Sixteen weeks. If you found out your child had only sixteen weeks left to live…what would you do?
This is a road I have walked. And although I know that amount of time is almost nothing at all, the first four months of 2012 felt like the longest four months of my entire life.
When I got that little blue plus sign in September 2011, my heart skipped a beat (okay maybe several). I couldn’t even wait until the end of the work day to tell my husband that we would truly become “one” in just a few short months. Within two weeks of finding out we were pregnant, both families had been told and plans were being made to welcome a new little one into all of our lives.
Our excitement grew quickly in anticipation of our 20 week appointment. We just wanted to see our baby, not really wanting to find out the sex. I will never forget that day…January 16th,2012. Our technician scanned for a half an hour and then sent us back to wait to speak with our doctor.
We found out that day that our future with our baby was not going to be the one we had planned. We were told that our baby, a son, had several organ system failures and would not survive long after birth. We were also told we had a decision to make: keep him for as long as he might survive, or let him go now. And we decided to keep him.
It’s very hard to pray to God for His will to be done when you are faced with the seemingly unpreventable death of your child. All I wanted to do was to pray for my miracle to happen in the way I wanted, regardless of whether it was in accordance with His plan or not. I wanted my son to be in my arms and to come home with me after he was born, and I wanted nothing short of that. However, I was able to manage prayer for God’s will during that time…something that shocks me now when I read back in my journal entries.
Our son, Samuel David, was born on April 30th, 2012 at 3:20am. We had 50 minutes with him before he left my arms and entered the arms of our Savior. We had 16 weeks with him from the moment of his diagnosis to the moment he entered and left this world. The love I felt within that time frame was like nothing I had ever felt before, and something I cannot remember having ever lived without.
I know the Lord carried us through that time, and carries us in our grief still. I get glimpses here and there of how His plan is working out, and how He was able to use the life of our son for the glory of His Kingdom. He knew my family was going to need to need our community of Christ-followers to walk with us hand in hand into the valley of grief and be helped up out of it. He knew my husband and I’s relationship depended on His faithfulness. And He knew our son would be a gift to all who heard our testimony.
I am so very grateful for the sixteen weeks we were given with our son after his diagnosis. I am grateful even more for a loving God who has promised me that this life on earth will feel like no time has passed when I am reunited with my Sam for all eternity.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” ~Psalm 139:16
Kaila Mugford lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband Jamey and their two dogs, Duke and Mopsie. They are very active in their church, CedarCreek, and experience the love of Christ every day in this amazing community of Christ-followers. They are expecting their second baby, (a healthy little girl!) in May 2013.