The car came careening out of nowhere as it broadsided our vehicle at the intersection. It wasn’t a major accident, but the incredible jolt I felt made me caress my swollen belly like the protective mother that I was about to become.
Only…something didn’t feel right.
“Congratulations,” the fertility doctor beamed. “It was successful this time…You’re going to have a baby!”
After five years of trying, and a small fortune spent on fertility treatments, I was finally pregnant with our first child. It was a miracle, a blessing I never thought possible. Both my husband and I had prayed continuously, even our church prayed for healing, but the Endometriosis that made me barren, wouldn’t go away with even the best of treatment…until now.
Surely, God had a purpose for this child.
“I’m sorry,” the emergency room doctor said as he looked at the monitor that was now hooked up to my abdomen. “You are definitely in labour but I can’t seem to find a heartbeat. I’ll come back in a few minutes and try again.”
Tears filled my eyes as I looked to Mike. He tried to cover his frown, but his quivering lip said it all.
“No! Don’t you even think that way honey. God didn’t give us this blessing just to take it away.”
“Shauna…the baby will be small at only thirty-four weeks. You know what the doctor said, and now there’s not even a....heartbeat.”
“Shut up....just SHUT UP!” I shouted, shaking my head in rage as another contraction hit. But Mike just pulled me to him....and my moaning turned to sobs.
When the doctor came back into the room, the contraction subsided. “Now let’s take another look dear,” he half grinned with serious overtones as he viewed the sonogram again, turning the monitor so only he and the nurse could see.
Both Mike and I could have heard a pin drop at that moment as we both waited for hopeful news. “Lord....wake up my baby!” I screamed inside my mind.
Then the doctor shook his head. “I’m sorry.”
Tears blurred my vision. “Try again,” I demanded. “TRY AGAIN!”
Mike just closed his eyes and folded his hands in front of his face, praying like the preacher that he was. The doctor was obviously frustrated but decided to try one more time. Suddenly, monitors started to beep, and the doctor turned and grinned.
Oh, how we rejoiced....until....the doctor frowned again.
“Prep her for a C-section and get Neonatal on the phone!” he told the nurse as he fumbled with his instruments, pushing them out of the way. “Baby’s in distress –we have to rush you to the O.R.”
“Call the church RIGHT NOW Mike! Get them to pray like they never have before!”
“How many times have I told you not to leave your brother alone Shauna,” my mother screamed like a raving monster. “You knew he needed CONSTANT supervision!”
“I’m only THIRTEEN mom, I shouldn’t have had to baby-sit my brother all the time? I should have been visiting my friends instead of sitting with a dummy all afternoon.”
“Don’t you call him a dummy Shauna. He was your BROTHER! I CAN”T BELIEVE YOU DIDN”T SEE HIM GET INTO THAT MEDICINE CABINET.”
“Don’t blame ME Mom, blame God! He’s the one that didn’t make Caleb NORMAL in the first place. Why didn’t you just abort him when you found out he was RETARDED. It would have saved us a whole lot of grief....and a lot of money for this stupid funeral.”
3 1bs, 4oz....that’s the first thing that I heard when my son was born. Mike stood over me as my eyes started to focus. His face was grim.
“What’s wrong honey?”
Mike couldn’t even speak. He turned to the doctor and waited for him to say what he couldn’t.
“I’m sorry,” the doctor cleared his throat. “The baby needs heart surgery....and he’s got....Down syndrome.
My heart jumped as he said the familiar word.
“The thing is...you guys have some tough decisions ahead of you,” the doctor continued. “If your son would have been brought to term he probably wouldn’t have made it with that heart defect....but being a Down syndrome baby, you might want to make the decision to let nature take its course.”
I just looked at Mike and grinned. “No....God planned this all along. You fix his heart. His name is Caleb and he’s perfect.”
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