Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill
After our adventures with our preemie baby Sophia, the idea of having another baby brought many new anxieties. Would we carry to full term with another pregnancy!? Surely we would not endure another premature birth?!
Deciding to follow our dreams rather than dwell on our fears, we decided to try again. In February 2011, we learned we were expecting another baby due October 13, 2011. We were ecstatic! Our anxieties seem to melt away with our joy and excitement. God is so good to us!
We told our parents and a few close friends, and planned to announce our exciting news once I was a little further along.
March 5, 2011 was like any other day. We were busy enjoying a Saturday with our two children and had plans to have dinner with several friends that evening. At dinner, I began to feel unwell physically. Body aches and feeling unsettled; increasingly so. Midway through dinner I informed my hubby of this feeling unwell, and we headed for home. We were not home for very long before I realized I was bleeding; heavily. A trip to the ER and roughly eight hours later we were home trying to digest the fact that at just 11 weeks along, we had lost our precious little one.
Nothing we had been through to date had felt so empty and final. My worst nightmare had become my reality and our hearts were shattered.
We saw our OB a few days later and he encouraged our trying again, as soon as my body was able. We believed that The Lord had more children in store for our family, so we decided that we would take his advice.
In July of 2011, we discovered that we were expecting again. Again, joy and excitement were in abundance. We were feeling so very blessed.
Unfortunately, we lost this precious little one as well. On August 6, 2011 God called our second little one home to be with Him. Our world was shaken; for the second time in less than six months. We kept our eyes on The Lord through both of these losses and believed with our whole hearts that He would be faithful to bring our dreams to a place of reality.
Even through the darkest times, God gave us an abundance of peace and hope.
For the third time in just one year, we learned we were expecting; this time on our first angel baby’s due date. On October 13, 2011 (also my Dad’s birthday) we learned we were expecting another baby due to be born on June 15, 2012.
I would feel dishonest if I did not admit my apprehension. We seemed to be great at making the babies…..but my body seemed to refuse to keep them in. We prayed relentlessly for this little one, begging God to save our hearts from yet another break.
I believe I held my breath until my first ultrasound. It was there that I heard, with my own ears, that beautiful heartbeat!
This pregnancy was going wonderfully. We decided to keep the gender a surprise this time around and were enjoying watching the baby turn and kick each evening; he/she was such an active little one.
Wednesday March 21, 2012 was our family night at church. Nothing out of the ordinary happened that day. Nothing to signal any alarms or give us reason to worry. Yet, just shortly after 7pm, at just 27 weeks pregnant I found myself doubled over with labor pains. They came on suddenly; as in nothing one moment and then all-out the next.
I had mentioned my discomfort to a friend and decided to lay down in my hubby’s office at the church to catch some relief. Less than an hour later, that friend found me having contractions every 50 second lasting for 30 seconds in duration. Yikes. It was not long before 911 had an ambulance at the church to pick me up. I spent the next week in hospital.
We were so relieved that labor was able to be stopped. My obstetrician did allow me to go home on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. What a humbling experience. My husband was amazing; that is even an understatement. He worked all day, took the reigns on cooking and cleaning when needed, and would often be found at the park after work hours with our two older children. We had a few friends who stopped in to care for our laundry and one very wonderful woman cleaned our house once a week for us as well. There were others who helped us care for our children, while many brought home cooked meals for us to enjoy. It’s not easy for Mom to sit back and have others do her job……but I was focused on bringing this baby to term, so I graciously and humbly found myself accepting those offers of help.
Almost seven weeks passed from the time I left the church in that ambulance and I found myself labouring again. Still premature at just 34 weeks, my husband and I were once again making that nervous ride to the hospital.
On May 4th 2012 at 5:09am Spencer Nathan-Josiah made his way into our world. He was assessed by our nurse-friend Michele from the NICU and seemed to be doing fairly well. At 5:12am, his little body was exhausted and he stopped breathing. The NICU nurses worked on him for a short time and quickly whisked him off to the NICU. If you’ve read our daughter Sophia’s story- you can imagine our fear! Spencer was placed on CPAP right away, but was taken off just less than 48 hours later.
About a week into his stay at the NICU, Spencer began showing signs of an infection. After a drastic decline in his health, and a large number of tests, it was confirmed that he was septic. Two high dose IV antibiotics were given for the infection and within a couple of days a remarkable difference was seen. Once again, God had blessed us with a miracle!
Spencer was a fabulous little eater, so once the seven days of antibiotics was complete, we were discharged and able to go home. Ben and Sophia were so excited to meet their brand new baby brother and we couldn’t wait to begin our days as a family of five.
I remember those late night feeds and how tired the days were. I can remember snuggling Spencer a little longer, after he was done feeding at night, with thankful tears that God had given us this beautiful baby boy!
Though we faced sorrow, God was faithful to bring us to a place of pure and indescribable joy!
HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY, miracle boy!