isn't because there is something wrong, it is because he doesn't want to. He never learned to crawl, but he butt-scoots! He can go unbelievably fast. Trying to stand up and walk is just way too slow!
I look at him and can't stop thanking God for His mercy, His greatness, and His faithfulness. I would like to put together stories from others who have been through similar experiences and can testify to God’s greatness and love! I would like to put a copy of each book in every NICU so that other parents can gain hope and encouragement. If you have a story, please feel free to email me!
Fostoria, Ohio, USA
Justin and Heather’s children are Britton (15), Devon (11), Trinity (10), Kilian (8), Arianna (6), Ceara (4), Alyssa (2), Isaiah (15 months) and baby due December 2007.