My Baby Was Supposed To Die

(Originally published in Shattered Magazine)

You need to prepare yourself that this is not going to end well,” the specialist grimly told me. He was the second doctor to tell me as much after being unable to locate the baby’s organs. After two devastating miscarriages, knowing I was carrying a baby that most likely would not survive outside my womb was as heart-wrenching as you can imagine.

That spring and summer I prayed like I had never prayed in my life, and my church and family prayed too. It was as close to praying without ceasing as I had ever been.

The Lonely Road

No one knows what to say to the woman carrying a baby who is going to die. Long-time friends step away; there’s no baby shower, and it’s so lonely. For me, fear, dread and confusion erased the joy that should have accompanied my pregnancy.

Week after week I dragged my two young children with me to doctor’s appointments where staff monitored the baby’s situation, but they could not give me hope. I would go home and crumple on my kitchen floor and cry while my kids napped.

The Surrender

One day while swimming laps at the gym, my eyes streaming with silent tears, I felt near desperation and so weighed down by the burden of carrying this baby. I stood in the shower after my workout and pressed my head against the stone wall. All I could think of was the story in Daniel chapter three where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood in front of the king of Babylon, a deadly furnace in sight and in their very near future. They said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if He doesn’t, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

I knew God was able to heal my baby. But after two miscarriages, I knew full-well He does not choose to heal in every circumstance. Right there in the shower at the gym, I told God that whatever happened it would not in any way change my faith and trust in Him. I was going to serve Him no matter what. I said it out loud so that my tormentor, the devil, would hear me too!

The Celebration

The weeks and the appointments went slowly by with no change until one day, at my weekly ultrasound, the technician said she didn’t know what had happened. Everything looked perfectly normal. The specialist came in and said the same thing. As he looked skeptically at the machine, he reminded me not to get my hopes up—these things don’t fix themselves.

The next week, everything looked normal again. And the next week, and the next, and the next and the next. November 15, I gave birth to a healthy and gorgeous baby girl. She’s four years old now, and there’s no medical reason for it. She was healed by a merciful God.

I know I’m not the only parent facing painful pregnancy diagnoses and hard decisions for the unborn babies. And I know that God does not heal the way we want Him to in every situation. But I have learned to always leave room for God to do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. We fall on the mercy of an all-powerful, all-knowing God and pray He will heal our child and hold fast to our faith, no matter what. We might think we know how a story will end, but when we let God be God, we may find the story is just beginning.