“Out of difficulties grow miracles.” – Jean De La Bruyere
When I was in the 4th grade, we found out that my Aunt Sherrie, already the mother of two girls, was pregnant with twins. During the first trimester, everything seemed fine. The twins were healthy and were expected to be born close to my own birthday in the middle of September. But during the fifth month of her pregnancy, my aunt had her gallbladder removed due to other health complications. This was a major turning point in her pregnancy.
A week or so after she had her gallbladder removed, my aunt began to notice that something “just wasn’t right.” Her doctor soon diagnosed her with HELLP Syndrome, an uncommon pregnancy disorder that causes a reduction of blood platelets and results in abnormal liver functions, usually requiring a termination of the pregnancy (HELLP Syndrome). As things progressively got worse, her doctor told her that the only way to save her own life was to abort the babies as soon as possible. Being a strong Catholic family, this was something my aunt and uncle decided they could not go through with. Her only other option was to try to deliver the twins at least four months early and focus more on saving the lives of the babies rather than her own. The doctor told her that for this option, her chance of survival was close to 0% and the chance of survival for the babies was only 5%. My aunt wanted to try to give her children a chance to live and saw this as her only opportunity.
I remember my dad coming to pick me up from school on May 14th, the day my Aunt Sherrie was going to deliver my new cousins. I walked into the school office and saw my dad talking to the secretaries. His eyes filled with tears as he described to the women what was happening to his brother’s wife and children. I don’t remember too much of how I felt that day, but I know that seeing my dad cry told me something was really wrong. Seeing him like that tore me apart and after he started to put everything in terms that a ten-year-old could understand, I began to see why he was so upset.
My siblings and I were rushed home and told to pack up our over-night bags with everything we would need to spend a few days in Rayne, where my aunt and her family live. My dad told us to bring the nicest clothes we could find in our closets and explained to us that we might have to attend the funeral of my aunt, the babies, or possibly all three. We drove an hour and a half to Rayne and met my family at the hospital. So many prayers filled the waiting room that day: prayers from our family, friends, priests, fellow church members, nurses, and doctors, as well as patients waiting for treatment, mothers who had children at home, and women who were pregnant with their own healthy babies. These were prayers that somehow everything would turn out right, prayers for a miracle.
After long periods of silence, broken only by voices coming together to recite the rosary, we were relieved to discover that the babies had been delivered safely. My aunt and both of the babies had survived. The twins were named Macie and Megan Frances. Macie was 14 ounces and 10 ¼ centimeters long. Megan was 15 ounces and 10 ¾ centimeters long. They were shorter than an unsharpened pencil and small enough to hold in the palm of your hand.
Everyone involved with the birth of my cousins that day experienced an extraordinary miracle and without a doubt felt the presence of God, but the prayers didn’t stop there. It took the faith, love, and unending prayers of our family and friends, along with four months in the hospital, before my aunt and new cousins could go home.
The girls are now seven years old, and though they are still very small for their age and have some difficult health problems, they live a happy life. My Aunt Sherrie has since had a normal pregnancy and delivered her fifth child, a healthy son.
I believe that through all the prayers for my aunt and her babies, God performed a miracle. Not all miracles are this large; they can be as simple as seeing a rainbow come across a dark cloudy, sky. Miracles are all around us. I believe that with prayers and the help of God, anything is possible. I believe in miracles.
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