I honestly don’t know where to begin. Do I start with the yearning that grew from watching other couples experience the love of a baby? Do I start with two Christmases ago, when we had our first positive pregnancy test?
Whatever I start with, know this: This is a message of hope–an anthem, if you will, to couples everywhere. This is a declaration directed to any woman, man, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandmother, grandfather, anyone that has experienced a loss. I’m telling you right here, right now that there is an abundance of hope left in this world. It exists. Miracles happen because of it. One has happened to me.
On July 27 at 9:31PM, my wife and I welcomed our son into the world. Oliver James. He’s perfect in every way. He’s our son. Our boy. Our miracle.
He’s a miracle for many reasons, one being that he has succeeded not one, but two losses. We’ve lost two boys, two of his brothers, all within the course of a year. Each one as devastating as the next, but each one as reinforcing. They reinforced the love we have for each other as husband and wife, and they’ve reinforced the love we have for our children, no matter if they’re walking the earth or somewhere far better.
He’s also a miracle for another reason, because he came at the perfect time. My wife had been doing twice-weekly NST, or non-stress tests, that monitor the baby’s heart and movement. I’m not going to lie, it was hard work. Twice a week we drove over an hour and a half to be monitored. It was exhausting, but it ended up being an eye opener.
The first couple of NSTs went great. It was a breathe of fresh hair, to be honest, to know that for once something was going right. People everywhere all over the world have babies, it can’t be that hard. Why was it continuing to be hard for us?
Then at my wife’s last NST, something was off. He was kicking and his heart was beating, but my wife knew that it wasn’t as often or strong as it usually is. The nurses told her over and over that he looks great, he’s normal, he’s doing just fine–but she didn’t accept their answer.
The mother in her knew that she had to do something. The next day, she monitored his kicking for over 8 hours. Nothing. He hadn’t kicked or moved in so long. She called our midwife only to hear the same song and dance, “drink some apple juice, or cold water, that’ll make your baby move. He’s fine.” Once again, she didn’t accept their answer. So we packed everything up, I mean everything too. Cameras, diaper bag, hospital bag, pillows, blankets, snacks– the whole shebang was loaded into our car and we made the dreaded drive an hour and a half away so my wife could demand she be monitored.
She saved his life–I’m absolutely sure of it. If I wasn’t already, I am now forever indebted to my beautiful, stubborn, strong-willed wife of mine for saving the life of our son.
If she hadn’t trusted her instincts, they wouldn’t have found that he wasn’t moving. If she had listened to what the midwife was telling her, they wouldn’t have found that his heart was decelling, and he was losing oxygen. If she hadn’t saved his life, who knows where we’d be. I can’t imagine even thinking about it.
“Oliver is telling us he’s ready to come,” the midwife told us, looking over the chart. Emotions hit us like a tidal wave. My knees buckled and my heart flipped. This was happening. This was really happening.
A combined total of over a year of pregnancies, and two losses, and we’d be welcoming our baby boy within the hour. I’m struggling to find the words to describe the feeling because it was unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. It was unreal, like a dream.
It still is.
I am a firm believer in hope now. Through the hardest of times–I had none, you might not either. The time you need it the most is the time it makes it very hard to see, but when it hits you, it’s the most amazing thing in the world.
I saw him for the first time under the warmer. He had a full head of hair and his chubby cheeks were stretched wide screaming into a transparent oxygen mask connected to machines that were beeping and analyzing. When he opened his eyes at me, the world suddenly made sense. My being made sense. Everything we had been through made sense and I found myself looking at a boy of 23 years of age, with a face of tears looking down at his pink wiggly son. I saw them touching noses and holding hands and I knew in that moment that this is what miracles looked like.