The Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell of the miraculous circumstances and birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I never tire of reading about the angel visiting Mary, Joseph, and Zacharias. Or of the verses about the shepherds being scared out of their wits by an angel invasion, and taking off for Bethlehem to verify the angel's proclamation. And of course the passage about the wisemen heeding the angel's warning in a dream, sneaking out of Judea by an alternate route. Read the first couple of chapters in Luke and Matthew to see for yourself.
Miracles do happen during the Christmas season, although technically Jesus was most likely born sometime in September. This year marks seven years since our own December miracle, which was actually a double miracle. Our grandsons turn seven this week. And yes, the birth of a baby is always a miraculous thing, but quite frankly these boys are exceptional miracles. Because of Twin-to-Twin Tranfusion Syndrome they were born eight weeks early, Austin under three pounds and Brayden just over four pounds. Our daughter had spent six weeks on bedrest in the hospital alternating between having labor stopped or amino fluid reductions over that time. Two days shy of 32 weeks they were delivered by emergency C-section. Breathing and heart issues were some of the most immediate problems. The doctors gave our daughter and son-in-law bleak news on what outcomes were possible--significant physical and mental disabilities or worse. Those tiny boys in their incubators hooked up to all sorts of machines were even too fragile to hold.
The next few months were a roller coaster of emotions as the boys struggled to get well. Brayden came home after four weeks and continued to progress, although reflux and apnea were concerns. Austin languished in the NICU, diagnosed with chronic lung disease, severe reflux, a hernia, and then MRSA. It seemed like there was a new complication every day.
During that time, we learned about the power of prayer from a network of family, friends, and strangers literally from around the world, who prayed for the health of the boys. God worked in each of our lives strengthening our faith and giving extraordinary grace. The prayers of so many were answered graciously, miraculously, but in God's time.
I was finally able to hold Austin in the NICU and feed him a bottle for the first time at the end of February, 2008. His big bright eyes locked onto mine as he ate. I marveled that he was getting better--finally. He would go home in the next week after three months in the hospital, although he would be on oxygen until he was eight months old and suffer with painful reflux until he was two.
Today, you'd never know that they ever had any health issues. They're healthy and happy first graders with none of the predicted ill effects from such a traumatic entrance into the world. I am reminded of Matthew 19:26 whenever I see their smiling faces.
Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."
Grandpa & his boys - Mar. 2014
Grandpa & his boys - Mar. 2014
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:14
For more information about TTTS visit www.fetalhope.org.