Today is my daughter’s birthday. She’s eleven years old today. You may wonder why I consider her birth a miracle; if you’re like me and believe in an Almighty God, the birth of any child is a miracle, and always will be. But what makes her birth even more miraculous is that her original due date was to be in August of 2001. God decided that it would be best for her to arrive three and a half months early, for whatever reason. I don’t ask questions that I can’t even begin to understand the answer to.
My wife woke me up early on the morning of April 22, 2001. I immediately knew that something wasn’t right. Up until that time, the pregnancy had been uneventful. I dare say, normal. Of course I would learn later that a normal pregnancy isn’t 40 weeks as doctors or even nature will tell you. A normal pregnancy is however long He decides it will be.
Long story short, I spoke with my wife’s doctor and she told me to get her to the hospital immediately. That confirmed what I already knew was happening. My wife was in labor with our first child nearly four months too early.
When we arrived they tried all they could to suppress my wife’s labor, but when it’s time, it’s time. A little more than three hours after we arrived at the hospital, my daughter was born. She let out one, lone cry. The doctor asked me her name and I told him, “Maggie.” Up until this point my wife and I were kicking around a few different names. But at that moment, once again I don’t know why, Maggie seemed, right.
She was born at 25 weeks, just a couple of weeks past when her lungs would have been developed enough to breath. She weighed just 1 pound and 13 ounces. She would eventually lose a few ounces, getting down to 1 pound 7 ounces. The next three and a half months were spent watching and waiting. We held a vigil beside her incubator. And we prayed. We prayed hard.
I prayed one biblical verse in particular every day. Psalm 91 9-14:
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Though shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
When we took her home, she weighed just under four pounds. She would be on oxygen another few months. We continued our vigil, we continued to pray. Eleven years later, she’s perfect. She’s never had even one issue that preemies often have. She’s now a typical pre-teen that comes with all the bells and whistles.
People are always amazed when they hear her story, and they should be. I honestly didn’t do it justice here. I don’t possibly have enough time or even the words to describe in detail the anguish that my wife and I, along with our family went through those months in 2001. I would never wish it on my worst enemy, though now in hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
I’m one of the privileged few to have witnessed a miracle. I live with her everyday, and I’ll never forget it.
When I hear people debating about the origins of life, or when a baby is actually a person; debating about when it’s okay to terminate a pregnancy because it’s too early for it to be a real child so it’s not murder, I just shake my head in wonder. As someone famously said, that’s above my pay grade to determine such things. It’s already been decided, we just have to be brave enough to accept that it is what it is. Terminating a pregnancy is the easy way out. No one will ever convince me otherwise.
This isn’t a post about the evils of abortion. Or the fact that I live with proof that people are wrong about the viability of a fetus before it reaches a certain age. This post is my testimony of a miracle that I witnessed. A miracle just as wonderful as turning water into wine, burning a bush but yet not consuming it, feeding five thousand with bread and fish, or even raising a man from the dead.
The miracle was real. It still is. No matter what she decides to do the rest of her life, she was touched by a hand greater than yours or mine, and nothing will ever change that. I hope that somehow by hearing this story, you’ll believe in miracles too.