Hi friends! This post is part of a 7-week series on overcoming fear in which a few friends will be dropping by as guest bloggers. Please visit their blogs, linked at the bottom of their posts here, if you’d like to hear more from them. Here’s to getting a little more free from fear together. – Bree
The Lord Gives, and Takes Away- by Marisa Swann
“The Lord gives, and takes away, was my first thought when I saw my lifeless son lying on the guest bedroom floor.
Let me give you a little backstory. I was pregnant with our fifth child. We had a great midwife that had delivered number four at our home a year prior. (God truly does have a sense of humor.? ) We had sonograms and the appropriate prenatal appointments. A few people had asked if we were having twins. Several close friends said that they hoped we were pregnant with twins. At our first sonogram appointment John asked the tech is it twins. He had a feeling. She assured us that there was only one baby. “I’ll bet my job on it”. John still wants to go back and tell her she was wrong.
It was early in the morning on February 9. I hadn’t slept well because I was great with child. My contractions had begun and I was waiting for John to wake up. Sure enough it was baby time. We called our midwife and John called the church he was pastoring at the time. I labored and delivered a healthy baby boy, whom we named Noah. We were celebrating and enjoying our newborn cuddles. I stood and up and said “something isn’t right.” I didn’t recall that until months later. Suddenly, I delivered another baby boy. Honestly, it was more like he fell out feet first and my midwife caught him. I saw him and was in disbelief. “The Lord gives, and takes away.” I told God in that moment, “I know he belongs to you. But I haven’t had the chance to say hello. I’m not ready to say goodbye. Please God don’t take him”.
EMS was called and we spent several hours in the local emergency room with our surprise blessing. After that, Isaiah was transferred to Cooks Children’s Hospital. Our first day was a complete blur. It was filled with listening to beeps, watching different medical staff come in and out, and our doctor telling us this and that was now a new concern. On day four we received his MRI results. They were not promising. Isaiah’s little brain was completely black and grey. In fact, we were told to do “comfort care” aka, hospice for babies. Our team of doctors told us to take our time making a decision, but they thought it was for best. John and I agreed, nope, not happening, we were bringing our boys home together. We took day four in waves. One minute we were talking about how we could set up our home to best serve Isaiah. We would have to change rooms and we would have to create easy access for the EMTs. The next minute we would be sitting there listening to the beeps. We would just look at each and laugh and say, “WE HAVE TWINS”.
Our first week was a just wait and see. Isaiah would make an improvement only to have four setbacks. Our nurses were so kind. Each day they would ask about Noah. They also told us they had a concerns for his health. Finally, we gave in on day seven. John took Noah to the emergency room downstairs. Two hours later, the charge nurse came and informed me that they didn’t have a twin room available. Noah would be two rooms down. I remember telling her okay and thinking, “she’s crazy.” Noah didn’t need a room. That’s when my phone rang and John told me he would be up soon to explain and that Noah was being admitted. His blood was thick and his red cell count was extremely high. They were shocked that Noah hadn’t had a stroke.
So, there we were with our twins in two separate rooms, both facing death. John and I prayed. We reached out to everyone we knew asking them to pray for our boys. We made daily posts keeping everyone updated on Isaiah’s progress and then on Noah’s. We didn’t give all the details on Noah. Only a few knew Noah was on the verge of death. We received so many messages of prayers and encouragement. We had family and friends posting and sharing our story. Each of them asked their friends to pray for our TWINS. We had people all over the world praying for our boys.
1 day turned into 7 days. 7 days turned into 14 days. Each day brought either a new issue or a struggle that one of them overcame. Eventually, we were moved into a twin room. Then, Isaiah was breathing on his own. Something the doctors told us that he would never be able to do.
On day 16 Isaiah had another MRI. The following day the doctor came into our room. He looked bewildered. He sat down and said “I can’t explain it. Isaiah’s MRI came back normal”. In complete disbelief I just sat there. John asked to see it and if we could get a copy of the MRI. We also asked when we could go home. We had been without our four other children for 17 days. Thankfully, the doctor told us we could go home that afternoon.
For the first time in my life, I wasn’t in fear of what was to come next. I knew I had to fully trust God. I knew He was the only one who could save our sons. I knew now was not the time to be angry. I knew now wasn’t the time to ask why. See the why didn’t matter. The why really never matters. What mattered was that I knew God had a plan and I needed to trust Him. I knew I had to bring glory to God. I knew God could perform miracles.
Noah and Isaiah are now healthy 4 years old, soon to be 5. I still say, “We HAVE TWINS,” in complete disbelief at least once a week. While Isaiah has challenges, but we don’t let those hold us back. We are still trusting God to do what He wants to in and through our sons.
Marisa Swann is a wife and mother who is coffee and essential-oil obsessed. She currently lives in Cypress, TX with her husband, 6 children, and a the start of a domesticated zoo. Her passions include cooking and sending starter kits for The Loved Bible Project. She also enjoys sleeping in, fine dining, and trips to Hawaii…or at least she thinks she would if she ever got the chance to do any of them.