In the Face of a Fatal Diagnosis, These People Gave Us the Greatest Gift We’ve Ever Received
To be honest, I still have trouble knowing where to start with our story. But let me say, often times the medical community gets a bad rap. In our experience, they were the vessels that gave us the best gift we’ve ever received. We’re still somewhat speechless when we think about it.
In 2013, we found out we were going to become a family of four. We were thrilled to find out our second baby was a boy. We named him William “Wills” Lamar Bowie, after his granddad. But 25 weeks into my pregnancy, we received the overwhelming news that doctors believed he had Trisomy 18, a fatal diagnosis. Babies with this abnormality usually are stillborn, and a high mortality rate threatens the ones who survive birth.
From that first jolt of heartbreaking news, it felt as though fear was hiding behind every door and in every dark little corner. But the light of God’s love for us couldn’t be put out. We were desperate for clarity, strength, peace, direction, encouragement, sustenance. And we got so much more than that.
Of the many doctor visits we had, we were given little hope for our baby boy. We prayed and prayed for a physical healing. When our son was born, we realized we received God’s perfect will. Our baby was just perfect for us. He was immediately taken to the NICU, and we thought we may have minutes with him. The nurses worked to have me wheeled in my hospital bed to his NICU pod. We had one entire side of the room to ourselves. My great grandparents, most of his great aunts and uncles, all of his aunts and uncles and cousins met him. It was truly the definition of marvelous.
It didn’t stop there.
Every day we thought he was about to say, “see you soon” to us and this world, but each day we were thrilled to see him keep fighting. Four days later and our baby boy was still with us. Enter two of the biggest hearts we’ve ever met — an on-duty neonatologist and the head NICU discharge nurse. They announced to us they were working to get us home with Wills. We were speechless. We were told that would never be an option. And sure enough, we made it home.
They trained us for 24 hours on his care schedule, got us set up with hospice, loaded us in our car and kicked us out (in the best way ever!) of that hospital. We are forever grateful tender hearts exist in the midst of what can be a callousing profession. We’ll never be the same.
Wills lived 15 marvelous days. We celebrated each day with a cupcake. Ten of those days he lived from his nursery, in his crib, in our arms, in our home. We have 2,300 or so pictures from the sweetest 15 days of our lives. He died peacefully in our arms. And we’re still so close with the staff that gave us the best present… Time at home as a family of four.
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