Our 2013 was filled with life or death, hope and faith.
One Sunday night our family watched a movie about faith. As the movie came to an end, I looked at our two precious children asleep on Daddy’s lap, then down at my growing tummy. I wanted what the people in the movie had: unwavering faith, the kind needed to raise these three little ones for the Lord.
As my husband, Eric, and I climbed into bed, we agreed to pray for stronger faith.
Monday morning arrived. I had reached 12 weeks in my pregnancy. During the past week I kept feeling pain in my stomach. The doctors equated it with stretching ligaments, as normal in all pregnancies. I went about my day as usual, until I realized that I wasn’t picking up my 1-year-old, Annabella, or allowing my 4-year-old, Austin, to climb up on the couch next to me for fear they might touch my sore tummy.
I stood up to a popping sound and felt something I will never forget. Blood instantly soaked through my jeans, filling my shoes. I grabbed the phone as I rushed to the bathroom.
My mother and sister arrived within minutes and began praying over me as Eric rushed home from work, carried me to the car, and rushed me to the hospital. I remember Eric praying for me and our baby. But my head told me that our little one was gone.
The doctor’s concern was about the amount of blood I had lost. After I was stabilized, an ultrasound was performed. The moment the technician touched my tummy, Eric grabbed my arm and gasped. He saw a wiggling baby with a strong resounding heartbeat. I couldn’t look, thinking it was only a matter of time before the heartbeat stopped.
The technician explained that in all her years she had never seen anything like it. Approximately 50 percent of my placenta had ruptured. Our baby had what looked like a black curtain covering half of its little home. With tears in my eyes, I turned to catch a glimpse of the baby I would never hold.
The doctor came to our room with sorrow written all over his face. He explained that it was only a matter of time until my body expelled the failing placenta, ending the life of our baby.
Again we said, “Aiden is in God’s hands”
Eric asked, “What are the chances the baby could make it to a viable 25 weeks?”
The doctor looked squarely into our eyes and replied, “None.”
We were given two options. Either complete bed rest until the inevitable miscarriage or have an abortion to avoid further life-threatening bleeds. I grabbed Eric’s hand and mumbled through tears lyrics written by Chris Tomlin:
“Our God is greater, our God is stronger.
God, You are higher than any other.
Our God is healer, awesome in power,
With tears in my eyes I said to the doctor, “Thank you, but we’re in God’s hands. His will be done.”
At our next doctor visit, we were told unequivocally not to get our hopes up. The ultrasound not only detected a heartbeat, but a very strong heartbeat. Hearing ‘ba boom, ba boom,’ my entire soul filled with hope.
Again, the doctor explained, “According to medical science,” she said, “a baby cannot survive and grow with less than half a placenta.”
Eric stopped her midsentence and said that at this point our baby was alive and in God’s hands.
The staff informed Eric that women who have this rare separation-bleeding condition have an inherent possibility to bleed internally and unknowingly until it’s too late. Every night as Eric laid his head on his pillow, the enormity of our circumstance became more real.
Two weeks later, lying flat in bed, I was suddenly awakened by a blow to the stomach. A force so powerful not only took my breath away, but shook the bed as well. I knew that something had ruptured and that bleeding would start any moment. Tears started to flow as I prayed, “God, please give me strength to trust in Your plan.”
I stood up. No bleeding, no pain.
A week later, to the doctor’s amazement, our baby was not only alive, but growing according to schedule.
The goal now was to make it to 25 weeks. We discovered that our baby was a boy. His name would be Aiden Page Stevens, which means “Little Fire.” To call him by name somehow made all this real. I may never get to hold my sweet little boy, I thought. Doctors repeatedly told us that at any moment the remaining placenta might tear away. Even if it did hold on somehow, Aiden would have multiple life-threatening health issues.
At 23 weeks I started having sharp contractions and was back in the hospital. Our assigned doctor didn’t monitor the baby, only examined me. The diagnosis was contraction and spasms on account of loss of muscle while on bed rest. The doctor informed us we needed to think about our little boy’s quality of life if we made it a few more weeks. Again we said, “Aiden is in God’s hands.”
Week 25 came and went. Aiden not only grew but measured larger than average. With family, friends, and an entire praying community, we made it to 36 weeks.
While being prepped for surgery, the nurse mentioned the name of the doctor who would be delivering, the same doctor who had given our little guy no chance of making it. Not only had God given my family an opportunity to gain faith; He was about to teach the doctor the power of faith.
At 4:20 a.m., September 2, weighing 6.7 pounds, our miracle arrived with bright-red hair fitting to his name.
Shortly after he was born, Aiden started having trouble breathing because of fluid in his lungs. Staff from different departments in the hospital saw him, giving us the opportunity to tell everyone Aiden’s story.
Needing more care than the hospital could provide, Aiden was transported to a nearby neo-intensive-care unit. Again, Aiden’s story and word of God’s amazing healing spread like wildfire. Aiden was released with a perfect bill of health one week later.
It stills brings tears to my eyes when I hold him and think about those long months of not knowing God’s plan for us. Eric and I were forever changed, and our faith is stronger. “Our God is greater.”
* “Our God,” Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, © Capitol Christian Music Group.
Erin Stevens and her husband, Eric, are happly raising their three children, Austin, Annabella, and Aiden.