By: Mary Beth Devlin
Against All Odds
Henry was born at 27 weeks, weighing 1 pound and 5 ounces. Leading up to his birth, we were told multiple times that he would not be able to survive outside of the womb. I remember choosing to thank God for each day that He gave me to carry our son. And even if doctors gave us very little hope for Henry’s survival, I chose to thank God for every passing day with him.
The first week of Henry’s life was a rollercoaster and nothing could have ever prepared us for the ride ahead. Henry was beating the odds that man had given him, yet there were still concerns due to him being a preemie.
It didn’t take long for the climb on the rollercoaster to reach its peak, causing my knuckles to whiten. Henry’s blood pressure was a serious area of concern. While we were assured that the number on the monitor was an incorrect reading, I knew in my heart that something was wrong. I ran to the bathroom. And as the figurative rollercoaster car began to free fall, I let the emotions building within me escape. The silence was filled with my screams.
We’re Not There Yet
When I returned, the nurse told us that “things were not looking good” for our son. I knew without her even having to say the words she was preparing us for the end. It felt like in an instant things had taken an unexpected term. Each time she updated us on his condition the only words I could utter were “We’re not there yet.”
God had brought us this far. Our boy had already proven doctors wrong by still being with us and I wasn’t going to allow myself to believe it was his time to leave us. I was choosing to stay positive and clinging to my faith in God. I felt God was giving me an opportunity to place my Trust in Him alone.
In an attempt to aid in his recovery, Henry’s care team pumped his little body full of medication. But despite their attempts, nothing was working. The team of nurses and doctors came in to inform us they had done everything medically possible to try to save him. It was only a matter of time before Henry would be in the arms of Jesus.
My mind and heart were struggling to believe it. His heartbeat was still strong. I refused to accept the possibility of Henry not making it until I was forced to see it with my own eyes. We were presented with two choices for his passing. We could hold him until he was promoted to heaven or we could allow the team to resuscitate him. Initially, I wanted them to do everything in their power to save my son even if that meant I couldn’t hold him. But together my husband and I decided to hold our sweet boy until the end.
Because so many people had been following our story, we informed them of the painful turn of events. That night, as we prepared for his peaceful entry into Heaven, a community joined us in praying for a miracle. Once Henry was placed on my chest it didn’t take long to see that the prayers were working. As Henry’s O2 stat began to increase ever so slightly, I realized God was in our midst. He had been all along, and He was in control.
Your Will Your Way
For eight hours I sat holding my son and praying for his healing. I repeated “Your will, Your way” over and over as I sat watching his numbers slowly rise. I gave God the praise as each number climbed higher. My husband and I were in awe of the numbers on the monitor.
Our sweet Henry’s oxygen was in the 90s by morning. There was no medical explanation for what had occurred during the night. Our nurses couldn’t believe what they were witnessing. We knew what had taken place and we continued to praise the Lord.
Looking back on that night I think of Psalm 30:5 (NKJV) where it says, “Weeping may occur for the night, but joy comes in the morning”. We were told our son would pass away. We experienced incredible sorrow for a night, but joy came in the morning in the form of a miracle.
Mary Beth is a 28-year-old wife and mother to a now 2-year-old NICU graduate.